The redacted Mueller report is out, and .. it confirms what we already know, with more details. Trump stonewalled and ultimately refused to be interviewed by Mueller. Trump lied to the public. His campaign staff lied to Mueller. Mueller could not get to all the key evidence to prove obstruction of justice, and a conspiracy with the Russians. It was unavailable, encrypted or probably deleted or shredded (so much for the Presidential Records Act).
It’s now clear that Attorney-General Barr from the Dept of Justice is acting as Trump’s personal lawyer (he is not, and he should not).
It also looks as if the calculus of the Democrats to not call for impeachment until they know they will succeed in the Senate, is unchanged. Trump should be impeached, let’s just be clear about that – but maybe the Trumpkins (that used to be Republicans) deserve him as an albatross around their neck, all the way to the 2020 elections.
I remembered another unresolved issue with my iTunes music collection: the bitrate of the .mp3 version of the songs I had originally transferred into iTunes from CD, was as low as 160 kbps. This was oh, some ten years ago.
Nowadays, there is an ‘Apple Lossless’ option which will replicate the original CD in iTunes (bit rates of 900 kbps or more). The enormous storage capacity available on smartphones these days makes it possible to transfer and carry all of one’s CDs as-is in iTunes .. but is it worth it? The files would be up to 6 times larger than the original 160 kbps ones.
So my strategy is to upgrade only my very favorite CDs, say up to 30 out of the 300, that I now have in iTunes.
Well, it’s official: Pete Buttigieg (say ‘Boot-Edge-Edge’) kicked off his 2020 Presidential campaign today, in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana.
As the New York Times notes: ‘If elected, Mr. Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, would represent a series of historic firsts: the youngest president ever and the first who is openly gay’.
Not to mention that there will be a First Husband in the White House for the first time. (Of course: that will also be the case if one of the women candidates is elected as President).
It was blustery and rainy today, but I went down to Pike Place Market to check on the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
The railroad tracks below, and the steep slope complicate this area, and the crews use a slower method of removal: sawcutting and removal of the sections with a crane.
Here’s an internet meme to celebrate National Pet Day (even though it was yesterday).
The feline is Julian Assange*’s cat Michi, pictured in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2016. After Assange’s arrest on Thursday, Ecuador threatened to put Michi in an animal shelter – but the kitty kat is now reportedly with Assange’s family.
*Assange is an Australian journalist, computer programmer and the founder and director of WikiLeaks [Source: Wikipedia].
So Brexit is now delayed until Oct 31 this year (yes, Halloween).
Will it be a trick or a treat?
The UK must participate in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament (if it fails to do that, the UK will leave the EU on June 1). The European Council also reiterated that there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations.
Google made a great doodle of the first-ever image of a black hole ●. This black hole is in Messier 87 (abbreviated as M87), a giant galaxy in the constellation Virgo. The black hole is several billion times more massive than our Sun. Lucky for us, it is about 53 million light years from Earth.
What will happen to a human falling into a black hole? Based on the mathematics in Einstein’s general theory of relativity of 1915, you would fall through the event horizon unscathed, then the force of gravity would pull you into a very long noodle and ultimately cram you into singularity, the black hole’s infinitely dense core. Ouch?
Wow, the Democratic candidates for President of the United States for the 2020 campaign have been jumping into the fray by the dozen and more. Tonight there was another, on Stephen Colbert’s Late Night Show. His name is Eric Swalwell and he is represents California’s 15th congressional district. He is only 38 yrs old (got to be 35 to run for President), but he’s been a Congressman for 6 yrs, so that will help. I like him a lot. He’s been a regular guest on the cable news programs that I watch.
P.S. Psst! And for the first time ever, there will be a gay candidate running for President of the United States as well. I will write about him later. He is expected to announce his candidacy on Sunday April 14.
Two weeks later — and still no release of the Mueller report (not to Congress and not to the public). AG William Barr has now issued four statements about the report. So some stonewalling is going on. The New York Times and Washington Post both reported that the Mueller team is grumbling about Barr’s (mis)characterization of the findings. Trump promptly called their reporting ‘fake news’.
Then again, does it really matter what’s in the Mueller report? Trump’s corruption, cruelty, lies and incompetence are plain to see. He broadcasts it on Twitter and blabbers non-stop lies to the press, in the Oval Office, or before he flies off, to go play golf. Any given day of the week.
We’re finally getting some rain again here in the city (and 58 °F/ 14 °C).
Here’s a spectacular camellia flower that I found a few blocks from my house. I have a camellia shrub in my front yard as well, but its flowers are not quite as big these!
‘There is an end to everything, to good things as well’.
Proverb that dates back to about 1374 (Geoffrey Chaucer, poet).
We learned yesterday that the reason the Rolling Stones had to postpone their upcoming concert in May in Seattle, was for Mick Jagger (75) to undergo heart surgery (a heart valve replacement). Yikes. Apparently surgeons can work new wonders these days with a much less invasive procedure, but even so.
Is this not a sign for Mick and the Stones to finally, just pack it up, and call it quits?
The spectacular – and spectacularly upsetting, it looks like to me – Our Planet series of episodes from renowned filmmaker Sir David Attenborough (he’s 92) is set to debut on Friday on Netflix in 190 countries. It may draw a total audience of one billion viewers.
The material has been four years in the making, with filming done in 50 countries and with the collaboration of the World Wildlife Fund. No bones are made about the impact that human activity has had on the planet. Humans are accelerating what is called the Sixth Extinction, of plant and animal species across the globe.
Below is a preview and a few photos from the series, that the Irish Times had published over the weekend. The octopus in the last picture is off the coast of South Africa.
Alright .. I’m done for now with my iTunes tune-up. It was a lot of fun. In some cases I broke the ‘rules’: uploaded a singles album cover from online, if I had only imported the hit song from a full CD, and I did not like the CD cover much. In other cases where I had multiple CDs for one artist or group (ABBA), I could upload several cool old vinyl covers or CD covers.
I’m still doggedly maintaining my iTunes library of music, even though music purveyors like Apple and Amazon are trying hard to make me let go and subscribe to their online music. For about $10 a month, one can get access to a vast library of old and new music (50 million songs), as well as curated playlists from music buffs.
But if one has listened to recorded music for several decades (me), and have bought music CDs in places all over the world*, it’s really hard to let go of all that. Why not keep the music on CDs AND upload it into a searchable collection of 2,000 songs to carry on your smartphone? It
*I left my vinyl collection behind in South Africa in 1995; gave it all to a friend .. but have replaced some of them with CDs, since.