I finally went down to University Village mall to go check out Apple’s new store (and new iPhones*). There used to be a perfectly fine Apple store inside the mall, but I guess it was just not cool enough, and so they built a new stand-alone store, just steps away from where the old one was.
*I should probably upgrade my 2015 iPhone 6s at some point soon! The new camera lenses on the iPhone Xs, and the bezel-to-bezel OLED screen would be very welcome.
I had not yet settled in the USA in 1991, but I knew about the testimony of Anita Hill in the hearings for then-nominee for Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas. Well, it’s happening again. Christine Blasey Ford is accusing Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexually assaulting her as a teenager.
There is a difference, though: this time around the President of the United States is a known harasser (or worse) of women .. and since late 2017, the #MeToo movement has forced many powerful men to face up to the consequences of their abuse of women.
So we’ll see what happens. There may – or may not – be hearings next week. Like most Democrats I am an Absolutely Not-No Way-No How ‘NO‘ on Kavanaugh*- but I don’t get to vote on it.
*He’s been caught lying to the Senate, even before all of the latest allegations, and he’s a hard-line conservative. He also is of the opinion that a sitting President cannot be subpoenaed, nor indicted. No wonder Trump wants him to join the Supreme Court.
I walked by the construction site of the ‘Building Cure’ today.
It’s here in downtown Seattle near Denny Way. It is the new building for Seattle Children’s Research Institute to expand into. The Institute’s scientists develop cures and therapies for childhood diseases such as cancers, sickle cell anemia and type 1 diabetes.
The Institute has grown from just 40 employees in 2006 to more than 1,500 today.
The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (33) set a new world record in the Berlin marathon on Sunday. Roger Robinson writes in Runner’s World that he is now, without question, the greatest marathoner of all time. He won every one of the last nine marathons that he had competed in.
Cape Town’s dam levels hit the 70% mark on Monday for the first time since 2015. The severe water restrictions that had been in place, have been relaxed, albeit just by a little*. The rainy season is coming to an end in September, and a long dry summer lies ahead.
*The City is asking residents to use no more than 70 liters (18.5 US gal) per person per day, up from a 50-liter (13 US gal) limit.
The areas south of New Bern and Wilmington have recorded 30 inches of rain, and the rain is still pouring down. Not surprisingly, many roads and streets are flooded, and there are widespread power outages as well.
Ahh .. a shipment of ProNutro cereal from South Africa landed on my porch this week, sent by my friend Jose. I have fond memories of the stuff and still like it very much.
Back in high school, it was the only breakfast that would sustain me all the way through the long mornings in class. The cereal is also famous in South Africa for feeding baby animals and birds (that one might have rescued).
It’s really too much to keep track of, all the crimes and guilty pleas of Trump’s associates, but this is a big one.
Today, Paul Manafort (Trump’s 2016 campaign manager), already found guilty of tax evasion and money laundering, plead guilty to additional charges of ‘conspiracy against the United States’ and ‘conspiracy to obstruct justice (witness tampering)’. And: Manafort will cooperate with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigators.
Manafort was present at the June 2016 meeting with the Russians (with Donald Trump Jr and Son-in-law Jared Kushner also in attendance). He knows if Trump Senior knew about the meeting.
What will Trump do, now that even more chickens have come home to roost*?
It really does not look like his nightmare of a presidency will make it to 2020.
*An expression that is 500 years old. The older fuller form was ‘curses are like young chickens; they always come home to roost’. Your offensive words or actions are likely at some point to rebound and hurt you.
Thu 11.00 pm EDT: Florence has not made landfall yet (50 miles from the coast) .. now a Category 2, so the storm’s wind speeds have come down, but there will still be a lot of water to deal with*. Up to a third of the people in some communities have elected to stay put, in spite of the evacuation order. Time will tell if that was wise. (Some people had no place to go, or no means to evacuate, though).
*4.9 million people live in areas that will get more than 10 inches of rain over the next 5 days.
Fri 11.00 pm EDT: Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM EDT on Friday. By late afternoon, several hundred people had been rescued, and 5 deaths directly related to the storm, had been reported. Many of the streams and rivers in the storm’s footprint are expected to crest at record levels downstream.
‘Let us withdraw, ’twill be a storm’. – William Shakespeare tweet this morning (from King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4)
We’re all on Florence watch here, even the West coasters. (Hurricanes do not hit the West Coast, due to the direction of global winds, and the Pacific Ocean’s water temperature). Hurricane Florence is bearing down on North Carolina. The latest models show that it might rake the coastline after coming close to the mainland, resulting in a 9-13 ft storm surge from the ocean. This, combined with upwards of 30 inches of rain in some areas will make for wide-spread flooding of low-lying areas. Some of the long narrow barrier islands off the coast will be run over completely with seawater. About 1 million people along the coast are under mandatory evacuation orders.
The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by financial services firm Lehman Brothers – ten years ago this week (Sept. 15, 2008) – remains the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Lehman held over US$600 billion in assets. The fall-out from the 2008 crisis reverberates to this day through global politics. It gave us Donald Trump, Brexit, extreme nationalism, the blaming of immigrants for economic misfortunes.
Here is Philip Stephens in a column in the Financial Times newspaper (headquartered in London): ‘Historians will look back on the crisis of 2008 as the moment the world’s most powerful nations surrendered international leadership, and globalisation went into reverse. The rest of the world has understandably concluded it has little to learn from the West. Many thought at the time that the collapse of communism would presage the hegemony of open, liberal democracies. Instead, what really will puzzle the historians is why the ancien régime was so lazily complacent – complicit, rather – in its own demise’.
I only learned of the East Coast’s cult burger chain ‘Shake Shack’ when it was reported that Special Investigator Mueller’s team had a lunch bag from Shake Shack during Paul Manafort’s trial. (The lawyers would not say what they had for lunch; they had strict orders not to talk to the press).
Anyway: Seattle is getting a Shake Shack, close to Amazon’s headquarters.
Oh man! What an unfortunate ending unfolded at the 2018 US Open Women’s Final today. Down by one set, in the second set, Serena’s coach gestured to her to ‘move up’ (not allowed). Chair umpire Carlos Ramos gave Serena a warning, which she took very badly – as an insult, and ‘unfair’ – saying that in men’s tennis they get away with coaching all the time, and much more. (She’s right about that, but this was not the time,nor the place, to argue that). She would not stop berating the chair umpire, and at the next change of sides, called him a thief, and demanded an apology. Then she also broke a racquet on the court. When she again launched into a tirade, it was the third violation, and she was given a penalty of a whole game.
As ESPN notes, at least everyone can agree that the winner, Naomi Osaka (20) from Japan, was cheated out of an uncontroversial win.
I made my way to the Seattle Central Library again today, as I do several times a week. I used to walk down to a smaller branch seven blocks from my house to get my book and newspaper fix for the day, but the Central Library has so much more material. I feel like Alice in Wonderland there.
We had beers and a bite at Fadó (say f’doe*) Irish Pub tonight. It is located in the historic Colman Building on 1st Avenue. Since it is First Thursday of the month, we could also stop in and admire art at a few of the galleries nearby, afterwards.
*An Irish term meaning ‘long ago’. It is used in Ireland to start a story -the equivalent of ‘once upon a time’.
Some say the constitutional crisis for the United States has been here for awhile, already. (Cannot get rid of a manifestly unfit-for-office President, because his party protects him). Others say it is still in the making.
But something must be seriously, seriously screwed up when senior administration officials write alarming, anonymous op-eds in the New York Times.
And when, almost every week, a book comes out that describe utter dysfunction & mayhem in the White House. The latest book is by none other than investigative journalist Bob Woodward, famous for his work on Watergate, and with The Washington Post since 1971. There is no denying his reporting.
Hmm .. I see The Economist has given Vienna the nod as the world’s ‘best city’ to live in. (Melbourne had been at the top of the list for seven straight years). No American city made the top 10 .. but of course: Seattleites scoff at the notion that Vancouver is better than Seattle. That number 6 pointer on the map should move south to just below the Canadian border!