Prince Louis | Bill Cosby guilty | Trump & Macron meeting: a bromance | Trump & Merkel meeting: frosty | Trump’s phone-in rant to Fox News | Dust storms, rain storms, floods in Middle East | Rain in Cape Town | North Korea & South Korea summit .. is it for real? | Don Trump Jr colluded with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya in June 2016 & her connection to the Kremlin is now confirmed | Donald Trump Sr again denies collusion, citing a House Intelligence Committee report (which is somewhat of a sham) | Marvel Studios’ Avengers $350 million Infinity War movie starts (but I have no plans to see it) .. and I will leave it at that.
This sheet of ‘Great Plains Prairie’ stamps (issued 2001) was on sale on-line, and I ordered it for my stamp collection. The manila envelope that the sheet had arrived in today, had itself some interesting stamps on. Are these old stamps even legit? I wondered .. but it turns out they are. Postage stamps do not have expiration dates, as a general rule.
On today, the President’s Day holiday here in the United States, the findings of the 2018 survey by an expert panel has President Donald Trump rated dead last*.
At this early point, he is already deemed worse than even James Buchanan, the Union’s 15th president. (Wikipedia: After leaving office, Buchanan spent most of his remaining years defending himself from public blame for the Civil War).
*Even among self-identified Republicans and conservatives on the panel, Trump came in 40th of 44.
It was great to see the unified Korean team come into the Olympic stadium for the opening ceremony. One could argue that Korea is the only divided country that remains in the world. For example, there was North and South Vietnam (united in 1975), East and West Germany (united in 1990), and South North and South Yemen (also united in 1990). And yes, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but one cannot see it become one country again.
I read that support for Korean unification is fading, though. Some 50% of young South Koreans regard North Korea as an outright enemy, that they want nothing to do with. The harsh reality is that there is a yawning chasm between the economies of the countries. The per capita income difference between the South and North is 20 to 1. For West Germany and East Germany it was 3 to 1.
I spent some time in Rheinauhafen (‘Rhine old port’) today. It is a former port facility on the Rhine*, now rebuilt into modern condominiums, offices and commercial buildings. A Microsoft office building was completed in 2008, the main condominium building in 2009, and most of the other buildings a few years before that, or a few years later.
*Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine. Here in Cologne it is the Nieder-Rhein (the lower Rhine).
It rained this morning, but it cleared up later, and warmed up to 12 °C (54°F), which was a welcome change from Friday night.
I walked around the Neumarkt area, and Rudolfplatz, and went into a few stores, seeing that most stores close down on Sunday, and Monday, for New Year’s Day. Here are some pictures from Friday night and Saturday.
I shipped a package of books and red tea that I bought here, from myself to myself, in Seattle today. Books are so heavy, and I don’t put food in my baggage when I travel. The post office branch I visited did not have new 2017 stamps , and I settled for a panel of 2014 stamps that commemorated World War I.
President Trump made many Native Americans very angry today – at the annual ceremony meant to honor the Navajo Code Talkers . It’s a long story, but in a side comment, he again resorted to his standard derogatory reference ‘Pocahontas’ to describe Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Here’s the reaction of Gyasi Ross, interviewed by Chris Hayes on MSNBC today: ‘The two groups that we revere are veterans and elders. Somehow this dim-witted, completely mush-mouthed fool managed to offend the two groups which he said he was honoring at this time, in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who .. signed the Indian Removal Act that killed thousands of native people’.