Saturday, October 05, 2019

No End in Sight!

It would be nice if some things would change, but I see no end in sight for:

Violent demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The struggle between the Kurds and Turkey.
Corruption in Iraq.
Civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
Political gridlock in the U.S.
Income inequality.
Racial prejudice.

If this prognosis is too bleak, should we just give up?  The list could be much longer.  Being hopeless won’t help.  So now what?  There is no easy answer.  Just as it is inevitable that the tectonic plates will continue to move under us and will ultimately change everything, so it is inevitable that so long as humans are around bad stuff will happen.  I say tell the truth about it, do something if you can and live your life – with gratitude for the blessings that are yours.

Monday, September 30, 2019


With so much in-your-face dramatic news dominating the civil discourse these days I’m stepping back from the fray to let my thoughts wander.

It was great to see such a warm appreciation of Bruce Bochy as he retired after 13 years as manager of the Giants.  A decent, authentic guy who more than earned the praise and acknowledgement he received.

Staying with sports, I was happy to watch Liverpool win for the seventh time this season and stay undefeated.  They didn’t look great and Sheffield United was a tough opponent, but a win is a win.

I enjoyed the American Masters program featuring Raul Julia.  I have fond memories of Raul as a friend and Breakthrough Foundation supporter, but I had forgotten what a great talent he was.  Died much too young.

“Our Boys” is the most recent TV show out of Israel that has my attention.  Very powerful and well done.  I’m particularly moved by Jony Arbid’s performance.  He plays Hussein.

Newest food discovery:  It is possible to have Mercato deliver items from the San Francisco Fish Company in the Ferry Building.  Had delicious gravlax and salmon roll, easily ordered and arrived on time.

Our recent heat wave has given way to cooler air, and we’re back to the standard 50’s and 60’s.  No complaints (at least for a while) about San Francisco being too cold.

Okay, that was a welcome break from the chaos.  I can now go back and see what today’s outrage is going to be.

Friday, September 13, 2019


I watched the Democratic debate last night.  Bottom line: It won’t change much.

There were no positive magic moments that propelled anyone out of the crowd.  There were no major mistakes that doomed a candidate’s chances.  Significant opposing positions, except for health care, were not evident.

So if there were no major substantive differences, what were the takeaways?  Was it a waste of time?  I don’t think so.  I was surprised that my main takeaway was a positive feeling about the group.  Critical pundits will harp on this or that mistake or failing or weakness.  But I felt good about the overall quality of what I saw and heard.

While the spotlight was on Biden, Warren and Sanders, the questioners did a good job of making sure that the other seven had a chance to express themselves.  And the questions were good ones, especially final one, which gave each candidate the opportunity to say something that wasn’t memorized or scripted.

So I was impressed.  A good result and reason to be hopeful about the future.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Good News!

All day every day bad news gets the most attention.  Is that all there is, I wondered?  So I went looking and lo and behold found some things to be happy about.  For example:

There is a good chance that Netanyahu will not be re-elected when the Israelis vote later this month.  His support seems to be ebbing away.

The Italians got their act together and formed a new government without including Salvini’s populist League Party, so the anti-immigrant fascists will not be in control as they have been for the past year.

While the chaos in Britain surrounding the Brexit soap opera continues unabated, Boris Johnson has not had his way with Parliament.  Indeed, he lost two key votes yesterday and is on the defensive.  My hope, still a long shot outcome, is that they come to their senses, have another election and then back away from the ridiculous idea that leaving Europe would be a good thing.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, announced that she would withdraw the contentious extradition bill that ignited the huge demonstrations that have plagued Hong Kong for months.  That’s good news, but I’m afraid it’s too little too late.  I’d be surprised if the people of Hong Kong, especially the young people, don’t continue their protests about other issues or laws they don’t like.

Representative Jim Sensebrenner of Wisconsin, a Republican mainstay for 40 years, announced he won’t be running for re-election.  That makes sixteen Republican lawmakers who intend to retire or seek another office in 2020.  By contrast, very few Democrats are taking this route.  I think they are like sharks who smell blood in the water.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Waste of Time!

Feeling pressed for time these days?  Then don’t waste your time on the following:

Trying to make sense out of irrational, inconsistent, contradictory tweets coming from you know who.

Keeping the generations straight.  Is she a boomer, a GenX, a millennial, GenZ, etc.  If you must know, make a list you can refer to.

Sorting out the differences in the Democrat candidates various plans for health care, the economy, climate, etc.  Again, if you must know, wait until the field narrows to one or two and then figure it out.

Guessing who the National League playoff teams will be.  It’s a jumble and will change many times between now and the end of the season.  One thing you can count on, though – the Giants will not be there.

Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa.  I’ve used 9/5ths + 32 or F x 5/9, but you’re better off just looking it up.  Too confusing otherwise.  Same for kilometers to miles or vice versa.  Look it up.  I’m sure your phone has an app to help you out.

Keeping up-to-date on the ever-changing airline mileage programs.  They tell you the basics and then when you go to use them they’ve changed.  Bottom line, though, especially for business class?  Highly unlikely that you’ll be able to use your miles to get seats, since so few are available.

Protecting your phone or computer from the bad guys.  Use the Internet?  You will be hacked.  Buy anything on line?  Your preferences will be tracked.  Go anywhere?  Your location will be known.  Search for something?  Your behavior patterns will be known and sold.  AI is here.  You are at its mercy.