Category Archives: low life

Dave Lebovitz Has a Bad Hair Day in Paris

It is tempting to think that if you lived in Paris, every day would be better than the last. The sun would always shine. The food and wine would always be amazing. And dog poop would smell like roses.

BTW. in the old days, Paris used to be loaded with dog poop. You could not even walk between parted cars. That got fixed with a “pick em up” law. Thank the Lord!

Back to life in Paris. The fact is that life anywhere on this planet has its ups and downs. And Dave Lebovitz posts about a down day that had a very up ending. Making shortcake has a way of fixing just about anything, right?

Enjoy … even if you are having a bad hair day too!

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BTW, Not All the Founding Fathers Were Nice Guys

We tend to romanticize the founding fathers – especially Washington. And of course, they did pull off one of the most amazing capers of the 18th century, defeating the most powerful country in the world to gain independence.

Errr … though let’s not forget that this would not have happened without the French.

We tend NOT to remember the stories about the founding fathers who were less nice. Folks like Benedict Arnold (who in fact,  betrayed his country after he was royally screwed by the Continental Congress), Aaron Burr (it took that gadfly Gore Vidal to finally write about him), and William Duer.

William Duer? Duer, you might be surprised to find out, was a major mover and shaker back then. He was an associate of Alexander Hamilton, and on friendly terms with Washington. But he tried to pull off one too many ponzi schemes and ended up causing a major recession and then sitting out his remaining days in a New York prison.

Here is a potted version of his story.

There is no getting around it. Duer was a con man and a loser. He lost a lot of other people’s money. Hmmm … sort of like someone in the news these days?

Pseuds Alter!

This is a good one

“We are celebrating the anniversary, 75 years of D-Day,” McDaniel said. “This is the time where we should be celebrating our president, the great achievements of America, and I don’t think the American people like the constant negativity.”

No. We are celebrating the bravery of the soldiers who fought that day. Period.

Let’s Admit it. News Sucks!

You might defer, asking, “What do you mean by “news”? News coverage? ”

I do think that news coverage sucks. This has been brought out in the Trump era, when a candidate for the presidency and then president routinely abused news media coverage and got away with it. Only a scattered few media personalities called out Trump for what he is — a serial liar and long time fraudster who panders to racists. Lawrence O’Donnell was an exception. That was the story, but it took a long time for it to be covered that way. Even now, Trump still gets away with whoppers and frauds without passionate push back by media.

Need an example — how often did you see that Trump’s demand for funding for the Mexican Wall was a fraud?  It was. But the coverage was not about the fraud. It was about the demand and the response.

But I have a deeper concern. My concern is that news itself sucks. What do I mean by that? Ask yourself this question. What is important to you? What do you need to know about what is important? Do you get every day access to what you need to know so that it enriches your life? Do you get it from news? And when you get access, do you get follow up that empowers you further?

I think that is what news should do. It should empower us by enabling us to learn about stuff that we deem to be important. Not just sensational stuff. Not just topical stuff. But stuff that we need to learn about. That is all news.

‘I would gladly pay a subscription to access that kind of news. That kind of news would get my attention every morning, where I could harvest 10 or 2o articles that add to the story lines that I am following. To go deeper into them  as I pursue them.  To put me in charge of “going deeper” into stories.

News doesn’t do that. It  tends to sit on the surface of things. And  in that landscape, an outfit like Fox News can manipulate public opinion all it wants. Why? Because we generally only have a surface understanding of what we call “news”. So, for example, politics is not a process to improve policy making It is democrats versus republicans. Red v. Blue.Left v. Right.  Take down versus put down. This takes the most important value adding process we have to shape our future, and turns it into a zero sum game.

And that may be why subscriptions to newsprint has been declining for decade. When folks got access to superficial coverage of news by TV , they started losing interest in newspapers for their news. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the internet that led to a crisis in the news industry. It was the refusal of news entities to upgrade what they do in the face of competition that started their slow decline.

I don’t like that, and that is why I say “News sucks. “

Cinque Terre in flip-flops? A Major “NO NO!”

Who knew that people were doing this?

The towns on the Cinque Terre coastline are famous for their beauty. And a great way to experience this is by hiking the mountain rails between the towns. In season, lots of tourists do this!

But …

Exasperated mountain rescue units are fed up with having to rescue ill-equipped visitors who find themselves in trouble on the tough, narrow footpaths that link the five former fishing villages of the coastline in the northwestern region of Liguria.

And this is likely to get worse

The picturesque region is bracing for a fresh invasion of hapless visitors this year because of a forecast surge in the number of cruise ship passengers who will dock at the nearby port of La Spezia, from where they access the Cinque Terre.

How bad is this?

Last year they had to go to the aid of a German family who tried to negotiate a rocky path with a child in a pushchair and an elderly Italian man who attempted a cliff-top trail despite having a leg in plaster.

Good Lord!  It is the price of popularity. And I think another signal that the tourist industry with its cruises and tours are a bit out of control.

The Next Step! Confiscate all the Hamburgers!

What would we do without CPAC? We would miss out on highly intellectual banter like this

… Sebastian Gorka, a former official in President Donald Trump’s White House, falsely accused Democrats of wanting “to take away your hamburgers,” and said burger-banning “is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved.”

I was not aware that Stalin dreamed about burger banning! Did you? Very informative! Though one wonders if Sebastian has actually sourced this historical reference or just winged it.

One can imagine the dude (Sebastian not Stalin) getting ready for the event, asking his “advisors” how to get attention when everyone else is even nuttier than he is. “A reference to Stalin is always a good idea …”

And there is the thing about “banning cows”. To be clear, I do not think that progressives actually want to ban cows. They just want them to wear diapers.