Larry David is Right. Hollywood is About A**holes

This post is a reaction to the Harvey episode. For years, he lured young vulnerable women into “meetings” and once there, he got his rocks off by forcing his sexual inclinations upon them. Vomit.

How could one be for Harvey? Could one say without a pre-check with one’s psychiatrist that Harvey is  misunderstood?  Of course not! Like Ailes and  Cosby., we feel and show collective revulsion.

And yet …. this was the norm within certain circles. This has been a rite of passage that young women had to endure in  order to make  it in the entertainment industryJennifer Lawrence, for example,  in a nude applicant line up? Come on! And yet, there she was. Told that the photo of her nude with other models might be an inspiration to lose weight.

The bottom line is rather simple — power breeds contempt. And Hollywood has a rather intense power structure. We should not be surprised, therefore, that Hollywood systematically endorses contempt for young people. Sexually and otherwise.

The most obvious solution here is to think why we give Hollywood such power? Why do we create the opportunity for predators like Harvey Weinsten to do things over decades that cause such harm?

This is not Hollywood as entertainment. It is Hollywood as gross out.


Is This About Trump or Us?

I reached the breaking point a long time ago. The reason was that I could not stomach accepting a man as “leader” who repeatedly lies about core issues and then never owns up to his falsehoods.

I could, btw, stomach leaders who made boneheaded decisions. I was prepared to say, “ok, Let’s disagree, but I respect that you might have a reason for taking your view. Let’s see how it turns out.! ”

Trump has gone so beyond that ! His decisions have no basis in policy thinking or in reality. The reflect his personal pet peeves. They reflect the desire of a 72 year old white male to turn the clock back to 1950.  Sorry, Donald, that is not going to happen.  And they destroy our ability to track what decisions add value and what decisions destroy it.

Let’s get down to brass tacks. we are all now left with a choice. Do we want a politics that endlessly rehashes debates about the past or do we dare start thinking about the future?

BTW, if you are wondering how the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” came into popular usage, here is a link for you!

Think about it. You might be surprised by how much our current discussions have nothing to do with the future. That, my friend, is a scary thought!

A quick follow – After I wrote the above, I watched again David Jolly’s comments to Lawrence O’Donnell. Jolly is a republican, but of the older school. – he has no sympathy for the tea party. Jolly said bluntly that the country may be better off if in 2018 the democrats take control of Congress. The reason is simple – republicans have shown that they cannot oppose Trump effectively.  That is food for thought.

Beware the St. Petersburg Troll Farmers!

We all know by now that the Russian government was spending money to influence the 2016 presidential elections.  We do not know how much was spent, but it was not insignificant. Now we are finding out how the Russians used a “troll farm” in St. Petersburg to send out a barrage of fake messages during the same period.

You might ask why bother?  One of the persons employed in the troll farm gave an interview where he said this

“Our goal wasn’t to turn the Americans toward Russia,” he added. “Our task was to set Americans against their own government: to provoke unrest and discontent, and to lower Obama’s support ratings.”

That was just one objective. Check out the article to get the full picture.

The Merano Wine Festival is Coming!



Image result for Merano Wine Festival & Culinaria

Here is the pitch (from the Guardian)

The South Tyrol, with its mixed Italian and Austrian heritage, is a great place for a foodie visit and the Merano Culinaria is a chance to sample the fabulous food and wine that has been created from such mixed influences. Traditional alpine noodle dishes, such as dumplings and strudel are on offer, alongside hand-made pastas and strong cheeses. Regions such as the Aosta valley and Lombary have their own stalls, selling fontina cheese, motzetta (air-dried meats), braesolas and salamis along with specialist producers of everything from aged balsamic vinegar to hand-made chocolates. Many major wine producers from all over Italy also take their place at the Art Nouveau Kurhaus to sell their prized bottles.

And from the Merano Wine Festival web page

To celebrate 26 years of history, there will be 5 days full of emotions and things to discover with friends: over 450 winemakers among the best of Italy and the rest of the world, almost 200 producers of culinary products and 15 prominent chefs. Expression of the best that our place has to offer, selected by the WineHunter Award Commissions.

The Wine Italia days (November 11 – 12) would be perfect for me!

The Kurhaus of Merano is one of the most famous art nouveau buildings in the entire alpine area and host to the Merano WineFestival. Over the course of multiple days, it will be transformed into a venue of national wine producers. During these days, the wine will be the absolute protagonist.
More than 800 wines from all over Italy will be displayed for tasting. Each and every of those wines has obtained the quality seal of The WineHunter Awards, with the colors red, gold and platinum representing different grades of top quality.
The halls of the Kurhaus create a sensory path through wineries of north and south Italy. The sections Extremis and the WineHunter Area represent special characteristics within the Merano WineFestival.

Image result for Merano Wine Festival & Culinaria

Raqqa Has Fallen!

ISIS has lost its capital.

U.S.-backed militias have completely taken Syria’s Raqqa from Islamic State, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The conflict that drew US into combat in Syria is now a mopping up operation. But I doubt if US forces are going anywhere. Fighting between the various tribes and factions continues and will continue until some sort of peace deal is worked out.

Stay tuned on that one. But at least we can now saw that the self proclaimed Caliphate has been crushed.