Showing posts with label travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travels. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Penzance in Cornwall, UK

The process of clothing elimination happened yesterday as I packed for my trip to England. I so wanted to take my dress boots, but they are made for walking only short distances. For walking long distances, only trainers work, so my black trainers will have to do for dress shoes. What does it matter? The last time I heard an opera at Covent Garden, I wore jeans and WHITE trainers, due to a miscalculation in time allowing for change. The visit included dinner at the elegant restaurant at the Royal Opera House. Humiliation past and gone and not so very bad after all. "Madame Butterfly" was gorgeous, and I enjoyed every minute, despite attire in jeans and WHITE trainers.  Where will I go that will be dressier than Covent Garden? I've already been there dressed down, way down, so no worries about dress.

I carry a small, folding umbrella in my car, which I was going to pack for rainy days in England, but when I opened it, I saw "Chevrolet Truck" emblazoned in gold on the black umbrella. Then I remembered that it came with Grandpère's truck, and he gave it to me, so I bought another. The Chevrolet umbrella is fine for here in town, but it was not quite the note I wanted to strike in England.

Next week, the temperature in London will rise to 70°F. Also, the long range predictions for Cornwall and Copenhagen don't bode for cold weather. Looking good.

I leave my house early tomorrow morning to begin my travels, and I will have access to the internet only through Cathy's notebook, mostly for emailing my family.  Probably, no blogging while I'm away, but I'll have lots of news and pictures when I return.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Bobby Jindal, governor of the State of Louisiana, who lusts for a role in national politics, discovered (Oops!) another hole in the state budget. Oh! What to do?  Here's Bobby's list of programs which will be cut:
Among the deepest cuts were at the state Department of Health and Hospitals and the state Department of Children and Family Services.

Doctors, hospitals, mentally ill patients, pregnant women and dying patients will be affected by the state’s financial problems.

State Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge, complained that the reductions affect departments that deal with the state’s most fragile residents. “I hope we can see these reductions with faces on them,” she told Nichols.
Faces?  Does the governor see human faces?  Would Jindal recognize a human face if he saw one?
Other reductions include:
  • Contract reductions for health care providers who help the poor, the mentally ill and the drug-addicted.
  • A 1 percent cut in the rate that doctors and hospitals are paid by the state to care for the poor.
  • The elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women relying on the state for health care.
  • Possibly laying off 63 state government workers.
Jindal is the man who wants to be president or vice-president of the US, or, if that doesn't happen, he wants a big job in Washington DC to have the power to mess up the country in the same way he's wrecked the state he "governs".  He spends much of his time traveling around the country drumming up support, ignoring our wreck of a state, except to dash home from time to time to cut the budgets of state agencies.  (For all I know, Jindal may cut the budget from afar, because he is not forthcoming with the local media about his out-of-state travels.)  When the national media portray Jindal as a rising star in the "new" Republican Party, beware.  The policies Jindal trumpets on the national scene are the same old Republican policies that advantage the rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class disguised by clever, manipulative words.  Jindal is the consummate flim-flam man.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


"If we want people to like us, we have to like them first."
There's truth in what you say, Governor.  My question for you is do you like us, us being the citizens of the state in which you serve as governor?  Louisiana is the name of the state way down in the South, remember?  Yes, I knew you would.  My next question is, if you like us, why are you so seldom here in Louisiana with the people of the state of which you are governor?


Thursday, August 2, 2012


Governor Bobby Jindal joined the Republican governor rogues gallery in a debate at the Aspen Institute.  Michelle Millhollon reports on the gathering which was mainly a closed affair, but...
For a $15 admission price, the public could grab a seat on the Aspen Institute’s campus Wednesday night to listen to a panel discussion featuring Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The talk was broadcast on Aspen’s public radio station and was streamed on the Internet.
Ha!  How about that lineup?
Jindal apologized several times for talking fast during the event, explaining that he wanted to fit in several points. Christie ribbed him for his bullet-point approach.
I've heard Jindal speak, and I vouch for the fact that he talks fast.  After a while, I stopped trying to keep up and switched off.
Jindal rapidly described the changes he successfully proposed for Louisiana’s public school system, racing from teacher tenure to the scholarships that use public dollars to send children to private or parochial schools.

“Basically vouchers,” Isaacson interjected to put a new name to the scholarships.

“We call it scholarships. The teacher unions call it four-letter words,” Jindal retorted.
Har-de-har-har.  Jindal made a funny.   And then is it back home to Louisiana for the governor?  Indeed not.  Jindal is off to Washington DC for meetings.  Bobby, we hardly know ye. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


From the Guardian:
George W Bush has had to call off a trip to Switzerland next weekend amid planned protests by human rights groups over the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and the threat of a warrant for his arrest.

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former US president, confirmed the move in an email to the Associated Press. "We regret that the speech has been cancelled," he said. "President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom and offering reflections from his time in office."

The visit would have been Bush's first to Europe since he admitted in his autobiography, Decision Points, in November that he had authorised the use of waterboarding – simulated drowning – on detainees at Guantánamo accused of links with al-Qaida. Whether out of concern over the protests or the arrest warrant, it is an extraordinary development for a former US president to have his travel plans curtailed in this way, and amounts to a victory for human rights campaigners.

An extraordinary development, indeed, but Bush is an extraordinary man, infamous for his "What me worry?" attitude toward waterboarding, which I consider torture.
Organisers of the protest had called on participants to bring a shoe, commemorating the Iraqi journalist who threw one at Bush during a 2008 press conference in Baghdad, to a rally outside the hotel where Bush was due to speak.

Human rights groups had planned to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in Geneva tomorrow over the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo. The Bush administration claims that waterboarding does not amount to torture, but human rights organisations and the Obama administration have said it does.

Bush gets paid big money for giving speeches, and now he will need to be careful about leaving the country to get the monetary rewards - not that he will lapse into poverty as a result. Bush pays only a small price for authorizing cruel treatment of detainees.

H/T to Adrastos at First Draft.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


From Arjun Jaikumar at Daily Kos:

Polls for the Louisiana Governor's race slated for fall 2011 have been rare so far, with conventional wisdom dictating that incumbent Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is the runaway favorite in this red state.

A new poll is out, however, from Republican pollster Market Research Insight (though it appears to have been conducted for "a group of business people", and not the Jindal campaign).

The poll shows decent but unspectacular numbers for Jindal:

Market Research Insight (R) for "a consortium of business interests". 1/10-14. Registered voters. MoE 4%.

Reelect Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) 49
Prefer someone else 40

So this poll isn't wholly surprising...unless you compare it to Jindal's once-stratospheric approval ratings. While pollsters once had Jindal's approval in the mid-70s, his current numbers indicate he's slid back to being a generic Republican.

Which, in Louisiana, isn't a bad place to be. It's just not completely safe, and it might be a touch early for Jindal to start burnishing his credentials for his expected 2016 presidential run. Rather, he might want to prevent his home-state approval from falling any more than it already has.

A good many folks who strongly supported the governor in the last election became quite disenchanted with our peripatetic chief executive for being absent from the state, raising money for Republican candidates in the 2010 election, when we faced a budget crisis here in the state where Jindal was elected to govern.

Some of us hoped that Jindal might be appointed to head the RNC to replace Michael Steele, thus moving him permanently out of the governor's office, but - alas - it did not happen. Now Jindal travels around the state and the country to raise money for his war chest, which already holds $7 million, for the next gubernatorial election.

Meanwhile, the state budget deficit is projected to be $1.6 billion. The governor needs to focus on finding rational solutions to the budget crisis, but he won't. Since Jindal will not entertain the idea of raising taxes, the budget must be balanced by deeper and more painful cuts than have already been put in place. As is usually the case, I fear the least amongst us will bear the brunt of the cuts.

Jindal seems to enjoy running for office and raising money for campaigns, his own and other politicians' campaigns, but he does not seem to savor doing the job he was elected to do. Yet, he will probably be reelected without much of a struggle, because Louisiana becomes more Republican with every day that goes by.