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PJMcK

Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 19,156

About Me

Lifelong Democrat

Journal Archives

Hey, Rudy!

So, you've messed with the Georgia prosecutors again, this time by lying that you're not medically cleared to fly. But then we see you bought airplane tickets after you lied. Oopsie. That's not going to go over well in Atlanta and those are the people you're going to have to face.

It's not going to work for you, you know, the delay-thingy. You're going to have to go down to Georgia and sit in the Big Chair.

That's when the fun begins!

See, you might remember this from your days as a prosecutor (you really sucked!), when a witness is in the Big Chair they cannot lie. They have to tell the truth! It's a beautiful and incredible thing.

Think you can do that? Go before the special grand jury and tell the truth? I'm thinking you can for one simple reason: You've lost.

You've lost your phony reputation as "America's Mayor."

You've lost your third marriage. By the way, have you paid your back alimony and fees yet?

You've lost your law license and hence, your job. You're 78 years old. How's that feel?

You've lost your BS reputation as someone who knows important stuff. (Hint: You don't know shit. No more TV appearances for you!)

You've lost your mind. We saw it dribble down the sides of your face at that wonderful lie-fest you had with the Kraken nut-job. That wasn't your best look, sir. (And let's not get into the Borat movie.)

You can appeal and delay but in the end, you'll have to testify. Your tactics are simply pissing off the people you're going to have to face. Remember, you were once a prosecutor. How did you react when a witness behaved as you have?

If you don't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth you'll lose your freedom.

You've lost, Rudy. It's time to make that major life decision.

Here's a tip: Go and testify. Tell the special grand jury everything. It'll be cathartic and you'll feel so much better.

Here's another tip: Forget Trump. He's the reason you've lost! Your association with Trump has ruined you. Move on.

Besides, Trump never paid you for your legal services and expenses. (Who's not surprised?)

The Bible makes no sense

How could it? It was written by dozens of different people over several centuries. Then it's been translated dozens and dozens of times throughout the past couple of millennia. As anyone who has studied languages knows, words change meaning over time. Therefore, how could the Bible in my bookcase represent the "inerrant word of God?" There are dozens of other sacred writings that were rejected form the Bible known as the Gnostic texts. It's curious how many of those writings contradict or flesh-out things left in the "Good Book." What a mess and that doesn't even touch on Revelations!

The Bible is filled with inconsistencies and logical conflicts. It doesn't reflect any of the realities that the past 500+ years of scientific discoveries have provided us. It doesn't allow for fresh interpretations or corrections.

Here's an example: Most people know the creation story as told in Genesis 1. Turn the page to Genesis 2 and you'll find another creation tale that directly contradicts the first chapter. And then we're supposed to believe that everything that follows is true!

The book is full of nonsense like "God so loved the world that he sacrificed his own son for the sins of the creatures God created." How does that make any sense? Or this nugget, "God so loved the world that if you don't worship him and praise him you'll go to Hell for eternity where you'll be tortured." Wow, that's some special love you've got there, God. By the way, God's need for accolades and worship remind me of Trump.

Here's another piece of gobblety-goop: Joseph and Mary had to go to their hometown for a taxation census when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The only problem is that there is no record of the Roman's conducting a census in that place at that time. The Romans, like the Nazis, kept impressive records of their rule and this event doesn't exist. If there had been a world-wide census, it would have been recorded. Oh, and Herod wasn't in power at the time of Jesus' birth.

The power and diversification of that religion, like many others, has resulted in wars, deaths and subjugation of far too many people. Humans need a second Age of Enlightenment.

The science of space is informative

Astrophysicists have shown that the universe is basically the same every where we look. The distant stars and galaxies are made up of the same elements that we know. If the chemistry is the same, it's likely that conditions on some planets will provide an opportunity for life to begin.

Not only are the elements the same throughout space, it appears that the physics are the same as we've learned. The ability to traverse the impossibly great distances of space would be a leap of knowledge that is far beyond our own technology, obviously. The ideas that have been proposed are worthy but far-fetched attempts, at least for now.

If I were religious, I'd find the enormous distances of space to be an important part of a creator's experiments in creating life. Each galactic Petri dish would be too far away from the others to cross pollinate and ruin each individual experiment.

Another idea is that given the really long history of the universe, perhaps interstellar civilizations don't exist at the same time so they haven't interacted.

My own belief is that the universe is teeming with life, most of which isn't what we call "intelligent." If there are species that are advanced enough to have interstellar transportation, they probably wouldn't be too interested in a civilization that burns fossil fuels.

All that I"m sure of is that we only have this planet to live on. We need to take better care of our home.

Sorry but this is not the time for Democrats to be generous towards Republicans

Maher is wrong on this as he so often is on other issues.

First, the Republicans haven't turned their backs on Trump, even if he's getting a small percentage drop in his support. At the CPAC conference last weekend, Trump was by far the straw-pole favorite to be the GOP nominee in 2024.

Second, There are still plenty of Republicans in positions of political power and influence who continue The Big Lie and constantly insult anyone to the left of Genghis Kahn. For example, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Loren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Louis Gohmert, Sarah Palin, Paul Gosar, Josh Hawley and Rand Paul-- among many others-- have recently made many disparaging and nasty or insulting comments about Democrats and President Biden. Why in the world should we respect or compromise with them?! Get real, Bill.

Lastly, Republicans around the country at the state level have been furiously rewriting their voting laws, gerrymandering their voting districts, purging their voting lists and creating legislative ways to overrule the will of the voters. They know they will lose elections if there are fair, open and honest elections. Maher expects us to be magnanimous? Fuck them and fuck Bill.

Perhaps Maher has a good point about the way to engage with our enemies after they are defeated. But the political war in the U.S. isn't over yet. It's way too early to be accommodating to the traitorous Republicans who haven't demonstrated a drop of contrition. Maybe later but otherwise our fight continues.

We went to the movies last night!

We're in the Lower Catskills Northwest of NYC and the local movie theater is rather beautiful. It was built just after WWII and it was fashioned out of a quonset hut. It seats about 350 people with a beautiful digital projection system and a terrific sound system and wonderful seating. They make real popcorn with real butter and the owners make this one of the best movie theaters I've ever been to, (that includes my other favorite, NYC's Ziegfield).

We haven't been to the movies for a couple of years which has seemed like forever. In the past we would go to the movies 2 or 3 times a month. It's been a long drought, thanks to the pandemic. The Callicoon Theater, where we went, has put into place very good Covid protocols including roping off every other aisle, requiring masking everywhere (except at your socially-distanced seat) and providing hand sanitizers in many parts of the facility.

So, we went to see West Side Story with great excitement. Sadly, it was a huge disappointment. There's nothing in this film that improves on the original and there's an awful lot of stuff glommed onto this classic musical in vain attempts to make the story "relevant." I could go on and on-- as I did last night when we got home-- but I'd be wasting my breath. In short, it's no surprise that this $100 million dollar movie has crashed at the box office, earning back less than half its investment.

The cast, however, is excellent and their singing and dancing is superior, although much of the acting is stiff and/or stilted. The photography is exceptional and evocative and the music is glorious. Still, it's not enough to save this film which is overly long at more than 2 hours and 35 minutes.

It was an unexpected bummer.

Something's not right in this article

Sailors have known of rogue waves for a long time. They happen a lot more frequently than every thousand years.

In general, waves are caused by the friction of the wind on the surface of a body of water. The longer and stronger the wind blows in one direction, the larger the waves can become. Because of the hydro-physics involved, the depth of the water is directly related to the size of the wave.

But waves are not uniform in their period (frequency) or their amplitude (height). If waves are traveling at different speeds and heights, a random confluence of two or more waves can result in their combining forces thus creating the rogue wave. Interestingly, those waves will still maintain their "individuality" and the rogue wave will usually separate back into its constituent waves.

Having sailed in the North Atlantic Ocean and seen its forces, I can believe that these huge waves occur more than once every millennia. For example, the infamous 1991 Halloween Gale/Storm, also know as The Perfect Storm, saw giant waves and the proposition is that a monstrous rogue wave caused the capsize of the Andrea Gail. When added to the examples in the linked article, these behemoths occur more often.

I know what you mean

It's easy to become disenchanted and depressed about the direction of our country and society. My wife and I have discussed and researched moving abroad if we see things going in a terrible direction. So I've got plenty of pessimism informing my views.

But these negative events you wrote of happen to every president. Most of the things you cite are beyond the direct-- and maybe indirect-- influence of the White House.

The economy is too large and complex for one person to really control and I think we really want it that way.

Fuel costs are dictated by the oil companies and their markets. The president could use the strategic reserves to lower prices but that cannot be a continuous policy.

The financial markets are basically kind of stupid in their over-reactions to daily events. Consider that in the long-term, the markets have always gone up over time. An investor, whether large or small, only needs to be patient and mildly conservative in their choices of investments. For example, I've read that if Trump had invested the $400 million he got from his father in an indexed fund, without doing anything, today he would actually be worth several billion dollars.

President Biden has engaged with Putin and threatened him with the consequences of a Russian incursion into the Ukraine. Economic sanctions will probably be the primary response if Putin goes ahead. A military response would be folly and unsupported by a majority of Americans because we don't really have a stake in the Ukraine so why risk American lives and capital?

Regarding the January 6th investigations-- and I'm surprised at myself for writing this!-- have patience. Events are becoming clear and the facts are being assembled. The timing of the Congressional televised hearings will be powerful and revealing. Plus, the political bonus of showing how Republicans attacked our Constitution could be a big game changer for the mid-term elections.

Our so-call Democratic senators who behave against the Democratic goals are an enigma. All we can do is GOTV and try to get a few more Democratic senators so Manchin and Sinema become irrelevant. Aside from providing the president with a stronger Senate, it would be a glorious blow to these two narcissist's egos.

Optimism and positive actions are what we need to advance our nation away from the neo-fascists and Trumpists. The alternatives are too dark to dwell upon... for now.

The LM Eagle may still be in orbit around the Moon

In 1969, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, they used the Lunar Module, Eagle, to land on and return from the lunar surface. When the LM’s ascent stage docked with the command /service modules Columbia, and the astronauts transferred to the mother ship, they left Eagle in orbit. Subsequent Apollo missions, (except for Apollo 13, of course), purposefully crashed their ascent stages in order to measure the Moon’s seismology.

This video by YouTuber Scott Manley, makes a strong case that Eagle may still be in orbit around the Moon.



It’s highly unlikely to ever happen, but it would be an amazing historical artifact if the Eagle could be recovered and placed alongside the Wright Brothers’ first airplane.

Humans have left a lot of junk in space as we’ve explored the last frontier.

Jared is a coward

He now claims his expression during the President’s phone call was a joke.

Oh, yeah, Jared? Then why did you blurt it out and then hang up? Your behavior was immature and akin to Howard Stern’s fans yelling, “Bobba buey!”

The stunt was childish and cowardly. If he wanted to express his frustrations, he had the President of the United States on the phone! He could have acted like an adult and had a (brief) conversation with the President. Instead, he blurted out a schoolyard taunt then figuratively ran away. Now he hides behind the idea that it was a joke. He doesn’t even have the conviction of thought to acknowledge his own political views. His attempts at damage control are amateurish and ineffective.

It was vulgar, stupid and cowardly. Not a great example for his family. Let me add that he probably ruined what could have been an awesome memory for his kids.

What an idiot.

Lots of ways

Trump has reduced the number of "friends" that I have. I cannot bear to be with anyone who supports that criminal. It's a deal-breaker for me. I'm finished with a good number of golf buddies and music acquaintances. Why bother with people I just cannot respect?

The pandemic forced my wife and me to retreat to our house in the Catskills. The house was never intended for full-time living but we've adapted and improved it. We've made good use of our time in the mountains. Some of these projects took quite a bit of work and some professional assistance but, in the end, the house is much improved. It's much quieter than in NYC. Colder, too. I suspect we've increased the net worth of our property so that's a side bonus.

Work hasn't changed much but I've been working remotely since before it was called that. My business is kind of free-wheeling and if I have internet and cellphone service, my clients don't really care where I am as long as I'm on top of their businesses. My little music cabin here in the woods is delightful and it's the most beautiful office I've ever had. Bonus: In spite of the pandemic, we've had a couple of really good years.

Silly things have become touchstones. Going to the dump twice a week, picking up the mail each day or so (I got a post office box), food shopping (there are many farms nearby and the fresh food is incredible!), taking a daily walk, chopping wood for the fireplaces and many other "mundane" chores have become important little moments in our lives.

Meals have become even more important moments of each day. We plan dinner while eating breakfast. We've tried a bunch of new recipes. Thankfully, we haven't gained the "Covid-19" poundage that many folks have but we continue to eat well. Tonight we're having escargots and boeuf Bourguignon.

I miss our previously active social life. I miss working with musicians and dancers in various studios around New York. I miss the theater and concerts; even though they've returned, the risks are too high for us. Although restaurants are doable, they're just another risk that we don't really need to take, (a colleague of mine just contracted the virus from eating in a restaurant).

We really miss traveling. We were scheduled for a 3-week trip to the Netherlands and Belgium just as the pandemic exploded. Those plans will probably never be fulfilled. To feed our wanderlust, we bought a small cruising sailboat and we can travel relatively safely in our floating mobile home. There are plenty of adventures to be found on the Eastern seaboard.

Will life ever return to our old normal? Who knows? A big aspect of life is being able to adapt when things changes. These past 4-5 years have forced all of us to face forces that are beyond our control. If one cannot deal with these powerful forces of change, one is plagued with what Alvin Toffler referred to as Future Shock. The most powerful symptom of this condition is an inability to adapt to changing circumstances. These people deny reality, dig in their heals and refuse to acknowledge the challenges in front of them. Sound familiar?
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