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Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 04:16 PM
Number of posts: 19,302

About Me

Lifelong Democrat

Journal Archives

Of course Bolton is an asshole!

It's so ludicrous to try to portray Bolton as some kind of patriot.

A patriot would have stood up when they heard Trump tilting foreign policy to his own electoral benefit.

Bolton did not do that.

A patriot would have stood up and testified when the U.S. House of Representatives was hearing evidence in the impeachment process.

Bolton did not do that.

Instead, Bolton tried to hold onto his "ace-in-the-hole" in order to hype the sales of his book detailing the criminality of the man that Bolton served for 17 months. He put his own financial gain ahead of the nation he had sworn to serve.

Bolton is no patriot.

And I'm supposed to respect him because he's telling the truth about Trump? I've known the truth about Trump since the 1980s. Glad to see you've caught up with the rest of us, Bolton.

Too little and way too late, Walrus Boy.

Regarding Trump's trip to the bunker

For the past week, it's been fun to poke Trump about his hiding in the basement when the crowds were at the gates. As usual, Trump makes the story even worse for himself by coming up with a ridiculous story.

All he had to do was tell the truth: The Secret Service perceived a dangerous threat to the perimeter of the White House grounds. It was their call to protect the president (and his family, I guess) by escorting him to the safe facility. I believe the Secret Service has the authority to over-rule anyone in such a circumstance. All Trump had to do was tell the truth. No one would have mocked him because the Service was just doing their job, (which they do very well).

But Trump can't help himself. He has to lie to try to make himself look tough. Yet, just the opposite occurred. Trump looked like a frighted little boy who then had to puff out his chest and tell everyone how strong he is. And the walk to the church wasn't just a PR disaster, it was blasphemous since he was using a church and the Bible as political props.

All he had to do was tell the truth. But he can't.

It's because Trump is an idiot.

We attended a wedding yesterday

My nephew and his fiancee have been planning their wedding for a year and chose May 22nd as their date. When the coronavirus made it clear that everyone wouldn't be able to attend, they pushed the date back to July. In the last few weeks, however, it became clear that that date wasn't going to work either.

In a sign of our times, they reinstated the original date and got married on Zoom. They had a beautiful day for their ceremony and the groom's brother-in-law performed the wedding. They had to limit the number of attendees to 15 and the ceremony took place outdoors with appropriate social distancing. There appeared to be over 50 people tuned in for the event and it was wonderful to be able to be a part of their wedding.

Some observations that struck me:

-We didn't have to travel 4 hours each way
-We didn't have to get a hotel room
-We didn't have to get dressed up (one couple in their bathing suits was watching from a beach)
-I didn't have to dance at the reception (I suck!)

So, all in all, it was a terrific experience and my nephew and his wife are happily married.

In the future, I guess there will be weddings where the couple will be separated but they'll get married remotely!

Modern life... ain't it great?!

Hey, busterbrown! My wife and I played today, too!

We played the resort course at Villa Roma in Sullivan County, NY. It was a glorious sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. The course was in pristine condition and the greens were nearly perfect.

The Covid-preventative features were:

- Face masks required in the clubhouse; no more than four people at a time in the pro shop.
- Carts are disinfected after each use; one to a cart unless the golfers live together.
- Flagsticks remain in the holes; there are foam rings in the bottom of the cup so the ball doesn't drop all the way in. This was way better than when I played in Virginia last week where the foam filled the hole and all you had to do was hit it with the ball.
- No rakes in the sand bunkers; no ball washers; no water coolers on the course.
- Restrooms were open but wear your mask.
- The restaurant was closed but the pro shop had beer, sodas, juices and snack food; the course has lifted its "no coolers" policy.

Once we teed off, it felt like a normal day. Although my wife is a beginner (bless her!), I'm addicted to the sport and I had a pretty good round playing from the blue tees measured at 6120 yards. The course is located in the Lower Catskills so it's quite mountainous with lots of elevation changes. The views are spectacular!

Although there were other players on the course, we were comfortably surrounded most of the day by at least a hole on either side of us. This was good for my wife because she gets flustered if she feels were holding up the course. Since there were two foursomes ahead of us and two behind us, there wasn't much of a backup during our 3-1/2 hour round.

Golf is probably one of the safest sports in regards to social distancing. It is a magnificent feeling to be out on the course again!

At least months

Let's face it: Until there are antibody tests, treatments and a vaccine, this disease is going to be around and we'll have to socially distance until we have those tools. Businesses will be irreparably changed, schooling will be very different and our previously normal social activities will never be the same.

Even with fast-tracking and relaxing of testing protocols, a vaccine won't be available in 2020. So more people will become infected and more people will die. The disease isn't Trump's fault but his lazy dismissiveness and inattentiveness will cause suffering and death for many Americans. MAGA, my ass.

I'm lucky to have my best friend (my wife) to isolate with. We're able to do some of our work remotely and we're developing a "new normal" for our day-to-day lives. Our big thrills of the week are when we leave the property to go to the post office, the dump or the supermarket! Sometimes, we'll go for a long drive through the Catskill Mountains and with gas so cheap, I don't feel any anxiety about the supply for now.

I'm with you, leftylady, this feels really weird. I have no idea when we'll be able to go home to our NYC apartment but I know it won't be soon. Several weeks ago, I changed my mailing address to a P.O. Box here in Pennsylvania making this the 6th state I've officially lived in. We were thinking of retiring here just not this soon!

Have you ever traveled to the American South?

Those who fly the CSA battle flag are clueless about their flag. They also lack any self awareness about their bigotry, ignorance and treasonous desires.

I've often wondered what our nation would look like if the North had prosecuted and executed the traitorous leaders of the Confederacy. My thought is that by trying to quickly heal the nation following the Civil War, our country's leaders failed completely in that goal. By allowing the criminals to go free, their supporters were able to build the myth that the South would rise again. I also think that the racism that has plagued us would have taken a less destructive trajectory had those treasonous and divisive leaders been held to account.

That flag is the most un-American banner I can imagine! The Confederation wanted to dissolve the United States. That's a fact and, frankly, I don't care to debate what their reasons were, (although I know exactly what motivated them). Don't we pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag and the U.S. Republic, in part, saying, "One nation, under God, indivisible..."?

Do those idiots carrying those ugly flags know what that word means?

Perhaps there's an historical lesson for us should VP Biden become our next president. Don't let these bastards run free or the results will be long-lasting.

My business is changing forever, I think

I work with Broadway musicals and represent the writers of some classic shows and songs. The music business has undergone tremendous changes in the last decade and the income streams available to creative writers have, in many cases, dried to a trickle.

In the past, songwriters and their publishers could count on various royalties for income. These included mechanical royalties (for the sale of records, tapes and CDs), public performance royalties (for radio, TV and live performances), printed sheet music, commercial licensing, theatrical licenses (for the use of songs in stage plays) and synchronization licenses (for the use of songs in a motion picture, television show or other video-type use).

Today, the only viable income stream is the last, sync licenses. The rest of the list above has become nearly irrelevant. Music creators and their publishers have had to re-tool and re-focus their business models to adapt to this reality.

One aspect of these profound changes is that almost all of the business transactions-- from pitch through negotiation to final agreement and payment-- are done by email. It doesn't matter where the individuals are located as long as they have internet access.

My wife and I retreated from New York City to our mountain house in the Catskills over a month ago in anticipation of the self-isolating that we're all experiencing. Through good fortune, I've been able to keep working with my clients' "intellectual property rights" and continue to make good business for them. I think this is going to be a new model for this sliver of the entertainment business that I inhabit.

An encounter with a Trump supporter

Last weekend, I went to a Long Island golf course that I used to belong to. I wanted to donate a set of clubs to their First Tee Program which provides encouragement for underprivileged kids to learn the game. While I was there, I ran into a number of old golfing buddies including a pro with whom I had becomes close friends over the years. He taught my son how to play and he has invited me to play in several Pro-Ams, a couple of which we won.

As we were chatting, he began to make political comments. In itself, this was unusual. There's an unwritten rule of etiquette that the two things you never talk about at the golf course are religion and politics. I chose to say nothing but he went on to praise all of the great accomplishments Trump has brought to the U.S. After a couple of minutes, I asked him where he gets his news information. Unsurprisingly, he said he watches Fox News. His comments illustrated that he was somewhat disconnected from reality. He also went on to praise Trump's golf courses. I played three of his courses before he announced his candidacy: they suck and they're ridiculously expensive.

My response to his comments was three-fold. First, I told him that Fox "News" had admitted in court that they were not a news organization but an entertainment outlet. Second, I told him that he was foolish to vote as if he were in the 1% when he's nowhere near that level of wealth. I reminded him that he could not have afforded his double-knee replacement were he not covered by the ACA, also known as Obamacare, (I wanted to needle him a little). Lastly, I scolded him for violating the unwritten rule of etiquette regarding religion and politics.

He responded by saying he was surprised to learn that I was a liberal! He also apologized for bringing up politics.

I like this man and he's been very generous with his golf talents. But it baffled me to see and hear him spouting such utter bullshit and assume that I would be in complete agreement with him.

It's become increasingly clear to me that there are 40% of Americans who are clueless, stupid and/or evil. As a country, we're in for a rougher ride, I'm afraid.

Hope the teacher has sense of humor

We tried something like that in high school choir. At the end of our holiday concert, all of the performing groups would combine to perform Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." When the music got near the end when it's really rocking, a group of us thought it would be fun to start clapping on the backbeats, giving the music an almost Gospel/Rock style. The music director was horrified and pissed and several of us were disciplined because of it.

Nearly 40 years later, our infamous stunt is still recalled by some! In the long run, it was worth it but at the time, some of us were chagrined.

Oh, well. We survived. So did Handel's magnificent music.

There are many profoundly ignorant people in the United States

The decades-long assault on education by Republicans has resulted in a great many Americans who are unable to critically assess information and they really have no idea how our governments-- federal, state and local-- are structured and function.

They do not understand the corrupting effects of big money on our politics at all three levels. However, they are furious that they are being left behind because their interests are not being addressed by our elected officials.

We have at least two generations of Americans where far too many are disengaged from our politics.

This is a very dangerous state for our nation.
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