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So we have lots of headlines about how much money Trump has been spending on travel to Florida. Supposedly it’s been almost as much as what Obama spent in an entire year. Then there is talk about protecting his kids and their private business trips around the world; recently two of them went to Dubai and of course, the United States Secret Service gets to come along for the ride. Then there is talk about Melania not moving to Washington and staying at Trump Tower in New York. Numbers range for $500,000 to $1 million per day to protect her. I have been to Trump Tower and it’s amazing how it sits right in the middle of mid-town Manhattan, and the NYPD has to figure out how to keep it protected.

But that’s not even what I am talking about.

I am here spending my time writing about this buffoon. I have spent more hours writing about Trump since the middle of 2016 until now than I did about Obama in the eight years he was in office. Trump occupies us. Thousands of people feel compelled to protest. Thousands go to town halls to demand to speak to their representatives. Millions go on major protest marches. Millions rant on Facebook every day. I rant on Facebook. I spend way more time nightly watching the news of both sides just to keep up with Trump’s antics.

That is the true cost of a lunatic narcissist in the White House. The country needs a break from this insanity. But that’s exactly what he is doing. He is wearing us down. He has more stamina than we do. Soon we’ll get tired and used to the insanity, and then he’ll have us exactly where he wants us. Then shit will go down that we won’t even notice anymore. Real damage.

Trump is using up our vigor, our free time, hell, our work time. What were we thinking electing a lunatic narcissist to the presidency? It took 62 million people to get us here. Now it’s going to take all 32o million of us to get our country back.

Trump is too expensive for the nation.

Well, Speaker Ryan, the problem as I see it is this: The Republican-controlled Congress, from 2000 through 2008, and then again from 2010 through 2016, has not done one thing to deal with this problem of healthcare in our nation. The Affordable Care Act may not be perfect, but it’s one hell of a lot more and therefore better than the big NOTHING the Republicans provided in all those years in control.

Now, if you get to work and produce a healthcare product that works, that’s less expensive, that covers preexisting conditions, and that does not kick millions of Americans off what they have now, GREAT. We will all welcome that.

So, please, refrain from upsetting the apple cart until you show us the orange cart – pun intended.

Still more true than ever. Thanks, Voltaire.

Norbert Haupt

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

— Voltaire

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oroville-spillway

Here is the spillway of the Oroville Dam with the broken section. The emergency overflow spillway is to its left, and the main dam to its right.

The spillway releases about 100,000 cubic feet of water per second, that’s about 748,000 gallons per second.

For comparison, the American side (left) of Niagara Falls has a flow of about 150,000 gallons per second, and the Canadian Horseshoe falls (right) have another 600,000 gallons per second.

niagara_falls

This means that the Oroville spillway has about the capacity of Niagara Falls in total.

How’s that for perspective.

You know what the best thing about all this is? Trump supporters aren’t starstruck. They’re not there to see a celebrity or a political icon. They’re there to see one of their own, just a man who’s fighting for them

The deplorables enthusiasm & emotional zeal comes from the heart, it comes from the absolute excitement of hearing an actual warrior who fights for them & stands on principle, honor & integrity

Celebrity worship & shallow platitude ingesting is the leftists domain. The brainwashed masses eat up what their handlers feed them

But what we see here is actual Americans concerned about their country & how ecstatic they are that a real leader with real leadership capabilities is finally looking out for their interests

There’s no ideological global nonsense involved. It’s simply people who want jobs, safe communities & a country with a viable future

It’s nothing more than Americans cheering for America. What a concept

[sic]

alliwantissometruth

Seriously, alliwant?

You’re calling Trump “a real leader?”

You’re calling Trump “one of their own?”

The man who travels on the government’s 747, spends $11 million on vacations in the first month, almost as much as Obama did in his first year, and who chastised Obama for that at the time, one of the working classes’ own?

Trump is an “actual warrior who fights for them?”

How is this possible? Do you not see through the charade? Do you not see the fake dedication in his words and the deceit in his eyes? I am definitely not a leftist brainwashed sheep. But I can point out a con man when I see one.

And that is what Trump is, dear alliwantissometruth.

Scientists at Harvard are working on to resurrect the woolly mammoth from extinction through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering. According to the scientist leading the ‘de-extinction’ effort, the team could be just two years away from creating a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo, in which the genes extracted from the frozen remains of woolly mammoth would…

via Harvard Scientists Claim They Could Resurrect Woolly Mammoth From Extinction Within Two Years — Sparkonit

Dear Senator McCain:

I write to you because I truly believe you are one of the most important senators we have in the country right now, and one of the few “grown-ups” in the United States Senate.

I have always been a supporter. I read your book Faith of My Fathers in 2008. Here is my review. I was ready to vote for you, until the day came when you selected Governor Palin as your running mate. That day you lost my vote. If you had chosen pretty much anyone else, you might have very well won that election, and we would have a very different country now. You might have handled the Iraq pullout differently, and there might not be an ISIS now. You might have had to run against this upstart named Barack Obama in 2012, and you might even have won reelection. Then Obama, still a young man at 55 would probably have taken the election of 2016 and we’d have the start of an Obama presidency now.

But my version of alternate history didn’t happen, I voted for Obama, and I enjoyed eight stable years of class and dignity in the White House, no scandals, and an impressive record of things getting done despite rampant obstructionism by the House and Senate, sometimes supported by yourself.

I have respected your actions and decisions over the years. You can find my comments on this blog by searching for your name.

I am writing to you now because I need to call on you to continue to be the voice of reason in the Senate. We have a president who is, in my opinion, off the rails. I am deeply worried about the damage he is doing not only to our country and our people directly, but also to our standing in the world and the general world order. We need a voice of reason, we need common sense, and we need reality in our government. If this administration is indeed tied to Russian influences, we need our elected representatives to hold Donald Trump accountable.

I know about your role in the Sergei Magnitsky case at the State Department as chronicled in Bill Browder’s book Red Notice:

After another fifteen minutes his secretary reappeared. Again, McCain politely waved her off. We repeated this sequence once more, and by the time I was finished, I’d been sitting in McCain’s office for nearly an hour. “Bill, Sergei’s story is shocking, truly terrible. I am so sorry for what happened to him, for you and for everybody else involved.”

“Thank you, Senator.”

“Tell me— what can I do to help?”

I told him about Cardin and McGovern and the early drafts of the Magnitsky Act. Then I said, “Since Senator Cardin is a Democrat, it would be hugely helpful to have an important Republican cosponsor on this bill. I was hoping that this could be you, sir.”

McCain leaned back in his chair, his face thoughtful and serene. “Of course I will do that. It’s the least I can do.” He turned to his aide Chris Brose, who’d been sitting there throughout.

“Chris, please coordinate with Senator Cardin right away to make sure you get me on that bill.”

McCain then turned back to me. “You’ve been a real friend to Sergei. Not many people would do what you’re doing, and I deeply respect that. I will do everything in my power to help you get justice for Sergei. God bless you.”

— Browder, Bill. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice (p. 308 – 309)

This story illustrated to me that, of all the politicians in Washington, you are one that understands the political reality of Russia and its objectives. You are also the one, perhaps the only one, who understands what it means to be tortured.

Today I heard you voice your concerns in Munich about President Trump and his continued populist campaign of suppression of the media and general free speech of individuals, and obfuscation of the truth.

We need your voice in Washington and in the United States Senate to keep this administration in check, and to remind your Republican colleagues that it is their responsibility too not to bow to the powers that be and stand up for the integrity of our democracy, the health of our country’s political system and the continued celebration of free speech in defense of science, religion, education and economic health or our people.

You, Senator McCain, are now more important in our government today than you ever were, even in 2008. And I am here to support you.

Sincerely,

Norbert Haupt.

mattis-and-tillerson

James Mattis and Rex Tillerson

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the adults in the room of Trump.

I don’t necessarily agree with the political orientation of the two men, and their agendas, but I sense that they are men of principle and character. They are the adults in the current administration and it gives me some degree of comfort to know these two men are in the positions they are in, Defense and State.

They will not do anything stupid just because “the boss said so.” They will stand up to Trump when necessary. They will not be the lackeys of Trump or anyone else.

They are now working for a petulant, puerile, self-obsessed and basically ignorant president.

The only question I have is: How long will they last?

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

— attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and many others.

 

Oh my God, he doesn’t know what he is doing!

— Norbert Haupt

Trump’s performance during the press conference on Feb 16, 2017, was truly cringeworthy. The journalists in the room were shaking their heads in disbelief.

After watching Netanyahu at their joint appearance a few days ago, looking at Trump in disbelief, I suspect that most of the people around the world are also shaking their heads.

I was hoping, that once elected, Trump would cool down, become a CEO and start acting like the leader he wanted to be during the campaign. I have now lost all hope.

This man has serious issues.

We now have put Scott Pruitt, who has made a career of suing the EPA as Oklahoma’s attorney general, who is a climate change denier – contrary to his own recent statements – in charge of the EPA.

We recently saw an executive order to allow dumping of coal mining waste into streams, reversing an Obama order to the contrary. Supporters argue that this is not a new order, but simply a return to standards that were in place since 1983.

Ok, so we’re rolling that clock back to 1983, and we’re not so bad, because Reagan allowed it too?

This is all done for a few thousand coal mining jobs in the United States.

Great. We’re bringing jobs in coal mining and fracking back to the United States. China, Europe and even India are rapidly implementing renewable energy technologies. For instance, in Holland, all trains now run on wind energy. China just canceled 103 coal plants. China leads the world in implementation of solar energy.

Chinese children go to school 260 days a year. Americans 180. American children will be able to learn more about Noah’s ark when Betsy DeVos gets to implement her pet projects and bring “God to our schools.”

America puts its people to work in coal mines. China trains its people in renewable energies, software engineering, and manufacturing engineering.

That’s how we’re making America great again, folks.

Believe me.

Welcome to Ameristan

ameristan1

Trevor Irwin, irwinproductions.com

When I watched the president’s news conference on February 16, 2017, I was overwhelmed by a vast emptiness. This man has nothing original to say. He is rehashing his electoral numbers as if that mattered anymore. He insults the people around him and his audience. When have you ever heard a speaker, no matter what forum, to tell the audience: “QUIET” and then go right on rambling incoherent fractional sentences for minutes on end? The man sounds like he has no clue about who he is, what his position is, what he is doing and what he is holding a news conference for.

Convince me otherwise please. Where was there any substance?

He started out stating that he was there to inform the American people.

I can tell you this: Inform he did not. Scare the shit out of me, he did.

 

I thought, I really thought, we all agreed that it makes no sense for mentally ill people to have easy access to guns.

Today, the Senate voted 57-43 to kill an Obama regulation that restricted access to guns for the mentally ill. The gun restriction rule was a policy to support federal efforts to improve detection of risky people who should not have legal access to guns.

Republicans claim that while the policy had good intentions, it actually took away the gun rights of a large category of individuals without any evidence that they pose a risk of harm to self or others, and without legal due process protections commensurate with abridging a constitutional right.

I do not understand that 57 out of a hundred intelligent successful millionaires in the United States Senate can think this is a good idea.

And of all the problems our country has, and all the hunger, and misery, and hurt, and division, and death, this is what Congress and our government decides is really important right now so they take action!

This, to me, is insane.

All this is done in the name of “rights” and the Constitution. We’re obsessed about our Second Amendment rights, when our entire government, our Congress and our executive Branch, lead by our intrepid Führer, Donald Trump, has done nothing but trample on our First Amendment rights in a massive onslaught from all direction against a hundred million dissenting Americans.

Forget our First Amendment, it’s for the “security” of the people.

But give them guns, and keep them stupid.

Bought by the NRA, they all are!

Back in June of 2011 I predicted that the once popular Todai Sushi Restaurant in Mission Valley would go out of business. Here is the blog entry I wrote then.

This is what it looks like today:

todai-graffiti todai-graffiti

It has obviously been out of business for a few years. I read that someone recently bought the property, is cleaning it up now in order to launch a new restaurant venture.

It was Lehr’s Greenhouse Restaurant and Florist between 1980 and 1987, and I remember going there once for a Sunday brunch sometime in 1986 for some memorable event, like a birthday or Mother’s Day.

Ruins now but memories remain.

A friend (JD) during a personal meeting recently commented about my post on the book Red Notice and how I had given it four stars. He observed that I don’t give four stars very often. This prompted me to search for all books I have given four stars in the last two years. I found these twelve listed below. The definition of four stars for a book is contained in my Ratings Key:

Must read. Inspiring. Classic. Want to read again. I learned profound lessons. Just beautiful. I cried.

So here is Norbert Haupt’s reading list of the last two years of four star books:

Red Notice – by Bill Browder – a true story about corruption in Russia at the highest level of government, that stops at nothing, even killing people that get in the way.

Hungerwinter – by Alexander Häusser and Gordian Maugg – a documentary about what happened to the people of Germany after World War II and the collapse of the Nazi regime, and the incredible hardships they had to endure for years. This book is written in German.

Prophet’s Prey – by Sam Brower – the story of one man’s quest to bring down the polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, as it is commonly referred to, Warren Jeffs.

Kiss Every Step – by Doris Martin with Ralph S. Martin – the personal account of Doris Martin, who survived a three-year-stay at the Nazi labor camp in Ludwigsdorf as a young girl. I met the author herself in my local bookstore.

Napoleon – by Andrew Roberts – and outstanding, captivating biography of one of history’s most iconic leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived – by Greg Steinmetz – the story of Jacob Fugger, who was born in 1459 in Augsburg, Germany and died 1525, at the age of 66. He single-handedly created a banking and trade empire that reached to all ends of the globe. He also financed most of Europe’s wars of his time.

All the Light we Cannot See – by Anthony Doerr – a novel about two children in World War II and how their entire lives were shaped by the events of that age.

Zero to One – by Peter Thiel – a book about entrepreneurship and starting a tech company by the maddeningly self-absorbed Peter Thiel, who recently attracted additional notoriety by being a strong and outspoken supporter of Donald Trump. Thiel’s book is a great guide for budding entrepreneurs.

Elon Musk – by Ashlee Vance – a biography of Elon Musk, one of the world’s most admired entrepreneurs. Musk is the Thomas Edison of our time.

King Rat – by James Clavell – the classic novel about life in a prison camp in Asia during World War II.

How to Win at the Sport of Business – by Mark Cuban – a marvelous auto-biography by entrepreneur Mark Cuban on how he started his business empire. Very inspiring.

The World Without Us – by Alan Weisman – a book about what would happen if all the humans in the world suddenly disappeared. How long would the lights stay on?

trump-rambling

— from Colin Taylor, Occupy Democrats

Obviously, our president cannot form a clear thought in answer to a question and communicate that thought. He an embarrassment to our nation every time he speaks.

On the good side, we’re going to see a lot of love. Okay?

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