I must say, after seeing her speak and reading multiple things by her (books, articles, etc), Madeleine Albright (Marie Jana Korbelová) is a vicious, small minded and fundamentally dishonest person. IMHO, of course. She served under Bill Clinton as the Secretary of State (1997-2001), and is one of the few that served under him, without that literally being true. I can't say I blame him, dishonest people are a turn-off. This goes into a few things about her.
Seattle: once called the Emerald City, they paid a consulting company $200,000 to come up their new slogan: "Metronatural". Then they painted it on the Space needle. That sums up the sad state that Seattle has become: the intersection of radical political correctness with radical environmentalism, mixed in a concophany of homelessness, high taxes, and the worst traffic in the nation. They might not be able to handle the hard stuff, like roads or homelessness, but at least they know how to drive out jobs and hurt people.
As Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck one said, "rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city – except for bombing". I think he was understating it.
Rent control, like all other price and wage control proves that you can control the prices, but not the unintended consequences of controlling the prices, and it makes things worse, virtually everywhere it has been tried. It is the idea that if you help one person, at a cost to others, that you can come out ahead.But that doesn't stop new idiots from not learning from history, and trying it more.
Of course the sane and informed know that forcing one customer to pay less than everyone else, is not only unfair, but it means that the landlord either jacks up everyone else's rates to make up for it, or the lower returns means that there's less development and investment goes to other places that don't have that burden on investment. But people who can count to three without using their fingers are not the base that is attracted to rent control -- it's more the progressives, kids and just plain economically ignorant that think you can help one person by hurting many others.
American Progressives ruin everything. The White House Correspondents Dinner started as a self-contragulatory celebration of the White House media's accomplishments and misses over the prior year. With the media and comedians being willing to barb both sides and self-deprecate. As the media became more biased and partisan, it devolved into a dinner where they roast and mock Republicans/Conservatives and fawn over Democrats/Liberals, no matter who is in office. Yes, they'll throw a token barb against Democrats for something superficial, like Obama's ears or golf, then celebrate how wonderful his mediocre speech is (then claim how gracious he was in the face of overwhelming praise and adoration)... while they'll throw vicious barbs and lies at conservatives, FoxNews, WSJ or anyone that takes offense at their partisan vitriol.
Eric Michael Swalwell is an obnoxious politician from a district next to me. And he spoke at my work, as a representative of House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He lead a crusade for knife control (against lifting a ban against pocketknives at airports). I went in open-minded and curious what he had to say about tech, and I left with utter contempt and disgust that this guy was a member of my species. He made me unsure if he was really the most contemptible member of congress (Maxine Waters) wearing whiteface and in drag.
I heard a new term the other day "incel", and did a lot of research on it. Incel is short for IN-voluntary CEL-ibate, and it was created by a Woman a couple decades ago, to try to offer solace to the lost and lonely soles -- it gained notoriety after a mentally disturbed ex-Candian Military person (Alek Minassian) killed 10 people in Canada by driving a van down a busy street in Toronto, and self identified as incel... though the term and especially the ideas seeds, go back long before 2018.
As usual, there's the media/FakeNews/Alt-Left definition, and the truth which has a lot more nuance than you'll hear from them. While incel might have been coined by a Women, the men that use it use the term for themselves feel that many promiscuous women ("Stacy's") are shallow, vicious to nice guys, and either hate men, or prefer pretty alpha-males ("Chads") that treat them like shit. And the incels are bitter about that decay of values/status and vent/commiserate online to other incels and trolls that incite them. The alt-left version as told by Vox, BBC, and others is: men united by their inept inability to get laid (hence they're celibate, but not by choice), and only blame women for it: they're all racist/sexist/misogynists. I don't think those are mutually exclusive truths as both sides have a point -- but I know that being completely contemptuous of the other side is the norm for the far-left, in the name of tolerance, and is a great way to make the problem worse.
Californians (who supported this), lost their right to ever complain about state overreach again. California arrogantly tried to proclaim that federal immigration law, doesn't apply to them -- and anyone in the state that complies with the federal law, will be victimized by the government of the state.
In honor of an invented fake-Holiday (Earth Day/Week), my office celebrated voluntary meatless Monday. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other.... what I'm sure of is that celebrating a Holiday invented by watermelon's (green on the outside, red on the inside), loons and kooks, to celebrate peace and balance by taking away people's choices (to get meat), is something so hypocritical, and so the new normal in California.
While I don't really care what causes people support (even stupid ones), I do like people to be informed the on the stupid causes they support, and who is behind them. Detractors of Earth Day claiming it's an green wrapping around Marxist agendas, while the proponents claim, "No. It's all moderate folks just trying to protect our planet and peace". When you research the history of Earth Day, it becomes obvious which side is informed, and which isn't.
If there's ever a stupid cause, Starbucks will be there. It plays well to their base... most rational people roll their eye's and move on. The latest was an Social Justice Warrior named Holly, call the cops on two guys for loitering. Because they were black, #BoycottStarbucks went viral and they got accused of unconscious bias, before anyone bothered to investigate or explore why the cops were called. Holly was thrown under the bus, the CEO apologized and decided to shut down every store for a day for indoctrination training, and everyone did the right overreactions to the movement. The only thing sacrificed was any truth, skepticism or investigation.
The first rule of politics: Democrats lie. They have to lie, because if they told the truth, they'd never get elected. This chart by the National Democratic Socialist American Workers' Party is a great example of how they lie. They cut out parts of the truth and the budget that is inconvenient for their cause -- like all the social programs, and then only look at the rest. Thus, people that believe charts like this, are either gullible rubes or liars (that don't care about the whole truth).
If you liked Deadpool, you will like Deadpool 2. Sequels are never as "fresh" as the original, but you're going to watch them for more of the same, and that's what you get. Lots of snark, dark humor, occasional talking to the camera, fast talking and fast action, with hysterically inappropriate humor that appeals to the 14 year old boy in all of us. Loaded with adult innuendo, language, and so on, if you want 2 hours of immature escapism, this movie is for you.
Infinity War is a superhero film based on the Marvel's superhero team the Avengers. It's either really pretty good or pretty bad, depending on how many of the other 19 Marvel films (and TV shows), you've seen. I'm glad I saw it, my wife felt completely ripped off: she hadn't seen all the other Marvel films, and was constantly, "who is that", "what's that ability", "why isn't Cap'n America in Red, White and Blue", and so on. And it was a 2 1/2 hour long continuous fight scene, with a couple separate simultaneous adventures thrown in... but the graphics, visuals, fights, and so on were glorious. One of the most expensive films ever made (≈$400M), it's really part 1 of a 2 part epic, which you figure out at the rather abrupt end.
If you know superhero canon (authoritative scripture), and want to see the greater story arc, it's really pretty good. If you're going to see a single super-hero movie, save your money and see one that is a less tangled web of 100 intersecting plot-lines.
This is kind of the opposite of your normal kids coming of age and seeking to get laid films of yesteryear. Instead of boys going on an adventure seeking to get laid -- this was 3 teen girls making a sex pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... but this movie really isn't about them. It's more about their incompetent parents trying to cock-block their plans, which is why all the promotional posters have a rooster next to the title "Blockers". Yeah, as subtle as the movie. The movie had its moments, unfortunately most of them were in the trailers. Watchable, and funny in spots... but you could miss it, and not really miss much either.
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story, is a really good book about a spoiled girl (with 2 more names than I have), from North Korea, who selfishly and irresponsibly escapes from North Korea, and gets astonishingly lucky in the whole process. Then creates a better life for herself, convinces her family to leave, and burns down any opportunity for them to stay or go back to the oppressive regime.
While it is a bit of a narcissists tale of suffering, we were all narcissists at her age. And despite her being brash (not thinking ahead) and suffering consequences for her recklessness (including to those around her), it is still wonderfully eye opening to see North Korea, Korean culture, and the world through the eyes of a teenage girl, who slowly learns how lucky she has been (though the bigger hardships of those around her). And where would the world be, if there were at least some silly/brash kids risking everything to have a better life?
DirecTV gave me a free 4K movies to watch and home (with limited choices), and this was one of them. My wife said her Aunt thought this was one of the best books, "she'd ever read". So we tried it. It was overpriced. A rom-com survival film, with not a shred of comedy or believability, pounding every cliché into the ground with awkward acting and dialog, which left me bored and feeling like I'd survived something harrowing, by making it to the syrupy abrupt ending.
Bored on a Saturday, wife is flying, why not get a hot dog and catch a flick? Did I mention it was a bad flick? It wasn't supposed to be, but it worked out that way. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 97/87, so I figured something fresh and interesting, in the suspense/thriller/horror genre. Yeah, not-so-much.
While it was reasonable acted, shot, and so on... the premise of the dumbest people alive, kind of ruined it for me. There's no way to kvetch on this one without spoilers, so if that matters to you, stop here.