Closing Thought–25May17

Pass the guacamole!

Some days are better than others for a closing thought…..today is one of those days…..anytime I can find silliness to write about is a good day.

Recently I wrote about the avocado thing….they were going up in price…..and that some people hurt themselves when cleaning an avocado…..

Avocado growers had a bad year. Avocado crops tend to vary, yielding more growth one year, less growth the next. A smaller crop is expected this season in Mexico as well as California, where a 44% decrease has been predicted. And a growers strike in Mexico last year did not help matters.

And then the ER visits….

Avocados are all the rage. So much so that Huffington Post recently called the opening of New York’s first avocado bar “painfully trendy.” Turns out avocados are also, quite literally, part of a painful trend. Emergency room doctors are reporting an increase in the number of amateur chefs winding up with serious “stab and slash” injuries as they attempt to cut through the soft flesh and remove the hard pit, reports the Times of London. The injury even comes with its own name: “avocado hand.”

“I had to go to the [ER] and get three stitches and I have lost most of the sensation in my finger,” Freya Watson, a TV producer in London, tells Vice’s Munchies. “When I was in the [ER], there was a woman with the exact same injury.” Sure enough, people are posting pictures with hashtags like #avocadoinjury, and Simon Eccles—secretary and former president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons—tells the Times he sees four patients a week with avocado hand. So if you’re unskilled yourself, maybe watch a few tutorials before attempting to dissect

Avocados have become a fad…..something simple like avocado toast has become an internet thing……

Headlines about avocado toast are everywhere, but this time it’s more about economics than food trends. It began when an Australian property mogul went on Australia’s 60 Minutes and scolded millennials. “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” Tim Gurner harrumphed, per CNN Money. Let the reaction begin:

  • The New York Times‘ DealBook does some fact-checking, and it doesn’t come out well for Gurner. Millennials are no more likely to spend on travel and dining than other generations, and it would take a serious amount of avocado toast to put a dent in a down payment these days. Besides, homeownership isn’t necessarily a slam-dunk as a wise financial move.
  • Time is out with an avocado toast calculator. You plug in your city, and it crunches data to figure out how many servings of avocado toast (at $8 a pop) you’d have to skip to afford a down payment in your area.
  • The backlash has been furious, and Gurner tells news.com.au that he didn’t expect it. He says his “comments were part of a much bigger discussion on how people can get into the market and the necessary planning and policy regulations that I believe are required in order to generate any real change.” And he acknowledged that it’s “incredibly hard” for people to enter the housing market.
  • Still, casting luxury-ish food items as part of the problem isn’t particularly original, writes Maura Judkis at the Washington Post, who notes that Starbucks lattes were the old culprit. The problem is that the economic theory is “garbage,” she adds, citing this older takedown of latte economics in Slate.
  • The real reason millennials can’t afford homes? Rising house prices and student debt, plus stagnant wages, writes Jessica Roy in the Los Angeles Times.
  • Gurner, who is 35, isn’t even the first prominent Australian to make the avocado toast analogy. BuzzFeed took note of this column last year.
  • A millennial responds, via Mashable: “I’d much prefer to eat avocado on toast while sharing an apartment with 10 mates, if having money and five houses turns me into a smarmy rich dude that lectures my own generation on how to be a smarmy rich dude. Cough, Gurner, cough.”
  • Whether or not Gurner is right, one thing seems like a safe bet: The price of avocados is probably going nowhere but up, thanks to demand in China, reports the Independent.

Would you think the fad would end there?

No freakin’ way!

We don’t anticipate Keurig coming out with guacamole pods anytime soon, so in the meantime, we’ll have to make do with a new concoction brewed up by Australia’s Truman Cafe. That concoction, per BuzzFeed, is the avolatte, or avocado latte, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a creamy, piping-hot latte poured into a slightly less creamy, hollowed-out avocado. The world was first alerted to this java sensation just over a week ago, when staff from the Melbourne cafe posted a short video on Instagram of a staff member pouring steamed milk into the coffee-carrying avocado. “[Combining] two of Melbourne’s obsessions – lattes and avo,” read the accompanying caption.

The Telegraph, which wonders if this is “the latest hipster coffee trend,” notes that the avolatte joins a long line of coffee-inspired oddities, including a turmeric latte, a “bulletproof” coffee whipped up with butter, and, of course, Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino. Commenters immediately reacted to the Truman Cafe’s creation with their own combination of disgust, awe, and eye-rolling. “As Mumford & Sons as it gets,” one poster wrote, per BuzzFeed, while another opined: “I just drank a latte out of an avocado and it changed my DNA I’m Caucasian now. Don’t talk to me unless you own at least 7 turtlenecks.” The Truman Cafe tells BuzzFeed the drink was meant as a joke and is not an actual menu item. (An all-avocado cafe is coming.)

You are now caught up on the silly shit hipsters do for attention….happy?

Time to be off like a dirty shirt…..you guys please have a good evening and a better tomorrow….Peace and love….chuq

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On To 2020

So much is happening in DC these days…..well it gives the bloggers something to do without hurting themselves trying to decide on a topic….all the political drama is just great fodder.

Plus the 2018 elections loom large and all the speculation around that vote is really tiring also……

I will break from the “norm” and go straight to the next general election, 2020.

This post will make some extremely happy and others it will drive them closer to a binge with alcohol…..

Let’s say Trump manages to survive all the jockeying for position in Foggy Bottom and he stands for re-election…..(like I said…some will smile while others reach for opiates)….

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Most Americans don’t like Trump. The Conversation

Trump will most likely be reelected in 2020.

How can both of these statements be true? Here’s how:

Even when people are unhappy with a state of affairs, they are usually disinclined to change it. In my area of research, the cognitive and behavioral sciences, this is known as the “default effect.”

Source: Trump will likely win reelection in 2020 – Salon.com

There is a chance that this could be a moot point…..something for thought.

Me?  Doesn’t matter…..to me everything around American politics is just a skit for Monty Python…..

It’s Yemen Again

The news is out!

The US has returned to ops in Yemen…the last reported one did not go so well…it cost an American his life…..with several others wounded……

US troops have return to action in Yemen again attacking AQAP…..

US helicopters airlifted soldiers to a central Yemeni province where they targeted an al-Qaeda compound and killed at least seven militants Tuesday, reports the AP. Central Command said US forces killed the militants using “a combination of small-arms fire and precision airstrikes,” with the primary goal being the collection of intelligence, reports the BBC. It was unclear what was retrieved on that front. The Defense Department, which did not mention any US casualties, said the operation was conducted with the support of Yemen’s government. The raid in Marib province is the second publicly known US ground deployment in Yemen this year against al-Qaeda. The first, in January, resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL.

The United States also has stepped up airstrikes as part of a sustained assault on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in areas of Yemen where it is most active. Washington considers AQAP one of the most dangerous branches of the terror network. The January raid killed 25 civilians, including women and children, and sparked outrage in Yemen. For its part, al-Qaeda has used the chaos of Yemen’s civil war to expand its footprint and recruitment efforts in the region.

The good news is that there is no report of troops death on this mission…however there were some injuries to Americans…..

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis reported that multiple of the US troops involved in the raid were wounded in the course  of the operation. He declined to say how many were wounded, but insisted none of them were considered particularly serious.

Davis said this was the first time the US had carried out a ground raid inside Maarib Province, and the deepest that US ground forces had yet gone into Yemen. Local tribesmen offered a different account of the US attack, saying five were killed in the raid and six wounded, and that all the casualties were from a single family.

And as the song says….”The Beat Goes On”……

The Treason Trial Of The Century

You would think with all the drama going around Washington these days I would be writing about the possibility of a trial of Trump for treason.

You would be WRONG!  (did you trolls on the Right read that?  But if the concept of wrong eludes you let me know and I will have a 4 year old explain it to you)

You guys know how much I like history and that I am an opinionated SOB (in case the grammar police are reading…..SOB stands for son of a bitch….in case you were not sure)

The trial was the biggest scandal that has hit the US in its day……it dominated the news during the trial…..

This trial for treason is about the deal with Aaron Burr…..the man was the VP of the nation and he is the one that shot and killed Hamilton in a duel……you see he had dreams of grandeur….and he acted on those dreams…..

Never has an American trial produced such an impressive set of key players: 

the defendant– Aaron Burr, founding father, Vice President, and slayer of Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel three years earlier; 
the trial judge–John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (and the most important justice in history); 
the force behind the prosecution–Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and  president of the United States; 
defense attorneys–Edmund Randolph  and Luther Martin, both delegates to the Constitutional Convention and among the most prominent men of the day; prosecutors– Charles Lee, former Attorney General, and William Wirt, future presidential candidate. 

Source: The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr

This story has more plot twists than any Guy Richie movie that you may have seen….it makes excellent reading…..that is if you like intrigue, mystery, betrayal, foreign agents and courtroom drama…..some say it was witchcraft that made Burr do it…but it was nothing more than blind ambition.

This is a tale that very few Americans know anything about…..not taught in history class before college…

Try it…you will like it!

A Return To The “War On Terror”

Terrorism returns to the headlines…..the recent attack in Manchester, England….will be interesting to see how this plays out in the media….and even more interesting to see how the Right wing slander blogs handle the attack.

After 16 years of the War on Terror the question could be asked…..is this war actually accomplishing anything….but making lobbyists wealthy?

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over in the expectation of a different result, then our foreign policy surely qualifies as madness. Since 2001, in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States has been in a state of constant warfare: the Afghan conflict has been ongoing since that time, the longest sustained combat in our history. From Iraq to Syria to Somalia and beyond, US forces and their proxies are engaged in a “war on terrorism” that shows no signs of slowing down, only expanding.

And where has it gotten us?

Source: The ‘War On Terrorism’ Isn’t Working by — Antiwar.com

Terrorism has been a tactic for thousands of years…however it became forefront about 45 years ago…..

From 1970-2015: 4,724 people died from bombings. 2,588 from assassinations. 2,365 from assaults. 548 from hostage situations. 159 from hijackings. 114 from building attacks. Thousands wounded or missing.

Source: 45 years of terrorist attacks in Europe, visualized – Washington Post

The question remains…..is this fight winnable?

MY opinion is NO it cannot.  Because terrorism is a tactic not an entity….one cannot kill an idea only the man who uses it.