Rejoice!

Rejoice, for there is Nikki Haley. Whatever concerns I have about President Trump – and there are many – I am thrilled with his selection of Haley as UN Ambassador. Listen to her here – such moral clarity, such good sense. Almost Moynihan-esque. Wish my brother were here, for many reasons, but in part because he would so love to hear these words.

Puzzling Times

This is not, by any stretch, a defence of President Trump. In fact, I find his recent comments about Putin de facto, making moral equivalence between the United States and Russia — profoundly offensive, wrong and troubling. But what I also find wrong is some of the silliness of the anti-Trump fanatics. I know people, for example, who say they will never go to the United States while he is president, and yet these same people are planning trips to Cuba.

Um, what? In other words, they are boycotting a free country which democratically elects its leader — because they do not like that leader — and they are not boycotting a dictatorship, an island prison, where gays, Christians and virtually all political dissidents are abused (and worse).  Very strange, and indicative of people who know nothing of history or current affairs and likely lack a moral compass.

Puzzling times.

MTM

Peeps, I am completely without words to express my sadness at the death of Mary Tyler Moore. I will process and write about it later. I wanted to write about Robbie Burns and many other things this week, but something more close to home has been taking my attention – my Significant Other had hip replacement surgery this morning. He is doing well, thankfully. But the day has been busy, so for now I will link back to my Burns post of exactly one year ago tonight. Mary would approve. She was a friend to the animals.

Barron Trump

I feel for the kid. He is obviously an introvert stuck in a family of extroverts – this was my situation as a child and teen, and it was very difficult. It was made worse by the fact that I was viciously bullied by a family member (who frequently got other family members to join in). I hope poor Barron at least gets support at home – I sense he does. His mother seems very good as do his sibs. But he is now being bullied from the outside. Very unfair. He did not ask for this. I hope people will leave him be, as Chelsea Clinton requested.

Always with the Fascism, these People

I love Italy, but no amount of love for it can help me deal with how easily one can find Fascist — and Nazi — paraphernalia at street markets and even in legitimate stores. It’s very disturbing. I’m not talking about people who might want to collect, say, vintage World War II items. That I can understand. I’m talking about things made today – Mussolini calendars, and lighters with Swastikas on them and so forth. Really icky.

Some examples:
From a liquor store in a trendy Roman ‘hood;
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from that same store – yeah, sure, I’ll have some Chateau Adolf and a Barolo Benito;
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from a store in a swanky part of Rome;
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from a kiosk where they sell newspapers – who wouldn’t want a 2017 Mussolini calendar, with a ‘fascist songs/hymns’ CD?;
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and the rest are from an open market in Perugia. This table was set up among the ones featuring cheeses and honey and crafts:
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not really my taste, but I gather some might want it on their wall;
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everyone’s fave anti-Semitic pope;
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more mini-Benitos;
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lighters that say “I’m a Nazi f**k”;
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ashtrays, in case your guests aren’t merely Fascists, but also smokers!;
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and still more wine with creepy labels.
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And I left one out – check it out on my Instagram. We found it at a local fair in Umbria. Really would not want it on my mantelpiece.

Birthday

Today would have been my brother’s 68th birthday. I wrote about him here (on the anniversary of his death) and I won’t add much in this post, other than to say he would absolutely love this political climate – not the divisions or anger, but the vibrant, rebellious aspects. And it would be so great to have him to talk to about it. In his honour, I post two terrific columns about Obama’s disastrous legacy. Alan would agree with both of them! The first is from Lord Black; the second from John Robson.