It’s been a while, so I thought I should at least attempt a Tweets Post.

There are a couple of things to catch you up on in my personal life. Firstly, things are much better now I have a decent chair. However, the damage done while I was waiting for that to happen hasn’t gone away yet. I’m telling myself determinedly that it’s not permanent, hoping that I’m right. Everything has become more difficult on a daily basis and that’s why you’re not hearing as much from me.

Secondly, my landlord came to see me a couple of days ago. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” he said. The good news was that they’ve decided to take my place off the market! So I’m very happy about that. The bad news was they’re putting the rent up by just over 10%.

He reminded me that at some point they’re going to want to live here themselves. I always knew that was the case. They want to move into my place when they retire. They’re both in their 70s, but I still expect I have a few more years. Also, the current government is planning to put legislation through before the end of their term that means they’ll have to give me a lot more notice than is current law (just six weeks). I think the proposal in the new law is three months.

I’ve named “my” cat

Reilley

Reilley

Thirdly, there’s “my” cat. I’ve found out a few things since I last wrote. It turns out he’s a male, not a female, and his name is Stanley. I don’t like the name Stanley, so I call him Reilley. My mother made the suggestion because she thinks he has the ‘Life of Reilley‘ at my place. Jerry Coyne insists on calling him “Riley” after the TV show ‘Life of Riley’ from his childhood. However, Reilley doesn’t seem to notice the difference when he hears Jerry’s voice coming from Skype, so I let him get away with that.

Reilley now spends most of his time at my place. He even sleeps on my bed every night. In fact, it’s months since he spent a night at his real home. At the moment he’s curled up asleep on a blanket in the sofa, though every now and then I notice him opening his eyes to check I’m still in the same spot. Reilley makes a big difference to me. I’m much happier having him in my life. The worst thing when I thought I may have to move out was the idea of never seeing him again.

 

The Direction of World Politics

And so we come to politics. There’s a lot of stuff that’s really important happening, and much of it needs the handling of politicians of ability and a strong ethical compass. Instead we have Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping. Putin and Xi do have ability of course, but both lack what any decent person surely understands by the phrase, “strong ethical compass”. Both, for example, see murder and a valid political tool.

The other two leaders in the world’s five most influential, Angela Merkel and Teresa May, are both in trouble at home. The reason is factions with conservative and protectionist instincts. Instead of learning from the example of Donald Trump, many seem to think he’s someone worth emulating. WTF is wrong with people these days?

In fact, because of the disaster of Brexit, and the rise of the far right in Germany, we could see the collapse of the European Union (EU). Along with NATO, the EU has brought a new era of peace, cooperation, and prosperity to the region. While Steve Bannon and his ilk spread a new wave of anti-Semitism in both the US and Europe, it’s actually the far-right, with support of religious conservatives, who are the destabilizing influences.

The malignant influence of Steve Bannon and Vladimir Putin

The more that comes out about the campaign promoting Brexit, the more we find just how big Steve Bannon’s role was in getting people to vote for it. And just like in the US, it’s Putin who’s behind it all. Putin is also discovering that conservative religion is a great way to control his people – just like communism was in the good old days. It’s not just the fake news in the US that he’s behind. Putin is also supporting far-right and protectionist candidates throughout Europe with similar fake news campaigns. And he’s succeeding. You want to know what’s behind Merkel’s eye-roll whenever she comes across Putin? It’s because she knows he’s behind the far-right and religious conservatives in her party and coalition that are destabilizing her chancellorship.

Assassination illustrated in the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, 12 July 1914 by Achille Beltrame

Assassination illustrated in the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, 12 July 1914 by Achille Beltrame (Source: Wikipedia. Click pic to go to source.)

I really worry about the trends in world politics, not least because they mirror those that lead to the Great War, aka World War One. The second decade of last century saw a rise in nationalism throughout Europe, with both far-right and far-left groups resorting to extreme violence to try and get their way.

One of the most infamous was a Serbian right-wing group called the Black Hand. It was behind the assassination of the moderate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie while they were visiting the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. That, of course, was the incident that lit the fuse of the bomb that was The War To End All Wars. If only.

 

Political Tweets

This parody account has come up with a brilliant explanation for why no one on the right will be chanting, “lock her up” about Ivanka.

 

Worse even than the president that ” … saw the US descend into the Civil War”.

 

Something has to be done about US Acting Attorney General Whitaker sooner rather than later.

 

Thankfully, there are people on the job.

 

Khashoggi Murder Tweets

Last week the US CIA made the declaration that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was at the behest of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Trump is questioning his own intelligence professionals (because nobody loves them more than he does – remember that?).
(Via Ann German.)

 

And it gets worse …
(Via Ann German.)

 

While Donald Trump isn’t even ready to accept that Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is responsible for the brutal murder of Khashoggi, Angela Merkel is doing the right thing on behalf of Germany.

 

I wish we got MSNBC in New Zealand!

 

Norm Eisen is a former White House Ethics Czar – when he makes a statement like this, he knows what he’s talking about.
(Via Ann German.)

 

 

Gun Safety Tweets

Just sayin’.

 

Science Tweets

The anti-vax crowd are a group that annoy me more than most. In the real world, you’d have to put up with a rant from me if you told me about this!

As Ann German said when she sent me this tweet, “Maybe they’ll fall off the edge of the earth.”

 

Feel Good Tweets

Isn’t this lovely?

 

Fun Tweets

Thank goodness for Canada …
(Via Ann German.)

 

Oh dear …
(Via Ann German.)

 

Cool Stuff Tweets

As it says, interesting.

 

Marine Tweets

Don’t mess with me!

 

Bird Tweets

This is a pet relationship I’ve never come across before …

 

Isn’t it gorgeous!

 

Other Animals Tweets

I never knew Tasmanian Devils could be so cute!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Awww …

Dog Tweets

Smart dog!

 

Cat Tweets

One slip, and it would be all over. This cat is pretty special!

 

Look at that lovely face!

 

Not sure why a dog account is tweeting this, but I like it all the same.

 

Oh, to be gazed at by those eyes!

 


 

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