Union Station

My camera, my cane, mi cadera nueva! Off I toddled to Union Station today for a short walkabout. Miss DC was there, on a photoshoot that I was NOT a part of…or at least, not at first. She was nice enough to smile and pose quickly for me between the shots of her photographer.

I was not able to con anyone into giving me access to any behind the scenes places…well, maybe one. Not sure, I ended up back by the tracks and infrastructure and  was pretty much by myself. I took the second two shots of the trains and plumbing. I have no idea what all of the big pipes are for but the darkness of the tunnel I was in combined with the bright floods on the white pipes and red fittings made for a cool picture. There are lots of people who are homeless in the nooks and crannies throughout the station. It was cold out and they were getting warm…I talked with this guy for a bit, he hasn’t worked in years. Off again and then my hip told me to stand still for a while, so I stood on a balcony for a few minutes and shot straight down onto people walking by, I noted that most were alone, not with anyone. I put them in a grid.

Miss DC

Miss DC

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Trains at the ready in Union Staion

Trains at the ready in Union Station

Searching for a warm place.

Searching for a warm place.

Passersby

Passersby

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No Public Hearings

We have a new tax law…or will have one soon assuming that trump signs the bill. No public hearings were held. That means no industry or personal testimony was given in favor of or opposed to the bill. Lots of different viewpoints and I can’t decide which of them is correct or close to correct. I’m guessing that since trump is saying this is a wonderful thing for the middle class that it’s exactly the opposite and if I’m considered in the middle class, at some point real soon I will be feeling the shaft.

The facts of the bill…the US deficit is going up by $1.4T trillion, that is $1,400,000,000,000. I can’t imagine that much money.  The tax rates of the very, very, very wealthy will put millions and millions more in their pockets. Rates are supposedly cut for other than the very rich but it doesn’t really add up to much and the cuts disappear in a few years.

What’s really disturbing is that the people who passed the bill are the same ones that HATE deficit spending. So…I’m guessing that the behind the scenes dealing all had to do with social program cuts which translates to cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, and other safety net programs that are the targets of the uber-rich. And probably beginning in 2019,  corporations will begin to pay larger dividends and buying back their own company stock. It’s better to have rising stock prices than rising revenue margins…at least better for the shareholders. So America, we’ve been screwed.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Scrooge wins this one.

Wheels Of Commerce

Wheels Of Commerce

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Seven Dirty Words

Forty-five years ago George Carlin did a bit he called “Seven Dirty Words.” Eventually, the Supreme Court heard a case that defined “indecent speech” on broadcast TV and sort of formalized those unapproved parts of our broadcast suitable language. (That opinion also defined the time children…those younger than 18…should be asleep, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. I’m still working on that with my kids and frankly, those hours are meaningless.) Those seven “dirty” words are still sort of verboten on broadcast TV but not too many people watch the main channels anymore. And have any of my readers played X-Box or PS4? Microsoft and Sony certainly didn’t get the memo.

If George Carlin were alive today, he might write again about a new set of “Seven Dirty Words.” Turns out that the trump administration’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is forbidding the use of SEVEN WORDS. When their analysts provide reports and I’m assuming speeches, interviews, and any type of communication these words CANNOT BE USED. Those seven dirty words are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” This is just another teeny step in thought control in trump’s alternative universe. In his book, trump said if you tell a lie three times, people will believe you. He’s right. He is re-writing history but just a little bit at a time so that people don’t get too upset. And he’s quickly and quietly filling the judiciary, sometimes with people that have little or no courtroom experience and are recent law school graduates. That will be the real impact; when all this terror goes to court the newly appointed judges will just nod their heads and thank trump for their lifetime appointments. EXACTLY the same type of judicial change, reality bending has happened before: Germany, Italy, Venezuela….and now here.

Target -- USA

Target — USA

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Respect for People

Respect…people deserve respect no matter their gender, race, religion, hair color, language…whatever. I’m happy that #METOO movement is taking off and I’m hoping that real changes will be made. With some sadness (but no surprise), I note that the senator from South Dakota, Mr. Rounds, says that President trump is different because the voters knew about him and chose him anyway. Yep…that’s the problem but I’m pretty sure that Senator Rounds doesn’t get it and for sure, neither does trump. Although I have significant differences of life opinions with many people including lots of friends, I respect them. I’m still working on dealing with extremism, of any sort.

This is Saint Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church…a leftover from the Civil War…

Saint Mary Church of Sorrows

Saint Mary Church of Sorrows

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Spiraling

Yesterday I wrote about the nominee for a federal court from Alabama;  today, I wonder about the GOP candidate in Alabama for senator. As more women come forward to accuse candidate moore of assaulting them when they were young, the stronger his counter-attack against them and, of course, the press becomes. I think that even the hard core conservatives are beginning to doubt. BUT, because mitch mcconnell is against moore, many Alabama republicans are for moore. What I wonder is how Alabamans will vote for him…an accused child molester…versus a democrat. Their response might be that a democrat is worse.  moore has been popular for years because of his racist views and his tribal adherence to his own brand of what it is to be an American. I’m pretty sure he’ll be elected.

This is all good cover for removing health care by including provisions for elimination in the tax rewrite. I find the tax rewrite on the verge of astounding. The new law will increase the deficit by $1.500,000,000 by giving tax breaks to the very rich. The middle class will pay more which keeps the deficit number lower. And I guess all the people who voted for trump are okay with that. Well, not on the verge of astounding, but, actually…Astounding.

Seems like it would be fair to just tax EVERYONE a flat 10%, no deductions. No loopholes. No exemptions. Probably a one page law. Hah. That’ll be the day.

Alabama Cemetery

Alabama Cemetery

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