Apr. 24th, 2017

Da Wall

Apr. 24th, 2017 07:28 am
hudebnik: (Default)
So Da Trump wants this week's continuing budget resolution to include billions of taxpayer dollars to build a wall on the Mexican border. The wall won't keep out illegal immigrants, won't keep out drugs, won't serve any useful purpose except to allow Donald Trump to say that he kept a campaign promise -- while conveniently ignoring the other half of that campaign promise, "Mexico's gonna pay for it." Trump says "Oh, Mexico will pay for it at a later date, but we need to get started on it now." Huh?

Let's put this in terms the President will understand, with a real estate analogy. Suppose you were working on a development project, courting two investors, V and M. You tell V that M is going to invest (despite M's repeated public statements that he has no intention of investing), and V somewhat dubiously signs onto your project. M continues saying publicly that he has no intention of investing. M has nothing to gain from the project, and you have no plan to entice or force M to invest that doesn't cost you more than it costs M. Would you put your own money into the project, on the assumption that M would eventually invest and you could reimburse yourself from M's contribution? Would you expect V to put more money into the project, promising V that M would eventually invest and you could reimburse V from M's contribution?

Wait -- that's not just an analogy. That's exactly how the President has actually been putting together real estate deals for decades: lie to one investor about another investor's commitment. As long as none of your own money is on the line, it's all good: if the project goes through, you get a cut of the profits, while if it doesn't, your investors are stuck with the losses. In either case, you go on with your life, find another gullible investor whom you haven't burned yet, and repeat the cycle with a new project.

Da Weekend

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:24 am
hudebnik: (Default)
Saturday: [personal profile] shalmestere went to her vielle and viol lessons, while I did some yard work. Met her for lunch, came home for a nap, then drove to Poughkeepsie for a really good concert of 13th-14th-century music on the theme of Dante. Had a really good barbecue dinner in Poughkeepsie, then drove home and crashed in bed.

Sunday: woke late, made pancakes (for the first time on our new stove!), took Moongrrl for a walk in the park. [personal profile] shalmestere spent a few hours finding and/or arranging processional-sounding pieces to play on shawms for an upcoming SCA gig, while I did more yard work.

In a previous post, I lamented the finish of the new cabinets in our mid-renovation kitchen. Got an e-mail reply from the manufacturer, saying "the veneer is a multi-step process, and we don't recommend trying to change the finish." Which is exactly what one would expect them to say: they have nothing to gain, and considerable to lose, by "authorizing" us to refinish their cabinets. So the reply doesn't carry much informational content. However, I have some scraps of leftover cabinet material, and we experimented Sunday with sanding and staining it. Preliminary results: some of the pieces are made of real wood, and they stain reasonably well. Other pieces are plywood with a plasticky veneer, and neither sanding nor staining has much effect on them. Fortunately, most of the plywood parts are internal; the parts of the cabinets that face into the room are mostly real-wood.

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