Them furriners at the BBC have been charting the fake president’s progress at wall-building


The Federalist

❝ In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Mr Trump promised to build a wall along the border’s entire 2,000-mile length.

He later clarified that it would only cover half of that – with nature, such as mountains and rivers, helping to take care of the rest.

❝ But, since Mr Trump entered the White House, although some of the already existing barriers have been replaced, no construction on any extension to the wall has yet been started…

Just over 40 miles of replacement barriers have been built or begun. Construction is expected to start on 61 more miles of replacement barrier in 2019. This equates to new sections of about 15% of existing structures.

❝ The first construction on any extension to the existing structures – what could be termed new barrier – will start in February in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

The twin projects will cover a total of 14 miles – one barrier stretching six miles and the other eight miles.

OK. We know the petrified politics of those who choose Trump over anyone this side of Peter Sellers in DR. STRANGELOVE. Still, we can only hope the remainder of sane Americans of good will learn from the example of Trump and send a new occupant to the White House in 2020 who will actually work towards the health and welfare of the United States.

Trump’s primitive mind is smaller than his hands

❝ The problem is the gut, intelligent though it may be (and no offense to any guts that are reading this), does not know how to run a country. “Even though it has a lot of neurons and can do a lot of things, it doesn’t think a lot about nuclear policy or climate change,” Braden Kuo says. Nor is the gut well schooled in the nuances of monetary policy — the matter on the mind of Trump’s gut most recently…

Bandy X. Lee, the Yale University psychiatrist who has sounded the alarm about the president’s mental functioning, thinks Trump’s preference for his gut is a rare moment of self-awareness. When Trump talks about his gut, she says, he’s really referring to his “primitive brain” — from which a rush of emotion is “overcoming him so he’s not able to access his actual intellect.”

❝ “For people who are cognitively impaired, they use what we call our ‘gut,’ but it is really their primitive mind,” she says. “It takes over and can defeat those operations in the cognitive and rational realm.”

In common parlance in my neck of the prairie this means Trump “is as dumb as a hoe handle”. Or, I guess, a rake handle – given his crap analysis of wildfires.

Cartoon by Jim Morin – courtesy of gocomics.org

Facebook can’t manage the harm it causes

❝ Never before has one company’s failure had such a devastating impact on the world. Facebook’s presence is truly global, as are the consequences of its failure to anticipate how its platform could be misused and abused. And yet never before has a single company been asked to fix a global problem.

❝ Racists, autocrats, and purveyors of hate and disorder have found Facebook the perfect medium for spewing poison, normalizing it, and gaining adherents. Facebook is a broadcast platform for anyone, including those who would break the rules, fake the news, lie, and mislead the community. Societies around the world are reeling from the consequences. Politics and democracy are under duress. And thus far, Facebook does not have an effective way to fight back. It is only beginning to try…

❝ Facebook received repeated warnings for at least six years from informed observers around the world that things were going wrong. But it appears to have almost entirely disregarded them. Gaining more users in any and all geographies was the company’s overarching priority, and it succeeded. The service was growing at an incredible pace into just about every country on earth. It is now a dominant medium of communications, typically the most dominant, in about 190 countries.

It expanded at full tilt into innumerable geographies where it lacked local expertise. But how could it possibly ensure its rules were being followed when nobody at the company spoke the local language or understood the nuances of the local culture? It couldn’t.

RTFA! David Kirkpatrick continues to provide socially useful analysis and evaluation in the online world we all know and love – and criticize. I certainly take the time to pay him close attention when I catch his appearance online or on the tube (sic).

The Feds Mandate That the US Postal Service Lose Money

❝ For the first three months of 2018, the US Postal Service reported a $1.3 billion loss, up from $562 million a year ago.

The basic issue is that revenue is growing more slowly than expenses. Total revenue grew by 1.4% while total expenses grew by 5.7%. Clearly, that makes for a less profitable business. This is a government-mandated financial squeeze and there are two main causes.

❝ First, regular mail—that is, the ordinary letters sent by individuals and businesses on a daily basis—is a declining business; volume-per-end-point (the mailbox) declined by 3.4% this year. Overall, regular mail is down 35% over the past 10 years. The problem is that the cost to deliver doesn’t decline with lower volume…

❝ Second, retirement expenses are growing significantly. Retiree health benefits increased 60% since last year and unfunded retirement benefits increased a whopping 142%…

RTFA. After all, there is some good news. Mostly from doing business with folks like Amazon.