Thursday, January 19, 2023

Quick Tide, Slow Morning

Here's another photo from my walk along the Thames Path a couple of weeks ago. This was actually taken in North Greenwich, after I'd finished the path and crossed the river on the cable cars. It's an art installation by the Argentinian artist Felipe Pantone called "Quick Tide," which transforms the underside of this elevated walkway from bland white surface to jewel-toned kaleidoscope. Pretty cool, though the light was working against me when I took this picture. When I come back along the Thames Path on the south shore I'll see it again and maybe I can catch it in full sun.

Today I can afford to be somewhat leisurely about my morning, because I'm staying home to meet the tree-trimmers. After months of preparation they're finally due to show up today. As soon as the sun comes up I have to go out and tie a few plants back and cover the snowdrops to protect them, and then we're ready to go. I'm a little nervous about it, as I often am before we have major work done in the garden, but I'm sure it will all be fine. The good thing about plants is, they grow back!

We're having the hazel and walnut trees trimmed to admit more light to the center of the garden, and we're cutting back the Philadelphus to make more room for the Japanese maple, among other things. We're not having anything done to the wilderness at the back of the garden -- we want to leave some wild space and it's a good barrier blocking the apartments behind us.

I'll try to show some before and after photos tomorrow.

In the news, did you see that "resume embellisher" (aka serial liar) George Santos has been rewarded with several committee positions in the new Congress? Honestly, I don't know what the USA is coming to. Not many years ago that man would never have been permitted to take his seat, much less get committee assignments. He probably would have been exposed long before the election, by a healthier local press and competent opposition. Nothing like having someone like that serving in federal government to serve as a role model for our children. "Look, kids! You can LIE your way into public office!" (Early indications are he's going to be a MAGA nightmare policy-wise.)

On a positive note, I see that some of the world's wealthiest people have asked leaders at the World Economic Forum to tax them more, saying that current levels of economic inequality threaten public institutions and the stability of society. And right they are.

Finally, The New York Times recently had an interesting story (with amazing pictures) about remote wildlife cameras and the interactions between species that they're recording. It made me want to set up another camera in our garden, even though we only ever saw foxes, squirrels and the occasional urban rat. (Our previous wildlife camera appears to have died, so I'd have to buy a new one and just haven't gotten around to it yet.)


River said...

I love that "Quick Tide" thing! And I approve of the wealthy people asking to be taxed more.

Andrew said...

I hope you won't be bothering the Russians with your tree know, noise and all that.

It is unbelievable about Santos. I despair, as I so often do.

It is in the interests of the rich to have stable societies that don't attack the rich and public institutions because they don't need to. The gap between the rich and the not rich here has again been declared as growing.

Andrew said...

Your trees and bushes being trimmed reminds me a personal matter I must attend to.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I'm excited to see your before and after photos, as well as Quick Tide in a different light. I already like it and the elevated walkway.

I was recently feeling a tiny bit of hope for the US government. Now, with each new story, I’m back to where I was before. In what democracy could someone like George Anthony Devolder Santas Zabrovsky actually remain in office?!?

Ed said...

What a piece of work Santos is. From what I understand though, it will be unlikely that he is forced out of office. There are no federal recall laws for states to remove a sitting Congress person. In the House, only five people have ever been forcibly removed and the majority of those for fighting for the Confederacy. If he does get removed, it will be for campaign finance violations but due process for those will probably mean he will be up for reelection before them. I just don't understand how serial liars like Santos can get so far. Was his democrat challenger even breathing when running against him? Whomever that was should have his campaign research team refund their money.

Vivian Swift said...

I live in the New York 3rd. Santos is "my" representative. I've been to the protests and I've called House Speaker McCarthy's office and I've singed petitions to get rid of this guy, who I did not vote for in the first place (I NEVER vote Republican) and it's all on deaf ears. I've met only one Santos voter who wants him removed so, no help there. All I can hope and wish for is that his dirty money will sink him and wake people up that this is what the Republican party is. You can't imagine ho aggravating it is to live among people who had Santos signs on their lawns and who now are silent. But then, that's America these days.

Jeanie said...

I know the UK has its own political/economic issues right now, but boy -- if you compare there with here in the states, I think I'd cross the pond. It's grim over here withe Santos, the horrible committee assignments and such petty hatred and more than a few crazy people. And of course, the Rs will never let him go when their majority is so small. It's distressing.

Bob said...

Clearly Santos was added to committees because he told McCarthy he'd vote his agenda all day long.
A new story is out that Santos was a drag queen back in the day in Brazil so I wonder what the "Drag Queens Are Groomers" party will do about that ...

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Does George Santos mean Saint George in English? If so it is a label that does not fit the fellow. We have inveterate liars in British politics - Boris Johnson being a prime example - but none who measure up to George Santos. This guy has lied about almost everything. Being discovered as he has been should elicit waves of shame and apology but not so with Santos. He plans to carry on as though he has done nothing wrong and the system seems ready to allow this. Amazing!

Ms. Moon said...

I don't even know what to say about Santos. I mean...
How can this be happening?
I saw that NYT's article but did not read it. I'll go back and do so.
I hope all goes well with the tree trimming.

Marcia LaRue said...

You are realizing just how the GOP/Republinuts operate over here in the U.S., and idiots like Kevin McCarthy let them get away with it! Add in Marjory Taylor-Green, Bobo Boebert, and the likes of Santos and now Pena in New Mexico. At least Pena is in jail and being held with no bond! You just cannot hire guns to shoot your opponents because you LOST by a friggen landslide!
Jesus H. Christ ... the GOP have gone full-blown nuts and they have to be stopped ... how to stop them is the question!

Sharon said...

I like that art installation. Those colors must glow in the sunshine.
I've been following the Santos story. It truly is unbelievable. I keep wishing they could speed up the inquiries into his finances. There is certainly some illegal activities going on there.

NewRobin13 said...

The Santos story is so crazy, so full of lies and BS. I wish there would be a recall. How can such a lying SOB be in Congress? Oh wait, there are lots of them there. LOL.
Looking forward to your before and after pics of the tree trimming.

Ellen D. said...

Your trees will be fine,Steve. Does your landlord pay for this? You will never be able to move as you have invested so much love into your garden.

Red said...

Something is wrong with the switch when the creeps get elected and then are rewarded.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm not sure George Santos' name is George Santos. Some people have come forward to say they know him as Anthony Devonder (I'm not sure about the spelling of the last name). He is a serial liar. One of the latest allegations is that he stole money from a Go Fund Me set up for a homeless veteran's sick dog.


Linda Sue said...

Thank you for the IG of Felipe, great installations and art! LOVE his color/light especially on this grey day!

Mike O'Brien said...

I agree with all the above Santos comments, so will just add THANKS for that NYT story about remote wildlife cameras and what they can tell us. The photos are indeed amazing!

Chris from Boise

Jim Davis said...

The whole Santos shitshow is representative of the entire Republican party, no ethics, no integrity, only thing that matters is a vote. Beyond reprehensible.

Margaret said...

Thanks for sharing a positive note because between the Santos craziness and the rest of the sh*tshow over here, I'm feeling discouraged. Like I'm living between the pages of The Onion.

Boud said...

I love that artwork and if you can get a pic in different light, that would be great.

The accursed nyt was notified about Santos and refused to cover it on the grounds that it was only local. I looked into all this at the time. Of course now crickets from nyt.

One small local paper did give some coverage, but not enough to make it as well known as it should have been. Not just the gop, media collusion. Again.

You can't make this up.

The Padre said...

You And Olga Girl Are One Simple Video Away From Making The NY Times - Outstanding - Dig That Kaleidoscope Feature - Between Greene, BoBert, And Lies, I Am Truly Embarrassed To Be An American

Shamefully Hurt,

P.S. Cheer Me Up With A Hide And Treats Game For Olga Girl

Allison said...

The GOP has lost its mind. In addition to doing away with SSA and Medicare, they want to levy a 30% tax on everything people buy and do away with federal income tax. Sales taxes are extremely regressive, but I guess that's the point.

Kelly said...

The whole Santos thing totally confounds me! I'm finding politics especially depressing these days (and we're not even in the middle of an election cycle!).

I tried to look at the wildlife photos and after teasing me with a glimpse, I was informed I'd have to subscribe to see the full article. Dang it!

jenny_o said...

I've temporarily given up on thinking too much about US politics because it threatens to push me deeper into the hole, so I will just say I know what you mean about keeping the back garden wild, partly to screen from the adjacent buildings. I do that here, too. The hurricane took out a lot of my trees, though, and when my brother was cutting those up he (without asking) cleared a lot of my underbrush too. I had to ask him to leave the rest, which was hard, as he was HELPING me ...

ellen abbott said...

I love public art. I imagine for some people it's the only art they see. Hope the tree trimming went well. I'm almost done clearing out all the dead stuff. Just about everything is starting to shoe green buds of new growth.

Debby said...

It is very clear the promises Kevin McCarthy made to the right wing extremists who were holding their votes hostage. MTG is on the Homeland Security committee. The same Greene who declared that if she and Bannon had been running January 6th, they'd have won, and she would have been armed? Crazy. I can't even stand to watch the news right now.

Catalyst said...

I don't think Santos can last but, then, I've been wrong before. Once, I think.

Steve Reed said...

River: I approve too. I've always admired Warren Buffett because he's been saying that for years.

Andrew: I've been wondering how the Russians will respond. On one hand, I think they'll like more light. On the other, they may not like that neighbors in the apartments behind us will have a clearer view of our house. Re. your personal matter, I'm not going there!

Mitchell: It really is astonishing. As little as I expect of Republicans, I'm still surprised they seated that guy.

Ed: I would think if an investigation finds malfeasance he'll have to resign. I can't imagine he'd be permitted to stay if he's violated laws. I wonder if voters in his district can recall him?

Vivian: I've wondered how his voters have responded to all this news. I suppose they think it's the "liberal media" dragging him down. Argh!

Jeanie: Honestly, it's only marginally better here. Both our countries are mired in incompetence. I wonder if Russia is doing stuff behind the scenes to feed all this controversy and destabilize things?

Bob: OMG. I hope there are pictures.

YP: Santos and Johnson are both criminals and neither one should have been holding public office.

Ms Moon: "How can this be happening?" has been my mantra for the last 20 years or so. It started during the Iraq invasion and it hasn't stopped since!

Marcia: That Pena story was CRAZY! You're right, the extremists are "full-blown nuts"! (That made me laugh!)

Sharon: Yes, in direct sun I think it's much brighter. I too am eager to see the results of those campaign finance investigations!

Robin: Well, the sad thing is, I think there's not more of an outcry because people DO believe that all politicians are liars. Which isn't the case to quite this degree! In other words, cynicism is what allows Santos to stay in office.

Ellen D: We're splitting the cost. Under the terms of the lease, we're responsible for maintaining the garden, but the landlord agreed to pay for the tree work on the walnut.

Red: Absolutely. You'd think there would be legal consequences to falsifying a whole resume in order to win an election!

Janie: Yeah, I've read that. Apparently he has a number of aliases. I hadn't heard about the veteran's dog (!) but I knew about his supposed animal-rescue charity that collected money but didn't actually exist.

Steve Reed said...

Linda Sue: Yay! You can check out "Quick Tide" in person when you come to visit!

Chris: Aren't they great?! I love the one of the family of otters!

Jim: It really is the embodiment of the "winning is all that matters" philosophy.

Margaret: LOL! It IS like the Onion! I try to keep things balanced so as not to be too much of a sourpuss. :)

Boud: There's no question that local and national media fell down on the job here. I hadn't heard that the NYT knew about this before the election. In any case, there are plenty of other papers and TV stations that also could have fought this battle. I'd say there's plenty of blame to go around. I'm sure editors all over the region (and probably in Washington too) are examining whatever in-house decisions were made that allowed things to reach this point.

Padre: Olga definitely makes for happier news than George Santos! We should put HER in Congress.

Allison: Anything else is "punishing the rich" in their lopsided worldview. My question is, why do lower-income people so often vote for the Republicans?

Kelly: Oh, that's a bummer! Doesn't the NYT give a certain number of free articles each month? You can always bookmark it and go back for a look in February.

Jenny-O: Well, it's great to have assistance, even if not ideal. Our "wildlife area" is seriously overgrown and the only concern I have is that it all may collapse at some point!

Ellen: Buds already! Isn't it early? You could still get a freeze or two!

Debby: It's astonishing. As Ms Moon and I were saying, "How can this be happening?"

Catalyst: I'm inclined to agree. I think something will force him out. But it's astonishing he's gotten this far.

Steve Reed said...

So I've had a new commenting glitch today -- a limit on the number of characters I can use in a single comment. (Hence the divided responses.) Where did THAT come from? Argh! Blogger!

Ed said...

They can't recall him because there are no state recall laws for federal politicians, at least that is what I have read. The House also has no rules to remove someone convicted of a crime or in prison. In the past, the convicted member has voluntarily resigned due to pressure and Santos thus far has refused. About the only way he can be removed by the House is by recommendation of the Ethics committee and a vote. From what I have read, a recommendation from the Ethics committee can take well over a year meaning he will serve almost his full term anyway. A subsequent vote requires a 2/3rds majority which is also highly unlikely.

I think the only way he will leave is if his party makes some backroom deal to him to vacate.