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The Crown Jewels stay in Buckingham Palace in England, but the Irish have the Emerald Isle. Forgotten by modern convenience, this diamond in the rough answers to no one’s price but stands apart as a land unto its truth. That truth grows from three million year old Cliffs of Moher to the west, a well seasoned Guinness to the east, the snows of the north and the continual blow of the south.  Within it all, Ireland remains on jealous guard of its secret, one you will come to know should you go.

3 million years old, the Cliffs of Moher are larger than you can imagine, but picturing the Grand Canyon, if you’ve seen that, helps.

Two views of part of the cliffs-one side wind swept clean for millions of years, the other grown over in moss.

There’s a stone tower on top of a high peak at the cliffs,,,,Dale and I got to go up.

Up to the top; wind or crowds of summer sometimes makes this impossible.

But we made it for this shot…. America lies 4 thousand miles away.

Ireland’s earth-bound honesty whispers as the morning dew drops sparkle upon the long bladed grass, races between the hedgerows and stony rock walls, up the hillsides and down into the valley of your heart. The truth cannot be denied: by taking on less, Ireland is so much more.

Of course, the matter is Ireland and there is so much to consider. But, diddly diddly this or diddleydee that, Ireland is waiting to collect your spirit, to open your heart so your eyes can see the beauty of Life once more. It’s up to you whether or not you answer the call, and it’s why I think those who can should visit Ireland while young enough to still have stars in their eyes, no matter how old.

Dublin is bubbling until late at night.

While traversing this Emerald we saw two hundred miles of land all dotted by small farms, no large factories, or conglomerate farming enterprises, no GMO fields and, btw, nary a stop light. In fact, the major crop of Ireland is grass-not the kind smoked- but green, flowing grass, field after field, and all raised to feed the sheep, cattle and pigs through the winter months. It’s a wonder to know that through Ireland, the country, the winter months dip about ten degrees below the summer temperatures which are mild.

Picture this: in most restaurants in Ireland the distance the food you order was grown, raised or harvested is listed next to the menu item. Imagine. Most often the food I ordered had come from less than fifty miles from my very seat! The greatest distance I remember food coming from the restaurant I was sitting in is one hundred and fifty miles. See? Ireland gives a whole new meaning to, ‘Fresh Market.’

Fresh food and space to dream

Yes, the men seem to drink a tad much very often but the women we spoke to mostly said, “I don’t drink at all.” It makes sense: someone in the household has to know what day it is right? Nah, really, there seemed no regret on either of the part of the Irish men or women when it came to drinking—the Isle is too beautiful for regrets. There’s too little space between the sunshine and the shadows of the hardworking people to waste time on fantasy.

One Barmaid, so kind to give me a free Guinness since she had the best in all of Ireland, told us, ” No, if you get drunk in our village there’s no taxi so a friend has to drive you home or I will. Oh, we have a taxi stand down the road, but good luck ever finding one there-it never happens.” Curious, my wife asked her what there was for us to see or do in the quaint little town. She thought in earnest and then answered with a broad smile, “Honest, I can’t think of a thing.”

If ever it’s been a struggle to live the salty life here you’d never know. The green fields, abundant sky and whipping wind weave together a different tune, the diddly diddly of Life. No wonder people have fought to preserve this land; it holds the touch that kisses back privately to any heart that will listen.

Go hear the music.

Franque23

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This Town’s Walmart Was ABANDONED. What They Did Inside? Oh My Gosh!!!

(This article and the pictures written by another are from 2012. Maybe you’ve seen this, but if not I thought it too great to not pass along.)

This will be my last post for weeks, and it’s fitting that it’s about a huge Library of unusual circumstance. I’ve worked at our Library for the past 22 years and always have admired how we strive to keep the community informed through open access to information. This library in the story, like ours,  is a real  community effort, a great undertaking with surprising results. I hope you enjoy this feel good story.

 

“A lot of people, including myself, are fascinated with abandoned locations. We’ve been lucky enough to actually write about a few of them here at LittleThings: we’ve seen abandoned resorts, stadiums, psychiatric hospitals, and even train cars.

Many times, these buildings will just sit there untouched and slowly fall into ruin. They are often covered in graffiti, decked in spider webs, and they look like something out of a horror film.

McAllen is a town in the southern section of Texas that saw one of its Walmart locations go out of business and sit idle for many years. After the store shuttered, it eventually fell into the property of the city, and the decision was made to turn the building into a public library.

At the size of nearly two-and-a-half football fields, it is now the largest single location public library in the United States.

Learn more about the building by reading below, and please SHARE if you think libraries are a vital part of every city!

Photo Credit: ThinkStock/tupungato

The city had 124,500 empty square feet to utilize.

The firm of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis was brought in to design the interior. The redesign was a smashing success among designers. It won the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition held by the International Interior Design Association.

The remodel was also a success for the library’s business. Membership increased by 23 percent the year it opened. It has large children’s sections, and even has its own sound proof room for teenagers.

 

It also features 14 study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 computer labs for kids, two genealogy labs, and 15 public meetings spaces. It’s hard to imagine the library being one of the coolest buildings in town, but that’s what happened.

There’s even a cafe, art gallery, and used book store.

An auditorium hosts screenings, classes, and lectures on a variety of subjects.

I’ve always loved the iconic New York Public Library, but this one might be even more impressive.

How many libraries actually have people lining up to get in?

It also hosts an immensely popular farmer’s market on weekends. McAllen Farmers Market –     The library has become a major part of the community.

Don’t you wish more abandoned spaces could be turned into wonderful things for the community. We definitely need more libraries!

 

McAllen Public Library!!! 

 

Community efforts bring such great joy. See you next time-

Franque23.

And oh, please enjoy some of the other 570 posts I’ve written since 2009 while I go ‘Dark’ for a few weeks. Byeeeeee


(click on the pic for a larger view.)

So it’s not just about growing vegetables. I guess Dale and I grow about everything we can—the birds(we get to know generations of Cardinals), the flowers(this Old Man Beard’s tree is a wonder every spring)*, the grass-why-oh-why?, 17 citrus trees, several orange varieties, two types lemons, figs, and we’ve one pineapple ripening now and four more forming with 32 planted. Of course, our pears only yield as squirrel food.  Oh yes, we grow squirrels, like it or not.

Bunch of lemons last year.

Feeding the Gold Finch who fly through in the Spring.

Right now, late August-early September, it’s time here in Gainesville to plant the fall garden. I’ll be hoping for green beans, potatoes, squashes, lettuce, the yellow squash, dark green zucchinis and tomatoes to come in for Thanksgiving and to freeze to use during the winter months.

The crops of spring or fall vary from year to year. Two years ago I picked 32 pounds of green beans, but this year’s spring garden with the same planting produced about 5 pounds?!?! Ya just never know with gardening.

The Gardenia is wonderful, and huge—it’s near our front door—but another more unusual planting is directly next to the front door. This indigenous Jasmine is not the kind you so often see growing in clumps around mail boxes or on fence lines. No, this Jasmine grows more like bamboo and even sometimes 12 feet high while dying off to the ground after cold weather. Located in front of our living room  bay window, this plant provides cover from the summer’s sun while letting the winter daylight in. I often use the heavier stalks left leafless after a freeze for tomato stakes the next spring.

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The night blooms fill the yard with a splendid aroma.

.

Oh, right, we’re helping grow Grandchildren as well…

There is nothing like a yard ripened Pineapple.

Let’s put two and two together and come with an answer that’s good ‘four’ all of us!

The start of a pineapple garden.(I got the tops from a grocer.)

Life on the planet is truly amazing.

The oldest known Baobab tree in Limpopo Province, South Africa, is thought to be 1700 years old. Catch this link if you have time **

 

And although there’s nothing like seeing works of man, like a magnificent Greek statue, some of them make me lose my appetite.

As with gardens, ya never know what might or might not pop up now-a-days.

Anyway—-back to appetites.

 

I’m hoping everything comes up roses this Fall for all of you who plant anything. There’s nothing like taking time out to work your butt off beneath the sound of the birds, the wind through the trees and with the sweet smells of Life tickling your nose.

Cheers.

Franque23

*

photo 2

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The Old Man’s Beard tree is coming out again.

 

**https://www.bigbaobab.co.za/


Subtitled: Weird for Good Reason.)

It’s true, I’ve forgotten the one thing I’m certain of. Still, it’s time to run along.

So here it is, a real toy soldier that’s sold. It depicts a soldier of the Von Franquemont regiment, my ancient relatives.(1760ish)..The best I get it, five Von Franquemont sons of Karl Eugen, once ruler of most of Germany, were all the heads of fighting Regiments who fought throughout Indonesia, throughout Europe—most notably against Napoleon around Paris—Germany and as far away as Cape Town , South Africa.

We have a reproduction of the Regiment’s flag. What fun and, of course, the ruler had the largest castle in Stuttgart. The second largest in Germany today.

It’s a bit large…160 rooms, and kept up by Germany as a come look-see attraction.

Home sweet home.

Anyway, finally, my wife and I along with my sister will be going to the castle this September. I intend to claim the castle and grounds as mine as long as my sister promises to post bail.

It’s a small place with its own theater and library for the public to use…,

Thing is, this same  pauper of a guy built this castle in Stuttgart….

Every man needed a hunting camp-

And, sadly , there stands in another nearby location the rubble the Von Franquemont Castle, over run in 1660, but it turns out Karl Eugen is one of us.  All Franquemont’s today are the last lines of this man.

But of it all, the trip, the stays and the transfers and planning for our European trip,  how to care for our doggie, Shadow, who’d be left home loomed most predominately…After thinking of neighbors, friends, maybe dog stay places we found a woman and daughter my wife has known for a while. They are perfect and love dogs. They met us and Shadow yesterday for hours and hours at our home but here’s the deal— it turns out the woman was born in Stuttgart!!?!?! Is that a kick?

There’s a lot to plan with a 22 day trip to London, Dublin—cliffs of Moher—then a stay at an inland castle at, RosCommon, where my sister-in-law’s relatives made their home. The castle is a modernized spa where we plan to rough it out on horseback and in spas…( I hope they don’t make me sit in a castle and gorge on delicious food). Then, we have time in Paris before the Germany stop.  That’s when I’ll  see the castle.

So yeah, maybe I could’ve been a king but I’m not, so I fish Lake Bonaparte instead. Sob…..

Bonaparte was rocking several years ago. Bass dying to get caught–err, sorry. Them’s large planks, honest.

I went out with relatives almost every night during this family reunion and we came back with keepers each time.

Keepers of what is the question…

We all gathered to fish—or drink stuff, anyway…. BTW.. the Morgan store in Natural Bridge ( owned by my relatives) had a stand up walk in cooler stuffed full of beer…I never tried any more than a thousand, but I heard it was very good super cold. I mean, really, you could walk around in this cooler, as I hear it.

We caught all of this one night in mud lake fishing, just before sundown….I know, it’s a bit odd—artificial worms were working best…*

Do you realize how hard it is to catch green peppers on plastic worms in Mud Lake? About as hard as getting Mexico to pay for the wall…anyway…..

we all fished that year–it was a sight to see, people diving off the boat to catch em’ bare handed.

In fact, the entire thing was a sight to report, you know, to the police..

There was a rogue ship launched,, and who could stop her?

Delirious people thought they’d might have the way with our Von Franquemont Kingdom….NOTish.

Never gonna happen…

But still, there was more, or something…

We gathered aboard the vessel and stood in line while out to sea,, not knowing what we’d catch…

We had the best line’s women and guard doggie,,,sounding the bottom as we neared the shore.

No, it’s not too shallow yet, mate.

Still, the fishing went on into the night…

Or maybe it was the next day, not sure….. but we bellied up.

Life was good once again in the Kingdom I never owned…and I could rest, relax, tomorrow was another day….

Maybe a big one would come along

Or not, and none of that mattered….we were at the Lake….Lake Bonaparte. Three cheers to Kingdoms of a kind; three cheers to the Lake.

Fun times as the summer ends.

Then again, for the times they are a-changin’.. to what? Gotta ask with our nutty political scene. Is it all ,’Fake news?’

Our doggie , Shadow, water skiing-he’s the best at it. Bigly, huge.

My brother and me in the Caribbean….We used lot’s of sun tan lotion

Actually, anything goes now…..get the drift…Cheers.

Franque23

melons for sale-somewhere.

*thinking this might be part of last year’s crop…..not sure. I think they’re keepers.

 


“I don’t stand behind anything.” Trump 2017 to newsman.*

Oh dear, what could the matter be?

The EPA is dead, news conferences are not really happening; most positions of much-needed government oversight are not filled, and ones that are have been filled with family, friends and business partners; Trump calls any news he doesn’t give us,”fake news.”; a private army should fight for us, (and against us?); Trump questions if the Constitution isn’t too old to be effective in today’s world and bad for America**; Trump demands loyalty; Trump encourages police to be violent; voting records are collected; voting rolls are purged; voting districts are arranged to produce desired voting outcome; women become more a kind of second class citizen again; education is put on the back burner for charter schools that have no oversight; public lands are taken away and used for government granted business profit; the government is led and run for the top 1 % earners of our society. Trump is pictured several times in suit jacket that is too long, exactly the kind Hitler wore as a evening jacket-odd.

“Both sides,” said Trump, “had valid points and equally bad people.”–those waving Nazi flags are mainstreamed as equal to those who demand equality, freedom of religion, and rights of all no matter their race or gender.

We’re a lot closer to losing America than most think.
Trump is trying to rewrite the Constitution to his liking while replacing judges and staff with like-minded folks who hold brand new backward visions of what America might become.
Still, the jokes keep coming:

“From Mindy Fischer’s post***….(When Trump is called out on outrageous lies or ideas he claims he is just being,’Sarcastic.”)

Sarcastic Obama wiretapping
Sarcastic nuke threats
Sarcastic Russian cyber war
Sarcastic suggestion about Hillary being a murderer
Sarcastic accusation that Obama founded ISIS
Sarcastic asking Russia to find Hillary emails
Sarcastic Obama obsession
Sarcastic Russia collusion
Sarcastic Racism
Sarcastic Xenophobia
Sarcastic Wall
Sarcastic Muslim ban
Sarcastic tax returns
Sarcastic campaign
Sarcastic hair
Sarcastic presidency
Sarcastic treason”

(I’d add….treasonous grand standing for Putin while back stabbing our trusted alleys in Europe.)

It’s not enough for Republican Representatives in mass complaining that they think Trump is wrong on this or that statement or policy idea. No, it’s not enough that GOP Representatives secretly say behind the scenes that Trump may not be fit for office. It’s time for the Republicans to demand a better leader, a better President, to move on and cast out this thorn in America’s side.

BTW–What American President has held campaign rallies nine months after winning the election? These so-called rallies are just Trump stroking his ego. Only Dictators of third world countries do this sort of ‘campaign rallies.’

America be forewarned….this man, Trump, would love to reduce the United States of America to a third world power, one he can rule over. It’s time to meet this menace as the cancer it is and stamp it out. No more time is left. Really for the good of America, no more time is left to debate the issue of Trump.

Mr. Trump-I stand behind America…sorry you don’t.

“I don’t stand behind anything.” Donald Trump. Hear it and weep.

Franque23

 

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2017/05/01/trump-says–i-don-t-stand-behind-anything–when-asked-if-he-stil.html

 

**http://www.care2.com/causes/trump-calls-constitution-archaic-and-bad-for-the-country.html

***https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=mindy%20fischer%20writer
(you really should follow this great writer.)
just for high steppin’ kicks- hey look!- Trump’s clothes…

(FILE) August 2nd will mark 80 Years since Adolf Hitler became the Fuhrer of Germany. His reign as Fuhrer was between August 2, 1934 – April 30, 1945. German dictator Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945), wearing evening dress, inspecting the guard of honour after receiving the new Polish ambassador in Lipski. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

***https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=mindy%20fischer%20writer

 


(I received this letter my sister, Sharon Franquemont, had written to a cousin….as it is, our extended family is about 50/50 Democrat or Republican, though some would be libertarian/green party etc. It got me thinking that, as it should be, we are all together, living through trying times. Internal and external forces are always at work in every society and it remains of utmost importance that here, as Americans, and elsewhere that we keep our dialogues going, open, accepting and informative.)

Thanks, sis, for the read.

“A couple of weeks ago a work colleague who voted for and admires Trump and I had a debate about voter fraud.  What we soon discovered is that we both have completely different streams of news and facts. It was illuminating.

I wondered if our exchange was rooted in Russian generated disinformation campaign with the goal to create division and chaos in our country. Or was this stark reality difference guided by something more internal in USA?

BTW, I think chaos, confusion and undercutting of our Democracy was already in the Russian playbook,  regardless of who won the election. if Hillary had won, we’d be hearing about her email fraud, her corrupt murders and bribery, so I don’t think this is a Trump issue. He is far worse than I expected and I expected pretty someone horrible—never believed he was a wise businessman capable of making ‘deals’ that would lead us through to the other side.

And, I never forget that many of my Republican friends were equally horrified by Obama’s Presidency.

As to Climate Change, in 1993 I met my beloved friend and soul brother, David Berry. We worked collaboratively on the volunteer Prayer Vigil for the Earth in DC for 20 years.

At the time I met David, he was working for the Department of Interior and was interested in interdepartmental sharing of environment data  He formed an after hours working group across many of the departments and they began sharing data. This after hours working group eventually lead him to an assignment in the White House working directly for Katy McGinty’s Council on Environmental Quality.  He later became known internationally and is now an honored elder member of the Balaton Group, an elite global sustainable group, and also chair of the USA Roundtable on Water.

Somewhere around 1999 he started very privately telling me and others that statistically there was no turning back. Humanity was over the edge and the Earth would become increasingly hot, seas would rise, and environmental degradation was already on the way.  I worked through a lot of horrible thoughts and feelings about this, but landed on this may or may not happen.  Thus far, it looks like it is happening.

Beyond David, Maurice Strong, the ‘father’ of global sustainability in that he convened the first UN global conversation on the issue in 1972, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and 1995 follow-up, and his wife Hanne Strong have been friends since 1995.  Although Maurice died a few years back, I’ve followed via them the perilous path of bringing these issues forward.

I have zero interest in debating Climate Change’s reality with anyone. Ultimately, time will reveal the truth.  Will I stand for Climate Change work? Absolutely.  Do I think, given the state of everything now, Climate Crisis is on the horizon? Yes, I do and not sure what we can do about it, but acknowledge its high probability. Humans have amazing ingenuity and adaptability, so I remain more hopeful than many, yet preparing honestly for different future topography and weather patterns seems like a good idea.

But the issue with you is far broader than Climate Change. I have zero trust in the sources you’ve been quoting and advocating since we began our conversation. And, it even goes deeper than that. Our 2016 conversation on the dock reached for me a critical point when realized how very different our values are. From that perspective, I wasn’t sure how useful our exchange could be for either of us, so was glad when we switched to saying that the systems were suspect.

You and I have been close for many decades and, perhaps lifetimes, if one believes in those things.  May I request that you stop lobbying me from Breitbart or similar news sources.  No, I don’t believe in Bannon’s philosophy or predictions for coming world wars, unless of course, he and the administration are instrumental in creating them.

I cannot fathom your and others continual support for Trump and his administration.  God help us.  I mean that literally.

With abiding affection from a different world and world view,”

Americans hold many world views and freedom of speech is a building block of our society. I have to say, it does bother me how those who oppose the views held by the Alt-right or Neo- Nazi ideologies are often referred to as Leftists in many columns. Thing is, while some who oppose the KKK and Alt-right may be leftists, the basic truth is many claims made by the alt-right, KKK, or Nazi sympathizers are not within the fundamental frame-work of ideas most thought to be American. Many who oppose the radical right marches are simply, Americans.

Simply, American.

Peace-

Franque23(Thanks for the writing, sis.)


This has to be.

No words can describe the, “He said; she said.”

Slap the continuum of statements coming from our White House that derail their intent into the middle of Eisenhower’s  era and our Representatives would have flown to Japan to commit hara-kiri.

It’s as if White House officials cannot extrapolate the end-all meaning of their words.

I had a dream: An orange haired man stood before a crowd and yelled, “I am a liar.” Immediately one half of the crowd became outraged while the other half simply took the man for his word and deemed the statement not true. A band struck the tune, The wheels on the bus go round and round… Meanwhile, no one noticed as the crowd debated that the orange haired man had left the stage and gotten away with everyone’s time.1526512_731339736885721_343453593_n 

Was I born a snowflake? Me on my first day at home….

I awoke to read Kushner defended Trump’s political machine by claiming it was too inept to have colluded with Russia.  I scratched my head through two hours of silence from Kushner thinking he’d heard the fat lady singing or read the waving sign that said, “Shut up.” But, no,  I’d just caught my breath from a laughing fit when Kushner added: ‘We couldn’t even collude with our own campaign offices.’

The confidence builders just keep coming, don’t they?

President Trump claims saying he’d received phone calls means he had conversations and that telling cops to rough up offenders is code for, “Isn’t that funny?” I love the visuals as well. There’s streams of tons of pot flying over the Mexican wall so duck and cover if you’re nearby and the 1.6 billion Congress just approved to spend on building more of the wall is another way of proving Mexico will pay for it.

Look, politics is rough, tough. That’s why Comey got fired for bungling investigations into Hillary while he was investigating Trump.

I think it amazing that Mooch, Scaramucci, reveals that Bannon is part giraffe and no one looks into Bannon’s background?!?!(How else could Bannon do that thingy Mooch went on about while talking to a reporter who nearly begged him to shut-up since, well, he’s a reporter.)

BTW-Head’s Up White House: reporter’s report stuff.

Now, it seems, the White House collaborated with some rich guy and Fox news to infer a murder had been committed because the victim had the drop on Hillary..(all a lie)..and all the while the White House had pounded other news sources for being, “Fake News.” I just can’t figure if the term gave the White House the idea to make stuff up or if it happened the other way around.

Now, after Trump, we need a law for just about everything a President can or can’t do. Who knew we needed a law that said the head of our American Office of Science has to be a Scientist? That no-brainier simply changes the face of everything American’s ever thought about their President. “Hey! Is this guy nuts? If so, we need a  law!” The cashew and peanut farmers want to know!

At least there’s one thing….Trump who claims to never have spoken with Kushner about Russia now says, “Of course, I did.” So, does that make it all okay. I mean, if your son-in-law goes to shoot a neighbor because you told him too but he’s such a bad shot that he misses does that make it all okay? Thing is, the smoke signals say that 26 state voting precincts’ tallies may have been jeopardized during our past Presidential election so, really, did that ‘bullet’ miss?

The so-called health care bill reform (better known as a tax cut for the rich) fails to pass, it’s a big embarrassment to the White House.  So what’s next? How about a motion that says all immigrants (green card applicants) must speak English and be well-off? How more American can you not get? That’s a winner, right?

At least Trump is a winner: his recently reported assets to liability ratio places his debt at only 316 billion dollars.(Fake news sources say its more like 1/2 billion.) Plus, the man knows who and how to hire, and fire, continuously, like one after the other, over and over. America is truly tired of firing…but at least we’re firing on all cylinders—one round pie hole after another, blank cylinders that love to fire off this or that as they pop off without a clue as to the meaning of anything said.

Still, sometimes Trump is right. The White House is a dump as he says. Heck,  one room in the White House has this dusty ol’ yellowed paper lying around that Lincoln wrote by hand more than 150 years ago……!Doesn’t anyone there ever throw stuff out!?!?!Disgusting!

We will be tired of winning-

Health care cost will come tumbling down-

Mexico will pay for the wall-

I won’t change Social Security-

I may never see a golf course I’ll be so busy *(must read.)

What Russians?-

I won the popular vote-

Massive voter fraud-(does Trump know something about the extent of  Russian involvement in our election/Is that what he means to say?)

I respect women.-

The jokes just keep coming…some laugh, other’s yell.

Franque23

*Trump has golfed 41 times since becoming President….and

Cost to Taxpayer: At least $55,451,041

 

 


Dale and I had the pleasure of seeing two friends who live in South Korea. One is a top IT person for Korea’s internet fire wall…In fact, she was here in the U.S. , in part, to meet with the owner of Google and then Facebook to discuss her country’s excellent firewalls’ security. Her husband is a communications director for the government, a PR person for communications with the outside world and internally. It was nice to speak with them about the issues surrounding South Korea.

The Skinny:

THAAD, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, has been set in place by the US throughout the region of South Korea. This task has not been easily accomplished and it has been met with protests in Soul and other areas of South Korea-many don’t want the U.S. presence. The new President of South Korea, Moon, has gone back and forth on this issue since May, 2017…but now, with North Korea shooting off longer range missiles like they’re a kid who’s found a new play-thing, well, President Moon is open to the system.

By my best estimate, I’d say President Moon is what most Americans would call a Liberal. He was stampeded into office after ex-President Parks was removed from office…  

President Parks is a conservative but was impeached for several kinds of illegal activity (using her position to earn bunches of money). She’s currently in jail awaiting a long trial.

So, the chips are on the table in clear sight: there’s the new President , Moon, of South Korea; the THAAD system; KIM-Jong of North Korea and their missiles and, hmmm  oh yes;  China and Russia

Putin has a long range of things to consider when it comes to North Korea and the THAAD system. But, this isn’t his first rodeo, and he knows how to ride things out. China likes her position.

It seems, after speaking with our friends about the issue of North Korea, that they believe Russia and China are more concerned about our missile defense system that’s now located in South Korea than they are with Kim-Jong and North Korea.

BOTTOM LINE:

China and Russia may like the buffer North Korea gives them from our military presence(THAAD) in South Korea enough to thwart any advancement we might initiate in the region.

Russia will let Kim-Jong ride this one out.

It’s an odd mix of happenstance that finds us in August, 2017. President Moon of South Korea wants to negotiate with North Korea to open the borders, at least somewhat, but Russia isn’t loving the idea…North Korea’s Kim-Jong may have no idea…while some Americans think we should open that border with a bomb fest. More, we’ve experienced a strange paradox of Presidents in the U.S. and South Korea. President Obama appeared to be willing to double down on relations with South Korea but the President of South Korea at that time was  doubling dealing, stone wallin’ and now in prison for bribery and stolen funds, Parks; no negotiations were possible.  Now, South Korea has landed a President who is open to the type of negotiations President Obama may have carried out, but the U.S. has Trump as president! And for all the crappy things people can say about President Trump I just wish instead they’d clear up one thing: what the hell is Trump talking about, like ever? I’d think it difficult to negotiate with a rambler.

So, life goes on.  South Korea has a neighbor who shoots off rockets that sometimes get off the ground, but who knows where they might land. America is locked in tight with THAAD. Russia and china know Kim-Jong is nuts, but he gives them space. President Moon wants to open his border to the north so people who are now 80 years old, those who were separated by the border line since the Korean War, can get a chance to come together.

Who has the winning hand? In many ways, I think America holds the ‘trump’ card for now.

North Korea is a rough spot…but I think THAAD is Trump’s ace in the hole.

Peace.

Franque23

 


And we thought Fukushima was bad-actually it is, and maybe worse than anyone can write about- but for the US it’s about America. Right now, America is steaming from every side of the aisle, from every corner in the hood and from every classroom that can’t supply pencils to students.

It’s time for me to thank my first reader in everything I do, Barbara, for pulling me up above the cesspool of our politics and giving me a much-needed laugh.

My question is: what’s happened to the missing parts of our constitution? Now, protesting certain governmental policies are illegal? Say what?

It’s hard to say who started the mess we are in…

Or, when you start to think that America is on the brink of being torn apart by political agendas and led away from common sense leadership.

Internet privacy certainly is on the table. But so much more as well…

No, none of us are irrelevant; every side counts in the battle America is now facing. How will we shape the coming years so our children live in freedom and prosperity?

I read today-

“As House Republicans frantically seek support for legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, the biggest sticking point is whether the bill fulfills one of the GOP’s central pledges: preserving protections for people with pre-existing health problems.

More than a quarter of adult Americans under 65 have a pre-existing health issue, which includes everything from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.”*

See, the trouble, or devil in this detail, is that the Republican plan will cover pre-existing conditions but in ‘special high-risk’ pools which will be charged more than most people who have these conditions can pay. So, is coverage at a cost few can afford to pay actually coverage? Who foots the bill for those who can’t pay?= US.

Case in point: me. I have adult onset asthma. Right now, Medicare would cost me about 320 per month for complete coverage. The estimates I’ve seen extrapolated from the Republican so-called health care/tax cut for the rich plan now puts my year’s cost at $7,465.00 more for me and those who will be  put in , ‘high-risk’ pools….or a total yearly cost for those(me) who have asthma at  $ 11,305.00 dollars per year for Medicare…How many retirees with asthma can pay that?

Oh, and there’s this..”The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001. More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack.May 3, 2011″

We all need to breathe a sigh of relief if this bill is drastically altered or defeated in Congress…call your Senator today.

Franque23

*http://www.consumerreports.org/health-insurance/got-a-pre-existing-condition-your-premium-could-rise-sharply-under-new-gop-plan/


Isn’t that the question? Are those who have gone before us still here? Or, are those departed here some of the time, for a second, hour, day or week and then gone for a while? Could it be the dead are never, ever here at all, gone for good, silent, an empty place in our heart and mind only?

Sometimes I can hear my dad’s voice. “That a boy!”; “Keep your nose clean!”; ” Up an’ at em'”; “Mow today.” Wait, what???*

Really, sometimes I can hear Dad asking me to mow, and I mean asking. Dad was a sweet guy so he’d always asked, never demand, and added a “Hon.” to it. “How about mowing today, hon.” And when Dad did ask me to do something it was a done deal-that’s the way our family rolled.

I’d say dad’s patience and understanding could move mountains.

I’m thinkin’ Dad was successful at about everything he tried to do. The oldest of five siblings, we got it that Dad helped his brothers and sister go through college while he was in school as well. We have accounting books he kept during his younger days and every penny mattered and was tracked. He was on the Queen Elizabeth as it sailed to England loaded with troops during World War II and he was in charge of some of the troops on board. As a chief engineer, he helped in the restoration of Europe after the war, and here at home my family actually drove over a bridge out west that he had designed.

In the end, Dad became a Full Colonel, and upon his death Fort Drum sent an honor guard to play taps and present mom with an American flag on Dad’s behalf. An officer on the base researched Dad’s history of service and told me, “He deserves this.” Later that same day, Fort Drum  flew a missing man formation for him over Lake Bonaparte.  There, low, just above High Rocks, a line of helicopters flew but one was missing in the line formation. My eyes stared at the empty spot and saw my dad’s spirit there. It was quite a send off for a man I’ll never forget.

Thing is, just how, ‘off’, is Dad? Of course, he lives through me since I still hear his voice, remember things he said, still follow his advice when I can and think of him often. I imagine most who knew him remember his kind and gentle way. But, is Dad here, here, as in here.(This my most descriptive sentence ever:-)).

Dad is 72; Kelly one. He gave me so much. I was so happy to be able to give something back.(Thanks to my wife!) He loved his grand children.

If a person lives long enough, they learn that life’s a long road-the long and winding road. Life twists and turns at the drop of a hat, a gift, an accident, a brilliant idea or mistaken one, it tumbles along but always with effort. Perhaps, the best thing I ever read about life is that one lived full of good intention will become a beautiful memory.

The red single Hibiscus… Dad loved flowers and grew all kinds around our home.

To this day I think of Dad as I garden, check the flowers, pick the oranges and smile at the sky. Maybe the question is, How much more could my dad be here?

I was cleaning a spot off the bottom of our pool with a long brush when I noticed that I couldn’t see the spot once the water rippled. Then, as the water return to calm, I could see the spot once more. Is this it? Are the departed still within our medium but the substance is somehow rippled so we can’t see the other side of life? Wouldn’t we all like to know.

Dad shared our joys in life, and gave us so many…

Heck, Dad gave us the camp at Lake Bonaparte! How completely cool is that? The next time I gear up and climb in the boat, hear the engine kick up and head out to fish, Dad will be in the boat, but he won’t need a life jacket.

Bye Dad , for now.

Max Franquemont, July 18th, 1911- October 31st, 2001.

Franque23.

  • Pictures: Dad,  David Morgan, Aunt Virginia(Dad’s sister)  and Uncle Moe Morgan. On the 1/2 way dock at our camp.

 

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