Friday, August 25, 2023

Senator Menendez is 'Justice-Involved' Again and Loving It

(Imagine this in Shirley Bassey's voice)
Old Swinger,
He's the man, the man with the "bribe me" touch,
a grifter's touch,
Such a U.S. Code 18 swinger,
Beckons you to forget his conflicts of 'in'trst,
and don't convict!
I'll say this for my least-favorite corrupt public official: his many money-grubbing schemes and close escapes from the law do make for colorful reading. 

The New York Post has the latest installment here, in a story that strings together a fortune in gold bars, a New Jersey IHOP, a proposal in front of the Taj Mahal, a deadlocked jury, an imprisoned Medicare swindler, the overturning of a consular officer's denial of visas for a political contributor's personal 36DD immigrant program, and a front company set up by a politician's wife who was facing foreclosure before becoming suddenly and inexplicably rich. 

I mean, it's all so ludicrous that you could almost be tempted to give the crook a pass in return for his giving us so much humor. But then, you remember he's a U.S. Senator and, really, it's not a laughing matter. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

State Owns an Italian Rifle Range? Yes, Soon to Be ConGen Milan

The current issue of State Magazine - in-house publication, but available here to all our valued taxpaying citizens - has a piece on one of State's new consulate design projects, and it's an intriguing one since that new diplomatic premise will be an adaptive reuse of Italy's former national firing range.
"Few cities match Milan’s style, sophistication, and financial clout. A world city on a par with Los Angeles or Mexico City, Greater Milan’s ten million people and its strengths in commerce, design, education, finance, and media make it a leading European Union hub. Milan was the seat of the Western Roman Empire and later ranked among the great cities of the Renaissance. Today, Milan is culture and taste, business and fashion, art and elegance."
Exactly so! Culture and taste, business and fashion, art and elegance, are just what come to my mind when I think of my good friends in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations

Specifically, it is OBO's cultural heritage staff that are taking the lead on this one. Bene per loro!
"OBO’s Office of Cultural Heritage produced a short film about how the United States is building a consulate general in Milan that will integrate classical Italian architecture and American design in a grand act of cultural diplomacy. The film can be seen here."
Please watch the film, and be aware that an unusually intelligent thing is happening here. For once, instead of going straight to the option of building a big ol' forbidding Fortress Embassy, we are using an existing structure that is of importance to our host government and adapting it to our use. That's a win-win for ourself and our host.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Tragedy Tour of the "Non-Profit Industrial Complex"

“The tour will start at City Hall, and continue through Mid-Market, the Tenderloin, and Union Square,” the webpage for the event says. “We will view the open-air drug markets, the abandoned tech offices, the outposts of the non-profit industrial complex, and the deserted department stores.”

The non-profit industrial complex? That's a new expression, to me anyway, but I love the concept. I assume it applies to the 'harm reduction' NGOs that have instituted euthanasia with box lunches for the city's thousands of drug addicts, making them comfortable until they take their final overdose.

 I hate what's become of San Francisco, but I love the blame-fixing of that expression.