Sunday, 18 August 2019

Explaining Greta Thunberg to an American

Prior to the fall of 2018, no one had really ever heard of Greta.  Then, the 15-year old Swedish teenager came out with this 'strike' idea in Swedish schools over climate change, global warming, and global warming.  Using social media, she advanced the idea of Friday at getting up and striking, for the remainder of the day (Swedish schools typically run to 1:30 PM.  Signs were made up....slogans devised.....with Swedish schools acting in a paralyzed state.  Yes, adults basically couldn't establish authority.

So it spread.

By January, via social arrived in Germany and various European countries.  Same deal.....leave classes at noon and strike.

The Germans loved this sort of thing, and journalists flocked to it.  School authorities?  Powerless.

So Greta sailed out this week of Europe and is heading to the east coast of the US.....mostly because flying would have used more carbon (she actually said this.....but engineers have proven that the sailboat will use more carbon for her, than flying in a regular plane.

She believes that her presence will flip US students over to her message......striking on Fridays.

The fact that she has Aspergers? one in the German journalist group will mention this, but yes.....she has Aspergers.

A problem?  Well....if you were an innovation or technology company, it might be positive to have a boss or leader like that.  In a religion or political group?  No.  You don't want a one-sided person running a political group.  As for someone trying to run some kid's group on climate change?  No, it's probably not going to be some super-positive idea.

But here's the curious thing.....when you approach some American kids and suggest a strike at noon on Fridays.....most school boards will step in and send a letter to the parents that either the kid attends or a officer will come to the house and take actions.  Failing a kid in various classes if he were to miss dozen Friday afternoons?  Some schools would take this action and send a signal.

The other possible action is that some kids....especially university students.....will begin to question Greta on her facts, and challenge her.  I have my doubts that she'll be in the US for more than ten days, and quietly be sailed back to Sweden.

So I'm reminded of the child crusades of 1212.  There are two legendary figures (Nicholas of Germany, and Stephen of Cloyes, France) who led Greta-like antics in 1212.  Neither are exactly proven as fact, or non-fact.

In the case of Stephen (the French kid).....he claimed that he had a letter written and signed by Jesus, and addressed to the King (Phillip II).  For some reason, the King just didn't believe the Jesus letter was authentic.   Stephen kinda claimed that he was going to lead a crowd to Holy Land and be crusaders....saving Europe, the King, France, and Christianity.  At some point, he had 30,000 idiots lined up and following him south through France.  By winter, the group thinned out, and the whole crusade business and Stephen.....just disappeared.

In the case of Nicholas, it ran the same way.....but without the letter from Jesus.  This child group was going off to fight the crusades and thousands of kids flocked to the group.  By winter, their whole mission had dissolved up.

It's argued over the two kids, and if either is true, or maybe just one single story in itself.  But the more you look at it.....if true, both kids were likely Aspergers or with paranoid schizophrenia.   

So prepare for the Greta show, and the news folks to hype it up.

A Stop at Medjugorje

While on this week-long trip to Croatia, I spent part of one morning at Medjugorje, Bosnia.  It wasn't on the tour, and the tour-guide added it at the suggestion of one of the folks on the bus. 

So, here's the jest of Medjugorje.  It's a town of maybe two-thousand residents.  It would mostly known for nothing except back in the summer of 1981....six teenagers came to view this apparition (a ghostly-like 'thing')....which they felt was Mary of 'Mary and Joseph' fame.  They ran down the hill, and reported this......a number of the townsfolk came up and felt they saw the apparition as well.  But to be honest, a significant number didn't really see anything.

A legend starts up.  The Catholic Church gets involved, and there's tons of money poured into a church, and outdoor ceremony set-up (room for 5,000 folks to sit).

Today, it's figured that around a million people (from across Europe) come and pray for sick relatives, or drag bad-off friends over to the site.

Down the main drag of town, there's probably twenty-five gift shops set up, with Jesus shirts, Moses statues, crosses, and various memorabilia.  I would take a guess that the shops in town rake in at least quarter-million dollars a week in 'gifts'.

So back to the apparition.  The odds that at least one (maybe several of the six) have a bit of paranoid schizophrenia?  I would suggest that at least one is a 99-percent chance.  If you have a convincing level of it.....then you can probably talk the rest into believing some fantasy with minimum ease. 

But here's the interesting thing.  This one act, has led onto the Catholic Church being involved....pumping money into ceremony area, and having various Bishops supporting the whole story.  The town today?  It makes tons of money off the apparition and the story of the teenagers.

Why is it always Mary or Jesus that is seen, for apparitions?  As you look around at the theme in Europe (mostly Italy, France, and Bosnia), you never have a Elisha figure to appear, or Noah, or Jeremiah, or Balaam.  On some rare occasions.....someone will say they had an apparition of the angel Gabriel, but that's rare.  The angel Raguel?  Yeah.....he's a big zero on the apparition scale.

So I kinda looked at this stop (a mere 30 minutes) and I just shook my head.  It's a tourist magnet, and a bit amusing.  But it's part of the problem in getting onto tour bus operations, and having to stop where they desire. 

This Greenland Purchase 'Thing'

So, when you stand back to look at the idea of Trump thinking about buying Greenland, there's two basic things falling into play.

First, Trump often tests the junior people around him....challenging them with projects which lead nowhere.  I think this was a research project like that.  He probably sent five guys off with this idea, and four of them mostly laughed and did nothing....with one guy coming back and laying out the cost and benefits.  That 'winner' will move on....the others will just stay as junior-players.

Second, Trump might have this idea of offering 150-billion which the Chinese would wake up and decide to offer $300-billion.  Trump would then return to the table and offer $450 billion, and the Chinese would finally go and offer 900-billion dollars (to close the deal).

Denmark would have said 'no', period.

But here's the thing.....50,000 folks live on Greenland, and at 900-billion dollars.....I think they would have stood up and told Denmark.....the 'HELL' with you, we will sell it ourselves, and split the loot among the 50,000 residents, and each take a million or walk away. 

Minerals?  Well, here's the jest of can only get to them.....if climate change continues and Greenland melts off the majority of the ice.  If it doesn't occur, the offer is worthless. 

So I think the offer was mostly a joke, or an enticement to get China to throw money at something. 

Now, the odds that Greece or some economically suffering country might approach Trump and offer to sell something in the range of $150-billion?  It wouldn't surprise me if Kim approached Trump and offered up North Korea.....for $300-billion in cash.  That would be a shocker. 

The Xanax/Cocaine Shooter

So around two weeks ago, this Dayton shooting occurred.  One of the odd things is that cops reported now....that the dead shooter had cocaine and Xanax on him.  So he was actively taking both.  What happens when you mix the two?

Well, this gets interesting. 

Normally, if you use a good bit of got through a extreme happiness period, with hyped-up energy, increased alertness, and could possibly display paranoia. 

Normally, if you use a good bit of Xanax?  Drowsiness (to the level that you might be sleep-walking and not realize it), irritability feelings, depression, and sleepiness. 

The odds that a guy would be in some hyped-up dream-state, with paranoia going on.....disillusions perhaps?  This guy shoot folks, while in some dream stage? 

This guy not have even realized the stage that he was in or that this was rationally planned out?  You might go and suggest this.  Did he even know the consequences of mixing the two drugs?  I doubt it.  How did he get the prescription drug Xanax?  That hasn't been told yet, and they might go and avoid that discussion entirely. 

But this opens up a whole discussion....other past mass shootings....what's the odds that Xanax figured into two or three of those episodes over the past twenty years? 

Observations Over Dubrovnik

I spent the last week in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and will write a couple of essays over various things, but this is the travel and advice essay.  My 10 thoughts:

1.  Maybe it was cheap in Dubrovnik back in the 1980s or maybe the five years after the war.....but there's nothing really 'cheap' over the 'walled-city' today.  Part of this is related to the cruise-ships docking there (they actually limited it to around four per day now) and the Game of Thrones folks. 

2.  Russians.  There's simply a lot of Russians that mingle in the crowds.  I would take a guess on any summer day, there has to be at least 2,000 Russians in the town.

3.  Over-tourism problem?  Well....yeah.  Once you enter the boundary of the old's a mess from 9 AM to around 10 PM at night.  Maybe it's less in October.....but it's madness in June, July and August. 

4.  Crime and homelessness?  Mostly non-existent.  One could actively see the cops on patrol.  In the tourist season, there are tons of jobs.....of which I'd guess the unemployment rate in the region is less than 2-percent. 

5.  Just about every Croat I encountered in town....spoke English.  I would suggest that they are exceptionally friendly, and helpful.

6.  The heat?  A typical summer day will run in the 90 to 95 degree level.  With humidity added in, you will sweat through two to three t-shirts per-day.  Oddly, if you travel inland 50 miles, it's not that hot. 

7.  Slut-level.  I stayed at one of the top five hotels in Dubrovnik (5-star status).  Morning breakfast would come each day, and in a normal hotel....there's attire rules.  Well, at this place....with 350 rooms.....there was no attire rule for breakfast.  So you had an awful lot of skin on display at 9 AM.  I wouldn't mind if this were mostly all 18-to-30 year old women.  But when you got some 50-year old gal displaying 92-percent of her body, and there's forty extra pounds somewhere in the's a bit much for morning breakfast.   Oddly enough, this is a hotel that is frequented by Muslim guys from Iran, Kuwait, etc......with their traditional wives. 

8.  Game of Thrones.  It's safe to say that most Americans who tour Dubrovnik.....are there to see scenes from the show.  So you will be sitting at a cafe, and four young ladies are across from you and in deep conversation about such-and-such character, and this scene from this square.  It's pretty weird that people are consumed this much by a tv series.

9.  Hilly.  Well, virtually every single inch of Dubrovnik is built on hills and you find yourself climbing up and down.  So just walking one single block, you might encounter 100 stone steps up, and then walk another hundred down. 

10.  The max you should spend in Dubrovnik?  You can see the 'old-city' in eight hours flat.  The tours in the local area are mostly worthless.  And if you were there for sun and beach could do it far cheaper 50 miles northwest of Dubrovnik.  Locals will even tell you that better beaches exist, and cheaper rates can readily be found in NW Croatia.