by Chris Markham. 0 Comments

This week (or month, or every other week or whatever), I’m going to try something new. Frankly, my brain is tired, and I just want to get some quick takes down for your (read: Brenda’s) entertainment. All set? Here we go.
There seems to be an awful lot of shark attacks off the coast this year – seven in North Carolina alone! Plus, the amount of media coverage these are getting reminds me of the Summer before 9/11. We’re just one missing intern away from some very bad déjà vu.
First Cuba, then Iran. If I was North Korea right now, I’d be salivating. The United States and its current Executive Branch occupants seem hell-bent on making googly eyes at every tin pot dictator with a repressive regime. At this point, we treat countries and governments that we consider our friends terribly. But un-democratic countries with horrendous civil rights records? Come on in! Let’s be friends!
Hopefully the presidential politics will take a bit of a break this summer. How many more Republicans will declare that this is the time for them to run for the highest office in the land? Currently, by my count, approximately thirty two hundred fifty six people have thrown their collective hats in the ring. If this pace continues, I can only imagine the length of the debates. One good thing is that the Trumpster appears to be peaking right now, which means he’ll be irrelevant by the time the serious politicking takes place. Maybe a candidate with the best characteristics of each hopeful would be for the best – if only we had a six million dollar candidate. I guess that’s just wishful thinking. Good lord, I hope Sanders doesn’t make it.
I heard that there may be some sort of tax imposed on cloud computing. Not quite sure how that’ll work. It might be serious, or it might be similar to that “e-mail” tax the U.S. Postal Service devised a few years ago to plus it’s revenue shortfall because it seems as though people like to communicate instantaneously, as opposed to actually taking the time to write something, forgetting where you put the stamps, looking for the stamps, getting into the car and going to the post office to buy stamps, leaving the letter at home, going back home to put the stamp on the letter, and waiting four to six weeks for a reply. Taxing cloud services would be a nightmare. First, a great many of us have a bunch of “free” cloud accounts that we don’t really use. How will they be taxed? And what would be taxed, the amount of space or the annual fee? So many questions, and unclear answers.
This column will post after the fourth of July weekend, so Happy Birthday, America! Let’s hope there are many more to be celebrated, although, if I were a betting man, I don’t know if I’d take that bet. This appear to be going downhill rather quickly, and I’m not feeling too good about things going forward.
A few years ago, I read a series of books that described a future where America was taken over by Islam. Mind you, it was just a backdrop to good old fashioned mystery/action stories, but the concept really hits close to home these days, as the ISIL/ISIS “Caliphate” seems to be gaining ground, causing issues and moving closer to Europe (including, what I assume are our allies and countries with which we used to have good relationships). The next year should be interesting to see just how much further these people will push things, and what our reaction (or non-reaction, as I’m sure we’ll try to be accommodating to them) will be.
According to recent reports, apparently 1/3 Americans would like to leave the country. Ironic, as I assume all of those polled are native citizens. And renouncing a U.S. citizenship is not the easiest thing in the world. There’s a huge, expensive and timely process one must complete. Once it’s finished, you’re not through with the good old US of A IRS. Death and taxes, my friends. Death and taxes.
I hope this has proven a bit entertaining for you all. Well, at least the three of you that read it. I hope you all have a great summer, that none of what I discuss in this column comes to pass (except the “Frankencandidate” – I think that would be a bonus for all of us) and I’ll be back in a week or two with a legitimate column.


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