Friday, July 31, 2015

London Calling / Train in Vain

The white cliffs of Dover along the English Channel are the least of attractions for illegal immigration into England.

And the Eurostar is a wonderful way to travel from London to Gare du Nord, Paris.

I visited the Chunnel entry in Folkestone, England, and the security there is terrific.

In fact, while taking these pictures I was stopped by the local policemen and they deleted most of my pics.

But in France, the Chunnel entry is surrounded by farmland.


So Middle-Eastern migrants try to sneak into the tunnel and make their way to London. 

Sometimes there are standoffs.


Other times crowds upwards of 5,000 can appear and make a rush for the trucks heading in.


Some get lucky and make it.


Many do not.

But an organized crowd rush can tie up business for days.


So the British government is calling for better security on the French side.

The cost of this Clash is measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars at this point.

Cameron has had quite enough.


The British people have, too.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

like a rolling

The mountains of Carrara appear covered in snow, even in the height of Italian Summer.

But it’s actually white marble, the best in the world, and the source for Michelangelo’s Pietà.


It all starts in the quarry.

Giant blocks are cut free and transported to the saw shed.


From there they are sliced on a laser-guided wet saw, creating slabs for countertops.

The slabs are stored in huge stone warehouses.

Special cranes pick it up and move it around.

Every slab is carefully numbered and labeled as it was sliced off the block, so continuity is assured in larger projects.

Samples are displayed in showrooms for shopping color and texture selection.

When you find the slab you love, a shop-drawing is done and the slab is shipped to the fabricator. 

They cut it to size and shape, grind the edge profile and polish the entire surface until it gleams.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

it’s lonely at the bottom

Puerto Rico went on a 10 year spending deficit and now they need a $79 billion dollar bailout.

The Feds are refusing to reward this behavior.

But Bill de Blasio wants to bail them out.  

Because he was elected by Hispanic New Yorkers.

Despite a record low election turnout...

...94% of Mott Haven voted for deBlasio.

Last month de Blasio trashed Governor Cuomo and then went on another vacation.

So last week Cuomo returned the favor, announcing a new La Guardia with VP Biden.


While the mayor was nowhere in sight.


Now Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, born and raised in Puerto Rico and one of the mayor’s closest allies is distancing herself from him.

He tried to take the credit for the deal she cut with Uber.

While he was on vacation.

So here’s the truth:
De Blasio was elected 
with the support of just 18%
 of the city’s registered voters,
less than 10%
 of the total population of the city. 

And now he’s losing them.

Al Roker called Bill de Blasio a "one-term mayor."

He's been pretty good with forecasts.