Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 14.3.17

Today's main theme is madness . . .

Here's a schedule of the comments on Trump I've noted in articles over just the last few days. I might update it in due course. That said, I might not, as it's hard to believe there's anything relevant – however accurate – left to say. It's even harder to conclude: 1. that Trump isn't suffering from one or more psychological conditions; and 2. that many millions of Americans felt this guy was the solution to their undoubted problems and a real alternative to the dysfunctional US political system with which they had, rightly, become so disaffected. It can only end in tears.

      Aspects of the man
     What he's been responsible for
      His team
  • Unseasoned
  • Lashes out
  • Has an elementary schoolkid's urge to upend the board when the game isn't going his way
  • Predilection for asserting and clinging to untruths in the face of contrary evidence
  • Questionable ability to absorb and act upon unwelcome information
  • A tenuous connection to the truth
  • Lives in a world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth and recklessness
  • A demonstrably mendacious, ignorant bully
  • Displays fury over paltry things such as the crowd numbers
  • Makes calculations that have a propensity to boomerang
  • No practical program beyond division
  • America's Juan Perón
  • A swaggering approach
  • A rogue - a big target and thin-skinned but not easy to wound
  • Slapdash
  • An American strongman – a response to earlier paralysis of the political system
  • A man of many anomalies
  • The first real post ColdWar president
  • Seems capable of misshaping the republic but for no greater cause than himself
  • Harbours a deep dislike of the intelligence agencies and an ambivalent view of their output
  • Willing to allow prisoners to be subjected to “a hell of a lot worse” than waterboarding.
  • Cavalier
  • Shows few signs of being very curious
  • Doesn't seem to be much of a reader
  • The first president to be disdainful of the intelligence agencies
  • Has a notoriously strained relationship with the truth
  • Indiscreet nature
  • Known for vitriol and vulgarity
  • A penchant for vicious attacks often very untethered from reality
  • Wild claims
  • Unhinged tweets
  • Problems arise from his use of language
  • An endless series of self-inflicted wounds
  • Unforced errors
  • Has thrown sand in the gears of the constitutional machinery
  • A continuing feud with the intelligence community erodes rapport and trust
  • A rocky start with key allies.
  • Losing the credibility of the office
  • A hellscape of lies and distorted reality
  • A raw spume of blurtings at his first press conference
  • Both using and demonising the media
  • Risky handling of the constitution's emoluments clause
  • Polarisation of the electorate, divided equally but not amicably
  • Blustering at allies
  • Dissing the intelligence agencies is worse than stupid
  • A despicable display of self-aggrandisement in front of the CIA's memorial wall.
  • His remarks on torture are off the edge of the screen
  • Destabilising the relationship between spies and the government
  • Trump’s war has begun: it is the First Cyber War. Like all wars, its first casualty was truth. Unlike other wars, it will have no last casualty, as it is a war without end. Get used to it. Or get rid of your computer.

  • Wobbly
  • Absence of key personnel
  • Cynical populists
  • Bannon's appointment to the Security Council is stone cold crazy

By the way, everything seems pretty spot on to me but I have close American friends who'd certainly disagree with this, seeing me as the victim of a biased, Lefty media. Though I do read papers which pass for right-of-centre, in the UK at least. But, then, many Americans think Europe is a socialist hell for there's Right and Right, I don't do Breitbart or Fox News, for example. RT News is enough for me. Perhaps not coincidentally, the latter sources much material from the former.

A wise American friend once said to me: Colin, You have to remember that the US has the very best and the very worst of everything you can imagine. Indeed, but it's such a shame that so much of the latter is on display to the rest of the world right now, for it remains a wonderful country, full of (largely) wonderful people. The rest of them are busy killing each other, of course. And more than a few innocents along the way.

On the theme of US insanity . . . With a HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas, here's a web page which I initially thought just had to be a joke. But when you go herehere and here, you're forced to the conclusion it isn't and that the USA has more than its share of nutters.

Just in case you don't go to all of those locations, I can't resist this paragraph on the Quitter Mansion, which awaits me: This is a home that will never be lived in because the person slated for this lot was a believer in name only. Angels began to build him a mansion, but they stopped work when it was clear the client had no intention of fulfilling his commitment.

Final comment . . . The web page's motto - Behold I come quickly – really would be more at home at the top of a bad porn site.

And now onto something Spanish . . . Reader Eamon has provided these follow-ups on the electric companies:
  • A guy came to convince me Endesa was part of Fenosa and I could get cheaper electricity. He said a new office was opened in La Coruña which would save money instead of the billing from Barcelona. He left me all kinds of bunk so I sent a letter to Endesa and they came back with an apology saying it was a mistake. So, a blatantly fraudulent attempt to get Eamon to change from Fenosa to Endesa, a completely different company. 
  • Last Friday a young lady representing Fenosa rang my door bell. After identifying herself she asked why I was not taking the opportunity of a discount on my bill. I said I had no idea what she was talking about and she asked me for my latest bill. Looking at the bill she said I used under 3 kilowatts of power so I should go to the office and claim my discount. I will do that shortly and report what happens. So has Fenosa been told to get the message out to their customers I wonder? 

My response: 
Are you sure this isn't to trick you from leaving the regulated market to go into the unregulated market, for which you will pay the price later?

Today's cartoon:

"God, I wish someone would shut that baby up"


Eamon said...

I went to a Fenosa office which is very close to my home to see about the bargain I was entitled to. However, they don't deal with accounts and the gentleman who dealt with me was kind enough to provide a map of where the main office was in La Coruña. It is in the centre and I have been there a few times so familiar with the setup. I would be away from the house for at least a couple of hours getting to and from Fenosa's office and waiting to be served. Because of my situation I would need someone here to look after my wife while away. Well I can't be bothered and if it is so important Fenosa can write to me.

Maria said...

Eamon, call their customer service number. I just called Iberdrola to change to the Bono Social (which must be the discount they refer to) and it was all done over the phone. I assume Fenosa works the same way. I will, however, receive the contract in the mail, which I must sign and return. I'm not sure yet if I have to provide a certificate of empadronamiento. Probably, I will, this being Spain. But, the main thing is, you won't have to visit their offices.

Eamon said...

María - Thanks for the advice.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, Maria. Many thanks for that. I'm ooking at a letter from gasnatural fenosa of a few months ago. It says I have consumo below 5k kwh a year and can choose from 1. Tarifa Estable Economy Gas or Tarifa Plana. The former gives a 5% discount, nothing like the discount mentioned in the article. And no mention at all of the Bono Social.

I went to www.gasnaturalfenosa.es/tarifas and clicked on Ver las Tarifas. Response: La página no existe.

Then I went here

Which suggests again 5% discount for consumption but only below 2,500kwh a year.

Again no mention of the bono social

So I searched 'bono social gasnaturalfenosa' and got this

and then this application form


As you suspected, the docs required are;
Fotocopia del documento nacional de identidad del titular del punto de suministro.
Fotocopia del carné de familia numerosa expedido por el órgano competente de la comunidad autónoma.
Certificado de empadronamiento del titular del punto de suministro.
Fotocopia de la última factura.

So, not exactly well publicised, is it? Or made easy.

I wonder what the logic for the certificado de empadronamiento is.

Colin Davies said...

Have now seen that that form was for a large family.

More info:

Para solicitar el bono social de Gas Natural - Unión Fenosa debemos ponernos en contacto con el teléfono de la comercializadora de último recurso del grupo Gas Natural SUR SDG, S.A. en el 900 100 283.

¿Cuánto ahorro con el bono social eléctrico?

El bono social eléctrico es una de las tarifas reguladas que existen en el mercado de electricidad y que supone un ahorro importante para los usuarios que tienen acceso a ésta.

En término de potencia tenemos un ahorro aproximado de un 10% y en el término de consumo un ahorro del 20% respecto a la tarifa de último recurso de electricidad.

¿Quién puede beneficiarse del bono social de Fenosa?

Para beneficiarse del bono social eléctrico, y como hemos resaltado antes, son los colectivos más desfavorecidos los que se pueden beneficiar, son 4 colectivos:
Los hogares con potencia inferior a 3k kwh a year que estén en una comercializadora de último recurso se benefician automáticamente.
Los hogares dónde todos sus miembros estén en situación de desempleo.
Los hogares con pensiones mínimas.
Las familias numerosas.

The form for less than 3k kwh (not 2500) a year is here

Colin Davies said...

BTW . . . My use last year was 2709 khw. So, I have been missing the discount for a long time, it seems!

Maria said...

We have 2.2 kw contracted for theh house, pay over 70 euros with barely anything plugged in continuously. So I decided to try for it. The certificate of empadronamiento is to ensure thed discount isn't applied to a vacation home, I guess.

Eamon said...

I got in touch with Fenosa and the person who dealt with me said all I needed to do was go to the town hall and get a certificate showing I was listed on the Padrón. Then go to La Seguridad Social and get a certificate for the Bono Social. This certificate will show that I am a pensioner and entitled to a discount. The fact that I am a foreigner and don't have a Spanish pension may prove a bit difficult but I guess someone in the Social Security office will see that I have a Spanish health card and work from that. I can't see any problems at all getting the discount.

Colin Davies said...

OK, Eamon but you'll be entitled to the bono if your use is below 3500 kwh. I suspect this will be easier than claiming it because you are a pensioner. The latter gives them a hook on which to hang a rejection on the grounds that you're not a SPANISH pensioner. I'm going to try for the low-use bono. I have all the necessary documents fotocopied in my special Spanish Buraucracy folder . . . .

Eamon said...

I like your statement "I have all the necessary documents fotocopied....". It reminds me when once I got a card from the town hall telling me to go to the town hall and show them proof I was still entitled to be on the Padrón. There is one very important rule here at the town hall NO COPIES. No problem for me as I was taking all original bills etc. However, in the folder I had was a copy of a bill which was dark and obviously not an original one. It had absolutely nothing to do with why I was there. But the woman at the desk saw it and shouted out NO COPIES twice and didn't deal with me. I just put all the papers back in the folder. Got up and said nothing and walked out. I went back another day and got attended to by a different person. But here is something very interesting. When I first moved into my flat in 2004 I wanted a telephone. So I called Telefonica on their free number from a payphone. Quoted my passport number, bank account number and address and two weeks later a technician arrived and set up my phone and internet. Is that not amazing seeing we are in Spain?

Colin Davies said...

Yes, but it wasn't like that in 2000 when I wanted a phone . . .

Search This Blog