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Wednesday, May 27, 2020


My favorite vampire tv series is Kindred: The Embraced. It does have it's downsides .... it's from the 90s and kind of dated, some of the actors chew the scenery, and the special effects are not the best. But it has two things going for it. One is that it is set in San Francisco, and the other is the main character of Julian Luna.

The biography of the character is that he was born in the wine country of California in 1830. He married and became the owner of a successful winery. When his wife died in childbirth, he despaired and allowed himself to be "embraced" - turned into a vampire. He was thought to have died and the winery went to his surviving son, while he moved to San Francisco. He eventually became the "prince of the city" and ruled a business empire (of vampires) but he always kept track of his human family.

Sadly, the actor who played Julian, Mark Frankel, was killed in a motorcycle accident during the filming of the first season. The show was canceled after only 8 episodes.

Here is the background of the video clip below. Julian has adopted Sasha, his last human descendant, who he loves like a daughter. She thinks of him as her uncle and doesn't know he's a vampire, though she suspects. Sasha has fallen in love with Cash, one of Julian's employees (and a vampire), and Cash has asked Julian to allow him to "embrace" her. Julian has resisted, hoping to preserve her humanity, but in this scene, he finally changes his mind ...

Kindred: The Embraced from crystal watson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Wearing masks

Memorial Day: Biden wore a mask and Trump didn't. What this says to the vast majority of Americans who do wear masks is that Biden cares about others, while Trump only cares about himself.

It's been reported that Trump is terrified that if a photo is taken of him in a mask, people will make fun of him, so let's share this photo surreptitiously taken of him when he toured the Ford plant ....


Depressing to see that many people have ignored social distancing over the holiday at beaches and churches and other mass gatherings. They've made the calculation that they themselves won't die from the virus, and that other people dying because of them is not a problem. There are Trump's people.

In his new book, Trumpocalypse, David Frum mentions that a third of the country, despite all the horrors of Trump's presidency, actually like what he's done. Eventually Trump will be gone, but those people who like him will remain, and that's a real problem.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Matthew 6

I would say that church services are not essential, since people are free to pray and worship on their own any time they wish to ...

Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven ....

‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you ...
Matthew 6

And it's not just about essentialness, but the safety factor. Trump apparently is too dim to notice that hundreds of people don't congregate together in close quarters for extended times in order to buy a bottle of whiskey or get an abortion, as they do at church services, thus upping the chances of spreading the virus.

Or maybe he does know that and just doesn't care - everything he has done and failed to do regarding the virus has caused *more* deaths, so maybe that's his plan.

His pushing of the drug hydroxychloroquine, for instance, is putting more people in danger ... Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says

I assume this was a message to his Evangelical base ... "Vote for me because I'm in favor of churches, while the Democrats only care about liquor and abortion". At the end of the day, what Trump wants the governors to do doesn't matter - he doesn't have the power to make them open anything.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The end of meat

In The New York Times: The End of Meat Is Here

[...] The combination of meat shortages and President Trump’s decision to order slaughterhouses open despite the protestations of endangered workers has inspired many Americans to consider just how essential meat is.

Is it more essential than the lives of the working poor who labor to produce it? It seems so. An astonishing six out of 10 counties that the White House itself identified as coronavirus hot spots are home to the very slaughterhouses the president ordered open ...

A really good article that touches on all aspects of the consequences of meat-eating, from climate change to human health to animal cruelty, and more. I doubt many people will read it, though.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pro-life lies

How many times has the pro-life movement harped on the woman in the landmark Roe v. Wade case becoming anti-abortion? Now it has come to light that the notorious pro-life organization, Operation Rescue, lied. Again.

The woman behind ‘Roe vs. Wade’ didn’t change her mind on abortion. She was paid

When Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case, came out against abortion in 1995, it stunned the world and represented a huge symbolic victory for abortion opponents: “Jane Roe” had gone to the other side. For the remainder of her life, McCorvey worked to overturn the law that bore her name.

But it was all a lie, McCorvey says in a documentary filmed in the months before her death in 2017, claiming she only did it because she was paid by antiabortion groups including Operation Rescue ...

Personally, I don't see how one person's opinion changing would make a difference about anything, but this news just brings to the public's attention once again how morally bankrupt the pro-life movement actually is. Operation Rescue has lied, harassed clinic workers, bombed clinics, and murdered doctors. Why anyone would give credit to anything they promote is beyond me.

If I sound partisan, I am. When I was a volunteer at a local Planned Parenthood one summer during college, it was about the same time when anti-abortion violence was really taking off ...

[...] Incidents of violence have included destruction of property, in the form of vandalism; crimes against people, including kidnapping, stalking, assault, attempted murder, and murder; and crimes affecting both people and property, including arson and bombings. Anti-abortion extremists are considered a current domestic terrorist threat by the United States Department of Justice ...

That's what I think of when I hear the term "pro-life movement".

Thursday, May 14, 2020

90% fewer deaths

Experts: 90 percent of US coronavirus deaths could have been avoided if measures taken just two weeks earlier

Two medical experts say issuing social distancing measures just two weeks earlier could have drastically changed the trajectory of coronavirus deaths in the United States ...

Trump and the people who have enabled him are responsible for these thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Death threats

The "party of life" makes death threats against governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Cohen & Manafort

In the news today: Paul Manafort released to home confinement amid coronavirus threat in prison

What struck me is how unfair this is, because the same rational was used to allow Michael Cohen to be released early to house arrest also, and then Trump found out and he had that order rescinded: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen denied planned prison release day after getting warning about ‘tell-all’ book

So, Manafort, who is keeping all of Trump's secrets, is rewarded with a release from prison, while Cohen, who told the truth about the crimes he committed *at Trump's order* must stay in the virus petri dish that prisons have become.

In what has now become our banana republic, Trump's friends are rewarded and his enemies are punished.

More: Paul Manafort Remained Loyal to Trump and Michael Cohen Flipped. Guess Who Just Got Out of Prison?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mike Flynn

Hilarious to hear Mike Pence say *now* that Mike Flynn is "an American patriot" and that he was wrongly accused of lying and that he would be happy to see him back in the Trump administration. This, after he earlier accused Flynn of lying to him and said that Trump was right to fire him. This is all on video, of course, but the Trump cult members will believe whatever Pence and Trump say, despite any facts.

And we aren't even mentioning the fact that Mike Flynn was a paid agent of the Turkish government, something that he did not disclose as is required by law, but kept secret (The Trump team's first ethics scandal).

And we also aren't recalling either the fact that he hatched a plot to kidnap a Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gülen, residing in the US, and bypassing US law to send him back to Turkey (Ex-CIA Director: Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe From U.S. ).

Yeah, let's hire him back to the White House - what could go wrong? At least he'll fit in with the other grifters there.

Why has Trump so consistently, since Flynn was first arrested, worked to have him let off the hook, first trying to coerce James Comey to "let Flynn go" and then later dangling a pardon for him, and finally getting his sycophant A.G. to free him? Many think it's because of some damaging information Flynn has against Trump that Trump can't let see the light of day.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day

From the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. We visited there often when we were kids ...

Friday, May 08, 2020


Bernie was on Chris Hayes' show tonight. He commented on the pandemic. How I wish he was president ...

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

First cell phone

For the first time in my life I have bought a cellular phone. I never got one earlier because I worried it was too expensive and that I would have trouble reading the tiny screen, but when I began having trouble with my landline I decided to look into a change. It *is* hard to see and I have to use a magnifying glass to read it, but I found that a used phone is less expensive and that I could get a plan that was not bad. Now all I have to do is learn how to use it ;) I am so looking forward to making videos with it that I can post here.

The plan

The plan is to have no plan

Virus deaths are going up everywhere in the country except in New York, but Trump keeps insisting on opening up the economy, while still refusing to put in place (except for himself, of course) the robust testing that would mitigate the deaths.

This isn't because he's too incompetent to have figured out a plan. He has a plan and he's been implementing it ... let people die so that the economy will come back, while sowing confusion about who's responsible. All the vulnerable Americans - the old, the poor, the uninsured, minorities, those in nursing homes and prisons and in front line jobs - they are the sacrifice his re-election demands.

Trump could not get away with this on his own. Those who are enabling him, from Republican lawmakers to his big donors to his voting base, share the responsibility for the unnecessary but inevitable deaths that will follow his handling of the pandemic.

Monday, May 04, 2020

May the fourth

be with you :)

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Plan B

In The New York Times: Democrats, It’s Time to Consider a Plan B. Here's the end of the article ...

[...] Believing women, that oft-rehearsed exhortation, must mean taking action if it’s to mean anything. A thorough and fully transparent investigation is critical, but nothing produced by any inquiry will entirely settle the question. It is still possible — if not likely — that all of this will simply fade away, and that Mr. Biden will continue his campaign without ever submitting to a full accounting, precisely the sort of thing #MeToo was meant to prevent.

But it is also possible that this won’t just go away, and that it will demoralize voters and place Mr. Biden at a disadvantage against Mr. Trump in the general election, despite the fact that Mr. Trump has a damning list of accusers alleging sexual offenses. For a candidate mainly favored for his presumed electability and the perception of empathy and decency, that’s a serious liability. To preserve the strides made on behalf of victims of sexual assault in the era of #MeToo, and to maximize their chances in November, Democrats need to begin formulating an alternative strategy for 2020 — one that does not include Mr. Biden.

I don't know what happened, of course, but given all the women who have previously come forward to saw that Biden has inappropriately touched them ... All the Women Who Have Spoken Out Against Joe Biden ... I tend to believe his accuser more than I believe him.

I'm really disappointed in the way many Democrats, some of whom were so fervent against Kavanaugh, have just accepted Biden's word without calling for an investigation. We all want to defeat Trump, but we can't claim the high moral ground from which to do that if we're a party of hypocrites. So let's swap him out - Bernie, Michelle Obama, my cat Yoda - it's not like there aren't other possibilities.

Saturday, May 02, 2020


I guess there are people who don't go out and about at all, given the stay-at-home order here in California, but we who can't hire others to do our chores must still shop. Today, as my sister and I went about buying stuff for the week, we wore our new cloth face masks which seem to have come from Japan - they're black so we feel like ninjas :)

Usually the first place we would go is to the public library but that's closed now. We can still check out ebooks via the library website, but can no longer peruse the huge pile of movie DVDs they have to choose from. Bummer.

So, the actual first stop was my bank to try to get money from the ATM machine. No luck. The bank and the ATM have been closed now for 4 weeks in a row. I don't know why - every time I call to find out, I give up because the waiting time on hold is so very long, everyone else wanting to know about applying for small business loans.

Next stop was the pet store to get canned cat food. They no longer have the little lizards and hamsters for sale, which is probably a good thing, but I miss looking at their cute little selves.

Then we went to the big drug store where I get socks and masking tape.

And then we visited Whole Foods, where you must wait in line in order to keep the store's client capacity at no more than 50 people at a time. Sadly, they no longer have fresh coffee or buffet food available, but I got almonds and tomatoes and poppy seed bagels and paper towels.

Finally we went to the grocery store, where, as usual lately, there's been a sheriff's car parked in front near the doors (why?). For the first time in weeks they had toilet paper - amazing! And of course, I got lottery tickets. I know - hopeless - but one can dream. Fortunately all the other basic stuff was mostly there, from swiss cheese to frozen blueberries to corn chips.

All that took hours and everywhere we went people were wearing masks and observing social distancing. But it's not all like that here. Last night there were three big parties on my street, with lots of people socializing as if there is no pandemic. It seems inevitable that many more will lose their lives to the virus, in part because we all can't seem to agree to do the things that will slow it down while we await a vaccine. Depressing.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Grand portico

Fuzzy photo of Yoda napping under Grand Portico of the Temple of Philae, Nubia, a print of a lithograph of a drawing by David Roberts.