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Sunday, May 19, 2019

RIP: Grumpy Cat

Sad to hear that Grumpy Cat has passed away - Grumpy Cat, whose grumpiness brought joy to the internet, has died

Pete Buttigieg Town Hall

Watching the Town Hall interview with Democratic possible nominee for 2020, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. It's on Fox, but Chris Wallace seems to be doing an ok job as interviewer and the questions from the audience seem relevant. Here's the first part, in which he addresses a number of subjects, including abortion ...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Bye bye koalas

Only 80,000 koalas remain in the world, rendering them 'functionally extinct' — another victim of the 6th mass extinction

Yep, these wonderful fluffy creatures are going away forever. But don't worry, climate-change-denying Republicans, you will still have as much money after they are gone as before, and don't worry conservative Christians, this only proves humans really are Daddy's favorites, meant to inherit the earth.

Jeez, life is getting effing depressing.

"It's time to fight back."

From New York Magazine: Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan to Save Abortion Rights

[...] Like Gillibrand, Warren calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits publicly funded health care like Medicaid from covering abortion. Both senators also support the codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law. Warren specifically urges Congress to create “federal, statutory rights” to abortion that block states from “interfering” with either a doctor’s provision of abortion care or a patient’s ability to access that care. Warren further urged passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which has already been introduced in Congress. The act would overturn state-level obstacles to abortion, like Alabama’s law forcing women to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds before they can receive abortions. She called for the repeal of the global gag rule, which blocks non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. funding from providing or even referring women to abortion care. She closed by endorsing the EACH Woman Act, which would prohibit private insurance companies from refusing to cover abortion services. The overarching goal is to protect the right to abortion from erosion at both the legislative and judicial levels ...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

1 in 4

One in every four women in the US has had an abortion, and there is now a twitter thread in which some of these women, including some celebrities, are speaking up ... 22 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help End the Stigma.

I've never had an abortion - when I was in high school, my mom took me to the doc to get birth control pills. I used them forever and they always worked. One of the reasons pro-life people seem like such hypocrites is that they are against the very contraception that lowers the rate of abortions.

The Alabama anti-abortion law

A discussion on Deadline about the draconian Alabama anti-abortion law ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

We will not go back

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Comfort frog

On the political scene, it's really depressing and scary ... Trump has Barr investigating the oranges origins of the Russia investigation so that he can persecute his "enemies" for their attempted "coup" ... Republicans are enacting state abortion laws so extremist that this 11-year-old rape victim would be forced to have her rapist's baby ... Jared's genius middle-east peace plan seems to encompass Israel, his buddy MBS, and us bombing Iran out of existence, because starving all those children in Yemen isn't enough ... etc, etc, etc.

I need a mental health break! ...

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lethal injection

John Oliver discusses the disturbing facts about lethal injection used for capital punishment ...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

Here's my mom, my grandma, and me at the airport in Hawaii, my sister taking the picture. Happy Mother's Day everyone :) ...

Living in the Past

When I was young I wanted to learn how to play the flute and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was my flute hero ...

Friday, May 10, 2019

And Your Bird Can Sing

And Your Bird Can Sing
- The Beatles

Tell me that you've got everything you want
And your bird can sing
But you don't get me
You don't get me

You say you've seen the seven wonders
And you bird is green
But you can't see me
You can't see me

When your prized possessions
Start to weigh you down
Look in my direction
I'll be round, I'll be round

When your bird is broken
Will it bring you down?
You may be awoken
I'll be round, I'll be round

You tell me that you've heard every sound there is
And your bird can swing
But you can't hear me
You can't hear me

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Calling out Trump Christians

In the news: Trump Administration Considering Changes That Would Redefine The Poverty Line ... The Trump administration is considering changing the way the government measures poverty, which has anti-poverty groups worried that many low-income individuals will be pushed off assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start.

God damn it. Do the Trump people stay up all night searching for a new way every day to destroy people's lives? Without Medicaid I will have no dental insurance. Without Medicaid I will have no financial help with medications. Without Medicaid I won't be able to pay the 20% of medical bills that Medicare doesn't pay for. Without Medicaid, Medicare will deduct a monthly premium of more than $100 from my social security. Without Medicaid I will be screwed.

There are a lot of Christians in the Trump administration. Not just Evangelicals. Off the top of my head, here are some of the past and present Catholics ... Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, John Kelly, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Don McGahn, Emmet Flood, William Barr, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Mick Mulvaney, etc.

If there's anything sure about what Jesus taught, it is that we all have an obligation to help people who are marginalized, to help people who are poor. Those who work for Trump (and actually, Republicans for years) have been doing the opposite, trying to get rid of those at the bottom so that they will have more for themselves. What the F is wrong with these people?

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Melinda Gates on PBS NewsHour

Melinda Gates (wife of Bill) was on the PBS NewsHour yesterday and spoke of the Gates Foundation helping women with contraception in developing countries and about women's equality ...

Monday, May 06, 2019

For a Coming Extinction

In the news: Nature crisis: Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction'

We're killing everything else living on the planet, and that will, in turn, kill us (unless you believe we can escape our destiny by finding other planets to ruin - I don't think we'll achieve that dubious goal). At the end of the day, it's not that most people don't believe this this will happen ... they just don't give a damn.

This is why we Dems can't just elect what for some is a familiar feel-good candidate like Biden. We need someone who will do the radical things necessary to save what's left of our ecosystem. Given human nature, I doubt this will happen, though.

Reminds me of a poem ...

For a Coming Extinction - W.S. Merwin

Gray whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And foreordaining as stars
Our sacrifices

Join your word to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are important

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Gavin Newsom at AR

My governor, Gavin Newsom, was at American River College, the community college I attended for two years before moving on to the state college, working at various jobs like groundskeeper :) ... Newsom says new California commission will address jobs threatened by automation

Thursday, May 02, 2019


My latest book from the library is Alien: The Official Movie Novelization by Alan Dean Foster.

Everyone will remember the movie on which the book is based: Alien ...

a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O'Bannon. Based on a story by O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo who encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set loose on the ship. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton ....

It was met with critical acclaim and box office success, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards (Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright), and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other nominations. It has been consistently praised in the years since its release, and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. In 2002, Alien was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

I wanted to see the movie when it first came out. My sister was too scared to go with me, so I went with our friend Steve. My favorite character in the movie was the captain of the spacecraft, Dallas, played by Tom Skerritt. Sadly, he was one of the earliest of the crew to be eaten by the alien. In this scene below, the crew is searching the ship for the deadly creature, last seen as the size of a small lizard. Little did they know that it had quickly grown in size ...

And there's a cat ... Jonesy. Here's a scene in which one of the crew members is searching for the cat (don't worry, Jonesy is one of the two survivors by the end of the film) ...

This is right where I am in the book, so still some scary stuff ahead :)

Throwback Thursday: hair

- "my hair like Jesus wore it" ... me back in the day :)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Biden's announcement

OK, I know I've been hard on him, but I've got to say, this really touched me. Still, he has a lot to overcome, including the Anita Hill problem and his joking about inappropriately touching women.

Buttigieg: Graham and Bernie

Pete Buttigieg has been in the news lately for a couple of reasons ...

- Franklin Graham to Buttigieg: Homosexuality 'sin' to be 'repentant of' not 'flaunted'.

Graham, the son of Billy and an Evangelical Christian preacher, has views that are now a very minority view among Christians - a majority of Christians and many Christian denominations are accepting of LGNTQ people and marriage, and this is not surprising considering the misinterpretation of scripture used to defend homophobia. At the same time, Graham supports Trump, a pussy-grabbing, porn star screwing, sociopathic bigot. He must be so proud.

- Pete Buttigieg compares Bernie Sanders’ supporters to Donald Trump’s

Liberals were upset and conservatives loved this, but as a liberal I have to say I think Buttigieg was absolutely correct. Back when Bernie and Hillary were competing for the Democratic nomination in 2016, Bernie's supporters were acting very much like Trump supporters: recall this one of many examples from The New York Times ...

From Bernie Sanders Supporters, Death Threats Over Delegates

Thrown chairs. Leaked cellphone numbers. Death threats spewed across the Internet.

No, this is not the work of Donald J. Trump supporters, some of whom have harassed critics of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was angry supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders who were directing their ire at the Nevada Democratic Party — and its chairwoman, Roberta Lange — over a state convention on Saturday that they think was emblematic of a rigged political system.

“It’s been vile,” said Ms. Lange, who riled Sanders supporters by refusing their requests for rule changes at the event in Las Vegas. “It’s been threatening messages, threatening my family, threatening my life, threatening my grandchild.”


The backlash against Ms. Lange in Nevada echoes what happened in Colorado last month when supporters of Mr. Trump bombarded Steve House, the chairman of the State Republican Party, with complaints of disenfranchisement. He received thousands of calls after his cellphone number was disseminated online.

Supporters of Mr. Sanders used similar tactics to exert pressure on Ms. Lange, who has received more than 1,000 calls since Saturday night and as many as three text messages per minute. The threats, which came from men and women from across the country, were haunting and personal.

“Loved how you broke the system,” one person wrote in a text message that said he or she knew where Ms. Lange’s grandchildren went to school. “Prepare for hell. Calls won’t stop.”

Another person left a voice mail message saying he thought Ms. Lange should be “hung in public execution” for her actions.

“I’m scared for my family,” Ms. Lange said. “Scared for my kids.” ...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Earth Day

The first official Earth Day was celebrated at colleges and schools in the US in 1970 ... I was there, just starting college :) This was back in a past so distant and different, that it was actually President Richard Nixon, a Republican, who that same year proposed the creation of The Environmental Protection Agency and signed it into existence with an executive order. All these years later, I still love animals and plants and want to preserve the our environment. I wish everyone else did too.