Perspective

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Location: California, United States

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A bridge too far? Maybe.



This may be it - ripping children from their mother's arms may be the bridge too far for some Republican lawmakers and religious leaders (Leading Republicans Join Democrats in Pushing Trump to Halt Family Separations. The question is, will they make Trump stop this or will they wimp out? Meanwhile, most Republican voters actually like the idea (Poll: Republicans Approve of Trump’s Family Separation Policy).

Trump and most of his minions are still lying about the policy, trying to blame it on the Democrats, but Steve Bannon admits it's a Trump policy and even defends it ...



Few issues have brought to light how dismissive of core human values Trump and most Republicans are. There really is nothing they care about beyond getting more for themselves.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Beyond the Wabbitat

I'm going to try to build a little enclosure for Yoda the kitten. Right now she's always in her "Wabbitat" except when I take her out to eat and play. She's so small and fast that I'm afraid I might not be able to catch her for her medicine or that I might step on her. So I sent for an assemble-able thingy. Here's someone who made a video of how to put it together. She has pet rats - so cute. When I was in college we had a pet rat named Ratso :) ...


"The Lord hates liars"

Since members of the Trump admin seem so enamored of quoting the bible, I thought I'd share a bible passage with them - Proverbs 12:22 - "The Lord hates liars, but is pleased with those who keep their word.".

Trump and his followers admit he lies all the time .... in just the last day he has lied about his policy of taking immigrant children away from their parents, he has lied about the IG report from the FBI/DOJ, he has lied about his relationship to Paul Manafort, and so much more. Trump and his followers excuse this by saying it doesn't matter, that everyone lies.

They are being disingenuous: how would they feel if the doctor who was treating their illness lied to them about their test results, if the bank where they kept their savings lied to them about their balance, if the cop who answered their emergency call lied to them about their safety?

No one likes to be lied to, especially not be professionals on whom we all depend (like the President of the United States). What the Trump people and Trump himself want is to legitimize their lies to others, lies they hope will allow them to stick it to all those they resent.

Here is Lawrence O'Donnell on Trump's most recent lying ...


Friday, June 15, 2018

Police raid Catholic church in Chile

In the news: Chile police raid Catholic Church offices amid sex abuse scandal

Here is a pretty good examination from the PBS NewsHour of the whole recent sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church in Chile, the pope's involvement, and this police raid ...



The Catholic church cannot be trusted to actually hold accountable abusers and those who cover it up. We will have to count instead on civil governments to prosecute these people. To make this possible, statutes of limitation have to be relaxed ... as it now stands, the Catholic church spends a ton of money fighting against this happening ... Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform

The Catholic sex abuse problem will never go away as long as the church refuses to allow married men and women to be priests. I'm not saying that celibacy causes pedophilia. What I am saying is that any institution that promises to enforce lifelong celibacy in its employees is bound to attract a higher than average percentage of emotionally/sexually disturbed job seekers.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bullshit bible backup



Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders both have used a bible passage, Romans 13:1-7, to justify the Trump administration's immigration policy of ripping children from the arms of their mothers and detaining them in kennel-like conditions. As one reporter in the video above points out, that notorious bit from Paul has been used in the US in the past to justify the rule of King George and to justify slavery. Any Christian would know the bible suggests we care for strangers and foreigners and immigrants, not harass them.

In defense of separating immigrant families, Sessions cites same Bible passage used to defend slavery

[...] “Overwhelmingly, Scripture causes families to be kept together,” said Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “Overwhelmingly Scripture causes us to defend families. As Evangelicals, we have a doctrine to be a pro-family-values people, you know. The Bible calls us to be pro-family, and I personally find it deeply lamentable that we are separating children from their parents at the border or anywhere.”

[...]

At a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday, the nation’s Catholic leaders strongly condemned the administration’s immigration policies as immoral, with one bishop going so far as to suggest that Catholics who help carry out the Justice Department’s policies are violating their faith and perhaps should be denied Communion ...


More: What the Bible says about welcoming refugees

My cat Thor



I think my cat Thor may be dead. Since I've been taking care of the sick kitten I haven't been able to spend as much time with the outdoor cats. I think Thor was getting sick for a while, but I just didn't notice. I noticed about a week and a half ago that he seemed under the weather. The next day he didn't come to eat the once-a-day canned food snack, which he loved and normally never missed. That was a Saturday and that night I found him and tried to feed him but he wouldn't eat. Because the vet was not open then and because I don't have a car, and because I was worried about the cost of an emergency place, I did the expedient thing - I decided to wait until Monday to decide what to do But I never saw him again. He has disappeared and I think he's crawled off somewhere to die :(

He lived here for the last four years, after appearing in the yard one spring as a kitten with his two sisters. He was very sweet and affectionate. I will really miss him.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Songs you can't get tired of



I hate to disagree with my favorite Jedi, but I too vote for Just What I Needed ...



I keep a small pile of songs on my computer desktop that I can listen to over and over without getting tired of them. A few songs by The Cars are in the pile, plus some Moody Blues songs, and some songs by the Beatles. And of course this song by Captain Hook. It took me a long time to memorize all the words :) ...



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Trump administration is not America

From the LA Times ...

Trump throws Canada under the bus

[...] One senior Trump advisor told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the Trump Doctrine could be summarized as “We’re America, Bitch.” That may not be an official policy statement, but that is the impression our allies are getting.

A message for Trump and his administration: You are not America.

What you are is an anomaly, an electoral fluke, lifted up to power by a minority of voters. As a group and as individuals you are notable for a devastating lack of intelligence, integrity, and courage. In the years to come American will look back on you as a mistake. It won't be pretty, but America will survive you.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Trump/Trudeau/Kim Kim Jong-un

Watching the news about Trump both attacking the Prime Minister of Canada and sucking up to the North Korean dictator. I see one thing: Trump is running the country in the same way a crime boss would manage his territory. There is no room for diplomats or policy, it's instead all about personal pissing contests.

Trump sees the decent and reasonable Justin Trudeau as weak and deceptive. Trump believes he can bully Trudeau. Trump is wrong. Trump sees Kim Jong-un as a fellow thug, someone whose motivations he understands and respects. He believes the two of them can be buddies who will together enrich themselves while crushing the weak. Trump is wrong.

How long, O Lord, before Mueller saves us from this excuse for a president?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

"I'm looking for a miracle in my life."

From the Moody Blues, a song I've always liked, especially the middle part ...

Friday, June 08, 2018

More on Giuliani/Stormy/Melania

In the news: No, Melania Trump Didn’t Tell Rudy Giuliani She Believes President’s Stormy Daniels Denial.

Here's Anderson Cooper on Melania slapping down Giuliani ...



More from Amy Davidson at The New Yorker ... Rudy Giuliani Attacks Stormy Daniels But Disgraces Himself

[...] Clifford [Stormy Daniels], in fact, seems to be doing fine on the self-respect front. She worked in adult films, then moved on to directing them—a “legitimate and legal, I’d like to point out, career that I’ve worked very hard to establish,” as she described it on “60 Minutes.” She is proud to have succeeded at it. It is more of an honest living than some New York real-estate developers make. Her profession shouldn’t mean that she ought to be automatically distrusted, let alone attacked with impunity. But she has also made it clear that she knew that she was taking a risk by opening herself up to this kind of attack—something that can demand integrity and courage. (Clifford has said that one of the new expenses she has taken on, in addition to her legal fees, is for security.) And Giuliani jumped in, seemingly intent on playacting the role of a beat cop from a past century, who, in dealing with the woman who comes to tell him her story, looks at what she is wearing, smirks, and turns away—or, as Giuliani suggested in his “cross-examine” remark, the role of the lawyer who has no better tactic than to try to humiliate a witness, labelling her a loose woman. That is a form of sexual exploitation far more corrosive than any film that Clifford has ever made.

But Giuliani’s comments went beyond whether Clifford could be believed to whether she could even be hurt. “Explain to me how she could be damaged,” he said. “She has no reputation. If you’re going to sell your body for money, you just don’t have a reputation.” But Clifford does not say that Trump, against whom she has filed a defamation suit (in the Southern District of New York, Giuliani’s old territory), damaged her by calling her an adult-film star. She says that he damaged her by saying, on Twitter, that her account of being threatened not to talk about their sexual encounter was “a total con job”—and that she, by implication, was a total con woman, conspiring to sabotage the project to Make America Great Again. On Thursday morning, when NBC asked Giuliani whether he regretted his remarks, he said that he did not, dressing up his denial with a vague reference to feminism and daughters. He also said, “I don’t have to undermine her credibility. She’s done it by lying.”

And where to begin with the matter of Trump’s credibility in the Clifford case? ......


I don't understand how any woman can possible support the Republican party or Trump, given the obvious misogyny that pervades all they stand for, all they say, and all they do.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

More on Yoda



We had a vet appointment yesterday for Yoda. She's had a cough lately and so they did an x-ray and it turns out she has pneumonia. Now she has to get a slimy raspberry flavored liquid antibiotic for two weeks. She's pretty perky, considering. Still hoping she may get adopted from the vet place, but that wouldn't happen as long as she's sick, so still hoping and waiting.

Giuliani tries to shame Stormy Daniels



File under "how to be a misogynist" ...

Rudy Giuliani tries to shame Stormy Daniels, contrasting her with Melania Trump ...

"I know Donald Trump. Look at his three wives. Beautiful women. Classy women. Women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? I respect all human beings, I even have to respect criminals, but I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance, or for a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation."

Strange, I guess Rudy missed that naked photoshoot in the UK GQ of Melania, that "classy woman of substance" who apparently "sold her body for sexual exploitation".

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

50 years ago ...



People often ask what the Democratic party stands for, besides being against Trump. Well, the Democratic party stands for public education, for protecting the environment, for universal health care, for workers and unions and justice for the poor, and for the civil rights of racial and ethnic minorities, of LGBT people, of women, and of those members of all religions and of none.

But today I was listening to a short video about Bobby Kennedy, who was killed 50 years ago just after the California primary, and this one sentence of his describes very well what the Democratic party stands for ... that "Every American, no matter what his background, what his creed, what color of his skin, or where he lives, shall walk with dignity and honor in the United States. "

That idea is the opposite of what the Republicans and Trump stand for, so yes, being a Democrat means being against Trump.

California primary

Yesterday was the California primary election. My choice for senator - Dianne Feinstein - won for her district (yay!). And my choice for future governor - Gavin Newsom - also won the nomination. I've known of him since he was mayor of San Francisco (2004-2011) when he was an early champion of marriage equality for LGBT people. Here is Newsom ...


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Annihilation: the movie

This week's movie rental was Annihilation ...

a 2018 science fiction psychological horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. It stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. The story follows a group of military scientists who enter "The Shimmer", a mysterious quarantined zone of mutating landscapes and transmogrifying creatures.

I had read the book a while ago (posted about it here), which won the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel. The movie changes the story quite a bit but, especially going more towards horror than straight SF, but it was still worth a watch, with lots of nice special effects. Here's a trailer ...


Trump threatens a witness



Trump has tweeted he can pardon himself, and , though his lawyer, has claimed he could legally murder a witness against him - former FBI director James Come. The Republicans in congress, on their knees busily kissing Trump's ass, do nothing.

Giuliani: Under constitution, Trump could shoot Comey and not be indicted

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Trump: L'Etat, c'est moi



In the news - made public is a letter Trump's legal team gave to Mueller as justification for why he can;t be held accountable for crimes, for why he is above the law ... Trump’s legal memo to Robert Mueller is a recipe for tyranny. Trump is channeling Nixon, who opined to David Frost ...



Or to quote a line attributed to the Sun King, Trump believes that "L'Etat, c'est moi" (the state, it's me).

More on this ...


Saturday, June 02, 2018

Muzak at the grocery store ...

A couple of songs I heard on the grocery store's muzak today ...

- Garden Party by Rick Nelson. When I was a little kid, I thought he was the handsomest guy in the universe :) ...



- Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. (with Kate Pierson of The B-52's) ...


Thursday, May 31, 2018

More on Yoda the kitten



I haven't had much time to post stuff because little Yoda is very high maintenance. We've been to the vet 4 times so far and have another appointment next week. Her eyes are better now, so no more eye drops, but she got another penicillin injection for upper respiratory problems and a de-worming pill last time. Next they will take some blood to test for feline AIDs and feline leukemia .

We;re still hoping the vet will take Yoda to adopt her out, but there are three kittens at the vet place now and they want to wait until they find homes first. The two white kittens that I brought in earlier did find a home, and the people who adopted them were actually there at the vet with the kittens at the same time as us. We spoke to them - they seemed very nice and the kittens are huge now.

It may be a few more weeks before Yoda can leave here. I will miss her a lot, but I think she has the chance of a much better life with someone else, given how things are here.