My Photo
Location: United States

Friday, September 29, 2023

RIP: Dianne Feinstein

Very sad to see that my senator, Dianne Feinstein, has passed away.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a trailblazer in U.S. politics and the longest-serving woman in the Senate, dies at 90

I first heard of Diana Feinstein when I was 27 years old - when San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot and killed. Feinstein was elected by the Board of Supervisors to become the first female Mayor of San Francisco on December 4, 1978, a title she would hold for the next ten years. She eventually became a United States Senator for California.

She was a good seantor who stood up for women's rights, for gun control, for the environment, for gay rights, for animal welfare, and many other causes.

Notably, she stood against the Bush administration's use of torture after 9/11. You can see a portrayal of this in the film The Report ...

a 2019 American drama film written and directed by Scott Z. Burns and starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening .... The plot follows staffer Daniel J. Jones and the Senate Intelligence Committee as they investigate the CIA's use of torture following the September 11 attacks. It covers more than a decade's worth of real-life political intrigue, exploring and compacting Jones's 6,700-page report ...

She will be missed!

Thursday, September 28, 2023


Here's Yoda this morning, looking out at the birdbath :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


- Federal indictment Southern District of New York

I will add my voice to that of others who think Senator Bob Menendez should resign. I only really know who he is because I sometimes watch his daughter's show on MSNBC, but even I was struck by the apparent evidence against him.

Of course, he should be presumed innocent until found guilty in court, but to my knowledge, he hasn't yet offered any reasonable explanation for how the FBI could find almost half a million dollars in cash in his bedroom closet (he did say the cash was from his savings and was for possible emergencies ... zombie apocalypse? alien invasion? asteroid impact?).

It's corruption like this that Democratic politicians are supposed to be above. This just erodes whatever trust people still have in government.

More: The Ongoing National Security Threats Posed by Senator Bob Menendez


I came upon some videos of the Moody Blues that I hadn't seen before. It's them in 1978 on the British program The Kenny Everett Video Show. Here are a couple of the songs they did ...

Nights in White Satin ...

Forever Autumn ...

Monday, September 25, 2023

RIP: David McCallum

David McCallum, Heartthrob Spy of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,’ Dies at 90

David McCallum, the Scottish-born actor who became a surprise sensation as the enigmatic Russian spy Illya Kuryakin on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s and found television stardom again almost 40 years later on the hit series “N.C.I.S.,” died on Monday in New York. He was 90 ....

He was hired in 1964 to play Illya Kuryakin, the Russian-accented sidekick of Robert Vaughn’s Napoleon Solo, on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” a tongue-in-cheek series about secret agents working for the fictional United Network Command for Law and Enforcement .... With his mysterious air, his Beatle haircut and his trademark black turtleneck, Mr. McCallum was a magnet for teenage fans ...

And I was one of those teen fans. Sad to see him go.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Merrick Garland

Watching Republican (and Protestant) Josh Hawley attacking Attorney General Merrick Garland for supposedly being anti-Catholic because of the arrest of anti-abortion activist Mark Houck for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by assaulting a 72 year old Planned Parenthood volunteer outsie a clinic (Anti-Abortion Activist Accused of Pushing 72-Year-Old Volunteer Found Not Guilty).

Of course, neither Merrick Garland nor the DOJ are anti-Catholic. In fact, this situation isn't really about anti-Catholicism at all. It is about anti-abortion extremism/domestic terrorism.

Firsst, let's notice the silliness of accusing the Biden administration's DOJ of being anti-Catholic, when the president himself is a practicing Catholic, and when there are many Catholics in government, not to mention that the majority of Supreme Court Justices are Catholc. Catholicism isn't some persecuted powerless minority in the US.

But more to the point, Hawley is trying to conflate Catholicism and the anti-abortion stance, when actually, the majority of Catholics in the US are pro-choice ... 63% of Catholic adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 68% say Roe should be left as is - AP-NORC poll details rift between lay Catholics and bishops

It is just a small number of Catholics who are anti-abortion extremists, but when the DOJ and the FBI investigate them, they have good reasons to be concerned ... a history of violence on the part of those extremists, whether they are Catholics or not. The Southern Povery Law Center has a page on hate groups termed Radical Traditional Catholicism. The history of anti-abortion violence in the US... harassment, kidnappings, bombings, muders ... is appalling.

And it's not just history - read about Recent Cases on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers

Republican politicians and anti-abortion groups are trying to flip the script, but the facts show that in the past and in the present, the "pro-life" movement, often led by extremist Catholic groups, has been violent. It's not surprising that law enforcement would take that seriously. That doesn't make Merrick Garland anti-Catholic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


This week's movie rental was Constantine ...

a 2005 American superhero horror film .... loosely based on the DC Comics/Vertigo Comics Hellblazer graphic novels. The film stars Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, a cynical exorcist with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true forms and to travel between Earth and Hell. Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, and Peter Stormare also feature.

I had seen it once before but didn't remember much about it, so I gave it another try. It's basically religious horror, which is the kind of movie I tend to find most scary ... The Prophecy, Fallen, and The Seventh Sign are other examples of the genre.

The plot. The main character, John Constantine, is an exorcist (not a priest). He helps people in a bid to save himself from someday going to hell - when he was a teen he committed suicide and was dead for 2 minutes before he was resuscitated. A devout Catholic (Rachel Weisz) asks him to find out if her twin sister really killed herself and is therefore in hell. With the help of her cat, he is able to visit the underworld.

The movie was actually pretty good. Keanu Reeves did well and there were decent special effects, like Gabriel's wings ...

The one thing that bugged me was the Catholic "you're going to hell" storyline. A couple of the characters commit suicide, and it's just accepted in the film that they will end up in hell.

This is another created-rom-whole-cloth teaching from the church (thanks a lot, Augustine/Aquinas). There's nothing about suicide being a mortal sin in the Bible. Jesus never mentions it. But for centuries suicides were excommunicated and not allowed Christian burial. I can only imagine the needless grief this caused their loved ones.

Nowdays people who commit suicide are usually considered by the church to be out of their minds and not responsible for their deaths. Apparently the movie guys didn't get that memo.

But I digress. The movie is worth a watch if you like religious horror, and I see that a second installment with Keanu Reeves is coming next year.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

More Cheat the Press

If you are able to make yourself watch the interview with Trump long enough, you will comne to the part where they discuss abortion. I bring this up because Trump spouts lies, of course, but lies which Republicans constantly use to "flood the zone with sh*t".

What lies? Here they are.

1) Trump said that before the Dobbs decision, pro-life people had no rights to negotiate on abortion. Lie. Roe did allow states to make many laws negotiating how and when and who could get an abortion.

2) Here's the big one, which so many in the Republican party use ... Trump said that under Roe, abortions could be done up to the 9th month, and even after birth. What a bunch of BS. Read Roe, read The Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA). Both can be found online. You will see that abortions are only allowed up until the time of viability (24 weeks) unless a mother's health/life is at risk. But it sounds really awful, doesn't it? So let's lie about it some more ...

3) Trump then lied about how Democrats, before Dobbs, would ... "rip the baby out of the womb at 9 months. They are allowed to do that, and you shouldn't be allowed to do that." And guess what? No one, certainly not "Democrats", have ever had the right to do that. Trump knoew this. All the Republicans know this, but they love to say it over and over.

4) Again. Trump said "The Democrats are able to kill the baby after birth." This is a lie, but a candidate for president of the United States is allowed to tell the world that Democrats commit child sacrifice. And apparently that is ok. Gee, I wonder if this lie might excite his brain-dead zombie horde of followers to violence? Oh dear.

5) And again. Trump then said "You have New York state that has legislation where you're allowed to kill the baby after birth". A lie. Fact Check-Social media posts falsely claim New York passed a bill allowing for ‘abortions’ 28 days after birth. But people are going to believ this crap because he keeps saying it over and over again. Sigh :(

6) Then Trump promised, when he's president, both sides of the abortion debate will come together and agree on a plan, because Democrats now have decided they don't want late term abortions to be legal. Hey, you dope .... that was Roe v Wade! You know, the constitutional right you destroyed .... it limited abortion up to the point of viability (24 weeks) unless a mother's health/life was at risk. But that wasn't good enough for "pro-life" people.

Well, no help from Welker. She sucks as a fact checker, especially in real time. Could she not at least say about the most egregious lie Trump made, that Democrats kill babies after they are born, that never has it been legal in the US to commit infanticide? Holy shit.

More: Don’t fall for Trump’s absurd attempt to skirt the abortion issue

Cheat the Press

Today was the first installment of Meet the Press after Chuck Todd has left and Kristen Welker has taken over. What a difference, and I think it's for the worse.

In her first episode, Welker has decided to give Trump an unfettered opportunity to spread his lies to the whole world from a respected network. Her questions were dopey and she didn't call Trump on his falsehoods or make him keep on topic. It was basically a campaign ad.

I felt like I watching a train wreck in slow motion - I was horrified but couldn't look away. It's finally becoming clear to me that Trump might actually win in 2024. If that happens, he'll owe Meet the Press a thank you.

Friday, September 15, 2023


So cute!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Child poverty

It's not just the child tax credit. During the pandemic, the federal government added extra money to people's food stamp allotment too. Now that extra help is gone. Why? Republicans. Senate GOP won’t extend pandemic food stamps but doubles ‘three-martini lunch’ deduction.

The "pro-life" party does not care about Americans living in poverty, whether they are children or the disabled or the elderly. They honestyly do not give a poop! Please remember this when it's time to vote.


I've been watching the House Republicans plotting the impeachment of President Biden for some time. Remember when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomes's wife wrote ...

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

To date, ther is no reliable evidence that Joe Biden has committed any crimes, much less that he is running a crime family. But of course, that's beside the point. This push for impeachment comes not from evidence but from the Lord & Master of the Republican party, the twice impeached, election-losing, tax-evading, resident rapist, Donald Trump, ...

Trump Has Been Privately Encouraging G.O.P. Lawmakers to Impeach Biden

[...] Over the past several months, Mr. Trump has kept a close watch on House Republicans’ momentum toward impeaching Mr. Biden. Mr. Trump has talked regularly by phone with members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and other congressional Republicans who pushed for impeachment, according to a person close to Mr. Trump who was not authorized to publicly discuss the conversations. Mr. Trump has encouraged the effort both privately and publicly ...

There is a crime family I think ought to be investigated - the one headed by Trump.

Remember when Ivanka got trademarks from China ... Ivanka Trump won China trademarks days before her father's reversal on ZTE

And then there's Jared, who saved his buddy MBS and was handsomely rewarded ... 'I saved his a--': Trump boasted that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder, Woodward's new book says ... and then ... Further Evidence Emerges the Saudis Did Not Pay Jared Kushner Billions Because They Thought He Was an Investing Genius

Sunday, September 10, 2023


Today was the last time Chuck Todd will host Meet the Press. Sad. Watch his full interview with my governor, Gavin Newsom.

30 years

‘The X-Files’: Every Episode Ranked From Worst to Best

The X-Files pilot remains the greatest in TV history – even 30 years on

Yep, it is the 30 year anniversary of The X-Files series.

Oh, how I loved that show! It was on at the same time that I was taking RCIA classes at church, and my sponsor's little girl and I were both dedicated David Duchovny fans. Behold my autographed Agent Mulder postcard :) ...

Yes, the show was about aliens, but it was also about Agent Mulder's unceasing search for the truth about his sister's disappearance. It's well worth a watch if you have never seen it.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Lawrence Wright

I went to the public library with my sister today. I was picking up two videos - Star Trek the Next Generation season6 and Les Misérables - and she was looking for a book about 9/11.

That reminded me of that past miniseries, The Looming Tower, that I had seen a few years ago. Here's a trailer ...

But I had never read the book from which the miniseries was adapted. I looked it up at the library later and put it on hold. Then I looked up the writer, Lawrence Wright, a reporter for The New Yorker, and he was a really interesting person, so I looked for him at Youtube and found a past interview with him, in which he discusses his more recent book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief . Here it is ...


It seems Republican politicians have decided to change their label of "pro-life" to "pro-baby" because after the Dobbs decision, it has become excruciatingly clear to everyone that "pro-life" does not mean pro-life. And the idea that Republican politicians are pro-baby is also ludicrous. If they were, they wouldn't be always trying to cut Medicaid and food stamps.

Imagine how refreshing it would be if Republican politicians actually told voters the truth, and said ...

"I'm pro-misogyny and I make no apology for that. I'm for diminishing women's autonomy and agency. I'm for taking awaay whatever legal rights they have. I'm for dragging them back to a time when they couldn't vote, when they existed to cook, clean, provide sex, and birth replacements, as God intended. A total ban on abortion is just the first step."

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Back to school

This on-going nightmare is brought to you by the Republican politicians in Congress.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023


Here's a video about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, made when Trump planned to drill there ...

Today in the news ...

Biden administration cancels years-long attempt to drill in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

The Biden administration announced Wednesday it will cancel seven Trump-era oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protect more than 13 million acres in the federal National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, stymieing a years-long attempt to drill in the protected region .....

However, the 2017 tax law mandates leasing in ANWR, meaning the Biden administration will have to launch a new leasing process and hold another lease sale by the end of 2024, albeit likely with tighter environmental provisions ....

Biden is trying to do right by the environment, but it's a hard slog. I'm glad he cares enough to try. Trump and the Republicans would strip the country bare of every marketable natural resource if it gave them more money and power. I don't understand how anyone with a conscience can vote for these soulless jerks.

Friday, September 01, 2023

I dreamed a dream

Remember Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent (2009)? Part of what made it so affecting was that the judges and the audience seemed to discount her at first, but then she surprised them. Still affects me to see it.

The lyrics she sings from I Dreamed a Dream, the 1980 musical, Les Misérables ...

I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted.

But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
And they turn your dream to shame.

And still I dream he'll come to me,
That we will live the years together,
But there are dreams that cannot be,
And there are storms we cannot weather!

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living,
So different now from what it seemed.
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


We await the Supreme Court taking up the case on medication abortion, based on a lower court ruling that the drug mifepristone is not safe for women to use.

Of course, the drug is safe and everyone involved in the case knows it is safe. The case isn't really about safety, it's about a mnority religious belief being given precedence by conservative judges over facts and science on a medical issue. How can they get away with this?