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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Wind Of Heaven

Here's Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues singing one of his recent songs, The Wind Of Heaven, that's for an upcoming movie ...

Those who can't create, destroy

Trump signs order that could open California coastal waters to new drilling

President Trump has signed an executive order that could open large parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to new oil and gas drilling, creating yet another clash with California, where leaders are vowing they will do everything in their power to block new drilling off the state’s shores ....

I feel sick. He is ruining everything good. I hope there's something left by the time he leaves office :(

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This little piggy

- Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

It seems every day brings new scary awful stuff courtesy of Trump. Today it's his plan to have the wonders of oil drilling ans coal mining brought to our national monuments, like Berryessa Snow Mountain near where I live ... Don’t mess with California’s national monuments.

But hey, the west coast will probably be nuked by N. Korea soon anyway thanks to Trump's chest-thumping, so why sweat the small stuff? Meanwhile, the only thing that's keeping me tethered to sanity is this little piggy :) ...

"Welcome to the Spanish Inquisition"

This week's movie rental was Assassin's Creed ...

a 2016 action adventure film based on the video game franchise of the same name. The film is directed by Justin Kurzel, written by Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, and stars Michael Fassbender (who also co-produced), Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Michael K. Williams. The film is set in the same universe as the video games but features an original story that expands the series' mythology, taking place during the Spanish Inquisition.

I was hoping the movie would be worth a watch because Michael Fassbender was involved and because it seemed to be somehow Catholic related. Sadly, the movie was not very good at all - see Assassin's Creed review – Michael Fassbender game movie achieves transcendental boredom and Assassin's Creed, review: Even Michael Fassbender can't make this junk leap off the screen.

Here's the basic plot .....

For thousands of years two opposing groups, the Assassins and the Knights Templar, have been trying to find an artifact from Eden, the Apple, which holds the key to man's free will. The Templars want to use the Apple to take away that free will but the Assassins want to preserve men's freedom of choice by hiding the Apple away. Back in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition and the Granada War, one of the Assassins, Aguilar de Nerha, was able to snatch the Apple from the leader of the Inquisition (and Templar, according to the film), Tomás de Torquemada, who had just blackmailed the artifact away from its then protector, the Sultan of Granda, Muhammad XII. Aguilar then gave the Apple to Christopher Columbus to keep safe.

In the present day, Callum Lynch, a descendant of Aguilar and a criminal on death row, is taken captive (his death faked) by the still existing Templars who are continuing to search for the Apple. They have the technical capability to send Lynch's consciousness back to meld with that of Aguilar's at the time he had possession of the Apple .... they use Lynch and his experiences as Aguilar to find the Apple in Columbus' tomb in Seville Cathedral,. Here's the real tomb ...

What was hard to swallow about the movie was not just the idea that someone could inhabit the consciousness of an ancestor, but also that there was really an Eden and an Apple ... the theory of evolution has shown there never was a time when all creatures lived in harmony in some perfect environment.

About the Templars ... Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France disbanded the order, arrested the members, took their assets, and burned the Grand Master at the stake (1307-12). So, it's not possible that Torquemada was a Templar and in fact he was a Dominican. Except .... a lot of Templars were thought to have gone underground when the arrest orders went out and it's said that some found sanctuary in Scotland with Robert the Bruce, so I guess it's remotely possible some of them infiltrated the Dominican order ;)

About the historical setting of the film - the Spanish Inquisition. There was an effort at historical revisionism done by the Vatican some years ago on the Inquisition(s), an attempt to spin it/them as not so bad. Here's the beginning of an article from Newsweek on that ...

Back in the Middle Ages, the Inquisition was a byword for fear and terror in Europe. Its tribunals, set up by the Vatican to ensure that "heretics" did not undermine the authority of the increasingly powerful Roman Catholic Church, burned and tortured witches, blasphemers and members of other faiths. Its judges condemned Galileo for saying that the Earth revolved around the Sun and executed thousands over the course of several centuries. Often, the best that the condemned could hope for was that they'd be strangled before being set alight at the stake.

Now, after centuries of secrecy on the subject, the Vatican has launched a new phase in its campaign to show that the Inquisition wasn't so bad after all. Church authorities have unveiled a temporary "Rare and Precious" exhibition at Rome's Vittoriano Museum to "expose some myths" about this dark chapter of its past. The exhibit is also intended as a modern-day object lesson for governments and armies—particularly those in the United States and Europe—who torture enemies and suspected terrorists, says curator Marco Pizzo. Not only does the church have an obligation to expose its own mistakes, he says, but the exhibit is also meant to help foster understanding of the complex nature of the church's history.

The "rare and precious" artifacts do not include notorious objects like racks or impaling tools. Rather, the 60 items on show for free to the public show just how much control the church exerted over the daily lives of medieval Europeans. The display includes documents about the church's restrictions on the movement of Jews, instructions for persecuting Protestants—including by hanging—and the "correction" of a Crucifixion drawing that removes blood spurting from the knees of Jesus. There are 18th-century maps outlining the ghettos of Rome, Ancona and Ferrara, depicting where Jews could live in pink or yellow and where they were allowed to keep businesses in blue. There are documents with handwritten regulations describing when Jewish women could be out of the gated areas and what they could wear. There are sketches of prisons and extensive lists of banned books and written edicts, like one from 1611 that outlines how inquisitors should comport themselves both on the job and off and an illustration showing what their children should wear to school and to the beach. The investigators are even told what pajamas are acceptable ....

There's really no honest way to sanitize the events of the Inquisition. A brief retrospective ...

The Spanish version lasted from 1478 to 1834 ... yes, almost 400 years. It was established by Ferdinand and Isabella, she putting her favorite confessor, Torquemada, in charge as Grand Inquisitor, to enforce Catholic orthodoxy, and it took place not just in Spain but also in its territories of the Canary Islands, the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, and all Spanish possessions in North, Central, and South America. It locked people up, tortured them, and burned them alive. Thousands of them.

But anyway, is the movie worth seeing? If you like the video game or if you're a fan of Fassbender, it may be worth it, but it's not what I would call a good film. Still, it had some interesting themes. Here's the trailer ...

Monday, April 24, 2017

John Oliver on Ivanka & Jared

The Daily Beast: John Oliver Calls Out Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for Duping America

I guess there are some people who feel comforted by the fact that Ivanka and Jared are in the White House. I'm not one of them .... I think they're creepy on the level of Stepford zombies.

John Oliver has some concerns about them as well ...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Baby possum :)

Gorsuch: pro-lifers must be so proud

Neil Gorsuch’s First Critical Vote Allowed A Man To Be Executed

Justice Neil Gorsuch made a difference Thursday in his first 5-4 vote on the Supreme Court, siding with his fellow conservatives to deny a petition from eight Arkansas inmates who sought to stop back-to-back-to-back executions.

Gorsuch’s vote on one of several 11th-hour petitions, in effect, allowed the state of Arkansas to carry out its first execution in nearly 12 years.

Ledell Lee was killed just before midnight Thursday, despite his legal team’s herculean effort to persuade the high court to put off his execution so that he could pursue a potential innocence claim and demonstrate that he was intellectually disabled. Lee was still waging these legal battles because of what one lawyer described as the “abysmal representation” he’d received throughout most of the post-conviction process ....

Gorsuch is the darling of the pro-life movement - this is yet another example of the fact that being pro-life is not about saving lives, it's about taking away women's rights.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day

The French election

The upcoming French election is important for so many reasons. From The Week: France's populist uprising.

And here's John Oliver's take on the situation ...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bernie's wrong: pro-choice isn't optional

Bernie Sanders Defends Campaigning For Anti-Abortion Rights Democrat ... Sen. Bernie Sanders is campaigning for Omaha, Neb., mayoral candidate Heath Mello Thursday night, and he's not apologizing for it.

Will We Abandon Women’s Rights in the Name of Progressive Politics?

[...] Sanders’s definition of what constitutes a progressive became even murkier when he suggested that the election of Heath Mello, who’s running for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska — and who as a state senator sponsored a 20-week abortion ban and mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions — would represent a “shot across the board, that in a state like Nebraska a progressive Democrat can win.” Not to be outdone, Perez amplified the message that reproductive rights are negotiable for the Democratic Party. “If you demand fealty on every single issue,” Perez said, “then it’s a challenge. The Democratic Party platform acknowledges that we’re pro-choice, but there are communities, like some in Kansas, where people have a different position.”

Well, sure. There are also communities in Kansas where voters have different positions from Democrats on immigration reform, labor protections, climate change, voting rights, and health care, and it would be vexing — and not at all progressive — for post-2016 Democrats to alter their stances on any of those issues .... The problem is that Sanders’s vision — and the vision of Perez and the DNC — as they laid it out this week, looked less like a radical transformation of the Democratic Party and more like a return to mistakes the party has made in the past. These mistakes have nothing to do with economic equality, and everything to do with a willingness to sacrifice the rights of much of the party’s base ....

Bernie and Perez are making a big mistake if they believe women's rights are optional for the Democratic party. When you make winning at any cost the ultimate goal, even to the point of sacrificing principles like women's access to health care, then you might as well be the guys on other side - that's not winning, that's losing. Even though I'm a Democrat, I will not vote for a pro-life Democratic candidate ... I've been a woman a lot longer than I've been a Democrat.

More: No Thanks, Bernie: Virginia Abortion Rights Advocates Know Better

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


This week's movie rental was Arrival ...

a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve. The screenplay by Eric Heisserer was based on the 1998 short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. The film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

Here's a short video from the WSJ that explains the plot (a trailer is at the bottom of the post) ...

The film has received great reviews. Here's the beginning of the review in The Atlantic ...

The Epic Intimacy of Arrival

Arrival, the remarkable new film by Denis Villeneuve, begins aptly enough with an arrival—though perhaps not the kind you would expect. A baby is born, and her mother, played by Amy Adams, explains in voiceover, “I used to think to this was the beginning of your story.” We see the girl’s life, in flashback—games of cowboy, arguments, reconciliations—as her mother continues, “I remember moments in the middle ... and this was the end.” We see the girl, now a teenager, in a hospital bed. Then we see the bed empty.

The sequence—a brief life encompassed in still briefer summary—is surely among the most heartbreaking since Michael Giacchino’s magnificently versatile waltz carried us through the “Married Life” segment of Up. And while at first it appears to be mere backstory for Adams’s character, it is in fact much more, perhaps the most crucial thread in Villeneuve’s intricately woven film ....

For those who haven't seen the film yet and who don't want everything revealed beforehand, don't read any further because there will be spoilers .....




The basic premise of the film is that learning a new language can change the way you think ... linguistic relativity (the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis) ...

[it] is a concept-paradigm in linguistics and cognitive science that holds that the structure of a language affects its speakers' cognition or world view. It used to have a strong version that claims that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. The more accepted weak version claims that linguistic categories and usage only influence thoughts and decisions.

And as Louise learns the aliens' language, she starts to think so differently that she becomes precognitive and sees visions of her future. It takes her a while to understand what's happening to her, that she's seeing her future and not her past. And then we get it too ... she hasn't been a mother whose daughter has died, she is going to be a mother whose daughter will die. Abd that gives her the chance to make a choice .... does she want to say "yes" to making a baby with her newly met co-worker Ian, knowing that child's life will be cut short and that her then husband will leave her? She decides to do it.

I think part of the reason we take chances and do risky things is because we don't really know what the future holds and how things will turn out. Most people are hopeful (or just lack imagination) ... I saw a study once that showed that people were much more hopeful about the future than was realistic. How many of us would choose to live through a particular future if we knew exactly what it would be, exactly how it would feel? Maybe it's better not to know.

More: All Your Questions About the Mindbending Plot of Arrival, Answered

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter: film review of 'Silence'

My latest movie rental was Silence ...

a 2016 historical period drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based upon the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, the film was shot entirely in Taiwan around Taipei. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciarán Hinds.

The plot follows two 17th century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholic Christianity. The story is set in the time of Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians"), following the suppression of the Shimabara Rebellion (1637–1638) of Japanese Roman Catholics against the Tokugawa shogunate.

I hesitated to see this movie as I am no fan of missionary work ... Francis Xavier, one of the most famous of Jesuit missionaries, did some awful things (read about the Goa Inquisition). Still, I had really liked The Mission so I thought I'd give it a try.

The movie got mostly very positive reviews, but I found it to be one of the worst movies I've seen. The acting was very good, the cinematography was good too, but the story itself was awful ... I'm not sure if that's because the book's story was unlikable or if the changes Scorsese made to the book's story wrecked it. What did I so dislike about it?

- It presented a view of Japan that was repressive and cruel towards Christians and missionaries, with never a mention for context's sake of Western governments' and the Catholic church's treatment not only of non-Christians but of other Christians too ... the forced conversions and expulsions, the inquisitions, the crusades, and the witch trials.

- The movie was almost like an elegant torture/snuff film ... I haven't seen so many people tortured to death since 24. And the movie presented a view of Christianity that was all about Jesus' suffering and his execution instead of about his life, his teachings, his actions, his resurrection. The rating of the faith of the Christians in the film rose or fell all based only on whether they would repudiate Jesus when confronted with the threat of torture .... remember, the original disciples all ran away when Jesus was arrested, and Peter denied knowing him three times, and yet Jesus forgave them and their faith, such as it was, is what Christianity was built upon.

- And I've got to say, it was boring. Another film (miniseries, actually) that did a much better job on this subject, perhaps because it was adapted from a more accessible book, was Shogun. For those interested, I wrote more about this a few years ago: Jesuits in Japan redux ...

- Richard Chamberlain as John Blackthorne (based on William Adams) and Damien Thomas as Jesuit Martin Alvito (based on João Rodrigues SJ) from Shōgun

But anyway, I'm not the only person who didn't like the movie. A review in Variety stated ...

Though undeniably gorgeous, it is punishingly long, frequently boring, and woefully unengaging at some of its most critical moments. It is too subdued for Scorsese-philes, too violent for the most devout, and too abstruse for the great many moviegoers who such an expensive undertaking hopes to attract (which no doubt explains why Scorsese was compelled to cast The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield and two Star Wars stars).

And here's a the beginning of a review in The Guardian ...

Silence: Scorsese’s new film is not worth making a noise about

We all know how it is with Scorsese. At the core of his work is the solid-gold De Niro material with one foot in Marty’s Italian-American upbringing: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, King Of Comedy and Goodfellas/Casino. Then a second rank of DiCaprio collaborations, offering a lower rate of return: The Departed, Shutter Island, Wolf Of Wall Street. Then there are the oddities – New York New York, Cape Fear and Hugo – where he feels miscast or lost as a director. Then there’s this final category – movies on the subject of religious devotion that gestated in Scorsese’s mind over years or decades: The Last Temptation Of Christ, Kundun and now Silence. These tend to be the Scorsese movies I only ever see once, feeling no compulsion to revisit or reassess them.

I fear that Silence expired in the womb during that long gestation period. It is beautiful to look at, but feels inert, humourless and overly devout (to say nothing of over-long; Masahiro Shinoda’s 1971 adaptation got Shūsako Endō’s 1966 novel on to film using 30 fewer minutes than Scorsese). Perhaps that leap toward the devout is needed to savour it fully – and I found I couldn’t make it. I didn’t care: for me, Christianity is one of the Big Bs of violent colonial intrusion – Bullet, Bottle, Bacillus, Bible – and Silence has a “white saviour” complex it can’t shake. Also not helpful are the other distractions: US, English and Irish actors all playing Portuguese while speaking English in shaky Latin accents; and an American director, more comfortable with modernity, making an avowedly Japanese period movie, from a novel by a member of Japan’s Catholic minority, and with Taiwan standing in for Japan ....

If you're looking for an Easter movie, I'd suggest Jesus instead.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trump & Repub Congress attack PP

Trump Signs Law Taking Aim at Planned Parenthood Funding

President Trump signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions, a move cheered by conservatives who have clamored to impose curbs on reproductive rights.

The measure nullifies a rule completed in the last days of the Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services related to contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening from qualified health providers — regardless of whether they also performed abortions. The new measure cleared Congress last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tiebreaking vote in the Senate.

People sometimes say that if only Planned Parenthood would quit doing abortions, they wouldn't have all these problems. What those people don't seem to understand is that because of pro-life violence, the murder of doctors, the bombing of clinics, etc., the procedure that was once performed in doctors' offices, hospitals, and clinics as part of the full range of women's reproductive care, is now done in very few places aside from Planned Parenthood. PP is not going to let women down.

More: California prosecutors have turned the tables on Planned Parenthood's undercover video tormentors

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Holy Week: Thursday

What was Jesus doing on Holy Thursday? Eating in ...

Video from The Passion of the Christ. Song: Remembrance (Communion Song), Matt Maher.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Holy Week: Tuesday & Wednesday

So what was Jesus up to after his entry into Jerusalem but before the Last Supper? The Synoptic gospels have him ...

- Cleansing the Temple. I've got to admit, I always find this story disturbing ... Jesus really angry and acting that out. But I think it's good for me to revisit it now and then because I don't think being holy or wise means being emotionally placid all the time, and I do think anger can be a good thing. So, in that spirit, here's the scene from Jesus of Nazareth ...

- And he was also telling the Scribes and Pharisees where to get off. When I watch this scene from Jesus of Nazareth, I so much wish Jesus was here today to say these words to the leaders of the Catholic church !!! ...

- And the Synoptic gospels have him making the Olivet prophecy, speaking to the disciples on the Mount of Olives about the future destruction of the Temple and his second coming, and the violent end of the world. I don't know if there's any depiction of this event in the movies. I guess I don't really believe this happened. It doesn't appear in the Gospel of John, and that gospel has Jesus giving a much more user friendly talk about the future ... John 14:1-4 ...

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.

More on Thursday.

Trump & Repub Congress harms wildlife

With all the big bad stuff caused by the Trump administration and the Republican majority in Congress, it can be easy to overlook the continuous but less reported mean-spirited acts for which they are also responsible. Here's an example in the news today ...

Congress Just Made It Officially Legal To Kill Hibernating Bears

Hunters in Alaska can now track and kill hibernating bears thanks to a U.S. House and Senate resolution rolling back Obama-era regulations against the practice.

President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday, which rolled back Alaska’s ban on killing the vulnerable bears, along with wolf cubs in dens. It also allows for hunters to target the animals from helicopters. The Republican-sponsored legislation impacts 76.8 million acres of federally protected national preserves across Alaska ......

I'd wonder how these people could be so mean, but then I guess if someone can contemplate snatching food from the mouths of the disabled and elderly, then this would be a walk in the park (you know, a park without any pesky wildlife).

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Palm Suday

A few years ago I had this post on Palm Suday. Weird how my feelings haven't really changed since then. I wrote ...

I've been putting off thinking about the whole lead-up to Easter ... Lent, and now Palm Sunday. I guess the Palm Sunday event in the gospels was a happy one - Jesus being cheered by the people of Jerusalem as he entered town. Here's a clip from The Gospel of John ...

But I can't help thinking ahead to Friday, when there's so much suffering. I used to be more upbeat about it all but now I just feel sort of morose about Holy Week. I'll have more on this as the week progresses.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

John Oliver and Edward Snowden

Noticing this week that Congress has sold out our privacy: It’s Done. Your Internet Provider Can Sell All Your Web History.

This reminded me of an episode of Last Week Tonight from two years ago in which John Oliver discusses the Patriot Act, the lack of interest people have in it, and then actually goes to Russia to interview Edward Snowden about privacy ...

Our privacy matters.

Syria missile strikes

OK, might as well weigh in on Trump's missile strikes on Syria. I have to wonder why Trump, who advise Obama not to get involved in Syria after a much worse chemical weapons attack in 2013, now wants to do that very thing. Is he trying to distract attention from his failed health plan, his failed Muslim bans, his campaign's connections with Russia?

Trump Is About To Find Out Why Obama Avoided Military Intervention In Syria

On Thursday night, President Donald Trump authorized the military to launch several dozen cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at a Syrian airfield. The strike was meant to punish Syria’s President Bashar Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons to attack his own citizens.

It was a dramatic reversal, not only from Trump’s own pledges to limit U.S. involvement in Syria but from his predecessor, who for years resisted growing calls to intervene militarily against the Assad regime. President Barack Obama’s decision to refrain from engagement in 2013 was criticized as feckless at the time and is cited now as one of the reasons that Trump was forced to act. But a revisiting of the arguments and calculations that led Obama to make his decision ― from the fear that it would not be a deterrent to the concerns over how the U.S. would respond to future attacks on civilians ― provides an important blueprint for the major hurdles that Trump will now have to confront ....

From CNN, Jake Tapper's interview with President Obama, September 2016, on his inaction in Syria ...

And here's what Bernie Sanders had to say today about this situation ...

More from The Atlantic: The Confused Person’s Guide to the Syrian Civil War

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"It's such a rainy afternoon ..."

It's a rainy afternoon here and I'm posting more Moody Blues ... The Actor from 1968, written and sung by Justin Hayward. The refrain - The sound I have heard in your hello - makes my hair stand on end.

Doctor Strange

This week's movie rental was Doctor Strange ...

a 2016 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name .... and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. In Doctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns the mystic arts from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident.

Although I read most of Marvel's comics when I was a kid, Doctor Strange was not among them, so the story was pretty new to me. The special effects were really good, I thought, and reminiscent of Inception. And I liked the mystic/psychedelic theme ... in a brief scene, Stan Lee is shown reading Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception :) And there was a lot of incidental humor too, like in the exchange in this first time meeting between Doctor Strange and the evil Kaecilius ...

And it was interesting to see what Kathmandu is like - yes, they really filmed there ... Doctor Strange: When Benedict Cumberbatch went to Kathmandu

The movie has been well received - the Tomatometer was at 90% approval - and you can read a review from the LA Times here: Review Benedict Cumberbatch anchors Marvel's trippy, transporting 'Doctor Strange'

In Marvel movies one of the parts I like best are the little "preview" bits sandwiched within the end credits. In this film, that has Doctor Strange meeting with Thor :) ...

If you like Marvel's universe, if you like science fiction and fantasy, you will probably find the film a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Bernie on Gorsuch

Bernie Sanders explains why he will vote NO on Gorsuch for the Supreme Court ...

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

More yard photos

Spring is my favorite time of year for the yard. All the plants are happy because there's rain and mild weather. The only downsides: mowing the lawn and allergies ;) Took some more photos yesterday ...

These are violets and a white flower I'm not sure about ...

Gretel gets a drink ...

Hansel under the trees ...

Monday, April 03, 2017


I think the Democrats are right to block Gorsuch for Supreme Court Justice. It's incredible to hear the hypocritical whining of the Republicans given that they would not even allow Merrick Garland to have a hearing. The concerns with the kind of judge Gorsuch would be added to that make a filibuster not only inevitable but necessary. Here my Senator, Dianne Feinstein, explains the reasons why she will not vote for Gorsuch ...

And here's Senator Al Franken on his reasons for voting NO on Gorsuch ...

More: Merrick Garland Isn’t the Only Reason the Democrats Should Filibuster Gorsuch ... and ... Judge Gorsuch is more dangerous than he appears