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Saturday, August 29, 2020

RIP: Chadwick Boseman

Very sad to see that actor Chadwick Boseman has died.

He was most well known, of course, for his role as T'Challa in Marvel's Black Panther, first introduced in Captain America: Civil War. ...

But he was in quite a few films before that, including one of my favorite B movies, Gods of Egypt, in which he played Thoth.

A more serious film in which he appeared was Marshall. He portrayed a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court ...

And I especially liked when he appeared on SNL as the Black Panther :) ...

He will be missed.

Friday, August 28, 2020


OK, I can't just not say more about Trump's insane speech. Not only was it incoherent -- it began with "I profoundly accept this nomination ..." -- it was also filled to the brim with lies ...

When I mentioned to my Trump-voting relatives that Trump lies, they said 'everybody lies'. That isn't true. Lying isn't morally neutral. Lying is undertaken for one main reason ... to advantage oneself at another's expense. It harms the people who are lied to because they can't make good choices based on false information. Trump lies all the time and about things that are incredibly important. How many people's lives have been ruined by Trump's lies, how many people have died? If you knowingly vote for this liar, you are responsible for the harm he causes with his lies.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

RNC ends

Tonight was the last night of the Republican National Convention. The amount of lying, fearmongering, and hate were unbelievable to the point of actually being hilarious, as you could see from the video above.

Of course, the issues at stake are serious, and I find it incredibly depressing that there are so many people who have chosen Trump as their avatar. Trump and his spawn and his bootlickers will eventually be gone, but the kind of people who put him in the White House will still be among us.

Here's more on some of the inaccurate COVID statements in Trump's speech tonight ...

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Payroll tax cuts

Trump says he wants to end payroll taxes. If he does do that, people like me, the disabled and the elderly who depend on Social Security, will be doomed.

Trump payroll plan would deplete Social Security by 2023: Administrator

President Trump's proposal to eliminate payroll taxes would deplete the Social Security retirement trust fund by 2023, and its disability insurance fund by the middle of next year, according to the Social Security Administration. Absent other sources of revenue, the programs would stop paying out benefits when the funds were depleted ...

What a great idea - Trump can get rid of all those pesky disabled people and poor people and old people the Republicans so dispises in one fell swoop.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Jacob Blake

Take a moment to think of Jacob Blake.

On August 23rd, Jacob Blake was shot by a police officer at least seven times at point blank range in his back as he was getting into his car, a car in which his three children were sitting. He is now paralyzed. Paralyzed.

You can talk about more training for police, but nothing will change as long as there is a group of people who hold life and death power over others, but who are unaccountable to the laws to which the rest of us must answer.

Defund the police.

A cult

I didn't watch the Republican convention last night, but I did see bits of it on the news.

The main thing that struck me was that the Republican party has now made it official: they are a cult. They have decided not to have a platform at all. There will be no stated principles, no proposed policies, no agreed upon values. Their only guiding light for their party will be the whims of their master.

Even those few Republicans some may have considered reasonable, like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, got down on their knees before Trumpism. Not because they are true believers, but because they themselves want to run for president someday and they have made the calcilation that in order to make this a reality, they must kiss Trump's ass in the present.

The rest of what was presented last night was a parallel universe of lies, fearmongering, nepostism, and hate.

What kind of people buy this crap?

Monday, August 24, 2020


The one thing we're always *not* supposed to do is to attribute a kind of supernatural or theological proximate cause to any speech or action of someone we are criticizing. It just seems over the top. But I've got to say, I'm pretty much there when it comes to Trump and those in his administration who are aiding him .... they and their acts do seem evil to me.

It isn't just that they are doing what's expedient and they don't care about collateral damage. They are doing this stuff on purpose - the cruelty is the point of their choices, not a byproduct. From The Atlantic ...

The Cruelty Is the Point

The cruelty of the Trump administration’s policies, and the ritual rhetorical flaying of his targets before his supporters, are intimately connected. As Lili Loofbourow wrote of the Kavanaugh incident in Slate, adolescent male cruelty toward women is a bonding mechanism, a vehicle for intimacy through contempt. The white men in the lynching photos are smiling not merely because of what they have done, but because they have done it together.

We can hear the spectacle of cruel laughter throughout the Trump era. There were the border-patrol agents cracking up at the crying immigrant children separated from their families, and the Trump adviser who delighted white supremacists when he mocked a child with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother. There were the police who laughed uproariously when the president encouraged them to abuse suspects, and the Fox News hosts mocking a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub massacre (and in the process inundating him with threats), the survivors of sexual assault protesting to Senator Jeff Flake, the women who said the president had sexually assaulted them, and the teen survivors of the Parkland school shooting. There was the president mocking Puerto Rican accents shortly after thousands were killed and tens of thousands displaced by Hurricane Maria, the black athletes protesting unjustified killings by the police, the women of the #MeToo movement who have come forward with stories of sexual abuse, and the disabled reporter whose crime was reporting on Trump truthfully. It is not just that the perpetrators of this cruelty enjoy it; it is that they enjoy it with one another. Their shared laughter at the suffering of others is an adhesive that binds them to one another, and to Trump ....

The Lincoln Project ad above deals with the fact that Trump and Jared had actually come up with a plan to lower the death rate from the virus, but they decided not to use it because it seemed that the virus would mostly kill Democrats (Kushner's coronavirus team shied away from a national strategy, believing that the virus was hitting Democratic states hardest and that they could blame governors, report says). I call that evil.

Party of life?

Poll: 57% Of Republicans Find Coronavirus Death Toll, Now Over 176,000, ‘Acceptable’

A majority of Republican voters think that the U.S. coronavirus death toll, which is over 176,000 and rising, is “acceptable,” a CBS News/YouGov poll found Sunday, with an even larger number saying that the national response to coronavirus is “going well." ...

How many decades have Republicans styled the Democratic party as "the party of death" and their own party as "the party of life"? Just another Republican lie.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Miles Taylor

Reading about Miles Taylor, former Chief of Staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (2017-2019). He now works for Google.

He came to my attention when he went public with his concerns about Trump as president (op-ed in The Washington Post, interviews, ads for Republican Voters Against Trump).

Of course, Trump tried to distance himself from Taylor, sauing he had never met him. That denial didn't go well ...

Here's one of the ads Taylor made for Republican Voters Against Trump ...

And here's a bit of an interview from CNN ...

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Rose garden

Above is the previous White House rose garden from the time of Jackie Kennedy.

Now ...

The original White House rose garden is on the left, and Melania's new version is on the right (goodbye Katherine crabapple trees, tulips, and other colorful flowers).

I guess what Rick Wilson said is true - everything (Melania) Trump touches dies. You will know what I mean if you will recall her Christmas decor.

I especially appreciated this twitter comment on the change ;) ...

Thursday, August 20, 2020


Trump is asked about QAnon, a right-wing fringe conspiracy movement that asserts the deep state and poliitical and show-biz personalitites are cannibalistic pedophiles bent on our destruction, and that Trump is secretly working to save us from them. His response? "Is that supposed to be a bad thing?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Convention day 3

Tonight at the Democraatic convention, President Obama spoke ...

Miss him!

And from last night, something I forgot to post from the second day of the convention: the roll call. Because everything in the convention is virtual, the typical roll call couldn't happen, but they replaced it with something way better. I couldn't stop watching! :) ...


Welcome to my crispy state. Vacaville is only about 30 miles from here. So scary!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Convention day 1

Here is Michelle Obama's really good talk from tonight's Democratic convention ...

And here is Bernie Sanders' also good speech ...

It is good to be a Democrat :)

Sunday, August 16, 2020


Here's Jimi Hendrix doing his song, The Wind Cries Mary, 1967 in Stockholm ...

I'm sure I've mentioned it here before, but I did get a chance to see him perform live before he died. It was when I was in high school - went with my then boyfriend Dan to see him at the local state college in 1968.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

WWZ again

Tonight I am re-watching an old favorite movie - World War Z, starring Brad Pitt ...

Former UN field agent Gerry Lane, his wife Karin and their two daughters are in heavy Philadelphia traffic when the city is overrun by zombies. As chaos spreads, the Lanes escape to Newark, New Jersey and take refuge in an apartment. UN Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni, an old friend of Gerry, sends a helicopter that extracts the Lanes and Tommy to a U.S. Navy vessel in the Atlantic Ocean where scientists and military personnel are analyzing the worldwide outbreaks. Andrew Fassbach, a young virologist, posits that the plague is a virus and that development of a vaccine depends on finding the origin. Gerry is forced to either help Fassbach find the outbreak source or the family will be evictrd ...

I never realizrd before how scary this movie actually is, but now that the coronavirus has appeared, it's just too plausible. In the film, a virus spreads from Asia to all parts of the world. Governments and police are overrun. What's left of the military and some scientists try to discover the origins of the virus so that they can create a vaccine before it's too late. Oh, and infected people turn into crazed mindless killing machines, infecring others almost instantaneously. Eeeeeeeee!


Peace in the Middle East? Not so much ...

I used to like Netanyahu, but since Trump has been president, it seems like he's become almost Trump's acolyte. Trump offers people the thing they believe, despite their better judgement, that they need and want the most .... that's how Trump ruins people.


Tonight on the PBS NewsHour there was a segment about the Talking Heads that reminded me of this song, Heaven ...

Friday, August 14, 2020


I was watching Morning Joe today as I washed the cat dishes. Mika was asking why 30-40% of voters still support Trump, despite all the bad stuff he has done and the bad person that he has shown himself to be. One of her guests opined that those Trump voters were formed over many years by economic hardship.

This is the most common excuse I've seen for being a Trump voter, and I've got to say that I think it is total BS.

I grew up in a family without much money. My mom sewed our clothes because we couldn't afford to buy them. At one point we were on food stamps. We had Medicaid as our insurance. No one paid our way through college - we worked at part-time jobs as we studied.

And guess what? Wonder of wonders, experiencing economic hardship did not turn us into racists, it did not turn us into misogynists, It did not make us effing stupid, and it did not compel us to cooperate with intrinsic evil.

Trump voters, especially after these almost 4 years of a Trump presidency, support him because they like him, they like what he says, they like what he does - they *are* him. Stop trying to excuse them from that responsibility.


I'm looking forward to reading Michael Cohen's book. I don't doubt he knows where all the bodies are buried, plus Trump and his minions certainly tried hard enough to keep the book from being published. I have to admit that I sort of like Michael Cohen. He had the courage to tell the truth about Trump (Congressional hearings/Mueller), and he had the humility to admit he had been wrong.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Sad song

Remembering 1984 today because of a song I heard at the grocery store. Normally I don't specifically remember what year most songs come out, but that was a strange year because I was getting divorced. The divorce actually happened in 1985, but 1984 was the year I was still trying to save the marriage, an unbelievably daunting uphill and futile slog.

The song was from the soundtrack of a movie, Against All Odds. I can't remember now if the movie was any good or not, but I remember going to see it with the ex, and that it was an icredibly depressing experience.

Time to exorcise some demons! ;) Here's the song, by Phil Collins, with bits from the movie ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has chosen my state senator, Kamala Harris, as his running mate. I had wondered if Susan Rice might be best, but as I think it over, Harris is probably better politically. Here's more ....

Monday, August 10, 2020

Cool Yoda

It's 99 F today. When we got the window air conditioner, I worried the noise would scare Yoda, but she actually likes to nap right next to it ...


Thursday, August 06, 2020

The interview

Watching Axios reporter Jonathan Swan's interview for HBO with Trump ...

Holy mackerel! I've never listened to Trump speak for such a length of time and it was scary. On every subject brought up, he had a skewed and false perspective that was a combination of lie and created alternate reality.

As I watched, I was reminded of two books, one by James Comey and one by Andy McCabe, both directors of the FBI fired by Trump. They describe how Trump talks non-stop, lying contimuously, and trying to coerce his subject's tacit agreement with his relentless bullsh*t. Most people just wither under this barage ... it's easier to nod and stay quiet and hope it will all end soon ... but this is how Trump eats people up until their independence and integrity is destroyed. Comey and McCabe were able to stand up to him and speak the truth, and so they were fired.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Fortune: San Francisco

As I mentioned in an earlier post, San Francisco is a wonderful city, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's problems. It's extremely expensive to live there, and there is a huge economic disparity among the inhabitants - in short, there is a lot of homelessness. This issue comes scarily close: if my mom had not left my sister and me this house, I feel I could have ended up in such a situation. Yes, there is section 8 housing for people on social security, but the wait list here is years long.

But don't believe Trump when he goes on about the homelessness problem in San Francisco. His idea is to end homelessness by eradicating homeless people, as if they were vermin. Instead, in San Francisco, people of good will are working on ways to help those in need. Above is a short video from Fortune about San Francisco and these conomic problems (and it has a lot of beautiful views of the city).

Ed Yong

A couple of days ago I saw science writer for The Atlantic, Ed Yong, on MSNBC - he has written a piece on the pandemic: How the Pandemic Defeated America.

Ed has a different perspective as he is British, and so clearly sees how weird and immoral it is to have a country where access to health care is tied to money, even duting a pandemic.

I have been reading Ed's work for years. When I first came upon him, he was a blogger at National Geographic at Not exactly Rocket Science. I liked that blog because he wrote a lot about animals. It was there that I learned that almost all female creatures are fertile and have babies their whole lives: only in a few species, like humans and killer whales, do females have menopause (Why Killer Whales Go Through Menopause But Elephants Don't).

Sunday, August 02, 2020

San Francisco

Thinking of one of my favorite places today - San Francisco. Though it's about 90 miles away from here, we spent a lot of time there over the years, all good.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Experiment #2

OK, blog posting experiment with new interface, #2.  Still need to figure out some stuff. But as they say on Stargate ...

A lot has happened in the news in the last few days, and these two items especially struck me.

It seems Jared and his school/business cronies created a national plan to deal with the pandemic but then decided not to use it because they believed that mostly only Democrats would die of the virus.

And the question arises, is Trump trying to doom TikTok because of Sarah Cooper's videos? ...