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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Breach

As we look forward to the latest January 6 committee hearing, a new book, The Breach, is out by former congressman (R) Denver Riggleman, who has worked with the committee researching data. The committee appears pissed off at him for releasing information about their work. But I'm glad he is allowing the general public to see what he discovered as a staffer, information the committee seems to want to keep under wraps.

He was on 60 minutes recently, discuaaing his book and the work of the committee ...

Monday, September 26, 2022

Nori Brandyfoot

One of my favorite scenes in the first episode of The Rings of Power is when the Harfoot people find a berry patch. The music is so lovely.

Morality Police

“The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.” - Republican representative from Colorado, Lauren Boebert (Washington Post)

That's just factually wrong, of course, and if we want to see what that would be like, we have an example in the news right now ...

Iran protests: Mahsa Amini's death puts morality police under spotlight

The Gasht-e Ershad (Guidance Patrols) are special police units tasked with ensuring the respect of Islamic morals and detaining people who are perceived to be "improperly" dressed.

Under Iranian law, which is based on the country's interpretation of Sharia, women are obliged to cover their hair with a hijab (headscarf) and wear long, loose-fitting clothing to disguise their figures.

Ms Amini allegedly had some hair visible under her headscarf when she was arrested by morality police in Tehran on 13 September. She fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre and died three days later in hospital. The force denied reports that officers beat her head with a baton and banged it against one of their vehicles ...

The Republicans want to shove their skewed brand of Christianity down our country's throat. They have already banned abortion in many states, banned books they don't like, banned even mentioning gay people, etc. If they win Congress and/or the presidency, what will be next? A Republican version of the Morality Police?

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Red panda

So cute :)

Friday, September 23, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion

This week's movie rental was Jurassic World Dominion ...

a 2022 American science fiction action film .... it is a sequel to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), the third and final film in the Jurassic World trilogy, and the sixth installment overall in the Jurassic Park franchise .... The film stars an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, and Omar Sy. Dern, Goldblum, and Neill reprise their roles from the Jurassic Park trilogy, appearing together for the first time since the 1993 film.

I am a big fan of the two Michael Crichton books from which the first two Jurassic Park movies were made: Jurassic Park: A Novel and The Lost World: A Novel.

And I did like all the movies, some being better than others. This one was fun because it united the stars of the Jurassic Park movies with the stars of the Jurassic World movies ... nice to see Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and BD Wong again.

- Dern and Neill from Jurassic Park III

- Goldblum from Jurassic Park

Also fun to see the many dinosaurs. Aimost all of the creatures in the movies are real dinosaurs from the past, and you can check Wikipedia and other places to see which dinosaurs showed up in each film. Here's an article in Wired: The Real Story Behind Jurassic World Dominion’s Dino Feathers

Having mentioned all that, the reviews have not been very good, but if you are like me, it will still be worth a watch.

One thing I like about the movies is the underlying feeling that all creatures matter and have worth beyond just being useful to people. As one of the characters says near the end of the film ...

Life on earth has existed for hundreds of millions of years and dinosaurs were only a part of that. And we are an even smaller part of that. They really put us in perspective. The idea that life on earth existed 65 million years ago. It's humbling. We act like we're alone here but we're not. We're part of a fragile system made up of all living things. If we're going to survive, we'll have to trust each other, depend on each other. Coexist.

Sunday, September 18, 2022


This episode of Meet The Press Reports is about a growing theocracy movement among conservatives in this country: Republicans like Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and others are calling for Christian Nationalism. It's a terrible idea, especially in a country with people of many different religions and also none, a country started, in part, by people fleeing religious persecution.

But what I also find creepy is that these Christian Nationalists are actually not Christian - crushing women and LBGTQ people is not Jesus' project. Christiaans shouldn't let conservatives get away with pretending their fascist wish-list is rooted in religion.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Rings of Power

The latest tv series I've been watching is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ...

an American fantasy television series based on the novel The Lord of the Rings and its appendices by J. R. R. Tolkien. Developed by showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay for the streaming service Prime Video, the series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

I was hesitant to watch it, being such a fan of the books and the Jackson movies - I was afraid it wouldn't be up to snuff. But I have been pleasantly surprised by its quality. The actors are good and the costumes and set designs are sometimes beautiful.

The main character is Galadriel, and I like the way they imagine her much more than the rather creepy version played by Cate Blanchett in the movies. In the tv series, her younger self cares more about finding and defeating Sauron, the evil one who killed her brother , than she cares about ebracing the peace of the Undying Lands ...

It's not perfect ... is it just me, or are the Harfoots (proto-hobbits) speaking with Irish accents, the Dwarves with Scottish accents, the Elves speaking the King's English, and the bad guys, like the orcs and the Southland villagers, speaking Cockney? But it's not just this program - the Jackson movies were similar.

Heres a review from Variety: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,’ Sweeping and Gutsy, Makes the Most of Its Ample Lore (and Amazon Budget): TV Review

I think it's definitely worth watching.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


You can enter the fact-free zone above and watch Lindsey Graham explain his proposed abortion ban bill, as well as listen to comments from a group of anti-abortion activists standing behind him.

I noticed at least five lies/misleading statements in what they had to say, but I'm sure there are more. Here are the five ...

1) Graham says he chose 15 weeks as a cut-off point for the ban because that is when scientists say a fetus can feel "excruciating" pain. This is a lie. For details, read this Live Science article, Do Fetuses Feel Pain? What the Science Says, but here's a quote ...

[T]he American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said it considers the case to be closed as to whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage [20 weeks] in development. "The science shows that based on gestational age, the fetus is not capable of feeling pain until the third trimester," said Kate Connors, a spokesperson for ACOG. The third trimester begins at about 27 weeks of pregnancy.

2) Graham says that the proposed Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 would allow people to get abortions "on demand" up until the day of birth. Actually, like Roe v Wade, the Women’s Health Protection Act allows for abortion no later than the point of fetal viability, about 24 weeks, unless the mother's life or health is in danger (see Section 3: permitted services)..

3) Graham calls his bill the "Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act", but what he doesn't spell out is that his bill would operate exactly like the Women’s Health Protection Act in that it would allow for "late-term" abortions if the life of the mother is in danger.

4) Graham has failed to mention that his bill would leave in place laws in states that are more restrictive, like a ban from the time of conception, or a ban with no exceptions (GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham proposes nationwide 15-week abortion ban). So this bill is not as "reasonable" as Graham says.

5) The anti-abortion activists who speak after Graham made my skin crawl - they seemed completely untethered to reality. They stating that 90% of Americans want this bill. They parroted the lie that the Democrats want abortion up to birth, lied about fetal pain, lied about doctors being forced to perform abortions, and on and on and on. They were creepy.

How stupid are Republican voters? Don't they realize that their politicians and their pundits and their activists are lying to them? It's not hard to fact check this stuff. Maybe they just don't care.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Who Loves You

Heard this on the muzak at the grocery store. Although I'd heard the song before, of course, I never really knew who had done it, so I looked it up. Made me smile to watch this :) ...

Saturday, September 10, 2022


Hard to find anything on the news except stuff about the British monarchy. Many of the British reporters and pundits that have been on the air are quite emotional about the late Queen and the royal line. It's hard for me to understand.

America fought a war to get free of the British monarchy. That monarchy forcibly colonized so many other countrues around the world, it was said the sun could never set on their empire. It's not just history - they still won't give back the Elgin Marbles. And that monarchy still has its political tentacles in a nimber of other countries today ... think Northern Ireland (and Scotland).

The very idea of monarchy should be repugnent to us: the divine right of kings theory that God has chosen certain superior people to reign over all us lessor beings, and that this right is passed on simply through an accident of birth, not because of competence. "Subjects" had to get down on their knees before British monarchs, and some still choose to. It's no samll thing that our Declaration of Independence insisted that all men are created equal, however imperfectly that has been realized.

When I think of the British monarchy, I think of all the money and property they have amassed over the centuries, of the snobbery and the British class system they exemplify, of the sheer bad luck that could make creepy Prince Andrew the ruler of millions. I just can't romanticize the royals, even at the passing of Queen Elizabeth.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Morning Joe

Watching Morning Joe today. The subject of abortion and Jesus came up ...

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Queen Elizabeth

Sad to see that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. I'm not a monarchist and I don't understand the desire to have royalty rule one's country, but she was beloved by her people.

She actually visited here once in 1983.

Tuesday, September 06, 2022


Pretty hot here today. The cats, indoor and out, are pooped. We have about a week more of super hot weather coming.

My sister and I are entertaining Vicky the cat. Yoda ia asleep on the kitchen sink, which is cool tiles, but my camera batteries gave out before I could get a photo of her too. Here's Vicky ...

OK, put new batteries in the camera. Now Yoda's moved to the kitchen table ...

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Doctor Strange 2

This week's movie rental was Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ...

a 2022 American superhero film based on Marvel Comics featuring the character Doctor Strange .... and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. In the film, Strange protects America Chavez (Gomez), a teenager capable of traveling the multiverse, from Wanda Maximoff (Olsen).

To understand everything that happens in the film, it halps to have seen the first Doctor Strange movie, of course, and to have seen the Avengers movies, and Spider-Man: No Way Home (which I haven't), but to also have watched the Disney tv series WandaVision (which I haven't).

It also wouldn't hurt to know about the idea of a multiverse. Let physicist Btian Greene explain ...

But anyway, here's the basic plot. Doctor Starnge meets and helps a teen who has the power to travel at will through the multiverse. She is being hunted down by Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, who has become evil after reading the Darkhold, the book of the damned. Doctor Strange and the girl travel through many universes, Strange meeting a number of his doppelgängers and some familiar but alternate friends (like Patrick Stewart's Professor X), eventually finding a way to stop Wanda.

Here's a review from The Atlantic ... The New Doctor Strange Is Not Just Another Marvel Movie

It was fun :)

Friday, September 02, 2022

Other sites

Yep, it's probably not just Mar-a-Lago. It is certain that the FBI and DOJ have considered all other locations belonging to Trump as repositories for his stolen government documents.

I can't help wondering about the golf course grave yard.