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Tuesday, January 31, 2023


My sister and I took Vicky the cat to the SPCA today to find another home - I was on the waitlist for something like 6 months. Vicky had been living inside in my mom's bedroom since the day he had been injured outside in a fight ...

Hard to believe that was over a year ago. Since then I had been trying to find him another home, as Yoda hated him being inside. And I worried about having the responsibility of another indoor cat (there are 12+ outside) when I can barely take care of Yoda, given my bad finances and bad eyes.

Still, it felt pretty upsetting to give Vicky away. My sister and I cried in the car :( Please say a prayer for Vicky that he will find a loving forever home.

Monday, January 30, 2023

The videos

The video footage of the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husbanf has been made public, and it shows the attacker breaking into the house and also hitting Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer. Chris hayes shows clips of the Republican politicians, Republican "news" pundits, and Republican voters making jokes about and laughing at the attack, making up gay tropes about the attack. Even after the release of the videos.

What loathsome stinking pieces of garbage these people are.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Tyre Nichols

Video shows Tyre Nichols calling for his mother, beaten by officers now charged in his death

I have not yet seen the video of the horrible police attack on Tyre Nichols, but did hear just a bit of it on a news podcast - guess I'm too cowardly to watch it, at least so far.

After the murder of George Floyd by police, there was a lot of talk about reorganization and retraining the police, to help keep such a thing and others like it from happening again. But then an election approached, the Republicans characterized the idea as defunding the police, and everyone seemed to step back from the idea. They should not have.

Thinking of police brutality, I was reminded of a notorious experiment I learned about in a college psychology class: the Stanford prison experiment (there was a 2015 movie made about this too). Here's a brief description of the experiment from Wikipedia ...

The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was a psychological experiment conducted in the summer of 1971. It was a two-week simulation of a prison environment that examined the effects of situational variables on participants' reactions and behaviors. Stanford University psychology professor Philip Zimbardo led the research team who administered the study ....

Those volunteers selected to be "guards" were given uniforms specifically to de-individuate them, and instructed to prevent prisoners from escaping. The experiment officially started when "prisoners" were arrested by real Palo Alto police. Over the following five days, psychological abuse of the prisoners by the "guards" became increasingly brutal. After psychologist Christina Maslach visited to evaluate the conditions, she was upset to see how study participants were behaving and she confronted Zimbardo. He ended the experiment on the sixth day ...

I don't doubt that most police try to do a good job, but it's just true that something bad happens to people, not all but many, when they are given a lot of power over others, along with a lack of accountability (qualified immunity). Democrats must keep trying to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would be a start at addressing the problem. But nothing will bring the dead back to life.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

I Can't Explain

I like this 1964 song written by Pete Townshend and performed by The Who, which came out when I was 13 and still fairly optimistic about life :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The tanks

The Ukrainians asked for the German Leopard 2 tanks, but Germany didn't want to make Putin mad so they declined. Then other NATO countries that had the tanks said they would send some to Ukraine, and Germany was against that too (Putin might get mad). The Leopard 2 tank ...

So finally we had to say we would send some of our tanks, the M1 Abrams, to nudge the Germans into sending theirs. Here's an M1A2 tank with TUSK ...

But now we are saying that we can't send very many tanks, and they will take a really really long time to get there, and it will take a really really long time to train the Ukrainian crews to use them, and those crews qon't be able to take care of ten properly.

Is all that really true? Not according to retired general Barry McCaffrey ...

Why are we dragging our feet when people are dying? Are we that afraid of Putin?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Suicide pact

Gavin Newsom: The Second Amendment is becoming a suicide pact.

I agree. Multiple mass shootings in my state, in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. California has pretty good gun laws, but what's needed are federal laws that all states must adhere to, the kind of laws that they have in most other developed countries. But that's impossible because ... Republicans. You know, the "pro-life" party.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Dobbs effect

Maternal and infant death rates are higher in states that ban or restrict abortion, report says

The rates of mothers and newborn babies dying during pregnancy, at birth or postpartum are much higher in states that currently ban or restrict abortions than in states preserving access, according to a new report ....

States that have restricted access to abortion services had maternal death rates in 2020 that were 62% higher than in states preserving access to abortion services. Between 2018 and 2020, the maternal death rate increased twice as fast in states that now have abortion restrictions, according to the report released Wednesday by the research foundation Commonwealth Fund ....

Job well done, "pro-life" movement. Not that I think they will care ... to the religious extremists of the pro-life movement, the lives of women and girls, and even infants, are irrelevant in comparison to their created-from-whole-cloth "mission".

Friday, January 20, 2023

Anti-abortion march

Anti-abortion activists attend first March for Life ‘with fresh resolve’ post-Roe

[T]his year’s march marks a turn in the fight against abortion rights, with opponents’ primary goal of overturning Roe v. Wade met and half of all states having banned or restricted access to abortion in most cases. But anti-abortion advocates contend that their work isn’t finished as they aim to advance legislation that restricts abortion at the state and federal levels, including setting a minimum federal standard on the procedure ...

First, the pro-life movement is not actually pro-life in any meaningful sense, and would be more actuately described as an "anti-reproductive rights for women" movement.

Now that they have doomed Roe, they are trying to doom abortion via medication as well, and are also reminding their legislators to pass a federal ban on abortion. I have no doubt that an effort to restrict contraception will follow.

I don't believe the "pro-life" movement will be satisfied until they have dragged women back to the time that their darling, Nick Fuentes, gushes about. It's a time when women have no access to abortion or contraception, when women can't get divorced, when women cannot vote, and when women cannot be in the workforce .... a Catholic Taliban dictatorship, as Fuentes describes it.

This idea is both repugnant and laughable. Somehow members of this movement, like members of the Republican party, have convinced themselves that a majority of Americans share their views, despite all electoral and polling evidence to the contrary. Their desire to impose their minority will on the rest of us will backfire, and hopefully destroy the "pro-life" movement, along with what's left of the Republican party.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

RIP: David Crosby

Wooden Ships ...

"Wooden Ships" is a song written and composed by David Crosby, Paul Kantner, and Stephen Stills, of which versions were eventually recorded both by Crosby, Stills & Nash and by Jefferson Airplane; Kantner was a founding member of the latter group. It was written and composed in 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a boat named the Mayan, owned by Crosby, who composed the music, while Kantner and Stills wrote most of the lyrics ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

George Santos

Everyday I hear another bad thing about Republican scumbag, the incredible Mr. Santos (not that that's his real name). Today's news seems somehow the worst so far ...

Disabled Veteran: George Santos Took $3K From Dying Dog's GoFundMe

Long story short, Santos, under his pseudonym of Anthony Devolder, stole the GoFundMe money gathered to save a disabled veteran's sick dog. The dog passed away.

Kevin McCarthy has just given this human piece of garbage seats on two House committees, I guess because he is such an icon of what it means to be a Republican lawmaker.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Republicans in the House want to cut discretionary spending - Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and most (all?) other programs that aren't defense spending. But that's ok, because the poor, the elderly, the disabled are just worthless social parasites who hardly ever vote. No one will miss them, especially not the politicians. God, I hate the Republicans.

Monday, January 16, 2023


[O]ne day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring ...

- Where Do We Go From Here?

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Monster

- photo from 1987 party, L to R: Trump, Carroll, John Johnson, Ivana

The Monster. That's how I think of Trump. He shows his stripes again ...

Under oath, Trump hurled insults at woman who alleges rape

Combative and unapologetic, former President Donald Trump denied sexually assaulting columnist E. Jean Carroll under questioning from her attorney — repeatedly referring to her using derogatory terms and threatening to countersue, according to excerpts of a 5-and-a-half-hour October deposition unsealed Friday ....

The excerpts reveal a contentious battle between Trump and Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, who questioned him as Trump called the former longtime Elle magazine columnist the perpetrator of "a complete scam" in which she described the rape as she "was promoting a really crummy book."

"I will sue her after this is over, and that's the thing I really look forward to doing. And I'll sue you too," he told Kaplan ....

At one point in the deposition, Trump called Carroll "sick, mentally sick." He mischaracterized an interview Carroll had given on CNN, falsely claiming she had talked about enjoying being sexually assaulted. "She actually indicated that she loved it. Okay? She loved it until commercial break," Trump said. "In fact, I think she said it was sexy, didn't she? She said it was very sexy to be raped. Didn't she say that?" ....
[No, she didn't]

At another point in the deposition, Kaplan asked Trump if he had ever touched a woman on her breast or buttocks or any other sexual part without her consent.

"Well, I will tell you no, but you may have some people like your client that lie," he responded ....

You can see the transcripts here

For some context, check out the Wikipedia page listing all the accusations of sexual assault against Trump by different women over the years - Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations

Friday, January 13, 2023

Let It Rain

Eric Clapton, 1985.

It's still raining continuously here in northern California. It's going to rain tomorrow, and the day after too before we finally get a break. The backyard is like a swamp, and unfortunately, so is the garage, with lots of damp and moldy cardboard all over the floor to soak up the water. I'm grateful, though, that it's not presently as bad here as it is in some other parts of the state!

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Jimmy Page

Speaking of Jimmy Page, here he does Chopin's Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4 at the ARMS Concert in New York, 1983 ...

RIP: Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck, famous British guitarist of such bands as The Yardbirds, has died at age 78.

To get an idea of his work: Jeff Beck’s 10 Essential Songs.

I've got to admit, I never really cared for Beck. I thouhgt Jimmy Page, who was also in The Yardbirds and went on to join Led Zeppelin, was a better guitarist. But anyway, here is an early video of The Yardbirds. Beck does the guitar solo ...

Not a thing

The GOP majority in the House has passed misleading "messaging" bills on abortion, one bill to stop doctors from murdering infants born alive during a third trimester abortion, and one bill to save Crisis Pregnancy Centers from pro-choice violence. Both bills are unneccesary, but Republican lawmakers believe their voters are ignorant enough to believe they are.

If anyone wants to learn more about "born alive" legislation, there was a detailed page published on that from a few years ago ... The Facts on the Born-Alive Debate

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Prince Harry

I watched the Anderson Cooper interview with Prince Harry on 60 Minutes tonight.

One might think that Harry has every reason to be a ridiculously happy person - he's young, healthy, as rich as Croesus, happily married with children, and living in Montecito.

But instead he seems a pretty disturbed person, unable or unwilling to let go of the past, or of the toxic relationship with his British family. On one hand he seems sad, but also too self-absorbed.

I find myself wanting to say to him .... I don't think you can have things both ways, so stop obsessing and choose a lane. If you still long to be special and royal and part of "The Firm" then go back and do your job. But if you do want to be accepted as a normal person, then just move on (and we don't have royalty in the US so stop using your titles).

More: Has Prince Harry’s Confessional Tour Run Its Course?

Monday, January 09, 2023

The addendum

The secret addendum.

One of the Republicans who sold his vote for the House Speakership to Kevin McCarthy was on Meet the Press yesterday, and his vision of the future with Republicans in charge of the House is chilling ...

Actually, they aren't so "transparent" after all. Now we are learing about McCarthy's "secret addendum" to the House Rules Committee package voted on today, which contains controversial concessions McCarthy made to people to get their votes ...

Read more at New York Magazine ... How Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Concessions Will Cost America

Sunday, January 08, 2023


Extreme winds knock out power in Sacramento as California faces yet another onslaught of storms this week.

Pretty scarey here last night - wind gusts up to 70 miles an hour. I have all this heavy stuff tied to the pop tent on the porch but it still got slammed all over the place and a few times lifted two or three feet off the ground. I kept going out to drag it back into place and then a few minutes later it would be messed up again. And it was raining too. We lost power too for a while. Poor Dina the cat, who won't go into the gatage, crouched on the little couch under the pop tent the whole time. Many small tree limbs downed but at least no tress fell over. The even more scarey thing is that it's going to happen again tonight.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Zombie Republicans

On this second anniversary of the January 6 riot, w e're all asking ourselves what has happened to the Republicans, that they would end up with this situation .... their party being being taken over by gun-toting, misogynistic, white nationalist, anarchist, nihilist thugs. If you don't think that's happening, look at who has the "normies"* in the House by the short hairs ... Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Anna Paulina Luna, Eli Crane, etc. They are not an anomaly, they are simply the more obvious signs of a spreading infection that will eventually and inevitably engulf and destroy the GOP. Allow me to give a metaphorical example ...

* To be clear, those "normie" Republican lawmakers who are voting for McCarthy are not normal ... they have many of the same beliefs as the "rebels", and after the insurrection, most of them still voted to overturn the election.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

The Speaker

I'm watching the Republicans in the House try, again, to elect a Speaker. I don't feel at all sorry for McCarthy. He sold his soul to get this job, and I can recall all the crappy things he has said about Democrats, the lies, the hypocrisy, the slithering down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss Trump's thing ... I think McCarthy deserves this comeuppance.

Some are saying the Democrats should help the Republicans vote for McCarthy or a more normalish Republican Speaker. They should not! Some say this circus is impasse bad for the country. Nope, it's good for the country. It allows voters to see in real time what Republican governance (snort) is all about. Even if the Republicans had chosen a speaker on the first vote, they would not use their power to help the American people through passing legislation. They would and will instead spend all their time trying to put Dr. Fauci's head on a spike and Huneter Biden's naked photos on Times Square billboards. I hope the vote takes forever.

Monday, January 02, 2023

More rain

Yep, it's still raining here and two more storms are on the way. My sister took me to Home Depot today to buy cardboard to put on the floor of the garage ... water is coming in under the doors. The outside cats who have been taking refuge in the garage are not amused.