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Thursday, April 27, 2023


Perhaps, like me, you have been wondering why DNA evidence is not part of the Trump rape trial. E. Jean Carroll wrote in her book that she still has the dress she was wearing when she was raped, and that the dress had Trump's DNA on it.

Basically the DNA was not a part of the trial because Trump refused to give a sample with which to compare it. Now that the window of opportunity for giving that evidence has passed, Trump says he's willing to do it after all, in return for an appendix to an earlier test on the original DNA. The judge would not accept this gambit by Trump ... he characterized it as a delaying tactic ... and both parties agreed not to mention the DNA in court. This is why, when Trump's lawyer asked Carroll about that dress, the judge dismissed the jury and told Trump's lawyer to watch his step.

Read more about this at The New York Times ... DNA evidence is a no-go zone in the trial

Trump rape trial

I'm keeping up with the Trump rape trial ... E. Jean Carroll responds to Trump attorney: ‘I’m telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not’ .

Came upon this bit from The Daily Show which addresses the toxic male culture that thinks men raping women is fine. Jordan Klepper uses misogynist Andrew Tate as an example.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


It's actually kind of hot here today, and this looked so refreshing ...

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Trump rape trial

I first posted about this back in February 2021, and now the civil rape/defamation case against Trump is finally beginning. Trump is trying to pretend it isn't happening, but oh, it's happening.

Trump has a history of sexually assaulting women. Just check out the Wikipedia page ... Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations ...

Donald Trump, the president of the United States from 2017 to 2021, has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least 25 women since the 1970s.

I hope E. Jean Carroll wins her case and Trump is found guilty. Not that it will make any difference to his voters or his political toadies that their little tin god is a convicted rapist.

Monday, April 24, 2023

How we win

At NPR: Poll: Two-thirds oppose banning medication abortion

[...] By a 64%-to-35% margin, respondents in the survey of 1,291 adults said they oppose laws banning access to medication abortion .... A majority (55%) of Republicans also oppose those types of laws ...

I recall the pro-life comments at America magazine - they all seemed to believe that a vast majority of Americans wanted to totally ban abortion access. They told me that the Democratic party would have to become pro-life to win elections. I told them that would never happen because women are the Democratic party's main constituency, and ultimately, this is about women's rights.

But Republican politicians still keep pushing for nation-wide extreme abortion bans.

Keep at it, kids - this is how the Democrats win the 2024 election.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Cleopatra VII

- The Berlin Cleopatra, a bust of Cleopatra VII in the Altes Museum

In the news: Egyptian Scholars Slam Netflix for ‘Blackwashing’ Cleopatra in Upcoming Docuseries

“African Queens: Queen Cleopatra” is coming under fire for casting a Black biracial actress as the titular Greek-Egyptian ruler.

The docuseries, which premieres May 10, has been slammed for allegedly “blackwashing” the heritage of Queen Cleopatra VII. Egyptian scholars claim that Cleopatra, who was born in Egyptian city Alexandria in 69 BCE, was born of European descent and not Black. Scholars have confirmed that Cleopatra was Macedonian-Greek on her father Ptolemy XII’s side but her mother’s ethnic origin is unknown. Actress Adele James portrays Cleopatra in the series ...

I thought I'd comment on this because I remember Cleopatra from college history classes. She was of Greek/Macedonian descent. As we will recall, Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia (and student of Aristotle), conquered Egypt ...

Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator ... During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom after his death. Control of Egypt passed to Ptolemy I (son of Lagos), the founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty (305-30 BC) after the death of Alexander.

Cleopatra was of this Ptolemaic dynasty ...

Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes (bodyguard companions), a general and possible half-brother of Alexander the Great, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself Pharaoh Ptolemy I, later known as Sōter "Saviour". The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

Cleopatra was a real historical person, not a fictional character. Fiction can take liberties with and make guesses about history. But I think it's good to know the facts (such as they can be ascertained) on which fiction is based.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


Don’t play an instrument? No problem! Even listening to music prevents dementia


Lawrence explains why, as emotionally unsatisfying as it may seem, the Dominion/Fox case ended very well for Dominion, given the constraints of civil litigation.

Monday, April 17, 2023


Life expectancy in the US goes down again. What's dragging it down? Deaths of despair among young people ... suicide, drug overdoses, car accidents, and getting shot. And, of course, the availability of guns.

Why are European countries doing so much better than us in this? Thier social programs ... universal health care, aid to the poor, sane gun laws.

I believe most Republicans would rather watch people die on the streets than increase health care access or access to social programs, much less restrict guns.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

skin cancer

This coming Saturday I have to get another mohs surgery on my face to remove skin cancer. This will be the third one so far and I have a sinking feeling that this is only the beginning of what I can expect in the coming years.

A few days ago my sister and I looked on the computer at skin grafts on the face for cancer. Yikes! Now I can't get those images out of my head. It's unclear if I will get a graft or if they will just stretch the skin that's already there to cover the missing skin.

I used an old photo of me (above) to show where the past and future incisions/scars are/will be. It was shocking after the first operation to learn that though I had just a tiny place that had gone bad, the incision was huge in comparison. Then I realized it's like sewing. If you had a hole in a garment, you wouldn't just sew the edges together to repair it. That would leave the garment all twisted and lumpy. You'd have to make an even bigger hole and maybe a couple of darts to make the material finally lie flat. Same with skin.

I'm going to try not to think about it until Saturday morning. Dread, dread, dread.

More: Jennifer Siebel Newsom reveals facial scar after skin cancer surgery

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Pike's hair

The latest tv series I've been watching is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds ...

A spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery, it follows Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise as they explore new worlds throughout the galaxy during the decade before Star Trek: The Original Series.

Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn respectively star as Pike, Spock, and Number One, all characters from The Original Series.

Those who are fans of Star Trek will remember the episode titled The Menagerie, in which Mr. Spock steals the Enterprise in order to help his previous captain, Christopher Pike. This new series takes place before that, when Pike was still captain of the Enterprise, with Spock on the crew.

I decided to watch because, of course, I like Star Trek, but also because I like the actor who plays Pike. I first saw him in the series Hell on Wheels. He does a good job in this role, but I think he is most noted for his boufant hair style as Pike ;) ...

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episodes, Ranked by Captain Pike’s Hair

Try the show, you might like it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Yoda is 5

I just realized that it will be five years next month that Yoda came to live with me. She was a tiny kitten in the yard whose eyes were glued shut with pus. We took her to the vet and they gave me medicine for her that ended up lasting for months. She was so young I had to feed her with a bottle at first and then a food syringe ...

The rest is history :) So hard to believe she is already five.

Monday, April 10, 2023


Listening to Morning Joe as I do the dishes. It's all about how the Republicans are over-reaching and gettin too extreme on abortion. Joe, who was a Republican lawmaker at one time, thinks that now the pro-life movement has become too radical and is damaging Repuublican's chances at political victory.

I just have to comment. No, the pro-life movement has not suddenly become too extreme. It has always been extreme. Perhaps the average person was not paying attention, but the pro-life movement, for decades, has wanted a total nation-wide (world-wide) ban on abortion. It has for decades been opposed to contraception. It has for decades haunted doctors' offices and hospitals and clinics, harassing women patients. It has lied. It has murdered people. It has bombed clinics. For decades.

And for decades people have stood against that religious bigotry and domestic terrorism. Not just places like Planned Parenthood, but also women in the Catholic church, like the Vatican 24 (nuns, but also some priests, theologians and academics), who put a pro-choice piece in The New York Times in 1984 ....

Document 32: Catholics for a Free Choice, "A Diversity of Opinions Regarding Abortions Exists Among Committed Catholics," advertisement, New York Times, 72 (7 October 1984), E7.

The extremism of the pro-life movement isn't a new thing, it's just that now it has finally eaten whole what's left of the Republican party.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Newsom interview

Interview by Jen Psaki with my governor, Gavin Newsom. He quotes Plato :)

Bad law

There's an opinion piece in The New York Times today by law professor Kate Shaw, who I know of as the wife of MSNBC's Chris Hayes ...

The Abortion Pill Ruling Is Bad Law, and the Biden Administration Should Fight It

The Friday-night ruling by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk purporting to stay the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone for use in early abortions is a travesty — for women’s health care, principles of democracy, notions of judicial impartiality and the rule of law ...

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Happy Easter

Friday, April 07, 2023

Abortion Pill

Isn't it precious the way pro-lifers like to make up their own words for already existing terms? Like "abortionist". Here on Earth 1 we've been calling them gynecologists. And "the unborn human" ... it sounds so much more impressive than "the fertilized egg", doesn't it?

And then there are the outright lies. The judge wrote ... Women who have aborted a child—especially through chemical abortion drugs that necessitate the woman seeing her aborted child once it passes—often experience shame, regret, anxiety, depression, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts because of the abortion.

What a load of poop. Multiple studies have shown that most women who get abortions don't feel any regret ...

Researchers found that at five years after having an abortion, only 6% expressed primarily negative emotions. The overwhelming majority of women surveyed – 84% – had positive emotions or no emotions whatsoever .... The top emotion all the groups of women in the study said they felt at the end of the survey was relief. - The majority of women feel relief, not regret, after an abortion, study says

But of course, facts don't matter to the pro-life movement. I don't believe for a minute that this is about saving "the unborn". This is about controling women's bodies. The pro-life movement won't be satisfied until they've reduced women to something akin to livestock.

Rep. Justin Jones

On Deadline White House: one of the two Democratic lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives yesterday for joining in an anti-gun-violence demonstration with Nashville students ...

Outrage at G.O.P. Could Propel Expelled Democrats Right Back to House

Last Supper

I'm late for the Last Supper. Even later than I thought, because I had believed it took place on Thursday, but it seems it actually happened on Wednesday: Jesus Christ's Last Supper 'was on a Wednesday'

Here's the gospel of John's version of the Last Supper, from the movie ...

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Catholic Church sex abuse

In the news today: Maryland AG report into Archdiocese of Baltimore alleges 156 Catholic clergy members and others abused more than 600 children

The church guys haven't said much in response. No mention of this at America magazine. I guess it's just the unremarkable cost of doing business.

Lest you think such abuse news is rare, here's another example from a couple of months ago: A new report finds decades of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Catholic churches in Kansas

This is what I meant when I wrote earlier that Jesus would be appalled by the present day church. If you think this was all in the past and that Pope Francis has fixed everything, think again.

He refuses to consider letting married men (or women) be priests, though, as a 2017 report from RMIT University in Australia found, "the church’s requirement that priests be celibate was a major risk factor for abuse".

He refuses to mandate that priests must report sex abuse to civil authorities: Churches defend sex abuse reporting loophole ... The Catholic Church Ignores This Child Sexual Abuse Law

And he has refused to get rid of, or has given refuge to, some of the most questionable sex-abuse-related prelates, from Cardinal Bernard Law to Cardinal George Pell. Why? Cardinal Law and the U.S.-Rome Sex Abuse Divide.

When I was still going to church, I couldn't understand how Catholics put up with this. How do they send their kids to church and to Catholic schools and not worry?

The Pope is completely unaccountable .... he's the despotic leader of his own effing country ... and there's no one who can force him to make changes to protect children. The U.N. has tried and failed. No one can do it except Catholics themselves, when they finally stand up and say 'no more'. But they haven't, and I doubt they ever will.

Imitation Of Life

My new favorite guitarist - Peter Buck of R.E.M. :) Here they are performing Imitation Of Life ...

More Holy Week

Another thing Jesus was said to have done while he was in Jerusalem during Holy Week was to have saved a woman from being stoned to death ... Jesus and the woman taken in adultery.

Although the passage is considered a later addition, I like it because it fits into a theme of the gospel of John ... Jesus was an especial friend to women.

Here it's shown in the miniseries Jesus ...

Tuesday, April 04, 2023


Criminal defendant Trump.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Getting mad

So what was Jesus up to during the days before the last supper? For one thing, he seemed to blow off a lot of steam.

According to the Synoptic gospels, he attacked the vendors outside the temple, as we saw in yesterday's post, but he also told off the scribes and Pharisees, the sort of religious experts of the day (Woes of the Pharisees).

More from Jesus of Nazareth ...

I can only imagine what Jesus would say about what's become of the church his disciples began, now so different: one owning untold wealth and with its own international banking system (and a world class for profit art museum) , led by celibate priests and a pope, responsible for the international mistreatment and sexual assault of children.

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Palm Sunday

Here's a clip from Jesus of Nazareth. I remember watching the miniseries on tv when it first aired in 1971 (I was 19). It shows Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, the attack on the venders outside the temple, and his words with the high priest ...


Watching Meet the Press ...

I think it's obscene the way all the Republican politicians ... Pence, Barr, Haley, Graham, DeSantis, et al ... are decrying Trump's indictment with their bogus claims. I guess they all got the memo.

These Republicans aren't really upset because they believe the alleged crime is too insignificant or because it's unprecedented. They aren't really upset because they believe Trump is innocent. They are outraged because the DA is treating Trump in the same way that any other person would be treated (this year that DA has charged over 100 of the same kind of crime in NY) ....

The Republicans are going insane because they want twice-impeached and disgraced ex-president Trump to be treated as someone so special, that he is above the law (or at least they think their base wants that). They can't actually admit that, though, so hence the agreed upon taking points.

Learn more: The Manhattan DA’s Charges and Trump’s Defenses: A Detailed Preview