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Wednesday, May 31, 2023


I agree with Bernie. This debt ceiling agreement is being framed as a kind of victory, but it's not. Two examples ...

1) this whole thing is supposed to be about the debt ceiling ... paying for bills from the past ... not about a future budget. In the past, the debt ceiling has been passed cleanly and in a bi-partisan way. But now the Republicans are using it to extort the country on their wedge issues.

2) As much as they try to say the country wasn't damaged in this deal, it was. The deal made it harder for some older poor people to get food stamps (New SNAP work requirements, explained). And it fast-tracked a gas pipeline that is bad for the environment and appears to be the result of a shady back room deal between Biden and Manchin (What to know about the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the debt ceiling deal).

Tuesday, May 30, 2023



Thursday, May 25, 2023


Supreme Court Limits E.P.A.’s Power to Address Water Pollution

For God's sake, expand the effing Court before the conservatives destroy everything good.

RIP: Tina Turner

Tina Turner, resilient singer hailed as the ‘Queen of Rock and Roll,’ dies at 83

One of my favorite songs by Tina Turner was We Don't Need Another Hero for the 1985 movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson, in which she also starred ...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


I could use a mental health break. Here are some red river hog piggies and their mom from the San Diego Zoo ...

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Catholic clergy sexually abused Illinois kids far more often than church acknowledged, state finds

An Illinois attorney general’s office investigation released Tuesday found that 451 Catholic clergy sexually abused nearly 2,000 children in the state over a nearly 70-year period, which was more than four times the 103 individuals the church named when the state began its review in 2018 ...

Pope Francis won't make the changes necessary to keep children safe ... allowing women to be priests ... allowing married men to be priests ... making priests mandated reporters of sex abuse.

Instead, the church spends millions lobbying against the relxation of statutes of limitation on sex abuse crimes (Catholic Church spent $10.6 million to lobby against legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse), and hides assets from victims (Catholic Church Shields $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts).

The Pope won't make the changes to stop abuse because the present situation of a priesthood that is corrupted works for him ... where half the priests are sexually active despite vows of celibacy and chastity (Celibacy advances the priesthood's culture of compromised truths) ... where a large percentage of priests are self-loathing gay men (The Gay Church: Thousands of priests are closeted, and the Vatican’s failure to reckon with their sexuality has created a crisis for Catholicism).

I don't understand why people stay in this church.

Sunday, May 21, 2023


I found this old photo of me and my sister. My sister is in the red shirt, and I'm in the orange shirt, showing my tummy ;) The back of the photo says 1972, which means I was 20 or 21. I remember that year - we were in college and it was the year my grandfather died, and my mother and stepfather got divorced.

Friday, May 19, 2023


Today I'm watching a TED talk by Jacey Reese Anthis, the social scientist I mentioned in my previous post. It's titled The End of Animal Farming.

Jacey asks the audience how many of them are vegetarians or vegans. It was only about 5% (I'm a vegetarian). Then he asked how many had read or heard reports of all the downsides of factory farming - almost all had. That's pretty depressing because it means, at least to me, that people don't care about facts - they just want what they want.

Jacey believes this can change with a better way of informing people of the cruelty of factory farming, and of the benefits to the environment, to health, to our economy, of going vegan or vegetarian.

I am not optimistic. People eat meat for a number of reasons .... they like the taste of a pork chop, or they believe eating meat is more healthy. Those reasons can be worked around. But I believe there's a much more disturbing reason people eat meat ... they believe it's their right, they believe they are the apex predators of this planet and that animals are here for them to dominate or exterminate. I don't know how else to explain behaviors like hunting in a world where hunters don't need to kill for nourishment.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


I listened to a really interesting podcast by Chuck Todd (Meet the Press) about the rise of artificial intelligence - he talks to Jacy Reese Anthis, a social scientist.

We've almost (have already?) reached the point of creating (growing) artificial general intelligence ... an agent that can basically think for itself and write its own code ... and after that, can the singularity be far behind?

I tend to be pessimistic about what will happen to humanity after we reach the point where created intelligences are thinking for themselves and are both smarter and very different than us. Watched too many science fiction movies, I guess ...

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Christianity Today

On Meet the Press today - Christianity Today's Russell Moore. Chuck asks him about the ethical/moral bankruptcy of the Trump Republican party. I used to visit Christianity Today often .... Randall Balmer was also an editor there.

Friday, May 12, 2023


So, what has happened to CNN, that it would give Trump that "town hall" opportunity, hosted by a woman who once worked for Tucker Carlson at The Daily Caller? Can it be a coincidence that CNN has recently changed hands and now has a billionaire conservative Trump donor on its board? Here's a bit of an article at Vox from last year.

Why billionaire John Malone’s shadow looms over CNN

CNN is in flux. It has a new owner, and a new boss, who promises to remake the news channel and has told employees to be prepared for “a time of change.” ....

But the bigger question floating over one of the world’s largest and most important news organizations is why it’s changing. Is it because the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, its new owner, wants an overhaul? Or is it at the behest of a conservative billionaire investor in the company who sits on its board?

That billionaire is John Malone .... Malone has repeatedly wished, in public, for CNN to remake itself. And his prescription happens to sync with the new CNN agenda: a plan to steer the channel away from what Malone and others call a liberal bias they say muddles opinion and news. And to shift it toward a supposedly centrist, just-the-facts bent ....

“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” he said. Then he suggested a model: “Fox News, in my opinion, has followed an interesting trajectory of trying to have ‘news’ news, I mean some actual journalism, embedded in a program schedule of all opinions.” ...

Right, Fox News, the very epitome of "news' news".

And this from Justia ...

CNN Turns Propaganda Organ. We Don’t Have to Put Up With It.

[...] Fox propaganda has creeped into the center of America’s cable television.

It’s one thing for Trump to normalize extremism by hosting neo-Nazi speakers on the podium at his Miami event this weekend. Or even for a Fox host to peddle white supremacy.

It’s quite another for CNN, a center-to-center-left channel, to legitimize the man who sought to overturn the 2020 election and has been adjudged a sexual abuser. The medium is the message, and CNN has far more power than Fox to convey to a mainstream audience the message, “Trump is normal.”

The very first lesson in On Tyranny, Yale historian Timothy Snyder’s seminal handbook on how to fight creeping totalitarianism, is that “most of the power of authoritarianism is freely given.” Snyder warns that citizens and institutions giving power freely to strongmen grants them the social approval they need to consolidate power and dominate.

CNN voluntarily gave Trump its power ....

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The fight of our lives

If you are curious about what I think of the CNN Trump town hall and the possibility of a Trump presidency, what Chris Hayes said tonight (see above) expresses it exactly.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Blue Collar Man

Styx :) ...

Give me a job, give me security
Give me a chance to survive
I'm just a poor soul in the unemployment line
My God, I'm hardly alive ...

Trump convicted sex offender

Trump found liable for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll in civil trial and is ordered to pay $5 million

Yes! Of courseTrump will appeal, but experts seem to think that will be an uphill climb. Meanwhile, E. Jean Carroll finally got her day in court and was vindicated in her hope for justice.

Will the conviction make any difference to Trump's voters or to Republican politicians? Nope. They all knew he was a pervert from the day they started licking his boots - they didn't care then and they won't care now.

Monday, May 08, 2023

Old stuff

- Delphi

Lately I've been going back and reading books I read when I was a teen, and watching tv shows from then too. Don't know why, but I'm enjoying it, and it's interesting to see what kind of stuff influenced my sponge-like character back then.

The books so far are two written by Mary Stewart. One is My Brother Michael, which is set in Delphi - so much more interesting now that I've actually been there. And the other is Airs Above the Ground, which takes place in Austria.

The tv series I'm watching now (from the public library) is Star Trek: The Original Series, which was on tv from 1966 to 1969. I well remember watching it when I was in high school.

Back then my favorite character was Mr. Spock, but now I'm getting a greater appreciation for Captain Kirk and the doctor too. Though the special effects were pretty bad, the stories really were good, some being written by people like Theodore Sturgeon and Harlan Ellison.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Charles III

Nice display of wealth disparity and social inequality. Shameful that they had peaceful protestors arrested and removed.

And Camilla being made qyeen ... this is the person Charles screwed around with for years while both he and she were married to other people.

Obviously, I'm not a monarchist. I don't understand how people, especially in the US, can sigh over the British royals when we had to wage a war to get rid of them ourselves.

More: How the British royal family hides its wealth from public scrutiny

Friday, May 05, 2023


Above are a few minutes of the deposition by Trump for his ongoing rape trial.

In one bit he is shown a past photo of him and E. Jean Carroll, whom he had stated earlier that he had never met before and who wasn't his type. In the deposition, he mistakes hCarrollfor his ex-wife, Marla Maples, whom one assumes is his type.

And in another bit, Trump assures the lawyers that "for millions of years" big stars like himself have been allowed to grab women by the p*ssy. P*ssy-grabbing is apparently an eternal perk, enjoyed by ubermenschen from time immemorial.

In another bit Trump elaborates on his earlier statement that the woman he is alleged to have sexually assaulted on a plane "would not have been his first choice (to assault)". And Carroll's lawyer, he said, was also an unappealing victim to his discriminating tastes.

This is the Republican candidate for president. Republicans, you must be so proud.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Trump rape trial

The Trump rape trial continues, with two witnesses to corroborate E. Jean Carroll's testimony. Trump will not appear at the trial. Coward.

Creepily, Republicans are ok with having a rapist as their chosen one. It's not that they think he's innocent, it's that they really don't give a poop.