My Photo
Location: United States

Friday, June 30, 2023

Other decisions

Thinking about some of the other decisions the Supreme Court has just made.

Supreme Court strikes down Biden's student loan relief plan and limits LGBTQ rights

I don't feel too badly about the student loan plan being struck down. The government's plan would have cost over $400 billion dollars! I can think of so many other things that I think deserve more attention than student loan forgiveness. Why not help the homeless? Why not help those subsisting on Social Security? Why not help those who are crushed by credit card debt?

But I disagree with the court's decision on LGBTQ rights. It's another decision out of step with the beliefs of a majority of Americans, and is clearly the reactionary Christian court members allowing "their people" to discriminate against other citizens, not because of what they do but because of who they are. Who will it be ok to discriminate against next? Inter-racial couples? Jewish people?

It is no coincidence that these judges were appointed by Trump and are supported by Trump's Republican party in their decisions. They are a gun-loving, gay-hating, racist, misogynistic religious cult that's glued together by their shared hatreds. If they win the presidency again we can kiss our country goodbye.

Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court Overturns Fifty Years of Precedent on Affirmative Action

So, the conservatives on the court have disregarded 50 years of precedent. Again. I think this is another mistake, among so many they have recently made.

Here in California, we don't have afirmative action at state schools ...

Here's what happened when affirmative action ended at California public colleges

[...] A quarter-century after California banned race-based admissions at public universities, school officials say they haven't been able to meet their diversity and equity goals — despite more than a half billion dollars spent on outreach and alternative admissions standards ...

That ban happened in 1996, long after I was out of college. But I never had to think about affirmative action. Never applied to any swanky colleges either ... too expensive ... just went to state schools.

The one far away place I did apply for graduate school was UCLA, and got accepted. I went down there, where my sister was then living, and checked out the dorms where I would live on campus. But I ended up chickening out and not going.

My then boyfriend, Richard, told my grandmother he was upset that I was going to move to LA, but she said not to worry - I was too homesick to ever move away. She was right. I was only ever able to move away when I got divorced, and that was a move-or-die kind of situation.

Here's me in LA back then ...

And my sister too ...

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Forget Hunter

It's hard to believe, but Republicans still can't let go of their Hunter Biden fetish, even after 5 years of investigation by a Trump appointed judge and a settlement with the justice department ... Top House Republicans ramp up Hunter Biden probe

Strange how they care so very much about the evils of nepotism and corruption, but only when it's Biden's family. Republicans don't give a poop about the Trump "crime family". Here's Mehdi Hasan ...

By the way, the stuff about Cy Vance is interesting. When Trump became president, he wrote a cringe-worthy letter to him ... Cy Vance is targeting Trump but praised him in a 2016 letter: Devine

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

RIP: Julian Sands

British actor Julaian Sands has died ...

Actor Julian Sands died while hiking on California mountain, authorities confirm

Actor Julian Sands, who starred in several Oscar-nominated films in the late 1980s and ‘90s including “A Room With a View” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” was found dead on a Southern California mountain five months after he disappeared while hiking, authorities said Tuesday.

An investigation confirmed that it was Sands whose remains hikers found Saturday in wilderness near Mount Baldy, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. The 65-year-old actor was an avid and experienced hiker who lived in Los Angeles and was reported missing Jan. 13 after setting out on the peak that rises more than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) east of the city. Crews aided by drones and helicopters had searched for him several times, but, severely hampered by wintry conditions that lasted through spring, no sign of him was found until the civilian hikers came upon him ...

He's been in many acclaimed films, like The Killing Fields, in which he portrayed British journalist Joh Swain ...

But I liked him in science fictiom, like as the entomologist in Arachnophobia, and his portrayal of a religious leader of false gods in another galaxy on Stargate SG-1. Here he is in that role, talking to our hero Danuel Jackson ...

It's sad that he has passed away.

Monday, June 26, 2023

More AI

A really interesting 60 Minutes episode about AI and Google. I'm not sure if I'm glad or sad that because I'm so old, I'll miss the AI ascendance and resulting apocalypse ;)

Sunday, June 25, 2023


From Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International ...

“The reversal of Roe vs. Wade one year ago was a dangerous setback in the context of otherwise steady global progress for abortion rights. Last year, the United States joined a very small group of countries that have restricted abortion rights in recent years, including Poland, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Elsewhere, the progress to decriminalize and legalize abortion in places like Ireland, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia has been a tremendous gain for the global community. It’s clear the United States is moving in the wrong direction – setting a terrible example worldwide and putting women, girls and pregnant people at risk along the way.”

- USA: One year on, overturning of Roe vs. Wade has fueled human rights crisis


- St. Bride (Brigid) by John Guncan

Saw this in the news today from CNN ...

Abortion is ancient history: Long before Roe, women terminated pregnancies

[...] It’s sometimes assumed that Christianity has always unequivocally condemned abortion but Maeve Callan, a professor and historian of religion at Simpson College in Iowa, said this misrepresents the past.

“People act like there’s only one acceptable attitude towards abortion if you’re Catholic, or if you’re Christian more broadly, or even if you’re religious more broadly. And there’s always been a diversity of viewpoints,” said Callan, the author of the book “Sacred Sisters: Gender, Sanctity, and Power in Medieval Ireland.”

Her research, along with other scholars, has uncovered four medieval Irish saints who celebrated ending pregnancy among their miracles, according to medieval manuscripts that described saints’ lives. Typically, these miracles include a nun who has breached her vow to chastity and become pregnant but, through the saint’s intervention, the pregnancy miraculously disappears.

The most famous was Saint Brigid ...

Friday, June 23, 2023

One year ago

It's been a year since conservatives on the Supreme Court took away a constitutional right from women. I think "pro-life" people actually believed the whole rest of the country would accept this, but they were deluded ....

A small religious minority is forcing its extremist beliefs on all of the women and girls in this country, without any regard for their very lives ...

And Republicans are still not satisfied with this ongoing nightmare. They want a federal ban on all abortions, without any exceptions, even for the life of the mother. This over-reaching will destroy the Republican party.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Pebble toad

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has declared himself a Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2024, planning to challenge Biden.

My worry ... RFK Jr. will siphon off votes from Biden - he supposedly has about 20% of voters. And that just seems insane to me. Why?

Although RFK Jr. has done a lot of work for some traditional Democratic causes, like preserving the environment, many of the views he is now supporting are not Democratic views, they are Republican views. A couple of examples: he is virulently anti-vax, and he would end military and financial support of Ukraine.

So, it should come as no surprise that he is the darling of guys like Elon Musk and Steve Bannon. Not only do they share some of his conspiracy theories, they are hoping he will be a spoiler candidate for Biden, just as Ralph Nader was for Al Gore.

I would like to think that Democratic voters would inform themselves about his views before deciding to vote for him, and not just choose him because of his name.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The interview

Much in the news about an interview with Trump by Bret Baier on Fox.

Morning Joe showed a couple of clips of the interview which had Baier asking Trump about the stolen government documents, and also about the criticism Trump is getting from former members of his own past administration.

Aside from all the lies, it's amazing how Trump keeps voluntarily giving Jack Smith more and more evidence of his guilt.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Father's Day

Trying to think of some example in fiction of a really good father. I realized there aren't a lot of kids or parents in most of the books I read or movies I watch.

But then I remembered something I saw in the news recently ... Cormac McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Road,' dies at 89.

I've only read one of his books, The Road, but the main characters are a father and son, and the story is about their relationship as they try to survive the apocalypse. Here's part of what Wikipedia has about The Road ...

The Road is a 2006 post-apocalyptic novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. The book details the grueling journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed industrial civilization and almost all life. The novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006. The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 2009, directed by John Hillcoat ...

If you saw the film and didn't really care for it, I'd still recommend the book, because it is very much better. Having said that, it was one of the most depressing and heart-wrenching stories I've ever read, so good as it is I doubt I will ever re-read it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

No Labels

Some have been pushing the No Labels political organization as non-partisan but they are really conservatives. Historian Michael Beschloss calls them out.


After his arraignment, Trump gave a sppech at his New Jersey golf club. The speech was filled with lies. CNN fact checks it below.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Born Under a Bad Sign

Born Under a Bad Sign, Eric Clapton, 1994 ...

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Listen to the indictment

For those like me who have trouble reading stuff online, you can also listen to a reading of the Trump documents case indictment, thanks to MSNBC.

Friday, June 09, 2023

Jack Smith

This is the statement made today by Special Counsel Jack Smith about the Trump indictment.

You can read the full indictment against Trump at PBS - here.

More, from The New York Times ... How to Convict Trump by Norman Eisen, Andrew Weissmann, and Joyce Vance

Sunday, June 04, 2023


This week's movie rental was 65 ...

a 2023 American science fiction action thriller film ... starring Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt.

The basic plot is that Driver's character takes a two year interstellar piloting job away from home to earn enough money to save his sick daughter. The ship is hit by asteroids and crashes on Earth at a time when dinosaurs ruled - 65 million years ago. And unfortunately, also at the time when the Chicxulub crater was created by a massive asteroid strike.

Sadly, the movie didn't get great reviews. Here's one from Variety ...

‘65’ Review: Adam Driver Battles Dinosaurs and Other Stone-Age Story Ideas in Derivative Thriller

Despite its position as one of the seeming few big-scale “original” sci-fi films to compete with franchises, sequels and reboots for box office real estate, “65” is Frankensteinian at best. Cobbled together from (admittedly some of the best) parts of “Jurassic Park,” “The Descent,” “Armageddon” and more, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ post-“A Quiet Place” level-up too strongly resembles its forebears to break new, much less particularly interesting ground. Yet anchored by another in a series of committed performances from Adam Driver and an ensemble of suitably menacing prehistoric beasts that chase him for just over 90 minutes, Beck and Woods’ adventure delivers requisite thrills even if its creativity seems stuck in the distant cinematic past ...

I did like the movie. Adam Driver is a really good actor, so it's worth a watch for that, but also the special effects are pretty good.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

The pipeline

The debt ceiling deal bulldozes a controversial pipeline's path through the courts

The NPR article above gives more details about this dirty deal between Biden and Manchin and the fossil fuel industry, including stuff that is just obscene ...

[...] When Manchin brokered the 2022 deal with the White House, his office said it planned to "give the D.C. Circuit jurisdiction over any further litigation," rather than the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., where judges have repeatedly ruled against the pipeline.

The debt ceiling deal would fulfill that plan. The act states, "no court shall have jurisdiction to review any action taken by the Secretary of the Army, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior," or any state agency, if the action authorizes or permits building and operating the pipeline at full capacity.

The legislation also says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit "shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over any claim alleging the invalidity of this section or that an action is beyond the scope of authority conferred by this section." .....

How can the president of a party that is pledged to environmental protection and the rule of law make this kind of deal? Forget for a moment about this being immoral, how can this even be legal?

Read more from The New York Times: Congress Is Turning Climate Gaslighting Into Law