Friday, April 12, 2024

About sums it up


Aaron Rodgers - Another Famous Man becomes the voice of asinine conspiracies

The United States has a problem with taking celebrities as serious, intelligent people who are worthy of listening to them. This often leads us to idolize people who have the same stupid opinions that conspiracy nuts have. But their celebrity makes them appear reasonable.

Even when they are not.

Enter Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers is (was) an attractive man. He was also the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers when they won the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks are the stars of American Football. Green Bay is the darling of many fans. It is the only team owned by the fans and is by far the smallest city to have a franchise. And the Super Bowl is the crown jewel of American Football. 

So, Aaron Rodgers was revered. Then came COVID and Aaron Rodgers spouting off. 

Turns out he is quite crazy.

* He came out against the vaccine, claiming he was "immunized." He then tested positive and said that when he said "immunized," he didn't mean he took the vaccine. He also could not explain exactly HOW he was immunized. But he could and did compare himself to Martin Luther King, saying he had a moral obligation to object to unjust rules.

* Now, this week said that Hillary Clinton headed a conspiracy to kill John F Kennedy Jr.? And gave the Trumpian "just asking" defense. 

“So Bobby loses his uncle, JFK, his father, RFK,” Rodgers said. “His cousin [JFK Jr.] dies in a plane crash when he was running against Hillary Clinton. I’m not saying that’s a conspiracy, but it’s kind of a weird coincidence. Bobby’s in danger. He’s putting himself on the line. Why? Because he fucking believes in this country.”

* He was "just asking" if 9/11 was a conspiracy, not an attack. "Just asking" if 3,000 + people were murdered by the government isn't "just asking." It's supporting the spreading of a nutjob conspiracy.

* He lied in radio interviews that Jimmy Kimmel (for the Brits - a late-night presenter) had slept with underaged girls on Epstien's island. And he publically scoffed at Kimmel's claims he was never on the island. Yes, this got Jimmy Kimmel death threats, but that is par for the course in today's America. Aaron said the soon-to-be-published list of visitors coming to the island would include Kimmel - as a pedophile. It did not. He was very wrong and accepted responsibility but never apologized.

* He thought that Sandy Hook, a shooting where 20 plus schoolchildren were murdered by automatic weapons, was a government operation to take people's guns. He said government ops could be found in the woods before the shooting. This was after a judge already fined right-wing radio host Alex Jones $985 million for spreading the untrue story.

Now, he is totally allowed to have these (idiotic) beliefs. But giving celebrities a more significant platform and assuming their comments are valid is one of the reasons America is in the pooper.

Said goodbye to one of my favorite statues in New York

 I used to walk from our house to Juni's two mornings a week to walk her for about 2 years. One of the things I loved was this statue. Maybe because it brings to mind a time when the country was united. and also because I watched it through the seasons.

Given the shadows and seasons, it is very hard to get a picture that conveys the full image of the statue. but I do like this one.

Rural Voters

I read an article in Politico about what liberals (but the author means Democrats) do not understand about rural voters. He is partially correct, but his solutions are stupid. Maybe his solution works IF you include the entirety of right-wing media behind you. But it makes no sense to me.

Essentially, the author says that even though the Democratic policy spends more in rural areas, builds more infrastructure, and attempts to provide support to rural families, "we" don't get that isn't what they really want. What they really want, per the author, is someone who understands their towns are full of very close social communities.

That is kind of his entire point. He states (not insinuates) that implementing policies that help rural communities and implementing the laws rural voters ask for is politically useless. They don't like "us" because we supposedly think they are confused and not very smart. This is true ONLY if you watch Fox News. They vote against - what we think - are helpful policies and support because they don't like big corporations and government.

Republicans succeed because they understand that Rural conservative voters ONLY WANT recognition. His solution is NOT to implement good and useful policy - but to go out and tell them that government is bad.

I will repeat myself from the first paragraph. This makes no sense to me.

His advice seems to be, "Don't think supporting them politically helps. Go out, meet rural voters, and lie. 

Even if this is true, I would rather the government pass policies that help the country, rural and urban, and let them resent Democrats. 

I don't think depriving rural voters of economic and infrastructure support is the right thing to do, even if rural voters hate Democrats. (Oh, wait. The author says rural voters don't hate Democrats; they just hate our policies that support communities, provide government support, and build infrastructure because it is government interference.)  

You can read this article here.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Lala the Penguin


Carl Jung's Philosophy for a Happy Life

 Carl Jung was a psychiatrist working around the 1900s. He investigated and worked on the idea of ego, superego, and id. He also described the 5 steps of pillars of a good life, which I think are pretty good - hat tip to The Atlantic, which explored this in detail.

Here they are, and I like them.

1. Good physical and mental health

2. Good personal and intimate relations, such as those of marriage, family, and friendships.

3. Seeing beauty in art and in nature

4. A reasonable standard of living and satisfactory work

I think it is interesting Jung says a "reasonable standard of living." First, it contradicts our idea that richer is better. And second, it doesn't define "reasonable," which assumes that "reasonable" depends on the individual AND the society they are in.

5. A philosophical or religious outlook that fosters resilience

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

UCLA Expands Bigly

The old Marymount College Campus in Palos Verdes
(note, MCC sold to UCLA at under-market value due to educational uses)

UCLA is spending a ton of money. Not on athletics (which is fine by me right now), but on new facilities around Los Angeles.

They purchased an old historic building downtown.

My favorite is the old West Side Pavillion, formerly - a long time ago - a mall with a Nordstrom at one end, a Macy's at the other and a nice art house theater.

Here are all the places they are expanding to.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Oh my goodness, speaking in tongues works!

 As the press to get rid of women's body autonomy continues, the legislature in Arizona wanted the Arizona Supreme Court to uphold a 123 year old law that outlaws abortion. It was passed before Arizona was a state.

They decided the best way to pray for this was to speak in tongues.

And I guess it worked. The Arizona Supreme Court said the law should be in effect. It mandates 20-plus years of jail time for the person doing the abortion and 1 year of jail time for the woman having said abortion. There are no exceptions for rape, incest, the health of the mother, or the life of the anonymous human incubator.

Nice (sarcastic font)

Last Weekend Was my Father-in-Law's Celebration of Life

 Ed's Step-father (hence, my father-in-law) passed away last November. The funeral was in January, but it is cold in January. So his son, Carson, held a Celebration of Life function last weekend. It was touching and kind of perfect.

I can't really go into everything here, it wouldn't mean much to you. But he was a great guy. He had been a coach and Athletic Director at U of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and U of Minnesota - Mankato. Lots of his old co-workers and players came. It was nice.

Don & I at the Neppl / Amiot family gathering last year.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Walking to lunch yesterday

 Just some picks as we walked to lunch yesterday.

Ocotillo is blooming

Our Street

Outside our gate

The Salton Sea

 I have posted about the Salton Sea many times. It was a fluke and mistake (they diverted the Colorado River into it a century ago, and it took a while to recanal the river). Anyway, there are some great schemes and works for at least parts of the sea to be a foraging and water stop again for bird migration.

I haven't been to that effort yet. But the rains have loaded the Salton Sea. This is a view from Anza Borrego on the Borrego to Salton Sea road.

Nice to see it so blue. The rain and "atmospheric rivers" have been good to the lake.

About sums it up