Thursday, June 29, 2023

Odd coincidence with RFK Jr.

For those of you not aware, Robert F. Kennedy Jr is running for President. Now Robert F Kennedy (the original) was John F. Kennedy's younger brother and Attorney General. In fact their relationship is why now you can't appoint your immediate family to political positions as President. Another law and precedent Trump stomped on when appointing Ivanka and Jerod, but I digress.


Anyway, Robert F. Kennedy was handsome, part of the Kennedy family, against the Vietnam War, and a fighter for minorities in general and Black Americans in particular. He was astronomically popular, even for those who thought LBJ was a better candidate.

Robert F. Kennedy Junior, on the other hand, is a antivaxer who has blamed any number of ills of vaccines. Despite numerous studies, he still promotes the idea that childhood vaccines cause autism. He thinks that the Covid vaccine causes problems (he is rather unspecific in this). He doesn't believe the HIV causes AIDS*. He thinks transgenderism occurs because of a mineral in our water.* He doesn't think that transgender children should have access to medical treatment before 18 - I am okay with this. As long as this position does NOT mean that emotional and educational support for transgender kids is okay.

I think his views on Ukraine are SUPER wrong. He thinks Russia was okay attacking. He thinks the west stopped peace talks and that it could easily be resolved, although he cannot guess whether Ukriane would lose more territory or not.

In looking at his other positions, I think that Democrats tend of over emphasize his views on vaccines, Ukraine and LGBT in order to disregard him. 

However I think so of his other positions are actually pretty good. Hi is very environmentally friendly, pro-gay rights (marriage, adoption, etc), and very much against the outsized budget of the military.

Anyway, my point in this post is the interesting, and hopefully non-predictive, coincidence of father and son political trajectories. 

You see Robert F. Kennedy campaigned for the Democratic nomination against President Johnson (LBJ) in 1968. Kennedy stressed his bonafides in opposing LBJ's War in Vietnam. RFK won a number of primaries before being assassinated in California. LBJ was weakened and so his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey ran as the Democratic candidate as lost (badly) to Richard Nixon.

And here is where I see a parallel. RFK Jr is also running against a weakened President. Joe Biden's age is the cause for concern here - and maybe Ukrainian support by then. If RFK Jr weakens Biden enough, Biden might lose to Trump / DeSantis or he might force Biden out of the nomination, leaving us with a less popular nominee ((*cough* Harris *cough*) 

* Some of these "positions" were posted in anti-RFKjr sites, I am looking for reference files.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Thank Goodness there are State Representatives that bring us the truth.....

 The truth, delivered by South Dakota Joe Donell, is that Mount Rushmore is a demonic portal that allows Communism to be introduced into the United States. He is a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives.

So to my in-laws in South Dakota - watch out!


From Rep. Donell

“If you go back and do some search history on Mount Rushmore, it actually is a Freemason shrine,” Donnell said. “It was set up to enshrine democracy or the Declaration of Independence. … How do we worship the great thing we did with our government? So that was the idea behind it.”

“What the Lord revealed to me is that Mount Rushmore has a direct ley line to Washington, D.C.,” he added. “And he said, basically, that as we continue to work in prayer and do the work of the ministry, that God was going to break that connection. Because in order to understand the spiritual realm of what we’re facing, we have to realize that in order for the enemy to do anything, he needs the agreement of human beings. In order to be empowered to do more damage, he needs the agreement of human beings, and oftentimes that comes in the form of an altar, an active altar that acts as a portal for demonic things.”

And God spoke to me said, ‘When Donald Trump steps foot on this territory, there’s something that’s going to be done as far as the Constitution being upheld. It’s gonna bring a breakthrough with the Constitution.’ And I kinda got the feeling that what we’re really dealing with in that portal was communism. That witchcraft altar and those things that are happening in the Black Hills; what we’re really dealing with is communism; it’s the ideology and all the demonic entities and spirits behind that.” 

It's been a year - where do Abortion Rights Stand

 Last year at this time, abortion was legal in all 50 states. Many had only 1 or 2 clinics and many states had medically unnecessary laws around ultrasounds, waiting periods, and referrals, but still - legal.

Here is the landscape now, 1 year later.


Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Nebraska also have bans or limits that have been put on hold by the courts.

Interestingly, the Supreme Courts said "the people of the state" should decide. And yet every state  Abortion rights have been on the ballot, they have won. And still nearly half the states have banned abortion, despite the "will" of the people.

Say it ain't so, Joe

 


Stupid Discovery.....

Interesting News (both great and a bit scary)

 I will admit to being almost ambivalent about this. 


Just knowing California and the range of Joshua trees, this is mainly great news. Joshua trees have unique ecosystem requirements including elevation (high desert only - 1,600 - 6,000  feet) and water access (desert dry, but not too dry). They are densely distributed across the Mojave with other "stands" in southern Nevada and parts of Arizona.

So saving them is great.


But...

But California environmentalists can be a bit too effective. What I think would not be good is to block off too much of the Mojave desert to solar power. While there are beautiful stands of Joshua trees, there are also massive tracks of useless, and un-Joshua'ed treed, land. But that land is in the range of Joshua trees - albeit none are there.

For every gorgeous acre of Joshua trees, there are more acres of completely empty and useless desert sand. Nothing grows and very very little wildlife can thrive. The most obvious way to see this is to drive the back way from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. I have done this drive with Ed, Lynn, Jane and my mom.

Here is the deal. From just north of Joshua Tree National Park all the way to the Mojave National Preserve, the desert is empty. EMPTY. There are remnants of old homesteading sites, but nothing grows. Much of this area is perfect for solar. In that it is not perfect for anything else.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

Empty from the dogleg above Joshua Nat. Park to The 10 below Mojave National Preserve...
Bupkis.

Why I should NOT Get The Fuck Out Of Dodge

 We are going way back....


When Trump was first elected, my freak out was corralled by the advice of a woman who fled Communist Eastern Europe. She said "decide what indicators would choose you to leave the country before something bad happened."

Well I did that and listed my triggers. But I have to now explain to myself why I haven't left. And I mean besides the easy answer of I will not leave without Ed.

The primary excuse is that most of my triggers have not occurred WHERE I live. I live, lived, and want to live in blue states. And most of this shit hasn't happened in blue states. Don't get me wrong, the worst of the Supreme Court rulings do effect me (the second worst ruling - after Dobbs gave men control of women's bodies - is due tomorrow), but they do not effect me nearly as much as people living in red states.

So, until the evil gets closer, I am happy living here. It might be that I am brave to fight to change this in the country. OR, it might be I am a coward and a hypocrite - content that as long as my rights are okay that is all.

Ed obliquely made reference to this the other day. We were talking about Florida and I said I wouldn't move there. He said that was not true (albeit in more colorfully language) and I was overestimating my resolve. It is a moot point because Florida is not in our cards by mutual agreement, but I wondered if he is right. Is my righteousness all a big fat show? 

In reality, it doesn't matter if it is a show or not. The fact that the man I trust the most thinks I am untruthful in this. In point of fact, he knows me best. So maybe I am full of shit. Or maybe in love and willing to compromise.

Anyway - that is where we are. I am trying to justify my actions against being a hypocrite. I am not stupid enough to prove I am not a hypocrite by sabotaging my relationship. So I kind of feel bad about myself - being weak willed. But, what are you going to do? If I can't be honest in accepting judgements on my actions, I shouldn't box myself in.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

New Quote Up Top


 Usually funny, this time the top is from John F. Kennedy. It resonates for me. it is from his June 11th, 1963 speech to the American people on civil rights.

June 11th, 1963 
white House Speech



Friday, June 23, 2023

I thought it was funny


 

Nấm Coffee shop images

 I saw this today in Arch Daily and wanted to share. It is from Nấm Coffee shop from an industrial park north of Hanoi, Vietnam in a town called Ben Hoi.

Stunning







Hamilton Royal Botanical Garden

 It is odd that a "Royal" Botanical Garden is in Steel City Canada, but whatevs.

We visited the Royal Gardens in Hamilton CA. It was nice, with some real surprises to me.

Japanese Flowering Dogwood.

Globemaster Allium in a field of Ross

They had an entire garden of peonies


Not just Dan Crenshaw, but just an example

 I don't hate Dan Crenshaw. I am not a fan of his politics, but I don't hate him at all. I mean his last name is from the street both my father and mother got married on (not to each other). Anywho.. what is screwed up is the attention and cost this stupid ass sub rescue cost.

They are billionaires in that sub. They can either afford to pay for their own search OR not go on a unsafe sub. Either way, 5 people. And in the 5 days we have been focused on saving billionaires, this shit has happened.

12 mass shootings happened 
          27 dead
          139 injured

1 Migrant ship overturned
            82       dead
            100 +  injured
            550     missing

So I don't think 5 dead billionaires that put themselves in harm's way is worth the millions spent looking for them. The only answer is that we don't value normal American deaths or migrant deaths. In fact, the "value" of 1 billionaire to the rest of us is worth 150 migrant lives. *



* Note that this isn't really the "only" answer. the real answer is that humans are much more empathetic to the victims of a small tragedy we can related to that giant numbers we cannot relate to.  


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Canadian War Plane Museum

 While in Hamilton last weekend we visited the Canadian Warplane Heritage  museum. It was very cool. Some pictures:



A Lancaster - the British WWII Bomber




I loved this. It was a amphibious bomber

One of the Lancasters on the left and the Amphibious pane on the right

The cockpit on this bad boy was teeny tiny

I am frightened for my rights in this country

 This country being the USA.

I'm not going to count the ways, it is too sad. But I am very worried about my rights in this country. I am worried at the death threats against schools, the killings of random gays from New York to San Francisco and everywhere in between, I am worried that soon companies won't have to serve us, and our lives continue to be devalued.  I won't go on, but suffice it to know I AM SCARED.



Back when we weren't considered evil.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

This is what happens when you constantly demagogue gays

 Well, the constant barrage of Fox News has changed the acceptance of gay people, gay marriage and transsexuals. It turns out if you can changes people's opinions by constantly lying about them. Fox News and the run up to the 2024 election (really) has provided a pretty non-stop indictment of gays calling us child molesters. They have referred to trans people and anyone who treats them civilly  as evil and determined to overthrow the country.


And it has worked on their viewers. From the article...

-----

Americans’ support for same-sex relationships dropped from 2022 to 2023, amid an intense campaign against LGBTQ rights, according to a newly released Gallup poll.

The phone-based poll of 1,011 adults found 64 percent of respondents describe same-sex relationships as “morally acceptable.” That figure is down from 71 percent in 2022, and represents the largest percentage change of any of the issues (including abortion, the death penalty, and birth control) included on the poll.

The change was largely driven by self-identified Republican respondents. Last year, 56 percent of Republicans told Gallup they approved of same-sex relations. This year, only 41 percent supported them, reflecting conservative campaigns against LGBTQ rights, from laws prohibiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools, to attacks on Pride-themed displays in stores.

“The current figure is the lowest Gallup has measured for Republicans since 2014 (39%),” Gallup found.

Conservatives have used LGBTQ rights as a cudgel over the past year, with right-wing outlets like Fox News falsely calling the Pride flag a sign of “grooming and pedophilia” when it flew on the White House this week, and GOP lawmakers attacking companies like Target for selling Pride merchandise this month. Donald Trump remarked on Republicans’ newfound animus for LGBTQ issues—notably transgender rights—during a speech this month, when he observed that his audience was less enthusiastic about tax cuts than they were about his attacks on trans rights.

Don't Go Chasing...

 .. waterfalls..

We went to Hamilton Canada last week-end with our friend Jocelyn. We decided to go originally in order to look at waterfalls. There was a piece in the New York Times about waterfalls in the city because it is on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. So there a lot of smaller falls. And we all know Scooter loves a waterfall. So here are some...









My latest post at The Intersection of Geography and Economics

 Here is the post.



Thursday, June 15, 2023

And now some good news about conservation

 Turns out when you ban harvesting / taking of their food, they do come back. In this case it was outlawing the taking of horseshoe crabs in the area where the young are raised. And they are kind of cute.


If you wonder how hate spreads, look at these....

These stories and images were actually on Fox News TV shows. They proudly boast of reaching over 2 Million people per day. Then they issues these ON TELEVISION to those 2 Million people daily. And this is how you spread hate....

Considering that only about 9 Million people vote in Republican primaries, it is effective.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Story Below (and the "represent to us" is how they get around those libel laws)


From the latest version of the Fox article:

“The flag represents to us an ideology, a political statement of indoctrinating kids and trans kids and pushing kids to sterilize and mutilate themselves,” Jaimee Michell, the lesbian founder of Gays Against Groomers, told Fox News Digital. She posted an image to Twitter on Wednesday morning showing the new flag being thrown in the trash.

“These colors right here seem to be a little strange,” libertarian activist, social-media influencer and Black Guns Matter founder Maj Toure said in a recent viral TikTok video, pointing to the white, pink and blue stripes on a Progress Pride Flag mural.

“This goes into what’s called minor-attracted person or youth-attracted person. Pedophile flag.” Toure’s claim has been refuted by numerous sources and the original video is no longer available on TikTok.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Story Below

 

Fox News labelled US president Joe Biden a “wannabe dictator” who attempted to have “his political rival arrested” during a live broadcast of Donald Trump’s post-arraignment speech. The network was the only major cable news network to carry Trump’s Tuesday evening speech live, with CNN and MSNBC choosing not to air the address.

Towards the end of the speech, viewers were presented with a split screen carrying a separate speech from Biden at the White House.

Below the image, the news chyron read: “wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested”. The text remained on screen until Sean Hannity came on air at 9pm.


And that, ladies and germs, is how you spread hate.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Well, a Bay in the Disney Desert is not a good idea.

Disney is building a new community in the desert. It was just approved. Cotinio.

Okay, I get there is a waiting list for Celebration in Florida. And there are probably rampant Disney-o-philes willing to live there. But they plan a "bay" in the desert.

Again, a bay. In a state where they have just resolved a multi-year, historic drought. And more droughts are coming.


Kind of silly and wasteful. But approved.

Oy

Little Miss Muffet

For some unknown reason last night as I lay sleeping, I woke up with questions about the nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet. I thought I would share.

  1. Little Miss Muffet brings up images of "Little Lord Fauntleroy".
    Is she a spoiled brat? Who calls her "Little Miss Muffet" anyway? The servants in a mocking voice. "Here comes Little Miss Muffet. What does that damn devil child want now?"
  2. Muffet?
    Do they know in England that "muff it" means to screw the pooch in athletics. I know this because playing right field in baseball I was told I "muff it" more than occasionally.
  3. Tuffet?
    It sound like she is sitting on just one tuff of a nip and tucked sofa. Who uses the word tuffet anymore anyway? I think I shall go to friends house and when they say,"can I get you a chair?" I will respond, "No. I'll just sit on the tuffet here, Thanks." And then study their faces.
  4. Curds AND Whey.
    Gross. I have learned since living with a Wisconsinite that raw sour milk is divided into curds, from which they make cheese and whey, which they use instead of salt to ice roads. 
  5. Spider
    And isn't she uppity about spiders? Girl, he sat down beside you. He didn't hurt you. He didn't even give you the evil eye. No, just a spider living his best spidy life and you go all apeshit and scream.
  6. Run Away
    Probably the best for you to leave the area. And leave the staff alone while you're at it.

Anyway, how was your night?

Scooter

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Kimberly Akimbo won the Tony Award for Best New Musical - I had some real problems with it

 I reviewed the same cast before they went to Broadway. I did not like it.

Kimberly Akimbo Suspends Belief Too Much

Some stories do not translate easily into musicals but work nonetheless. Other stories do not.  World premiere musical, Kimberly Akimbo definitely falls into the second category. Although technically a musical about Kimberly, who ages 4 to 5 times more quickly than normal, the show throws everything against the wall to see what sticks.

Kimberly Akimbo gives us judgement free theft and grand larceny by minors. Aiding and abetting grand theft, with the only parental figure Kimberly has, is treated as a big joke. It gives us extortion, murder, and assault, all without judgement or consequences.  In fact, the only thing that does bring results is when someone is mean to Kimberly, then cosmic karma is visited upon the perpetrator. 

Front: Bonnie Mulligan, Victoria Clark, Justin Cooly, Stephen Boyer, Ali Mauzey (Ahron R. Foster)

Let’s start with the basics, Kimberly is a 16 year old child, but wrapped in an old lady's body because she has a disease that only affects 1 in 50 million people. Somehow, even with this extremely rare and complex disease, she lives with her alcoholic father and abusive mother, with nary a health care worker, or responsible adult, in sight. Sarcasm aside, Victoria Clark is fantastic in the role of Kimberly. She brings a freshness and teenage angst to Kimberly, as well as the role of young caretaker for the family that cannot function without her. 

Her tentative crush / love interest is Seth, played perfectly by Justin Cooley. A young actor in his Off-Broadway debut, he navigates the tricky role in a touching and believable way, out of step with the rest of the cast, bar Kimberly herself. However, the character is given an extremely annoying habit of making anagrams – and singing about them.

Bonnie Mulligan is hilarious in the role of Debra. Debra is young Kimberly’s aunt. Dedicated to a life of low-level crime, Debra is the closest Kimberly has to an adult role model. And that is saying something as Debra enlists all 6 high school students into a scheme that involves forgery, theft, and mail fraud. Which, of course, works and no one gets caught.

Kimberly’s parents, played by Steven Boyer and Alli Mauzey, are an alcoholic mess and inattentive and mentally abusive mother. The story occurs around Kimberly’s 16th birthday, which is the average age of death for someone with her condition. No disrespect, but it is a Hallmark movie you always wanted, if you wanted the killer babysitter to get away with it and marry the unsuspecting husband – all the while singing about it.

Most of the singing is excellent, although the songs were not terribly memorable. The ice skating on stage was a little disconcerting, but not out of character for the show.

Kimberly Akimbo starts a bit odd, and then gets odder as time goes on. The audience I saw it with started with loving the songs and showed it with extended applause. But they grew less and less enamored as the story became unmoored from reality. There are the bones and music of a great story in there somewhere. It is too bad it is all mixed up.

Victoria Clark and Justin Cooly on the lam (Ahron R. Foster)

I neither loved nor hated Kimberly Akimbo, but I admired its convictions to stay true to this odd fantasy. I didn’t admire it enough to recommend it to everyone. I think to really enjoy it, you would have to treat it as a very black comedy, which I do not think it is what the producers intended.


Friday, June 9, 2023

Why Rubber Ducks?

 First to the image, then to the reason for outrage.


Two large inflatable yellow ducks called Double Duck by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman are seen in Victoria HarbourPhotograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images



Images of Tiananmen Square and the protest there in 1989 are forbidden in China. And so Tiananmen Square pictures have been doctored over the years, and those images have been outlawed. 

Pooh is outlawed because he is a stand in for the current PM Xi (Pooh is also censored)



The tale of Chiselborough

 Our second dog sit in England this past month was in Chiselborough. Which is a village of about 100 - 125. It was in the middle of nowhere....