Blue Heron in flight

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hello Dale Carnegie

"There is no Republican Party. There's a Trump Party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere." Former House Speaker John Boehner

It's not a good thing for me to bag on the President all the time. I have some very good friends and clients who support him and it's bad for both friendship and business. So when prominent United States Senators go after him, like happened today, stalwart Republicans like Orrin Hatch, Bob Corker, Pat Toomey and Ben Sasse as well as Speaker Paul Ryan and the United States Chamber of Commerce, I get to just sit back and chill.

You folks carry the water for a while. He's your guy.

Trump and the ratlike Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have initiated a new trade war targeting steel and aluminum on Europe, Canada and Mexico. Our allies have responded angrily and reciprocally, in a way you might expect.

American farmers and businesses should feel this one right in their solar plexus. Bye bye, soybeans. And people may not realize it but when you slap a tariff on something, the foreign country doesn't pay the cost, an American importer does. This thing is designed to hurt Americans. But since we are now talking protectionism, guess what Mercedes, we don't want you to sell any more luxury cars around here. Auf viedersehn.

Funny that Ross went after the EU today on the new privacy regulations. What great timing. Anybody remember irony?
We in the US are deeply concerned about the way the EU’s new privacy guidelines, which came into effect last week, will force big changes in the way US and European companies do business,” Ross wrote in the Financial Times.
“We must find a way to implement GDPR without creating undue barriers... EU authorities must provide clearer rules and a more predictable regulatory environment to support investment and innovation.”
The Trump administration is known to like discord and disruption, likes pushing its weight around. Tries to start big and little wars all the time. Unfortunately most people that get an elbow in the mouth from a bully remember it for a long time and don't take kindly to the gesture. Paybacks can be a bitch.

Ross, the one time vulture capitalist recently goaded by his boss for being past his prime, doesn't see the big deal and get all the fuss. Why can't our allies react like China did?
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross delivered a harsh message during the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development trade forum in Paris on Wednesday, saying negotiations can continue even with the tariffs in place.
"There can be negotiations with or without tariffs, it’s not that you can’t talk with tariffs,” Ross said, the Financial Times reported.
China is an interesting case in point. They are paying the tariffs; they came into effect in March and they haven't used this as an excuse not to talk. It’s only the EU insisting we can’t negotiate if there are tariffs."
Wars of any kind, trade or otherwise, are easy to start and hard to extricate from. You don't start them with your friends. Prudent people use them as measures of last resort.

"Trump is playing with fire here and he doesn’t quite get it. And I think we are about to go over the cliff. The boil must be lanced. The fever needs to break. History is no longer persuasive. We need fresh evidence that trade wars cause economic contraction and job loss. The rubes who delivered us Trump will bear the brunt. That’s a just outcome.” 
Dan Ikenson - Cato Institute

Gene Clark

Whale spout off Coronado

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

President Camacho and co.

I don't know where you file this stuff... I wish I had the time to commemorate the historic events, maybe with a cake or a painting. Certainly raising the banality bar here on the White House reality television show. Ratings have to be going crazy.

Blast endorsements

North County deserves better leaders than Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa. As the San Diego Union said recently, anyone but Hunter. He needs to worry about staying out of jail, not running my district. Treated the job like his personal piggy bank.

Luckily we have some excellent choices:

Josh Butner in the 50th Congressional District. An ex navy Seal with 23 years in the armed forces serving his country, right on the important issues.

Colonel Doug Applegate in the 49th. Seasoned, experienced. Ready for action. Ready to take on the important battles in Washington.

San Diego needs a breath of fresh air, not more corrupt representation. Vote for a needed change.

Sound Of The Rain

R.I.P. Tony Kinman

May Gray

It was a fairly lackluster day birdwatching, or at least it started out that way. I was supposed to go with Ken to the Torrey Pines State Reserve but then he begged off, having to wait for a delivery at home. Mike asked if he could join me on my excursion and I happily said yes. Always nice to have friendly company and we rarely shoot together.

He drove and we entered the preserve, found an empty parking lot. It was a cold, grim day, it had been sprinkling earlier in Fallbrook. We walked the trail for at least a half hour before we saw a lone peregrine falcon and it was so far away at first I thought it was a gull.

I hit all the normal places and came to the conclusion that the birds had either fled or were hiding themselves exceedingly well. Still the lack of avian activity would not get in the way of a good walk and hike.

Always other things to look at. Dolphins leaped and paddleboards glided in the ocean below.

I was pared down to my smaller Sigma lens and the Nikon D850. I have been shooting the monster nikkor 400mm 2.8 so much handheld that my ulna nerve is aching. Need to give the elbow some rest. No tripod either, like carrying an anvil around and I frankly needed a break.

Was the scarcest day ever. Nothing on the trees, very little in the air. But I love the area, always enchanted en el lugar where the cactus hits the ocean, such a great California phenomenon, alta y sur.

Canon and Nikon, playing well together.

I caught a series of shots of a lone falcon hovering over the Pacific, nothing really that particularly special.

Felt a bit guilty for dragging my friend so far out with no major payoff.

But the pursuit is often about long periods of waiting and he and I both understand that. It turned out we didn't have to wait that long.

We decided to do one more trail circuit and then call it quits. We were just about to head for the car at the end of a loop when a family that we had befriended earlier in the day bumped into us and let us know that there was a falcon sitting on a branch at the bluff.

We quickly headed over.

Pay dirt, an adult male peregrine falcon with an ocean backdrop, very picturesque.

We thought he would fly but he never did. He paid us little concern, content to pose and preen.

I took 1557 pictures. Law of averages says I have to have grabbed something decent.

Looking forward to giving the shots a good look and seeing what we ultimately captured. I am happy with the shots I have seen so far and don't think the quality suffered much at all with the lighter, slower, longer lens. My best closeups of this season.

I leave you with a small taste.

Peregrine falcon with visible nicitating membrane

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Black headed Grosbeak

Run On

Lower the barr

Roseanne Barr was a ticking time bomb, only a matter of time before she went off and got bounced.

What a racist and hate filled piece of excrement.

She wrote this unfortunate vile tweet about mixed race Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett today and lost her network show, our President's favorite. Her agent, I.C.M, gave her the heave ho as well.

Of course it is only a matter of time before she claims that she is the real victim here. Liberal p.c., her right to free speech and all that.

In any case I thought to myself, where have I heard speech like this before? Besides the Trump administration... And I thought, my god, it was only this morning, over at Fox News, the comments to an article about Dutchess Meghan Markle and the new coat of arms.

Simians? Bananas? Do you sense a theme here? The funny thing is, and I say funny as in strange, not humorous, these are some of the tamer comments. Comments actually were deleted for stepping over some Fox line of decency. How racist do you have to be to get bounced from the comments section at Fox News?

Conservatives say that they are tired of being typecast as bigots. Hey GOP, it is clear that there are many racists lurking around your house. Unless of course, these commenters are all Russian trolls or masquerading libs wanting to make you look bad.

Son Of Mr Green Genes

Slip of the tongue

For the first time in many years, I neither judged or attended the Fallbrook Car Show yesterday. I am sure that it ran swimmingly without me and I didn't really miss it either. I actually slept in until 9:30 and had myself a rather lazy day.

Read a book, watched a kung fu movie, napped. I went outside to take a few bird pictures but forgot my tripod and could never really adequately dial it in.

Should probably delete the whole batch but did sort of dig this one of the hummingbird's tongue, touch of japonism.

Shows you how important a tripod is with these long lenses.

Monday, May 28, 2018


Lee Michaels


We are used to our governments losing things. Up to fifty nuclear warheads vanished somehow in the cold war, poof, I thought that you were watching them? Oh, well...

A billion dollars worth of arms missing and unaccounted for in Iraq by the U.S. Army, shrug...

$700 million dollars of U.S. Ammo missing in Afghanistan. Pocket change.

$500 million dollars of equipment and arms lost in Yemen. WaPo Craig Whitlock 3/17/15

This is just the tip of the iceberg of course. A study concluded that approx. $8.5 trillion dollars was unaccounted for at the Pentagon, and that study is a few years dated. I am sure that it is quite a bit larger now.

But the worst figure might be this one. 1475.

That is the number of children that the United States has separated from their immigrant parents that we have now lost track of, 19% of the total number of kids under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Many of these children are infants, under the age of two. Government says they gave them away and it is no longer their responsibility to see what happened to them. They may be dead, molested, sick, underfed, who knows? Our government doesn't. Or seem to care. One less potential future felon I guess, in their eyes.
“I understand that it has been HHS’s long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care." Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families Steven Wagner
What have we become?

Pro life?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Boycott Chipotle

Come for the food, stay for the e coli...

Want to see how the recent Supreme Court ruling on arbitration and class action screws workers? Read this Huffington Post article on Chipotle. This lawyer Gottlieb is a real mumzer. 
Roughly 10,000 people who have worked for the burrito chain joined a 2014 lawsuit alleging the company systemically forced them to work “off the clock.” They claim that Chipotle gives its restaurants so little payroll that managers require employees to clock out and continue working or perform work before they clock in. They’re suing to recoup the money they claim Chipotle owes them for the uncompensated work.
But Chipotle has been arguing that 2,814 workers in that group do not have a valid claim because they signed class- and collective-action waivers when they accepted their jobs. Late last year, the company provided the court with a 62-page list of workers in the lawsuit who had supposedly signed away their rights and asked the judge to exclude them from the proceedings. 
This is right out of Upton Sinclair. The Epic Systems case was particularly nasty, the workers were mailed an email that said agree to the arbitration clause or you are out of a job. Low wage workers can't afford to take their employers to court, lawsuits are expensive, arbitrators are typically pro employer and the workers get screwed. Justice Gorsuch said that the result doesn't have to be apocalyptic but it sounds like it already is, at least to employees.

“We have to protect the individual worker from being in a situation where he can’t protect his rights.”
Justice Ginsberg

Adult male peregrine falcon

Try A Little Harder

Don't you worry, try a little harder...

I drove back to Torrey Pines this morning to try to get some more good falcon shots.

Wasn't working today, wasn't happening, birds were scarce, flubbed my few opportunities.

Still it was a wonderful day in Southern California and I would be lying if I claimed to be anything but delighted.

What's the title of that song by the Byrds, Nothing was delivered?

If you knew that there always was a payoff it wouldn't be any fun. See Blue Heron Blast, Kill monsters, win gold.

The old intermittent reward. Strongest lure in the tackle box.

Not sure why the meager pickings but I think the ravens and crows might be asserting dominance over the raptors.

I think that the juveniles are hiding out until they are strong enough to deal with the smart and pesky corvids.

Always something to shoot. Like this lovely Say's phoebe  ash throated flycatcher.

The sun was out, the breezes were perfect, we walked our asses off, it was impossible not to enjoy the adventure, no matter the meager spoils.

Saw dad bringing the youngster's food and one food exchange but I blew it by not stopping down and gaining the requisite depth of field.

Learned something today and there is still time to nail some better shots soon.

Did see several juveniles on branches way back in the woods, a little too far away for a decent shot.

I let numerous passerby's look through the rig and get a look at the young peregrines, which they greatly appreciated.

Will definitely be back for another turn, another swing at the piñata.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

weekend update

Lois sends over a pic of a door at Chimayo which she shot on her recent trip to New Mexico with husband Bob.

Shawn sends this thoughtful Alfred McCoy penned post over from Thailand, Beyond Golden Shower diplomacy.

Mike sent his beautiful Monument Valley sunset pic over, definitely trumps mine.

An excellent all around photographer, he excels at sunsets.

Reneé sends over a slightly dated article on marijuana compounds promising effects on Alzheimers treatment, purportedly removing harmful proteins that contribute to the disease.

Trump's tweet today was so Orwellian in its cynicism and prevarication that I can't even deal with it.

You read it if you can stomach it. Got to hand it to him, he does a remarkable job uttering lies and falsehoods and his base doesn't care a lick. A truly weaponized presidency but live by the sword you have to assume that he will one day die by the sword, while his many enablers slink off for cover.

Have you caught the act of his new nominee for assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Ronald Mortensen? A hate group hard liner who is famous for saying, amongst other similar pearls, that "people illegally in the United States routinely commit multiple felonies and other serious violations of American law when they enter the country, get jobs, and obtain benefits reserved for citizens and legal residents."

I live in a community with a lot of immigrants and I can tell you that Mr. Mortensen is not correct, the great majority of immigrants are honest, hard working people seeking a better life for their family, like our own ancestors did, not people committing multiple felonies.

Of all of our President's daily grievous sins, the racist dog whistling is perhaps the worst of all.

Harwood sends over a cartoon:

Jonathan Hill sends over some cool cockpit photography.

Keep 'em coming folks!