Saturday, September 18, 2021
I voted against recalling Governor Newsom. I think he has done a pretty good job up to date, irrespective of his dining at the French Laundry during the lockdown.
Obviously many people in my state abhor him, primarily for trying to keep a handle on the Covid crisis but I think he he did an admirable job and, in his place, I might have been even more draconian. Sorry, but your freedom doesn't trump the rest of our survival.
Face it, the way the national civil war is going, the right would try to recall him for not brushing his teeth the right way. It's just the sad way it is. Recall cost us three hundred or so million and never had a chance.zoning and local control of development in my state.
I think that the bills are incredibly irresponsible and the growth that they will result in unsustainable with our limited water and already crowded roads and streets. Like it or not, the state can only support so many people.
There is an obvious ideological split in my state but there is also an urban/rural divide and this one size fits all workaround is destined to bring misery to those of us who have chosen to forsake some of the cultural luxuries of urban life and live unmolested in the country. This is a direct assault on our lives and livelihood.
SACRAMENTO — California single-family neighborhoods could see existing parcels split in half to build new housing under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a plan more modest than far-reaching housing efforts in recent years but sharply criticized by officials in some cities as an overreach on decisions that should be left to local communities.
Newsom also signed a bill allowing more housing density in areas near public transit. Both bills will take effect Jan. 1 but neither is likely to produce the supply of new housing that experts have said California needs to erase years of pent-up demand.
“The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity,” Newsom said in announcing his approval. “Making a meaningful impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration ... and political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all.”
The most controversial of the new laws, Senate Bill 9, will allow up to four new housing units on a single property in certain neighborhoods that are currently zoned for standalone houses only. The law places limits on new construction in neighborhoods designated as historic. Tenants in existing homes would also have legal protections from being displaced. For lots that are split into two parcels, a homeowner must agree to live on the premises.
As a rural resident, I know that we don't have enough water and we don't have roads built for a potential fourfold increase in housing units. Colorado River water is already being rationed. Our state can only sustain so many people, much of it is a desert. The rural beauty and sanctity of our state will be destroyed forever if this plan comes to fruition.
Newsom on Thursday also signed SB 10, creating a process that lets local governments streamline new multi-family housing projects of up to 10 units built near transit or in urban areas. That new legislation also simplifies zoning requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act, which developers complain can bog down projects for years.
“SB 10 provides one important approach: making it dramatically easier and faster for cities to zone for more housing,” the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, wrote in a news release. “It shouldn’t take five or 10 years for cities to re-zone, and SB 10 gives cities a powerful new tool to get the job done quickly.”
Newsom also signed SB 8, which extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The act, which speeds up the approval process for housing projects, curtails local governments’ ability to reduce the number of units allowed on a site and limits housing application fee hikes, was set to expire in 2025. Now it will go through 2030.
Low cost housing has always been a pipe dream here. I know, I was a builder. Units get built and soon their values escalate so high that only the wealthy can afford them. We can not build our way out of the homeless problem either.
Builders and labor unions are loving the bills of course because it gives them a chance to steamroll local opposition to high impact projects with a single swoop.
Newsom previously had shaken up single-family zoning by signing legislation that allowed more homeowners to build in-law units on their properties. SB 9 takes that further, allowing property owners to build up to two duplexes on what was once a single-family lot.
Slow-growth group Livable California, which has pushed back against SB 9, called it a “radical density experiment” and worried developers would use it to remake neighborhoods without community input.
This is bad. The next project that gets pipelined in without due process and environmental controls might be right next to your place. The character of our state is under siege. It is a sad but true fact, and I speak as a California native, that not everyone can afford to live here. But if these sorts of bills pass, perhaps they will destroy so much of what we hold dear that few will even want to live here.
I sort of wish he had signed these bills before I had sent my ballot in.
Friday, September 17, 2021
The world is off its hinges. Everybody is getting super testy
after during the long lockdown. Friendships and relationships are fracturing or being sorely tried, often within families. We have also found out that a big and irrational lie can easily be substituted for truth without making much of a commotion. And everybody seems to be at each other's throats, at the drop of a hat. How the hell do we right our ship?
I must tell you, sometimes it is not a matter of drinking the Kool Aid but eating the Kool Aid, like I did yesterday.
I had been busy all day and had a two o'clock meeting with some wonderful clients. I had not eaten all day and was famished. I know them well enough that when I got to their house I asked them if they had any cereal or something I could eat? Completely starving.
A drug kingpin, some escaped hippos—and the surprising benefits of mixing exotic and native animals
Of course, extinct animals are a completely different kettle of fish. Or the potential problems that could arise if they are brought back anyway.
Bring it! Earth is already upside down, might as well give it one last shake.
Regardless of my age or lack of property ownership, I was elected for this job just as the rest of the board was. Anna Strahan
I am not overly familiar with the actions and machinations of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group. I know a few of the members have served for an awfully long time and appreciate the dedication and hard work of all the participants. I am sure it takes a tremendous amount of time and commitment to serve on this committee.
Still I have heard some rumblings about some strange goings on of late and will let these screen shots from Facebook save me from a little typing and speak for themselves. If there is another side to the story I would like to hear it.Anna Strahan is the daughter of two of my longtime friends from Fallbrook and is a delightful and hard working young woman with a bright future, hopefully continuing in public service. I do not know Ross Pike.
The U.S. Constitution originally left it to states to determine who is qualified to vote in elections. For decades, state legislatures generally restricted voting to white males who owned property. Some states also employed religious tests to ensure that only Christian men could vote.
Poll taxes were a particularly egregious form of voter suppression for a century following the Civil War, forcing people to pay money in order to vote. Payment of the tax was a prerequisite for voter registration in many states. The taxes were expressly designed to keep African Americans and low-income white people from voting. Some states even enacted grandfather clauses to allow many higher-income white people to avoid paying the tax. The 24th amendment was approved by Congress in 1962 and ratified by the states two years later. In a 1966 case, the Supreme Court ruled that poll taxes are unconstitutional in any U.S. election.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
This is the sort of shot I liked to grab when I was shooting film with my Topcon in the old days, always wanted to be a stringer for Life or Look. Lots of grain, camera shake, high contrast, lacks detail, blown out highlights, but who cares? It conveys a feeling. Composition and emotion capturing a moment will always trump technical perfection without either.
I dug this out of my archives this afternoon, always liked it.
How about reparations for slave owners?Seriously.
“When people talk about reparations, do they really want to have that conversation?” he asked. “Like it or not, slavery was legal. Their legal property was taken away from them after the Civil War, so you could make an argument that the people that are owed reparations are not only just Black people but also the people whose ‘property’ was taken away after the end of the Civil War.”
They are absolutely going to love this one down at the barber shop.
Tsk, tsk or should I say tusk, tusk; Scientists are talking about bringing the woolly mammoth back to the arctic, an extinct animal that has only been gone for ten thousand years or so. They plan on mating it with the Asian Elephant. The last common ancestor of the two species was six million years ago. The purported purpose is to increase biodiversity and to reduce arctic thaw.
A group called Colossal and its founder George Church, a Harvard geneticist, is pushing the idea. They are proposing to create a mammoth/elephant hybrid, using gene editing and CRISPR technology. It would live in the new Pleistocene Park. Now what could possibly go wrong?
Church’s dreams of engineering a hybrid mammoth first deepened after an interview he did with the New York Times in 2008 about efforts to sequence the woolly mammoth genome.
At first, the idea was more of a grand intellectual puzzle. But in the years that followed, Church started to collaborate with Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan, the founders of the California-based Revive & Restore. Brand and Phelan aim to use biotechnology to help shore up threatened species and to bring back extinct ones. (Find out more about the science—and ethical debate—around bringing back extinct creatures.)
“De-extinction and the idea of what we call genetic rescue is really a story about hope and being able to repair some of the damage that humans have caused over the centuries,” says Phelan. “It’s not nostalgia—it’s really about increasing biodiversity.”
Why do I have my doubts? Is running the Whole Earth Catalogue sufficient experience to start messing round with dead animal genes?
“The scale at which you’d have to do this experiment is enormous. You are talking about hundreds of thousands of mammoths which each take 22 months to gestate and 30 years to grow to maturity.”Lamm said: “Our goal isn’t just to bring back the mammoth, but to bring back interbreedable herds that are successfully rewilded back into the Arctic region.”Whether Asian elephants would want to breed with the hybrids is, for now, unknown. “We might have to give them a little shave,” said Church.
|Oliphant army - Lord of the Rings|
Two weeks ago Republicans were bitching because Biden had left Afghan allies in their country in the clumsy and inept withdrawal. Secretary Blinken responded that people coming into our country needed to be vetted and checked out and that it took time. I can understand that. But the GOP really went after the administration for forsaking their friends.
Several congressional Republicans have said the United States should welcome refugees fleeing the country to prevent a humanitarian crisis, especially Afghans who assisted the United States. “We need to care for them,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a local Kentucky television station last week. “We owe it to these people, who are our friends and who worked with us, to get them out safely if we can.”
In Texas, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) offered his support and prayers to refugees, especially those granted special visas after assisting the U.S. military. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) also voiced his support despite advocating for limits on refugees in the past. “We have an obligation not to leave people to die at the hands of the Taliban for the crime of helping America," Cruz told reporters in Dallas last week. Several governors across the political spectrum also offered aid and messages that refugees would be welcome in their states.
Now, Trump is taking the opposite tack, Biden's willingness to take Afghan allies and refugees will bring terrorists into the country.
Former President Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, suggested that terrorists "absolutely" were airlifted from Afghanistan as part of the U.S. evacuation effort from Kabul last month, questioning the Biden administration's vetting process.
The former president, during the interview, called the Biden administration’s effort to resettle Afghan allies "incredible."
"There has never been a war — win, lose or draw — and you bring everybody into your country," Trump said. "That’s a lot of people, and at a tremendous cost already—they’re talking about billions and billions of dollars."
Which way is it going to be? I think it is fair to ask my GOP brethren to pick a side on this one, either we resettle these people or we don't but this mealy mouthed, damned if you do, damned if you don't hypocrisy helps no one and merely confirms that you stand for nothing except for hurting the opposition, no matter how irrationally. Stop with the mixed messaging.
If there is no quorum or majority on this issue within the Republican party, how about you figure it out in house before you start attacking Joe Biden? It is one way or the other.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Started listening around 1970, going to shows two years later, then really hit my stride when the band hit their stride, the magical year of 1977.
The spring tour was legendary that year and I was there many steps of the way, the greatest show of my life in San Bernardino, then Santa Barbara and three days at Winterland in San Francisco in February and March, then back east to Philly.
Band came back to SoCal in June and I caught them at the Fabulous Forum and tripping back up north for another extended nice Winterland run.
It was the best and most magic time for me and my gang and Jerry surely never played any better than he did that year on his aluminum necked Travis Bean guitar.
The dead were at the height of their powers and in full glory, at least in my opinion. And we Deadheads had so much fun.
So as it sounds, I hold the year 1977 in some reverence, at least in terms of this most psychedelic of bands. It was never that good again, at least for me. And I caught a lot of shows in 78, something was clearly missing...
Now I was at the grocery store this afternoon, looking for string cheese, incidentally, I took a double take when I saw a large and fairly grungy guy in a Spring 77 dead tour t-shirt. I did a quick age calculation, something didn't quite add up. Was he a fellow devotee who had trod my same trail and shared a campaign back in hallowed and headier times?
"Were you on that tour?" I asked him, sizing him up like a veteran might ask a young guy sporting a khe sanh hat. "No, I wasn't," the guy said, "but I wish I was." "I didn't go to my first show until 1988."
"Ugh," I thought. "One of those." At least he was honest. This guy might have been one of the johnny come lately preppy deadheads that arrived all boozed up after in the dark got successful in the late eighties and when the band started sounding so dreadful. Made the scene so ghastly.
I thought for a moment. Should I force the impersonator to take off the shirt so I could stomp on it in Aisle Five? Would that be too draconian or a touch too severe? Why would you wear a shirt for a tour you never attended?
To me he was a like a guy playing fake cop or pretend soldier. Maybe I should have tore the sacred rose epaulets right off his lapel but I am a nice guy and not exactly wired that way. Wasn't really my place. Live and let live, is my motto.
Left him there with a tip of the hat and a smile. Ain't no time to hate, as they say...
The Santa Barbara surfing community is a tight one, and the Christian surf community especially so. Calvary Chapel in Santa Barbara has held a surf ministry for years, which Coleman participated in, though he wasn’t a member of the congregation. Senior Pastor Tommy Schneider held a special call on the Wednesday after the murders were announced, giving his congregation time to talk about what they were feeling. He tried to comfort them and make sense of how a seemingly nice guy could go so wrong.
“We’ve seen people get carried away by things like conspiracy,” Pastor Tommy said he told his congregation. “It can be dangerous, although I’m not sure what that means for Matthew … As Jesus said: Don’t be deceived; walk in love. This walk for Matthew obviously changed course; he lost his focus.”
The conspiracy Schneider spoke of refers to Coleman’s statements alleged in an FBI affidavit, in which Coleman acknowledged he’d killed his children. He told the special agent that he had received visions and signs influenced by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and that he had to kill his son and his daughter lest they develop into monsters due to their mother’s “serpent DNA.”
This is what happens when weak minded people get hooked on religion and religious conspiracy theories, they go insane and do horrific things. We have been getting a lot of similar nonsense in the last few years, from Pizzagate to the fake Sandy Hook garbage. Usually a biblical tie in somewhere.
Many of the whack jobs claim a divine inspiration for their evil actions and perfidy. If someone claims they have a direct line upstairs, my sincere advice to you is to run away, as quickly as possible.
And don't even think of mixing god and meth. That never works out. Don't be like the guy in Florida who recently whacked four people he did not know because, you guessed it, god told him to.
In an interview with deputies, the suspect described himself as "a survivalist" -- a term that generally refers to a person who proactively prepares for a post-apocalyptic world -- and confessed to being on methamphetamine, Judd said.
The suspect's girlfriend told authorities that he had been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had been acting erratically in the past week, saying that he was receiving visions from God, according to the sheriff.
"She said he had PTSD. 'I've seen him depressed. I've never seen him violent,' she said," Judd said. "But a week ago today, meaning last Sunday, he did security at a church in Orlando. And he came home and he said, you know, God spoke to him and now he can talk directly to God. And she said, 'I've never seen that kind of behavior.'"
kill her two children, because they had been turned into zombies.
"She was told by Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow that they held the religious belief that they were a part of the 'Church of the Firstborn' and that their mission in that Church was to lead the '144,000' mentioned in the Book of Revelation. They also stated their mission was to rid the world of 'zombies,'" according to the police document.
I have been craving sushi and we decided to see if we could find some good fish in Temecula. I googled best Sushi in Temecula and a relatively new restaurant named Sakura came up several times.
Normally we go to Hana but we were getting a little tired of it and the size of the sashimi salad keeps getting smaller and smaller.
So we head up there, place is right off the freeway and we walk in to a fairly antiseptic cavernous setting full of television screens and are met with cold stares.
Guy at the sushi bar says no seating without vaccination cards, I detect with a faint air of hostility, we sit down.
Place has a vapid Orange County feel, trendy, all form, no substance, warmth or ambience thing going.
|black and white owls|
|three toed sloth|
|rare forest falcon|
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Good article from E.J.Dionne today in the WaPo. He gets a little dramatic at the end of his shpiel but makes some good points here nonetheless that I print. Funny that GOP spends like bloody pirates on their watch (the national debt rose $7.8 trillion dollars during Trump's term) and then suddenly get concerned about debt when the other guy is in charge.
I don't blame Manchin and Sinema for being thrifty and playing to their base but I think they are being used by the right and could easily find themselves alone in the middle of the highway without a friend to their name one day.
...the much-discussed $3.5 trillion price tag is a lot of money. But that number is based on 10 years of spending. Sharon Parrott, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, points out that the $3.5 trillion should be placed in the context of an anticipated gross domestic product of $288 trillion over the same period — meaning that this debate is over roughly 1.2 percent of the economy. That’s hardly a gargantuan investment in social equity and economic stability for tens of millions of our fellow citizens.
Moreover, as both Parrott and my Post colleague Catherine Rampell have noted, backers of these programs are not proposing to throw the whole thing onto the national debt. On the contrary, as Rampell reminded us recently, lawmakers voted last month for a maximum deficit increase of about $1.75 trillion, with all or most of the package to be paid for with new revenue and budget savings elsewhere.
On a November day in 1721, a small bomb was hurled through the window of a local Boston Reverend named Cotton Mather. Attached to the explosive, which fortunately did not detonate, was the message: “Cotton Mather, you dog, dam you! I’ll inoculate you with this; with a pox to you.’’ This was not a religiously motivated act of terrorism, but a violent response to Reverend Mather’s active promotion of smallpox inoculation. The smallpox epidemic that struck Boston in 1721 was one of the most deadly of the century in colonial America, but was also the catalyst for the first major application of preventative inoculation in the colonies.
...Although inoculation was already common in certain parts of the world by the early 18th century, it was only just beginning to be discussed in England and colonial America. Cotton Mather is largely credited with introducing inoculation to the colonies and doing a great deal to promote the use of this method as standard for smallpox prevention during the 1721 epidemic. Mather is believed to have first learned about inoculation from his West African slave Onesimus, writing, “he told me that he had undergone the operation which had given something of the smallpox and would forever preserve him from it, adding that was often used in West Africa.’’ After confirming this account with other West African slaves and reading of similar methods being performed in Turkey, Mather became an avid proponent of inoculation. When the 1721 smallpox epidemic struck Boston, Mather took the opportunity to campaign for the systematic application of inoculation. What followed was a fierce public debate, but also one of the first widespread and well-documented uses of inoculation to combat such an epidemic in the West.
Mather was a Puritan, a scientist and an intellectual with a historically checkered life, being at least partly responsible for the Salem witch trials. The article goes on to mention that vaccine techniques reach back at least as far as China in 1000 CE and were widely practiced in ancient Turkey, India and Africa. I leave you with a note from another founding father:
In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of 4 years old, by the smallpox taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly and still regret that I had not given it to him by Inoculation; This I mention for the sake of parents, who omit that Operation on the Supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child dies under it; my Example showing that the Regret may be the same either way, and that therefore the safer should be chosen. Benjamin Franklin
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Like poor Megan here. The internet is literally littered with similar tales of woe. People like Josh Tidmore. Cindy Dawkins, a mother of four. Michael Freedy, a 39 year old father leaving a family of five. These stories have been labeled the new "vaccination regret" genre. There are frankly far too many of them.
And it made me wonder. Why don't we ever hear about the inverse happening? Why don't we read about the poor Covid patient who says, "Yes, I am probably going to expire soon and never see my friends and family again but I did it for liberty and freedom and it was worth it. Please don't get the shot. It's for pussies. No regrets."
Funny we never hear about those. There have to be plenty of them out there, aren't there?
Marc Zuckerberg, a guy that has always sort of viscerally freaked me out, is introducing Facebook Glasses in a partnership with Ray Ban.
The goal of Ray-Ban Stories is to “lay the groundwork in the minds of consumers for the many, many, future products that we have to come in this space,” Facebook’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality, Andrew Bosworth, told me. It’s all part of Facebook’s goal to build what it thinks will be the next major computing platform after mobile phones. The company has over 10,000 people making consumer hardware, including a smartwatch it plans to help control its eventual AR glasses, which are internally codenamed “Orion.”
For Luxottica, the idea was to make smart glasses “not just a technological gadget, but something sexy,” according to Basilico. “We started with a sleek design and then we retrofitted the technology.”
Don't worry, it is coming.
But even more pernicious than the specter of these fancy new gadgets is the fact that the step after that, hardwiring the technology directly into our neural systems, is surely just around the corner.
The last frontier, they will claim that it is much more safe and efficient.
And then we humans will be always plugged in, twenty four seven, getting a constant stream of slick advertising, porn and social connecting, even in our sleep. It will be a dream for Zuckerberg and his ilk, a cadre of stooges waiting for some Manchurian signal to answer the retailer's clarion call.
Beware the technological singularity. Don't let them install the chip in you until you have thought about all of the possible effects and repercussions.
"The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains ... There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine." Ray Kurzweil
That is certainly how it starts...