Rapt attention

Monday, July 31, 2023

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

FOSSA ─ Madagascar's Demonic Apex Predator

I thought I was pretty well versed on my mammal taxonomy, never even heard of this little bad ass. Scary dude. And the bigger version is now extinct. Did you watch the wild cat video I posted recently? Turns out that snow leopards diverged from tigers and are more closely related to lions than they are to leopards. Who knew?

Lord have mercy on your wicked son...

I have a very special place in my heart for Canned Heat. For a variety of reasons. But principally they played the blues the way it should be played, without shortcuts.

Really the second hard rock concert I had ever attended, after a shrieking psychedelic band at Hemisphere 66 in San Antonio that I was way too young to deal with.

The date was May 22, 1970. They played at Stonybrook College in New York, inside in the gym.

I was twelve years old. My older sister Liz, who reads this blog, took me. 

I remember being in the dark hall and I might as well have been on the moon. 

In the crowd were characters in capes, with long staffs and pipes, it was like a strange druid gathering and I was totally mind blown. 

As you might expect from a punk kid new to all this. Tear down the walls, indeed. Obviously  I had never seen or experienced anything like that before. And the music! Driving, hypnotic, I experienced the boogie as only Canned Heat could ever deliver it. The incredible lead and harp player, Al Wilson was destined to pass away a mere three months later.

Later on I became friends with members Bob "the Bear" Hite and Larry Taylor. I bought Kaleidoscope posters from Bob at the monthly Capitol Records Swap Meet in Hollywood.  

Including this poster.

He was a great guy. 

Larry was good friends with my old friend and mentor, the late Jose Kent, who later became Rick Griffin's agent. 

Another amazing man and a person who did not get enough credit for their incredible bass playing. 

Rick and I caught him at a John Mayall, Jack Bruce show once at the Belly Up.

Now everybody is gone. Glad I saw them live when I had the chance. There will never be another.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Sheila Chandra

Selective indignation once again

Apparently there is a scene in the new Oppenheimer movie where the principal stops during intercourse with his girlfriend to read a small passage from the Bhagavad Gita.

Wouldn't you know it, the Hindu nation is now up in arms. They actually want the scene deleted from the movie.

In a statement Saturday, India’s Information Commissioner, Uday Mahurkar, said the scene was “a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus,” likening it to “waging a war on the Hindu community.” 
“We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene [in the life] of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus, rather it amounts to waging a war on the Hindu community and almost appears to be part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces.”

What I find comically tragic is that this is the same week that news comes down about a mob of "tolerant Hindus" that gang raped an 18 year old girl in Manipur and the cops did nothing for two months until the issue got too hot to sit on anymore.

The poor girl in this incident was Christian, but the Hindus have committed rape on numerous occasions against Muslim women in their country. And Brahmin assailants tend to get away scot free.

C.K. Raulji, a BJP lawmaker who sat on the panel, told Indian media outlet MoJo Story that the convicts are “Brahmins” — upper-caste Hindu — and had “good values.”

“Their family’s activity was very good; they are Brahmin people,” Raulji said, referring to their privileged caste. “And as it is with Brahmins, their values were also very good.”

I have to think that the fact that a woman is raped every fifteen minutes in India and that the country is rife with sectarian violence is more important than a scene from a movie that supposedly disparages Hinduism. Ultra nationalism is ugly, no matter what country or people perpetuate it.

Storm over the Trinity site, White Sands, N.M.


Cry To Me

I was listening to Mudcrutch's (Tom Petty's first band) version this morning and remembered that I had posted the original 1961 Solomon Burke take once upon a time. Led me to this one. Freddie Scott's 1967 version holds up with any of them.  But the Betty Harris recording from 1964 is just as good. Written by Bert Berns.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Mike Pence has very poor judgement

I like Mike Pence. I think he is a decent human being who is obeying the early tenets and conditioning of childhood as best as he knows how. I believes that he loves his wife, family and country. 

Having said that, I also can admit that I can't think of a single issue on which I agree with him and think he would be a terrible and divisive president. In summation, I don't trust his judgement, in basically any way.

Today, Dana Bash interviewed the former V.P. on CNN. The conversation went like this:

“Everyone in our movement are the kind of Americans who love this country, are patriotic or law-and-order people who would never have done anything like that there or anywhere else,” Pence told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday’s State of the Union. “I have more confidence in the American people than that. I hear my former running mate’s frustration in his voice, but I'm sure the American people will respond in our movement in a way that will express, as they have every right to under the First Amendment, to express concerns that they have about what they perceive to be unequal treatment of the law. But I'm not concerned about it beyond that.”

The winding answer seemingly left Bash flabbergasted, prompting her to note why someone like Pence of all people should be concerned.

“It’s pretty remarkable that you’re not concerned about it, given the fact that they wanted to hang you on on Jan. 6,” she said through a laugh before attempting to move on.

But Pence wouldn’t let that stand, refusing to let the CNN anchor “use a broad brush” to classify everyone at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as being perpetrators of violence.

“The people in this movement, the people who rally behind our cause in 2016 and 2020, are the most God-fearing, law-abiding, patriotic people in this country,” he said. “And I just I won’t stand for those kinds of generalizations because they have no basis in fact.”

These god fearing, law abiding patriots tried to kill you Mike. According to wiki, by the end of June 2023, about 700 defendants had been found guilty (most by pleading guilty, the rest convicted at trial), and over 550 of them had been sentenced. Hundreds were still awaiting trial or sentencing. It is estimated that over 2000 people took part in the riot or insurrection, whatever you choose to call it, I don't really care. These people were despicable and committed despicable actions. A small sampling:

On April 11, 2023, Robert Sanford was sentenced to four years and four months. He hit two police officers in the head with a fire extinguisher and threw a traffic cone at another officer.[44]

On April 14, 2023, Vincent J. Gillespie was sentenced to five years and eight months. He grabbed a police shield from officers, rammed it into them and pulled another officer into the mob of protestors.[45]

On April 14, 2023, Patrick McCaughey III was sentenced to seven years and six months. He crushed a police officer in a doorframe with a riot shield.[46]

On April 28, 2023, Jeffrey Scott Brown received a sentence of 54 months. He assaulted police with pepper spray.[47]

On May 5, 2023, Peter Schwartz was sentenced to 14 years and 2 months in prison. He sprayed a "super soaker" canister of pepper spray at retreating officers. He had 38 prior convictions over the previous 30 years.[48]

On May 24, 2023, Richard Barnett was sentenced to 54 months. He had carried a stun gun into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, propped his foot up on a desk, and bragged about stealing an envelope from the office.[49]

On May 25, 2023, Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison, the longest sentence associated with the attack delivered to date. He was charged with seditious conspiracy, receiving an increased sentence due to his actions being ruled as terrorism by U.S. District Judge, Amit Mehta. Rhodes was the founder of the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist militia, and was the first to be convicted of seditious conspiracy and terrorism in relation to the attack.[50]

On May 25, 2023, Kelly Meggs was sentenced to 12 years in prison. A leader of the Oath Keepers' Florida chapter, Meggs was charged with seditious conspiracy for his role during the attack.[50]

On May 26, 2023, Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson were sentenced to 102 months and 48 months, respectively. Both convicts were members of the Oath Keepers, with Watkins' crimes including merging her local Ohio armed group with the Oath Keepers in 2020, and Harrelson serving as the right-hand man to Kelly Meggs, leader of the Florida chapter. [51]

On July 7, 2023, Barry Bennet Ramey was sentenced to five years. He was connected to the Proud Boys and pepper-sprayed police in the face.[52]

On July 13, 2023, Kyle Fitzsimons was sentenced to 87 months. He attacked Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and D.C. Police Sgt. Phuson Nguyen. While in the mob, Fitzsimons was hit by another rioter and received a bloody head wound that later required staples.[53]

On July 14, 2023, Audrey Ann Southard-Rumsey was sentenced to six years. Brandishing a flagpole, she knocked over a police officer.[54]

Anyone who has seen the raw feeds know that this lynch mob was there to commit violence. Simply read the convictions and see how many of these god fearing folk were brutalizing poor outnumbered cops, smashing them with flagpoles, macing them and trying to turn over the government. They admit this in their own words. Blue lives suddenly didn't matter, eggs had to be broken to put the dear leader back on his throne. 

Read the harrowing tale of Trump appointee Federico Klein, a state department employee found guilty with two co-defendants.

This mob was on no ordinary sightseeing trip. They were there to commit mayhem and overturn the government. And Mike Pence is either confused or willfully cognitively dissonant, he refuses to condemn them, perhaps afraid of antagonizing his political base. And this is why I not only mistrust him but have no faith whatsoever in his judgement.


I have a somewhat conflicted view of Israel. My father was born there, my grandfather lived there and is buried there. I have lived there myself for two protracted periods, in times of conflict including Desert Storm. It was never a particularly easy place for me to live.

Although I met wonderful people there, when I last visited I perceived a definite change in attitude in the country since I first lived in Gesher Haziv in the 1970's. I found myself disliking a lot of the people on my last visit, the ultra right settlers, the Russian emigres and haredi. I saw many of them both becoming and resembling their own worst enemies. 

Having said that I am so cheered by the number of people in the street protesting Netanyahu's judicial power grab. 

You Israelis I love. 

Thank you for once again giving me hope. 

The sooner the two faced Bibi is gone the better, for Israel and the entire region. 

I love you Israel and I want you to survive. It feels good to see my people in the streets. Good people, forward thinking people, people interested in both security and a true peace in the region. People with a Jewish soul and heart.

Time for the duplicitous Prime Minister to retire and take care of his health, let a real and honest leader lead. 

Last ride, Swamis


Saturday, July 22, 2023

Night Images

The Gary McFarland Orchestra.


As a result of the Dobbs decision, many women in red and purple states are now being forced to carry non viable pregnancies to term (e.g. babies born without craniums or spinal cords.) Several of these women testified in Texas this week and their stories are truly heartbreaking. Like the story of Doctor Austin Dennard, who is herself an Ob/Gyn.

In emotional testimony, Dennard testified that she found out she was pregnant in June 2022. At her second ultrasound appointment, Dennard -- who was nervous because she had a miscarriage months before -- said she realized that her baby had acrania, a fatal condition in which a fetus does not have a skull, leaving brain tissue exposed to amniotic fluid, as soon as she saw the ultrasound.In emotional testimony, Dennard testified that she found out she was pregnant in June 2022.At her second ultrasound appointment, Dennard -- who was nervous because she had a miscarriage months before -- said she realized that her baby had acrania, a fatal condition in which a fetus does not have a skull, leaving brain tissue exposed to amniotic fluid, as soon as she saw the ultrasound.

The State of Texas wanted to force her to give birth to this child that could never survive. Luckily she had the wherewithal to travel to another state and abort her pregnancy. 

There are more stories like this. See The law is quite clear: Anti abortion doctor testifies in support of abortion ban. And What it’s like for doctors in Wisconsin to follow an 1849 abortion law in 2023

The authorities in Texas say to sue the doctor, refuse to take any personal responsibility for their plight. But the person who once again comes off as the most preachy, self righteous piece of filth is old Dr. Ingrid Skop from the anti abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute. What a name, like something Roald Dahl conjured up for Willy Wonka.

Skop thinks it will be helpful for the women to not only carry the dead or nonviable baby to term but to hold its corpse for a while. She said it will be beautiful.

An expert witness called by the state, Dr. Ingrid Skop, who is affiliated with the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute, saw little problem with forcing women to carry such pregnancies to term. Holding a dead infant could “improve the grief” process for parents and even young children, she suggested.

“It’s heartbreaking, but it’s beautiful, too,” Skop said.

Is that not the most heartless, let alone patronizing suggestion you have ever heard? Improve the grief process? Really? How dare she try to tell a woman undergoing what they have gone through that this would make them feel better. Self righteous, moralizing prig. What a sick human being.


My favorite Chilean world beat band, Newen Afrobeat, playing with a great Italian world beat band from Bologna, Rumba de bodas. Neat stuff.


I have had several friends tell me how much they have enjoyed the new movie Sound of Freedom. I have read that it is a platform for various conspiracy theories and will not watch it myself based on what I know about it. I think that it is dangerous and promotes outlandish propaganda.

...the movie is also being criticized as a vehicle for conspiracy theories and misleading depictions of human trafficking — landing it in the middle of the country's politically polarized culture wars.

The film, based on a real-life, controversial anti-trafficking activist, is being heavily promoted in conservative media. Former President Donald Trump is hosting a screening on Wednesday at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J .

A big part of its success is an appeal from its star, Jim Caviezel, who comes on screen at the end urging viewers to buy more tickets so other people can see it and help end child trafficking. It's a model distributor Angel Studios calls "pay it forward."

Caviezel, who previously played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, is also drawing attention to the film in other ways. For years, he's been a prominent promoter of the false, violent QAnon conspiracy theory — specifically, the baseless claim that an international cabal of elites is abusing and killing children to extract a substance called adrenochrome.

Ah, adrenochrome. The magical substance that liberal elites and globalists (you know who they are) extract from unsuspecting children that wander into the wrong pizza parlor. 

I admit to not knowing too much about the substance, having missed my shift at Dominos apparently and decided to do some more research. Here is some info, from Wikipedia:

Adrenochrome is a chemical compound produced by the oxidation of adrenaline (epinephrine). It was the subject of limited research from the 1950s through to the 1970s as a potential cause of schizophrenia. While it has no current medical application, the related derivative compound, carbazochrome, is a hemostatic medication. Despite this compound's name, it is unrelated to the element chromium; instead, the ‑chrome suffix indicates a relationship to color, as pure adrenochrome is deep violet.[1]

In his 1954 book The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley mentioned the discovery and the alleged effects of adrenochrome which he likened to the symptoms of mescaline intoxication, although he had never consumed it.[15]

Anthony Burgess mentions adrenochrome as "drencrom" at the beginning of his 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange. The protagonist and his friends are drinking drug-laced milk: "They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches [...]"[15]

Hunter S. Thompson mentioned adrenochrome in his 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.[16] This is the likely origin of current myths surrounding this compound, because a character states that "There's only one source for this stuff ... the adrenaline glands from a living human body. It's no good if you get it out of a corpse." The adrenochrome scene also appears in the novel's film adaptation.[15] In the DVD commentary, director Terry Gilliam admits that his and Thompson's portrayal is a fictional exaggeration. Gilliam insists that the drug is entirely fictional and seems unaware of the existence of a substance with the same name. Hunter S. Thompson also mentions adrenochrome in his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. In the footnotes in chapter April, page 140, he says: "It was sometime after midnight in a ratty hotel room and my memory of the conversation is hazy, due to massive ingestion of booze, fatback, and forty cc's of adrenochrome."

Adrenochrome is a component of several far right conspiracy theories, such as QAnon and Pizzagate,[17][18][19] with the chemical helping the theories play a similar role to earlier blood libel and Satanic ritual abuse stories.[20] According to QAnon, which has incorporated and expanded Pizzagate's claims about child sex abuse rings, a cabal of Satanists rapes and murders children, using the adrenochrome they "harvest" from their victims' blood as a drug[21][22] or as an elixir of youth.[23] In reality, adrenochrome is synthesized, solely for research purposes, by biotechnology companies.[24][25][26]

When I read this I immediately hearkened back to the old blood libel that was promoted by the fake document called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. You know, how Jews steal Christian children and drain their blood to make matzoh.

In 1903, portions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were serialized in a Russian newspaper, Znamya (The Banner). The version of the Protocols that has endured and has been translated into dozens of languages, however, was first published in Russia in 1905 as an appendix to The Great in the Small: The Coming of the Anti-Christ and the Rule of Satan on Earth, by Russian writer and mystic Sergei Nilus.

Although the exact origin of the Protocols is unknown, its intent was to portray Jews as conspirators against the state. In 24 chapters, or protocols, allegedly minutes from meetings of Jewish leaders, the Protocols "describes" the "secret plans" of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, anti-Bolshevik émigrés brought the Protocols to the West. Soon after, editions circulated across Europe, the United States, South America, and Japan. An Arabic translation first appeared in the 1920s.

Beginning in 1920, auto magnate Henry Ford's newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, published a series of articles based in part on the Protocols. The International Jew, the book that included this series, was translated into at least 16 languages. Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, later head of the propaganda ministry, praised Ford and The International Jew.

It turned out that the Protocols were copied in large part from a French political satire that never mentioned Jews—Maurice Joly's Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (1864). But no matter, they spread like wildfire.

The protocols were not the first that mentioned Jews sacrificing children for their nefarious rituals, it goes back much farther in time. See Q Anon, blood libel and the Satanic panic.

In the case of William of Norwich—a young boy found dead in a wood in England, in the year 1144—his premature demise was transformed, ex post facto, into a ritual supposedly performed by Jews explicitly to mock the Passion of the Christ. In this lurid account of ritual desecration, the Jews scourged the boy, anointed him with thorns, lanced him in the side as Christ had been lanced, and staunched the flow of blood with boiling water. All this was meant to consecrate the celebration of Passover. William’s hagiographer, the monk Thomas of Monmouth, laid out this unsubstantiated account in excruciating detail, leading to the canonization of the dead boy. Like mushrooms after rain, accounts of miracles arose around his tomb.

I guess these sorts of tales surface with regularity every hundred years or so.

Over the centuries, the accusation of ritual murder became more baroque and more codified. By 1235, in France, the desecration of Christian Easter that formed the backbone of these putative Passover celebrations had expanded to include consumption of the blood of children. This was “in accordance with a Jewish custom to celebrate communion on Easter Sunday with the blood of Christian children,” writes the historian Joshua Trachtenberg in his seminal 1943 study, The Devil and the Jews. If sacramental wine became the blood of Christian children, an evil kind of transubstantiation occurred. Eventually the theory evolved to include the idea that Jews mixed Christian blood in their Passover bread.

The Q Anon people have put their own special spin on things:

QAnon contains significant elements of antisemitism (Q has fixated on the Rothschilds and George Soros as crucial sponsors and members of the cabal) and a furious racism (Q adherents blame wildfires on the Black Lives Matter movement and postulate that Black activists confer with demons). The fixation on Soros—an echo of mainstream Republican claims that the Hungarian Jew is the potential orchestrator of a “coup” and a perennial funder of political opposition—is particularly hysterical and violent. Q himself has referenced Soros several times as the financial font funding “domestic terrorism.”

One widespread online rumor held that Anthony Weiner had a secret video on his laptop of a Satanic ritual showing Hillary Clinton mutilating a girl with the aid of Huma Abedin, drinking the girl’s blood while wearing masks made of the skin of her face. In the QAnon imagination, Democrats and celebrities commingle in orgies of bloodlust, while demons of the figurative and literal variety cavort their way to supreme intoxication.

I know that this stuff is complete hogwash. If you buy in, I would say that we don't have a lot to talk about. I think I will give the movie a pass.

Your birdness


Makin' bacon

 Cam sent this one over, How bacon is made.


Sharks with bad habits.


Aston Martin DB12


Trump pissed at the jews again.


Q anon and the Sound of freedom. Trump the new Moses.

Another theory


Friday, July 21, 2023


"Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds..."

I am looking forward to seeing Oppenheimer and am happy that the new movie seems to be captivating the public and is getting good initial reviews. 

I once read a great book on the physicist that I highly recommend, American Prometheus, the triumph and tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

It won its authors, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin the Pulitzer Prize and I believe might have been a major influence on the director and producer.


Fallout from the Trinity explosion reached 46 states but the downstream damage to native New Mexicans has never been fully accounted for. If nothing else, the movie should bring attention to their plight and sacrifice.

“They’ll never reflect on the fact that New Mexicans gave their lives. They did the dirtiest of jobs. They invaded our lives and our lands and then they left,” Tina Cordova, a cancer survivor and founder of a group of New Mexico downwinders, said of the scientists and military officials who established a secret city in Los Alamos during the 1940s and tested their work at the Trinity Site some 200 miles (322 kilometers) away.

An interesting article on the subject from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The test site—selected in 1944 from a shortlist of eight possible test sites in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado—had been selected, in part, for its supposed isolation. Yet in reality, nearly half-a-million people were living within a 150-mile radius of the explosion, with some as close as 12 miles away. Many, if not most, of these civilians were still asleep when the bomb detonated just before dawn. (See figure 2, below.)


I have visited the vicinity many times, both my father and stepfather connected tangentially to the project and area. My stepfather worked at White Sands missile testing from 1964 to 1969 when we left for New York. My father's limited involvement is still classified but as I have mentioned previously, he transmitted the first nuclear blast photograph for the United States Army.


People interested in the subject of two more people working on the Manhattan Project should see the movie Tom Dowd and the language of music. The brilliant mathematician and recording engineer was never authorized to mention anything about this hole in his life on his resume.

The other book I recommend with zany tales of escaping from the Manhattan site and breaking open safes and other madcap adventures is Richard Feynmann's book Surely you're joking Mr. Feynmann.

We owe all of these men a great deal, as well as Bohr, Bethe and Fermi and a host of other men and women.

And we also owe a lot to the people of Southern New Mexico who had to bear a disproportionate cost for living downwind.

Oppennheimer was a brilliant and conflicted man, unfairly hounded, he also gave a lot and warned us about the terrible nightmare he had unleashed on the world and what it meant to continuing civilization.

One wrong move and:

Art Pepper

Try harder...

The Republican party really, really wants RFK Jr. to represent the Democratic party. Guess what, it ain't going to happen. Honestly, it doesn't really matter what they want, the guy is a liar, a conspiracy spreader and an idiot and we will make up our own minds. And try as they might, he is getting little traction among dems. The most recent Quinnipiac poll shows him currently behind Biden 71 to 14%.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination is also largely unchanged from a month ago. President Joe Biden receives 71 percent support among Democratic and Democratic leaning voters, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist receives 14 percent support and Marianne Williamson, an author, receives 7 percent support.

As bad as the GOP wants him to be, he is not now, nor will he ever be a factor.

Sorry, it is just the way it is. 

Neither will Sinema, or Manchin or Cornell West or any of the other candidates they are financing in order to help the GOP candidate win the next presidential election. 

I have had at least three Republican friends counsel me about what a good candidate he would be. 

Guess what, if you like him that much, you run him. He does not represent our policies or our values.

Rep. Jim Jordan says that the Dems are vilifying their most famous name. Gee, Gym, our bad.

Jordan said the Democratic Party has become the "party of censorship," and lamented the fact they appeared to have turned on their most famous 20th century family.

"We have our right to talk, our right to speak and to speak in a political fashion and not be harassed and targeted for doing so," he said.

"But they did it to, of all people, the most famous name in Democrat politics for the last, ¾ of a century – the Kennedy name. And they're so committed to this censorship, they're even going after him right now." 

I have news for you, Jim.  We believe in the policies and actions of the person, not their family name. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a liar and an ex heroin addict and can not be trusted. He has been a fount of misinformation regarding vaccinations. 

Kennedy, who spent the past 15 years building the largest anti-vaccine organization in the country, asserted he had “never been anti-vaccine.” He recounted how YouTube had deplatformed him and claimed that “nobody has ever pointed to a single piece of misinformation I published.” Incensed at the recent accusations of anti-Semitism after he was filmed suggesting COVID-19 was engineered to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, he insisted: “I’ve fought more ferociously for Israel than anybody.”

As if that last statement means anything, considering his latest bombast. The man is an inveterate liar, he could give the orange one himself a run for his prevarication.

Kennedy also denied that he was anti-vaccine, saying he was up to date on his own shots aside from those against COVID-19.“I have never been anti-vax,” he said. “I have never told the public [to] avoid vaccination.”Kennedy has a long history of anti-vaccine rhetoric, including a retracted 2005 article in Salon falsely linking autism to vaccines. During a 2021 podcast appearance, he said he would tell people while hiking or grocery shopping not to vaccinate their children and encouraged other anti-vaccine activists to do the same.“I see somebody on a hiking trail carrying a little baby and I say to him, ‘Better not get him vaccinated,’” Kennedy stated on the podcast. Children’s Health Defense, a Kennedy-founded nonprofit, has a section on its website about “vaccine safety” featuring a video in which a mother blames a miscarriage and her daughter’s autism on a flu shot, despite overwhelming evidence that flu shots are safe and save lives.

If you guys are serious about trying to find a trojan horse candidate that can deliver for the GOP you are going to have to try a little harder. Many of us are actually paying attention. We know who you are working for.

Ranking member Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) noted the ties between Kennedy and Republican operatives in her remarks.In her questioning, Plaskett focused on Jason Boles, the treasurer of Heal the Divide, Kennedy’s super PAC, showing his Twitter profile, which included the phrases “MAGA” and “AmericaFirst,” on a screen in the committee room. Plaskett also showed FEC filings that listed him as the treasurer for committees supporting Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and George Santos (R-N.Y.), and noted that Boles had supported the Republican candidate, Herschel Walker, in the 2022 Georgia senate race.“This is an individual who personally and professionally wants the Republican Party to succeed,” Plaskett said in reference to Boles.

How would a Kennedy presidency function internationally? Looks like another Putin bromance.

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggested Wednesday that Russia has been “acting in good faith” in various efforts to end the war in Ukraine and placed blame on the U.S. for the 16-monthlong conflict.

Kennedy has previously criticized America’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, suggesting at an event in New Hampshire on Tuesday that the conflict is the “creation of a relentless mentality of foreign domination” on the part of the U.S.

No thanks. 

Homage to Parrish


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Expendable commodities

I wrote with trepidation about the new permissive child labor laws on May 9th. Unfortunately, my fears are now being realized in spades. We just lost the third kid in five weeks, a sixteen year old.

The latest teen death was Friday night at the Mar-Jac Poultry plant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, authorities said. It’s the third worker death at the plant since December 2020. Duvan Tomas Perez, who NBC News reported moved to the U.S. from Guatemala six years ago, was cleaning machinery as part of a sanitation crew when he became trapped in equipment on a conveyor belt. He died at the scene, police and the poultry company said.

Michael Schuls, 16, died on June 29 after sustaining injuries at the Florence Hardwoods logging company in Florence, Wisconsin. Michael was attempting to unjam a wood-stacking machine when he became pinned under machinery on a conveyor belt, resulting in what the coroner identified as traumatic asphyxiation, The Associated Press reported.

Will Hampton, 16, died on June 8 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, after becoming injured while working at the Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park landfill. The high school sophomore became pinned between a tractor-trailer rig and its trailer, resulting in his death, police said in a statement. 

From Steve


It's A Beautiful Day Today

Sour Grapes

There's an interesting kerfuffle going on at Nextdoor. I am not on Facebook but I imagine it is being repeated there as well.

A recent homebuyer and some of his neighbors are complaining about the noise coming from concerts at Monserate Winery. Have taken decibel readings and say their peace is being disturbed. An equally contentious group of winery supporters are telling him that he should have checked the situation out before he bought there.

I don't have a dog in this fight and can see where both sides are coming from.

But what astounds me is the nastiness and vitriol as well as the utter disregard by winery proponents towards the neighbors' complaints.

They have absolutely no compassion. 

Some that live close by say the music is not a problem, others seem violently allergic to soft jazz, not sure how bad or how loud it actually gets or how often it occurs.

As I said in a comment, something like this situation is never a problem until it is your problem.

You would think that both sides could be a bit more tolerant towards each other and a middle ground could be found, but then again I am a hopeless romantic.

Instead they talk past each other and hurl nasty invectives.

I don't know much about the winery operations but I was wondering about the environmental effects of a winery versus a golf course. Which would be worse?

I assume that they use at least some pesticides on the grapes. Golf courses use a ton as well.

I lived and went to school near strawberry fields in Oxnard when I was in high school and there was a lot of pesticide drift. 

I never felt well, whole time I lived there.

I don't know how this will play out but am reminded of what happened in Fallbrook years ago when Ben Price was running the then separate Fallbrook Sanitary District. They had an active solid waste vermiculture operation. 

A new development went in next door and the county shut down the entire existing multi million dollar operation because the new neighbors complained that the smell was intolerable.

I wonder where my readers side on this one. Do you feel sympathy for one side or the other or both? Or do they deserve each other? Is Monserate Winery such a positive for our community that the feelings of a few disgruntled neighbors should be ignored? Am I missing something here that I should be aware of?

Just wondering...