Friday, September 17, 2010


How hard could this be?

Riffing on themes from childhood....

"Hi Eddy! Whatcha doing?" .............. "I'm cooking toast. Whatcha doing?"

"I'm freezing grasshoppers and trying to bring them back to life with an electric train transformer. Wanna come help?"

"Sure! I don't have any butter for the toast anyway...."

(Hmmm.... If I wasn't so left-brain, maybe it would 'read' better....)

Many European Catholics Learned So Many Wrong Lessons From The Last Century

The Pope is hardly alone with these wrong-headed beliefs. Looks like another case for Giorgio's Facebook group 1 Million Strong to End Inappropriate Analogies to Nazism in Public Debate:
A speech in which the Pope appeared to associate atheism with the Nazis has prompted criticism from humanist organisations.

...He said: "Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

"As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

...A statement from the British Humanist Association said the Pope's remarks were "surreal".

It said: "The notion that it was the atheism of Nazis that led to their extremist and hateful views or that it somehow fuels intolerance in Britain today is a terrible libel against those who do not believe in God.

"The notion that it is non-religious people in the UK today who want to force their views on others, coming from a man whose organisation exerts itself internationally to impose its narrow and exclusive form of morality and undermine the human rights of women, children, gay people and many others, is surreal."

Bottom Kill Starts

Don't get this wrong!:
An emergency relief well has successfully intersected BP's damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well, federal officials announced Thursday night.

"Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation that is capable of sensing distance to the well casing, BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well," retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal spill commander, said in a statement.

Next, crews will prepare to pump cement into the well's outer ring "and complete the 'bottom kill' of the well," Allen said. That is expected within days.

...The disaster closed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, sidelining workers and dealing a heavy blow to the seafood industry and beach towns from Louisiana to Florida. It is blamed for the death of at least 5,939 birds, 584 sea turtles and more than 60 dolphins, although scientists think the hidden toll is much higher.

The spill also led to a moratorium on deep-water drilling that has been the subject of court battles and political fighting between the Obama administration and largely Republican elected officials along the gulf and elsewhere.

BP's market value plummeted, and as of Sept. 16 the oil giant had shed 34% of its market capitalization compared with its December 2009 value. BP estimates it has spent more than $6 billion on cleanup and compensation over and above the $20 billion it has deposited in an escrow fund to compensate for economic losses.

At its height, the cleanup effort involved thousands of vessels and tens of thousands of workers deployed in four states. The mixture of Louisiana light crude and chemicals used to disperse it soiled 966 miles of shoreline.

Of the 4.9 million barrels of oil that gushed from the well, about 25% was burned, skimmed or piped to tanker ships, according to an August report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Another 25% has evaporated or dissolved. A third 25%, which the government calls residual oil, made its way into the ocean as a light sheen on the water or as tar balls.

The remaining 25% is thought to be deep below the surface of the gulf in vast clouds of atomized droplets that could alter links in the chain of sea life that scientists are only beginning to understand.

This dispersed oil was broken into droplets by the 1.8 million gallons of the chemical dispersant Corexit, which was sprayed on the ocean's surface and deep in the sea.

A massive federal effort to map and study these plumes, some of which are 1,200 to more than 4,000 feet below the surface, is underway.

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

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The Comforting Lie

A coincidence? Hardly!:
The Midtown Business Association, which usually pays for three police officers, upped the number to five for the September event but doesn't want ownership, said Executive Director Rob Kerth.

...Kerth insists the shooting last weekend was a coincidence, since it happened hours after the official 10 p.m. end of Second Saturday. He highlights the importance of the monthly occurrence which helps the association's 450 businesses stay afloat.

The group supported Alcoholic Beverage Control officers stepping up the battle against public drinking – about 100 citations were written last Saturday, Kerth said.
The Sacramento Bee editors parrot the official line:
The shooting – the city's 24th homicide this year – happened more than two hours after the official end of Second Saturday. While police say that more people go bar-hopping, loiter into the wee hours and sometimes cause trouble on Second Saturdays than on other Saturday nights, they are not, by and large, attending the event itself.
It all depends on what one means by the loaded phrase "attending the event." It's true, by and large, that the young partiers are not art customers, or customers of the merchants in general, so in that sense they might be said to not be "attending the event." Nevertheless, they are present before, during, and particularly after the event. To me, that counts as "attending the event."

I'm heartened that not everyone buys this false distinction. Some people are paying close attention to what's going on. I like Mr. Flanagan's ideas, particularly the idea about having an artist/gallery owner coalition in charge. It's in the interest of the Midtown Business Association to have as many people in Midtown as possible. Not everyone should agree. Artists and gallery owners would likely want to focus more on quality than quantity:
Michael Flanagan, entertainment director for Running Stream Gallery which opened at 21st and K streets on Saturday, disagrees.

Flanagan, who is planning a dinner and auction at the gallery as a fundraiser for the family of the man who was killed last weekend, believes Second Saturday should occur earlier during the day to prevent the overlap with nightclub-goers and he said a coalition of artists and gallery owners should take charge.

"You used to see strollers and families out there," he said. "Now it's hoodlums and gangs, and it's really taken away from the arts."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thinking About Last "Second Saturday"

I was impressed, and rather startled, with how quickly a specific meme was inserted into public consciousness by elected officials, and others, in the news coverage that followed last Saturday's Midtown shooting. This meme struck me as half-true at best, or perhaps altogether false.

The meme was that there was a profound difference between typical early-evening Second Saturday attendees - the light-drinking art crowd - and those that remained on the streets after Second Saturday formally ended, at 10 p.m. Judging from the coverage, you'd think Second Saturday ended promptly at 10 p.m., and that a whole bunch of new people, mostly young drinkers, descended on Midtown right afterwards. But Second Saturday doesn't end promptly at 10 p.m., and I doubt a wave of partiers just started appearing at that time.

First impressions are usually the most important, and this what was on the Web last week:
Homicide investigators are trying to determine what caused the shooting. They're also investigating whether the shooting was connected to a fight between two large groups of people earlier Saturday evening, he said.

The shooting occurred after Second Saturday had concluded and police do not think the crowds gathered had been taking part in the art event.

"They were clearly loitering out there," von Schoech said.
To me, however, it seemed like young drinkers have been there all along, mixed in with everyone else (and for all I know perhaps slowly getting more and more drunk) as the evening passed by. In May, when I walked the streets around the magical witching hour of 10 p.m., it all seemed fairly rowdy already.

At first, I thought this sharp 10 p.m. distinction was being hastily made in the press in order to reassure most Second Saturday attendees, and the merchants that serve them, that the police weren't targeting them. Perhaps that is partly true.

Nevertheless, as SN&R explains, this last Second Saturday was the first time that a 10 p.m. youth curfew was enforced, so at least in the mind of officialdom, 10 p.m. was a sharp demarcation point, whether the crowd knew it, or not:
This past Second Saturday, city officials tried a new approach to quell the mob of teenagers and 20-somethings that overtakes 20th and J streets each month. As the evening progressed, police dramatically ratcheted up their presence, arrested minors for violating curfew and directed loiterers to head elsewhere. The goal was to curb underage drinking and crime, but the result was the worst-case scenario: shots fired, three wounded, one dead.

And while Mayor Kevin Johnson and Midtown leaders contend that the killing, which occurred less than two blocks from 20th Street, had nothing to do with Second Saturday, there’s every indication that the shooting may have been a consequence of a troubling young crowd and a ton of police.

Signs of trouble first appeared around 8:30 p.m., when a throng of mostly under-25 kids—some likened it to a high-school quad—engulfed the block between J and K near the MARRS building. City police had intended to keep 20th open to vehicle traffic, unlike past Second Saturdays, but surrendered to the pack and shut it down anyway.

During this time, there was visible evidence of open alcohol containers, in addition to two fights.

At 10 p.m., the plan to enforce curfew went into effect. Police cars began rolling up and down 20th, lights flashing and blaring announcements:
“Ladies and gentleman, Second Saturday is now over.”

“If you do not vacate the area and are under 18 years old, you will be subject to arrest.”
The higher confrontational stance required of the police for enforcing a curfew may have been that extra factor - that straw on the camel's back - that explains why this last Second Saturday, and not the previous ones this summer, ended in violence. Second Saturday has been getting rowdier for months, so perhaps it was an accident waiting to happen, as they say. But that extra factor of enforcement of a 10 p.m. youth curfew shouldn't be ignored.

Interestingly, no one in the rest of the press, or any elected officials, mentioned the youth curfew at all in their public statements. It's as if it didn't occur! Perhaps forgetfulness about the youth curfew, like other errors of omission, will help reassure most of the light-drinking art crowd, but it doesn't reassure me. If just a portion of the crowd is being targeted, then as someone who works in Midtown, I need to know that. If there is something that is angering the crowd surrounding me, I need to know.

It's interesting how quickly something as seemingly-simple as Second Saturday can get lost in a miasma of half truths once the bullets start flying!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Via the B3ta Website, here is a funny story about a little girl who desperately wanted to go to a birthday party despite being heavily-sedated.

Hard Bodies

Last night, I dreamt that I took an aerobics class from Steve. Afterwards, I had to endure a tedious lecture about the proper way to kick one's legs while exercising.

I don't know why I do this to myself at night....

What's New At 'Wicked Thoughts'?

Actually something old, but interesting nonetheless:

This goes back a ways but I missed it at the time so maybe many readers here did too. The photo below is of an accident that occurred in Utah on State route 59 near Hurricane city on 30 December, 2006 — in which the driver of 1991 GMC pickup slid off the road onto the right shoulder, overcorrected when he turned back to the left, and crossed over the opposite lane of the highway before crashing though a barrier above a drainage culvert, and coming to rest facing opposite his original direction of travel.

You can see where the driver broke through the guardrail, on the right side of the culvert, where the people are standing on the road, pointing. The pick-up was traveling about 75 mph from right to left when it crashed through the guardrail.

It flipped end-over-end bounced off and across the culvert outlet, and landed right side up on the left side of the culvert, facing the opposite direction from which the driver was traveling.

The 22-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were unhurt except for minor cuts and bruises.
For what its worth Snopes says these photos are authentic.

Cheer Controversy

I dunno.... This problem seems like a no-brainer to solve without hurting people's feelings, but people have other ideas:
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Jennifer Tesch's six-year-old daughter has been removed from the Madison Heights Wolverine flag football cheer team.

The Madison Heights mom contacted Action News last month because she was upset about the words to one of her daughter's cheerleading chants.

The cheer she objects to says "our backs ache, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right."

League members were outraged, saying it cast a bad light on the league and she should have handled it internally. They say she overreacted by going to the media.

...Tuesday night the team held a meeting to discuss the cheer and to come up with a solution. The team voted to keep the cheer and voted unanimously to remove the child from the team. The family will get a full refund and they can come back next year on probation if they want.

...“I feel terrible. It's the worse thing that I have had to deal with in the 12 years of my league. I have never seen anything like that,” said league president John Pastula.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Karl Rove, Liberal

I was wondering what scapegoat conservatives would tear into next, after Muslims, and blacks earlier this summer. Little did I anticipate that it might be Karl Rove. But, hey, it's always "Hate Week" over there on the Right, and sometimes there just aren't enough liberals to go around:
Add Rush Limbaugh to the list of prominent conservatives tearing into Karl Rove's hide today. As Rove continued his tour slamming freshly minted Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell over the considerable number of skeletons in her closet, Rush was almost literally beside himself with frustration at the idea that anyone -- much less The Architect -- would dare violate the 11th Commandment so brazenly.

O'Donnell's nomination has created deep divisions between the Republican Party and right-wing activists. Last night, Rove bashed O'Donnell -- and her chances of being elected -- and insisted that she's said a lot of "nutty things." He was attacked by some right-wingers for those comments. O'Donnell whacked him back in a televised interview this morning. And then Rove responded to O'Donnell and his right-wing critics, daring them to 'prove me wrong'. Then Palin slammed Rove. Now it's Limbaugh's turn.

"If 51 seats was really the objective -- if getting the majority is really that important, then let's go balls to the wall for Christine O'Donnell!" Limbaugh screamed on his radio show today after playing a clip of Rove's already infamous anti-O'Donnell interview on Hannity last night.

Road Rash

Earl had some trouble bicycling through my neighborhood yesterday morning. He was passing through the intersection of 21st Street & 2nd Avenue, about 9 a.m., when his bicycle was clipped by a car. Down he went!

The cell phone on his belt loop took a lot of punishment - scraping against the road completely effaced the buttons! Plus, his helmet was broken in four places. Four places! But apart from some road rash, Earl himself was just fine!

I told him to replace that helmet ASAP!

(Of course, I missed all this. At 9 a.m., I'm generally sound asleep. Didn't hear the police, or nothin'!)

Improv Group Cull

Since December, 2008, I've been attending the Tuesday evening Improv Workshop, hosted by Michael Rowe, at the William Geery Theatre in Midtown Sacramento. It's been a lot of fun, and I met some interesting people.

Nevertheless, for the last year, attendance has been down. The solution is simple enough - better advertising - but Michael has been too busy to do that. The rest of us have done some advertising on our own, but only fitfully.

Last month, Michael's vehicle was broken into, and his poems were stolen. That broke his reverie: if he's going to publish poetry sometime in his lifetime, he'd better start working harder on that, right now. So, reluctantly, he dropped out of the group.

So, that left just three of us leaderless die-hards to carry on. If I had the ambition to do something with an Improv group, I could carry on, but I don't think I'm particularly talented in that vein, and I'm already over-committed at DMTC. So, unless someone out there has some time and energy, and is willing to pick up the group, then we should disband.

Over the last several decades, the number of small, theatrically-related groups has grown enormously in Sacramento. A cull is inevitable, and now we have this handy recession to help push the process along. Perhaps what is bad for the one group is better for all the others that remain.

At least, that's what they say on the Nature television shows.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Safety Culture? What Safety Culture?

BP doesn't DO safety!:
Last week, BP published its own investigation into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. It concluded that the failure of eight technical systems designed either to prevent this kind of disaster or mitigate its effects were to blame. The report makes no mention of how the company manages safety and whether this may have contributed.

This has surprised safety experts. "The fact that BP has failed to identify its organisational structure as a factor in the accident is itself an indication of a problem with its safety culture," says Erik Hollnagel, who specialises in industrial safety at MINES ParisTech in France.

It's The Way They'd Do An Awards Show On "The Flintstones"

Skimpily-dressed Cher gives meat-clad Lady Gaga a big hug:
'I have shoes older than most of these nominees,' she told a cheering audience. 'I'm the oldest chick with the biggest hair in the littlest costume.

'Back in the day, I used to get thrown off MTV for wearing things like this that seem so tame now,' she added. 'That's when Lady Gaga was Baby Gaga.'

...Lady Gaga, who was the night's big winner with eight awards, fought back tears on stage as she accepted her Moonman statue from the icon.

'I never thought I'd be asking Cher to hold my meat purse,' she joked. The Paparazzi singer was dressed in a typically eyebrow-raising ensemble made out of meat.

Even Cher, herself an outrageous dresser over the years, looked hesitant to give her young contemporary a congratulatory hug in the raw costume.

One Way To Make The Homeless Guys Go Ballistic

I was startled by a commotion ahead of me while driving south on 19th, and approaching Broadway. A westbound car on Broadway had turned right onto 19th: heading the wrong way on a one-way street! The vehicle rolled to a stop as I passed by, and, in turn, I came to a stop for the traffic light at Broadway.

Meanwhile, a homeless man was sitting; parked on the sidewalk just north of Broadway on 19th. As I waited for the light, I listened as the fellow launched on a tirade against the one-way driver. The fellow seemed to be inebriated - he didn't try to stand up - and his rant made me think he was from out-of-state:
Hey you! This is a one-way street! A one-way street! Who do you think you are? Every f****** idiot in this town knows this is a one-way street! Where are you from? ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Camera Trucks Drawn Like Moths To The Flame

Left: CBS local affiliate KOVR13/CW31 Ron Jones does his 10 p.m. evening news standup on the sidewalk just outside the building where I work. Across the street, down at the corner, TV FOX 40 does the same.

Here's what KOVR13/CW31 has at their Web Site:
The Sacramento Police Department said two groups of gang members traded insults on J Street between 18th Street and 19th Street just after midnight Sunday, when one of the men pulled out a firearm and opened fire at the opposing group.

One of the opposing gang members suffered non-life threatening injuries, but three innocent bystanders were also struck by gunfire. Victor Hugo Perez Zavala, 24, died from his injuries, authorities said.

Officers were nearby when shots rang out, but the chaos that resulted after the large crowd quickly dispersed prevented police from spotting the shooter. Witnesses described the gunman as a black male, 18 to 21 years old, 5'11" to 6'0" tall and 180-200 pounds with shoulder length dreadlocks.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he will work with police to form a plan to prevent another act of violence at the "essential" social event.

"We cannot afford to dismantle this event," Johnson said.

Slime Highway

Caption: A layer of fluffy oil residue sits atop a sediment core taken from a site northeast of the blown-out BP wellhead

Bruce sends this (which Marguerite also mentioned several days ago on Facebook):
Samples taken from the seafloor near BP's blown-out wellhead indicate miles of murky, oily residue sitting atop hard sediment. Moreover, inside that residue are dead shrimp, zooplankton, worms and other invertebrates.

"I expected to find oil on the sea floor," Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia marine sciences professor, said Monday morning in a ship-to-shore telephone interview. "I did not expect to find this much. I didn't expect to find layers two inches thick."

The scientists aboard the research vessel Oceanus suspect it's all from the BP spill, but will have to wait until they return to shore this week to confirm it's the same oil source.

"It has to be a recent event," Joye said. "There's still pieces of warm bodies there."

If it is BP oil, it could undermine the federal government's estimate that 75 percent of the spill either evaporated, was cleaned up or was consumed by natural microbes.
I find all this very confusing. Oil doesn’t sink, and the dispersant Corexit acts as an emulsifier. In the same way globs of fat never settle out of milk, Corexit-treated oil should stay mixed in water for practically eternity, unless bacteria get to it first. That's why I expected oil everywhere on the East Coast by this time, but that horrible disaster did not happen.

Some other disaster happened instead - a disaster that we can't see because it all happened under the water's surface.

So, if oily stuff settles out on the ocean floor instead, then there is some other process going on that they don’t even understand. The stuff must floc on suspended sediment, or something, and sink. How odd is that? How do you make lightweight, hydrophobic oil sink? 'Cause it doesn't want to!

I knew that they wouldn’t like it when they finally figured out where all that oil went. Nevertheless, if one wanted to dump this staggering quantity of oil someplace where it would do the least amount of damage, this kind of slimy abyssal mat is the least-worst place to do it. At least a big chunk of the oil is not in mixed into shallower, continental-shelf sediment, where the damage to shrimp and oysters could be profound.

So, in a way, under severe pressure, BP may have made the correct decision to ignore EPA and everybody else and do what they wanted. They minimized the shallow-water environmental damage, making a catastrophic situation merely really, really bad.

I wonder if this fluffy stuff migrates? Maybe the real disaster is still unfolding.

If only they had capped the oil well sooner.


Today, 18th & J Looks Placid

Not even a chalk outline to commemorate Mr. Zavala being rendered into a statistic.

Liberace Museum To Close

Left: Turkey feathers. A million turkey feathers!

This is a catastrophe! The Liberace Museum is one of the best-run pop culture museums in the entire world! It is a terrible thing to close it!

I visited the museum last year. I was very impressed at Liberace's vision. He loved to buy and own beautiful things, but he knew that beautiful things require diligent care to maintain (particularly keeping the dust off those costumes, and rebuilding them as old adhesives decayed with the years). So, Liberace set up his Foundation with a practically bomb-proof endowment and a steady stream of income from the nearby, leased stores, so that future generations of kids could love the same things he found so lovable - the costumes, the autos, the pianos, the statuary, etc. Where else in modern America do you find that kind of farsightedness; that kind of selflessness? On behalf of kids not even born?

Then there was the news the other day that Debbie Reynolds is going to have to sell her collection of Hollywood memorabilia.
The son of actress Debbie Reynolds says her big Hollywood memorabilia collection, including the red slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," is set to be auctioned by June.
Recessions are terrible things!:
One of Las Vegas' jewel attractions, and a significant part of its cultural and entertainment history, is closing.

The Liberace Museum, which has exhibited the jewelry, pianos, garish gowns and other artifacts owned by the great pianist and showman, announced today it will close effective Oct. 17. The museum opened April 15, 1979.

...Sagging visitation numbers, which have led to insufficient funding to meet the attraction's payroll and operating costs, are the stated reasons for shuttering the famous museum.

At its peak, the Liberace Museum rivaled Hoover Dam as one of the region's most popular off-Strip tourism destinations, drawing 450,000 visitors per year. That number is closer to 50,000 today, even with an aggressive marketing effort by the museum that has helped boost raw visitor numbers through such promotions as 2-for-1 ticket packages. But actual ticket revenue has not matched even modest gains in visits to the museum.

..."You know, there are a lot of people in the town in the years I've been associated with the board who say, 'Yeah, I'm aware of (the museum), I've never been there, it would be interesting to go there sometime,' and never make it there," Koep said. When it was noted that the museum had thrived at that very location for years, Koep said, "You bet, you bet, and in one sense there is more competition (from the Strip), and the other part that I find in this town — I don't know if other people do — if you live in the southeast, you really don't want to drive to Summerlin. If you live in Summerlin, not inclined to drive over to the southeast. Getting people who live in Las Vegas to the museum hasn't been easy.

"Our tourism numbers from the Strip have actually been pretty steady, but getting locals to turn out has been a challenge."

...The museum's profitability was further compromised because the museum and foundation owns the plaza on which the attraction and a number of businesses share space at the retail center. Several businesses have closed recently and have not been replaced, leaving the museum with a financial shortfall as landlords for that parcel (Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens, the restaurant once owned by Liberace, is independently owned and not affected by the museum's closing).

..."The plaza has not been completely rented out, and frankly it's not the most desirable rental space in the valley," Koep said. "But six years ago, before the market crashed, we were able, from our endowment funds, to pick up the losses of the museum and the plaza and keep Liberace's name alive through the museum. When the market crashed, our endowment fell, and with less people coming into the museum and buying things from the store, that money simply was not coming in."

The memorabilia that has been displayed at the museum will be stored and maintained by the Liberace Foundation Board of Directors, which is in final negotiations for a national tour of pieces of the attraction that might begin as soon as the summer of 2011. This tour would be similar to "Bodies" or "Titanic," with the artifacts displayed in a single city for a three- or four-month run.

...The foundation has awarded more than $6 million in financial aid to gifted music students since Liberace himself initiated the program in 1976.

Conservative David Frum Tries To Back Away From The Crazy

David Frum is absolutely right about George Wallace. Wallace was very careful about his use of racial language. But it's a crazy time and Newt Gingrich may be more powerful:
So it’s his mission now to present himself as the most ferocious right-winger in the race. Confident (over-confident) that he can best Sarah Palin among business-minded and ideas-minded Republicans, he wants to deny her or some other Tea Party style challenger any footing to attack him as a compromise-minded moderate. Calling President Obama a Kenyan fits into that strategy.

As for the underlying D’Souza article that inspired Gingrich, what is there to be said? When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.

Here’s the question, though, for the rest of us: Why do Forbes (which presumably has many choices of cover material) and Gingrich imagine that such a message will resonate with their conservative audience? Nothing more offends conservatives than liberal accusations of racial animus. Yet here is racial animus, unconcealed and unapologetic, and it is seized by savvy editors and an ambitious politician as just the material to please a conservative audience. That’s an insult to every conservative in America.

Conservatives object to the Obama administration as too expensive, too regulatory, too intrusive, too beholden to Democratic special interest groups, and too apologetic about America’s role in the world. It’s a libel to claim that we object to the administration as too black or too alien. Bad enough when the libel is issued by liberals. Much worse when it is heard from our own writers, from magazines that speak to us, from political leaders who would speak for us.

Decade In And Decade Out, Conservatives Are Just Plain Wrong

Everything changes, and nothing changes:
Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said in his video message that Park51 is a "strange enterprise" that basically is telling the American people, "we're going to increase religious tolerance and understanding whether you like it or not."

DMTC's "Singing In The Rain" - Opening Weekend

Left: Rand Martin and Cindy Mitterholzer, with Jason Markel and Kara Sheldon.

I didn't have much of an opportunity to take photos this weekend: Act I is pretty busy for the Assistant Stage Manager (stage right).

Nevertheless, Act II is less-busy for me, and on opening weekend Sunday, I was able to take a few photos.

Left: Rand Martin and Cindy Mitterholzer

Left: Pam Kay Lourentzos, Thomas Lea, Dan Petersen, and x.

Left: Jason Markel, Brittney Bickel, Devin D., Jacob N., Christine Deamer, Jan Isaacson, Dannette Vassar, Dan Petersen, Melanie Madden, x, Wendy Young Carey, and Judith Shearman.

Left: Jason Markel, Brittney Bickel, Devin D., Jacob N., Christine Deamer, Jan Isaacson, Dannette Vassar, Dan Petersen, Melanie Madden, x, Wendy Young Carey, and Judith Shearman.

Left: Jason Markel, Brittney Bickel, Devin D., Jacob N., Christine Deamer, Melanie Madden, Dan Petersen, Jan Isaacson, Dannette Vassar, x, Judith Shearman, and Wendy Young Carey.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Well, Gee, I Missed The Shooting And Everything

KCRA Video

KXTV Video

Leah asked, "Were you here for the shooting?" I asked, "What shooting?" "It was on the TV and everything! It happened right in front of this building!" In turn, I asked Leah, "Were you here for the shooting?" "No," she replied, "we were out at Bodega Bay."

In the normal course of events, all of us would have been in the immediate neighborhood for the late-night chaos, but I was away in Davis after DMTC's "Singing in the Rain," eating with the cast and crew at IHOP. I thought about cutting through the unruly Second Saturday crowds and coming back into work - that would have been my normal inclination -but I decided to go home and try to get some sleep instead.

I know, I know: your intrepid blogger was off-duty when it all went down:
Sacramento police are investigating an early morning midtown shooting that left one dead and three injured following Second Saturday.

Officers were patrolling around J and 18th streets, where more than 200 people had gathered, when they heard several gunshots, Officer Konrad von Schoech said.

People began screaming and running away. Officers were unable to see the shooter.

"It was kind of chaotic," he said.

Officers found four shooting victims as the crowd began to disperse. Two men and one woman, all in their 20s, were trying to crawl to safety, von Schoech said. They were taken to local hospitals and are expected to survive their injuries.

A man, 24, suffered at least one gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sacramento County Coroners Office identified the man killed as Victor Hugo Perez Zavala of Sacramento.

Homicide investigators are trying to determine what caused the shooting. They're also investigating whether the shooting was connected to a fight between two large groups of people earlier Saturday evening, he said.

The shooting occurred after Second Saturday had concluded and police do not think the crowds gathered had been taking part in the art event.

"They were clearly loitering out there," von Schoech said.

...Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text a tip to 274637 and enter SACTIP, followed by the tip information.

Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.