Friday, May 02, 2014

Politics Is Moving In A Progressive Direction

I'm beginning to sense victories come November. The shockingly-low turnout at the Tax Day Tea Party rally at the Capitol, and the collapse of Rush Limbaugh's audience, point to a major enthusiasm deficit on the conservative side. As far as I can tell, no other commentator is pointing this out!. The election schedule this year favors the Republicans, but I'm sensing they are blowing it, BIG TIME!

Smelling conservative blood in the water....

Her Lawyer Says

How did the tape that led NBA officials to conclude Clippers owner Donald Sterling had made incendiary racial comments about African Americans become public?

V. Stiviano's attorney has a theory.

He said his client gave copies of the recording to a handful of friends for “safekeeping” and believes one of them sold the tape, her attorney said Thursday.

“One of those friends apparently wanted to make money and sold it to TMZ,” said Calabasas lawyer Mac Nehoray.

...Stiviano's attorney denied suggestions by Clippers officials that Stiviano had leaked the recording to “get even” for a lawsuit filed by Sterling’s wife, Shelly. He said that Stiviano had been making recordings of Sterling on her phone for months with his knowledge.

Then, Nehoray said, “a few months back” something occurred – he declined to say what – that prompted his client to make duplicate copies and send them to three or four friends, some outside the country.

“Based on what she was being told, she was just afraid she would lose possession of them,” Nehoray said.

Kreayshawn - Go Hard (La.La.La)

Oakland chicks be strange.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Disbarment Of Hal Wright

The details in the stipulated agreement enrage and nauseate me. No deed too vile for this hairy fucker.

Lost On The West Mesa

There but for the grace of God. This was always one of my gnawing fears in New Mexico - somehow getting lost, disoriented, or injured out there:
Deputies believe the woman whose body was found on the West Mesa on Easter Sunday had left herself a video message on her cellphone detailing what led to her death.

That message was left by Brenda Lea Salas.

“There is a video of herself ... talking to herself ... talking about how she has been lost over two days at that point,” said Doug Wood, Sandoval County sheriff.

Deputies said Salas got into a fight with her boyfriend on June 14 at a Walmart. They said she took off in her Buick. ... Two weeks later on June 29, someone found Salas’ car stuck in the sand on a remote dirt road west of town.

...For two years no one found her.

Easter Sunday, though, a family out fossil hunting on the mesa found human remains, clothing, a gym pass and keys to a Buick on a heart-shaped key ring.

The Money Speech

The 1977 movie "Network" was prescient in every way.

Creepy Vet

What happens in Texas better stay in Texas:
What’s worse than finding out your beloved pet dog is dead? Finding out that your vet only told you the animal was being euthanized, but instead kept it alive in a feces-filled cage and used it for blood transfers, perhaps....  The Texas Star-Telegram reports on the ensuing nightmare:
Six months later, on April 21, Harris said she was “shocked” when she got a call from a former veterinary technician at the clinic, telling her that Sid was still alive. The employee told Harris that she quit that day because she could no longer work in a clinic where the animals were mistreated.

...Jamie and Marian Harris described how they drove to the clinic and while two friends guarded the front and back doors as her husband distracted the receptionist, Harris went to the back, found Sid in a cage and rescued him.

...The Harrises left with Sid and took him to another veterinarian, who told them that it appeared Sid had been tapped for blood transfusions.

CO2 Making Its Inexorable Increase

CO2 levels are over 400 ppm now. They were around 320 ppm when I was born.

The Earth's CO2 concentration has typically varied between 180 and 280 over the last 800,000 years. Excursions to 400 ppm are unheard of.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Recording Conversations

It looks like the law is complicated. In 38 states, one-party consent rules apply, so provided she was one of the parties to the conversation, Ms. Stiviano could make a recording and stay within the law. California is one of the 12 states with two-party consent laws, however, so she could get in trouble based on that. Nevertheless, there are exceptions in the California law: specifically, if you believe you are gathering evidence of a crime. Maybe she thought Sterling was involved in a crime, and his embarrassing statements were incidental to her real purpose.

This is going to get complicated.

Kanye West - Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx) Lyrics Video

Maybe since I don't follow sports, I've been amazed and gratified by the strong reaction to the Donald Sterling/LA Clippers imbroglio. I've had interesting conversations about the legality of taped conversations, and the like.

Nevertheless, I suspect V. Stiviano thought this through very carefully and is miles and miles ahead of Donald Sterling. Or, at least I hope so. Who knows? I certainly don't.

I wonder what N.P. would think? When I think of her I'm reminded about this 2005 song and wonder if it applies here?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In Loving Memory of Tevye Ditter

Dave and Kara Lack's slideshow from the Tevye Ditter Celebration of Life by the Sacramento Theatre Community.

Proud to have contributed here. One out of about ten or twelve photos is mine.

Community Musical Theater Gathering (aka, a Wake) In Memory Of Tevye Ditter At Green Valley Theater Company - April 28, 2014

Green Valley Theater Company
Gil Sebastian, Tev's 'Theater Dad'
Tony Ruiz
Kyle Hadley
Lenore Sebastian, Tev's 'Theater Mom'
Jerry Kennedy
Amanda Johnston
Christopher Cook
Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly. Jeffrey's reminisces were masterful and funny, particularly when playing Jud Fry in Magic Circle's "Oklahoma!" and having to physically intimidate Tev Ditter's Curley McClain, even though Tev was 3/4" taller.
Rebecca Wilson. Rebecca had the surprise-hit story of the evening, describing how a background in gymnastics helped her nightly as Mallory Kingsley seduce Tev Ditter's Private Eye Stone on stage in DMTC's "City of Angels". Someone leaned over and said "I don't know her, but she's making me uncomfortable. It's like we're getting a glimpse of her fantasy life." I replied, "You're uncomfortable: she used to be in the Young Performers' Theater!" But it was a great story, told well, and the crowd loved it.
Jon Koyasako, describing the Bottle Dance from "Fiddler on the Roof".
Andrea St. Clair was the consummate host.
Jacob Montoya sang several songs.
Dalton McNeely
Giorgio Selvaggio

Trial Before Pilate - The 39 Lashes - Jesus Christ Superstar - Wake For Tevye Ditter

"So In Love" - Andrea St. Clair (ft. the Barbieri family) - Wake for Tevye Ditter

Jacob Montoya - "Tomorrow" from "Annie" - Wake for Tevye Ditter

Monday, April 28, 2014

Congratulations To Karen Day And Mike Jones!


Cliven Bundy And Racial Trolling

I thought this article was unusually thoughtful:
Bundy has tried to engender sympathy by arguing that all he was trying to do is express his deep concern for the plight of black families in the U.S. today. It’s not that he doesn’t think they deserve “his” money, it’s that he worries government assistance will ultimately be detrimental to black people, that it will sap them of their ambition and force them to rely on others for survival.

...I call this move — the adoption of a stance of disingenuous or exaggerated concern for people of color — “racial concern trolling.” ... Its proponents, like Paul Ryan or Newt Gingrich or Rand Paul, say their opposition to redistributive programs that disproportionately benefit African-Americans comes from their internal reservoir of affection for black people and their observations that these programs hurt more than they help. But the truth is that their feelings for blacks, however genuine, are not the motivating factor. If you proved, decisively, that they’re wrong, that redistribution often helps the less advantaged have a better chance at making a decent life for themselves, the racial concern trolls wouldn’t suddenly abandon their opposition to economic liberalism. On the contrary, they’d go back to “first principles” and argue that it’s inherently unjust to take money from one person and give it to the other — because that’s what they really care about, that’s what’s actually driving their beliefs.

If we return to Cliven Bundy, we see a perfect example of racial concern trolling (albeit one that was done with far less deftness and tact than is usually the case). In trying to defend his remark about black people (maybe) being better off as slaves, Bundy argued that what he was trying to say is that maybe black people were better off when they all lived in the South “where they had some chickens and the gardens, and they had something to do.” It’s not that he subscribes to the same fundamentally white supremacist ideology of the many militia members and “sovereign citizens” who have rallied to his cause; it’s the chickens, you see. The chickens!

... In the meantime, however, people who believe in redistribution and social justice can adopt a strategy that’s served millions of Internet users well for many, many years: Don’t feed the trolls. Call out racial concern trolling for the chicanery it is, then enjoy the view as the Cliven Bundys of this world fade further and further away.

And The Answer Is - Fireworks!

This mystery has been driving me nuts. I took a look at the geography and decided it had to be a smoke ring of some sort. And indeed, that appears to have been what it was:
The ring was reportedly captured by a 16-year-old schoolgirl with her smartphone after she played tennis with her mother. The ring - which appeared to be close to Warwick Castle - remained in the sky for around three minutes before vanishing, it has been reported.

...The eventual answer came in the middle of Tuesday afternoon when a statement from Warwick Castle confirmed that they had been testing fireworks.

A Warwick Castle spokesman said they had been trying out "fire effects" to go with the daily firing of the Trebuchet Fireball - a giant catapult.

"We've seen a number of different effects, including the vortex images that have been reported," the spokesman said. "As yet we don't know what causes the phenomenon but it's certainly a spooky spectacle."

Eddie Izzard - Death Star Canteen

Flattered By The Love

There's a little meme on the Internet I can't help but love. When people receive my Breaking Bad Locations book, they post a photo....

Missed Connection

To the young lady bicyclist in the pedestrian crosswalk I came within a whisker of killing with my vehicle Sunday morning: at 1 a.m., a black hoodie isn't the best fashion choice. You are all but invisible.

I did catch a glimpse of her face, though. It was like "don't you see my light?" The light was this tiny little thing: a sort of penlight. Uh, no, I can't see that, especially when a tree at the corner of 21st and X Streets obscures the pedestrian crosswalk when one approaches from the west on X Street in order to turn right on 21st. She was saved by thin, fluorescent stripes on her bike frame, having to slow down for the turn, and the fact I was stone cold sober.

Funeral Services For Tevye Anthony Ditter - April 26, 2014

The Church of Latter Day Saints on Wissemann Drive.

Friends, relatives, co-workers, and many others gathered midday on Saturday to mourn the passing of the gentle giant of Sacramento community musical theater and song, Tevye Ditter.

I found the viewing to be difficult, not just for obvious reasons, but also because a CD was playing of singing from a recent program of Christmas songs from the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra:
Guest Artist: Tevye Ditter, Tenor

Radiant music for Christmas
Candlelit procession
Audience singalong
New and familiar choral orchestral holiday songs

The program included the song 'Believe' from "Polar Express". Such beauty! So hard. I had to leave, then return. Here's the song from the movie - imagine Tevye singing it:

After a small group of friends and family finished the viewing with a prayer and the casket was closed, the pallbearers escorted the casket into the main hall. We followed, where a large number of people - I'm guessing 280 - had gathered. I sat with Kelly Mustain, and we shared a hymn book. We sang two hymns: ('How Great Thou Art' and 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again'). Since the best singers from the entire Sacramento Valley were in the room, the hymns sounded wonderful. Special memories were offered, including those from Donald Kendrick of the Sacramento Choral Society, and work supervisors and colleagues (Geraldine Walker, Shelley Tillman, and Fran Mueller). Tev's dad also offered memories of Tev. Nephi Speer sang a wonderful rendition of 'Bring Him Home' from "Les Miserables".

After the service, there was a reception, where various members of the musical theatre community shared Tevye stories.

(I don't know most of the folks at Missouri Street Theater, so no IDs for most of them.)

Michael Cross


Kyle Hadley

Dalton McNeely


Caitland Martin, in front of a favorite photo of Tevye from "Les Miserables" at Woodland Opera House.

Members of the community sang from "Les Miserables" (x, Michael Cross, Christina Rae, x, Jenny Plasse, Bobby Ellison, x, Christine Deamer, Hugo Figueroa, Tomas Eredia, Caitland Martin).

(Christine Deamer motioned for me to come up and sing too, but I don't know anything about "Les Miserables", so declined.)

Approaching Graveside

Lowering the casket.