Friday, July 21, 2017

Second St., Davis

And here's more on why they installed more speed warning signs on Second St. in Davis:
Evidence presented during a trial in May showed that Hendrix drove a car more than 80 mph in a 45 mph zone on Second Street, a two-lane roadway, in Davis. He was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana and started tailgating a vehicle. Hendrix then passed the vehicle in the bike lane and came within a few feet of sideswiping a bicyclist, who was well within the bike lane, the news release said. He then passed a car in the two-way turn lane.

As Hendrix started to return to the normal traffic lane, he struck a vehicle driven by 71-year-old Cynthia Jonasen as she turned off Cantrill Drive onto Second Street. Jonasen suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Blame The Illuminati

Albuquerque again:
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, Victor Ortiz, 46, told police he had called a yellow cab to his house in Southeast Albuquerque and when the driver picked him up he thought he was working for the Illuminati, who were trying to break into his home and steal his money and drugs.

So, he said, he stole the cab driver’s bag, believing it to be full of guns and knives and other tools. Then he got out of the cab on University near Coal SE.

When the cab driver tried to get his bag back, Ortiz stabbed him with a sword, according to the complaint. Police have not released the driver’s name and are waiting for his family to be notified

It's All About Money Laundering

I think what's becoming clearer by the day is that Trump has moved his Russian money-laundering operation from Trump Tower to the White House, and he won't suffer anyone to interfere with it. The White House is a pretty good place from which to carry out criminal acts, provided people can be kept from looking at it too closely:
As we’ve seen in recent weeks, Mueller’s investigation is only just getting underway. Donald Trump Jr had highly relevant email evidence sitting in his account which Mueller’s investigators apparently knew nothing about. President Trump is openly attacking Mueller, demanding to control the scope of Mueller’s probe and threatening to fire him before the probe has even gotten underway.

Given Mueller’s reputation and his at least nominal partisan affiliation, the only explanation for the President’s behavior is that he will not accept any investigation of himself or his family – which is to say that he is insisting that the operation of the law will not be permitted with respect to himself and his family. That is really the only reasonable interpretation of the day’s news. We can even go further than this and say that it is very hard to come up with any plausible interpretation of these actions other than that the President is concealing grave wrongdoing which he will not allow to be uncovered. We are far, far past the point where ego, impetuousness, inexperience or anything else is a credible alternative explanation.

Looks Like Albuquerque Mayoral Candidates Are Right On Top Of It

Whatever it is:
In response to a question about how candidates feel about Albuquerque’s Heading Home program, an initiative to provide housing for the most vulnerable homeless people, Chaves said his office is “right in the middle of homeless downtown.”

“You see these people that need medical care,” he added. “They’re all, they’re dope addicts and they need help and the city hasn’t done anything for them. You know, it seems to me like they could pick them up and put them in some kind of shelter or something. …”

Cause For Celebration in GOP Land

Someone went through the House Republican Obamacare Repeal celebratory pictures of May 4th to identify specific Congressmen and the number of people in each of their districts who would lose coverage as a direct result of their votes.

This photo features New Mexico's Steve Pearce.

About That Wall

Two Projects This Week

I've been up to two projects this week.

Earlier this year, I self-published an account of my childhood ("A New Mexico Childhood: The View from Albuquerque's Edge in the Sixties and Early Seventies"). I'd like to continue that autobiographical process. I've started a timeline in order to write a selection of tales from my college and academic years (1974-1990).

Academia can be dreary, but odd little things happened that might be entertaining to read - whimsical non-sequiturs. Hanging around dancers young and old. Changing my opinion while deliberating on a murder jury. And then there was the night Jerry Falwell came to Tucson and laid a trap for liberals. Weirdness happened!

I've also been purging magazines from my basement. This is hard, because they call me Hoard, the Magazine King. For example, I'm saving only selections from 20 years of Science Magazine and tossing the rest. I had yet more nature and dance magazines to go, but a woman on Nextdoor Curtis Park wants to make collages, and this evening she came and took them away. Whew! Finally dethroned! She can have the crown!

Here is a video representing the spirit of that wonderful decade where many of us once dwelt, the Eighties:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Neocon Scorned

Disappointed neocons will start slipping over to the Democrats now, because the Republican Party dead-ends here.

The division in Republican ranks has been evident in recent years, and despite majorities, forced the GOP to repeatedly rely on Democratic votes to get important legislation passed. Ultimately, conservative dissatisfaction forced the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner, but the split remains. As long as conservatives refuse to compromise with moderates, no deals of any sort can be struck, which completely neuters the Trump Presidency. Conservatives have come to believe their power resides in the fact that they never, ever compromise and can club everyone else into submission. We are at the end of the road where that stubbornness works for them. No more. This is a new era now.

Unfortunately, a vote on raising the debt limit is right around the corner, so here we go again!:
“This is an epic fail,” Krauthammer said on Fox's "Special Report." “This is historic. This is seven years of arguing gone down the drain. And I think we’re at the end of the road, at least in this phase.”

..."The idea that they are going to get a repeal bill standing alone when repeal and replace was meant to mitigate the effects of a repeal is ridiculous," Krauthammer added.

The Fox News personality blamed the healthcare bill collapse on three reasons: the difficulty required to abandon entitlements after they are already doled out, a lack of leadership from President Trump, and the inner-party divide within the Republican party as to what the healthcare bill should look like.

“There was no presidential leadership,” Krauthammer continued, while comparing Trump to President Barack Obama, who he said gave many national addresses to promote the Affordable Care Act before it was passed into law.

“The moderates are afraid of the curtailment of Medicaid and the conservatives are the ones who wanted the curtailment of Medicaid as an entitlement out of control,” he said.

“You put all of those together and you get an epic fail,” Krauthammer concluded.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

So Sad, It's Funny

Stupid is as stupid does:
Second, it appears that Trump did not realize that a full repeal of Obamacare would require a 60-vote majority until after he demanded a vote. This is because the regulatory structure of the Affordable Care Act cannot be touched under budget reconciliation rules. This is vitally key information that the president should have understood when he was still a candidate crafting his campaign proposals.

Third, it appears that someone has finally explained all of this to Trump as a reason why the Republicans will not just go ahead and pass the same Obamacare repeal act that they passed in 2015. If they repeal the revenues from Obamacare but not the regulations, the entire insurance market will collapse. Trump just demanded that the Republican Party do this, and now he’s discovered why they will not.

California Driver Just Needed To Get Somewhere Fast

Mayhem in Yuba City:
Clinton Harlan is also accused of carjacking and kidnapping in the spree that began about 2:55 p.m. as he was driving north on Highway 99 in a vehicle he had stolen from his father, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

His first collision occurred at Highway 99 and Franklin Road and involved four vehicles. He then allegedly stole a California Department of Transportation truck and trailer and continued north on Highway 99, crashing at Highway 99 and Bridge Street. This collision also involved four vehicles.

Harlan then carjacked a vehicle, kidnapping the female occupant, and headed onto Highway 20, according to the CHP. The third and final collision occurred at Highway 20 and Tharp Road. This crash involved six vehicles, including a second Caltrans vehicle. The kidnap victim was released following the crash.

Time For A Margarita!

[Monday night] Very pleased with what appears to be the death of Obamacare repeal. Despite differing opinions regarding government involvement in health care (I'm a single-payer advocate myself) Democrats stuck together against the Republican onslaught, knowing that nothing good could ever come from doing Obamacare repeal this way.

Meanwhile, in order to curry favor with the rich and punish the poor, Republicans lied to themselves and the country with such unnatural vigor that there's nothing left for them but a venomous wasteland. What a legacy! The Republicans were absolutely, totally counting on the windfall of money from Obamacare repeal to fund dramatic tax cuts for their rich donors. They'll either have to find new victims to rob instead, or run a vast deficit. Either way, it'll be more honest than making crippled and disabled people pay for those tax cuts.

The time will come when Democrats will win elections and regain the initiative. Till then, we gird for new battles. But tonight, before mounting the battlements again, time for a margarita!

[Tuesday night] Time for a second margarita! It was clear that if they couldn't replace ACA, with its confusing obfuscatory shell game of removing protections, that repeal would be even less appetizing, because all protections for existing conditions and coverage for adult children up to age 26 would be instantly removed. Naked legislators are unhappy legislators! Now, we need to worry about Republican sabotage of Obamacare, but at least the law is on our side. We must remain vigilant, despite the margaritas.

People Who Tried to Take Panorama Shots and Ended Up Opening the Gates of Hell

You're In Such Good Shape, Mrs. Macron

Delta Offers Ann Coulter Free Lifetime Irrevocable Seat on Plane’s Wing

An olive branch:
If we had known that you’d blow up our mentions and electronically harass and stalk another passenger over a matter of thirty dollars,” a letter to Coulter from the Delta executive board reads, “We wouldn’t have taken your money for the larger seat, and instead would have suggested you fly in a crate in the belly of the plane with the rest of the non-human passengers. But we want to try one more olive branch in an attempt to soothe your clearly delicate sensibilities.

You Can Turn Mistakes Into Birds

Monday, July 17, 2017

DNC Still Tone Deaf

I was shredding some DNC mail the other day and noticed a remarkably tone-deaf appeal: I should solemnly sign their petition objecting to Trump's actions and help them send it to the White House. I guffawed at the thought Donald Trump would give a rat's ass about what some Californian Democrat thought. Maybe I shredded DNC mail too quickly. Someone should collect these mutants and make a display:
And that brings me back to Brazile and her emails to me. In her most recent one she speaks about how Republicans have “sunk to new lows.”

“Every time I think Republicans have sunk as low as they can, they manage to find a way to go lower.” She then lists a number of ways that the Trump team has insulted our democratic traditions.

And, while she may be right, she is clearly not the right person to be trying to make that point. In fact she is the last, or at least near the last, of the DNC deplorables who should be trying to send messages to those on the left asking for support of the party.

As her email closes Brazile cautions that once one discovers that a group has tried to undermine our democracy we should expect more of the same: “this isn’t the first time Donald Trump and his cronies have tried to undermine our democracy, and it won’t be the last.”

It’s an astonishing example of a lack of self-reflection, self-awareness and political sense. Brazile was busted for being unethical, she then tried to cover it up, and when forced, she issued a half-assed apology.

But she has the nerve to end her email saying: “We have to keep pushing back . . . and do everything in our power to protect our right to vote.”

Exhibit A in the Absolute Absurdity of Conservative Thought

I'm not worthy, but God is great. How else to explain Ann Coulter going absolutely batshit insane when Delta Airlines asked her to move from an aisle seat (with extra leg room) to a window seat (also with extra leg room), in order to maximize the convenience of nearby passengers? How is it such a wonderful thing could have happened to such a deserving person? What better illustration of how pampered today's snowflake conservative media elite really are?

Because, next to Donald Trump, Ann Coulter is the most vile person on the planet. She has no natural sympathy for anyone. Remember when that doctor was manhandled and ejected by United Airlines? Ann Coulter expressed the opinion that the doctor should be deported.

Ann Coulter's outrages extend over the decades. She also expressed the idea that 9/11 widows were sad opportunists. Anything for infamy. Anything for the spotlight. There is no outrage that is beneath her.

In this incident, Ann Coulter abused Delta Airlines staff. She also took photos of her seatmates and blasted them over the Internet for no good reason other than to mock them, even though they did nothing other than follow airline requests. As Ann Coulter should have meekly done. Laws were greatly strengthened after 9/11, giving airlines virtual autonomy in matters of passenger management. I'm sure Ann Coulter never objected about this development when it mattered. Basically, she can shut up or get clubbed off the airline too. It's all legal! As I once heard the manager of a KFC tell an unruly customer, "I am asking you to leave, and have a nice day."

Conservatives are always babbling about the need for respect, reserve, and maturity in society. This incident is Exhibit A in the absolute absurdity of conservative thought. Also, this.

RIP, Martin Landau

I always liked this scene:

Devastating Flash Flood Near Payson, Arizona

Wow, nine killed, one missing. The folks in the swimming hole just outside Payson, AZ, got hammered by this flash flood:
A flash flood north of Payson near the Cold Springs swimming hole killed nine people and left one more missing Saturday afternoon.

Gila County Sheriff's Office said that a total of nine bodies were recovered throughout the day on Sunday. The ninth victim found was a 2-year-old.

A 27-year-old man is still missing. The Sheriff's Office has suspended the search until 6 a.m.

According to GCSO, deputies responded to a search and rescue call around 3 p.m. Saturday after heavy rains caused flash flooding in the area.

Meteorologists had issued a flash-flood warning surrounding a popular swimming area inside the Tonto National Forest before the wave of water gushed through the narrow canyon.

...GCSO said a family of 14 people were swimming in the area and were swept away in the flash flood. Multiple agencies responded to aid in search and rescue efforts.

Search teams were already in the area because of a hiker that had a medical issue unrelated to the flood. Then they get a call that a man was stuck on a rock due to the flooding. They were able to rescue him and three more people.
How do you even protect yourself in this situation? The storm wasn't in the immediate vicinity, so they weren't on their guard. Runoff from forest fire scars is fast. And the wall of water can be disguised by debris, so it's unlikely you'll see it coming. Taken completely by surprise.

Fun At California State Fair 2017!

(See the eight California State Fair posts here!)

Close Call At SFO

100 feet:
SAN FRANCISCO — In what one aviation expert called a near-miss of what could have been the largest aviation disaster ever, an Air Canada pilot on Friday narrowly avoided a tragic mistake: landing on the San Francisco International Airport taxiway instead of the runway.

Sitting on Taxiway C shortly before midnight were four airplanes full of passengers and fuel awaiting permission to take off, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the “rare” incident. An air traffic controller sent the descending Air Canada Airbus 320 on a “go-around” — an unusual event where pilots must pull up and circle around to try again — before the safe landing, according to the federal agency.

FAA investigators are still trying to determine how close the Air Canada aircraft came to landing and potentially crashing into the four aircraft below, but the apparent pilot error already has the aviation industry buzzing.

“If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history,” said retired United Airlines Capt. Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts. He said he’s been contacted by pilots from across the country about the incident.

“If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been,” he said.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thinking About Russian Adoptions

California State Fair 2017 - Art

Rattlesnake - Isabelle Daniel

Change in the Air - Angela Sims

Foxy - Reyna Cardenas

Days of the Dead - Emma Kritsepis

Days of the Dead - Emma Kritsepis

Days of the Dead - Emma Kritsepis

Monorail track in-between Expo buildings. (I like the architecture.)

Colleen Flynn - State Fair Memories

Dancing Radha and Krishna - Priyanka Kumari

In Search of the Perfect Shot - Tony Natsoulas

You Are My Sunshine - Renee Scott

Flying or Falling - Tony Nguyen (what a shot!)

Pondering in the Woods - Jacquie Williams

Farmer's Daughter - Bill Hald

Jon, Jax, and Erica - Mustafa Shaheen

Ascendants - Sea Miller

Untitled - Brett Milliar

Sunrise on Maui - Nick Knezic

Looking for Eternity - Ronald Pinkerton

Airstream Reflections - Craig Bowers

The Last Migration - Michael Grasso

Winter in Roger's Park - Heide Janssen

Passion Flower - Linda Bergmann

Second Annual Monopoly Tournament - DMTC - July 15, 2017

Congratulations, David Hyun (on far right) for winning DMTC's Second Annual Monopoly Tournament! Nick Thompson is second from right, and he showed strong command in the two preliminary games that I banked for.