Wednesday, January 09, 2019



The road to dictatorship is smooth:
The only security Mr. Trump is concerned with is his own. With the government shut down, he can capitalize on chaos and operate with greater impunity. His speech was not a public address: it was a shakedown proclamation built on venom and vengeance. It will not be his last.

And we are all now in the hands of FOX News. The current chaos will only end when FOX decides it's time:
So far, Fox News simply won't let Trump go down the "pretend you won and move on" route. The network, which Trump watches loyally and regards as a more important adviser than anyone on his actual White House own staff, has stuck to the false and racist claim that the U.S. is being invaded and only a wall will suffice to stop the problem. Fox hosts have also consistently minimized the impact of the government shutdown. And any time Trump gives even a whiff of softening his stance on this issue, the Fox talking heads, knowing that Trump is watching, will turn up the pressure, hinting that they will go after him hard if he backs down.

Martha Rosler - Semiotics of the Kitchen 1975

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

St Vincent - Actor Out Of Work

I wish I had known about her years ago. This video is ten years old. I'm just too damned slow!

Same song live starts at 17:40.

The Latest Hobby in Southern Arizona

Some people have pelted Waymo vans with rocks, according to police reports. Others have repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the vans, telling it to get out of her suburban neighborhood. A man pulled up alongside a Waymo vehicle and threatened the employee riding inside with a piece of PVC pipe.

In one of the more harrowing episodes, a man waved a .22-caliber revolver at a Waymo vehicle and the emergency backup driver at the wheel. He told the police that he “despises” driverless cars, referring to the killing of a female pedestrian in March in nearby Tempe by a self-driving Uber car.

“There are other places they can test,” said Erik O’Polka, 37, who was issued a warning by the police in November after multiple reports that his Jeep Wrangler had tried to run Waymo vans off the road — in one case, driving head-on toward one of the self-driving vehicles until it was forced to come to an abrupt stop.

His wife, Elizabeth, 35, admitted in an interview that her husband “finds it entertaining to brake hard” in front of the self-driving vans, and that she herself “may have forced them to pull over” so she could yell at them to get out of their neighborhood. The trouble started, the couple said, when their 10-year-old son was nearly hit by one of the vehicles while he was playing in a nearby cul-de-sac.


So far this water year (from October 1st), precipitation can't quite get to normal. Currently in Sacramento we are at about 87%. Hoping this new storm rolling in can boost our totals.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Presbyterian Healthcare Services - The 800 Pound Gorilla

Fascinating article about the 800-pound gorilla of Albuquerque health care, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and its gorilla-like ways:
Allyson Ray, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in private practice in Albuquerque, had treated Presbyterian-insured patients for years when the health plan abruptly cut its reimbursements for her services. When she and colleagues grouped together to negotiate, she said Presbyterian informed them it would rather pay higher prices to send patients for treatment out-of-state than compromise with them. The incident added to New Mexico’s perennial shortage of specialist physicians: rather than endure the confrontation, Ray recalled, one of the doctors left the state and another retired early.

Meet His Demons

The Steady Warming of the Sacramento Valley - Local Example of Global Warming

I realized my consumption of natural gas for space heating might be exceedingly-sensitive to outside temperature, so I plotted a running 12-month sum of consumption since 2001 - the last time my household changed significantly in character. Sure enough, a general downward drift signals climate change - a warming of the Sacramento Valley - with a significant dip during the years 2013-16: California's great drought (with accompanying warm temperatures).

Fun Visit to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento

On January 2nd.