Monday, June 1, 2020

The Western Sky and the Protests

Yesterday was weird.  There were thunderstorms in the area, but we did not get any rain.  It gets humid, and is still hot.


See the seed pods on the tree branches?  That's what Palo Verde blossoms turn into.


Sunset last night.


Ok, I'm going to talk about it now.  Click away if you're sick of it.

Well the word of the day appears to be DOMINATE.  We're listening to the orange man's telecon with the governors from his bunker.  The streets must be DOMINATED, otherwise the governors will look weak.  He's been bloviating non-stop.  The protesters are TERRORISTS and are of the RADICAL LEFT.  He sounds unhinged.  His other repeated word is STRONGLY.   Note the use of the phrase "battle space" in regards to Esper's fellow Americans.

There was also discussion of putting General Mark Milly, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "in charge".  This sort of reminds me of Tienamin Square.  Good grief, now he's talking about an installing an occupying force.  The discussion has moved on to the dreaded "outside agitators."  Holy cow, now he's talking about his opposition to flag burning.  I believe the Supreme Court has ruled twice that it's protected speech.  Orange man is now talking about using the legal system for retribution, not justice, retribution.  He just told the Governor of Illinois that he doesn't like his rhetoric.  I completely understand why the White House aides are resisting the idea of him doing an oval office address to the nation.  He's enough to scare you to death.

If you have 53 minutes of your life you're willing to dedicate to this shit, here's the link. It's interesting, sort of like a basket of snakes, it's hard to look away.

Tom Cotton has been advocating for calling up the 101st Airborne Division.  He wants them to shoot Americans.  

This is Wesley Somers, who burned down the historic Nashville courthouse during the protests.  He's under arrest.


Looters.


If you'd like to see more of the Seattle PD being ass hats, click through to here.  I find this particularly interesting because Seattle PD has been under a consent degree with the DOJ since 2012.  In early May, they declared themselves to be a "transformed department" and asked for the decree to be lifted.  It was originally imposed due to excessive force and excessive killing of people who posed no threat to anyone.  They have to have their final paperwork in by August 12.  I wonder how recent events will impact the request.  There probably won't be any push back since AG Barr has been actively involved in rolling back any oversight of local policing.

And finally, here's Matt Gaetz being stupid in public.


In a calming unifying speech late this afternoon, the orange man said that if governors don't deploy the National Guard, he will deploy the US Military to defend property rights and the second amendment.  There's a non sequitur for you.  You watch, he's going to declare martial law and cancel elections in November.

Before the speech, federal police (no one knows exactly who they were) moved all of the peacefully chanting protesters out of the area with rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bangs.  This photo is why, he wanted to go pose in front of St. John's Episcopal church with a bible.  These are dark days.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Bad Policing

Another day, many more examples of the police behaving badly.  It's everywhere.  I think much of it is because police have been militarized.  They dress differently than they used to, and they drive military vehicles.  When you're dressed like a hammer, the rest of us look like nails.

This happened in a residential area in Seattle.  Yes, there was a curfew.  No, the curfew did not require you to stay in your house.  It was specifically called out that you could be in your yard.  These people were on their front porch.  The police came up their street, screaming for people to go inside.  They had zero authority to give that order.  Upon seeing the family sitting on the porch, they were heard to say "light them up", and they began firing paint balls.  If you have ever played paint ball, you know how much it hurts to get hit with one.  You can view the video from twitter by clicking here.


A member of the Seattle PD maced this child in the face. 



This is part of the problem.




Police giving the white power sign, and yes, that's what it is. 


The Bulkwark published an article about qualified immunity which has morphed over the years from a stance of requiring police to be accountable for their actions, to the broad latitude they currently have to hurt people.  Here is an excerpt:
In determining the relationship between government and governed, one of the most important decisions a society can make is how accountable those who wield official power must be to those against whom that power is wielded. Congress made a clear choice in that regard when it passed the Enforcement Act of 1871, which we now call “Section 1983” after its location in the U.S. Code. Simply put, Section 1983 creates a standard of strict liability by providing that state actors “shall be liable to the party injured” for “the deprivation of any rights.”
Clearly enforcement has deviated from the original intent of Section 1983.  It's a short read and is worth the time.

I'm not saying that all police are bad or abusive.  I am saying that too many are.

Finally, I'm going to close out with this.



Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Neighborhood Here and Out There

Good grief.  Watching video clips of the police in various locales clubbing protestors, or throwing them on the ground and punching them in the head, or shooting pepper bullets at news crews while they are filming, or shooting a photographer in the eye, permanently blinding her has given me a lump in the throat that will not go down.  Barr has already decided that the looters are from the far left, despite the facebook pages of white supremicists calling for their ilk to come to Minneapolis and "get their loot on."  It's too bad Zuckerberg is not a human being, he could take those pages down.  Oh wait, he's dead.


I don't have the intestinal fortitude to rehash the day, I'm sure you've all seen enough of it.  Instead, I'm going to default to an inane post with little emotion behind it.

We had clouds yesterday as well.  There was a suboptimal sunset.


This afternoon it clouded up again, there was wind and rolling thunder.  It's so hot and dry very little rain made it to the ground.  It evaporates in the air.


This is on our bank, close to where the other plant spike is.  I don't remember seeing it before today.  Their growth rate is amazing.  It's always sad to know it will kill the plant.


I'm pretty sure this is a Hooded Oriole.  From the back, he could be a Yellow-headed Blackbird, but they like swampy areas which this definitely is not.  It's a crappy picture, not enough lens and the wind was whipping the branches around.


These are Tarantula Hawks feeding on the plant next door.  There were four of them.  Their sting is supposed to be the most painful of any creature on the earth.  Their reproductive strategy is to lay a single egg into a living tarantula, the egg hatches and consumes the tarantula.  It's gruesome to contemplate.


Did you see this photo today?  Look at his face.  I would really like to see the video leading up to this, but I haven't been able to find it.


In other news, Space X was able to lift off today, and everyone survived.  It's quite an accomplishment for Elon Musk and NASA. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Masks

Aargh, this hurts my heart.  One of the Welsh Cockerels has died.  The survivor is now on his own for the first time.  This photo was also borrowed from Going Gently.  There are some hens living down the way, so maybe he'll find some comfort there.


So in the last 24 hours, the orange man has retweeted a video saying "the only good democrat is a dead democrat".  This was followed by him tweeting "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."  That quote is from a Miami police chief in 1967 who had no problem with police brutality.  Orange man tried to walk it back, but he's lying.  After Twitter fact checked him on the incidence of voter fraud with mail in ballots, he retaliated with an Executive Order to revoke Section 230.  That's the law that shields social media platforms from lawsuits based on what other people post.  If that shield is removed, then Twitter could be liable for the lies told by the orange man on their platform.  They'd have to think twice about letting him lie in public.  Predictably, Zuckerberg said it was not up to social media to be the arbiter of truth.  Given that, I think there should be more of this on Facebook.


Today he took us out of the World Health Organization.  If they get the vaccine first, I guess the US is going to be out of luck.

I've been making masks yesterday and today, I have 1 3/4  masks finished.  I used the elastic that arrived, and I don't think I like it.  Ties better customize the fit IMHO.  Today I followed a pattern that said to cut four 18 inch strips, 3/4 of an inch wide for ties.  Fold in half length wise, and then fold the edges to the middle and stitch.  Not doing that again!  My fingers got too hot from the fabric, the ironing board and the steam from the iron.  I ordered more bias tape from Amazon.

Here is Jim in his new mask.  The pattern called for seven inches of elastic per ear loop, which was too much.  We cut the loops and tied it to his head.


Today's forecast was for 108, I think it only got to 106.  In the afternoon we got clouds and a couple of spits of rain.  It's still hot enough as it is.

Every day I think it just can not get any worse and every day it does.  And I still hate the new Blogger.