We went out to the Tortolitas. It was a warm hike, due to the late start. We did one side of the Lower Javelina trail. The prickly pears are starting their bloom.
This is a terrible picture, due to the harsh light, but the lavender colored flowers were quite attractive.
A front moved through late yesterday and last night, dropping the temperature and bringing very high winds. There may be more hike today due to winds.
The Senate has started their probe of Russian interference in the election. The testimony of former FBI agent Clinton Watts was riveting. Coverage of that can be found here.
To buttress the claim that Trump (unwittingly or not) aided Russian disinformation efforts, Watts cited several instances. Among them: Trump’s citation of an apparently false Sputnik story at an October 2016 campaign appearance; his ongoing denial before and after the campaign of U.S. intelligence of Russian interference in the election; his claims of voter fraud and election rigging, which Watts said was pushed by RT and Sputnik; and Trump’s questioning of the citizenship of former President Barack Obama and even his primary rival Ted Cruz.This is so disturbing. Read the whole piece, it's just chilling. One of the points made in the hearings is that Russia is not only doing this to us but to the European elections. This could change the entire face of the planet if they are successful.
Watts added that one of the reasons such tactics are working is that Trump and/or his surrogates have repeated some of the claims, further spreading them through social media accounts that are owned both by real people and bots. Thus, the disinformation is kept alive and gradually becomes more real and plausible. “Part of the reason active measures work is because they parrot the same lines,” Watts said.
So, on this happy note, we will now go for a hike.