Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Heavy Clouds but No Rain

Well, the stupid spectator referenced in my previous post has been arrested.  There could be jail time for the act as well as being sued.  It will be interesting to see to what degree the French government and UCI will pursue this.

In other news it rained for about 10 minutes today.  That's it.  It's all going to New Mexico, they're stealing our rain.  It is so humid, yes I know Houston is more humid, but it's really uncomfortable.  I'd really like to see an hours long gully washer, but not so far.

Donald Rumsfeld died today.  How would you like to have a obituary like this?  It's a grim indictment of his tenure.

The hummingbirds are just irritating the living snot out of me.  The male chases the female all day.  Every time I look out the window, they go zooming by, him in hot pursuit of her.  The upshot is that neither of them are eating much.  There are two feeders, but I guess he just can't help himself.

I took this with my cell phone the other night.  We had some nice clouds, but no rain.

This was taken way too early Sunday morning.  We haven't ridden since, events have conspired against us, and will do so again tomorrow.  Maybe Friday, that would be good. 

This was yesterday, we had hopes it might rain, but no.

The desert is depressing.  The prickly pears are curling up on themselves, they really do look like they are melting.  There are a lot of dead trees.  Our neighbor has three large trees along his front wall.  One has died and left a large hole in his landscaping.  

I like this poster from a demonstration somewhere.  I screen scraped the picture and promptly forgot where it had been taken.

Other than this paltry offering, I have zippity doo-dah all to say.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Stupid People at the TdF

I read somewhere that the average person in the US reads at a 7 to 8th grade level.  Newspapers are written for the 11th grade level reader.  However, stupidity is not confined to this country.  Today is the first stage of the Tour de France.  Spectators are stupid.

See the person holding the sign with Allez on it?  Where is that person looking?  She's looking at the cameras.  This is her big day to be on television.  That sign is right in front of an oncoming rider.

The rider hit the sign holder.  You can see her crumpling from the impact of the hit.

This is the result of the stupid person, not paying attention to where the peleton was, waving her stupid sign.

There were injuries, riders who have spent countless hours training for this event are now out of the race.  It just irritates the living snot out of me that there are not more course marshals on the road sides preventing this kind of thing.

That's it!  That's all I have to say.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Today in Crazy Town

I know, I know, I do go on about the AZ fraudit and the total wingnuts that are behind it.  However, this is stuff I don't want to forget or lose the links, so it has to go here.  OAN, a right wing cable channel, has been live streaming the fraudit from the fairgrounds.  They've also been fund raising to pay for it.  Today, however took a turn for the worse, to a place I didn't think even OAN would go.

Pearson Sharp is an on air personality on OAN.  He is standing there proposing, in a very calm voice, that Democrats should be executed for stealing the election.  Click here to play the video, I don't know how to drag it out into the text of my blog.  The Qanon people are just beside themselves with joy, contemplating getting out they guns and mowing down a bunch of heathen traitors.  Honestly, I no longer recognize my fellow citizens.

In a related Rawstory article, Karen Fann who spearheaded the fraudit has been called out for starting the entire debacle that has lead to the mass hysteria and stupidity over the 2020 vote.  The article on Rawstory is here, if you have an ad blocker, you'll have to disable it to read the piece.

"It's bad enough that Senate President Karen Fann's 'unbiased, independent' auditors have teamed up with a fringe media outlet that has led the charge in peddling conspiracy theories, one whose reporter, Christina Bobb, is a former Trump administration official who is now raising money to help fund the audit. Now Arizona's audit partner, OAN, is airing a report telling us that potentially tens of thousands of 'ra.dical Democrats' should be executed once the evidence of a 'coup' is unearthed in Arizona and in other audits that will follow," she explained. "Gee, and here I thought Fann told us the audit was simply about determining if Arizona's election laws need to be tightened."

I read somewhere today that DHS is beginning to be concerned about levels of violence when the orange ectoplasm is not reinstated in August.  Mike Lindell announced today that Lin Wood would be in charge of organizing the celebratory parades for the blessed event.

Matt Gaetz, accused child sex trafficker, took a run at Lloyd Austin, SecDef, about "wokeness" in the military.  SecDef responded with we're looking at behaviors of those serving, not their belief systems.  Gaetz, of course, was trying to get some inflammation going about critical race theory.  Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, needed to respond to Gaetz.  Another representative ceded some of her time so Milley could speak.  The entire exchange was showed the substance of those two men, and the grand-standing depravity of Matt Gaetz.  It's on youtube, and you can watch it here.  It's a good use of four minutes if you haven't seen the clip.

One of the on air people at MSNBC has stopped referring to Gaetz by name, but instead refers to him a "accused child sex trafficker." which amuses me greatly.

So that was today.  This morning's ride was hot and humid.  We have clouds and moisture, but so far not enough to produce enough rain.  Here is another picture of fruiting saguaros.  

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Hot and Lying Republicans

Welp, we have crossed over the summer equinox, and now the days will start getting shorter.  Longer nights provide more time for cooling off.  Thus far it's not perceptible, but it's the better trend.  Meanwhile, a giant heat dome is building on the I5 corridor between Washington and Oregon.  Monday in Seattle is forecast to be 104 degrees.  This is bad because air conditioning is not the norm in Seattle since it never gets really hot there.  Right.

Currently we are having some pretty good wind and dark skies, but so far no water falls from the sky.  It showered briefly last night, but not enough to do any good.  The weather heads keep saying it looks good for monsoon, but not yet.

Yesterday we had some cloud cover, which helps with the riding.  The sun here has the ability to drill right through your skull and in to your brain.  Very painful.

This morning we had two Pima County Sheriff vehicles on the street.  They're parked in front of a house that we think is currently not occupied.  After awhile, one of them drove down to the other end of the street, did a 180 turn, and then drove really fast back to the house under investigation.  These guys really piss me off driving like that in a neighborhood full of old people.  There was no reason for it other than they could. 

This is making me sad.  It's hot, the palm trees are burning.  I've had to put the agave parryi in the shade of some other palms.  When they get too hot they close up and turn yellow.  He's looking better now that he's out of the sun.

The saguaros have had a prodigious year for fruit.  At the beginning of the bloom there was a lot of concern that the blossoms sprouting from the sides wouldn't make fruit, but that has turned out to be an unfounded fear.  It's been good for the birds, they get fluids and food from the fruit.

So, if you've been following the efforts to get a commission named to investigate the origins of the January 6 insurrection, you've noticed that several prominent republicans have been saying that it was nothing more than a tourist visit on the part of the people who broke in to the capital.  One of those people spewing that lie is Representative Andrew Clyde.  Look at his face, his outstretched hand, that man was terrified.

Later, he helped barricade doors against the "tourists" who wanted to shoot some people.

Their ability to tell lies with a straight face is unbelievable.  They're just lying liars.

However, we can have some schadenfraude over this tweet.

That's Speaker Pelosi's desk he's resting his foot on.

Other than this paltry offering, I have nothing important to report. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Republican Fringe and a Snake

On several occasions I have mentioned the total farce of an "audit" of the 2020 election in Maricopa county.  It's a complete joke, being run by people who know nothing.  That sort of sounds like as bad as it could get - right?  But NO!  It's now worse.  An unspecified amount of ballot data has been copied by Ben Cotton, the head of CyFIR and loaded into a truck and driven without supervision to a cabin in Montana.  If I'm lying, I'm dying.  Huffington Post reports the following.

In the latest development in the partisan Republican “audit” of Arizona presidential votes, voting system data has been taken to a secret hideout in Montana.

An unsupervised driver transported copies of ballot data in a truck to a cabin in the community of Bigfork in northwest Montana, several media outlets reported.

The state Senate Republican liaison has “confirmed that copies of voting system data was sent to a ‘lab’ in Montana,” an observer wrote earlier this month on an “SOS” website set up by the office of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). “He did not specify what security measures were in place, or what the lab in Montana will do with the data, or how long it will be in possession of the copies,” added the note.

State Senate liaison Ken Bennett confirmed to KGVO that the “powerful lab” is run by Cotton. Transported data was downloaded from the hard drives that Maricopa County used in the election, he said. It may or may not include voter registration data, and some of it could be sensitive, Bennett said.

Remember, ballots are supposed to be kept by the Secretary of State for 22 months after an election.  We aren't anywhere near that time frame, and now they are roaming around the state of Montana doing who knows what with this data.  I am so happy I don't live in Maricopa county.  These people are nuts.

Today we were up at 6 am.  I hate getting up early - a lot. Even with starting early, we didn't do the last hill because it was so stinking hot.  This is Golden Gate in the early morning sun.

Prior to today, I did not know Arizona has Coral snakes.  We do.  They are not particularly venomous, they haven't killed anybody thus far.  This appears to be a young snake, who did not look both ways before crossing the road.

Other than wishing us all joy and happiness that Juneteenth is finally a recognized federal holiday, I have not too much else to say.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Photos and Hot

Hot!  Really HOT!  I have issued a directive to all and sundry that this is the LAST June I will spend in Tucson.  It's too hot.  We're going to have to book an AirBnB for next June somewhere north of here.  We had thought of moving, but the idea of giving up the house (which we really like) and winters here is just overwhelming.  It would be considerably cheaper over the years to AirBnb in various places, rather than buy in this market.  

Yep, we're in drought.  However, agriculture uses 74% of the water in this state, and there are plans afoot to start buying water rights from the ag people, putting them out of business.  They're also telling the golf courses they have to cut back, the golf courses are indignant.  

There are cloud buildups today, which is the opening day of Monsoon, which could look hopeful.  It's hard to know.  A weather head had a video up this morning which when distilled said there is a 50% chance of a good monsoon, or a bad monsoon.  That was very enlightening.

I have two aging photos I wanted to get up before they lose all of their relevance.  The first was taken last Friday.  There is a crescent moon, and the dot up and off to the left is Mars.  It was quite lovely to see.  The air was soft that night, further making us question the wisdom of leaving the area for parts north.

I took this yesterday.  It was the birthday of the orange ectoplasm.  It was odd how little coverage that got in the mainstream media.

How sad is that?  The homeowner built a little birthday shrine for the former guy.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Hot and the Baptists

It's hot.  How hot is it, you wonder?  Why it's 110F, or 43.3C.  Really hot.  We were back from riding at 8:30 and it was pretty much time to go inside.  Humidity is 3% - I am using a lot of Chap Stick these days.  The next five days are forecast to be 111F, which is better than the old forecast which was 113.

I have some paltry photos to post.  These are from Thursday.  We had a slight cloud cover.  It was kind of pretty.

The agave that was blooming is now dying.  It's so sad that they have to perish after procreation.  It's sort of like male Praying Mantis' being eaten after reproducing with the mean girl Mantis'.

The flowers have turned into these pods, which break off.  I don't know if the pods are full of multiple seeds or if it's just one per pod.

Who follows the Southern Baptist Convention?  As a rule, I do not, but today there was a really long article on WAPO about the upcoming convention that will be held in Nashville.  Not surprisingly, most of those attending will be white men.  There is a schism forming in the convention between those who are willing to accept Critical Race Theory as a framework for understanding the sources and effects of structural racism, along with intersectionality to understand how it all works together.  I don't fully understand that sentence, but that's what the liberal wing of the convention is saying.  The conservative wing rejects Black Lives Matter, women having anything to say about anything, including whether or not they have non-consensual sex with their predatory pastors; they believe racism can be overcome through prayer, reading the bible, submission of women to their husbands and their husbands' submission to God.  

Many in the convention believe in complementarianism, which says men and women have separate roles, and men are the ones in charge.  "Among the nearly 800,000 words in the Bible, one sentence seems to contain Stone’s thinking on this matter. It’s from a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to his protege, Timothy: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”"  Paul was an apostle, every word he spoke was not necessarily divinely inspired, that was an opinion.  And yet, the Baptists have seized upon that as a justification of subjugating women.  There is a much shorter opinion piece on WAPO on the subject of why the SBC has not fixed its sexual abuse problem.  It was a much easier read than the long article.

The convention used to be allied with the Northern Baptists, but they broke over the issue of slavery in 1845, believing that the bible could also justify that.  They recanted in 1990.  NYT did a piece on the increasing amount of strife within the convention, and what the outcomes of the meeting in Nashville might be.  The SBC currently has 14.5 million members, they have lost membership over the last few years.

I grew up in the SBC, but I didn't last long.  When they told us in Sunday school that all of the pygmies in Africa were going to hell because they hadn't accepted Jesus as their personal savior, even though they'd never heard of Jesus, which was why we had to give money to the foreign missionaries, that just struck me as wrong headed thinking.  This helps explain my interest in what's happening with the convention.  Fun fact - Jimmy Carter left the SBC in 2000 due to the convention's increasingly rigid views.

Now from the department of things that are really bad, we have this.

Vaccination rates in the deep red south are abysmal, this variant is hard on the kids.  There is also the possibility of it being very bad for the elderly, whose immune response is not as good as it used to be, and is weak against the delta variant.  Sometimes I feel like this is never going to be over.

So on that happy note, I have nothing else to offer.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

Ho hum - still hot, still here.  Global climate change continues to have its way with our weather.  We're getting up at 6:30 to ride these days.  There have been some clouds which have softened the light somewhat.

On one of our non-riding days we trimmed the yellowing palm fronds from the trees.  There were many that needed to be dealt with.

There have been more clouds, but no rain.

We don't see these birds very often.  They're such a vivid pop of color against the desiccated, browning desert.

This was from two nights ago.  More clouds, no rain.

Rep. Louis Gohmert interviewed a lady from the Forest Service.  You can read the full article here.  The excerpt below is getting him a ton of ridicule and a continuation of his standing as the dumbest person in congress.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the BLM [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” Gohmert told Eberlien. “I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly, and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun. We know there’s been significant solar flare activities, and so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun? Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate.”

You just can not fix stupid. 

Other than this paltry offering, I have nothing much on offer.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Voting in the USA

I got a comment asking how states could deny people the right to vote.  The commenter is from a civilized country, so it's an excellent question.  They're doing it in many ways.

  • Making it illegal for people to give other people a ride to the polls:  Many poor people don't have cars.  Polling places are frequently in the neighborhoods where affluent white people live.  Often there is no direct bus service to the polls. In the 2020 election, Uber gave free rides to the polls.  The republicans want to forbid that.
  • Balllot harvesting:  In the Navajo nation there are very few roads.  People are really poor.  The post office does not deliver to your home.  You must go in to the post office to get your mail.  Since it's a long way over unpaved roads, neighbors take turns picking up each others' mail.  Same with taking ballots to town.  Banning this practice is currently before the Supreme court, the case brought by the AZ AG, who is a lunatic.
  • Republicans want to shorten up early voting times, they want to close polling places where POC live. They want to shut down "souls to the polls"; many Black people vote en masse after church.  Absentee ballots will be more difficult to get. They're limiting the number of ballot drop boxes, and increasing the gerrymandering of voting districts.
  • They want to give partisan poll watchers the right to challenge people in the process of voting.  This is intimidation

So, while no laws are being passed saying black and brown people can't vote, the republican legislatures are making it virtually impossible.

Mother Jones has done a bang up job on documenting how disenfranchisement has happened repeatedly in this country, and how it's coming back our way.  If the congress does not pass a voting rights bill, the republicans will steal every election in the future. The filibuster was used to prevent people from voting in the past.  The southern states were up in arms about the Black vote.  The western states did not want the Chinese to vote.  So, efforts to ease voting restrictions were met with the filibuster.  It's not part of the constitution, it was a purpose built tactic.  Our democrat senator from AZ is in favor of retaining the filibuster, I really hope she gets primaried and loses.

As to the return of the orange ectoplasm to the White House in August; apparently the ectoplasm has got it in his head that it's going to happen.  Mike Lindell (My Pillow guy) has been taking credit for steering the ectoplasm's thinking on the subject.  There is a really good article in National Review on the subject.  They give you four free articles a month so if you have not used them up, there is no paywall.  Below is an excerpt from the article.

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.

The scale of Trump’s delusion is quite startling. This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible, nor is it an irrelevant example of anguished post-presidency chatter. It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government. There is no Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. Hell, there is nothing even approximating a Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. The election has been certified, Joe Biden is the president, and, until 2024, that is all there is to it. It does not matter what one’s view of Trump is. It does not matter whether one voted for or against Trump. It does not matter whether one views Trump’s role within the Republican Party favorably or unfavorably. We are talking here about cold, hard, neutral facts that obtain irrespective of one’s preferences; it is not too much to ask that the former head of the executive branch should understand them.

Apparently the reinstatement is scheduled for August.  Lindell says he will be taking his case to the Supreme Court in July, at which time they will vote 9-0 to over turn the 2020 election, and the Bidens will have to start packing.  

CNN did a short piece which is interesting.  The ectoplasm is not giving up on the idea that he's going to be president again, and much of the base is in lockstep with him.

The desperate hope of the likes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was that in the wake of the 2020 election, Trump would simply fade away. That, yes, he would remain a figure of some stature for some within the Republican Party, but that his ability to command the national stage or exert considerable influence over the direction of the Party would wane considerably.
It just hasn't happened. Which creates this reality for Republicans: As Trump swerves more and more into ever-wilder fantasies about his return to power, the GOP base follows right along with him. And since no politician can hope to win elections without the base of their party behind them, Republican elected officials go along for the ride.
Which means they are now on board with a man who believes he will be reinstated as president this summer because of a series of outlandish recounts and audits in swing states.

I don't have any new photos to close with.  We went grocery shopping today, which didn't produce much in the way of photographic inspiration.  So I will close with an old cactus picture that hangs around in Picasa because I like it so much.

That's it!  That's all I've got!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

Ho hum.  We're still here, it's still hot.  This morning we were up and out very early on the bikes.  I don't think we're going to have anymore cool starts to the day, the nights are staying hotter and so the mornings are hotter.

Yesterday we had clouds, but no rain.  It all went east, which is probably what monsoon will do, as well.

Later, the sky was a weird yellowish color at sunset.

I really have nothing to say.  The Republicans have become the evil empire, hell bent on winning at any cost, and denying people of color the right to vote.  Arizona continues to be a laughing stock, first with their stupid "audit" and now deciding to use Zyclon B in their gas chamber to carry out executions.  I am not making this up.  AZ senator Sinema is hell bent on preserving the fillibuster and defeating President Biden's entire agenda.  One wonders if she's actually a republican.  It's embarrassing to live here.  The orange ectoplasm seems to believe that he will be reinstated as the president in August.  Clearly, he's still delusional.