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August 30, 2021

Larry Elder Fan Club

Not my photo.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Infrared Filters On The Canon Powershot G12

I've got a Canon Powershot G12 that I paid to have modified so that infrared light can reach the sensor. Almost all digital cameras have internal filters to block infrared. I got just today a filter mount that allows me to put filters on the G12, so I experimented with dark red and infrared filters on it.

Cereus peruvianus (0833)
This is how the camera sees the Cereus peruvianus in my back yard with no filters at all
. You can see a little bit of pale blue-green color comes through.

Cereus Peruvianus (0936)
When I switch the camera to black & white mode, you get this look, still unfiltered

Cereus Peruvianus (0889)
Still in B&W mode but now with a dark red filter installed in front of the lens

Bougainvillea (0917)
Same camera, same B&W mode, but now with an infrared filter mounted instead of dark red
. Obviously not the Cereus peruvianus this time. The plant near the lens is a bougainvillea in bloom. I somehow did not photograph the cactus again in true infrared. Maybe tomorrow, if it's sunny.

Filed under Cactus,Photography | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Livestreaming From The Renegade Burn (not Burning Man)

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

Pink Wins It

Pink is just the sort of relaxed doggie who would be ideal with a senior citizen dealing with arthritis in his hip, right?

| permalink | August 30, 2021 at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

Attorney For 17 January 6 Rioters Down With COVID (maybe)

There have been conflicting reports, but it seems that attorney John M. Pierce of Los Angeles who represents 17 of those accused in the January 6 Capitol riot is incommunicado because he has COVID and is on a ventilator. He had also been hired to defend Rittenhouse, until Rittenhouse’s family fired him.

Pierce has taken confrontational and high-risk positions in court and appeared to rule out plea deals for many clients. He also has called the riots a government setup, echoing a talking point on right-wing media. “This whole thing was absolutely a false-flag FBI and intelligence community and military special operations set-up,” he wrote in a late July email to a group of lawyers coordinating defense efforts

Filed under Health,Politics,Public Safety | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

Judge Revokes Mother's Custody Of Son Because She Is Not Vaccinated

At a virtual court hearing this month that was supposed to deal with child support, the judge asked the mother if she had been vaccinated for COVID. She had not, so the judge ruled that she could not see her son until she gets vaccinated.

Filed under Health | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

Milo Yiannopoulos May Soon Free The World Of Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos says he has COVID and is treating himself with Ivermectin.

Filed under Gay Issues,Health | permalink | August 30, 2021 at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2021

Don't Call It Subsidence

A section of a black bean field in Minnesota dropped 25 feet, but no one calls it subsidence. At the end of the video report included at that link the reporter says it's a rotational slump

Filed under Science | permalink | August 28, 2021 at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

Angelica Marie Mendez Arrested

It all started with this video shot and narrated by Mendez at the Palm Desert Costco (my Coscto!) in which she made certain baseless assumptions, called the police and then got the community all excited. Today she was arrested and charged with providing false information to a police officer and knowingly filing a false police report. AND (surprise, surprise) she's from Desert Hot Springs.

On Friday, August 20, 2021, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (Palm Desert Station) received information from a citizen that a female juvenile was a victim of child neglect and sexual assault. These serious allegations set in motion hundreds of staff-hours, by several law enforcement agencies, in two separate states.

There were four independent investigations related to this incident. All four of the independent investigations concluded the allegations were false. It appears the reporting person had seemingly made up the allegations and had no supporting evidence to substantiate her claims. Her claims, both to law enforcement and publicly had numerous inconsistencies.

Because of the horrendous nature of the allegations there was significant public outrage. This outrage sparked countless calls to our Dispatch Center, city, and county officials. All the while the four independent investigations were fully staffed and tracking accordingly.

The countless calls to our Dispatch Center took up valuable call time for other citizens who were in need of emergency services. The Sheriff’s Department would also like to explain that if this were a legitimate criminal incident, the frivolous aspects and misinformation would have hindered the investigation and ultimately the welfare of the child. Not to mention the adverse effect on any future prosecution efforts.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind the public that not all information that is on the internet or on social media is accurate and can be very misleading. While we appreciate the understandable outrage with child-crimes, we encourage the public to be engaged and helpful toward law enforcement, so it can be a community effort when combating crime.

The case was presented to the District Attorney’s Office and they deemed it to have probable cause that a crime had been committed by the original reporting party, Angelica Mendez. An arrest warrant was issued by the Riverside County Court.

On Saturday, August 28, 2021, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department arrested Angelica Marie Mendez, 21-years-old, from Desert Hot Springs for providing false information to a police officer and knowingly filing a false police report.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | August 28, 2021 at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

Kam Lun Scores 95/A With Health Department

A couple of local restaurants reported in the Press-Entperise.

Kam Lun Chinese Food, at 66610 Eighth St. in Desert Hot Springs, which failed an Aug. 3 inspection with a 74/C and was closed because of a rodent infestation, was permitted to reopen Aug. 23. The restaurant is now on probation after three failed inspections and two closures in less than two years, and it passed its first probationary inspection with a 95/A.

Santorini Gyro, at 190 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected Aug. 19 and received a failing grade of 83/B with one critical violation. Multiple containers of food — cooked meat, hummus, yogurt dressing and soup — had been left out at room temperature overnight. Among the 11 other violations, the facility had an unapproved exhaust hood and didn’t have a grease interceptor, and was told to stop preparing food that generates grease and oil or uses equipment that requires a hood — which it had previously been told in June. Also, exposed piping in the ceiling was dripping in an area where food is prepared, utensils were being stored in dirty standing water, food was being stored in the janitorial area and another room not approved for food storage, the meat shaver handle was held together with duct tape, the water heater didn’t appear to have enough capacity, and there was an unapproved sink and unapproved wood laminate shelving in the facility. The restaurant failed two inspections in June and now faces a permit suspension/revocation hearing.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Health | permalink | August 28, 2021 at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2021

Four Infrared

Cereus peruvianus (0833)
Digital infrared photo of Cereus peruvianus
. This is a cactus I brought with me from Boston where it used to live on my windowsill. It's grown quite a bit.

The next three photos were shot on Rollei Infrared 400 film at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
L.A. County Arboretum (26)

L.A. County Arboretum (31)

L.A. County Arboretum (23)

Filed under Cactus,Photography | permalink | August 27, 2021 at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2021

It's Apple Flavored!

I only just found out Ivermectin comes in apple flavor
. I searched, thinking it must also be available in carrot and sugar cube flavors, but alas, no. But look at how powerful it is. One little .21 ounce tube can treat up to a bodyweight of 1,250 pounds! That's probably enough for at least two white evangelicals.

Filed under Health | permalink | August 26, 2021 at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

Hobby Lobby Loses In Its Effort To Degrade An Employee

I can't imagine why Hobby Lobby even let this go to court. A Hobby Lobby employee transitioned from male to female. She got a new Illinois driver license and a new Social Security card, both showing her new name, and the license showing her as female. In the ruling the judge says her Social Security card also showed her as a female, but gender is not shown on a Social Security card. It is, however, kept in Social Security records and that is, I'm sure, what the judge is referring to. She also told Hobby Lobby about her transition and they changed their personnel records to show that she is female. But then Hobby Lobby would not allow her to use the women's restroom because for a variety of invented reasons.

The judge ruled against Hobby Lobby because all legal documents and even her personnel records at Hobby Lobby show she is a female, so they had no basis to deny her access to the women's restroom. This is all so obvious I imagine the only reason Hobby Lobby fought this in court is their attorneys just wanted the billable hours. The lady was award $220,000 and attorney's fees and the case was remanded to the Illinois Human Rights Commission for possible additional damages and attorney fees that may be due.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | August 26, 2021 at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2021

"UFO" Spotted In DHS Was A Blimp

Here's the article with video. The driver is headed south on highway 62. You see a blimp heading west through the Banning Pass with Mt. San Jacinto as backdrop. I've seen the Goodyear blimp fly through there just like that. It's clearly way too big to be a "surveillance drone" as someone suggested.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Nutjobs | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

My Not Comprehensive, Not Very Serious Analysis Of Some Of The Gubernatorial Candiates

I've been reviewing some of the gubernatorial wannabes in the Newsom recall election. I'm not going to try to study all of them. This morning someone suggested Faulconer, and when I first began looking at his info he seemed like someone who might be barely acceptable except he voted for Trump in 2020. I'm going to assume that every Republican candidate on the list voted for Trump in 2020 (thereby ruling themselves out) unless they prominently bring it to my attention that they did NOT vote for Trump in 2020. But as for the others? Sheesh...

  • Richter - Socialist Workers Party. Well, that could be fun. Except he actively "defends" the Castro government in Cuba. For additional info he lists only the website for The Militant, the SWP newspaper. A search for "Richter" on that site turns up little info. He is "for the workers." I haven't met the candidate yet who says he's "opposed to the workers."
  • Ross - Democrat. Provides an interesting bio that might get my vote if he were running for a local office, but not governor.
  • Blade - Democrat. Couldn't be bothered to provide more than this for the Voter Information Guide: "Leadership for a brighter tomorrow." I interpret reluctance to state your positions to the voters to be extremely disrespectful, so why should I listen to them at all? Her website has more info. She would "Eliminate all covid-economic/political mandates." She would fight wildfies by "watering of too-dry areas with trucked-in or flown in-water where necessary." And where is that water going to come from? She would "Allocate new funding for the GREENING of the Garden State!" We all know that New Jersey is the Garden State. Does she? Free solar on every house and every parking lot. A universal basic income of $60,000/year! In her first 90 days in office she will visit every Native reservation, all low-income and depressed economic housing areas, and all areas for immigrant/migrant workers. IOW, she won't be in Sacramento, except visiting the poor neighborhoods, for the first 90 days. "Lower personal state tax to 0 for all earners of less than $1 million per year." She doesn't limit that to personal income tax. "Personal state tax" would cover any tax I pay to the state, which is (AFAIK) just income and sales tax. "Require utilities to take down all 5g towers and pay for it." Double the number of police officers. "End all mandatory vaccinations." There are no mandatory vaccinations. "Pause all vaccinations for 6 months, to review safety." So for six months you won't be able to get a vaccine in California because she wants to put herself in the role of the FDA. She does say "all vaccinations," so we're not just talking about COVID. "Provide health-education and support for all people who would like to speak with a qualified doctor or health practitioner about their personal medical story, concerns, or needs." IOW, if someone wants to see a doctor, the state will give them "health-education" instead of a doctor. "Provide free emergency-health care for all not insured." So we're not going to provide health care to the uninsured, but we'll cover their emergency room visits. Is that any change from current policy? "End all local-forced building." There is no such thing. Lower the prison population, but she doesn't say how. "Provide monetary transitional support for any parent in a situation requiring protection from abuse whether physical or mental or emotional." Is there some special problem of abuse of parents that I haven't heard of? There is no similar suggestion to deal with child abuse or elder abuse. "Working to lessen the number of cars on the road." How? "Pause any permits or approval to research being done to create non-gendered humans made in test-tubes with Ai capacities." Oh my yes, top priority for our future mecha-overlords. "Pause any permits giving rights to corporations to build space-craft for launch/landing (including satalites) until a more detailed review of their intentions can be determined." Yeah, just what is the intention of the JPL? We must get to the bottom of it.
  • Bramante - Republican. "Car Mods. I will the car community and make car mods legal." No, I don't know what that means. He has a lengthy bit on immigration which (as with all the Republicans) fails to recognize that the state has no power over immigration. "There is no sensible reason to not let these hardworking and trustworthy immigrants work in the shadows, when they're so heavily relied upon in construction, farming and food industries." Sounds like it's okay with him if they continue to work illegally, getting paid under the table, but we won't deport them. How is that different from the current situation? He wants more dams. He says homelessness is a mental health issue and that his family was homeless when he was a teenager. He doesn't share with us what his or his mother's mental illness was.
  • Collins - Green. Again with the disrespect. She says only this to the voters of California: "Green Party. Immigrant Small Business Owner." No website. No contact info. Googling her name leads us to her only campaign site: a 44-second YouTube video with mediocre sound quality. If she had slowed her speech so that we could understand her, the video might be a full 60 seconds long. "I feel I have good solutions for the homeless problem which I'm going to share with my fellow candidates." Well, great, that might get you as many as 46 votes. How about sharing them with California? She would end the governor's emergency order, but the governor probably has a number of emergency orders, not all dealing with COVID. So which one?
  • Hanink - Solidarity. He doesn't provide a website for his campaign, but links to the Solidarity party website. They are anti-abortion, want to repeal no-fault divorce, end same-sex marriage (they don't bother to say what will happen to all the existing same-sex marriages and families that have formed as a result). "Teachers should be free to design their own curricula within general parameters set by local authorities" but also "Sex education classes, when offered, should be required to include accurate information on prenatal development, the risks of hormonal contraceptives, and the scientific evidence that abortion takes a human life." "We acknowledge the persistence of discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, and sex, and support laws favoring equal access to the polls, the courts, housing, and education." But not equal access to employment or public accommodations? "We ... support laws which criminalize the production and sale of pornography and deny categorically that pornography is protected speech."
  • Hewitt - Libertarian. I've seen this jerk on the job as Riverside County Supervisor, so no further research needed. On the subject of water he says "Upgrade and repair our conveyance systems across the state so we no longer lose 40% of our water in the central valley canal because of subsidence." I don't think he knows what the word "subsidence" means. "Expand our existing reservoirs by simply raising the heights of the dams. This will afford us immediate extra capacity in times when we so desperately need it." Right, because the problem is that our reservoirs are SO FULL they are overtopping the dams as they exist now. You can build the dams as high as you want, but if it doesn't rain, it doesn't rain. His housing solutions are focused solely on single-family home construction. He wants to streamline the permitting process for SFRs and explore the efficacy of 3D printed homes and converting shipping containers to homes.
  • Hillberg - Republican. Gives us this murky non sequitur: "Those who walk the halls of power had been in need of addressing for a very long time." He doesn't provide a website, but I did find his info on votersedge.org. His top three priorities are: (1) "Constitutional and lawful governance ( Nancy said 'no one is above the law' I'd like to have that be so, no matter how namy crooked politicins I fire or imprison) = true vote accountability," (2) "remove the burden of the citizens from over taxation, governoment induced employment stagnation, and their micromanaging policies which hammper everyonein the state," (3) "Sanctuary state and city policies that violate law will be rmoved and those who pushed for it in government arrested for aiding and abetting illegal aliens." He describes his own education thusly: "got to be a mental one to take this on — I am certificed as a fire fighter aviation inspector and mechanic and I am a NOUI certified scuba diver, fire technology and aviation technology I also built race cars for my father and brothers (1998)." His solution to homelessness: "where did they comefrom? send them back , and see question 1 . and what are their skills and sercomstances?? are they just HOBOs or people with real problems." To summarize, a moron.
  • Angelyne - no party preference. She's a bright spot of honesty. "Angelyne Billboard Queen. Icon. Experienced politician." Homelessness: "Parks will house the homeless while the real solution is activated." IOW, status quo. There will a "The Homeless Project" which will be funded solely by religious organizations! She doesn't say what the project will do, other than putting up billboards and putting out PSAs. Social workers will be hired. The homeless will be homed. How? Once homed, they will be given a job! A department of homelessness prevention will be created. Anyone who is on the verge of becoming homeless should go to this department. That's it. "If a policeman has been reported three times, he or she shall be dismissed." Reported for anything? No hearing? No examination of the evidence? Somebody just drops a dime three times and the cop gets fired? Give it a week and every cop in the state will be unemployed. "There shall be no points for getting as many false convictions as possible." Damn! There go my false conviction points. "CA shall implement an annual masquerade ball for people to dress up like a governor!" "California will have a Bubble Bath Day." "Remove Daylight Savings time. Time shall be set to the lightest time." "Our goal is to have a symbiotic relationship with the insurance companies." IOW, status quo. "Jury duty shall not be required." "Also, jurors should be paid a fair amount." "To save our coast, Otters will begin repopulating." "Annually, there shall be UFO convention. The purpose of this is to divert politicians as a stepping-away strategy for better decision-making."
  • Ventresca - Democrat. Misuses capital letters like a subliterate Republican. He seems to claim that he and he alone built and expanded SFO from 1987 to 2018. He has run for mayor of San Francisco. He lists several admirable, progressive goals and gives not a single hint how any of them are to be accomplished or paid for. Very California! I don't think I've ever read something quite like this: "Family & Education: Son of Italian American science teacher & homemaker; Married Asian American immigrant; Step-grandfather to African Americans, Filipino Americans & Cambodian Americans; Related to signers of the Declaration of Independence & Constitution; Jesuit-educated; University of San Francisco Master in Public Administration."
  • Marciniak - no party preference. More disrespect. He tells the voters of California to "Search YouTube." He's got a 59-second video. He talks more slowly and clearly than Collins, but says less. It's all just vague cliches. He says (repeatedly) "It's time to take a stand," but he takes no stand.
  • McGowan - Democrat. Her platform seems to be nothing more than cannabis. She's been a "cannabis consultant" (no jokes please) for seven years. "I am not a professional politician and so I may not always know what I'm doing." More honest than even Angelyne. When I go to her page on cannabis policy, however, I'm left mostly confused. "Declaration of cannabis as an agricultural product. This should alleviate over regulation at the local level." No, the governor can wave her magic wand say it's an agricultural product (after all, that is what it is), but that doesn't sweep away Prop 64 that was enacted by the voters. "Eliminate the cultivation tax." State only, I assume. "Force any jurisdiction that voted yes on Proposition 64 in 2016 to do one of the following: Pass a local ballot measure opting out, Regulate retail outlets to liquor sales outlets at a ratio of 1:4" What?? Let's say that the majority of voters in Desert Hot Springs voted Yes on Prop 64, which is true, I'm fairly sure. The city would be forced to have an election opting out...of Prop 64? Why the fuck would we want to do that? And how could the state force voters to vote any particular way? (In any case, there would first have to be a state-wide vote to amend Prop 64 to allow local jurisdictions to "opt out.") And then we would be required to have three times as many liquor outlets as cannabis outlets? Why? Is this some sort of pro-alcohol measure she's trying to sneak through? If a city decides to reduce the number of liquor businesses, it would also have to reduce cannabis businesses? Why? "Lower the excise tax based on a report conducted by the Legislative Analyst's Office to ensure no immediate drop in revenue." That sentence started out good. I'm all for lowering the excise tax, but why foist onto the Legislative Analysts's Office the impossible task of finding a tax rate that is both lower and guaranteed to provide the state with the same income? You're the one running for governor. You figure out that magic tax rate. "Prohibit banned assault weapons from being used on legal operators." What? Banned assault weapons are already prohibited by the very nature of being banned. If she's talking about police using assault weapons, well, those aren't banned, are they? I have no guess what she means. "Actively lobby the federal government to allow interstate transport between legalized states." That's the one good idea here, and she's the cannabis expert. She has developed positons on other major issues which all sound like they'd have pretty broad support from average Democrats throughout the state. Nothing crazy or confused. She might be the one who gets my unnecessary (I hope) vote.
  • Mercuri - Republican. "As a father, Jesus is my foundation." I never like that particular way of stating an opinion. It makes me want to ask "As a business owner who or what is your foundation?" Or "As a veteran who or what is your foundation?" What he really means to say, simply, is two sentences: "I'm a father. Jesus is my foundation." He "attended school in early 2003 to obtain his degrees in Film and Television as well as Speech and Communication." Hard to believe based on what is written on his website. "State taxes, federal income tax, and the national debt are synonymous." Could anyone be more wrong? If the governor decided to interpret the national debt as a state tax, we would be able to fund everything we could ever wish for - if only people would accept imaginary money as payment. He considers the 16th amendment (income tax) to be "controversial." "The rich already pay 50% of their earnings [in taxes?], which is way more than the average and low income earners at 13%." I'd like to see any evidence to support that and I'd like him to personally refund to me everything I've paid over 13%. "Challenge the Federal Reserve Act of 1913." He doesn't say if we are supposed to go without a national currency, or if we would go back to the silver certificates issued by the Treasury. He would require all state debt to be paid off in one generation. He does not define for us the length of a generation, but I suspect it is not even as long as a 30-year mortgage. "Educate Californians on what the people can do to hedge a potential economic collapse by encouraging the investment of precious metals, gold, silver, palladium along with new commodities such as digital crypto-currencies, like Bitcoin, Etherium and Monero." I think he probably meant "investment in precious metals." "Advance an R.O.E. (Revocation Of Election) Apparatus as a State against the Federal Reserve's uncouth jurisdiction from unhinged taxation over the California citizens." What does that mean?? Any of it. "Any gun used in a crime, should be charged and held under similar restriction as cyber crimes, 18 U.S.C s 1030(e)(1). They must subject themselves, upon release, to probational computer monitoring, be registered like sex offenders are, and held up to the same type of scrutiny." Weird. In order to do this the law would have recognize guns as people, which might not be impossible, since corporations are people. "Every shipping container will be inspected before the containers can be off loaded with the help of public volunteers comprised of human and child sex trafficking preventative committees and organizations. These groups will be granted full access to mitigate shore doc personnel having ties to underground cartels engaging in trafficking." Right, the Customs agency doesn't have the manpower to open and inspect every container, but we're going to find enough volunteers to do it in California without bring all shipping to a total standstill. "A better balance initiative with the needs every city and county requires to maintain their area of civility should be standardized." This is about as clear as his statement on the Federal Reserve. "Have the State negotiate for the same homeless programs and concepts that are working in one county and apply them to the adjacent county that is still struggling." He specifically mentioned Ventura County (where he thinks their ideas are working) and Los Angeles County (where he thinks they are not). How simply logical that homeless solutions that work in primarily rural Ventura County with a population of about 800,000 should work equally well in huge Los Angeles County with its 10 million residents. We should do that with all issues. I think water conservation in our primarily desert Riverside County works well. Therefore, it should be applied rigidly to every other county in the state. Maybe there's a reason this huge state has 58 counties. Maybe there are local issues and local differences. His section on climate change is all about wildfires where he advises "Increase the distance from electric grid and forestry away from small rural and heavily dense populated areas to not effect housing and businesses prone to wild fires." I can't translate that to anything meaningful. Increase the distance of something from the electric grid and also away from "forestry?" And away from populated areas? What? "No more cloud seeding, chemtrailing California skies or blocking out the sun. Let God's green earth and its whether take its natural course." Yeah, its whether. "Allow the 10th Amendment to work the way it was intended to, push back against the Federal Government in leaving our state, if not all states for that matter, to handle their own educational standards at the local level." But also, "Work with our federal representatives to increase federal funding in low-income and rural areas where the state lacks financial expediency." And "Guarantee that our state is granted enough federal funding to provide competitive middle-class wages for teachers in low-income, disabled, and high need student districts." He wants to drive the federal government out of local education while simultaneously accepting federal money for local education. The federal government almost never gives away free, NSA money. Certainly not in education. This guy is just plain stupid.
  • Kapelovitz - Green. "Can you dig it?" He's a "Bernie supporter." "He was the Features Editor of Hustler Magazine." "At Hustler Magazine, Dan won the Project Censored Award for his reporting on depleted uranium," so there! "We need to abolish the death penalty (except for certain incorrigible corporations who are legally deemed 'persons')." He proposes to have the state take control of the electrical distribution network and then allow cities and counties to choose whether they want to control electrical distribution or leave it in the hands of the state. Local cities and counties would take over power generation. He provides no estimate of what this would cost or how it would be paid for. He provides little information on his website, linking instead to Green Party sites outside of California.
  • Kilpatrick - Democrat. He's on IMDB as "Patrick Kilpatrick." The front page of his campaign website looks like it was vomited up from Myspace. There's nothing on his website about his run for the governorship, so what you see in the Voter Information Guide is what you get. Very short sound bites with no explanation of how to achieve them.
  • Loebs - California National. Universal basic income of $40,000/year. Creation of a California Public Bank for various reasons, including cannabis. He says "This bank will be subject to independent audits every 5 years." Really? Local government is subject to annual audits, but we're going to let the California Public Bank run unaudited for five years? Other than the bank, he doesn't see any need for changes in cannabis law. How unimaginative. He wants the state to regulate radio and TV stations, net neutrality, patents and copyright, all of which are federal jurisdiction. He does have a lot of detail on his website and the details have been thought through which really contrasts with every other candidate. He looks to Singapore for an example of large scale government-funded housing and Tokyo for liberalization of zoning laws. "Urban rainwater collection should be the norm and will be incentivized in all new construction, urban and rural, where possible." Okay, but the payoff may not be great in the Coachella Valley! He's got a bad link to his education platform. Here's the correct link: https://californianational.party/platform-ed-2020/ . "Limiting Pre-K through 12 class sizes to 25 students per teacher, which requires hiring more highly qualified teachers and building more real classrooms, not just trailers." "Accomplishments of our ancestors should be celebrated and historic injustices acknowledged." "Educate all students in English and Spanish, the two primary languages of the Western Hemisphere, with a goal of bilingual fluency." "Mandatory proof of all required childhood vaccinations under California law before admission to all public schools, including public charter schools. Annual flu shots and HPV inoculation for all students will be recommended but not required. Individuals who choose not to vaccinate their children may enroll their children either at private schools or in structured and certified homeschooling programs." "Create a supervised and regulated apprentice program combining academic course work with paid, on-site job training for both blue-collar and white-collar employment, leading to an Associate's Degree and job placement." "Tuition costs for California residents should be reduced from their current level and capped." No free college, except..."Students graduating from a California high school with a 3.3 GPA for CSUs and 3.5 for UCs can enter university directly if they wish and will have tuition waived if they maintain those GPAs for their freshman/sophomore years." "Enforce current laws against the exploitation of sex workers while decriminalizing sex work itself so workers can report abuses without fear of legal penalty." "The CNP supports the long-established policy that it is a woman's right to control her reproductive choices and will work to keep abortions safe and legal in California." "CNP" is the "California National Party." "First Nations' lands must be doubled in size in order to provide some compensation for past crimes. Where possible, this returned land will come from 45% of California currently controlled by the federal government. If any present owners must be displaced, which will be avoided if it is practical, they will be paid fair market value for their land by the California government." "Management of California's rivers must ensure sustainable use for irrigators, wildlife, and other consumers of water. Towards this end, we encourage the removal of obsolete dams, close monitoring of water quality, and an ongoing dialogue with industrial, residential, and agricultural consumers to appropriately balance use and preservation." "We support a system of labeling where GMO products are labeled in order to facilitate informed consumer choices regarding the food we eat." "Construction of a hospital in each county, or in smaller counties a clinic if they choose." He acknowledges that immigration is a federal issue, but offers ideas for what California could do, including "California should develop a residency program for anyone who has lived here for five years continuously and who can affirm that they intend to remain in California indefinitely. This residency would allow such individuals to legally work and live in California indefinitely as well as vote in local and California elections." The National Party's ultimate goal is to make California an independent nation. They describe a gradual process. I don't favor secession, but this guy might get my vote for sounding like the most adult person running.
  • Lucey - no party preference. He has no campaign website, but he answered questions for votersedge.org. His top three priorities: "[1]50% Child Custody Rights to all Competent Parents; [2] Native Californian involvement in all Environmental Issues, [3] Stop Parental Alienation and Childhood Divorce Trauma." Sounds like he's had some problems with divorce and custody. He teaches in Santa Rose and is a graduate of UC Berkeley. Under "Community Activities" he lists "Homeless Advocate, Self - Helped a Vietnam Vet get off the street and support provider for another." That's two. He supports tiny and mobile homes as a way to provide affordable housing. He has no opinion on water issues. Does he know he's running in California?
  • Lozano - Republican. He claims to be "the only candidate with a real solution to homelessness" and he refers the voter to his website to read about it, so I went there. I find nothing special. He says the state will provide "temporary then permanent housing, food, clothing, and soon thereafter jobs – so that these people can once again re-enter society with honor and dignity." "Those homeless that suffer from mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction will be provided medical and psychological support so that they too can return to society." You have to skip a few paragraphs to find his real solution. He proposes that the state will build three major metropolitan cities! One in northern California (that's vague). One northeast of Antelope Valley, that is, the Palmdale/Lancaster area. Northeast of that is Edwards Air Force Base, so you can't build there. But if you go a little further north you've got California City which was proposed as a major metropolitan city in the late 1950s and today sports a population of just under 15,000 living souls. More northeasterly of Antelope Valley is that big stretch of empty desert that is north of highway 58 and east of highway 395. He offers no hints on how he will overcome environmental objections to building a major metropolitan city in virgin desert. A third major metropolitan city would be built "in the Southern tip of California." San Diego pretty well fills the western part of that "Southern tip." Going east you've got mountains with one highway going through them. Can't build a city there. But past the mountains you've got Imperial County. He proposes a major metropolitan city be built on top of the most valuable agricultural land in the U.S. I don't think so. If this jackass knew even the slightest about geography he would have suggested eastern Riverside County for his new city. Out there we've got the ghost town of Desert Center, a state prison and Blythe which is just barely functioning. He's going to run into the same environmental objections there. "The key solution to water management is to put ALL the solutions into effect immediately." Especially the demands to build more dams and the demands to tear down obsolete dams. We must do both!! This guy is yet another (former) L.A. County Sheriff who thinks he's an expert in all things.
  • Papagan - no party preference. "Love U," he says. He's got a campaign video that is nothing but still photos of himself with an audio track of his campaign song. He might be the only candidate with a campaign song. Here's his platform: "Stop The Wildfires, End Homelessness, Decrease The Cost of Living, Tax Billionaires, Inform People About Government." I bet the other candidates are beating themselves up, wondering why they didn't come up something so comprehensive. "Ending homelessness means building more homes, and we have the resources to do it." "Wildfires seem to get worse every year. It's time Sacramento fixes the problem." "People should know how government works, which is why I'm documenting my campaign on social media." That's it. What an airhead.
  • Drake - Democrat. "A recent community college graduate with a degree in Political Science." He's an immigrant from Latvia. On education: "Raise teacher pay; Support public schools; Reorganize and change the current system." I understand "raise teacher pay" but the other two are pretty vague. On homelessness: "Redirect funds from failing programs; Create affordable public housing; Create incentives to further education and skill-building." Redirect from what failing programs to what? Create affordable public housing. Yeah, why didn't anybody else think of that? Create what incentives? He says he's pro-choice and wants to "Increase sexual education in public schools." He probably means sex education. "John is a member of the LGBTQIAP+ community." But he's not going to tell us which letter is his. He proposes using the money going into the high-speed rail project (which he calls simply "the speed rail") go instead to create affordable housing. He does not say how he plans to override the voter-approved proposition that is funding high-speed rail. He wants to direct 10% of state income taxes into a fund that could be used only when another pandemic arises. It was a hundred years from the 1918 influenza pandemic to the COVID pandemic. If it's another hundred years until the next pandemic that fund will be one of the biggest piles of capital in the world. "Transgender athletes, I support. It is my opinion that transgender athletes are treated equally with their gender identity. However, since Transgender athletes, for the most part, are a huge minority within the state of California, I would say that in response to difficult cases, the state should use discretion and tackle issues of transgender sports case-by-case." I can't tell what he means, but I would not agree that "transgender athletes are a huge minority."
  • Watts - Democrat. He supports tuition-free public education. He doesn't say if that ends once a 4-year degree is achieved or if it extends on through Masters and Doctorates. But he would limit that free tuition to only those schools certified by a private organization called The Foundation for Individual Rights which defends "freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience" of students and teachers. That's it. If you think the governor of California should have an opinion on homelessness, wildfires or water supply, look elsewhere.
  • Wildstar - Republican. There are at least two African-Americans running as Republicans. "Until recently I lived in Orange County, where I worked as a digital marketing specialist. My wife Crystal and I moved to Fresno to settle down and raise our family away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles." Every Californian (except Wildstar) already knows this, but for the benefit of non-Californians, Los Angeles is not in Orange County. Also, what is a "digital marketing specialist?" Somebody with an eBay or etsy account? "I'm asking you to give me your vote in 2022." Yes, he really says that. His solution for economic revitalization is to eliminate business licensing fees and occupational licenses. He's probably right that if we no longer require our doctors to be licensed, we'll get a lot more "doctors." His solution to homelessness is tiny houses. He also proposes to "suspend taxes and licensing fees to bring back jobs to California." He, too, proposes a California bank that would, among other things, support the cannabis industry. His bank would also issue its own currency.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

Not The Whole Story

Here's a story in the L.A. Times that begs for more information. Twenty-four students and 16 parents from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon are stranded in Afghanistan. "Cajon Valley School Board member Jo Alegria said the students were in Afghanistan on summer vacation with their families." Who the fuck thought a good vacation destination this year would be Afghanistan? Even if these people are immigrants from Afghanistan (the article never suggests that they are), how could they fail to observe the unstable situation over there? And what is the primary concern of those families now? That their child might lose their seat in a classroom in a Cajon Valley Union school! Isn't there any concern that they might not see their children alive ever again?

WTF is actually going on here?

Students from San Diego County school district stranded in Afghanistan

AUG. 24, 2021 5:18 PM PT

EL CAJON, Calif. — At least 24 students from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon and 16 parents are stranded in Afghanistan after taking a summer trip abroad.
They are among thousands of individuals waiting to leave the country amid political unrest caused by the U.S. military pullout after 20 years of occupation. The U.S. government is accelerating efforts to rescue Americans as the Taliban takes over the country.

Cajon Valley Supt. David Miyashiro told school district board members via text message Tuesday that he and other Cajon Valley staff met virtually with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Bonsall) and his staff about the situation.

Miyashiro said that the families are on special visas for U.S. military service and that the Department of Defense considers them allies. He said that the district was able to provide information on the families and that government officials are working to locate the children and their families. He said he was encouraged by the assistance.

He said the missing students attend different schools in the 28-school district in eastern San Diego County.

Mike Serban, who heads the district’s Family and Children Engagement program, which works with the district’s many refugee families and provides interpreters, was the one who first got word about the students’ plight.

Miyashiro said Serban and others who work with the FACE program as interpreters and liaisons for families in the district heard last week from a family concerned its student would lose a seat in the classroom. Another family reached out with the same fear, then another.

He said that at that point, Serban reached out to Miyashiro and others to let them know there was an issue with many children attending Cajon Valley schools.

Jonathan Wilcox of Issa’s office wrote via email, “Congressman Issa and his staff are working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely. We won’t stop until we have answers and action.”

Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero said the families had tickets to fly out of Afghanistan, “but unfortunately they were not able to get to the airport.”

“The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Otero said. “We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”

Cajon Valley School Board member Jo Alegria said the students were in Afghanistan on summer vacation with their families. She said families of the students who are abroad reached out to the district to ask that it hold their places in their classrooms.

Alegria said the students and families were planning on being home for the school year that began Aug. 17 but were not able to get on their scheduled flights back to the U.S. She said the district was helping get proper documentation for the students to expedite their return home.

There are no reader comments on the article in the L.A. Times, but there are some on the original article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Union-Tribune article includes the sub-headline "An estimated 40 Afghans living in East County have been unable to get to airport in Kabul." So, yes, they are Afghans.

Filed under Politics | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

Joshua Tree N.P. Planning To Accommodate More Vehicles

The proposal includes moving the western ("Joshua Tree") entrance half a mile deeper into the park and widening the road so there are three inbound lanes there. They plan to build four ticket kiosks - there's just one now. Additionally, they want to increase the amount of space for parking cars at Barker Dam. The last time I was there, the Barker Dam parking lot was full, but legal parking was available nearby. To get to it you have to drive a short distance down a dirt road, and that adds about a half mile to your hike. There were only two cars in that legal parking lot after I parked there.

Filed under California | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

Two Deaths On Golden Canyon Trail

Two solo hikers died separately on the Golden Canyon trail in Death Valley National Park in the past week. The Golden Canyon trail is an easy one that I might recommend for beginner hikers. It's short, interesting, and almost impossible to get lost on. The article says it's three miles. I believe that's the round trip distance. The canyon is not wide, so there are opportunities for shade along the way. It's also a very popular trail. There's almost always a lot of vehicles parked at the trailhead when I've driven past. If some fool came to me and said he just had to do a daytime hike in August in Death Valley, I'd probably suggest the Golden Canyon trail as the safer bet, after telling him the safest hike would be no hike.

In this Google satellite view you can see all the cars parked at the trailhead, although the date of this image is more likely to be in season, not August.

Golden Canyon (2858)
A photo I shot in Golden Canyon in 2006

Filed under California | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

The Republican Armpit Of Riverside County Does It Again

From the Press-Enterprise:

Minority Moreno Valley cheerleaders hear racial slurs, monkey noises at Temecula Valley High football game

PUBLISHED: August 24, 2021 at 3:13 p.m. | UPDATED: August 24, 2021 at 7:42 p.m.

Minority cheerleaders from Moreno Valley were called racial slurs by Temecula students and heard monkey noises as they walked by during a Friday, Aug. 20, high school football game, their coach said.

Valley View High School’s team was playing at Temecula Valley High School when the visiting cheerleaders became “victims of racial attacks,” were called “derogatory and racial slurs, and touched unwelcomely” by the home team students, said Kenya Williams, a Valley View counselor and cheerleading coach.

“In all my years coaching, I have NEVER experienced such levels of disrespect and hate from an opposing school/team,” wrote Williams in a Facebook post that night.

In an interview Tuesday, Aug. 24, Williams detailed what happened during the halftime show.

Williams said 18 varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders were invited to the Temecula Valley High sideline by their cheer captains to watch the performance, which is “customary” in football games. But as soon as the girls approached the home team’s side, “they were met by boos, loud enough to hear from our side of the field, and they said it took a while to stop,” Williams said.

Most of the cheerleaders present that night were young women of color, Williams said. Seven are Black.

“One of their flag girls called one of my girls a B**** for stepping or almost stepping on her flag,” Williams’ post said.

As the Valley View team headed to the snack bar after the halftime show, they passed a section of home-team fans.

“A group of students started making monkey noises,” Williams said, “And there were adults in the crowd who either participated, or didn’t make a point to try and stop it.”

As the cheerleaders made their way to the crowded snack bar, they were “being pushed” and “blocked” by Temecula Valley High students, so they linked arms to try and stay together, Williams said. While standing in line, she said Temecula Valley High students made snarky, racially-charged comments towards the team. Several Temecula students tried to grab the cheerleaders’ hands, and one of the Temecula students “even touched a girl’s hair, a complete violation of her space.”

“Then they heard comments saying they were ‘on the wrong side,’ that they’re ‘not supposed to be here,” Williams said. “That was the last straw that they felt unsafe and had to leave.”

Leaders at both schools condemned the behavior. Temecula Valley High Principal Allen Williams, in a statement with the Temecula Valley Unified School District, promised “swift and appropriate action” and a prompt investigation.

The district “embraces diversity and strongly condemns hate speech and offensive, hateful language or racial intolerance of any kind on the sports fields, in school buildings or anywhere on or off school premises,” read the statement emailed Saturday, Aug. 21, to Temecula Valley High students and parents. “We will hold anyone found to have used such language while representing any of our schools accountable for their words and actions … we recognize that we have work to do in our schools and will continue to strive to promote equity, sportsmanship, respect and fair play on and off the field.”

The latest state Department of Education data show Valley View High is more than 13% Black and 9.5% White, while nearly half — 48.6% — of Temecula Valley High is White and less than 3% is Black.

In a Saturday statement, Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora said his district’s students “experienced unfair treatment and unacceptable behavior.”

“We care about all our students and we encourage all families and staff to continue to say something if you see something,” he wrote. “We will continue to work together and maintain focus on embracing and championing our diverse communities and inclusion across all schools and in our society.”

Williams, who was on the visitor team’s sideline when the events unfolded, wrote on Facebook: “I was honestly fearful of being at Temecula Valley High.”

“When (my students) came back to tell us what happened, I couldn’t think of anything but getting them out of there,” Williams wrote. “Tears ran down my face because I was so angry and hurt.”

This is the latest racially-driven incident at Temecula Valley High. In January 2020, a Black student said she was targeted twice with racist graffiti on campus.

Earlier this month, the Temecula City Council voted to keep the name of its commission on race and diversity, which acts as a watchdog for such incidents. That decision came after many city residents spoke at council meetings, calling for the panel’s dismantling and to say they don’t believe racism exists in their city.

It is not known whether any Temecula Valley High students have been disciplined, how many may be involved or whether the Moreno Valley district will take action. Temecula Valley district spokesperson Laura Boss said Tuesday she could not comment beyond the principal’s statement because the investigation is continuing.

Temecula Valley school board President Barbara Brosch said in an email that the district believes “there is no place for racism, or any hate-related speech or actions. Any confirmed incidents should be dealt with harshly.”

Williams said that, under the guidance of Valley View High’s administration, the school will file a formal complaint with the California Interscholastic Federation, which also oversees cheerleading. The school is putting together statements and information for the complaint, she said.

Federation spokesperson Thom Simmons said in an email late Tuesday that his office is aware of the incident and awaits reports from both schools and districts.

Some Temecula residents, students and officials also expressed disappointment with their community. A group of Temecula Valley High students staged a rally Monday, Aug. 23, outside their campus to show support for the victimized cheerleaders.

Resident Becky Sulzmann, who attended Monday’s rally, said such behavior against people of color “is learned at home,” and what happened proves “that there is a race problem in Temecula.”

Social justice group Temecula Unity raised more than $1,600 for Valley View High’s cheer program, and plans to deliver pizza to the team Wednesday, Aug. 25. Several Temecula Valley High student clubs have written letters and cards of support, Unity members said.

Jennee Scharf, a Temecula Unity member and teacher at Temecula’s Great Oak High School, said that Temecula Valley High “badly” needs new leadership. She cited past racist incidents, including the graffiti report.

“This has been ongoing at that school. We need to take this seriously,” Scharf said. “These kids are a reflection of their parents. It’s about how this is handled.”

Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington [Democrat] said Friday’s actions were “by a very small subset of close-minded people.”

“I find it rather troubling and disturbing … This is not the Temecula I served,” Washington said. “I want to believe the vast majority of Temecula residents do not think that way. We don’t believe in those things, and we’re not tolerant of racial hatred.”

Williams said she was “blown away by the support.”

“It tells me that there are people out here who see a problem, and are willing to help make this better,” she said. “These girls were traumatized by what happened … But they are excited, resilient, and will not let this define their season — they will rise above this.”

The Valley View Eagles cheer squad will be rooting for their team at a home game Thursday, Aug. 26.

Filed under California | permalink | August 25, 2021 at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2021

More From The L.A. County Arboretum

All were shot on Rollei Infrared 400 film with a red filter.
L.A. County Arboretum (15)

L.A. County Arboretum (13)

L.A. County Arboretum (17)

L.A. County Arboretum (20)

Filed under Cactus,Photography | permalink | August 24, 2021 at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)