Friday, February 28, 2020

Are men too emotional to be president?

Amy Klobuchar
Are men too emotional to be president?

Andi Zeisler, co -founder of Bitch Media, asks this question in the Washington Post on the day after the Democratic primary debate in South Carolina.  

Accompanying the op-ed piece is a photo of Amy Klobuchar holding her hands up between Joe Biden and Tom Steyer, who are passionately yelling at each other.

She later said she also held the podium at times, thinking Steyer in his emotional state might knock her off the small wooden platform she was standing on to increase her height.

The male ego is a wonderful phenomenon, and in the case of dt, his tender ego has gotten his presidency in all kinds of trouble, including a near-war with Iran.

Could we please give up our stereotypes of what women are like and what men are like?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

250 days left of the 45th presidency

Make orange a happy color again
There are only 250 days left until we have a new president.

  • 2 days in Feb, not counting today, which is half over,
  • 31 days in March, 
  • 30 days in April, 
  • 31 days in May, 
  • 30 days in June, 
  • 31 days in July, 
  • 31 days in August, 
  • 30 days in September, 
  • 31 days in October, and 
  • 3 days in November.  

I think I can survive until then.

When I consider the possibility that he might be re-elected, my thoughts swing to "NO!  I will commit suicide if Trump is elected again."

Of course, he’s not worth it—but living through his presidency is so wearing on the soul and spirit.  The deaths he has caused.  The lies.  The ever-present orange swash of ego spread across the airwaves and headlines.

Let's count down together.  Somebody make a reverse calendar to pull pages off each day.  250, 249, 248....

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 -- presidential election


Let's all pull together... enough of the Democrats infighting.

Welcome everyone from John Bolton to Hillary Rodman Clinton into the struggle to cleanse our nation.

Someone will be the nominee: Biden? Sanders? Klobuchar? Warren?

And he or she will select a good running mate.  Don't give up.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Mother's Nightmare

Afrin is in the knob on the upper left border with Turkey.

Absolutely the saddest story ever: the healthy baby girl who died overnight in freezing weather after her family fled bombing in Idlib.

Her name was Iman Ahmed Laila.  Her family was living in Afrin, Syria, on the border with Turkey after fleeing Idlib.

Laila succumbed to the extreme conditions at the temporary refugee camp on Thursday.
In a statement, the Syrian American Medical Society said the child had died before reaching the Al-Shifa health center.
There are 6.2 million people, including 2.5 million children, displaced within Syria, the biggest internally displaced population in the world, according to the UN.
Her mother is inconsolable.  Her father carried her to the medical clinic in vain.

The photo above was taken in the summer--imagine living in a tent in below-freezing weather with young children.

By Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell on the Turkish border -, Public Domain,
We wouldn't treat a dog like this, but our president pulled out of Syria and left Russia and Turkey and Bassar al-Assad to their own devices.  

We elected dt.

Well, nearly 3 million more people voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who would not have let this happen, but the Electoral College voted for dt.

And this innocent one lost her life.

A report in Daily Sabah, a Turkish pro-government daily, on March 24:

Monday, February 24, 2020

Pausing for tears: Kobe's memorial

Alicia Keys playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata"

"A piece of me died... a piece of you died," said Michael Jordan.

All of Los Angeles and much of the world were watching the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna this morning.   The whole service is now available on YouTube from ESPN and others. 

Michael cried, Shaquille O'Neal cried. I cried at home watching.

The words "girl dad" are now a proud label, especially in homes like ours with three daughters, no sons.

"Wake up, grind, get better" was Kobe's manta, said one speaker.

Kobe's "fierce determination" was held up.

No mention was made of the wrongful death lawsuit Vanessa Bryant filed today.

Beyonce began the service, and both Jennifer Lopez and Ciara wore amazing Kobe-themed nail designs. 
Sabrina Ionescu speaking at Kobe's service

Sabrina Ionescu spoke movingly of Kobe as her mentor and inspiration in playing for the Oregon Ducks.

"I wanted to be a part of the generation that changed basketball for Gigi and her teammates. Where being born female didn’t mean being born behind, where greatness wasn’t divided by gender.
“ ‘You have too much to give to stay silent.’ That’s what he said. That’s what he believed. That’s what he lived. Through Gigi, through me, through his investment in women’s basketball. That was his next great act, a girl dad."
Sabrina Ionescu speaking
Sabrina is the NCAA all-time leader in career triple-doubles and the Pac-12 Conference all-time leader in assists.  She spoke about playing a game in Colorado a week after the helicopter crash. 
“ I do before every game, I prayed. This time, I was thinking about Kobe and Gigi. His voice is still in my head, even if his body is not on this earth. And all I wanted was a sign that in some way he still heard me too.
“I looked off into the sky and there it was: a beautiful golden sunset, the boldest yellow, Lakers yellow, and further in the distance, a helicopter. There was my sign that he will forever be with me. I heard his voice in my head, the last line from one of his books, ‘Walk until the darkness is a memory, and you become the sun on the next traveler’s horizon.’
WNBA star Diana Taurasi, whom Kobe called "the white Mamba," gave a moving speech about Kobe as a mentor for women in basketball and about Gianna Bryant, giving the filled Staples Center audience a brief moment to laugh.

“Her skill was undeniable at an early age. I mean, who has a turn-away fadeaway jumper at 11?” Taurasi asked. “LeBron barely got it today.”

Despite all the loving memories, there are other lessons Kobe taught us. 

  • Don't get in helicopters if you don't have to.  
  • Don't fly in fog.
  • Don't trust someone else--a pilot, a helicopter company--to make all the decisions about your safety. Look out for yourself.
  • Danger can come where you least expect it.
  • When in doubt, take the slow route.  Be late.  Or don't go.
  • Saving an hour or two of time can mean the loss of years.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

I voted today...

Beautiful new voting booths
I voted today, and I feel free of the heavy weight of the 2020 election.

LA County has brand-new easy, touch-screen voting booths, so it was fun.

They print up a paper record at the end, and the voter gets to look at it and approve it.  Then it slides into a box for storage.  

So much better than the punch machines with their hanging chads, and better than fitting a numbered ticket over two prongs and then stamping a black circle on the ticket to match the candidate's name in a booklet.

Voting has been open all day since Feb. 21 with virtually no lines, close to my home.

I don't like mail-in ballots because they don't get counted on election day.  I want my vote to count from the beginning.

I was surprised by the sense of relief I felt to have my primary vote cast.  I voted for Amy Klobuchar for president.  

All at once the election was over--I could stop watching the anxiety-making coverage.  

Voting was at Olympic High School on Lincoln at Ocean Park Blvd.

 I parked ten feet from this sign, walked in, voted, and was done--less than 10 minutes from getting out of my car to climbing back in.

 Here's the cool touch screen.

I even put on the microphones and listened as the candidates' names were read off to me for each office.

I always enjoy seeing all the other languages that a citizen can use for voting in Los Angeles--everything from Armenian to Korean.

Long live freedom to be different--long live immigration.  

And afterward I got a red, white, and blue sticker saying "I voted!" in thirteeen languages.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Menacing fog near the Kobe crash site

Near the crash site on Las Virgenes Road

 Today I drove up Malibu Canyon on my way to an event in Simi Valley.  

At 5 pm, I noticed that under the clouds a layer of menacing fog was moving in from the ocean over the Santa Monica Mountains, toward the site where Kobe Bryant's helicopter crashed four weeks ago.  

It was scary and eerie.  I pulled over to take a photo.

Malibu Canyon
As I drove up Las Virgenes Road, I passed the site of the crash, still restricted from traffic by yellow police tape.  

I pulled over again, pausing in memory of those who died.  

Kobe's and Gianna's blood and ashes are scattered on that hillside, along with those of the pilot and six other passengers.

The crash was so easily avoidable, so unnecessary.

Don't commute by helicopter.

Don't trust someone else with your safety, even a pilot.  Look out for yourself.  

Is there a war breaking out?  (Like the conditions in Tehran when the Boeing 737 was shot down by missiles.)

Does the fog look dangerous?  Make your own decision.  

Note on Feb. 24: Vanessa Bryant files wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express.

Malibu Canyon Road

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Marine One flying overhead...

Marine One

The 45th president of the US is visiting California today and Wednesday.

The problem: where to sleep tonight, Tuesday, February 18?

Surely not at the beach hotels in Santa Monica or the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.  He can only sleep at his own hotels, pouring money into his pocket at the expense of the US government.

But he owns only one hotel in California, advertised as in Los Angeles but actually tucked way off in the boonies--the ocean side of the Long Beach area mountain known as Palos Verdes.  Not accessible by motorcade.  Only by helicopter.

California doesn't want Trump hotels.  California doesn't like Trump.

As a result, he had to fly to Las Vegas to spend the night--more his style than anywhere in CA. Being in Vegas gave him the opportunity to stick his face into the limelight of the primary caucus in Nevada coming up on February 22.

He landed at LAX Tuesday afternoon, made a trip to San Diego, took Marine One to Santa Monica, and took a motorcade to Beverly Hills for a fundraiser (his only reason to bother with California).  Traffic was screwed up all over from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills.

Roz kept track of Air Force One via her traffic controllers app; all other plans were vectored away to open the air space.  There was only one unidentified plane in the area--probably Air Force One.  It had no call sign.  Later in the evening she watched virtually as unidentified AF One flew east toward Las Vegas.

Off he flew to Trump Hotel Las Vegas--and then on Wednesday morning made a visit to Bakersfield, where he has never been before.  He went to please Congressman Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader and gave a small speech--no, I mean a Very Big Speech!

And poof, he's gone--flying eastward, back to the swamp.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Planes grounded by coronavirus

By CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM -
This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
Public Health Image Library (PHIL),
 with identification number #23312.

The outbreak of the new corona virus, COVID-19, has its impact on the sky above Santa Monica.

"That Boeing 787-900 from China stopped flying over last Wednesday," reports Roz. 

It crossed over our house every evening about 5:30 pm, loaded with up to 300 passengers.

But on Feb. 5 most airlines blocked travel to and from China.

Hospitals and the military are preparing for a possible global pandemic.

Are we past the point of containment?   See this Washington Post article. 

Los Angeles is a major crossroads of the world.  Will I be quarantined in my home?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Tuesday Night Massacre: Prosecutors Resign

Prosecutors Quit Roger Stone Case After Justice Dept. Intervenes on Sentencing

"These resignations are the canary in the coal mine," said Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the DEA under President Obama, speaking on MSNBC.

Here are the courageous four of the headline above, described by the New York Times

  • Jonathan Kravis, Asst. US Attorney, who resigned completely from the Justice Dept.; 
  • Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, Asst. US Attorney for the District of Columbia; 
  • Adam C. Jed, Special Asst. US Attorney, who worked on the Mueller investigation; and 
  • Michael J. Marando, Asst. US Attorney for the District of Columbia.

"On Tuesday, the four main federal prosecutors working on the obstruction and perjury case of Roger J. Stone Jr. shared another distinction: They quit the case. The abrupt withdrawals came after the Justice Department overruled their recommendation for a stiffer sentence for Mr. Stone, a longtime friend and informal adviser of President Trump. One of the prosecutors resigned outright."

"Get ready to die," Roger Stone told a witness, NY radio host Randy Credico..  For that and other interference, Stone was convicted of witness tampering.  He himself was also convicted of lying several times to protect dt and was recommended to have a sentence of 7-9 years--until dt demanded that it be reduced.

Stone also posted an image of the face of the judge in his case with the cross hairs of a gun over it.  Then she banned him from social media.

"The prosecutors--one of whom resigned from the department--were said to be furious over the

"The Stone case was one of the most high-profile criminal prosecutions arising from the nearly two-year investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III."
reversal of their sentencing request, filed in federal court late Monday," wrote Katie Benner, Sharon LaFraniere, and Adam Goldman in their NYT report today headlined "Justice Dept. Acts To Ease Sentence For a Trump Ally." 

Furthermore, the four only learned of their sentencing recommendation being reduced after Fox news had reported it.

The president complained that Colonel Vindman had misled Congresss about his July 25 phone call, but actually "his version of the call closely tracked the written record released by the White House," the article noted.  Vindman's actual offense, in dt's mind, was that "he did testify that he thought it was inappropriate to ask a foreign country to tarnish the president's domestic political opponents."

Two more female political appointees whose recommendations for promotion in the next day or two were withdrawn on Tuesday:

  • Elaine McCusker, the Defense Dept. official who questioned the aid freeze.
  • Jessie K. Liu, a US attorney who prosecuted Roger Stone.

Being female and opposing dt is a recipe for disaster.

Another woman under attack is Victoria Coates, a deputy national security adviser who was rumored to be the "Anonymous" who wrote   She is not the author, according to the publisher, but there is "feverish speculation about whether she would be pushed out."

Lesson learned by dt?  "The Republican party will not hold him accountable, no matter how egregious his behavior," says Chuck Rosenberg.  It's "a breakdown of the system like nothing I've ever seen in my career." 

Trump continues to lie outrageously: "These people [Mike Flynn and Roger Stone] were hurt viciously by these corrupt people."  Actually, Flynn and Stone are the corrupt ones, convicted by courts for their corruption.

Ari Melber on The Beat with MSNBC today details the worst threat to democracy since Nixon's Saturday night massacre, calling it "the Tuesday night massacre" as many have.

"A Republic if you can keep it," said Ben Franklin, quoted often by Democrats during the Senate impeachment trial.  

"And we can't keep it," said a lawyer today on Ari Melber's The Beat.

This president has "infected the Justice Department with a virus, another guest said.  

He defies Congress and controls the Justice Department through his hand-picked Attorney General William Barr.

So much for the balance of powers.  The legislative branch and the judicial branch have been taken over by the executive branch of our supposedly "three equal branches" government.

We're becoming the Soviet Union--a totalitarian state.

"We're headed toward a descent into authoritarianism," warns Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Amy Klobuchar: "We can't take another 4 years."

May Senator Amy Klobuchar
or any other democrat become the 46th president

As I entered the parking lot for my Pilates class, a wave of nausea swept over me.  I'd been listening to National Public Radio, and someone was announcing:

Trump tweeted last night that the sentencing guidelines of 7-9 years for Roger Stone are "very unfair," so the Justice Department rushed to replace the guidelines and recommend a "far less" long prison term.

Suddenly my stomach was reacting, clenching toward expulsion.

Injustice.  Letting off a man convicted of foreign interference in an election and witness tampering, a man who also committed perjury for the president. 

Having a "Justice" Department headed by Attorney General William Barr, who takes orders from dt.  I hate needing to put justice in quotation marks.

It's just too much to bear.

"Trump pretended to be different.  He was lying," writes Paul Krugman in today's New York Times, then listing the major broken promises:

  • Promise: raise taxes on the rich.  He did the opposite.
  • Promise: not cut SS, Medicare, and Medicard.  He's now proposing cuts in them.
  • Promise: rebuild infrastructure.  Nothing done in over three years.

"The question now is whether Trump will pay any price for betraying all his promises," notes Krugman.

He may get off the hook to inflict another four years of his insanity on the United States of America--unless we ALL vote.  

He spent today being the creep on the sidelines of the New Hampshire Democratic primary election, insulting Democrats.

Tonight he's tweeting "some really scary, dark stuff" says Nicole Wallace.

Senator Amy Klobuchar captured my sense of frustration and desperation tonight in her speech in New Hampshire--(see her 17-minute speech on YouTube).

  • "Our country cannot take another four years of Donald Trump.  
  • The rule of law can't withstand another four years of a president who thinks that he is above it. 
  • Our collective sense of decency can't handle another four years of a president who doesn't care about it.  
  • Our democracy can't tolerate another four years of a president who wants to bulldoze right through it." (minute 11 to 12 of her speech).
"I will bring this country together instead of tearing it apart," she continued (minute 14). 

"...That's what's lacking right now in the White House--that empathy.... What is lacking is that sacred trust between the people of this nation and the president of the United States, and my friends, I will restore that trust."

May Senator Klobuchar become the 46th president of the USA--she or any one of the Democratic candidates.  We can't take another four years of Donald Trump.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


God's righteousness is like the mighty mountains

How is it possible that this man who has 

  • asked Ukrainians to investigate the former president of the US,
  • lied about it and tried to cover it up,
  • refused to allow witnesses at his trial, and 
  • refused to supply emails and other documents--

how is it possible that US senators do not convict him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress?

And that's not even counting all the criminal acts documented in the Mueller Report.

I will never understand--except that "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," as John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902) wrote.

The senators have power, and they want to retain it.  They fear dt and his supporters.

Here's how the New York Times reports on this catastrophe:

A Republican I Can Respect: Mitt Romney

Senator Mitt Romney announcing his vot
 to remove Trump from office
I have tremendous respect for ⁦Senator Mitt Romney.

Thank you, Senator Romney, for respecting your oath before God, honoring your country, caring about the #Senate and the #RuleOfLaw and the separation of powers. ⁦

Your courage, honesty, and truth-telling will long be remembered.

In fact, I'm serious about the button I wear: Anyone but Trump 2020. Mitt, I'd vote for you. You have so many qualities that this pitiful man lacks.

I'm so disappointed in Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and many others--the whole GOP senate except for Senator Romney.

You weak senators swore an oath before God, but you voted to protect your brief political careers.

May God judge you as harshly as history will.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hear No Evil

You can't make me hear his lies.

I refuse to listen to this impeached president give his State of the Union speech--though I'm a guest in my brother's timeshare in Whistler, British Columbia, and he and his wife have the television on.  They are willing to put up with it for the spectacle.

I'm listening to TED talks with an ear warmer band over my earbuds.

Nonsense.  Pointless.  

He should have been removed from office.

We've endured over three years of the worst excuse for a president ever.

How are we going to get through ten more months of outrages, antics, lies, and attempts to start wars?