Open Letter to Los Angeles

Hi L.A., How are you?

This is a little awkward. See, the thing is that I do like you. I don’t mind your sprawl. I love your museums. How many cities have their very own tar pit?  You have a cute little Chinatown.

The thing is, I don’t think you are safe anymore. The problem isn’t you. It’s that police force of yours. I think he’s bad for you and I wish you could dump him for somebody better.

It isn’t just the thing with Chris Dorner — even though it’s obvious that LAPD never intended to bring him in alive for a trial. I mean really, they shot up two different pickup trucks, not one of which met the description of Dorner’s truck, and not one of whose occupants was even the same race as Dorner.

Unfortunately, this is just part of a trend for LAPD. I know there’s more to the story, but shooting somebody in the back as they run away from you isn’t exactly the textbook definition of “self defense.” And do you know what happens if you search Youtube for “LAPD Shoots”? Over 300 videos at the moment: shooting carjackers, shooting murder suspects, shooting those pickup trucks, shooting a deaf mute man, shooting a young Muslim man 90 times. Sure, there are films of the shooting range, and about cops being shot, commentary about people being shot, and of course some multiple-camera-angles-of-same-incident. An alarming number of these clips are recent.

I am starting to think that the real gun control needs to involve taking guns away from your officers.

Sorry Los Angeles. I’ll keep in touch, I promise. But don’t expect my tourist dollars any time soon.

In Closing: break the silence; broadband; nosy neighbors confuse maple syrup rig for meth lab; apparently, some cops think a car sticker is “probable cause”; not just at airports; glad Joe Biden cleared that up!; mainstream nutrition; Dave Johnson uses this thing called logic; have no fear, your homeowner’s policy covers meteor crashes; on Elizabeth Warren; please notice the very careful wording about 2/3 down; on consumer education; I guess she’s hoping no future employers Google her; and pot.

5150 Shorties Way

Let’s clean up some tabs here…. It’s supposed to be cold in Vegas tonight. First person to say that disproves global warning gets smacked upside the head.

It’s called “math”:  Someone notices that rent can be more than a mortgage these days. Funny thing, your landlord is entitled to a profit over paying his own mortgage!

Go ahead, opt out. They dare you: The TSA. And be sure you have an ID with your age on it if you look young.

Drink Up: Red wine seemingly increases testosterone, and reduces the amount peed away.

Musique Concrete: How Dr. Who changed music.

That leaves 1-3 hours for eating, pooping, demanding attention, and running around like a fuzzy maniac: Cats spend the rest of the time sleeping and grooming.

Defused: The latest school shooting rampage was not stopped by “a good guy with a gun.” It was stopped by a teacher talking him into laying down the weapon. Hmm.

Free Gift!: You can now play CDs you bought from Amazon from the cloud in many cases. Even if you bought them 15 years ago. Surprise!

Dave Johnson: He tends to be a bit long winded, but he’s correct.

Too Big To Fail must be Too Big To Exist: Robert Reich.

Didn’t anybody else think the headline didn’t make sense?: It turns out there was a lot more to the story of the woman fired for being too attractive.

And now back to their usual silliness: The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks it would be wonderful to have a doctor in every school. Well sure it would, particularly since I’m sure they would want that doctor to be one of their members! I’m not sure where they think these doctors are going to come from, since there is a shortage which will only get worse as Baby Boomers retire. And I’m certainly not sure where they think school districts will come up with the money. After all, average (median?) pay for a pediatrician is $156,000, and that’s one of the low salary specialties. That kind of money could pay for at least 3 teachers. Which do you think will give the district the most bang for the buck in this age of budget cuts?

Last but not least: The best time to buy almost anything.

Music Bonus: Apocalypse Someday

Happy Solstice! Since you are reading this, it would appear that the world did not in fact end today.


Have some bonus links about Christmas.

In Closing: TSA; diet and diabetes; I bet we could create some jobs building and repairing infrastructure (nah, that costs money!); political suicide; don’t confuse us with facts; and how nuts do you have to be to get fired from Al Qaeda?

Silly Snake!

Submitted for your approval:

Though it became a well-known pop culture joke after Samuel L. Jackson’s 2006 fictional movie, snakes can sometimes be found on a plane.

That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday when a cabin crew was checking an airplane that landed in Glasgow, Scotland, according to The Scotsman newspaperin Edinburgh. The flight had come in from Cancun, Mexico when staff found a 18-inch long, juvenile snake under a row of seats in the passenger cabin, the newspaper reported.

A Scottish animal welfare charity was called in to recover the snake, The Scotsman reported.

Ok, not exactly a new story. I delayed commenting due to travel. Anyone want to guess where I was?

My first thought was: “Silly snake! Why would you leave Cancun to go to Scotland?

My second thought was that I could completely understand how the little fellow got on board. His home was mere yards from the tarmac.

Cancun — the “nest of the snakes” — was carved out of the jungle. The airport itself is testament to that, and it is even more obvious if you travel South towards Playa Del Carmen. Outside the Hotel Zone, there are clear and constant efforts to keep the jungle from reclaiming territory. Even within the Hotel Zone, sun and salty air mean an ongoing battle against modern human-built structures. A bright coat of paint appears to be shorthand for “recently maintained.” You’ll see at least one person with a paint brush on a regular basis at any resort.

In Closing: about time!; I’ll skip the Winter Garden Loaf, thanks; what’s wrong with Lime Squeeze?; hmm; escaping poverty; security theatre; Nevada Supreme Court quietly wades into serious issues with national implications; and truth in numbers.

Music Monday: Musicology and Modern Popular Music

Free term theme idea: Recurring Thematic Material in the Collected Works of Flo Rida.

If one were to listen to his entire discography, how many songs would seem to reference oral sex?

Regrettably, there doesn’t seem to be an official music video I could embed.

In Closing: a bounty I hope gets paid; waaah, the media isn’t telling why it might be a good idea to shoot 14 year old girls in the head for wanting an education (damn liberal media!); maps; quiet victory; this could be a bumpy election; confession; she’d be a Saint even without the Pope’s say-so; who needs effective antibiotics anyway?; science literacy; duh; and just say no.

Music Monday: Old School Redheads

And now for something completely different, a Baroque Concerto for Two Violins by the Red Monk, Antonio Vivaldi. My favorite is the second movement. Sorry about the static video.

In Closing: Clearly this was compiled before the weekend political talkies; Siberian Princess; some miscellaneous food items; as someone with experience, I don’t think much of their mapping algorithm; who could have known that making sure people can afford a mortgage could prevent default??; 5 reasons the Romney/Ryan plan is bad for America; rhetorical ammo; roads; the unemployment rate sucks; Arnold has ad-libs bigger than that car; why we need Social Security; and they should have made him check the damned thing.

Music Monday

If you don’t know of these talented and funny ladies, allow me to introduce you.

In Closing: Good enough for Israel but not good enough for you; How many times must I point out that the 9/11 terrorists were frequent fliers??; socialism; tell me something new; yeah; beware of a new scam; and government regulations put fishermen out of business!!! Oh wait, no, it turns out that government regulations made fishermen both safer and more profitable.

Abraham Lincoln, Shorties Hunter

2%: Ok, you don’t normally find good articles about taxes at a science website, but here’s the truth about the Obama Tax Plan. Would you prefer an economist’s take on the bad news coverage that makes it seem like a better idea to get your news from a biologist?

Speaking of Economics: Economics textbooks may be dangerous to real life economies.

Sad but true: Not paying the mortgage is not the only way to lose your home to foreclosure. You can also lose it because of unpaid taxes, unpaid  sewer bills,  and in some states unpaid HOA fees/fines.

A pair of potentially related education items: Many students report school being too easy. Here’s a free book on how schools fail our children.

What?: Who are these morons putting the baby monitor close enough to the baby that baby can strangle him/self with the cord??

Rmoney: I’m not big on nicknames, but this one fits.

TSA: Sign the petition to make them follow the law.

And that’s the word from Vegas, where the projected high temperature is 114 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 10 degrees hotter than the maximum thermostat setting of a modern hot tub.

Over the Milky Way Tonight

Once upon a time, there was a divine, weaving princess. She spent much time weaving, and was sad that it left her no time for love. So her father arranged for her to meet the cow-herder of the stars. They immediately fell in love and spent all their time together. However, this meant the divine clothes for the stars went unwoven, and the cows roamed all over the heavens as each of the lovers neglected their jobs. Her father had no choice but to separate them with the Milky Way. They are only allowed to meet one day a year — the seventh day of the seventh month — and then only if she’s done with her work.

Happy Tanabata.

In closing: can we just admit that the TSA’s job is to make us do what we’re told?; let’s ignore the fact that most of us choose a hospital based on what our insurance will cover or what’s closest to the accident; recycling; Bond, James Bond; ha; careful when you write a resume; fat; “could” is the important word; just what I don’t need; maybe if people would read; good luck explaining that to your insurance agent; and Cowboys and Indians.

What’s In Your Wallet?

My wallet needs a little cleaning out. It’s got a little cash, a couple credit cards, some loyalty cards for various businesses, an ATM card, a couple business cards, some old receipts, and a drivers license.*

You know what it doesn’t contain?

Proof that I am a United States Citizen, legally entitled to work in and be in this country.

And let’s get technical now, even if I were to stuff my short form birth certificate in there, it might not be good enough.**

Sure, I’m not worried if I go to Arizona. First of all if I’m in Arizona that means I’m at SkyHarbor with my passport waiting on a flight. Second, I’m a middle aged, middle class white woman. Supreme Court rulings aside, the odds of some random cop deciding I might not be a citizen are rather small! People of color and poor people are much more likely to find themselves trying to prove they are citizens.

I heard an interview with an ACLU representative this week and they are already on the lookout for profiling. Be sure to give them a call if you are a person of color targeted by Arizona cops.

Heh, not that cops in Maricopa County give a damn about the ACLU or court rulings.

In closing: not a bad idea; eminent domain and censorship; elitism; and apparently in Mexico it’s ok to arrest somebody for something his dad did.

* A drivers license shows that I can drive a car (legally and safely, one would hope). Technically it is also proof of identity. It is not proof of citizenship.

**And that’s why birther ramblings are dangerous to all of us. If the President can’t prove he’s an American, neither can you.