Rulings, 2020

1 March 2020: In a 55-page ruling, a Federal Judge declared that Ken Cuccinelli had been operating “unlawfully” as Director of Immigration.

14 August 2020: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento lifted California’s ban on high-capacity magazines for firearms.

17 September 2020: A Federal judge in Washington State ruled that President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are “involved in a politically motivated attack” on the agency that could disrupt the 2020 election.

25 September 2020: A Montana judge ruled that William Perry Pendley, a climate change denier and Trump appointee, be removed from his position as Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

29 September 2020: A San Diego judge ruled that the last two Directors of Homeland Security were appointed “unlawfully.” Kevin McAleenan, Kirstjen Nielsen’s replacement in April 2019, and Chad Wolf, Acting Director of Homeland Security, were both “promoted out of order.” McAleenan, Nielsen’s replacement, was seventh in line of seniority within the agency.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

P. A. Moed explains the reasoning behind this week’s Challenge:

  • Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance.  They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical.  That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.

In January, self canvassed South San Francisco and Millbrae for Elizabeth Warren. This was the canvassers’ meeting place, in South San Francisco. She chose this picture because of the enthusiasm for Warren, and the two armchairs.

Stumbled on this sculpture on London’s Canary Wharf, last November. Very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!!

Finally, trees of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. It was October.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Economist, 26 September 2020

TENET on a Wide Screen

If any movie was going to lure self back to the cine-plex, it was Tenet. The buzz about it was ridiculous. She went to first screening today.

Tenet is a gorgeous-looking movie. That opening sequence was pretty audacious. Think anarchy at a classical music concert. People stomping on violins etc. GULP. Trills of recognition: similar scenes on the TV news every night. Not as dramatic as stomping on violins, but the same feeling of dread.

Our first sight of John David Washington is after a character says “Wake the Americans” (LOL) John David Washington cracks open his eyes. Is there anyone in the world at this moment who gives more intense side-eye than John David Washington? Don’t think so. All thanks to Denzel, not only for his amazing ouevre, but for his amazing genes. As for who smolders better, Denzel or his son, after Tenet self has to say, definitely JDW. Denzel can do other things better (like Shakespeare), but his son has super-sexy smouldering eyes!

Do not ask self about the plot. Do not even go there. A Christopher Nolan movie has to be experienced, not analyzed. Also, how great do these men look in suits? Self likes the fey affect of Pattinson: great foil to JDW. She wonders how he will do Batman. He has a good jaw, which means he’ll look great in the Bat-mask. But, self digresses.

MILD SPOILERS

Self did object to the tired damsel-in-distress-as-a-way-of-cracking-villain-inside-circle thing (and btw, if you’re going to use that trope, why not commit, why not have the woman fall madly in love with JDW, why the reticence?) Second, Kenneth Branagh doing the older husband/villain: he seriously has to do that role again?

But the action sequences — especially the opening scene, and a pincer move in the end: one set of soldiers moving forward, the other moving backwards — don’t ask self to explain, seeing it on wide-screen was WILD!

There were empty rows ahead and behind her, maybe 10 people tops in the audience. No one talking, much less coughing or sneezing. She felt safe. More social distancing than at her local grocery, for sure.

Just to feel normal for one afternoon: so worth it.

She enjoyed the previews (there were about 10, which might seem a tad excessive, but just to show you how long it’s been, self did not mind one bit. In fact, they could have showed 15 previews, all self would have said was: Thank you). The trailer for Dune was whew! Scorching! It had Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Voice of America, 1953

from Larry Tye’s Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Sen. Joe McCarthy, Chapter 6:

  • Kaplan was an engineer at the Voice of America and the liaison with MIT on the radio transmitter project that Senator McCarthy was slamming as an instance of deliberate sabotage of America’s propaganda war with the Russians. In the heat of those hearings, early in 1953, Kaplan traveled to Cambridge to talk to the Voice’s MIT advisers. Co-workers say it was a fraught mission for the anxious Kaplan, who, despite the fact that he was merely a middleman, had long worried that he might be dragged into the controversy over the siting of the towers. When he got to MIT, the researchers who could clear things up weren’t available to meet with him. Kaplan came unglued. As he was leaving campus, Henry Burke was driving down the street in his ten-ton trailer truck. “I saw him standing on the sidewalk as if he was ready to cross, Burke told the police later. “I slowed the truck. When (I) got near him, he jumped in front of it.”

Kaplan was, Tye writes, “a fragile target,” under pressure in many areas, not the least of which was a sick wife.

Sen. Joe McCarthy blamed Kaplan’s death on “sinister forces.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Border Security

The Economist, 19 September 2020, p. 28:

Presidents worry about border security and deterring illegal immigration. But Miles Taylor, a lifelong Republican and former DHS Chief of Staff, says that Mr. Trump “deliberately told us, on multiple occasions, to implement policies that would maim, tear-gas, and injure innocent, unarmed civilians” trying to cross the border. Mr. Taylor told a podcast hosted by the Bulwark, a right-leaning website, that Mr. Trump wanted the border wall topped with spikes that would “go through their hands and their arms and pierce human flesh.”

Field of Rocks

Yesterday, self dropped by Lyngso in San Carlos. It’s THE place for everything “natural” for your landscaping needs: pebbles, stones, rocks, flagstones — you name it.

She’s been hearing about Lyngso forever, since son was in primary school at St. Raymond’s in Menlo Park. Every single one of his classmates lived in the area, all of them had beautiful homes, and all of them got their stone from Lyngso.

It just so happened that when self dropped by yesterday, there was an abundance of boulders. She was so happy, it reminded her of the time her friend Helene took her to a field of rocks near Yorkshire (very Wuthering Heights).

She asked an employee about the different-colored rocks, and he told her that a customer had put in an order for 18 boulders, and hadn’t picked them up yet. “So this is a pretty special assortment,” he told self.

Wowowowowowow

Just lookit. Self wanted to use these rocks for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 115.2 (Inspiration) but she ended up using a different set of pictures. Still, she went bananas and took 20 pictures of rocks yesterday. Here are a few:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sen. Joe McCarthy 2.0

Replace McCarthy’s name below with Trump, replace ‘the Red Menace’ with Chy-nuh and you have McCarthy 2.0. History repeats itself.

After a bruising battle in the Senate, Joe McCarthy’s primary Democratic opponent, Millard Tydings, was left “exhausted and deflated.” Instead of “muzzling McCarthy, the Tydings Committee had given him a wider stage and a louder bullhorn to name his names.” Somehow, McCarthy “made himself look more like the aggrieved than the aggressor. His murky cause had become an article of canon for Senate Republicans. His audience never was fellow senators, or even the reporters in the gallery, but … chicken farmers and grocers … Ask God-fearing people anywhere who their white knight was in the crusade against the Red Menace and there were no longer ifs and buts, it was the battle-ready Leatherneck, Jousting Joe McCarthy.” (Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy, p. 187)

p. 188: “Joe couldn’t forget a slight … Joe was the one framing the narrative.”

Lens-Artists Challenge # 115: INSPIRATION

There’s a beautiful gallery of inspiring photos on Travels and Trifles.

What gives self inspiration? Flowers. And books.

These blue flowers are so pretty. Every year, they come back, and this year the blooms have been especially profuse. They wind through the branches of the cherry trees and drape the sidewalk. No one seems to mind.

Front yard, September 2020

Self is a writer. As a writer, she finds inspiration in books. These are a few books she recently checked out from her local library:

Finally, a very special place, one that self would spend every moment of every day in, if she could: the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. When she sees the orange couch, she knows she’s home.

London Review Bookshop, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Citizenship and Its Discontents

Anomaly is an international journal of literature and the arts that provides a platform for works of art that challenge conventions of form and format, of voice and genre.

Deadline for the special issue on Citizenship and Its Discontents:

30 September 2020

Guest Editor: Grace Loh Prasad

Email: citizenshipfolio@gmail.com

Twitter: @GraceLP

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