I voted today at Beverly Hills City Hall, or more precisely in an underground parking lot adjacent to same. Very easy, no lines, in and out. I tapped out my choices on a tablet-sized computer screen inside a small yellow booth. For the various propositions I used the progressivevotersguide California recommendations.
I found the Presidential and Vice Presidential page odd. The Republican ticket (Trump-Pence) at the very top, followed by Peace and Freedom’s Gloria Riva and Sunil Freeman, American Independent’s “Rocky” de la Fuente Guerra and Kanye Omari West and the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins and Angela Nicole Walker.
The Democratic guys (Biden-Harris) weren’t even on the main page. Well, they were but the voter had to hit the half-circle “more” button or (I guess) the “skip” option. No biggie but why? Why weren’t Biden-Harris at the top next to Trump-Pence?
Seriously, man…”Rocky” and fucking Kanye? What is this, comic relief?
“The American people, who have preferred the Democratic nominee in six of the last seven presidential elections, are now subordinate to a solid 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
“Of all the threats posed by the Roberts Court, its open scorn for voting rights may be the biggest. In 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the lead opinion in the most destructive anti-voter case in decades, Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the central provision of the Voting Rights Act and opened the door to rampant voter suppression, most of it targeted at Democratic voters. Yet this month, Chief Justice Roberts sided with the court’s remaining three liberals to allow a fuller count of absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. The four other conservatives voted against that count.
“In other words, with Justice Barrett’s confirmation the court now has five justices who are more conservative on voting rights than the man who nearly obliterated the Voting Rights Act less than a decade ago.” — from “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court,” a N.Y. Times editorial posted on 10.26.
A couple of hours ago I was about to enter WeHo Pavilions. I stopped to snag my usual small-sized black basket. A Pavilions guy in a face mask was spraying and sanitizing. He smiled and said in a slightly muffled voice, “A basket for a Chrysler.”
Without understanding the meaning of this oddly ridiculous sentence, I gamely repeated it: “A basket for a Chrysler!” He shook his head slightly and said again, “Uhm…a basket for a Chrysler?” I looked at him quizzically and said, “A Chrysler?” I knew he was saying something else. Who drives a Chrysler these days? When was the last time Chryslers were any kind of household name, back in the ’60s and ’70s?
Finally the Pavilions guy gave up, took his mask off and said, “A basket for a customer.” Oh…okay! I smiled, thanked him, took the basket and pushed it into the shopping area.
Almost every day I get scolded and shat upon. An opinion or confession that would barely raise an eyebrow in private conversation a week or a decade ago will often as not get you lynched today. Such is the fate of semi-honest fellows in this wonderful wokester age we’re living through.
A couple of days ago I mentioned that I was grateful for my health (i.e., my body’s ability to rebuff infections), which I’d been told all my life by my mom was due to “strong German genes.” I should have said strong family genes but mom always said they principally came from her German-descended dad and German-immigrant granddad. This, of course, led to some branding me as an Aryan supremacist. So I posted the following to address this:
There’s no ignoring the horrid legacy and cultural associations between early to mid 20th Century Germany and horrific Nazi genocide. The stain was embedded 70-odd years ago, and will never be forgotten. Nor should it be.
My mother was filled with such revulsion by what happened between 1920 and ‘45 that she never once visited Germany her entire life.
That said, Germany is a rich and stirring culture (the beers, the cuisine, the desserts, the singing in the pubs, the historic operas, the architecture, the medieval remnants in Rothenburg) and the people I’ve met and dealt with there are as recognizably human as anyone or anywhere else.
The horror of Naziism and the Holocaust is a lasting national disgrace, and yet in a certain progressive sense it’s been scrubbed clean and built upon. It’s also been acknowledged all over in Germany — officially atoned for from the top down. There are memorials, moral messages and reminders all over Berlin, for example. There’s a huge Holocaust memorial right smack dab in the center.
In 2012 the boys and I visited Dachau, which is northwest of Munich and only a 20-minute train ride away. Talk about a lingering after-vibe.
Does anyone expect that any kind of similar atonements will happen here in the wake of the Trump administration? That some kind of institutional recognition of our ghastly racist history will be built? Don’t hold your breath.
All to say there’s nothing inherently evil or odious about being partly descended from Germans. Just as no one is saying there’s something inherently evil or odious about J.D. Vance having grown up in a small MAGA community in southern Ohio.
[Previously posted on 2.9.18] So let’s imagine Rod Lurie conferring with the ailing John Frankenheimer sometime in early or mid ’02, except Lurie isn’t Lurie — he’s me. Speaking with my attitude, my philosophy, my sense of things.
Let’s also include the fact that Hollywood Elsewhere harbors no ill feelings about the legendary Val Kilmer. I helped report that “Psycho Kilmer” Entertainment Weekly article that ran in mid ’96, but I had a nice chat with him at a party he threw at his home back in ’04 or thereabouts. I ran into a friendly Kilmer again in the fall of ’11 while having lunch with Descendants costar Judy Greer.
Frankenheimer: I want you to promise me one thing, Rod. I may not be around much longer, but I want to know that you’ll never, ever work with that prick. Please.
Frankenheimer: Will you promise me this?
Lurie: No Kilmer?
Frankenheimer: I want your word.
Lurie: For what…the rest of my life?
Frankenheimer: We’re friends and I want you to promise me this.
Lurie: Look, John, I love you like a father and I’m sorry for what you went through, but you can’t…
Lurie: You know as well as anyone that we all…
..if Trump holds to his more or less announced, scorched-earth, damn-the-Constitution plan to brush aside or override the election results if he thinks fraudulent balloting is part of the reason for his loss.
“There are about 6,8,10 Republicans in the senate who are talking with each other about how to restrain what they regard as an out-of-control, almost madman…who is determined to do anything to hold on to office regardless of its legality.” @carlbernstein reports pic.twitter.com/WTel7eqTI9
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) October 25, 2020
From a Yascha Mounk Atlantic article with a subtitle that reads “if you hate wokeness, you should vote for Joe Biden.”
“A number of influential commentators who firmly opposed Donald Trump in 2016 recently announced their intention to vote for him in 2020. Nearly all of them, including James Lindsay, Danielle Pletka and Ben Shapiro, blamed illiberalism on the left. As Shapiro said on his popular show, he is planning to vote for Trump because ‘Democrats have lost their fucking minds.’
“Concerns about illiberal tendencies on the left are not made up out of thin air. Many Democratic politicians have not been as full-throated in their opposition to left-wing political violence as they should be. Parts of the left now seek far-reaching censorship in social media, advocate for employees to be fired for expressing conservative opinions, and are openly hostile to free speech. The likely future mayor of Portland, Oregon, has appeared to glorify mass murderers such as Che Guevara and Mao Zedong on the campaign trail.
“But the fact is that Trump presents a much greater danger to key constitutional values, and does more than anyone else to lend apparent credibility to extreme forms of protest as well as an unremittingly negative appraisal of America. Voting for Trump to stem the rising tide of illiberalism is about as pure an example of cutting off your nose to spite your face as political life can afford.”
I am a typical “owl”. I find it incredibly difficult to fall asleep before midnight and even harder to wake up.
I usually wake up slowly, between eight and nine. I just lie there for five or six minutes. Then I stumble out to the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker. 99% of me is still asleep. Back to bed again. Three minutes later, a plaintive signal from the kitchen tells me the coffee is ready.
I take three or four sips right in the kitchen, and consciousness begins to activate. Back to bed, another sip or two. Open mail, news, messages. More coffee while trying to recall what day of the week it is, what my obligations are, and so on.
Half a cup of coffee means that 25% of me is awake. Finishing the cup brings me to 50%.
While I’m in the shower, strong black tea is brewed. A huge mug. Milk, honey. Drink, get dressed, down to the garage.
Do you think I am finally cheerful and vigorous? Oh, no! 20% to 30% of me is still asleep. I open the roof of my Beetle (for oxygen), pull into traffic. Only fifteen minutes later am I completely attuned and alive. Sometimes I refuel on coffee on the way.
This is my morning routine, each and every day. But today something went totally wrong.
I recently bought a multi-vitamin, which I always do the spring and fall. I also bought some organic sleeping pills. Both are in the shape of yummy bears. The sleeping pellets didn’t work properly after the first try. Their exposure time was supposed to start after 45 minutes, but for me that moment never came. So I put them aside in the kitchen, possibly to try again down the road. The multi-vitamins were placed on my bedside table.