Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Architecture Wednesday: Loma House

Okay, so it doesn’t look like much from the outside. I mean, what’s with the electric pole and all the wires right there by the gate? But you gotta go inside this one, and then you’ll see it’s really something.

The building is an old traditional house sitting on a high, steep hill, but the idea was to reuse the old home and then restructure the inside to make it more modern for a family today.
The project used traditional construction in adobe by applying traditional techniques, and using existing materials found on the property, such as rock, dirt, eucalyptus wood, hay and reed. At the same time, for the re-functionality of the areas, new elements such as steel and glass are used to show off the new while still showcasing the old.

The home is divided into two main areas connected through the patio. The single-story section holds the more social areas: living rooms, dining room, kitchen and access to the back porch. The second floor contains the private areas such as a family room, office, library, bedrooms and a loft area.

Glass walls are placed along the interior galleries to increase thermal comfort in the areas as well as to protect the wooden structure from the rain and wind, but also create a sense of openness from every room along the courtyard, which is defined by a water mirror containing river rock and an Arupo tree.

Since this is an area where the house visually, and literally, opens up, it is considered an element that evokes both nature and the comforts of home.

Where's The Outrage? #BlackLivesMatter

So, Walter Palmer, the American dentist charged in the killing of Cecil, Africa's "most famous lion" has reportedly gone into hiding.

Good. Stay there.

Now, I am not a gun person, y’all know that, and I am not a fan of hunting, and killing, for sport, though I understand some folks like to hunt for their food. Me? I hunt for food at my local Publix, but, again, that’s just me.

And I am outraged at what this so-called human being did, luring the animal out of his [protected area, using a tranquilizing dart t numb the animal so he could hunt it and kill it, and then take a selfie smiling over a dead animal.

And them realizing he was bused, and about to have the wrath of the world on his head when he learned Cecil was microchipped, the dentist cut off the lion’s head to save his own hide.

I’m sickened but … I am also sickened by the rash of Facebook posts and memes and shares and likes about the dentist and what an awful human being he is and what a horrible thing he did to that animal.

Where is the outrage for Sandra Bland, a black woman,  who spent three days in jail — before she killed herself — for a traffic stop?
Where was the outrage for Trayvon Martin,  a young black teenager murdered by a white man because of a hoodie?
Where was the outrage for Michael Brown, a black man, shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri?
Dontre Hamilton, a black man, shot 14 times by a police officer in Milwaukee after a call that Hamilton, a paranoid schizophrenic, was disturbing the peace
John Crawford, a black man, shot and killed by a police officer in an Ohio Wal-Mart while carrying a toy BB gun
Ezell Ford, an unarmed mentally ill black man, shot three times, including once in the back, by a white police officer
Tanisha Anderson, a black woman, who died after officres in Cleveland slammed her head into the pavement while taking her into custody
Akai Gurley, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by a police officer while climbing a stairwell with his girlfriend
Tamir Rice, a black boy, shot and killed by Cleveland police after they mistook his toy gun for a real weapon — he was twelve years old
Rumain Brisbon, a black man,  shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer who mistook a pill bottle for a weapon
Tony Robinson, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by a Madison police officer responding to reports of someone disrupting traffic
Eric Harris, a black man, shot and killed by a reserve deputy officer who mistook his own gun for a Taser
Walter Scott, a black man, shot and killed by a police officer while running away from a traffic stop for a broken taillight
Freddie Gray, a black man, who died of a spinal cord injury a week after he was arrested by Baltimore police
Sam DuBose, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by University of Cincinnati police officer during a traffic stop
Eric Garner, a black man, strangled to death for selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Where’s that outrage? The Facebook petitions, the memes, the protests, the questions?

Like I said, that dentist killing that lion was disgusting, and sick and twisted, but where the outrage for the human lives taken on our own streets every single day, many times with no apparent reason or cause.

I need some outrage. I am outraged that Walter Palmer murdered that lion for sport, but I am even more outraged that Black Americans are being murdered on our streets and we don't seem to be bothered.

I need some outrage.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Two Cents: The BSA Ends It's Gay Ban ... Sort Of

Another day, another step in the LGBT march for equality, though this one seems like more of a half-step, really, maybe a quarter step.

As of today, the Boy Scouts of America [BSA] will end its ban on gay leaders — good news — though some scouting groups, like the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches, will still be able to limit leadership jobs to heterosexuals — bad news.

So, while it’s a step, it’s a step in the direction of separate but equal. Michael Harrison, a businessman who worked for this change:
“There are differences of opinion, and we need to be respectful of them. It doesn’t mean the Mormons have to pick a gay scoutmaster, but please don’t tell the Unitarians they can’t.”
To me that sounds like the old marriage equality argument — that old marriage equality argument from a month ago — that said the states should be able to choose whether same-sex couples could marry. A gay Boy Scout whose troop is under the aegis of a gay-friendly church or organization can be a scout leader, but if he moves to another troop, under the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church for example, then he can no longer be accepted as a leader.

Separate, but equal; and that never works.

So, while this is being trumpeted by both the Boy Scouts and the LGBT advocates, and while it is a slight step forward, it isn’t a full step, it isn’t full equality. You cannot tell me that I am acceptable in one place, but not another; not in a nationwide organization like the BSA.
Photo credit: James Estrin/The New York Times 

Jeb ... He's Either Stupid Or A Liar, You Decide

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the GOP has Selective Memory Syndrome — that ailment where you forget what actually happened, and then try to spin history in a new, false, truth. 

I mean, we all heard how the conservatives blamed President Obama for the economic crash that happened before he was elected; remember that? Or, howsabout when Dick Cheney called the complete troop removal from Iraq a sign of success, which we now know, at least most people other than Dick Cheney and the GOP, is a complete lie.

And now, with Hillary Clinton the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and with Donald [t]Rump decimating his own party with his idiotic, racist, and just plain nasty, rants, the GOP has decided to ramp up its fight against Clinton by bashing … her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

In fact, Jeb Bush, the apparent front-runner of the GOP, if you take out Donald [t]Rump, is even trying to blame Bill Clinton for the murder of those four Marines who were gunned down at that recruiting station in Tennessee:
“A law was passed, apparently in the Clinton administration, about whether, in recruiting offices Marines or other military should be able to have guns. Apparently it is prohibited.”
So, you see, according to Jeb, those Marines were prohibited from being armed under a Clinton administration law and that’s why they’re dead today except …there never was a “law” passed that pertains to this topic so Jeb is either stupid or lying.

There was, however, a directive issued by the Department of Defense that limited the carrying of firearms by military personnel to those in specific positions, such as those working for the Military Police. But that directive wasn’t issued under Clinton, but under the president before Bill Clinton, one George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb’s daddy. So, again, Jeb Bush is either stupid or lying, in trying to blame Bill Clinton for something that happened during his father’s presidency.

Now, to be fair — and Jeb Bush certainly isn’t, nor is he intelligent — that directive had almost nothing to do with the presidency at all, but the last thing Jeb Bush wants to do is to draw attention to the failed presidencies of both his father and brother; two Presidents who saw us into three wars, three recession, and trillions of dollars in debt.

That would be the truth, and the Republicans can’t handle the truth so they just lie.

Or they’re just stupid.
Froward Progressives
Photo Source

ISBL Asshat of the Week [Again]: Bobby Jindal Won't Talk Gun Control, Not After The Lafayette Shootings

Last week, John Russel Houser, a Teabagging, Westboro Baptist Church loving, racist, with a history of mental illness and arrests used a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun that he legally purchased to open fire in a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater, killing two people and injuring others, but, Bobby Jindal, the asshatted Governor of Louisiana said this is not the time to discuss gun control.

At a press conference, which he also used as a campaign stop, Jindal was asked what, "as a leader" he would support to make it tougher for people with mental illness to gain access to guns.

He didn’t answer, saying there was a right time and a right place for that chat, but not on the heels of a mentally disturbed man using a gun in a movie theater. That is not the time, y’all. Jindal said now "is the time to focus on [the] victims."

Victims; those innocents who wouldn’t be dead or wounded if this country had a serious discussion of gun control, of background checks, of who has access to guns, of open carry laws. Yeah, let’s not talk about it, Bobby, Wait until it happens somewhere else, any minute now, and let’s still not talk about it.

But then he took a swipe at Barack Obama, as he did in the days following the Charleston shootings, saying:
"There will be an absolute appropriate time for us to talk about policies and politics, and I’m sure folks will want to score political points off this tragedy as they’ve tried to do off previous tragedies."
One reporter, though, was undeterred, and asked:
"You want to be the leader of not only the United States but of the free world. What would you do different to stop these things from happening all over the country?"
Jindal refused:
"I’m happy to talk about this but not here, not now. Now is the time to grieve, mourn, come together and show Lafayette’s resilient and we can get through this. I’m not shy of providing my opinions on any topic, but right now let’s actually focus."
Well, I say let’s focus on which candidates are in the pocket of the NRA, like Bobby Jindal, and which candidates enacted laws in their states allowing people to carry guns into churches and bars, like Bobby Jindal, and governors of states who cut funding  for the care and treatment of the mentally ill, like Bobby Jindal.

He doesn’t want to talk about because he holds some of the blame for what happened in Lafayette last week, and because he’s an asshat.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Christopher Reed Was "Guarding" A Military Recruitment Center And Nearly Shot Someone

After the shootings at the Army Recruiting Centers in Chattanooga last week, a group of gun aficionados — okay, gun nuts — decided that they, and only they, could protect our members of the military working at those centers and began showing up, armed with their weapons, to protect troops here at home. Trouble is, some of them, well, one that we know of, doesn’t know how to handle a gun and discharged his rifle "accidentally" on Thursday.

Luckily, no one was injured.

And after Christopher Reed accidentally shot his AR-15 rifle, the owners of the property housing the recruitment center had police escort all gun-toting 'Amurricans' off the property before someone did get hurt. Reed has been charged with a misdemeanor for discharging a firearm in the city limits.

Reed told police that he was holding his rifle outside the recruitment center when someone asked if he could take a look at it. Reed agreed, and while he was trying to clear the ammunition from the weapon, he accidentally fired one shot into the asphalt pavement. Reed said he is not a military veteran. He described himself as an active gun enthusiast who makes a living working side jobs.
“I’m nobody special. I’m just a guy doing my job because my own government wouldn’t do it.” — Christopher Reed
Yes, this is a man on a public street, in a strip mall, with an AR-15 rifle, who apparently fired it while trying to show it to someone. And it’s not the first time Christopher Reed has done this: he was convicted of the same offense in 2013 and fined $50.

Reed shrugged off this latest incident, offering up my favorite phrase that people who are idiots use when they do something idiotic:
“It is what it is. Nobody got hurt.”
But it makes me wonder when, and you know it’s when, Reed gets his gun back, when he’ll accidentally discharge it a third time, and when, and when seems like a good bet, he’ll accidentally shoot someone.

Guns don’t kill people, idiots who think they know how to use guns, and own guns, kill people … with guns.

Oh, and to make it clear: the military does not want, or need, these vigilantes standing guard outside their recruitment centers and have asked these morons to leave, but, since guns rule this country, and since the NRA own Congress, and since We The People bitch and moan about gun deaths but then do nothing about it, well, I guess we’ll just wait for the next Charleston or Chattanooga or Lafayette.

Star the clock ….
Columbus Dispatch
Daily Kos
Photo Credit

Drunk White Men Dump Beer On Native American Children’s Heads And It's Not A Hate Crime

Let me start by saying this: since the white man arrived on this continent way back when, we have systematically, and continuously, fucked the Native People. We killed them; we infected them with diseased blankets to kill them off; we drove them off their land onto reservations far from where they had once lived; we told them we’d let them live in peace, but that was a lie.

Sidenote: good read: In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen
Back to this post … earlier this year, a group of 57 Lakota students from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Allen, South Dakota were treated to a minor league hockey match in Rapid City to celebrate their academic achievements at their school, the American Horse School.

At the game, a group of adult … adults … began questioning the kids about why they were there and where they were from; head chaperone Consuelo Means says she asked the students to stop talking to the strangers because they were drunk, but the men kept talking.
When one team scored, one of the men banged on the wall and told the students to cheer louder because they were “from the Rez.”

Consuelo Means tried to get security involved, when she felt something dripping on her head, and discovered that these drunks were dumping beer on the students. When Means alerted the other chaperones and tried to intervene, these drunken executives shouted:
 “Go back to the Rez!”
The students left the game, some in tears, but before leaving the venue, Consuelo Means was asked to complete an incident report and told she would be contacted; no one ever contacted her.

In the days that followed, parents of many of the students began demanding answers about what happened that day, and have decided that, to avoid more racist attacks, the children will stay on the reservation and no longer take field trips off property.

The tribe did contact the Rapid City Police Department, who conducted an investigation and concluded that three men were directly responsible, though they only charged one, Trace O’Connell, with simple disorderly conduct. No charges of Hate Crimes, even though the men shouted slurs at children.

Naturally, the parents are outraged that this kind of hateful behavior, and hate, is being treated as just drunks being disorderly. As I’ve said here, just the other day in fact, and I’ll paraphrase to fit this story: had the men dumped their beers on white children, or black children, or Lakota children, it would have been hateful; but to shout things like “Go back to the rez,” makes it Hate and not just hateful.

Gloria Kitsopoulos, the superintendent and principal of the American Horse School and a member of the Lakota tribe, says the Rapid City the chief of police, city attorney, and state attorney drove to the school to explain the results of the investigation and deeply offended the parents and school officials who had assembled there.
“The first thing that really offended me was that they brought the communications guy from Rapid City with them and I gave him the microphone so he could talk to the people. He said, ‘if anyone wants to use the talking stick when I’m done, let me know.'”
The crowd grew even angrier when they were told that just one man would face a misdemeanor charge; the chief of police then suggested he and his team leave the reservation because they feared for their safety. Kitsopoulos maintains that no one showed signs of aggression at the meeting, but that they were just outraged at the charges levied against O'Connell, and O’Connell alone.

Trace O’Connell plead not guilty and was a no-show at his trial, so Rapid City Attorney Joel Landeen, who is representing the students, asked that a jury hear the case and for jail time to stay on the table, and that some of the Native Americans — a large portion of the Rapid City population and jury pool — be allowed to sit on the jury; the judge denied both requests.

O’Connell now faces a five hundred dollar fine for dumping beer on children and shouting racial slurs at them, but then it’s just Native American children, and since, as I said, we’ve been fucking Native Americans for 300 years why should we expect things to ever change?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Snarkurday!

Rule # 1: Never piss off the Queen. Not queen, mind you, but The Queen, as in Elizabeth of England.

It seems that HRH is a little pissy that Princess Kate went to Wimbledon and met up with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but couldn’t spare a moment to meet with UK veterans. Palace sources confided, and Royal Air Force officials confirmed, that Kate skipped a July 10 lunch in honor of WWII pilots attended by William and other royals, though she managed to squeeze in tennis and chats with Brangelina.

So, Queen Liz ain’t happy, and has, ALLEGEDLY, taken to calling her grandson’s bride and baby mama “Lazy Katie” and “Duchess of Do-Little.”

Duchess of Do-Little?  I.Am.Dying. Who knew the queen threw shade?

A couple of weeks ago we chatted about Tom Selleck stealing water from fire hydrants to use on his avocado farm, and to hydrate that tumbleweed above his upper lip.

Well, the minute that the private investigator returned to the Calleguas Municipal Water District headquarters with proof of the H2O thievery, a lawsuit was filed, and as soon as the lawsuit was filed, Tom Selleck stepped up to pay for the water. And the water district has voted to accept his payment of $21,000 to settle the lawsuit.

So, wait, is Tom Selleck the Wimpy of water thievery? I mean, will he gladly pay you tomorrow for the water he stole today?

So, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, country singing darlings and once happily wed sweethearts are divorcing. And it all seemed pretty quiet and private and amicable.

Not so much now. Rumor has it Team Miranda blamed Blake for cheating with another country singer, then Team Blake countered by saying Miranda caused the divorce by refusing to have children. And then they threw down their own cheating rumor, claiming Miranda broke Blake’s heart, and the marriage, by getting busy with country singer Chris Young — who denies it — and perhaps a roadie or two.

So, was she getting’ boned by a singer who wasn’t her husband; or was he boning a singer who wasn’t his wife.

Either way you slice I smell some Country Number One Singles coming up from both Blake and Miranda.

In country music, what doesn’t kill you makes a great country song.

In a Bill Cosby Update:

His lawyers filed papers to block any further release of the deposition where he admitted to buying Quaaludes to give to women so he could rape them, and to stop the ugly release of Cosby’s statements about how he seduces young women while his wife sits at home waiting for him every night for fifty-some-odd years.

The deposition Bill threw up was part of the lawsuit filed against him by Andrea Constand who says he drugged and assaulted her in 2004. The case ended with a settlement, and so now Bill’s lawyers are claiming that since the deposition was released, the settlement agreement was violated and want their money back. But Andrea ain’t lying down for Cosby — not this time — and her own lawyers are trying to get the entire deposition released.

They should be careful not to drink the water at that mediation table lest Cosby drug them and make them sign a waiver saying they want to keep the deposition sealed.

I mean, ain’t that how The Cos rolls?

Are the rumors that Tommy Grrrl Cruise is ready to tie the knot for the fourth time true? And is his new bride really his twenty-two year old Katie Holmes look-alike assistant, Emily Thomas?

Rumor has it that Emily has been “quietly seeing the superstar since late 2014,” and Tom is reportedly “smitten” with her — and by that, he means he can control her. And this comes at the right time because Cruise has a new Mission Impossible knock-off to promote and what better way than to get married … I mean, it worked with Katie Holmes?

So, prepare for a Xenu wedding, followed by a Xenu baby, and then a quick escape by Wife #4.

Uh oh. Trouble in paradise … or at least a Kardastrophe version of reality TV paradise?

Apparently Kim Kash Kow Kardastrophe is furious with her current husband — not to be confused with her last or next husbands — Kanye Kardastrophe after she found him looking at nude photos of his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose on his computer.

No word if he was spanking Tiny Kanye while he studied the photo set.

So, I digs me some Taye Diggs — hat/tip to TV’s Jack McFarland for the line — and am especially excited that he is taking over the lead role in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

But there’s a line in the show that some are wondering if it will stay in; see, while Taye as Hedwig sings a song with his co-star, he also sings the line:
“Idina sang it better.”
Idina would be Taye’s ex-wife, Broadway diva and former Wicked star, Idina Menzel. So people were shocked that he left the line in and sang it as written in rehearsal.

But they were equally stunned when, after singing the line, he ad-libbed a reference to Mendel’s hit tune from the movie “Frozen” when he looked at the rehearsal crowd and sang:
“Let it go.”
Too funny, and it would be fun if he kept it in the show … as long as Idina’s cool with it, you know.