Posted by: coastcontact | March 5, 2015

Mountain Lions Just Outside of Los Angeles

mountain-lions-santa-monica-mountains-006

Female Mountain Lion looking into a camera

New photographs of a mountain lion and her offspring are giving park rangers a closer and more intimate look at how the animals are surviving in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The report in the Los Angeles Times does not detail the location of the camera that caught these pictures.  The Santa Monica Mountains start just north of Hollywood and extend west and north bisecting the city and ending in Ventura County.  The famous Mulholland Drive and Highway starts near the Hollywood Bowl traverses the ridge of the mountain range.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-mountain-lion-photos-20150305-story.html

Posted by: coastcontact | March 3, 2015

Benjamin Netenyahu Speaks to the United States Congress

My theory is that Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Benjamin Netenyahu to speak to Congress is an effort on the part of the GOP to prove to Jewish voters that the Republican Party is the party that supports Israel.  It’s not that their votes will change an election.  The GOP would like to attract more Jewish donors.

I believe Benjamin Netenyahu really does fear for the existence of Israel.  His intention is to go where ever he must to obtain the support for what he believes are Israel’s needs.

Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy was from another world in Star Trek and in real life. His captain (William Shatner) on Star Trek is also from that other world/society. You see both are Jewish.  Nimoy’s famous salute was a gesture he saw given at an orthodox synagogue when he was a boy. 

In the story Mr. Spoke was a half human and half Vulcan. His pointed ears immediately differentiated him from every human. I have heard that there are places in this world where people believe that Jews also have pointed ears and are bred from the devil. The parable couldn’t be more obvious to me.

First understand that the total number of Jews in the entire world is about 13 million people. By any measure that would define us as a group that might soon no longer exist in another hundred years. Six million were killed by the Nazis before and during World War 2.

Jews are different from the rest of the world’s peoples. Perhaps that is the reason they are hated almost everywhere. Why are they hated? They, as a group, are smarter and more creative than any group you can define.

Of course you are asking for proof. Here it is.

- Bob Simon of 60 Minutes was a Jew. He died in a car crash just two weeks ago. He was a Fulbright scholar.

- Alan Greenspan, the much respected former Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.

- Three current members of the United States Supreme Court are Jews.

- Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s famous Secretary of State.

- Jonas Edward Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine.

- Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) were one of the most prolific teams that brought numerous musicals to Broadway and the world. Carousel – ‎South Pacific – ‎Flower Drum Song – Oklahoma were all part of their creativity.

Elsewhere in this blog is a more thorough list of famous Jews posted by David Bancroft. The article contends that it is all about education. I am sure you get the point. So is there a Jew gene? Genetic studies of Jewish origins is a topic in Wikipedia.

I personally am a marginal Jew. Both of my parents were brilliant in school and received scholarships and honors. I flunked Algebra 1 and barely passed Spanish 1. So you see there are no guarantees in life even for Jews.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 25, 2015

Uh oh: Yosemite. 8,100 feet. February. No snow

The Los Angeles station of the weather service tweeted that the hamlet of Sandberg, in the Tehachapi Mountains of LA County on the old Ridge Route, is sixteen degrees above normal for February. While Los Angeles receives its water from the Eastern Sierra, San Francisco receives its water from the Hetch Hetchy system that has its source in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite at 8,000 feet

The National Weather Service station up in Hanford, CA posted this photo on February 19.

The Los Angles DWP has not put the city on water rationing but perhaps they should start that now.

Snow Pack

Posted by: coastcontact | February 23, 2015

Mexico Needs a New Government

 Alejandro G. Iñarritu - best director Oscar for Birdman Best Director Oscar for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” Alejandro G. Iñarritu

As reported in the Los Angeles Times. From the Oscars in Hollywood, to the pope in Rome, Mexico is receiving some rather unflattering attention, a reversal of the image that the government has spent millions to cultivate.

It started as a celebration of Mexicanness, with Academy Award glory being heaped on Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñarritu, who took three Oscar statuettes in Sunday night’s ceremony. It turned when he made a plea for better treatment of Mexican immigrants and took a sharp dig at President Enrique Peña Nieto.

“I want to dedicate this prize for my fellow Mexicans,” he said when his film “Birdman” was named best picture at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood. “I pray that we might find and build a government that we deserve.”

Peña Nieto ignored the slight and congratulated the director via his Twitter account. But many newspapers in Mexico on Monday carried a front-page photo of a jubilant Iñarritu and highlighted his remarks. And social media was aflame with reaction, a hashtag using “the government we deserve” (#ElGobiernoQueMerecemos) soaring to the top of things that trend.

When I visited Mexico City and Acapulco over 40 years ago they were exciting places where both citizens and tourists could comfortably walk down the boulevards and streets without fear of gang violence.  Advertising in the Los Angeles Times Travel section was all about visiting those cities and many other places in Mexico. About the only thing you had to fear was the water.  – Not any more.  Water quality is the least of your worries in Mexico today.

It is sad to write that the tourist population has declined as the level of gangs and other criminal activity has grown dramatically. It is no wonder that the poor of Mexico try to sneak into the United States. The oligarchs of Mexico have no problem with today’s Mexico.

Sadly Peña Nieto is not the answer to their prayers.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 22, 2015

Lady Gaga Sings “Sound of Music” at 2015 Oscars

Lady Gaga gave her rendition of Julie Andrews “Sound of Music.”  Her performance was spectacular.

Who knew Lady Gaga could sing like THIS?

Posted by: coastcontact | February 18, 2015

Oregon’s New Governor is Bisexual

Who cares? Why should anyone care?

Kate Brown, Oregon GovernorReported in the Los Angeles Times: “Advocates for the LGBTQ community cheer the milestone. Libertarian-leaning Oregon — liberal in Portland, conservative elsewhere — mostly yawns.”

And I must agree. Why do I need to know that Kate Brown is a homosexual? Will she do her job differently because of her sexual orientation? Isn’t her sexual orientation her private business?

The news media’s desire to tell me every detail of every politician’s personal life that has no bearing on their job is a true shame. It appears to me that mainstream media has descended into the area usually covered by the tabloids like The Globe and The Examiner and television programs like TMZ.

This situation is the consequence of the 24 hour news cycle. I am going back to sleep.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 16, 2015

Humpty Dumpty is a Parable for America’s Interference

As I watched this past weekend’s Sunday morning political talk shows I could not help but recall that famous nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty_Dumpty_1904

Without going into the arguments about America’s justification for invading Iraq, it is clear that the United States made a serious error in conducting that invasion. The consequence has been a nation split by tribal, religious, and ethnic divides that no one outside Iraq can heal. Even with a sadistic tyrant as a dictator, Iraq was a relatively stable nation. Sadistic tyrants are common place throughout the Middle East and Saddam Hussein was more or less on par with the rest. He was teetering but in control. Today the country is more or less split between Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish semi-autonomous sections all not answering to a dysfunctional central government. No wonder their army cannot stand up to ISIS.

Humpty Dumpty is Iraq and the United States is the force that cannot put it back together.

By Mother Goose

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 14, 2015

Is it Greed or Simply Evolution?

Scrooge McDuckGreed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed. That is the Merriam-Webster definition.

When I was a boy reading comic books there was a character in the Donald Duck series named Scrooge McDuck. He loved money and the cartoon showed him rolling in dollar bills and dancing on the money. That was a characterization of some people in this world. Was that greed?

The stock market continues to hit new highs every several months. The S&P 500 reached another new high on Friday, February 13, 2015. Apple Computer shares are at or near their highest level ever. Most people do not own enough stocks to feel a significant impact. The wealthy, whose source of income is the stock market, are the beneficiaries of this situation.

Meanwhile BBC.com and Fareed Zakaria GPS reports the findings of Oxfam, an anti-poverty group, that the combined wealth of the world’s richest 1% will overtake that of the other 99% of the world’s population by 2016. Furthermore the richest 80 people in the world have collected the same amount of wealth as the bottom 3.5 million people-$1.9 Trillion.

There are two facts that are slowly destroying the middle class and causing even greater harm to blue collar laboring classes.

  1. Without government involvement jobs are performed at the lowest pay rate which moves jobs to the poorest countries.
  2. Technology enables employers to replace workers performing repetitive work with a machine.

These are not new facts. Queen Elizabeth I (queen of England 1558–1603) denied a patent for the first knitting machine in 1589. It was denied because of her concern for the security of the kingdom’s many hand knitters.

Robots install rivets on a 2015 Ford F-150

Robots install rivets on a 2015 Ford F-150

Paul Wiseman of the Associated Press posted an article titled “Robots replacing workers at a faster pace”. The report was replicated by many news media outlets including ABC, Fox Business, etc. The article said “A new report says that cheaper, better robots will replace human workers in the world’s factories at a faster pace over the next decade, pushing labor costs down 16 percent.” The mechanization has impacted only 10% of the possible uses for robots. 90% of the changeover is still in the future.

Recently two public parking lots I had occasion to use had no pay clerk at the exit. The system was automated. Soon there will be no one to take your order at McDonald’s.

I could go on with more examples of lost jobs thanks to technology or replacing middle income workers with low paid workers but you already understand the point I am making.

The question to candidates for the next president of the United States is what will you do to change the obvious decline in the income of the majority of Americans? You ought to ask your congressional representative and senators that same question.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 11, 2015

High Fashion Comes to Los Angeles

Actually there are currently 24 Louis Vuitton stores in California.

The “Louis Vuitton Series 2 — Past, Present and Future” exhibition is in Los Angeles from Feb. 6-22. The event showcases a “untraditional interpretation” of Louis Vuitton‘s spring 2015 womenswear collection, according to WWD.  The exhibition is in a reconditioned building in what is called the new gallery center of Hollywood.  There was no cost to see the exhibit.  So my wife and I drove down to see the event.  We parked on Fountain Avenue just a few blocks south of Sunset Boulevard.  It was just two short blocks to the display.

Lead photo

We found what I call the reasoning behind fashion.  It’ all about illusion.  Isn’t that what makeup, and apparel, and how you walk and talk are really all about?  We entered into a dark hall that opened into a mirrored hall that reminded me of a “fun house.”  there were no distortion mirrors but the walls were covered with mirrors from floor to ceiling.  I could not tell whether I was walking into a mirror or down the hall. Then a short well light corridor lead to a second mirrored hall.  The mirrors not only display my likeness but also displayed models on a runway.  Beyond this startling part of the exhibit were room showing how their goods are made, a sample backstage room, and a display of their finest shoes, purses(bags), and jewelry.

 

Backstage RoomBackstage Room

More Fantasy

More Illusion

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