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No Executions in California

Governor Gavin Newsom

This is from the ACLU:

Governor Gavin Newsom just made history: this morning, he announced that California will not carry out executions on his watch. This announcement marks a watershed moment in the fight for racial equity and equal justice for all.

For far too long, California has propped up a costly, flawed death penalty system that is racially biased and puts the lives of innocent people at risk.

Just last April, Vicente Benavides of Kern County was freed after spending 25 years on death row in California for a crime he did not commit. His conviction was based on false medical testimony by doctors who recanted many years later. We don’t know how many more innocent people are still on death row.

We do know that race plays a dangerous and inappropriate role in decisions about who is sentenced to death in California. A Santa Clara University study, for example, found that people were more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death in cases where the victim was white than in cases where the victim was Black.

Write a thank you message to the governor for his leadership.

California’s death penalty is racially biased and broken beyond repair. Today’s announcement is a historic step to ensure that our state’s justice system is fair, racially equitable, and truly just!

Sincerely,

Hector Villagra
Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California

No threat to copyright is intended by this posting of this email sent to many; this is intended to spread the word.

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King of the Internet

Michael Lee Viviano, creator of the Trynser Wiki, already declared me King of the Wiki.

Now Sannse, who’s Staff at Fandom (formerly Wikia), has named me King of the Internet!

Does this mean I get to tax everybody online?

Crown image is listed as public domain.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Posted in Discordian and Ek-sen-trik, Family and Friends, Media and News, Politics and War, Religion and Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Donald Trump Declares War Against News

President Donald Trump has long lashed out at the media, specifically any medium that says or prints anything negative about him. “Fake news” has become his catchphrase perhaps even more than one he tried and failed to trademark: “You’re fired.”

Now, he has tweeted

     The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

     — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 20 February 2019

This is more than another angry, misguided, and out-of-control tweet from a man from whom we’ve come to expect angry, misguided, and out-of-control statements.  When the leader of a nation declares an entity to be an enemy of the people (with or without using ALL CAPS), this is a borderline declaration of war.

Image of Donald Trump linked from https://news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-calls-york-times-160043787.html

An opinion of an individual members of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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Order of the Pineapple 2019: Brenton Clutterbuck

Pat Pineapple as drawn by Toby Bruno.

It is time once again to announce the winner of the Order of the Pineapple. (This is only awarded once a year on January 18 aka Pat Pineapple Day).

The honoree for 2019: Brenton Clutterbuck.

Brenton Clutterbuck, self-proclaimed gonzo anthropologist, traveled around the world interviewing Discordians for Chasing Eris, perhaps the broadest view of Discordians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He also wrote Me and My Hair and Babble, and edited two issues of Intermittens (one of them a story collection) not to mention being interviewed in another issue of the magazine.

The Order of the Pineapple is also called the DisOrder of the Pineapple and the Pineapple DisOrder, but it’s usually abbreviated O.P.  (The award has also been called Patus Pineappleus Bromeliadic and the winners The P.P. Bromeliadics or Bromedliaddicts). It honors those who have given extraordinary service to “the participatorial study of comedic attitudes and eccentric tendencies.”  The O.P. is awarded to very few people, those who are especially servicey.  It’s presented on only one day a year, January 18 CE, which is 18 Chaos of the Discordian calendar.  That date is recognized as Pat Pineapple Day.  Pat is the Mascot of the Ĕk-sĕn-trĭks Cluborguild which began the order, and the Patron Saint of the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild which revived it after a 13-year hiatus.  It is absolutely required that members of the Order eat something containing or resembling pineapple on January 18–unless of course they don’t feel like it.

Congratulations to Brenton Clutterbuck!

Order of the Pineapple (official site)

Order of the Pineapple Wiki (unofficial site)

Posted in Discordian and Ek-sen-trik, Family and Friends, Media and News, Religion and Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Donald Trump is Losing His Wheels

Some really astonishing things have happened in American politics in the past two or three years. But things are moving from the unexpected to the predicted.

1) Donald Trump was named the Republican Party nominee. When he announced his candidacy, almost nobody in politics or in the serious media thought that would happen.

2) Donald Trump won as president of the United States. A few years ago, very few would have thought that would happen.

3) In spite of the Republican Party having the Executive Branch, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, it’s been able to pass very little, even failing to avoid a partial government shutdown which is the longest in American history. Some of us thought that would happen.

4) Members of the Republican Party who are obviously smart enough to know Donald Trump is not capable of handling the presidency publicly supported him. A fair number of people thought that would happen.

5) Donald Trump insulted some of his most loyal supporters, fired the person who investigated him as being a possible Russian agent, and his presidency is crumbling. He’s losing his wheels. Many of us expected that to happen.

The Wheels are Coming Off the Trump Bus

Trump Actually Had to Deny He is a Foreign Agent

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

The image of Donald Trump was identified by a news service as being in the public domain, but did not identify the photographer.

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Alden Loveshade End of the Year Letter 2018

Sometimes the ending is like the beginning.

First month of year: Crazy chickens.  They had plenty of room to roost at night on nice perches in their own chicken house.  But while most of them perched on the perches, others insisted on perching in the most uncomfortable places possible.  They’d be in the midst of wires, twine, and hanging plastic bags intended to keep them out of areas where they could barely fit without cramming themselves in or even getting themselves stuck.

Last month of year: With new chickens, repeat above.  Fortunately, I got advice to block them out of those areas altogether, and chicken wire did the trick so perfectly so that…wait, what’s that chicken doing?  Hold on….

I discovered my particularly special plumbing talent.  When it comes to indoor plumbing, I excel at calling a plumber.  And I’m talented at calling someone to fix a buried-but-leaking outside pipe too.  Aren’t you impressed?

Speaking of plumbing, I passed my first (and hopefully last) kidney stone during a visit to the emergency room.  Fortunately, though, this year when I had a threatening encounter with a copperhead snake at the O.K. Corral–OK, barn–I wasn’t the one who had the emergency.  Most snakes I find I distribute around the edges of the property to eat mice.  But then I keep my pet mice protected from snakes.  Go figure.

I faced a possible flooding disaster that–see the piece here.

I visited with in state friends and out of state friends.  For one of them, I edited 935,000 words of material.  Hint: that’s a lot.  By comparison, a news service reported the exactly average length book is Brave New World at 64,531 words.  Do the math.

Speaking of writing, I learned that David Gerrold, science fiction author of many things including the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” was inspired to base a character on me.  Of course I had to pay him to be inspired.  (Actually, it was a donation to a worthy cause and I got free e-books too; check the link.  I didn’t have to pay for this letter’s graphics, though, which I created myself).

Happy Christmas, Great Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Wonderful Yule, Fine Winter/Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

— Alden Loveshade

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The Statue of Liberty

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The statue of liberty.

Emma Lazarus

Any American politician who doesn’t support that Statue of Liberty poem might want to seriously think about looking for another job.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Photo of the Statue of Liberty by Dietmar Rabich is under a Creative Commons License “Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International” (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

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I Faced My Fear

Shot from the opening of “Have Gun Will Travel” right before Paladin points the gun at us.

This will sound really trivial, but to me it’s not.

I love the western television program Have Gun Will Travel. It stars Richard Boone as Paladin, a term fans of fantasy roleplaying may well recognize as referring to an honorable and exceptional knight. As described in the ending theme song as sung by Johnny Western, he is a “knight without armor.”

So what does this have to do with facing my fear? The opening of each episode features the same short visual scene, although the words are different, taken from the particular episode.  But each time we see Paladin aim a pistol directly at us–at me.  At that part, I always either skip it, turn away, or close my eyes.  Maybe it was because the fear of being shot by a gun was pounded into me as a kid–at the same time I was encouraged to go hunting.  Maybe it’s because I was once shot (although it was only a small piece of a bullet and the wound was trivial).  Maybe it’s because I’ve been the subject of several death threats.

In any case, today I watched an episode called “The Teacher” written by series co-creator Sam Rolfe.  I did not fast forward through the opening, I did not turn away, I did not close my eyes.  I felt uncomfortable, but I watched.

Later in the day, I watched the video for The Beatles “I Am the Walrus.”  I’ve seen it many times, but it always rather freaked me out.  This time it didn’t.

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Attention Writing Fans and Pirates

Image linked from the Shartak Wiki at https://wiki.shartak.com/index.php/The_Pirate_Hunters For those who are concerned, this linking to a wiki image is not piracy.

As a writer, I think it’s just fine if somebody copies what I’ve written without my getting paid for my work. Just like I think it’s fine if I don’t have to pay for my Internet service, or my computer, or car, or gasoline, or groceries or clothes or housing or medical care or anything else. If everybody will work for me for free and give me everything I want for free, I’ll be very happy to work for free too. Until them, “The worker deserves his wages.”

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The Flood and the Useless Path

My home is in danger of flooding. That’s what I faced yesterday afternoon.

If you don’t know, I live in the country in Texas. We’ve had record rain the past couple of weeks; not record for the year, but for a short time period. A few years ago, when we did have record rain for the year, I used a hoe and a shovel to build up the edge of the back tank (pond) to prevent it overflowing and flooding into the house. The path from the tank goes straight to the house, and it goes downhill. But I still felt overcautious; I didn’t expect the water level to ever go higher than the record.

Well, I checked it yesterday afternoon. The bank I’d built up was almost at the point of overflowing. The water was higher than it has ever been. My home was in danger. It would be a major project building up the bank, and that would be in the rain and the soon-coming dark. With nothing but a hoe and a shovel. There didn’t seem to be any way I could do it in time.

But then I thought of something. Earlier this year I cleared a curved, side path through the brush and the trees with a hoe, a shovel, and a saw. Clearing it in my spare time, it took me months to do. It had no practical purpose whatsoever (other than giving me exercise). The straight path went to the same place. The side path was technically redundant, useless. But the brush and trees had grown so thick after that record rain of a few years ago, I had no place to go where I could feel like I was in the woods without seeing a building. So I made the curved, impractical path–that was slightly lower than the surrounding area.

So for an hour and a half in the rain, I used a hoe and shovel. It was enough. Now, if the back tank does overflow, the water will flow over the bank of the tank, start down the straight path, then detour down the lower curved side path and harmlessly into the woods.

That path may have saved my home.

So remember that the next time you think something is “useless.”

An opinion of an individual members of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire family.

The photo is by Walter Siegmund and is not by Alden’s home. It is under a GNU 1.2 or later license.

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