April 16, 2022

Elon "Modest Me" Musk wants to buy Twitter. What could go wrong? By Hal Brown

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Yesterday's blog

 File this under I really don't give a damn about this story. Well, I gave enough of a damn to see if I can get a tweet of mine to trend. That's why I posted this on Twitter (click to enlarge):

I superimposed the DonkeyHotey caricature of Musk over a depiction of the Telsa he fired into space Wirth his Space-X rocket.

You can follow replies or retweets, if there are any, here.

April 15, 2022

The color wheel is a metaphor for U.S. becoming all white in near future, by Hal Brown

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"The color wheel is a metaphor for U.S. becoming all white, as with sunlight, in near future" by Hal Brown

This story is dedicated to the memory Jackie Robinson. Today we celebrate the date in 1947 he played his first Major League baseball game. See article about he originally was a Republican and became a dedicated Democrat.

Just for the hell of it I decided to add red, blue, and green lights for my bathroom to add a little festiveness. I thought replacing three white lights with them might make the room darker but they didn't.

With the white lights unscrewed the room still looks white albeit a little darker..

Observing this led me to do some research about the colors that constitute visible white light. Here is what I found on this website:

What are the 3 primary colors that make up white light?

Light is perceived as white by humans when all three cone cell types are simultaneously stimulated by equal amounts of red, green, and blue light. Because the addition of these three colors yields white light, the colors red, green, and blue are termed the primary additive colors.

How many colors make a white light?

The spectrum of white light consists of six basic colours arranged in a specific order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Although Newton understood that a beam of light of a particular colour is always deviated by the same amount, he did not appear to understand why this is so.

How many different colours make up white light?

White light is made up of the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

It occurred to me that this is a metaphor for what the United States will be when the group commonly referred to among the MAGA bigots “us white people”, and with liberals “angry white people” are no longer  in the majority.

One could just say that if the primary colors of red, green, and blue represent people with black, brown, and white skin, add them all together you get white. I don’t mean white in the sense of the color of white skin which is even in an albino is never really white, or a sheet of white parer, but white like the sunlight streaming through my skylight:

Here’s another metaphor: sunlight is known to be a disinfectant. There’s nothing this diseased country needs more than a good disinfecting and I don’t mean the swallowing of bleach as a cure for Covid.

Expanding the color metaphor to all the colors of the spectrum, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet made me think of both the original Pride flag with its six colors...

... to the new version:

Photo by HalBrown

Whether it is gender identity or ethnic background the United States in moving inextricably towards being a country where people who place a great deal of stock in having white skin and being heterosexual, and you might as well add in being Evangelical Christians and believing in conspiracy theories (see previous blog entry), no longer can swing elections their way.

In their death throes they are more likely to express their rage in antisocial ways in order to shape our society and culture to their liking. This could see the end of Roe vs. Wade protections of a woman's right to choose and in Republican  controlled states the end of fair elections.

But time is still on the side of shifting demography, and time will usher in true white sunlight. Anything that was changed for the worse can be changed back for the better.

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Hal Brown, Conspiracy theories

Yesterday's blog edition

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I received this in an email from Tom Dwyer Auto Repair in Selwood, Oregon (Website). This repair service is an excellent car repair service which promotes progressive books by having a collection of just about every anti-Trump book ever published in their waiting room for customers to read.

Conspiracy Theories...
When Reality just isn't twisted enough.

We live in a world that is, unfortunately, dominated by conspiracy theories.  There are the funny ones like the Jewish Space Lasers or the Flat Earthers, and less entertaining ones like the Satanist pedophile ring in the pizza restaurant or the 'false flags' of school shootings.  It may be tempting to laugh, but one need look no farther than the January 6 Insurrection, fueled by the paranoid ravings of election fraud, to see how deadly serious these self-reinforcing lies can be.  As we were strolling along the InterTubes recently, one link led to another and they all prompted us to share this short article on Conspiracy Theories with you.  There's an amazing chart with current conspiracies, reasons people believe, and ways to fight back, but keep reading for your own way to participate in spreading the lies that someone, somewhere will believe...


Conspiracies in the world today


 The Conspiracy Chart 2021

- A chart of conspiracies arranged from those that actually, provably happened to those that are even too insane for Alex Jones.  And it’s interactive, so if you see a conspiracy you haven’t heard of before (like “Biden is a robot”) all you have to do is click for more ‘information’.


The Craziest Conspiracy Theories That People Actually Believe

30 Real Doozies, Charlotte Chilton in Popular Mechanics, Oct 2021


The 13 biggest conspiracy theories,

 Benjamin Radford and Stephanie Pappas in LiveScience, Dec 2021


Why do people believe this horsepuckey?

Belief in conspiracy theories is the product of normal human psychology, but can be extremely dangerous, Graham Lawton in New Scientist 

Conspiracy Theories: Why Do We Believe Them? Calvin J. Emerson on Engage.youth.gov, Aug 2021


Speaking of Psychology: Why people believe in conspiracy theories, Karen Douglas PhD in American Psychological Association ‘Speaking of Psychology’, Jan 2021


Maybe a free thinker but not a critical one: High conspiracy belief is associated with low critical thinking ability, Lantian, Bagneux, Delouvee, and Gauvrit in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Jan 2021 

The Roots Of Conspiracy Theory, Helen Lee Bouygues in Forbes, Mar 2021

Fighting back IS possible… sometimes

Conspiracy Theories: What Can I Do to Stop Them? Calvin J. Emerson on Engage.youth.gov, Aug 2021


Expert: The best way to fight a conspiracy theory isn’t with facts, Keith Brannon in Tulane News, Oct 2020


It's only fake-believe: how to deal with a conspiracy theorist, David Robson in The Guardian, Nov 2020


Zen and the Art of Talking to Conspiracy Theorists, Jonathan Jarry in McGill Office for Science and Society, Feb 2021

My contribution to the articles above is this from AlterNet:

Thomas Zimmer, a visiting professor at Georgetown, wrote:

 "There is a calculating quality to Greene’s polemics," Zimmer wrote. "Last fall, for instance, she recorded a campaign video in which she used a military-grade sniper rifle to blow up a car that had the word 'socialism' written on it, promising to do the same to the 'Democrats’ socialist agenda.'"

However, he also highlighted what he believes to be the reason behind her antics. "It was over-exaggerated campaign nonsense," Zimmer noted. "But Greene knew the unsubtle insinuation of using violence against a political opponent would demand attention."

My view: There is no doubt that she expresses extreme views and probably does so in a calculated way In order to get media attention and incite her base. However she also promotes ludicrous conspiracy theories. It is not possible to ascertain whether she she believes them. If she does the expert analyses of why people are unable or unwilling to evaluate these theories using logical thinking applies to her.


It appears that some people who understand how gullible believers in conspiracy theories are use this knowledge to exploit them in order to make money. Consider:

QAnon influencers luring followers into multi-level marketing schemes: report

, Raw Story

April 15, 2022




April 13, 2022

Scrambled eggs and potato chips, by Hal Brown

 Scrambled eggs with cheddar potato chips  

Yesterday I wrote about politics here, today I have returned to food as a blogging subject. Here's the background of this story. I decided to go to Fred Meyer's first thing this morning because there are few customers in the super-store at 7:00 AM. 

In fact, there were many more people stocking the shelves than people shopping. At least a dozen staff said hello or good morning to me.

As I was finishing up shopping I got to feeling queasy and realized I'd neglected to have breakfast. I grabbed a small bag of cheddar potato chips to eat on the 10 minute drive home.

There was only one check-out lane open but I was the only one using it. 

I ate a few chips to stave off hunger on the short ride home and then decided to crumble up the remaining chips, most of the bag, and scrambled them with eggs.

There is precedent for combining eggs with both cheese and potatoes. For example, eggs with hash brown potatoes is a diner breakfast staple. I've fried up left-over potatoes of various kinds with cheese and eggs before with a tasty result. 

In fact, a half-eaten giant baked loaded restaurant potato with green beans can be doctored up to make a delicious and nutritious treat like this:

Why then wouldn't it make sense to use cheddar potato chips and eggs to make another yummy breakfast meal?

How did it taste? I rate the concoction as somewhere between disgusting and barely edible. Next time munch the chips separately and make the eggs with anything but chips.

Yesterday's blog

Hal Brown Blog April 12, 2022 Right wing displays


At present the blog is evolving to be more eclectic. For those new to looking at it I suggest going beyond the opening page look at the blog archive on the right, and randomly clicking on some of the other entries for the past year with photo essays of my travels around Portland, Oregon. At the least take a look at what I posted here in March.

Updated: April 13, 2022

April 12, 2022

Right-wingers are much more in your face than liberals, at least this is how I see it.

No bothsidesism here if my observations traveling around the Portland, Oregon area is any indication, those with far right sentiments are much more likely to "advertise" their viewpoints in more public ways, and often in a more obnoxious manner than liberals.

From what I see right-wingers are more likely to use the backs of their cars as billboards and their houses to rub their beliefs in the faces of those who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Are they psychologically  different than liberals? What personality characteristics do these people have in common? 

The Massachusetts photo was taken by Grace Welch

This photo is of a vehicle in front of the house shown below with the Trump flags.

This was at a Costco store.
My opinion is that these are people who feel marginalized and often ostracized by what they perceive as the mainstream whether in popular culture or the media.

They take their lead from the grievance politics of Trump and his most outspoken cadre of newsmakers.

Some of them may tick of all or most of the psychiatric diagnostic criteria for being paranoid or delusional, and others may just be gullible. Some may recognize that time is not on their side as the demographics of the country shift so that in the foreseeable future white people will be in the minority.

Update: This article sums up how Trump exploits the fears of many white people:

Excerpt (note the reference to malignant narcissism, a subject I have written about many times):

The relationship between the leader and follower in a political cult such as today's Republican Party is deep and powerful. Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix summarizes this unhealthy psychodynamic:

Republicans are angry.

So very, very angry.

Deranged White Man Syndrome has not yet been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it's just a matter of time.

Seriously, these dudes (and they are mostly male-gendered persons) are on a rampage of rage and loathing which cannot be healthy….

Living in a constant tantrum must be exhausting for Republicans. I suspect that somewhere in the deep recesses of their brains, they know that while they may hold power at the moment, the world is changing.

And they can't stand it.

Let's hope they get serious therapy: This is a sick, sick, sick bunch of people.

To the uninitiated — and also to those who have just become numb to it all — Trump's North Carolina speech was an uninspired recitation of his personal grievances, malignant narcissism ("I've got to be the cleanest, I think I'm the most honest human being, perhaps, that God has ever created") and victim fantasies, mixed with now-standard talking points about the Big Lie, the 2020 election and Jan. 6, "parents' rights", "invaders" at the U.S.-Mexico border, supposed crime and barbarism in "Democrat-run" major cities and an assortment of lies both small and large about Joe Biden and the Democrats.

These people generally suffer from confirmation bias because those who follow the media by and large consume far right "news" sources. In the right-wing media people like Tucker Carlson exacerbate their fears and basically tell them how to think, or to put it more accurately, how not to think.

When I see liberals expressing their views via signs and such I have yet to see over-the-top displays. For example these two houses are across the street from each other in the small Oregon town of Aurora.

This is the home of the man who has the vehicle with all the Marine stickers on its back.

This car is in his yard along with the maroon one  (below) with the Marine stickers.
My hunch is that this man bought an old police car and thinks that the emblem he  put  on the door will lead some people to mistake his car for a real police car.

Here he is. His house is an eyesore, made worse because it is on a street with historic homes including the one across the street from his, which are kept in excellent shape.

I generally find liberals expressing themselves in a more restrained way. Here are some examples:

I don't have any political stickers on my car. I have two Westie stickers on the bumper, one covers a hole and the other a dent. The window sticker is for Massachusetts retirees. 

One of the reasons I don't have so much as a small Biden/Harris sticker on the car is that I don't want to provoke an incident when I am exploring our rural areas and looking for new places to eat. Some of them have signs like this:
I sometimes end up in towns which are decidedly pro-Trump and where my car stands out enough as it is among the pickup trucks. For example in Molalla:

The man in the red plaid shirt is talking to two men at another table.

I could easily overhear the conversation of the men at two of the tables, one shown above, who were obviously regulars and townies, and all they were talking about was the comparative merits of different kinds of guns.

April 12, 2022

Hal Brown blog April 11 - 2022 Rare early Spring snow in Portland, OR


//// Click here to go back to the blog from March \\\\ Fast loading, view only the April edition here.

Until now this was, by and large, a photo diary about my excursions around northwestern Oregon and southern Washington featuring lots of scenic photos and stories about unusual restaurants.

At present the blog is evolving to be more eclectic. For those new to looking at it I suggest going beyond the opening page, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and randomly clicking on some of the other entries for the past year. At the least take a look at what I posted here in March.

April 11, 2022

7:00 AM at my place

Link to article above

6:00 AM Before sunrise at home

April 11, 2022

Bistro Cubano in Oregon City and More, Hal Brown

1600+ of my mostly political stories are here on Daily Kos //// Click here to go back to the blog from March \\\\ Fast loading, view only the April edition here.

Until now this was, by and large, a photo diary about my excursions around northwestern Oregon and southern Washington featuring lots of scenic photos and stories about unusual restaurants.

At present the blog is evolving to be more eclectic. For those new to looking at it I suggest going beyond the opening page, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and randomly clicking on some of the other entries for the past year. At the least take a look at what I posted here in March.

April 10, 2022

April 9, 2022

My comment to this HUFFPOST story: 

Donald Trump Jr. Detailed In Text How To Seize White House After 2020 Vote: Report

I like what  former FBI counterintelligence expert Peter Strozk said this morning on MSNBC's new "Katie Phang Show": "A successful day for Don Jr. is one when he remembered the correct sequence is that socks come before the shoes. He didn't come up with these ideas on his own. The question is where did they come from? Is this part of a coordinated activity? It certainly appears to be what played out when January 6th came around." I wonder what he'd have to say about Eric Trump having a successful day. Perhaps it would be one where he doesn't mistake his socks for bologna and eat them in a sandwich for lunch.

April 8, 2022

Lunch at Bistro Cubano in Oregon City: A few photos...

April 8, 2022

Adding the terms snowflake, as in the right-wing insult for liberals that they say are too sensitive, to sociopath, Jimmy Kimmel came up with a good term to describe Marjorie Taylor Greene who has reported him to the Capitol Police for supposedly threatening her in a joke.


'Worst woman in America': Jimmy Kimmel continues war of words with Marjorie Taylor Greene 


After Greene made the outlandish assertion that anyone who supports now-confirmed Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is “pro-pedophile,” Kimmel asked on his show, "Where's Will Smith when you really need him," a laugh-line reference to the actor's Oscar night slap to the face of Chris Rock.

According to Kimmel said, “What a day — I have to tell you. What a night and what a day. I have the weirdest life. I really do. Once again, I find myself in the middle of a brouhaha, as I appear to have run afoul of probably the worst woman in American politics. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the congressperson from the 14th District of Georgia, is unhappy. She’s specifically unhappy with me.”

Kimmel repeated the joke about Greene and then proceeded to label her a snowflake and sociopath - and conflated the two terms into the moniker "snowciopath" for the Georgian's running to the Capitol Police. "Not only did she call the police — she called the same police she voted against giving a congressional gold medal to for defending our Capitol against the insurrection she helped incite on Jan. 6," Kimmel said.

Some comments to RAWSTORY:

Someone should require she wear a Hannibal Lector mask when she speaks if only to remind us of her sociopathy. I can imagine her saying “I eat liberals livers with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” This by the way could be lethal if is  she is on certain antidepressants consuming liver, fava beans, and wine are contraindicated. Some reviews suggest Lector was meant to know this so this the line in considered an inside joke. Reference

If you aren't familiar with the meaning of the word snowflake as slang used in a political context click below:

On another subject entirely, a few years ago I was with some friends all of whom were vegans and I admit to being intentionally provocative when I asked them whether if there was a food shortage effecting the crops they depend on for their vegan diet would they eat bugs. They basically dismissed my question as not worth considering. I could send them all links to this new BUZZFEED article:

April 7, 2022

I was going to avoid writing about politics on this blog because I was posting on the far left website Daily Kos. I am changing my mind and will selectively post some political observations and opinions here. This decision was prompted by an unresolved dispute I had with Daily Kos which resulted in them threatening to suspend me for inadvertently breaking their rules against giving a forum to anyone espousing unfounded conspiracies even if I was writing something lambasting them and saying how despicable they were. The subject of this article responded in the comments. I thought that in fairness to him he should be able to defend himself and let readers decided if his argument had any merit. They also cited a reason for threatening to ban me permanently for posting a subsequent article I put on about UFOs because I read some recent stories about them. I offered no opinion unless you consider my illustration of the Unidentified Frying Object to convey my skeptism about aliens. Daily Kos considered this was promoting conspiracy theories even though I did no such thing. I deleted that story and reposted it below.
Message from Daily Kos, click above to enlarge

I read this story in HUFFPOST,  today and added my comment and decided to illustrate it with a photo I put together put it in my comment.


My comment:

I doubt he'd walk for reasons noted in comments. In his fantasy I think he'd really like to have led march waving to his adoring crowd from a Mercedes-Benz 770 Grosser Offener Tourenwagen along with a Marine band playing a selection of Richard Wagner musical numbers. (snark)

April 6,  2022

This article on a local newspaper website caught my eye:

‘We’re closing in on them’ says UFO expert on Pentagon findings



CHICAGO (NewsNation) — A newly-released Pentagon report says some witnesses who reported UFO sightings also experienced injuries including radiation burns, brain problems and damaged nerves.

While the memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, is not the hard evidence needed to confirm life on other planets, Nick Pope — a journalist who used to run the British Government’s UFO Project — says we’re closer than we’ve ever been.

“If they’re out there, we’re closing in on them and it will be the biggest discovery in human history,” he said Tuesday night during “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”

Titled “Anomalous Acute And Subacute Field Effects on Human and Biological Tissues,” the memo was part of more than 1,500 pages of DIA documents related to the Pentagon’s secretive UFO program called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.


But the new interest is also because UFOs have become just that undeniable.

“The other thing is, we’ve just got a lot more evidence than was previously the case. We always knew pilots … saw these things. But it’s the DoD themselves that have recently put some of this on their website,” he continued.

Either way, Pope says the chances of us finding out what these UFOs are is “stronger than it ever was."

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 11:03:05 AM PDT · HalBrown

UFOs left 'radiation burns' and 'unaccounted for pregnancies,' new Pentagon report claims

By Brandon Specktor published about 22 hours ago

1,500 pages of UFO related research were just declassified as part of a FOIA request.

April 5, 2022

At the veterinary dermatologist and allergist for ear infections:

Mac has the blue bandana, Duff the red. 
Click images to enlarge

April 4, 2022

I decided not to buy some plywood I wanted for making stairs for the dogs to get onto my bed at Lowes because the prices have gone up two or three times in the past year. I checked out the dumpster where I live since I found pieces of wood there before.

With nothing to use in the dumpster I didn't have to engage in dumpster diving. I am not as spry as I once was so I was glad I didn't have to climb into the dumpster. Then on the way back from shopping I drove by some discarded wood from what looked like a dresser of some kind. It had a piece of wood which was just what I needed. Score one for successful roadside foraging.

April 3, 2022

The previous three stories which I posted on Daily Kos weren't primarily about politics:

April 2, 2022

Coming attraction - Thanks to Liam at Dick's Primal Burger (website) on Woodstock for letting me know about this (Jacob and Son's website) Currently there are only two Jewish delis in Portland, Kenny and Zuke's (the sandwich photos on their website are stuffed like they should be but in reality there is much less meat) and Kornblatt's. I like the former better than the latter, but neither can hold a shabbat candle to the Jewish delis in New York City from the famous Zabar's on the upper westside (Broadway and 80th Street) to neighborhood Jewish delis. For that matter, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor is a far better Jewish deli than either of the two currently operating in Portland.

I can't wait to eat at the new Portland Jewish deli and bring home some chopped liver and maybe some matzo ball soup. Here's the link to the article below. 

Dick's Primal Burger is opening another restaurant on N. Williams. The restaurant has mouth watering burgers. Here's their menu. The owner, Richard Satnick, aka Dick, has many pictures of famous Dick's (including one of himself) posted on the walls. I identified about 80%. If you can't figure out who they are you will have to ask since they aren't labeled. This one, in one of the bathrooms, is obvious: 

There's another Nixon display in the restaurant with this famous slogan:

I posted photos of Dick's Primal before on the blog but here are a few I took today (click to enlarge):

I just thought this sign in Oregon City was clever:

BREAKFAST, highly disciplined eggs line up for inspection on top of corned beef.

April 1, 2022 

Here are some of my favorite (and I think best) old photos from a page I put online in 2015. 

This was at The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

There was a lot of luck in capturing the moment when the bubble was in mid-air. I was on the top of a double-decker bus which explains the angle of the photo.

Click here to go back to March

Compassion doesn't count ballots: Biden does the moral thing on immigration and it will hurt him with many voters. All Trump needs now is his own Willie Horton. by Hal Brown, MSW

In the news today a top story  (read article)  is that President Biden has once again demonstrated that he has a heart and good sense when i...