The Missing Links, Good cop/bad cop, MentalFloss dot com (fair use) 

If you’re tired of being good cop /bad cop’d¬†you might want to tune in to ¬†The Movement for a People’s Party, Sunday, August 30 for the start of something fresh ‚ÄĒ a viable third party which can’t be bought ‚ÄĒ (registration required to view the event) ‚Äď with great speakers lined-up. Both parties, and their major donors know that keeping the game narrow means they always win. ¬†A third party would make this more expensive and less likely, especially if they can’t buy dominance of the new party. ¬†The current two-party puppet show has become boorish. ¬†Small donors can change this.

TUNE IN ! ¬† ¬Ņ Are you weary of¬†money as $peech,¬†yet? ¬†(In Citizens United¬†The Supremes decided that ‚Äúhe who donates the most dollars‚ÄĚ wins; and we the little people¬†lose.) ¬†Our two-party system got the memo, er, they sent the memo on behalf of their corporate overlords which bought and paid to own this rigged and tedious game.

That old notion, when the people lead, the leaders will follow,¬†still has currency ‚ÄĒ in many small donations. ¬†We the People need to buy back our governance. ¬†Got appetite? ¬†We already have a good foundation in our Constitution, but we’ve allowed it to become stale and stinky by failing to challenge the nonsense of “originalism” powerfully debunked here by Dean of Stanford Law School :

Edwin Chemerinsky’s WE THE PEOPLE. ¬†






Official Ballot, 1926, NYPL digital collection

My wife and I became “federal voters” in the spring, and were able to vote in both our state’s primary election, and to cast primary ballots for candidates for federal office (which may vary depending on your state) ‚ÄĒ as we had to declare our intention eventually to return to our state, in order to participate in state elections. (Federal voters also get to vote in the General Election.) ¬†

We accomplished these changes by contacting our former county board of elections, submitting signed encrypted¬†documents electronically (rules may vary). ¬†We were then able to cast our primary ballots by shipping them to a friend in Florida by FedX, who took them to a local post office where they were hand-cancelled (to verify the date of their entry into the mail stream). ¬†Don’t rely on foreign mail to deliver any of these documents in either direction, as they likely will not arrive on time. ¬†

If you want to attempt this, I’ve linked some details, gleaned thru or from League of Women Voters (by referral, to US Vote Foundation) and the federal government to point you in the right direction, but you might best contact your former board of elections to get an application by email. ¬†(We wanted to avoid partisan recruiting by party operatives, as my sense is that they sometimes engage in pesky fund-raising schemes.) ¬†Be alert! ¬†Don’t give your personal details away online, without encryption. Know the destination, with certainty. ¬†More on federal voting from Federal Voting Assistance Program.

NOTE: ¬†NEVER send ballots to a board of election by private carrier, such as UPS, or FedX. ¬†They will be invalidated. ¬†Ballots must be carried by US MAIL, and need a valid, readable postmark ‚ÄĒ which can only be assured if someone submits them for hand cancellation. ¬†Over 550,000 ballots were invalidated for various reasons in the last federal election cycle. ¬†Don’t let your electoral voice be snuffed by casual handling!



Close the S-trap, please!

Some of us get bitten by mosquitos, more indoors than outdoors. ¬†Unless you’re a plumber, you may not be aware that there is a tiny swamp of standing water in the drains of your sink basins and shower stalls.¬†(This S-trap, desaguadero en estilo-S; estilo ese)¬†is designed to retain water as a plug while allowing spillage, locking septic gases below ground, yet still enabling drainage.) ¬†This liquid plug is¬†an ideal hatchery, and needs to be screened or blocked to prevent those hatchlings from being deposited, and then biting and breeding indoors. ¬† But it’s easy, if you disrupt access to where they’re laying their eggs. ¬†

Go to a kitchen store, or maybe a plumbing supply, and get a mesh strainer, as shown above. ¬†Or simply cover the drains when not actually draining ‚ÄĒ with those handy lids that cap off your water¬†garrafa arriving¬†from e-pura or Cristal. ¬†For the floor drain in the shower, lids from those clear plastic containers of nuts sold at Costco are of a perfect size. (I’ve entered many articles on mosquito control, which can be searched in the white field at the upper right.)




Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 5.24.18 AM

‚ÄúLADY LIBERTY‚ÄĚ ¬† A.I.-generated portrait, by Bas Uterwijk (fair use)

Dear Reader,

Digits are ephemeral. ¬†I’ve lost two recent blogposts¬†which I posted last week, before¬†migrating my site to a new host,. ¬†The photos are easy to repost, but the writing seems to be gone. ¬†As exceedingly unlikely as it might be, maybe somebody out there filed the text of either of these posts? ¬†One was titled FILM REVIEW: ¬†A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; (posted July 27) and the other was titled ¬†¬Ņ¬Ņ What is Liberty ?? ¬†(posted July 31). ¬†If you happen to have either of them, I would be most grateful to hear from you in the comment section, or at my personal email, if you have it. ¬†(If you don’t wish to see your name in print, simply say so, as I can keep your response private.) ¬†Note to anyone who might need to migrate a WordPress site: ¬†Recent drafts are fugitive, and will be abandoned during transit!

If you’ve passed up this film, thinking it’s sappy, smarmy, kids-stuff, you’ve missed a gem about a true encounter between a hardboiled journalist and a PBS children’s entertainer which is subtly powerful. ¬†An acquaintance who worked with Fred Rogers at the TV studio encouraged me also to read the cover article from Esquire magazine which hatched the film. ¬†I did, and it’s quite good.

(Still hoping to find the original blogposts)