Category: Culture

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Games We (Poorly) Play

Yesterday, one my neighbors expressed surprise about filling out paperwork at a doctor’s office, where she was presented with choice of a dozen genders. I would think that a medical practice would stick to the science: Humans are biologically either male or female. How people feel about themselves is something else.

All through the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, we kept hearing about the science—physicians and researchers following it, and we should, too. In 2024, should a doctor’s office do no less? Meaning: Put basic biology before social culture?

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Changing Priorities

With increasing mayhem—everything from armed robbery to migrant mischief to unpredictable homeless encounters—self-protection gurus council people, particularly among vulnerable populations like older folks, to practice situational awareness. Stated simply: Pay attention to your surroundings.

Most people are clueless, at least around my San Diego neighborhood. Every day, I see dozens and dozens of folks, many of them walking dogs, wearing Apple AirPods—and thus tuning out by tuning in, so to speak. They don’t pay attention—as they should, if for no other reason than the increased amount of traffic precipitated by increased population density. Previously quiet streets suddenly are quite congested.

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Whom Do You…

The answer related to the Featured Image is easy: No one. I am a fact-oriented journalist, who trusts nobody—nor should you in this era of mass misinformation. With perhaps the exception of Matt Taibbi, there isn’t a soul among my profession whose news reporting I would accept as factual—that is without some independent verification of my own.

We live at a time when commentary and editorialization—narratives, if you prefer—supplant real reporting. Everyone is an armchair analyst with an opinion, and not enough emphasis is placed on gathering facts and assembling them into a meaningful story that unfolds some current event or reveals something legitimately in the public interest.

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Cancelling Christ Feels Familiar

If you’ve seen this sign before on my website somewhere, do tell me. I can’t find it. Because I so meant to share the message nearly four years ago (June 26, 2020). The United States was in turmoil, with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 restrictions making most everyone stay in and widespread looting, protests, and riots pulling people out onto the streets.

Do you remember the chaos, and rampant cancellation? You know: anyone who dared to defy the social media mob’s cries for equity, justice, and racial identity—all while fostering division and segregation that contradicted the presumed purpose of progressives. Black lives mattered, and including any other group(s) made you a racist.

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By the Grace of God

Along Park Blvd, barely outside my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, is a church I hadn’t stopped to regard—until yesterday. I simply don’t walk that way often enough to have noticed the stately structure.

Near as I can gather from the official website, Grace Lutheran is a family-oriented, traditional Christian church located in an area where other places of worship cater more to the licentious, cultural mob than to God.

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‘Finding Vivian Maier’

For some reason, last night, YouTube’s algorithm suggested a not-so-interesting video about a street photographer with whom I had limited knowledge. My watching some portion of the vid generated suggestions for others and finally the gem: Documentary “Finding Vivian Maier“, which I watched in its entirety this evening.

Quick backstory: A large portion of her collection of media—including more than 150,000 negatives, hundreds of undeveloped film rolls, audio recordings, and home movies—were auctioned in 2007; she had failed to keep up payments on a storage unit. Vivian Maier was an unknown, unpublished photographer at the time; she died in April 2009, following a fall, unaware that her street shots had started to draw attention after some were published on Flickr.

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What These Flowers Mean

The Featured Image is a memory marker. I shall explain. The grass on this property is rarely overgrown like this. But the woman responsible for tending things has lost the privilege of doing so. For reasons of protected privacy, I choose not to show the building.

One of my neighbors is in the process of losing her home. Supposedly she will be duly compensated, but what she wants is to stay in the neighborhood she knows and loves, living out her life in a house her grandmother once owned.

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Feel Free to Park Overnight

As part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit, San Diego will no longer enforce overnight parking laws that restrict where some vehicles can park. The prohibition has burdened people sleeping in RVs and vans, particularly, with costly tickets or tows.

Section 86.0139 of the San Diego Municipal Code states: “It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing upon any public street, park road, or parking lot, any oversized vehicle, non-motorized vehicle, or recreational vehicle between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am”.

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A Touch of Color

For the Aroostook County, Maine trip a week ago—to see Dad while we still could—my sister and I stayed with our beloved aunt. Her husband, and naturally our uncle, was Washburn fire chief for two decades. He passed away in August 2020. I was humbled by opportunity to sleep in his bed, over which a portrait of him in uniform looked.

The Featured Image and companion of brother and sister (my uncle and mom) are opportunity to show off some of the AI-enhanced capabilities of Samsung Photo Assist. I edited both portraits on Galaxy S24 Ultra. The second, made more monochrome, is for reference to the first, which is colorized.

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The Interview Heard Around the World

Today, Tucker Carlson released perhaps the most important interview of our time—and one not sought by traditional, Western news media outlets, if I correctly understand things. Recorded on Feb. 6, 2024, the journalist sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

My wife and I watched the first 55 minutes of the more than 2 hour interview; we will finish it tomorrow. My interest: Context and record-setting straight by Putin and the questions Carlson poses. The liberal American news media cannot be trusted to get the facts—for reason nobody openly discusses, because maybe for fear of being called homophobic. Sharpen your nasty labels, baby, and let’s get to it.

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You Can’t…

Irony is sometimes what you make it—or not. You decide, regarding my explanation about the Featured Image. Yesterday, I walked by the Sun Bum display inside Ralph’s and gaped. Hillcrest is one of San Diego’s homeless hangouts, and the street folk have, ah, sticky fingers. Yes, thievery.

Local street sleepers are blamed. Meaning: The supermarket doesn’t trust the bum, which is why so many items for sale are in locked displays. Buying batteries? Ask a clerk. Personal hygiene products? You will need assistance getting access to some of those, too. I could go on, but you get the point—right?

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Coin Collection

While waiting outside the Smart & Final for my wife, who was grocery shopping (bless her!), I hung out in the parking lot by the wall where, on the other side, homeless folk sometimes hang out. On the ledge, I came upon a small collection of coins.

My question: Did some good Samaritan leave loose change for the unhoused (hate that term) to find, or were the coins perhaps gathered and forgotten? Either, or neither, could be true.