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A post-Thanksgiving report



I was down South for Thanksgiving at my cousin, Ellen’s, lovely home in the Malibu Hills. It was really nice to get away from the trump sickness and just relax and have a good time with family and friends.

Malibu, as most of you know, is west of Los Angeles. The city is roughly 21 miles in length and, although most people think it runs north-south since it’s on the California coast, it actually runs east-west. That’s due to the peculiar twist the California topography takes, roughly at Lompoc, where the San Andreas Fault has twisted the bedrock into a so-called transverse position, as this map shows.

Malibu is a delightful place to live, as anyone knows who’s ever been there, but it is not without its problems. There are earthquakes, of course, but the biggest threats are wildfires and mudslides. Ellen has, in fact, had to evacuate her home numerous times over her years of living there. The last time was in the big 1993 fire, 25 years ago. She had to evacuate again last week, because of the Woolsey Fire (which destroyed 1,500 structures). She wasn’t allowed to return for six days.

Fortunately her neighborhood was spared. Most of the damage was to the west, in the Malibu Canyon area and spreading further west and east, into the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County.

These wildfires are only going to get worse due to global warming. Although I’ve been largely out of touch from the news over the holiday, I did see the big news about the U.S. government’s report on climate change, which calls it a looming catastrophe that we have to address, and adds moreover that human activity is a leading cause. Yet the head of the American government continues to insist that there’s no problem, all we have to do is rake the forests. That man, trump, is singularly stupid. Doesn’t he make you furious? We have got to get rid of him, the sooner the better. Not that Pence is sane (he thinks Adam and Eve and little Cain and Abel played with cute dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden 5,700 years ago), but he’s not as dangerous as his boss. And besides, if he does get to be president, our Democratic House of Representatives will make sure he can do very little damage.

It used to be that I could drive from Ellen’s house back to Oakland in 6-1/2 hours, but those days are long gone, so I divided this trip into halfsies, staying overnight in San Luis Obispo. On the way down, last week, it took me 6-1/2 hours to drive the 224 miles from Oakland to San Luis! The traffic is an abomination. Rightwingers from red states love to insult California and say it’s the pit of Hell or something like that. It is true that our traffic sucks. But I still love California, and especially the fact that it’s the bluest state in the union. For that, I credit an educated population, unlike the people of, say, Mississippi, which is the least educated state in America. Mississippi is also the state with the fattest population, and it has the highest rate of out-of-wedlock births. Oh, and the per capital income of Mississippians is the lowest in the country. Way to go, Mississippi! How’s that evangelical thing workin’ out for ya?

Mississippi also is where they’re having a runoff election for Senator between the Democrat, Mike Espy, and the Republican, Cindy “KKK” Hyde-Smith, the segregationist, who will probably win. Trump, of course, is campaigning for the racist. Since he’s a racist himself, the son of a member of the Ku Klux Klan, that’s only natural. If reincarnation is real, I hope trump comes back as a black man. A gay black man. A trans gay black man.

I saw three movies in L.A.: Widows, which I didn’t like. The acting was stunning but the script was all over the place. If Beal Street Could Talk was really good; the more I think about it, the more I admire it. The best was Bohemian Rhapsody. Wow, such fun. Rotten Tomatoes has been tough on it, but the box office is shattering records.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as I did! More tomorrow.

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