How late night saw the Chauvin verdict … NYT


Seth Meyers: Chauvin Verdict Confirms ‘What We Saw With Our Own Eyes’

“As we’ve explained on this show many times before, the culture and system of policing in this country must be dismantled and reformed,” Meyers said on Wednesday.

Seth Meyers said Tuesday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was “at the very least a relief to have what we saw with our own eyes confirmed by a court of law, even if it’s still a sorrow moment for grief and mourning.”
Seth Meyers said Tuesday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was “at the very least a relief to have what we saw with our own eyes confirmed by a court of law, even if it’s still a sorrow moment for grief and mourning.”Credit…NBC

By Trish BendixApril 22, 2021, 2:40 a.m. ET

On Wednesday, as Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the killing of George Floyd continued to reverberate around the country, Seth Meyers said it was “at the very least a relief to have what we saw with our own eyes confirmed by a court of law, even if it’s still a sorrow moment for grief and mourning, because this one verdict alone does not mean justice is done.”

“True justice would mean George Floyd would still be alive today. True justice would mean Black people no longer having to live in fear of being killed by police. But there was at least accountability, which is hopefully a comfort to George Floyd’s family, and all those mourning his death, and a first step toward true justice and the reform we so desperately need, because it is undeniably the case that this is not the end of the story. As we’ve explained on this show many times before, the culture and system of policing in this country must be dismantled and reformed.” — SETH MEYERS

Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert also described Chauvin’s conviction on all charges as just a step in the right direction on a long path to righting generations of injustice.

“While yesterday’s guilty verdicts are a step toward justice, they don’t change the fact that a man was murdered and Black people are still being killed by police. We have a long way to go to make this a country that, I don’t know, actually treats everybody like human [expletive] beings?” — SAMANTHA BEE

“Americans are still emotionally processing yesterday’s verdict by a Minnesota jury that found Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts in the murder of George Floyd. It brings up a lot of complex feelings, because no jury verdict can bring George Floyd back, but the news of this accountability was celebrated across the nation, in Minnesota, New York and across the street from the White House, in Black Lives Matter Plaza, where people were dancing and crying with relief. What a difference 11 months make: Last time they were crying from tear gas and rubber bullets.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“Now, the problem of police violence against people of color is still far from solved. While this is a welcome verdict, it’s like wiping up a spill on the Titanic: Good job, now let’s focus on the water pooling around our ankles.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“Yeah, it should not take nine minutes of damning video to get some accountability. There’s a reason the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t say, ‘With liberty and justice for all who are being filmed on an iPhone. Otherwise, sucks to be you!’” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“We can see the injustice with our own eyes, but there’s a whole industry of people, from police unions, to private prisons, to cable pundits, whose very lucrative job is to try to convince us that what we can see and hear with our own eyes and ears is not real. In fact, it’s worth going back and reading the initial police description of Floyd’s murder before the video came out to see just how deeply detached from reality it was. Here’s the official headline: ‘Man dies after medical incident during police interaction.’ It’s shocking. It’s hard to fathom. It’s like writing a book report about ‘Lord of the Flies’ called, ‘Kids successfully cooperate during tropical vacation, remain lifelong friends.’” — SETH MEYERS

“Many Americans on Twitter, on various platforms, have spoken passionately, powerfully, about the verdicts and their significance yesterday, but none spoke less eloquently than Tucker Carlson of Fox News.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“After former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty yesterday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed the jury was intimidated into the guilty verdict by the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, which is frustrating for Carlson, because he put a lot of work into intimidating that jury.” — SETH MEYERS

Samantha Bee made the case for federal legalization of marijuana on Wednesday’s “Full Frontal.”


January 24, 2013 

Haresh Shah

My Close Encounter With The (Angry) Master of Magical Realism


It’s October 29, 1982.  The master of magical realism – Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez has just won the Nobel Prize.  Playboy magazine has in its inventory a recently concluded interview with him, conducted by the veteran journalist, Claudia Dreifus.  The interview has been transcribed from hours and hours of time Ms. Dreifus spent talking with García Márquez in his Paris apartment.  It has been edited and ready to go – almost.  Playboy has promised García Márquez that it would show him the edited version, mainly to check facts and to point out inaccuracies.  As a matter of policy and editorial integrity, the magazine does not give the interview subjects right of approval.  Normally, Playboy closes most of its issues three to four months in advance.  García Márquez would make the trip to Stockholm in December to accept the Prize.  The interview must appear as close to the Nobel ceremony as possible.  This means, the scheduled February interview had to be pulled and be replaced by García Márquez interview.  The problem is; the elusive Nobel laureate is nowhere to be found. Several frenetic phone calls from Playboy editors to his house in Mexico City are answered again and again by his maid.  He has gone away on a month long vacation, leaving behind strict instructions that he didn’t wish to be reached.

The executive editor G. Barry Golson has drafted me to hand carry the interview to Mexico and do whatever was necessary in trying to track down the suddenly disappeared author and get his seal of approval.  With then editor of Playboy’s Mexican edition, Miguel Arana and I drive over to García Márquez’s home in the ritzy southern suburb of the city.  I encounter the maid face-to-face.  She is polite, but firm in telling us that she couldn’t indulge to us where we could find the master of the house.  After initial conversation, I tell her that I was going to park myself right outside the house in the fashion of  passive resistance, until she could tell me his whereabouts.  She just couldn’t.  But she promises  to mention to García Márquez of our being camped out at the front gate of his house,  when and if he calls in.  An hour or so later, she hands me a piece of paper.  Written on it is a phone number of Hotel El Quijote in San Luis Potosi, a dusty town in north-central Mexico,  some 225  miles out of Mexico City, reachable only through mostly unpaved country roads.  After all day of calling the hotel and leaving messages that are never answered, I finally hear his voice on the other side of the line. He sounds congenial but tired.  He agrees to meet with me the next afternoon at his hotel in San Luis Potosi.  I leave very early in the morning to make it in time for our rendezvous.

He is not in his room.  Not in the hotel restaurant or the lobby bar either. I patiently pace the hotel property.  I circle the large swimming pool and admire his shiny BMW parked outside his room.  Eventually, I  plunk  myself down in the lobby bar overlooking the entrance to the hotel.  I sit there in excess of four hours, observing every single person entering and leaving the lobby — drowning beer after beer and munching on tortilla chips and salsa.  I don’t even once wonder why we had to go through what I am going through, just so our interview subject  can look at the transcript.  I think to myself  that’s one of the many reasons why Playboy Interview and its format and depth have become ultimate yardstick against which all the journalistic efforts in the question and answer format are measured.


It is getting to be late.  I am beginning to lose my patience. I am exhausted and have consumed all the beer I could manage that day.  And I am absolutely famished!  I am trying to decide whether I should order something to eat when I suddenly notice short and stocky frame of Garbriel García Márquez entering the lobby.  With him is a young lady I perceive to be in her mid-thirties, who I find out later is Marilise Simons, the Mexican correspondent to The New York Times.  I rush to greet him.  He apologizes for making me wait so long, while Marilise comes to his aid with  “it was all my fault. My car broke down on the way over.” Doesn’t matter. Like an answered prayer, Gabriel García Márquez  is standing in front of me face-to-face.  He asks  me and Marilise to accompany him to his suite.  The front room is littered with the magazines, newspapers and loose manuscript pages piled next to a manual typewriter perched atop a cabinet in vertical position.  He is in San Luis Potosi to help with the screenplay of his book Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother, being filmed there with Greek actress Irene Papas in the leading role. And also following him on the location is the French television crew, making a documentary of his life. Now at last he has a moment to pause and catch a breath.

As the three of us settle around the large round table in the middle of the room, he still looks harried and exhausted.  I hand him the galley.  The cover letter from Barry  states that we needed to have his comments within three days and that he should restrict his changes to the facts and the possible distortion in translation. As he reads on, I see the congenial expressions of his face slowly turning, first into disgust and then into visible anger.

“I am furious at Playboy.”  He is livid as he hurls the pages in his hands on the table with a loud thud. “I feel betrayed because Claudia (Dreifus) had promised that I would have the right to make any changes in the interview before its publication. And that I would be given enough time to be able to thoroughly go through it.”   He continues on,  telling me that  the interview was concluded several months ago, why couldn’t they have sent him the typescript in the interim?  In fact, he was given to understand that it  was postponed indefinitely. “ Now just because I have won the Nobel Prize, Playboy suddenly wants to have it yesterday! Had I not won the Nobel, they probably would have killed it entirely.”

I am not quite prepared for his emotional outburst and the Latin temper.  I am one of his biggest fans,  I tell him,  and he realizes that it comes from the heart.  I tell him that the Nobel or not, he is one of the most important literary figures of our time.  If Playboy thought any lesser of him, they wouldn’t have sent a personal emissary to hand carry it to him and to show him our goodwill.  And I ask him, were he still reporting for El Tiempo or El Espectador, would he not want to run the interview with himself right now?

“But I don’t need any more publicity!” He says lamely. Still looking quite angry.

“Sr, García Márquez, if  I may. This interview is not meant to publicize you. But to give your readers a deeper understanding of your ideas and your philosophy. As you know, Playboy has published many of your fictions. I have read all of them and have also read your books.  I read our interview with you on my flight over here, and I must say, as one of  your avid fans, it has enlightened me enormously of my understanding of you as a man and of your work,  more than ever before. And I am sure, so would your readers around the world.”

I realize I am pontificating, but he could sense that I am being honest. It hits home and  seems to calm him down somewhat. He promises to get back to us within the requested time frame of three days.  Before I leave, he switches to a conciliatory tone in that we talk about insignificant things for a few minutes and then about the Indian Nobel winner, the poet Rabindranath Tagore. He then apologizes profusely for taking it all out on me, but then concludes with pragmatic “that’s what happens to the messengers!”

On my way over to see him, I had wanted to ask some additional questions to update the interview, but the way things turned out, it just wasn’t in the cards. At the very last minute all I could think of asking him was something I had read in that week’s Time magazine, in which he had said that to accept his award in Stockholm, he intends to wear the traditional Mexican guayabera, a light weight shirt worn outside  the trousers. When Time asked, his answer: “To avoid putting on a tuxedo, I’ll stand the cold.” When I referred to it and asked him; why? His answer to me is: “Superstition.” More like it. Something a character of magical realism would say.

Before heading back to Mexico City, I decide to put something in my stomach.  All I had all day long was huevos rancheros.  I sit down, order another beer and some enchiladas verde and mull over my forty-five some minutes with the man who had just won the most prestigious literary  prize in the world.  His wrath has me unsettled for a while.  But then I think of the interviewer Peter Ross Range and how CNN boss Ted Turner had turned violent during their interview, grabbing his tape recorder and smashing  it on the aisle of the first class cabin of an airliner and how he  had  then snatched his camera bag and practically destroyed the tapes containing their conversation.  How the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci would throw temper tantrums at her interviewer Robert Scheer when he turned the tables on her, confronting Fallaci  with the questions she didn’t like.  And how Alex Haley, the author of Roots endured the overt racism while the “führer” of the American Nazi party, George Lincoln Rockwell,  outlined to him  his intentions to ship “niggers” back to Africa.

At least, I had the pleasure of having encountered face-to-face one of my most favorite writers, and be able to tell him how much I admired his work.  On my way over from Chicago, I had picked up brand new copies of  two of his books, recently published in their quality paperback editions — the ones of which he had not yet even gotten author’s copies.

My hunger contained and the euphoric feeling of having mission accomplished, I just couldn’t make myself to get back to the car and head back to Mexico City. With my heart fluttering, I slowly walk back to his room.  He himself answers the knock on his door.

“I am sorry, to bother  you again, I almost feel like a teenager, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave without asking you to autograph these books for me.”  By now he looks like a different person.  The interview transcript in form of the galley proofs is spread out all over the table.  “Look, I am already working for Playboy,”  he says with a wry smile pointing at the strewn pages.  Marilise sitting behind his back smiles and flashes the thumb up at me.  He sits down and writes in first of the two books I have brought: No One Writes to Colonel, Para Haresh, de su colerico amigo, Gabriel ’82 and in the second: Leaf Storm, he draws an olive branch on the title page inside and writes, “Para Haresh, con un lomo de olivos, and signs it.

© Haresh Shah 2013

Illustration: Jordan Rutherford

Kiitella/Lisa Issenberg latest design/creation


designer/arTist, Lisa Issenberg with Django

I built Rancho Desperado/Casa de rŌbert nearly thirty years ago as a bachelor, so naturally there was little thought given to a proper dining or cooking space. Having little money for the project I had to make sacrifices and the dining hall took the hit. After Lisa came on the scene as my roommate/handler/wife she cheerfully adapted to the shortcomings of el rancho. Now fifteen years later she decided to add to the ambience and function of the small setting/dining area with a beautifully designed Tapas table where we can comfortably dine without holding our plates on our laps.

It’s short in height to allow eating from the banco and easy chair and its length is also altered to fit into the confined quarters. The table folds so it can rest in the only free corner in the house so its legs fold under with countersunk magnets to hold them in place. Made of laminated birch plywood and carefully thought out, designed then water jet cut and assembled only as Lisa would do. Our friend Dennis Conrad was invaluable with his ideas/technical skills to help assemble the table. His master carpenter, engineer, mechanic skills and technical direction was greatly appreciated.


A Savanna elephant is seen in Kruger National Park in South Africa on March 4, 2020. (Jerome Delay/AP) 

By Jennifer Hassan

April 20, 2021

A breeding herd of elephants in South Africa’s Kruger National Park trampled a suspected rhino poacher to death over the weekend. Several other poaching suspects armed with hunting rifles and an ax were arrested by authorities, as the park continues to crack down on criminal activity in the country that sees a rhino killed every day.

Officials at the park, which has the majority of the world’s rhino population, have long warned about the dangers of illegal entry.

Gareth Coleman, the park’s managing executive, said in a statement released Monday that the weekend had “brought fruitful” anti-poaching operations, adding that several suspected rhino poachers had been arrested and one had died of injuries sustained in the trampling.

According to officials, three people entered the park Saturday, carrying poaching equipment. Rangers spotted them and arrested one individual, while another was fatally stampeded by elephants. The third individual is said to have evaded arrest.

Elephant herds range from two to 24 animals — and although they are widely considered to be peaceful, they are capable of killing other animals and humans if they feel threatened or harassed.

Research from Save the Rhino indicates that almost 10,000 African rhinos have been lost to poaching in the past decade.

The park, which has a surface area of 7,580 square miles, is home to an estimated 4,000 rhinos who are frequently targeted by poachers for their horns, which have been used as an ingredient in traditional medicines in Asian countries such as China and Vietnam for thousands of years. Aside from medicine, the horns are often seen as a symbol of high social status and purchased as gifts.

In 2019, a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then “devoured” by lions, park officials said at the time. All that was found were his skull and a pair of pants.

Last year, South Africa noted a significant drop in rhino poaching, with killings falling 33 percent. The country’s department of forestry, fisheries and the environment credited coronavirus lockdowns with deterring criminal activity but said the threat of poaching began to rise late last year when restrictions began lifting.

Years of drought and famine come and years of flood and famine come, and the climate is not changed with dance, libation or prayer. John Wesley Powell

Some 700 attendees (1893, in Los Angeles’s cavernous boomtown Grand Opera House, the Irrigation Congress held therein promised great hope for a nation that needed some good news) in a festive mood when they turned expectantly to hear John Wesley Powell, the dean of the American West. The aging scientist was supposed to deliver a technical paper. Instead, he pushed aside his prepared address. He spoke extemporaneously and from the heart, drawing on his experience mapping the American West to describe the region’s inescapable environmental realities.

“When all the rivers are used, when all the creeks in the ravines, when all the brooks, when all the springs are used, when all the reservoirs along the streams are used, when all the canyon waters are taken up, when all the artesian waters are taken up, when all the wells are sunk or dug that can be dug in this arid region,” he warned, “there is still not sufficient water to irrigate all the land.”

“I tell you, gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply these lands.” Murmurs now turned to shouts, then the boos came. But Powell drove on. A society that could not contemplate reasonable limits would mire in the swamps of unsustainability—shortage, endless litigation, infrastructure costs, fallout from vicious water politics—each one a threat to the democracy.

Powell’s address resonated with moral courage but amounted at last to political suicide: He had sinned against the prime American idol, optimism.


Western states, including Colorado, prepare for possible 1st water shortage declaration

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead

The Associated Press

Apr 18, 2021

The headwaters of the Colorado River flow near Kremmling, above Gore Canyon, on Aug. 13, 2020. (Dave Timko, This American Land)

By Sam Metz, The Associated Press/Report for America

CARSON CITY, Nev.— The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government’s first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead and into the arid deserts of the U.S. Southwest and the Gulf of California. Water levels in the two lakes are expected to plummet low enough for the agency to declare an official shortage for the first time, threatening the supply of Colorado River water that growing cities and farms rely on.

It comes as climate change means less snowpack flows into the river and its tributaries, and hotter temperatures parch soil and cause more river water to evaporate as it streams through the drought-plagued American West.

The agency’s models project Lake Mead will fall below 1,075 feet (328 meters) for the first time in June 2021. That’s the level that prompts a shortage declaration under agreements negotiated by seven states that rely on Colorado River water: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The April projections, however, will not have binding impact. Federal officials regularly issue long-term projections but use those released each August to make decisions about how to allocate river water. If projections don’t improve by then, the Bureau of Reclamation will declare a Level 1 shortage condition. The cuts would be implemented in January.

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico have voluntarily given up water under a drought contingency plan for the river signed in 2019. A shortage declaration would subject the two U.S. states to their first mandatory reductions. Both rely on the Colorado River more than any other water source, and Arizona stands to lose roughly one-third of its supply.

Water agency officials say they’re confident their preparation measures, including conservation and seeking out alternative sources, would allow them to withstand cuts if the drought lingers as expected.

“The study, while significant, is not a surprise. It reflects the impacts of the dry and warm conditions across the Colorado River Basin this year, as well as the effects of a prolonged drought that has impacted the Colorado River water supply,” officials from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Project said in a joint statement.

In Nevada, the agency that supplies water to most of the state has constructed “straws” to draw water from further down in Lake Mead as its levels fall. It also has created a credit system where it can bank recycled water back into the reservoir without having it count toward its allocation.

Colby Pellegrino, director of water resources for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, reassured customers that those preparation measures would insulate them from the effects of cuts. But she warned that more action was needed.

“It is incumbent upon all users of the Colorado River to find ways to conserve,” Pellegrino said in a statement.

The Bureau of Reclamation also projected that Lake Mead will drop to the point they worried in the past could threaten electricity generation at Hoover Dam. The hydropower serves millions of customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.

To prepare for a future with less water, the bureau has spent 10 years replacing parts of five of the dam’s 17 turbines that rotate to generate power. Len Schilling, a dam manager with the bureau, said the addition of wide-head turbines allow the dam to operate more efficiently at lower water levels. He said the turbines will be able to generate power almost to a point called “deadpool,” when there won’t be enough water for the dam to function.

But Schilling noted that less water moving through Hoover Dam means less hydropower to go around.

“As the elevation declines at the lake, then our ability to produce power declines as well because we have less water pushing on the turbines,” he said.

The Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

The hydropower costs substantially less than the energy sold on the wholesale electricity market because the government charges customers only for the cost of producing it and maintaining the dam.

Lincoln County Power District General Manager Dave Luttrell said infrastructure updates, less hydropower from Hoover Dam and supplemental power from other sources like natural gas raised costs and alarmed customers in his rural Nevada district.

“Rural economies in Arizona and Nevada live and die by the hydropower that is produced at Hoover Dam. It might not be a big deal to NV Energy,” he said of Nevada’s largest utility. “It might be a decimal point to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. But for Lincoln County, it adds huge impact.”

Frightening how quickly the snow pack is melting/sublimating


This reading was April 1, 2021, about two weeks earlier than the reading below. More than a 20% drop in snow/H20 which is very telling of earlier heating of the atmosphere ~ a shorter winter/spring with rapid melting/sublimation. State wide % of average was 96%!


The New York Rock and Soul Revue: Live at the Beacon ~ A GREAT disk i’ve been listening to lately

This was a side project headed by Donald Fagen while Steely Dan were on a bit of a sabbatical in 1991. Stars such as Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow and Micheal McDonald got together to perform a series of shows backed by an outstanding 16 person backing band.

The shows were properly recorded and the “best”, according to someone, is here. Certainly the tracks here impress and would be highly recommended to Steely Dan fans as three of the tracks are Dan and one Fagen, played subtly differently and in magnificent sound quality.

Phoebe Snow gets a bit overwrought in a couple of places. Otherwise the rest of the singers, superb voices, perform splendid versions of well known songs.

Overall think smooth jazz rock and soul in the vein of Steely Dan and Micheal McDonald recorded superbly well and performed by masters of their respective crafts and you are close to what this album sounds like.

The New York Rock and Soul Revue: Live at the Beacon is a live album which documented the New York Rock and Soul Revue. It was recorded on March 1 and 2, 1991 at the Beacon Theater in New York City, a favorite venue of organizer Donald Fagen. The performances featured Fagen and included Phoebe SnowMichael McDonaldBoz ScaggsEddie BrigatiDavid Brigati and Charles Brown. Selections on the album included a number of songs which were originally written and recorded by members of the revue, as well as other songs. The album was released by Giant Records.


LISTEN ~ New York Rock & Soul Revue (featuring Michael McDonald) “Minute By Minute” ~~