Category Archives: Politics

Black Lives Matter – Boone – Four

I had two major concerns about the Black Lives Matter protests that are sweeping our country. First was that they would end before they had a chance to tear down every monument to a racist, traitor a-hole that committed treason against our country to fight for the subjugation of other human beings through slavery that were erected in the 1900s and again in the 1950s and 1960s in an attempt to intimidate African-Americans seeking equal rights and trying to perpetuate a future of white supremacy.

Chris Columbus and his genocide-bringing-ass can go to hell as well.

My other concern, is that the Black Lives Matter protests would lead to big spikes in Coronavirus, particularly in a community that due to economic inequality, has had high mortality rates. However, a recent study shows that this has not been the case.

From the study:

6. Conclusions
This study is the first to empirically examine the linkage between the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and the spread of COVID-19, which has been a point of concern among public health officials and the media (Bacon 2020; Goldberg 2020; Harmon and Rojas 2020). While it is almost certain that the protests caused a decrease in social distancing behavior among protest attendees, we demonstrate that effect of the protests on the social distancing behavior of the entire population residing in counties with large urban protests was positive. Likewise, while it
is possible that the protests caused an increase in the spread of COVID-19 among those who attended the protests, we demonstrate that the protests had little effect on the spread of COVID19 for the entire population of the counties with protests during the more than three weeks
following protest onset. In most cases, the estimated longer-run effect (post-21 days) was negative, though not statistically distinguishable from zero.

While the exact mechanisms for these findings cannot be conclusively known with the data available, the results are consistent with avoidance behavior on the part of the non-attending population. This is consistent with the literature on crime, violence, and perceived safety
amongst the general population, who in the presence of crime or violence choose to remain home more often (Bennet et al. 2007; Stafford et al. 2007; Chalfin 2008; Janke, Propper and Shields
2016; Yu and Lippert 2016; Stolzenberg, D’Alessio and Flexon 2019). While Black Lives Matter protests are protected speech and not criminal activities, they may still be viewed as dangerous by non-attendees due to the occasional presence of violence, including police response to these protests, and elicit avoidance behavior.

There are other possible explanations for our findings as well, such as avoiding travel outside the home due to additional traffic congestion or street closures, or due to lack of available activities from businesses closures near protest sites. Additionally, non-attendees may perceive a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to the protests and choose to stay home.

Finally, it is possible that the result of suggestive lower spread of COVID-19 relative to non-protesting cities is due in part to characteristics of the protesters. For example, protest attendees may have mitigated the spread of COVID-19 via infection countermeasures such as wearing masks. The attendees may further be a selected subpopulation of younger individuals who if infected have less severe symptoms (Liao et al. 2020) and thus may never get tested and not show up in the official COVID-19 numbers.

Regardless of the underlying mechanisms, our findings show that the protests and the fight against COVID-19 were on net aligned. It is important to underscore that our findings do not imply that that this was the case for all parts of the population. The net effect of increased
sheltering and decreased case growth could mask adverse outcomes within a subset of the population (specifically protest attendees). This could hypothetically cause a redistribution of public health benefits (and costs) across demographic groups, and could only be measured with more granular data that to our knowledge does not exist at present.

However, when considering the results’ implications for the entire population: public speech and public health did not trade off against each other in this case. Our findings also highlight the importance of understanding the behavior of all relevant populations when conducting analysis in the realm of social science in general, and public health in particular: the most visible portion of the population is not always the primary driver of the outcome of interest.

SOURCE: https://www.nber.org/papers/w27408.pdf

While Coronavirus cases are spiking in places like Arizona, Florida, and Texas, this study is pretty indicative of how effective wearing a mask and being outside can be.

So, WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC!!!!

Here is the final collection of images from the Boone Black Lives Matter event from a couple of weeks ago.


Black Lives Matter - Boone

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It was interesting to see such an event in Boone. It is a hopeful sign.

Black Lives Matter – Boone – Three

I need to start the day by wishing a very happy birthday to Bethany. So… happy birthday Bethany!!!


9  Emotions Project - Bethany

Nora's Birthday Party - Age 2

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Photo of the Day 0109 - August 19, 2014

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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I thought this would be the last collection of pictures from the Boone Black Lives Matter event, but I miscalculated how I would break these down into volumes, so there will actually be one more collection of pictures after these pictures. Everybody wins!

Here is my version of what I witnessed at the Black Lives Matter event. I parked at my church’s parking lot because it was a good central location to witness the parade, without getting too close to it. I also had these visions of maybe cracking out the drone, but that never happened.

I walked east on 8th Street to the green space. Along the way, I noticed that a Latina owned business had put up signs to support the Black Lives Matter movement. They were also handing out free snacks and water to protesters.

When I got near the green space, I noticed that a local real estate business that owns a healthy portion of downtown buildings was also outside handing out free water to protesters. They had boarded up all of their buildings a couple days before.

Next to them, Paradox was also handing out free drinks and had placed signs with inspirational quotes on their building. I think the owners may have helped organize the event, because somebody came over to them to complain that nobody could hear the speakers, they offered to bring out a sound system.

The Boone Community Theater was also handing out water to protesters. As was the the Police Department and at least 2 other businesses.

I kept my distance from the protest, but from what I could discern, it started with an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence to represent how long the police officer kneeled on George Floyd’s neck when he was killing him.

I think there were a couple of speakers, but I really couldn’t hear them, because of the distance I was keeping because of the virus and a lack of an operating sound system.

There were a few people standing around and observing. It is hard to say if they were just checking it out or are sympathetic to the cause and keeping their distance because of the virus. However, before the march began, I didn’t see anybody I thought was there to agitate.

After the march started, I did notice a couple of people that were there to counter-protest, I guess you would call it. One guy kept circling around the marchers in his truck. He had taped a couple signs to his truck that read “Support the Blue”.

There was a considerably less counter-protester, I guess you would call him, that didn’t really hang around, but drove past the marchers blaring the Berlin song “Take My Breath Away”. I think at some point, he realized how extremely stupid that was, because he didn’t stick around for very long.

There was also a group of high school students that were either sympathetic to the cause, or just being stupid. They didn’t march, but they drove by the marchers blaring the N.W.A. tune, “F*ck Tha Police”. Which wasn’t really all that cool, under the circumstances. Which is rare, because there are very few circumstances where it isn’t cool to drive around blaring N.W.A. Just did it the other day with “Straight Outta Compton”.

The marchers left the green space and marched south on Story Street to Mamie. At Mamie they turned west and marched to Greene Street. At Greene Street, the marched north to 5th Street. At 5th Street they marched west to Carroll Street. At Carroll Street they marched north to 8th Street. From 8th Street, they marched east back to the green space.

When they returned, there was some chanting, but the event seemed to end about 7 PM mostly. It seemed that a few people were still milling around, but I took off, went home. Threw my clothes in the washer and took a shower. Which is what you should do if you are in a large group of people.

Here is the third collection of pictures from the Black Lives Matters event in Boone:


Black Lives Matter - Boone

Black Lives Matter - Boone

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Black Lives Matter - Boone
Anna Olson!

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Black Lives Matter - Boone

For those of you that don’t know Anna Olson, she is a future President of the United States. I hope we don’t have to wait for her to be old enough to be our first female President, but if we do, she will make an excellent first female President. She will also make an excellent second or third female President. I look forward to working in her administration 20 years from now.

There is just one collection of pictures from the Boone Black Lives Matter event left.

Black Lives Matter – Boone – One

I will write more in depth about my experience at the Boone Black Lives Matter event on Monday. I stayed about 15-20 feet away from it with a mask on because of my deep virus concerns, but I was still able to get a fair amount of pictures.

My short version of the story is that it was a great event. There were a couple of right wing agitators there, but nothing came of them.

Here is my first collection of pictures from the event.


Black Lives Matter - Boone

Black Lives Matter - Boone

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My best guess is that there were about 250 people there, but I’m really bad at making such estimates. However, the Boone New Republican article had a similar estimate.

I saw quite a few people I know, especially from my church, including Pastor Dave and his wife Shari. Kio, of course. Anna Olson, of course. Plus a few people who recognized me, but I didn’t recognize. The face mask thing does make it hard for people to recognize one another, but it is necessary, of course.

There are a couple more collections to come.

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A reminder that YELLOW is this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme:


WEEK 247 - YELLOW
YELLOW

A YELLOW picture is any picture where the subject is YELLOW or YELLOW is a major compositional element of the picture. I’ve already received a bunch of submissions, so I doubt I’ll have to send out any reminders on Monday morning.

Happy photo harvesting!

Senior Sunday – Taylan – Volume 6

A weird thing is happening in Boone tomorrow night. Boone is having a Black Lives Matter event. I have to say that I am pretty shocked. Boone isn’t exactly a bastion of diversity, but is has had an important place in other civil rights fights. Don’t forget that the first ever women’suffrage parade was in Boone.

Any way, even though I am supportive of the movement, I would place myself as kind of doubtful for going tomorrow night. There is still a virus hanging around that has killed over 110,000 Americans so far. Over 2 million Americans have now tested positive.

I might put on one of my face masks and go check it out from a healthy distance. Like a block away. We’ll see.

Here is the information:



Remember, I don’t think it was ever put better than this:



Boone isn’t the only small town in Iowa to hold an event. The following towns (and their population) in District 4 that have held an event:

Spencer 11,031
Orange City 6,107
Grundy Center 2,682
LeMars 9,996
Fort Dodge 24,098
Mason City 27,944
Jefferson 4,4148

and now…

Boone 12,470

Very cool!

(Source: J.D. Scholten)

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It is time for another round of Senior Sunday pictures with Taylan. Here are some of my favorites from this round of Taylan photos:


Taylan Howard

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Taylan Howard

Taylan Howard

Another Senior Sunday in the books! There are 5 Senior Sundays left on the books!

#63

I only have one image to share today. It might not seem like much of an image at first glance. It is just a wet gazania. But this is a focus stacked image. It took 63 pictures just to combine all of them into this one image.


Gazania - Focus Stacked

I repeat, it isn’t that I took 63 images and this is the one I like the best, I took 63 images and combined them into one image.

I’m sure I’ll be doing more focus stacking in the future. The photo rail makes it way easier to focus stack. In addition to making it way easier to do super macro.

Now I have yet to do a super-macro photo stacked image, but that is coming. Very soon.

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Thought I would reveal the latest collection of images that have been added to the CANVAS WALL PROJECT.


Canvas No. 61
12X16

Canvas No. 62
12X16

Canvas No. 63
12X16

Canvas No. 64
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Canvas No. 65
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Canvas No. 66
12X16

Canvas No. 67
12X8

Canvas No. 68
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Canvas No. 69
12X8

Canvas No. 70
12X8

Canvas No. 71
12X8

Canvas No. 72
8X10

There is one more order of canvases that are their way to my front stoop. Once those are up, the CANVAS WALL PROJECT will be finished!

At that time, I’ll publish a picture of it.

Minnesota State Fair #2

In this second collection of pictures from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair with Bethany, Becca, Jonah, and Shawn, I reveal a picture of the All You Can Drink Milk Stand. It is a good half mile, at least from the famous cookie place.

There are also a couple places that we walked by but couldn’t stop at that I will stop at if a future trip to the Minnesota State Fair is in my future. The butterfly building. The reptile building. Those are tops on the list.


Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
John Deere Powered Ice Cream Machines!

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
Reminds me of that scene in ELF.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
The Governor of Minnesota

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Minnesota State Fair - 2019
247 miles to a better State Fair

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
Bernie Sanders was there. Must’ve been a big thrill for people from a state that doesn’t have a first in the nation caucus.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
This is what overcrowded looks like.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
Yes, that is poop.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

My actual biggest disappointment in the Minnesota State Fair was the DNR exhibit. It is at least 25 times the size of Iowa’s. Somehow it isn’t as good. But it has great facilities, so there is lots of potential there. Although the fire tower is admittedly pretty badass.

Still more pictures from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair on the way!

ISFRXOII

Even though it is barely March, it is about time that I start turning my thoughts to the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. I hope to be more current with my images by the time I actually have to make a decision, but I am pretty sure I know of at least one picture I’m going to enter. Even though, I currently can’t remember that picture. I just remember taking a picture and thinking, I’m going to enter that in the Iowa State Fair. Could be a false memory planted by my therapist. Since, after all, having a therapist is a false memory placed by parts unknown.

Today’s collection is of pictures I took on the last day of the Iowa State Fair with the Sony RXOII. Nader went with me and Logan met me down there.


Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

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Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

This is just the beginning of the pictures from last year’s Iowa State Fair.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is JUNK:


WEEK 234 - JUNK
JUNK

Remember, that there is a difference between JUNK and garbage. Also remember, there are many definitions of the word JUNK.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – November

Now that the 2018 backlog is mercifully behind us, it seems like a good time to check back in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. The 2019 version of THE SELFIE PROJECT has almost ran its course. I won’t repeat it in 2020, but maybe I’ll bring it back in 2021. We’ll see.

Here are my favorite images from November:


November 1, 2019
November 1

November 2, 2019
November 2

November 3, 2019
November 3

November 4, 2019
November 4

November 7, 2019
November 7

November 9, 2019
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November 11, 2019
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November 12, 2019
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November 13, 2019
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November 14, 2019
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November 15, 2019
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November 16, 2019
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November 17, 2019
November 17

November 20, 2019
November 20

November 21, 2019
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November 23, 2019
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November 24, 2019
November 24

November 25, 2019
November 25

November 26, 2019
November 26

November 27, 2019
November 27

November 28, 2019
November 28

November 29, 2019
November 29

November 30, 2019

I think November was one of my best months. At least for interesting pictures.

President Quest 2020 – Pete Buttigieg – Volume 2

Last Friday I published pictures of when I saw Pete Buttigieg speak at the Iowa State Fair. It was the best place to hear somebody speak, so I decided to see him again.

A few weeks back he came to speak at the Farm Expo Grounds near Boone. It was a cold, rainy, Sunday morning, but I made my way out there with Jesse to see him speak.

Here are some pictures:


Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

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Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg was one of the most impressive candidates I’ve seen to date. I was legitimately surprised how impressive he was. His eloquence. His master of issues. It was all very impressive. You can tell that he was a Rhodes Scholar. He was the first candidate I saw that dramatically moved the needle for me.

But I’m very far from committing to one candidate at this time.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FORMAL PORTRAIT:


WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT
FORMAL PORTRAIT

A FORMAL PORTRAIT is a PORTRAIT where the subject knows that they are being photographed and pose for the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!