Indy Digest: June 13, 2022
Three news stories that came out since last Thursday’s Indy Digest, in the United States of America, in the year 2022.
“The large group—which police believe was affiliated with Patriot Front—was seen at a hotel piling into a U-Haul with riot gear, the caller told a 911 dispatcher. They were later pulled over and arrested, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said. The group was headed to a Pride in the Park event at Coeur d’Alene City Park, police said. The event included a Pride walk and performances by local musicians, dancers and drag artists. … (Mayor Jim) Hammond referred to those arrested as young men who ‘seem to not have a purpose.’ Asked what he thought the group might have done had police not thwarted their alleged plans, he said, ‘I have not seen that these people had any firearms, so I think it would’ve been mostly just disruption and trying to cause fear.’ Police found at least one smoke grenade, White said.”
“The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a group of men likely associated with the Proud Boys who disrupted a drag queen storytelling event on Saturday with homophobic and transphobic slurs. Deputies said the incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. at the San Lorenzo Library located on Paseo Grande. Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Ray Kelly said the group entered the library during an event called Drag Queen Story Time. Kyle Chu, also known as drag queen Panda Dulce, hosted a story hour meant for preschool-aged children in celebration of Pride Month. ‘I’ve always received death threats, hate mail for doing drag queen story hour. This time it felt very close to violence,’ Dulce said in an interview with KPIX 5 on Sunday. The sheriff’s office Facebook page said ‘The men were described as extremely aggressive with a threatening violent demeanor causing people to fear for their safety. Deputies responded to the scene and were able to de-escalate the situation.’”
“Texas Pastor Calls for Gay People to Be Shot in the Head,” from Advocate.com:
A pastor at a church in Texas labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center delivered a sermon calling for the government execution of LGBTQ+ folks, and it’s not the first time he’s made such disturbing calls for violence. In his sermon entitled, Why We Won’t Shut Up, Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst said gay men were predatory pedophiles who have either committed sex crimes against a child or just haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, leading him to the conclusion that ‘We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government.’ Awes claimed the Bible’s solution to what he called the ‘sodomite deception’ is queer people ‘should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.’”
Hate. It’s alive and well—and emboldened.
From the Independent
Legends in Partnership: Steve Martin and Martin Short Shake Things Up for Their Latest Show, Coming to Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage
By Matt King
June 11th, 2022
Steve Martin and Martin Short are back on the road with a new comedy special, You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today!—including a stop at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 18.
Dino Disappointment: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Has a Few Great Action Scenes, but They’re Obscured by Inane Subplots
By Bob Grimm
June 13th, 2022
Jurassic World Dominion is better than its immediate predecessor (Fallen Kingdom), but still way short of decent.
By Matt King
June 13th, 2022
Get to know a bit about Paul Quattrone, drummer for Osees and Warm Drag.
• The results of last week’s Palm Springs wastewater testing for SARS-CoV-2 shows more of the same: The numbers are down a bit, but still remain quite high. Here’s the report if you’d like to peruse yourself. The specifics: “The average number of (viral copies per liter) recorded at the city’s wastewater treatment plant has decreased for the second week in a row. The average of 629,277 copies/L from the previous week’s average has gone down to an average of 435,917 copies/L for June 6 & 7, 2022.” Most of those viral copies, by the way, show signs of being the super-duper-contagious BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant.
• Our partners at CalMatters today released a blockbuster four-part series called “Trial by fire: The trauma of fighting California’s wildfires.” The synopsis: “California’s firefighters describe a broken and depleted fire service suffering a hidden, smoldering crisis. Across the state, Cal Fire crews that fight wildfires opened up to tell CalMatters their heart-wrenching stories—exhaustion on the firelines, weeks on duty without respite, suicidal thoughts, never-ending trauma and the terror and pain of seeing their colleagues injured or killed. As California’s wildfires intensify and burn year-round, its firefighters suffer from the increasing strain of post-traumatic stress. Decisions made while struggling with lack of sleep, long hours and stress could endanger not just the crews, but the public, too. What is the state doing to respond? Overwhelmingly, California’s firefighters and mental-health experts say, ‘Not nearly enough.’ Cal Fire has been slow to address PTSD and suicides among its ranks, and firefighters routinely encounter problems getting workers’ comp insurance to cover their care. California’s wildfire crews carry a heavy and growing burden: They leave the fire lines, but the fire never leaves them.”
• Something I never thought I’d see in this political environment … NPR reports: “The proposal, which has not been written into legislative text, includes money to encourage states to pass and implement so-called ‘red flag’ laws to remove guns from potentially dangerous people, money for school safety and mental health resources, expanded background checks for gun purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21 and penalties for illegal straw purchases by convicted criminals. The agreement has the support of at least 20 senators who worked closely over the past several weeks to find the areas of common ground that could pass the closely divided Senate. The group includes 10 Republicans, meaning a final bill could potentially garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster. The negotiators called it a ‘commonsense’ proposal that would reduce the threat of violence across the country.” Now let’s see if it actually becomes law.
• While the Senate deal may not do as much as some (myself included) wish it did, I was encouraged by the news that the American Medical Association likes the deal—as a starting point. A statement from AMA president Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., via a news release: “Today’s bipartisan blueprint to address gun violence is a breakthrough that shows compromise is possible, common ground can be reached, and that Congress can take commonsense steps to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who are a significant danger to themselves or others. This agreement will save lives. The measures announced today must be only a first step in confronting the public health crisis of gun violence. The American Medical Association and the American people, by large majorities, support additional, significant steps to stop this scourge. We urge all senators to support this deal and to continue working together to prevent the type of violence we as physicians see on a daily basis in emergency departments, trauma centers and morgues in every single state of our country.”
• Wired magazine explains how, and why, the rental-car market is so messed up: “Things started to break down in early 2020, when lockdowns around the world resulted in the car rental market falling off a cliff. Almost two-thirds of Avis-Budget’s rental business at airports vanished, with revenues company-wide sliding 41 percent year-on-year in 2020. … In response to the mayhem, rental companies sold off their cars. In the UK, fleets were slashed by 30 percent, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), a car rental membership organization. In 2019, Hertz had 700,000 vehicles globally. In the first quarter of 2022, that collapsed to 481,000, according to a company spokesperson. … But as lockdowns eased and travel recovered, car rental companies couldn’t restock, thanks to a chip shortage that stalled manufacturing, a problem exacerbated by complex supply chains that rely on parts made or assembled in Ukraine. The ensuing shortage of cars in rental lots more than doubled prices.”
• And finally … sorta-local music fest Desert Daze announced its 2022 lineup. Slated to come to Lake Perris this Sept. 30-Oct. 2, per a news release: “This year will feature a return set from Tame Impala, who had to cut off their 2018 headline set when a massive storm rolled in. Four years later, they will perform their groundbreaking second album, Lonerism, in its entirety on the weekend of the album’s 10th anniversary. The ‘oasis among American festivals (Stereogum)’ and ‘America’s most aesthetically pleasing (Rolling Stone)’ will … also feature return sets from headliners Iggy Pop, who will perform his only U.S. show this year, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Additional artists joining the headliners over the course of the three days and nights include: Chicano Batman, The Marías, Sky Ferreira, Cortex, BADBADNOTGOOD, Boy Pablo, Perfume Genius, Reggie Watts, Aldous Harding, Men I Trust, Mild High Club … Cymande, Shannon and the Clams, Nation Of Language, Duster, Nilüfer Yanya, Show Me The Body, Daniel Rossen Of Grizzly Bear, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Surfbort, L.A. Witch, Automatic, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, The Paranoyds, JJUUJJUU, ZO, Surprise Chef, Lady Wray, and many more.” Get the details at desertdaze.org.
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