Global Public Health: While we battle our public health issues, this piece from Vox walks us through a tremendous public health success--the phasing out leaded gasoline has finally been completed. But the battle to trust science and fight for public health remains. This week, a right wing, anti-vaxx group launched a dark money political action committee to oppose my re-election. If you think my approach is worth fighting for, please throw me a few bucks to fight back!
I love this woman: Betty Reid Soskin turned 100 this week. She is the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service. Pause here--she is 100 and an active park ranger. Resume now -- this is not her biggest accomplishment in life. Take a moment to read this NY Times piece about her incredible life dedicated to racial and social justice. And if you don’t think you have done enough and are under 100 years old--get after it:)
Flashback Friday: This week marked the 10th anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It makes 11 years since I became the one of the first elected combat veteran of the Marine Corps to call for this dumb policy to go away. I stand by everything I said back then. This Military Times piece reminds us how fierce and how stupid this debate was.
Harley Davidson: I reluctantly gave up my Harley a few years back, but that doesn’t mean I don’t reminisce about the exhilaration of a powerful American made engine propelling you on two wheels through scenic routes. Don’t @ me -- I know they are dangerous, blah, blah, (that’s why I got rid of it). But my reminiscing and having a buddy who did 8 years in federal prison for gun running with a biker gang took me down a rabbit hole of outlaw biker groups- 3 books, a documentary and a TV show:
--Book: Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent who infiltrated America’s Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. This is a good book. ATF Agent, William Queen, became a full patch member of the Mongols. He helped bring them down, but dealt with a real sense of betrayal that highlights the bond these groups build.
--Book: No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels. I liked this one. Jay Dobins was a federal agent who infiltrated (but didn’t fully “patch in” with the Hell’s Angels). Today he serves as a speaker and football coach. Good book.
--Book: A Wayward Angel: The Full Story of the Hells Angels. It's ok, but I wish I had the time back. George Wethern was a member of Hells Angels who flipped. The book is an act of him diminishing his criminal activities in a not very well written way. I would pass.
--Documentary: Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels’ on the History Channel. It is ok--but I would spend your time reading book one or two above if interested.
--TV show: Sons of Anarchy: An older TV show (originally on FX) that is based on the Hell’s Angels is ok and currently on Hulu. The acting and cinematography aren't great, but if you are looking for some mindless and occasionally entertaining TV it isn’t the worst thing you can watch. It does capture the real downside of a criminal lifestyle and it is kind of addicting.
California Proud: We just beat back a non-sense recall, voters are ready to reform that process (shout out to Dr. Thad Kousser for his work), our state has the lowest COVID rate in the nation, San Diego has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation (88% vaccinated) and we are adding jobs at three times the national average. It is ok--we can feel good to live in such a great state.