Florida becomes 8th state to enact anti-trans sports ban this year

By Devan Cole, CNN

Florida became the eighth state this year to ban transgender girls and women in public secondary schools and colleges from participating on girls’ and women’s sports teams after its Republican governor signed the restrictive measure into law on Tuesday.The action by Gov. Ron DeSantis comes during a record-breaking year for anti-trans bills in statehouses across the country and was taken on the first day of Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community that takes place throughout June, and 11 days before the five-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed at a popular LGBTQ venue in Orlando.LGBTQ advocates quickly denounced the move, with one group vowing to mount a legal challenge.

Under the law, public secondary school and college sports teams are required to be designated based on “biological sex,” thus prohibiting trans women and girls from participating on women’s athletic teams.

The bill defines a student’s “biological sex” as the one that was printed on the student’s official birth certificate at or near the time of birth.

While sex is a category that refers broadly to physiology, a person’s gender is an innate sense of identity. The factors that go into determining the sex listed on a birth certificate may include anatomy, genetics and hormones, and there is broad natural variation in each of these categories.

Louisiana lawmakers send anti-trans sports ban to governor, who is likely to issue a veto

Louisiana lawmakers send anti-trans sports ban to governor, who is likely to issue a vetoFor this reason, the language of “biological sex,” as used in this legislation, can be overly simplistic and misleading.

The law also allows a “student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation” of the ban to take legal action and permits a student “who is subject to retaliation or other adverse action by a school” for reporting a violation of the ban to sue the school.

“We believe that it’s very important that the integrity of those competitions are preserved, that these opportunities are protected, and I can tell you this: In Florida, girls are going to play girl sports and boys are going to play boy sports,” DeSantis said at an event for the bill’s signing that included a group of female athletes in the state.Florida is the eighth Republican-led state to enact such a sports ban this year, the Human Rights Campaign told CNN. South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana and Alabama are the others.Asked by a reporter at the event what message he’s sending by signing the bill on the first day of Pride Month, DeSantis replied: “It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness in women’s sports.”The new law is already being met with opposition from Democrats in the state, with the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus saying in a statement following DeSantis’ signing that the law is an open attack on vulnerable LGBTQ children.”By folding the transgender ban into the charter school legislation, Republicans in Tallahassee rejected both science and reason, openly attacking vulnerable LGBTQ+ children without a single shred of evidence that a problem even exists,” they said, adding: “Not once has there been an incident or complaint in our state alleging that a transgender athlete’s participation unfairly impacted middle school, high school or college athletic competition.”LGBTQ advocates blasted the governor’s decision, with the Human Rights Campaign saying it plans to mount a legal challenge to the ban.

Most Americans support trans military members but oppose trans athletes, a new poll finds

Most Americans support trans military members but oppose trans athletes, a new poll finds“All Floridians will have to face the consequences of this anti-transgender legislation — including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement. “In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history.”Last week, civil rights groups sued West Virginia over its sports ban, arguing the measure unconstitutionally “discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status.”The NCAA has come out in opposition to such bans, saying in April that it’s closely monitoring them to make sure NCAA championships can be held “in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.”But DeSantis shrugged off potential boycotts of the state by the NCAA and other corporations that oppose the ban, saying at Tuesday’s event that such groups “are not going to dictate the policies in this state.”

“We will stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states. Not here, not ever,” he said.In opposing such bans this year, Democrats have pointed to the NCAA’s decision in 2016 not to host the Final Four in cities that enforce anti-LGBTQ measures. The body’s policy came after North Carolina approved a measure that required people to use the public restrooms that corresponded with the sexes on their birth certificates — a rule that was later repealed, resulting in the NCAA ending its own ban.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

Elan Ooops “He can build Tesla’s in Texas-cant sell Tesla’s in Texas’

Tesla picks Austin is among biggest stories of 2020
Tesla’s Gigafactory Under Construction outside Austin Texas

Texas is oil country, OIL! All over the state there are OIL refinerys. However for the worlds largest economies,OIL is so 2001. OIL is bad, the new world is electric. Texas and a few oil producing states didnt get the memo.

One of the biggest news stories of 2020 was Tesla’s plans to build a gigafactory in Texas. The CEO Elan Musk, frustrated with Cailfornia Covid regulations threatened to leave the state for Texas. The Austin factory will produce the Cybertruck, Tesla’s Semi and the popular model Y.

Most Tesla’s are purchased online. Many states have franchise laws that require vehicles to be sold in brick and morter show rooms. Texas is one of them. A Texan cant purchase a Tesla in Texas.

As the Texas polictians were clinking their champagne glasses, they forgot about this requirment AND the Texas legislature reportedly ran out of time to make any changes to its dealership franchise laws last year.

Whoops GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So Texas ran out of time last year, what about changing or amdending the law this year?

Texas, state legislature meets only every other year for a maximum of 140 days, starting from “noon on the second Tuesday in January.” This year, the Legislature convened Jan. 12 and will wrap up its work on May 31 before breaking until 2023.

This means when the first Tesla rolls off the assembly line in Austin sometime next year. Tesla will have to to ship its Texas-built vehicles out of the state before it can sell (and ship) them back to Texas buyers and there wont be an official remedy until 2023.   Elan’s not happy!

Whoopsies Indeed!


The Town That Kanye Built

By:Mallory Rice and Photographs by Lauren Modler

In the year 2018 BC (Before Celebrities), Cody, Wyoming, was just Cody, Wyoming. But then Ye moved in, promising jobs, a creative scene, and…a urine garden?

When people from Cody, Wyoming, say that winter “blows the assholes away,” it’s both a lighthearted joke and a prayer. The town sits about an hour east of Yellowstone National Park, and for much of the year, it hosts droves of tourists, until they’re swept out by freezing winds that gust in from the mountains with near-hurricane force. “You can be blown off a trail, horse and all,” a meteorologist warned in the local paper.

Staying here long-term is considered proof of a person’s mettle, and the 9,000+ souls who call Cody home treat its wild, natural landscape like an oasis meant only for those who know. With fewer residents than nearby action-sports hubs Bozeman and Denver, this is where you come if you’re an outdoor enthusiast who wants to get away from outdoor enthusiasts.

When I, a journalist visiting from New York City and blending in not at all, first got to town, locals seemed most concerned about me outing their favorite fly-fishing hole—never mind the fact that my pop culture beat could not be further from “hot spots for hooking trophy trout.”


All of this is to say that when rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, purchased a multimillion-dollar property just over 10 miles from main street in September 2019, the emotions of Cody residents oscillated somewhere between pissed and pleased. “Apparently, they’ve already checked out Sunset School for their offspring,” one op-ed opined, adding that the name of one of the couple’s children was “pretentious.” A letter to the editor countered with, “The flip side of ‘don’t fence me in’ is ‘don’t gate me out,’” encouraging locals to keep an open mind. Facebook erupted in debate. For a while, Kanye was all anyone wanted to talk about—should Cody be defined by what it had been or what it could be?

Almost immediately, the entourage was everywhere. Their sightings were frequent and recounted breathlessly. Ye cruising around town in one of his matte black Ford Raptors, dropping hundreds of dollars at boot and candy stores, tucking into cowboy cuisine at the Cody Steakhouse. Ye flying in jets full of his famous friends to record music and dabble in the luxury of creative solitude. Ye introducing himself via one of his epic Sunday Service performances, with a full choir belting out songs of worship, in the garden of the Buffalo Bill museum complex, one of Cody’s main attractions.

Cody, Wyoming | Wyoming vacation, Cody wyoming, Wyoming travel

Phyllis Bohm, an 85-year-old with a neatly cropped swoop of gray hair and a shih tzu named Hutch, remembers it well. Bohm hadn’t heard of Kanye until the papers reported his move. She took his arrival as a positive sign. Maybe mostly white Cody (94.2 percent, to be exact) could build a more racially diverse community. When, one Sunday, she saw a line full of young people, many of them Black, stretching for half a mile, she parked her car nearby to check out what was going on.

A guy waiting in line asked what she was doing there. “Which I get, because I’m old,” she says. The man told her Kanye West was hosting an event and invited her to join him. “Normally, I don’t cut in line, but he said, ‘If you want, I’ll let you stand in front of me. I’ll take care of you,’” Bohm recalls. They waited together for about an hour and ended up at the front of the show. The energy of the crowd was thrilling, she says. “The preacher [choir director Jason White] was wonderful. Kanye West didn’t sing, but he took part and listened. I got pretty close to him.” Bohm felt elated. She started saving newspaper clippings about Kanye in case she ran into him again. Her granddaughter is in the performing arts and Bohm figures the clips could be a nice way to connect. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Soon, crossing paths with Kanye became the norm, and Cody started to feel the heady rush of Hollywood coming to cowboy country.

For all its initial ambivalence, Cody was now all in on its status as Kanye’s preferred zip code. Someone even put up a billboard emblazoned with “WELCOME WEST” along the road.

Part of it was sheer relief. It felt like Cody was finally stabilizing after a few tough breaks—one major employer, the pharmaceutical company Cody Labs, had recently shut down its operations, leaving about 70 people without jobs. Then a drywall manufacturer that had been around since the 1960s closed too.

kanye's cody how to plan your pilgrimage
1 for sightseeing



The site of Ye’s welcome concert is also a world-class museum complex, which just openeda special exhibit on the history of Black American cowboys.

2 for snacking



Shop like a Kanye in a candy store. Start by springing for the Cowtown Crunch—corn puffs covered in two kinds of chocolate.

3 for eating



Formerly known as the Rib & Chop, this is where you go when you’ve got something to celebrate. Like, you know, a monumental partnership with Gap or something!

4 for shopping



An unfussy spot where locals—and, yes, Yeezy—load up on things like Carhartt apparel.

5 for celeb spotting



Located southeast of downtown, the property, which is thousands of acres, is largely hidden from the road. But if you know what you’re looking for (a nondescript gate), you can spot it.

But here was Kanye, promising an economic lifeline. After just a few months as a resident, he announced he’d be opening up a Yeezy prototype factory in a vacant Cody Labs building, one of several real estate grabs he made after purchasing his ranch. He also snagged a few empty lots on Cody’s east side. The potential of a Kanye-related boom was intriguing enough that the New York Times published a story exploring whether he’d turn Cody into a different kind of Western “company town,” one that made futuristic sneakers that sell out in minutes instead of rugged building materials. (A request for comment from Cosmo went unanswered by Kanye’s team.)

True to form, Kanye had some other galaxy-brain-big ideas for the town, everything from plans for James Turrell–inspired dome-shaped dwellings to go on his otherwise rustic personal property to an affordable-housing construction process he described as possibly being “the Zara of homes” to a “urine garden” that would transform human waste into plant food. Even if some of it sounded far-fetched, compared with Wyomingites’ other future business options, it all at least sounded like fun.

People started scrambling for gigs at Kanye’s West Lake Ranch, which needed groundskeepers and security staff and house cleaners to keep it humming. And for some, like Cody native Jacob Scott, chef and founder of catering service The Laughing Pig, working for Kanye was a game changer. “Our business was literally canceled for the year, no weddings or big events,” he says, citing the pandemic. Then Kanye’s team called. “We were suddenly busier than we had ever imagined possible.” Could Scott tell me what Kanye and his entourage requested to eat? No, he signed an NDA. Could Scott tell me what Kanye and his entourage requested to eat if I promised not to print it? No, he signed an NDA. (I, an intrepid reporter, can at least attest that Scott makes a mean, fall-off-the-bone BBQ.)

At Express Employment, an agency that’s staffed jobs in the community for eight years and handled hiring for some of Kanye’s positions, the team was wary of putting too much pressure on The Kanye Opportunity. “I realize the gentleman has a tremendous amount of things on his plate, but as far as his manufacturing project…nobody seemed to know where that was going,” says owner Mary Brazill of the star’s projected economic impact on the area. And then, just like that, nobody seemed to know where Kanye himself was. By the fall of 2020, he had all but disappeared.

The signs were all there. On top of running his empire, Kanye suddenly had a lot going on. In early July, he announced he was running for president (one of the last times he was seen in town was his visit to the Cody recreation center in November to vote for himself). A few weeks later, it was reported that he was allegedly having health issues, prompting friends like Dave Chappelle and Justin Bieber to come to town. Then there was the divorce. And as these things began to pull him in a million directions, they also might have pulled him out of town.
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Now, a year and a half after Kanye first moved in, almost everyone knows someone who used to work for him. Pink slips floated around town the way the whispers did when he first showed up. People watched many of their neighbors who’d been employed by Kanye go back to their previous jobs at car dealerships and utility companies. The creative types who’d streamed in on private planes and frequented a handful of the town’s bougier bars and restaurants dwindled to a skeleton crew. When I asked Scott if he’s worried about Kanye leaving for good, especially as he’s hoping to expand his business, he’s direct: “Obviously,” he says. “It’s something we have to be honest with ourselves about.”

Meanwhile, Kanye still holds all his real estate in Wyoming and therefore hasn’t officially left left. But for people who continue to flock to the Great American West in hopes of catching their big Ye break, they arrive to find…nothing. Josh Spikes, a lanky 30-year-old artist and entrepreneur, drove from Wisconsin to drop off his résumé at Kanye’s ranch during a road trip in September but was told by security that Kanye wasn’t in town. (He still hung around for two weeks, though, taking in the landscape and making friends with locals.) In a similar story I heard, two 20-year-olds moved from Kansas City, Missouri, hoping to work for Kanye, but nothing ever panned out.

big stars, small towns a recent history

john mayer

John Mayer

WHERE: Paradise Valley, Montana

WHAT: A15-acre ranch, rumored to include a tricked-out barn that doubles as a recording studio.justin timberlake and jessica biel

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel

WHERE: Big Sky, Montana

WHAT: A luxe abode in the Yellowstone Club, a 15,200-acre private ski and golf community. kelly clarkson

Kelly Clarkson

WHERE: Vintage Valley Ranch, Montana

WHAT: Before her divorce, Kelly used the property to reconnect with the rural-type landscape she grew up in.rupaul


WHERE: Douglas, Wyoming

WHAT: 60,000 +acres (i.e., a shit ton) of land and a vacation getaway for chilling out—and apparently also fracking? Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

It used to be that thrift-store owners I encountered asked me if I was shopping for Kanye. Now, nobody mentions him at all. The WELCOME WEST billboard has disappeared too, giving way to plenty of rumors and small-town gossip. I heard that he’s in Atlanta—is he moving there instead? Maybe Kim didn’t really like it here?

And yet, some former Kanye employees do remain, having formed bonds in the town that compelled them to stay after their work for the artist was finished. John Boyd, a former consultant of Kanye’s who worked with him during his presidential campaign, sits at the dining table at his home in Cody, surrounded by notes scribbled for an in-progress book. “I didn’t have a perception of it,” he says of moving from New Jersey to Cody. “I didn’t even know it was on the map.” But by June 2020, Boyd was joining local organizers as a speaker at an event in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. He says he hasn’t talked to Kanye recently, but his son is in high school here and he’s started a Cody-based nonprofit organization called The Boyd Group for Creative Solutions. “I’ve been invited to dinner more times than I can remember,” he says.

In other words, it’s not all about Kanye anymore.

“If Kanye pulls out of here completely, Cody is still going to be on people’s mental map,” says Mayor Matt Hall. “They may be driving through the park and say, ‘Let’s go out the east entrance and see where Kanye moved.’ That kind of stuff will continue to help in the long run.”

Still, before there could be a long run, there was another winter to get through. In February, there was a week so cold and snowy that cars were stranded around town—some, like mine, just straight-up broke down on the highway. But something else blew in too: a rumor that Kanye was back. He’d been seen driving through town, a local reporter told me over an after-work beer. Perhaps a sign of…something. Even if it’s just that the seasons change.

illustration of kanye west

Exclusive: Hyundai to slash combustion engine line-up, invest in EVs – sources

FILE PHOTO: 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicle is displayed at the New York Auto Show in New York

By Gilles Guillaume and Heekyong Yang

PARIS/SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Group will slash the number of combustion engine models in its line-up to free up resources to invest in electric vehicles (EVs), two people close to the South Korean automaker told Reuters.

The move will result in a 50% reduction in models powered by fossil fuels, one of the people said, adding the strategy was approved by top management in March.

“It is an important business move, which first and foremost allows the release of R&D resources to focus on the rest: electric motors, batteries, fuel cells,” the person said, without giving a timeframe for the plan.

While Hyundai did not specifically address a Reuters query on its plans for combustion engine models, it said in an email on Thursday that it was accelerating adoption of eco-friendly vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery EVs.

The automaker added that it aims to gradually expand battery EV offerings in key markets such as the United States, Europe and China with a goal for full electrification by 2040.

Hyundai Motor Group, which houses Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Corp and Genesis, aims to sell about one million EVs per year by 2025 to achieve a 10% share of the global EV market.

Facing tightening CO2 emission targets in Europe and China, all major automakers are accelerating their shift to EVs.

The huge cost of developing electric motors and increasing the driving range of car batteries has already led some to say their days of investing in conventional engines are over.

“Hyundai has stopped developing new powertrains for internal combustion engine cars,” one of the people said.

PSA Group said in November, shortly before merging with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis, that it was no longer investing in combustion engines.

Daimler has recently revamped its combustion engines and executives say the new generation will see it through the electrification process.

Some car makers have already announced plans to go fully electric, with Sweden’s Volvo, which is owned by China’s Geely, saying it would do that by 2030.

Ford Motor Co says its line-up in Europe will be fully electric by the same date.

For Hyundai, which together with Kia is one of the world’s top ten auto groups, the move is particularly important because it has one of the broadest ranges of engine and transmission technologies in the industry.

The group will finalise its strategy to switch to all electric models within the next six months, one source said.

In April, Hyundai said it would cut the number of its gasoline models in China to 14 from 21 by 2025, while launching new electric models every year starting in 2022.

In February, the group said it was no longer in talks with Apple to develop an autonomous vehicle.

Sources familiar with the matter said the idea of the group becoming a contract manufacturer for Apple encountered strong internal opposition.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris and Heekyong Yang in Seoul, Writing by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter and Himani Sarkar)

A late night Crepe on Columbus

Columbus Ave For decades,The TransAmerica Pyramid was the tallest building in San Francisco. The Salesforce Tower (with the blue top) is considerably taller. The Pyramid is currently the third tallest Skycraper in the city.

Saturday night and the streets aren’t all right. This is NOT San Francisco a week before the Memorial Day Weekend. The streets are empty. South of Market was dead, the Wharf was filled with local tourist. These are people from the Bay and other parts of Northern Cali who walk around, however they don’t spend the dollars that would inspire restaurants and other tourist shops to stay open. There was some activity on Polk Street, most of the places were closing for the night.

Even North Beach , the hub of late night entertainment was dead. Many of the street lights along Columbus Avenue near the TransAmerica Pyramid were out. The late night restaurants that I have frequented through the years had either closed early or closed for good.

Hungry at midnight, my friend recommended a late night crepe restaurant that was open. The restaurant is small. The crepes were intensly created in the window of the restaurant. There was a small line in this one man operation, filled with pictures of Paris. The wait was short.

Crepe Station

Not only did he make the crepes, he was the cook, cashier and ambassador.

I learned his name was Solomon, I am assuming he is the owner as he told me the restaurant reopened two weeks ago. His personality is jovial and welcoming. He asked the few people sitting in this small restaurant if they liked their crepes. I ordered a crepe with cheese, smoked turkey and cranberries ($7.)

It was a nice change from a Burger. The only issue I had was with a renegade cranberry that attacked my shirt. We will return….

Crepe A Go Go 522 Columbus Avenue San Francisco


California Here I Stay

Beaches on the Sonoma Coast | SonomaCounty.com

May 2020

I have grown to love Sacramento.  However from time to time, you need to go back home.   It had been nearly three months of self isolation in Sactown, work, home, Safeway, repeat.   I needed out, I needed the ocean. A former San Franciscan, the Mighty Pacific has always had a calming effect on me like no other.   If I were stressed, I would simply drive down to the Great Highway, crack the window and recline my seat and listen to the waves until I fell asleep.    I needed to get out and hear something other about death.   I rented a Chrysler and headed west.

There were more cars on the road than usual this weekend, as I approached Berkeley it  dawned on me its was Memorial Day Weekend.   Another, realization as I crossed the Bridge into San Francisco, the State of California due to Covid ,walled off the Ocean and closed parking.   Due to the cool weather, finding a quiet place to park near the ocean usually isn’t a problem.    I could access the beach, but I didn’t want to walk several blocks.  

My mental hard drive was searching  for a quiet beach.   North was the result.   The  traffic in Marin County was not reassuring.  Crossing into Sonoma Country allowed me to exhale. 

I forgot the beauty of driving along Highway 116, the wineries and then surrounded by trees and foliage as you drive through Guerneville, and then follow along side the Russian River through Jenner as the river meets the mighty Pacific.

From the moment I saw the ocean, I could feel my world returning.  Traffic was light in Sonoma County. Yes, the parking areas were blocked , but one could park along the roadway and walk a few feet to the beach.

  My rented Chrysler was one of three cars at the beach.   The blue was incredible as it crashed along the rocks.   The few pictures taken with my LG wasn’t worthy of its beauty.   There were people simply sitting and watching the blue.   No reports of new Covid cases, or the death toll, no one was watching their phones.    Just listening to the magical melody of the ocean.

Enjoying the views, I took the long way home. Driving along Highway 1, through small picturest towns including Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was filmed.  It seemed like every town had a white church. At one point, I wanted to turn around and repeat.  But I knew I would return, the ocean wasn’t going anywhere soon.

In the last few years ,many of my friends have moved to Austin, Texas.   I really like Austin and its weirdness, its a combination of Portland and San Francisco and I considered moving there.     However, like any place ,where do you go when you need to see something else?  

In Sacramento, my options are many.   90 minutes to the east is Tahoe, 90 minutes to the west is San Francisco and the ocean.  Depending on the wine, we are 30 to 90 minutes drive to the wine country and if I want the freshest vegetables or fruits in the world, its minutes away .  The American and the Sacramento Rivers cant be compared to the mighty Pacific  but it can be nice place to spend the day.     After several visits to Texas, there isn’t any comparison.  California here I stay.


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