redhotblueA couple months back, I was thinking about how Independence Day has traditionally made me cranky. I was going to do a piece called The Wrong Question/The Right Question, and I even asked folks to help me.

A couple examples:

The Wrong Question: Whether we need voter ID.
The Right Question: Whether we have polling places open long enough, and staffed well enough, to accommodate voters. Failing that, whether mail voting would be a credible solution.

The Wrong Question: Whether people on food stamps should use them for buying steaks.
The Right Question: Why many of the the working poor make so little that they’re eligible for food stamps.
Read the rest of this entry »

gibson.bluegrassAs I have noted, I bought a lot of the Warner Brothers Loss Leaders all through the 1970s, where I would discover all sorts of eclectic music at two or three dollars for a double album (LP) set. There was always a track or three that I had to play repeatedly. My absolutely favorite song on the 1979 A La Carte collection was a song by the Gibson Brothers.

No, not those Gibson Brothers, Eric, born October 23, 1970; Leigh, October 11, 1971, in Plattsburgh, NY. The bluegrass music mavens with tight-knit two-part harmonies Read the rest of this entry »

kristoffersonSomeone on Facebook pointed to this Rolling Stone list, and being the lazy blogger, I use it to comment on the albums I actually own.

45. Lyle Lovett, ‘Lyle Lovett’ (1986)

First time I saw Lyle was on TV after his third album came out, and Bryant Gumbel of the Today show said, “That’s country?” I bought that album, Large Band, but subsequently virtually every album he’s put out, including this eponymous one. In fact, in my collection, which is arranged alphabetically, I have two albums in a row with the great song “God Will,” Read the rest of this entry »

At my church on Sunday, June 28, we sang a new hymn printed in the bulletin. It was They Met to Read the Bible by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a pastor from Wilmington, Delaware, to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus (ST. CHRISTOPHER 7.6.8.6.8.6.8.6):

They met to read the Bible,
they gathered for a prayer,
They worshiped God and shared with friends
and welcomed strangers there.
They went to church to speak of love,
To celebrate God’s grace.
O Lord, we tremble when we hear
What happened in that place.

O God of love and justice,
we thank you for the nine.

I then realized this song was in specific response to the Charleston shooting Read the rest of this entry »

guns.AmericaTackling more Ask Roger Anything questions, where a theme seemed to emerge:

New York Erratic wants to know:

What is the #1 thing that annoys you on social media?

Mostly that so much of it is so banal. I post these blog posts to my Facebook and Twitter and get a few comments. I write, in response to an Esquire clickbait article, “If you think I’m going to click on this 80 times, you’re crazy;” it’s gotten over 120 likes, many of them in recent days.

Sometimes, though, it does some good. Which nicely segues to…
***
Jaquandor muses:

I often hear calls for “a national conversation” to deal with Big Issues. What would a “national conversation” look like?

Since we can’t seem to agree on simple concepts, such as facts about science, I think the “national conversations” bubble up in ways that I don’t think can possibly be entirely controlled.
Read the rest of this entry »

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