I haven’t written about Donald Trump lately. It isn’t that he hasn’t ticked me off. In fact, after about a week of not saying too many irritating things a while back, he has returned to form, and that was before the 2005 tape was revealed.

But I haven’t the energy to rant on him. Other sources are doing that for me. So I’ve cleaned out my email with this link dump.

There are basically two narratives about why the mainstream media is finally spending more time analyzing The Donald:

1) He is the nominee of a major party, not just one of 17 candidates for the GOP nomination. The media were counting on someone who was a grownup would defeat him in the primaries – surely they won’t nominate HIM – and they could pretty much go with the entertainment/ratings of the sideshow. But when that didn’t happen – and it’s been at least likely since March 15, when Marco Rubio lost Florida. – they were then obliged to do their jobs.

2) The media is out to get him because they’re all Hillary Clinton supporters.

I think 1) is true, but I also believe Read the rest of this entry »

indianOctober 12, before the federal government turned it into a Monday holiday, was, Columbus Day in the US, to honor that guy “who sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred 92.” However, several towns are instead celebrating Indigenous People’s Day.”

“For decades, celebrating ‘Columbus Day’ has been hotly debated. Many feel Christopher Columbus is largely responsible for the decimation of the Native Americans, and giving him a day of celebration just adds insult to injury.” In this blog, I’ve been supportive of this redesignation. Check out this article.

Still, I’m not quite sure if it’s the holiday one would really want. It seems to be mostly about sales, and a chance to get away and perhaps see the autumn colors before the cold weather comes.

Now, if there were some conversation about what Indigenous People means – see this video for a limited time, e.g. – maybe it’d be a more meaningful change. The Dakota Pipeline story was underreported because the Native Americans lack political muscle.

Still, dumping Columbus Day seems unfortunate in that it becomes a zero-sum equation: Indians, si, Italians, no. Columbus Day has always felt like some of those non-legal holiday celebrations, such as St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) for the suddenly Irish and Cinco de Mayo (May 5) for the ersatz Mexicans, only without all the alcoholic consumption. And there’s usually a parade!

But the Italian experience in America is interesting to me. As this article notes that when Columbus, who was Italian, but sailing for Spain arrived:

“We think of this day as when America became white. But nearly 400 years after Columbus, a large wave of Italians would arrive on American shores, and they would not be considered as such. The period between 1880-1920, known as ‘The Great Arrival,’ when at least three million Italians immigrated to the United States, created an era in which southern Italians had to become white.”

This is an interesting story, when, early on, they were considered black, especially in the South, and treated as such, which is to say, badly.

Maybe we can have some other, less polarizing, Italian-American’s birthday celebrated and learn more about our ever-changing country.

hall-and-oates-voicesA sea change seems to have taken place regarding Dayrl Hall and John Oates. Once scorned as too commercial – they WERE the most commercially successful duo ever – they were FINALLY nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and were elected on their first, delayed shot.

I’ve had affection for Hall & Oates for a long while. I own a few of their early LPs, such as Abandoned Luncheonette and Voices. According to one of those VH1 “Where are they now” specials, which I saw a couple years ago, some folks though they were gay, based on the Voices cover. Though they were not, it was not something they rushed out to fix.

Listening to these again, I’m fascinated how long it takes for the vocals to come up, a ’60s DJ’s dream. Good thing they came out later.

My favorite Daryl Hall songs, most, but not all, with John Oates, with links to all songs. Chart references are to Billboard. Read the rest of this entry »

english_as_a_new_languagelMy wife is a teacher of English as a New Language (ENL). It has also been called English as a Second Language (ESL), but the NEW designation is more accurate because, for some of these students, English is their third or fourth language.

Here’s a 2008 article about English Language Learners (ELLs) that I think describes the process and problems of learning English for non-native speakers.

The rules for the order of adjectives are nearly instinctive for native-born speakers of English. Read the rest of this entry »

beatles-whitealbumSomeone I know has asked me to compile and edit a book about the album The Beatles, generally called the white album. I haven’t said no, but I haven’t said yes yet because, to quote a white album title “I’m So Tired.”

Still, it’s an interesting proposition. That album is, in its own way, as emblematic as its predecessor, Sgt. Pepper, and I think it ages better. Read the rest of this entry »

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