Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The primaries in New York State are over. I must admit a fascination with all the yard signs in people’s lawns‘ we have three in ours, a new record. How do they do their designs so they don’t look like everyone else’s? A lot of them use red, white, and/or blue.

Generally speaking, I give points to anyone’s signs that didn’t fall in that category. Although: a candidate for city auditor named Susan Rizzo had an orange sign; from a distance, it looked red to me, and one doesn’t want red in a sign for someone in charge of the money. Her opponent, Glen Casey, had a picture of himself with a pale orange background, which, also from a distance, made him look as though he had clown hair.

I came across this state manual Municipal Control of Signs. Interesting geek reading. “Sign controls applicable to residential areas must therefore be carefully drawn to respect free speech while protecting the community’s appearance.”

The Capital District and north got a new area code in the 518 this summer, which is 838. It’s an overlay, which means that the new area code would cover the same geography as the old one when new numbers are assigned. Some folks are whining complaining that now they have to dial 10 digits rather than seven, but it is no big deal to me.

This is MUCH better outcome than if they had split the area code, with everyone in Albany and Troy, e.g., having to get new phone numbers, which would mean new business cards, new signs, and the need to spend advertising to promote that.

My church got a new sign, welcoming immigrants and refugees, around Labor Day. It fits in with the position of our Session, which is the local governing board, adopted at its meeting on Tuesday, September 19:

“As Christians, we are committed to stand with all who are oppressed, marginalized, or persecuted and to do all in our power to protect and defend. We boldly assert that God’s creation is universal and is a reflection of God’s own self, those of every race, color, ethnicity, of every gender, sexual orientation or sexual identity, speaking every language and born in every place, following every religious tradition. Every one of these is created in God’s own image and rejection of any is a rejection of God. We especially invite those in positions of leadership and power to restrain any injustice and to avoid at all costs any pandering or use of prejudice for political gain. We seek a world as God envisions, a world of justice, mercy, and love.”

There was a Washington Post article in April 2017, The simple idea to make kids more empathetic? Get them reading the news. It’s about a specific program sythesizing the news.

One of the things I tried to protect the Daughter from was the news. I thought I was watching it when she was busy doing other things. But at some point, when she was eight or nine, I noticed she was picking up on stories. Moreover, she was aware of them at a level that I knew that her classmates were not. And that is still true.

I must admit this is a curse she has inherited from from her father, who was reading op/ed columns in the local paper at 9 or 10. William F. Buckley and Jack Anderson and the like was on my reading diet.

Following the news, she became more aware of the candidates for President – she hated Chris Christie, loved Bernie Sanders – and more of them than 90% of American adults.

I tried very hard not to inculcate her with my pain about race in America. Yet the evidence in the news, with only some minor clarification from me, really informed her, such as when she saw unarmed black men getting shot. I really didn’t want her to have to know about this, but it’s out there.

She has participated in walks to fight hunger. She has contributed money to help shelter animals. She really does have a good heart, which would probably embarrass her, but so be it.

I think that she will be a good citizen. She’ll follow the issues and she’ll always vote. At this point, I can’t see her ever running for office – at some level, she is very shy – but i can imagine her working behind the scenes for a candidate she supports. And perhaps she’ll surprise me.

Professor Jonathan Frink Sr, voiced by Jerry Lewis

U.S. Productivity: What Is It, How to Calculate It

Workers, the labor movement and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Play The Bail Trap Game!

Hitting the pavement instead of the sheetcake

Vice News/HBO Documentary on Charlottesville

Vloggger brothers: Race is uncomfortable for me to talk about

Kim Kingsley: My Life Lessons in Rust Belt Racism

Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago

Kickstarter: Mine! : a comics collection to benefit Planned Parenthood

8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

Religion for the Nonreligious

Alaska’s permafrost is no longer permanent. It is starting to thaw

The yard of campaign yard signs

Forgotten Technology: Man Lifts 20 Ton Block By Hand

Warren Roberts: Reflecting on my blogs at the Times Union

REVIEW: “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at the Mac-Haydn – the Wife and I saw this show. It was great, but we were so near the stage we feared that we’d have our feet being stepped on. And I was struck by a cow – seriously. A stuffed cow that was launched from the French castle; ’twas but a glancing blow

Jay Thomas on Letterman.- The ‘Lone Ranger’ Story (2014)

Which Gaming Console Was the Most Popular?

Tony Isabella: To Black Lightning, with love

Now I Know: The Political Race Which Was, Literally, a Race and Drinking and Drive-Overs

Give the back of your hand to opisthenar

THAT GUY AND HIS FAMILY

Friedrich wrote letter begging not to be deported

The White nationalist House

The Message in Joe Arpaio’s Pardon and Fascism as a Unifying Principle

The Constitutional Crisis Has Begun

DJT’s list of false and misleading claims tops 1,000

How He Uses Deceit And Propaganda To Shape Perceptions

The Village Voice did a profile back in 1979—nothing’s changed, he’s always lied

How the Secret Service Treats Protestors

How he Ruined My Relationship With My White Mother

Chelsea Clinton comes to Barron’s defense after conservative criticism

MUSIC

Housequake -Prince, live (1987)

Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1182: August birthday cavalcade

It’s Good News Week – Hedgehoppers Anonymous

K-Chuck Radio: I want a Beach Boys a cappella album right now!!

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Barbershop Harmony Society

Gated reverb: The sound of the ’80s

Gordon Lightfoot’s 10 Best Songs

Gene Kelly would have been 105 this month

The Good Old Days, and Two Lost Souls – Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees

Rent Party Rag – Spider John Koerner

Sesame Street: ’80s Music Mashup Parody and El Patito, featuring Ernie and Rosita

Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away, by Percy Grainger

Hello Goodbye – the Beatles

While sitting in the middle school parking lot, waiting for the Daughter to come home from a three-day trip to Washington, DC, we heard on the radio Randy Cohen interviewing Ruth Messinger, the liberal firebrand on the New York City Council from 1978 to 1989, representing the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Then from 1990 to 1998, she served as Manhattan borough president.

The most interesting thing she said was that she had always been very clear on her political priorities. She was pro-women’s rights, pro-choice, anti-death penalty. (I noted aloud that, over the years, I’ve been far less certain than she proclaimed to be.)

Someone in the City Council had proposed providing a needle exchange for drug addicts, a response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, in which many people spread the disease through the use of shared needles. Messinger, concerned that providing needles would only encourage the addicts to use, opposed the measure.

Ruth Messinger said that, apparently as a result of her long-standing liberal record, the bill’s supporters decided that she was, her word, “educable”. At 11:30 at night, just three miles from her posh district, bill supporters took her to meet some of the people who could be affected by the bill, with their illegally acquired, clean needles. They told their stories of addictions they could not, at that point, overcome.

Ruth Messinger changed her mind. I tell this, not on the specifics of the issue, but rather over the belief people had in her that she could be swayed by the examples.

Too often, I read about the person who, in attempting to “cross the aisle” or even sound conciliatory, is branded a traitor, a RINO (or DINO) – Republican (or Democrat) In Name Only. People who vote for a Presidential appointee that someone doesn’t like are considered irredeemable. Saying something nice about an individual from “the other side” is considered selling out.

I’ve read, in publications from both sides, that we need a new system. But short of armed insurrection, how do you get there? By working with the folks you have now without expecting ideological purity.

Most civil rights change has come from people who used to see things one way but came to believe another. That’s Politics, with a capital P. And you work electorally to remove the obstructions. It’s S-L-O-W, often intentionally so, but (crosses fingers on both hands) achievable.

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I have found many things that have taken place on the political landscape in the last six months or so worthy of celebration.

There have been protests, many of them local, for banning the bomb, upholding women’s rights, protecting the immigrant and the refugee, saving the environment, and several other causes.

People are becoming actively engaged in the political process, working on special elections, running for office, or at least considering it. They are showing up at town halls when members of Congress come back to town.

The veil is coming off FOX “news”. Yet other news outlets are thriving.

A couple interviews on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah in June 2017, on successive days in June 2017, gave me encouragement. William J. Barber II is shifting the moral conversation about the poor, a group neither major candidate for President talked about last year. Among other things, Rev. Barber is the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement.

I was also taken by John Avlon. The Daily Beast’s Editor-in-Chief was promoting his new book “Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations.”

George Washington feared, he explained, that political parties would “push a narrow, self-interested agenda that would block the national interest” and “create a deadlocked and dysfunctional democracy” that would leave citizens “so frustrated by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness that it could open the door to a demagogue with authoritarian ambitions.”

And by demagogue, I mean “a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.”

So on this Independence Day, it is important to note the words of another of our Founders, Alexander Hamilton: “Of those men who have overturned the liberty of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by playing an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.”

We must always push back against tyranny.

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