Archive for December, 2015

toon refugee.santaWeekly Sift explains the US polarized body politic: Small-government Freedom vs. Big-government Rights. Plus the Yearly Sift.

New York Times: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

Deadliest U.S. mass shootings | 1984-2015.

Short video: A Conversation With Police on Race. Also, Ferguson cop says life is ‘ruined’ after pointing AR-15 at journalists.

No Charges in the Murder of Tamir Rice and Why white people see black boys like him as older, bigger and guiltier than they really are.

A girl narrates a letter to her dad as she grows up, and it makes rape culture obvious.

Shooting Parrots is blogging again! Read the rest of this entry »

alexander-hamiltonI’ve become obsessed with Alexander Hamilton for a while now. He was married to Elizabeth Schuyler, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Albany (my current church!), in 1780. When Aaron Burr killed Hamilton in an 1804 duel, First Presbyterian Albany minister Eliphalet Nott wrote a persuasive sermon which led to the demise of dueling in America.

It definitely intensified with that campaign by some group to put a woman on the $20 bill, replacing Andrew Jackson, something I fully supported.

But then I heard about the Treasury Department’s plan Read the rest of this entry »

I realize I did a similar thing last year around this time. And why not? But this time, I got a tad carried away. Of course, no one knows all that will happen in 2016, besides a leap day on February 29.

Super Bowl 50 (no Roman numerals) will be held February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, California, broadcast in the US on CBS-TV. The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. August 5–21, followed by the Paralympics, September 7–18. And of course, the 45th President of the United States will be voted on November 8.
londons-burning-pos-467101
These anniversaries will also be noted.

950th (1066)
Oct 14 – Battle of Hastings – The Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeat the English army and kill King Harold II of England.

400th (1616)
Mar – Work of Copernicus banned by the Congregation of the Index.
Apr 23- William Shakespeare, English writer and actor, died.

350th (1666)
Sept 2-4 – The Great Fire of London breaks out and burns for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral.
Read the rest of this entry »

A-Ballerinas-Tale-posterI was rather familiar with the story of Misty Copeland, largely from this 60 Minutes clip, about how the ballerina, who didn’t even dance until she was 13, became the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer of the legendary American Ballet Theater.

What was interesting about the documentary A Ballerina’s Tale was less about the dancer herself, and more about the social context of her achievement. Read the rest of this entry »

Scheherazade and Other StoriesIn my recent prog rock post, I ended, “I own albums by FM, Electric Light Orchestra, Kansas, Renaissance, Supertramp, Genesis, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, but not the ones listed.”

Then Arthur commented:

I don’t have most of the albums you talk about…, BUT the ones you list at the very end of this post, I want to know more about your connection to those. That’s because I had something by most of the bands you list, but you’re the only one I know who’s ever listed Renaissance. (I have two of their albums on vinyl and chose to bring them with me from America when I had to leave so many other things behind)

Let’s start with the group Renaissance. I must have heard them in New Paltz during my college days.

1977 was pretty much, from an emotional point of view Read the rest of this entry »

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