Nov. rambling: the Opposite of Déjà Vu

The djt library

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DNA evidence proved Lydell Grant’s innocence

John Green – On Immunity, Inoculation, and Individuals and Hank Green- How We Teach: Individualist Stories

BP Evaluation and Treatment in Patients with  Prediabetes or Diabetes

More than anyone, Tom Heinsohn was Mr. Celtic

Golfer Jon Rahm Bounced a Ball Over Water to Get a Hole in One

Miami Marlins hire Kim Ng as MLB’s first female general manager

An Atlas of the Cosmos

Why Do Airline Dress Codes Still Exist?

Ken Levine’s podcast: Episode 200!

An Oral History of Marge vs The Monorail

How to Brace Yourself for Disappointment

Single foster dad adopts five siblings so they won’t be separated

60 Minutes Australia: John Cleese interview

What is the Opposite of Déjà Vu?

Word Genius: Most Beautiful Words  in the English Language

Food Waste in America in 2020 and Guide to  Food Storage for Healthier Eating

Animals

Meet The New First Dogs of the Country

The Angler Fish: A Mystery of The Deep

World’s Last Known White Giraffe Gets GPS Tracking Device

Woman the hunter: Ancient Andean remains challenge old ideas of who speared big game

Fire in The Pig Barn   at June Farms

After A Whale Dies, What Happens? and 50 Years Ago, Oregon Blew Up a Dead Whale. With Dynamite. On Live TV.

3 men banned from Yellowstone after trying to cook chicken in geyser

Ken Spears, R.I.P. Ruby, and Spears, who created and/or supervised some of the most popular animated characters ever on television including Scooby-Doo.

Commercials starting Alvin and the Chipmunks and David Seville

TREBEK

They learned English — and how to be American — from watching him

Tribute to a Travel Hero

Alex Trebek and Truth

Fordham benefactor

Choose Presence Over Judgment

TIME

Contestants’ Most Hated Word:  Preemption

Who Could Take Over as Jeopardy! Host. Maybe LeVar Burton?

Winners and Losers

The djt library

Can I Get Over Donald Trump?

THE REAGANS Proves Just How Closely Trump Followed an Old GOP Playbook

His top scandals

Over 220 LGBTQ candidates celebrate election victories

The Gap’s Deleted Post-Election Tweet Shows Just How Uninterested Many Americans Are in Unity Right Now

Germany calls on its young to be the Covid heroes  of 2020

Dilbert: Banana Is Not An Apple

Now I Know

A Long Way to Save a Few Quid and The Doctor With a  Vision for Vision and The I’m Not in Washington Defense and How Did the Squirrel Cross the Road? and The Pothole Vigilante

MUSIC

Paula White’s Re-Election Prayer For Donald Trump Ft. Lil KC Remix – WTFBRAHH

Violinist Hilary Hahn, performing Beethoven’s Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra. Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Coverville: 1331: Sometimes They Come Back… and 1332: The Divine Comedy Cover Story and 1333: The Neil Young Cover Story III and  1334: Cover Stories for Graham Parker, Kim Wilde, and Björk

Les Miserables song One Day More

Vaughan Williams: Nation Shall Not Lift Up A Sword Against Nation/Glory To God In The Highest, from Dona Nobis Pacem

Tradicion from Fiddler on the Roof, performed in Panama

Medley of old  TV theme songs – Josh Groban, 2008 Emmy Awards

Bad Moon Rising – Julien Neel

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Sing – Carpenters

I’m in Love with a Big Blue Frog – Peter, Paul, and Mary (25th Anniversary Concert)

Baby Shark – PINKFONG Songs for Children, Watched over SEVEN BILLION times

Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift 

Wendy Carlos doesn’t need THIS biography

 

Book review: We Return Fighting

Shaping African American identity.

We Return FightingWe Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity is a physically beautiful book. It was published by The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in 2019. It was a century after black soldiers returned from the war overseas only to fight a different type of battle at home.

One of the ongoing themes in the tome is the fact that black soldiers served the United States, in part, to try to prove yet again their worthiness as citizens. As in most previous conflicts, black soldiers were assigned to segregated units. They were often relegated to support duties rather than direct combat, at least at first. Given the opportunity, though, they often shone as warriors, even underequipped.

Specifically, in WWI, blacks in the military received the respect they deserved from French allies but not their US comrades. This disconnect incentivized them to return to the states and continue the fight for their rights. Black soldiers and black citizens on the home worked to lay the framework for advances in the civil rights movement.

There are scads of photos and illustrations of significant people and artifacts. In other words, it is the history of the black soldier from the Civil War forward. We read also about the horrific Red Summer of 1919 when black veterans were particularly targeted by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist entities. The war and its aftermath shaped African American identity.

Over There

An interesting paradox for me: the book discussed World War I broadly far more than I expected or was especially interested in. Yet I learned a great deal about the great world war. Notably, it was the event that first made the United States a world power.

The book appears to be an outgrowth of the We Return Fighting exhibit at the NMAAH that closed on September 6, 2020. But you can still see elements of that show. I am a founding contributor to this museum, and I hope to visit it someday. My daughter, BTW, has been there twice.

Incidentally, there was a 2002 book called We Return Fighting: The Civil Rights Movement in the Jazz Age by Mark Robert Schneider. I have not seen it.

 

Just a few Berry Gordy songs

Motown founder

Since it’s the 91st birthday of Berry Gordy, I thought I would link to a few of the songs he wrote or co-wrote. According to the ASCAP database, there are over 350 of them.

ABC – Jackson Five, #1 for four weeks RB, #1 for two weeks pop in 1970. As part of The Corporation TM – Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, and Alphonzo Mizell – they “were responsible for the writing, production, and arranging” of J5 singles such as I Want You Back, The Love You Save, Mama’s Pearl, and Maybe Tomorrow.

Bingo Long Song (Steal On Home) – Thelma Houston. Written with Ron Miller. It was used for the movie The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.

Buttered Popcorn – Supremes. A 1961 song written by “Gordy and songwriter Barney Ales, produced by Gordy… It was the group’s second single after signing with Motown Records…” It appears on Meet the Supremes, with Florence Ballard on lead vocal. I LOVE this song.

Check Yourself – Temptations. On the Meet the Temptations album. It was written by Gordy and group members Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Elbridge Bryant, and produced by Gordy.

Now that I can dance

Do You Love Me – the Contours. #1 RB for three weeks, #3 pop in 1962. Berry Gordy wrote it to give to the Temptations. However, “when Gordy set out to locate the group and record the song, they were nowhere to be found… Gordy ran into the Contours in the hallway.” Decades later, on a Berry Gordy tribute album, the Temps did sing it.

Got A Job – Miracles. An Answer song to the Silhouettes’ Get a Job, it was written with Roquel Davis and Smokey Robinson.

I Call It Pretty Music (But The Old People Call It the Blues) – Little Stevie Wonder. Written with Clarence Paul.

Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson. Written by Berry, his sister Gwen Gordy, and Roquel “Billy” Davis, a/k/a Tyran Carlo. #1 RB, #7 pop in 1958. It was ranked “#315 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004.

Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong. Written with Janie Bradford, it was the first hit record for Motown. #2 RB for six weeks, #23 pop in 1960. Barrett Strong later co-wrote songs with Norman Whitfield for The Temptations and other artists.

To prosecute or not to prosecute 45

“a pattern of disregard for public order”

donald-trump-hollywod-star-behind-bars
Per CNN

President-elect Joe Biden – love the sound of that – is hoping to “avoid divisive Trump investigations.” Biden ran as a unifier, and he knows that over 74 million people voted against him. He’s told aides that he’s concerned that to prosecute djt would split the country.

I totally get it. When President Barack Obama came into office, with Biden as his Veep, he wanted to  move on “from the previous administration’s scandals and ultimately ignored President George W. Bush’s administration’s use of torture on prisoners of war taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan battles.” I grimaced at the time but understood.

So I was interested to see the take of Philip Allen Lacovara. A former counselor to the Watergate special prosecutor, he explained in the Washington Post why Biden has “no choice” but to prosecute his predecessor.

It is a sentiment shared by Andrew Weissmann, former senior attorney to special counsel Robert Mueller.

A New Day

On January 20th, 2021, “‘We’re going to be… in the situation where we no longer are talking about indicting the president but, rather, a former president, somebody who is a civilian,’ Weissmann explained. ‘And the question’s going to be: Does the rule of law apply to that person?

“‘And it’s very hard to see an argument if it is shown… that the president has committed tens of millions of dollars of tax fraud or bank fraud or both. Any other person would normally be prosecuted, then it really shouldn’t be the case that just because he becomes president, that he shouldn’t have the day in court where a jury decides whether or not he committed those crimes prior to becoming president.'”

This makes sense to me. But with the country as fractionalized as it is, many will perceive it as retaliation. Millions won’t believe Biden’s insistence that he would leave decisions up to an “independent Justice Department.” They’ll say that this is the kind of prosecutorial bullying one would expect from attorneys generals such as William Barr or John Mitchell.

Lacovara knows it may be appealing to try to turn the page on the past four years. “‘In virtually any other presidential succession, this course might be prudent and consistent with our history of peaceful transitions without recrimination, vindictiveness, or rummaging around for criminality.’

He’s Special

But the soon-to-be-former President is “‘in a category by himself,’ notes Lacovara. ‘One need not embark on a malicious hunt to identify serious criminal abuses by Trump and many of his closest aides.’ “The conduct by him and his administration showed a pattern of disregard for public order, ‘including those embedded in federal criminal statutes.'”

Weissmann responded to a “New York Times column suggested that putting Trump on trial for obstruction of justice will be perceived as Biden placing those who supported” his opponent on trial.

“‘I think that’s looking at it the wrong way. Remember, a jury is going to have to make the decision and is going to have to find proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the same way any other defendant is entitled to all of the due process rights that we have in this country.”

Assuredly, it would be wrong to “lock him up” just because he might run again in 2024. And his puffery may be a tactic to pollute any jury pool, who might believe he’s being persecuted, not just prosecuted. He is quite good at that. Still, the facts should determine what actions might be taken by federal courts.

Frankly, I hope he’s indicted in state courts. As this September 2020 article in New York magazine notes, “State laws aren’t subject to presidential pardons.” This includes if he should choose to pardon himself – don’t rule it out – his family, and others.

Lydster: Midnight and Stormy

Aaron Copland

We have two cats. While they are both about seven years old, Midnight, the male black feline, is a few months older than Stormy, the female grayish one. And he is clearly the alpha beast.

This has created a problem of Midnight being overweight, and seeing them at mealtime explained why. Each of them receives a quarter can of wet food. Midnight devours this as though he had never been fed ever before. Left to his own devices, he’d bump Stormy out of the way and eat her food as well. Yes, one could stop him from stealing her food. But how do we slow him down?

Our daughter found this rolly-polly little feeder with a hole near the bottom. It sort of looks likes a tiny version of Arthur’s pet composting device, actually. Midnight’s job is to knock the device around and the kibble would come out of the hole. Meanwhile, someone would take Stormy’s half-eaten bowl of wet food and place it in a location where she could get it but he would not find it.

This is a twice-daily ritual at 7:30 Daylight Saving Time, 6:30 during Standard Time. I feed them in the morning because my wife is off to work. Our daughter feeds them at night, although she sometimes has to be reminded to leave the cave that is her bedroom.

Don’t mess with Midnightus

Midnight is quite hostile to most other human beings. He actually gets along with our contractor. He is civil enough to my daughter’s friend Kay that she can feed them while we’ve been away. But don’t take his tolerance of you as acceptance. My friend Uthaclena made the mistake of petting him, and Midnight’s claws came out. My MIL is terrified of him, as are others.

When we had inspectors visit our home for a loan, our daughter put them both in her room. Stormy wouldn’t hurt anyone, but she is terrified of strangers. One catsitter a few years back was afraid that she somehow escaped the house. Nah, she was just hiding, and she does it well.

Midnight can be quite affectionate to us. He’ll even let me put him up if I scratch under his chin before bolting. Stormy comes to people on her own terms, rubbing her body against my leg. She’ll sit on her laps if SHE feels like it.

We initially got the cats because our daughter wanted them. But my wife and I have grown rather attached to them, in spite of ourselves.

Here’s William Warfield, performing Aaron Copland’s song I Bought Me A Cat, with the composer conducting.