Cease fire Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers

The American civil war didn’t end, and we have a Confederate president

The First Family of Fraud

Fox and Friends: If the Media Doesn’t Want to Be Called ‘The Enemy’They Should Report the Story How He Wants

Amy Biancolli: We are not the enemy

John Oliver: Migrant Family Separation and Drain the Swamp

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America? Voter turnout lags in the world’s most powerful democracy? and Cost of Voting in the American States

A Legislative Agenda for House Democrats

What Republicans fear most of all

A man who survived a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 was among those killed in the 2018 mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA

There’s very little known about the thousands of victims who survive deadly shootings

Tammy Marshall – My Breast Implants Almost Killed Me – The Truth About BII

The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress

The Ancestor Hunt: Historical Jewish American Newspapers Online

Why are the Spanish living so long?

Ken Levine interviews media consultant, Valerie Geller – Tell the truth, make it matter, never be boring: Learn the keys to successful communication

Ntozake Shange, Who Wrote ‘For Colored Girls,’ Is Dead at 70

Former San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey’s presence was one of a kind

In Conversation: Alex Trebek The Jeopardy! icon on retirement, his legacy, and why knowledge matters

Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL, representative-elect: SNL mocked my appearance; here’s why I didn’t demand an apology

Jimmy Kimmel: Trumpy bear

John Boehner: Washington Needs to Legalize Cannabis – NOW, he says it

The Crazy Contentious History Of Taco Tuesday

Scott McCartney, travel writer for WSJ, taking world’s longest flight — Newark to Singapore; tips on how to endure the 18+ hour flight

The cheapest ways to get to the center of Manhattan from the three airports that serve the Big Apple

Esquire Fiction: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah – Annual holiday super sale? Or zombie apocalypse?

Video tour from the forties Los Angeles side-by-side with the same route in 2016

It slices, it dices, and it’s older than me

This image has exactly 12 dots, but it’s impossible to see them all at once

Now I Know: The Problem With Anonymous Lottery Winners and The Cat’s Meow, Instrumentalized

Fabulous German words with no English equivalent

MUSIC

Take the A Train – Roy Clark And Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown; Roy Clark, country guitar virtuoso, ‘Hee Haw’ star, dies at 85

Above The Law – The O’Jays

BE A DJ: Kathy Buckley – 10/30/18 (WDST, Woodstock, NY)

Snippets of Hey Red! B/W We’re Not Going Steady – Herb London on Buzz Records; London, Conservative Thought Leader and occasional political candidate in New York State, died at 79. (HT to Dustbury)

Solid Rock is now a cultural part of Australian music history

Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No 1, performed by the Moscow String Quartet

Recording of a warning chime recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – In all, Lincoln commissioned six different non-critical warning chimes from the orchestra, covering 25 vehicle functions

Careless Whisper – Train, ft. Kenny G

Happiness is just around the bend – Brian Auger

Anything You Can Do – Voctave

9,999,999 Tears – Dickie Lee

Alice Cooper in a Dodge commercial

About this time last year, tobacco companies in the United States were required to spend “money on TV ads again — not to sell cigarettes, but to warn against them…

“The campaign is the culmination of an 18-year legal battle in which the federal government sought to recover billions of dollars in health care related to tobacco-caused illnesses. After lengthy litigation, the court-mandated remedy is anti-smoking ads that will begin running in newspapers… and on TV… for a year.”

A complicating item in the tobacco marketplace is the growth of e-cigarettes. They are less deadly than regular cigarettes, and therefore perhaps a legitimate alternative to smoking for extant smokers. Conversely, e-cigarettes and youth don’t mix.

The Centers for Disease Control declares:

*The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
*Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
*E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
*Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
Arguably, the e-cigarette manufacturers have been targeting the young adult with their “fun” flavors

Breaking news: Juul will stop selling most e-cigarette flavors in stores and end social media promotion, bowing to F.D.A. pressure to curb teenage vaping.

I had a friend, Donna, who was often trying to quit smoking cigarettes, mostly because she knew how much I hated them. She developed brain cancer about a decade and a half ago. Figuring it didn’t matter, she resumed smoking yet again. I’m convinced those latter cigarettes even more agonizing right before she died.

Today is the Great American Smokeout, “an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS)… This social engineering event focuses on encouraging Americans to quit tobacco smoking. People are challenged to stop smoking for at least 24 hours assuming that their decision not to smoke will last longer, hopefully forever. Today, more than 43 million people in the United States smoke cigarettes, that is about 1 in 5 adults.”

Here are 15+ Of The Most Powerful Anti-Smoking Ads Ever Created, CDC’s anti-smoking ad campaign, and Powerful Anti Smoking Ads That Will Make You Quit. (Oh that it were so easy!)

I’ve seen this one a lot: CDC: Tips From Former Smokers – Terrie’s Tip Ad

Prince CharlesIt may be softheadedness, particularly since I think the whole idea of monarchy and primogeniture is rather silly. Still, sometimes I feel sorry for Prince Charles.

After all, the only job for which he has been trained to do is to become king. And his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, stubbornly, remains alive and shows no signs of abdicating. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

Worse, because of his massive royal wedding to Diana Spencer, which turned into a marriage gone very wrong, almost no one really wants him to be king at all at this point. They favor his eldest son with the late, beloved Diana, William, who had his fairytale wedding of his own with Kate Middleton. William has now fathered three more heirs of his own.

To the degree Charles is tolerated, beyond royal protocol, it’s because Charles appears to have been a good dad to William and Harry. This was especially true after Diana, the fun, sensitive, compassionate one was killed in 1997. The folks in the UK seem even tolerant of Charles’ second wife, Camilla, who he probably should have married in the first place.

Charles represents his mother in many functions, much having to do with the Commonwealth. He also does quite a bit of charitable work, especially regarding education and the environment. He frets about the world of plastics his grandchildren are going to grow up in.

No wonder that being first in line for the British throne may have gone to Prince Charles’ head.

“The Prince of Wales… has reportedly earned a special nickname among the staff at Clarence House: The Pampered Prince. That’s because, according to Amazon Prime’s new documentary ‘Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm,’ Charles needs help doing just about everything.

“‘His pajamas are pressed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron, the bath plug has to be in a certain position and the water temperature has to be just tepid,’ Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, revealed in the documentary…

“This isn’t the first time that Prince Charles’ odd behavior has made headlines. A recently published book by Tom Bowers, ‘Rebel Prince, The Power, Passion, And Defiance Of Prince Charles,’ includes interviews with more than 120 people who share outlandish stories about working for the Royals.

“Apparently, Princess Diana’s ex brings his own toilet seat with him when he travels, changes outfits five times a day, only recently discovered what Saran wrap is and never shows up to a dinner party without his own food.”

Quoting the Simon & Garfunkel, “How terribly strange to be 70.” There was birthday party earlier this year, but today’s the actual natal day.

As you may know, “In Greek mythology Sisyphus or Sisyphos was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He is being punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when they near the top, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean.”

So I was a bit tickled when my buddy Chris wrote: “I am a happy Sisyphus; my rock is a delight.”

She agreed, as I suspected, that she was paraphrasing Albert Camus, who wrote:

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile.

“Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

Chris said that if Camus “can recognize the likely futility of life and be happy in Vichy France, I can be happy in the coziness of my college…” despite the inevitable frustrations. She added, “Camus, I’m guessing got it from King Solomon in Ecclesiastes, so all good ideas came from somewhere.”

Until I had come across that quote some time ago, I had never thought of Sisyphus as happy. So, I gather that there should be joy in taking on narrow-mindedness in the classroom when the students see only duality – right/wrong, black/white – because there is often nuance.

We should find joy in fighting poverty, saving the environment, promoting justice, seeking equality, et al., even when that rock rolls down the hill. You have to, in the words of Curtis Mayfield, Keep on pushing.

Zachary Kanin’s 2014 New Yorker illustration

For ABC Wednesday

Megyn KellyIf you’re in the United States, you might be familiar with Megyn Kelly. She was a news personality for Fox News from 2004 to 2017. She was a panelist at one of the Republican “debates”, where she had a bit of a row with one of the candidates, the one who ended up getting the nomination.

I imagine it’s why she was hired by NBC to be their “conservative female journalist.” On her short-lived Sunday evening show, she interviewed conspiracy nut Alex Jones, which was not a popular move.

Then she was given the third hour of the four-hour block of the TODAY show, but she never fit in thematically, or, apparently, personally. Her rating were disastrous.

When she was in a discussion about Halloween and described that using blackface had been considered acceptable when she was growing up, a couple things happened. One was that she was heavily criticized, especially by her NBC colleagues.

She gave up an apology, acknowledging the painful legacy, but diminishing her statement by mentioning how she tended not being “politically correct.” She lost her post as host of the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show.

I wish there had been a bit more of that explanation, not merely that it was “offensive.” CBS News Sunday Morning provided Blackface: A cultural history of a racist art form.

Borowitz of the New Yorker, wrote, satirically, Fox News Says Megyn Kelly’s Blackface Comments Not Racist Enough to Get Old Job Back.

The other reaction was from where she grew up, which happens to be Delmar, Albany County, NY. Students from her high school alma mater condemned Kelly’s comments, saying she was not accurately describing their town.

One prominent Albany Law School grad complained that, largely based on her race-baiting arguments on Fox, the law school shamefully put Kelly, class of 1995, on the cover of its alumni magazine, hosted her book signing, and had her speak at a graduation.

Ivan Rodat, who went to high school with Megyn Kelly wrote a measured response in Blackface in the ’Burbs.

A good friend of mine told me that the family now lives in the house Megyn Kelly grew up in. I only recently learned that when NBC first signed Kelly, the network wanted the current owners to “meet cute” the former resident. That was, to say the least, a non-starter.

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