Posts Tagged ‘Arthur@AmeriNZ’

Your Tax Dollars Help Starve Children in Yemen

The End of the American Order

America’s democracy problem

Self-dealing – of the money contributed to his 2020 campaign, $1.1 million has been spent at his businesses

“Witch hunts” explained

The Lame-Duck Power Grab

The Media isn’t “Polarized”, It Has a Right-Wing Cancer

Racism in America: Why Nothing Has Changed

Deconstructing a Genius Climate Change Argument

The Insect Apocalypse

On The Melian Dialogue

My car lost its hometown…

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Restaurants Got So Loud

Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental Health

Everything That’s Ethical to Steal From Work—And Why We Do It in the First Place

Ken Berry, Star of ‘F Troop’ and ‘Mama’s Family’ has dieds at 85 and Dance like Ken Berry and Ken Berry’s been “Bush-wacked”

Did Ross Perot cost George HW Bush a second term as President? and The Dirty Secrets of George HW Bush and Why All the Bush Nostalgia?

This ’80s PBS Show Made It Cool To Love Math

The first installment of the Gasoline Alley newspaper strip appeared in newspapers 100 years ago, and it is still running

Toy Industry to Induct Three New Members into Esteemed Hall of Fame, including the late Stan Lee

Chuck Dixon is now the most prolific comic book writer of all time

The Chilling Killing Wind cover reveal

City Lights is the greatest silent film ever made

Now I Know: The International Dispute That Slowed Down Time and The Space Capsule That Crashed in Oklahoma and The Helium Balloon With a Magical Ending and Floating Away On a Raft of Disappointment and The Hockey Save that Started in the Stands

Cookie Monster: pays a visit to the popular vlog, Rocketboom and The Lord of the Crumbs and C is for Cookie and CM Nosh and Les Mousserables and Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies and the Cookie Ballet with superstar ballerina Misty Copeland and HashtagPBS with Martha Stewart

MUSIC

Here’s to the State of Mississippi – Phil Ochs

The Split – Cordell Jackson, the rockin’ granny

Coverville 1242: The Randy Newman Cover Story III

Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2

K-Chuck Radio: I need a good Squeeze right now

Overture from Der Freischutz, composed by Carl Maria von Weber

Arthur’s Weekend Diversion: George Ezra and Hot Chocolate

Tightrope – Janelle Monáe

The Little Things – Chris Heron

Jump For My Love – Perpetuum Jazzile

Saturn (Sleeping at Last cover) – That Cello Guy

Help You Out – AlexSpacesOut

Hell No- Ingrid Michaelson, who attended Binghamton University

Hazel Scott Was Once the Biggest Star in Jazz. Here’s Why You’ve Never Heard of Her

Once was smooth jazz

Deadpool defends Nickelback

saint nicholasAs you may know, “Saint Nicholas became a priest, and later, a Bishop of the early Catholic Church. True to the Christian concept of giving up belongings and following Christ, St. Nicholas gave up all of his belongings.

“He was well known for giving to needy people, especially children. There are many stories and tales of him helping out children in need.”

What I had somehow missed, though, was that St. Nicholas Day commemorates his death on December 6th.”

Arthur linked to the Vlogbrothers’ call for more celebration. The AmeriNZ writes: “These days, people don’t celebrate enough… Most of us ignore the little things, and not so little things, that go on all the time. We need to celebrate the little things, the small victories, because they make the bigger ones possible.”

I think this is fundamentally true. And maybe it’s because the world is scary, and life can be difficult, I think it’s more important than ever.

Arthur also linked to an Apple video called Share Your Gifts. “In the ad, a young woman is creative, but won’t share her gift with the world until the dog intervenes. I have found this can happen in real life…

He wondered if “a certain subset of Americans would be outraged that the ad is called ‘Holiday’, but it really has nothing to do with any one particular holiday, does it?”

Well, maybe someone will take offense. But the Bible is filled with Scripture that discuss sharing gifts.

For instance, in 1 Corinthians 12 – that’s cited as 1st Corinthians, BTW – “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit…”

My Saint Nicholas Day wish is that we express joy, appreciating our gifts and the gifts of others. These could be wonderful presents that cost nothing in terms of money, but may pay dividends nonetheless.

george herbert walker bushI’ve had complicated feelings about George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, for a long time. I don’t remember him as a Congressman from Texas in the 1960s, but I do recall his tenure as ambassador to the United Nations (`1971-1973).

Then he was named the chairman of the Republican National Committee, trying to negotiate a fine line between supporting the party and trying not to be disloyal to Richard Nixon, who was becoming increasingly mired in the Watergate scandal. His loyalty to the President, while consistent with his military training, made me mighty uncomfortable.

George Bush seemed suited to be the U.S. representative to China at a point when Sino-American relations were warming. He was passed over for Vice-President twice by Gerald Ford.

He ran for President in 1980 and was totally correct when he dubbed Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down fiscal plan as “voodoo economics.” Yet Reagan tapped Bush to be his Vice-Presidential candidate, and of course, they won.

I’m not much into conspiracy theories. But I’ve long wondered if the release of 52 Americans held hostage from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, Inauguration Day was more than a coincidence. Some cite Reagan’s tough talk, but I looked more at Bush’s CIA connections, where he was the director for a year, mostly in 1976.

Interestingly, I have few strong recollections of George H. W. Bush’s eight years as Vice-President (1981-1989), other than some odd perception that the man, whose plane was shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire during World War II was some sort of patrician “wimp.”

I do recall the nasty 1988 Presidential campaign, first against Republicans such as Senator Bob Dole (KS), Congressman Jack Kemp (NY), former Governor Pete du Pont (DE) and conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.

His acceptance speech referred to the “thousand points of light” as a vision of the United States. He picked largely unknown lightweight senator Dan Quayle (IN) as his running mate.

Though Bush found it difficult to articulate what he wanted to accomplish as president — “the vision thing”, he called it – “he handily beat Governor Michael Dukakis (MA) in the general election.” He was helped by some sleazy ads suggesting that his opponent was soft on crime. The media attack was orchestrated by the infamous political strategist Lee Atwater.

As the Los Angeles Times noted:

“During his single term in the White House, the Berlin Wall fell, newly democratic states sprang up across Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union came to an end.” For a time he had an 89% approval rating.

George Herbert Walker Bush passed historic legislation, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990). On the other hand, he nominated to the Supreme Court the very problematic Clarence Thomas (1991), and not just over the sexual harassment allegations.

“But the end of the Cold War also signaled the end of an era of American bipartisanship that the long conflict with the Soviets had fostered. Bush, the product of an earlier era, seemed out of phase with a younger, harder-edged generation of conservatives rising in his party.”

His real undoing was going back on his convention pledge: “Read my lips: no new taxes” in response to “a short, but sharp, recession that took hold in 1990 and raised unemployment…” He lost his bid for re-election in 1992, “receiving less support than any incumbent president in 80 years.”

George H. W. Bush “had been a college athlete, a Navy pilot and war hero, a business success… [Yet] he often seemed out of place when trying to communicate with voters. His… small gaffes — appearing surprised by a supermarket price scanner… — fed an image of a man distant from the lives of average Americans.”

Frankly, his standing with the American public has taken an upturn, in no small part, because of his son George W. Bush’s two terms as the 43rd President. If the first Gulf War was considered successful, I certainly appreciate 41’s restraint in NOT taking over Baghdad, which 43’s administration did a dozen years later.

In his post-presidential life, George H. W. Bush “reemerged in the public eye for his humanitarian work in the wake of the tsunami that devastated southern Asia in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Through those efforts, he became close friends with Bill Clinton, the Democrat who had vanquished him.”

In 2011, President Obama awarded Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In retirement, he became known for skydiving into his 90s. I’d been concerned about his health, especially when Barbara, his wife of 73 years, died on April 17, 2018.

Whatever misgivings I had about George Herbert Walker Bush, I saw him as a basically dignified man who loved his country and his family. As Arthur, who met the man decades ago, said: “He was the last of the Old School Republicans, a type we’ll probably never see again: Kind, decent, respectable, someone with whom one could disagree without it being personal or bitter.”

Dunn lumber signNATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT (it ain’t good)

Lies, damn lies and post-truth

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Authoritarianism and the Weekly Sift – From Russia to Ukraine to Brexit to Trump: The Road to Unfreedom

Kenyans Say Chinese Investment Brings Racism and Discrimination

How the Generals Are Routing the Policy Wonks at the Pentagon

With Statement Equal Parts ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Imbecilic,’ He Smears Khashoggi and Vows to Back Murderous Saudis

Billboard featuring DJT, ‘Make the Gospel great again,’ Bible verse is taken down in Missouri

The Difference Between ‘Patriotism’ and ‘Nationalism’

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Won’t Invite a Comedian Next Year

The Nancy Pelosi Problem – the most effec­tive congressional leader of modern times—and, not coinciden­tally, the most vilified

Hazing, humiliation, terror: Women who work in federal prisons are harassed by both inmates and guards; those who complain are ‘blackballed’

Ken Screven: Breaking Stereotypes | Out in Albany

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Already Breaking the Rules

West Virginia Democrat announces 2020 presidential bid

Walter Ayres: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a pastoral letter against racism – Open Wide Your Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love

Stephen Colbert On How He Returned To Catholicism After Being An Atheist

Coffin Clubs New Zealand

For Young Adults, Cohabitation Is Up, Marriage Is Down

Forgotten your keys again? It’s not as bad as you think; it could be good for your brain

Color Meaning, Symbolism, And Psychology: What Do Different Colors Mean

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is Incomplete — There’s a Final, Forgotten Stage

The intraocular option

HAIRMERGENCY!

Noun. alexiteric (plural alexiterics) (medicine) A preservative against infectious diseases. A preservative against the effects of poison. (HT, Dan)

Bill Gates is obsessed with redesigning the world’s toilets

Dustbury turns 65 and thinks he’s Sinatra

SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg has died at age 57 of ALS

Tributes to the late magician Ricky Jay

RIP William Goldman the Oscar-winning screenwriter who penned classics such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and The Princess Bride

Greg Burgas: Some more olde-tymey movies I’ve had the chance to watch or re-watch recently

Kelly Sedinger: Prologue to his forthcoming supernatural thriller, The Chilling Killing Wind

CGC 9.2 Overstreet #1 Hits $9K at Heritage

Cookie Monster Week: The proper way to eat a cookie and Gets therapy and How to make an apple pie

Subway Break Dancers, Clad in Armor, Go Medieval at the Met Museum

Internet Wading: Numbers, words, food, and art

Oven Rack Placement for the Best Baking Results

Now I Know: Why Do Leaves Fall from Trees? and Why Did the Chickens Cross Under the Highway? and How to Become Half a Prince and 1-916-CALL-TURK

Arthur does a meme I tagged him on

MUSIC

Coverville 1239: The Joni Mitchell Cover Story III

Roy Clark: I Never Picked Cotton and 12th Street Rag and Yesterday When I Was Young and Malagueña from The Odd Couple

Roman Carnival overture – Berlioz

YOU MAKE MY DREAMS Aubrey Logan feat. LaVance Colley – Hall & Oates

How Eric Idle wrote Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

john greenI viewed the four-minute post of vlogbrother/author John Green – I doubt we’re related but you never know – in which he talked about taking a year off from much of social media, going on an Internet diet.

Then Arthur – you know Arthur, because I’ve mentioned him at least twice on this blog – wrote I think he’s on to something, he being John.

Hank Green’s big brother – that’s John, not me – states that his Internet is not working, And by “not working,” he’s not talking poor service from Spectrum cable. “John’s specific problem is wasting too much time on social media, and needing to compulsively refresh, and all the problems that flow from that.”

Yet he – that’s John, not Arthur – can watch things on YouTube, for example, with a degree of discernment and intentionality. I find that interesting because, if I were to allow myself to fall into a time-suck hole, it would surely be the medium that AUTOMATICALLY bounces from one video to the next.

You may have heard we held elections in the United States on the first Tuesday in November, and some pundit – I really don’t remember, or care, who – complained that she or he was upset because all the results of many of the races were not determined within 24 hours, because it wasn’t as much fun, or something.

Here’s an article from the OCTOBER 29 Washington Post: Think you’ll know who won on election night? Not so fast … It explains that counting the votes in some places, such as California, take a long time because “there are seven tight House races” and “because more than half of voters opt to use vote-by-mail ballots (a.k.a. ‘absentee’ ballots in some places). California ballots postmarked on Election Day have three days to show up at county elections offices.”

This may be great for democracy, but not so wonderful for punditry. The talking heads blather on the first Sunday after the vote about whether there was a “blue wave” of Democrats in the House of Representatives, but they’re basing their observations on necessarily incomplete data.

We all want to know, NOW, how many people were shot and killed in the latest mass shooting and why. So we go back to the story while the news folks get “analysts” to speculate. The Las Vegas massacre in 2017 was particularly frustrating to people in this regard because no clear motive was ever determined.

I was struck when the Butte County, California sheriff announced that the number of people unaccounted for jumped dramatically to 631, up from 130 the day before, even as the death toll kept rising. Some folks were musing, “How can that be?” Because it takes time to gather information in difficult, horrendous and unprecedented circumstances.

Maybe a year ago, there were three or four stories I was getting updates on when someone actually chastised me not knowing about yet another story that was less than three hours old.

I applaud John Green’s desire to step back from the fray of too much information that doesn’t nourish the soul. The last two years, in particular, seems it’s hard to keep track of it all. Not doing so IS an option.

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