August 28 is just one of those dates

the next MLK

Emmett Till
Emmett Till
August 28 is a momentous date in US history. I was thinking about a question someone asked me earlier his year. It was whether someone – Bryan Stevenson, specifically, but it doesn’t matter – was the “new Martin Luther King, Jr.”

A couple of minutes later, I realized it was the wrong question. King gave the “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC on this date in 1963. While he may have been a singularly gifted orator, HE wasn’t the Civil Rights Movement. There were a quarter of a million people at that demonstration alone. They all struggled to create racial justice back at home.

Millions have fought the fight since before the founding of the United States and still do so today. Most of them have names we don’t know. Some we’re familiar with because of the abuse they suffered. John Lewis, who was the youngest speaker on this date in 1963 in Washington, is recognized because he survived violence on several occasions, notably in Selma on March 7, 1965.

Others we know, probably better because they were killed. The deaths of Medgar Evers (1963) and James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (1964) are seared in my memory. But so are the murders of Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, both in March 1965 in Alabama. Malcolm X’s 1965 death is being reinvestigated in 2020.

NMAAHC

Emmett Till was murdered on August 28, 1955, in Mississippi. I’ve mentioned him more than once here. He might have been just another black kid killed by bigotry. But his mom had the courage to let his beaten corpse be shown to the world. My daughter went to the National Museum for African American History and Culture in February 2020 with a bunch of church folk. One of her friends was stunned by the inhumanity of his death.

Obviously, we haven’t achieved that “post-racial” nirvana some people – not I – predicted after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. BTW, he accepted the Democratic nomination on August 28 of that year. But it’s not going to be an Obama or a King or the mother of Emmitt Till who will change the world. It’ll just have to be all of us.

November rambling: triple plays

Rebecca Jade And The Cold Fact

Awkward
From TheAwkwardYetti.com
The Violent History of the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised

Stephen Miller E-Mails Show How He Promoted White Nationalist Ideology In Media, going back to when he worked for then-Senator Jeff Sessions

How women fall into the white supremacist movement

Maligned in black and white– Southern newspapers played a major role in racial violence. Do they owe their communities an apology?

Religious Freedom for Loganists!

My Childhood in a Cult

Republicans want to out the whistleblower because they can’t defend him on the merits

His tortured English

The Obama date-night controversy

Amazon’s Absence from Worker Safety Alliance Highlights Dangers of Unsafe Supply Chains

How One Employer Stuck a New Mom With an $898,984 Bill for Her Premature Baby

Charles à Court Repington and when did we start to refer to the horrors of the 1914-1918 conflict as ‘The First World War’?

Weekly Sift: Sacrifices

Yvette Lundy: French Resistance member who survived Nazi camps dies at 103

UK halts fracking, effective immediately

The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive Hack in History

AIER: Questions for Immigration Skeptics

Court Allows Police Full Access to Online Genealogy Database

In a rural Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees some of the rarest diseases on Earth

Dial 911 if there’s an emergency, not 112

Social Security and SSI Benefits Are Increasing in 2020

Wealth Is About Much More than Physical Things

New Airplane Feature Could Save You If Your Pilot Can’t

There’s no reason to cross the U.S. by train. But I did so anyway.

Fully Accessible Guide to Smart Home Tech for Disabled and Elderly

That’s entertainment

Washington Grays baseball, in honor of the Homestead Grays, a Negro League Team

All 720 Triple Plays in Major League Baseball history

Beany and Cecil

The accidental brilliance of Silly Putty

Four toy commercials from the sixties – I definitely had a Slinky, and I know I played someone’s Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots

Tips on attending TV Tapings

Amy Biancolli: I Really Don’t Care

Now I Know: The Last Army Pillow Fight and Why Filmmakers Use That Black and White Flapped Board and The Ark That Went Full Circle

MUSIC

Rebecca Jade And The Cold Fact: Songs From Their New Album ‘Running Out Of Time’ and Gonna Be Alright and how they began

Viola Sonata in D minor by Mikhail Glinka.

The Wolf Glen scene from the opera Der Freischutz by Carl Maria von Weber

Coverville 1284: Cover Stories for Grace Slick and Katy Perry

Go up Moses – Roberta Flack

Polka and Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper! by Jaromir Weinberger

How to Play Guitar Like Keith Richards

What Does ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ Really Mean?

His preoccupation with Obama

His relations with others [are] shallow and transactional

obama trumpIn September 2019, there was an article in Psychology Today titled The Psychology of Trump’s Preoccupation with Obama by Noam Shpancer, Ph.D. The subtitle: “Obama is antithetical to Trump. So long as he exists, Trump is threatened.”

Shpancer documents several examples, some noted elsewhere, going back to djt’s 2011 birtherism attacks. The Unreality King suggested that the 44th President was/is a secret Muslim who possibly sympathizes with radical terror attacks. At an event in 2015, the then-candidate declared, “I don’t know if [Obama] loves America.”

You’d think once he was in office, the bellicosity might have subsided. No such luck. He says other countries wouldn’t talk trade policy with Obama, including the European Union and Japan. That wasn’t even close to being true.

More recently, djt brought up Obama’s Netflix deal, well after Barack was out of office. This was done in the defense of his attempt to host the G7 at one of his Florida properties while he was in office.

Motive

Shpancer makes some interesting observations. “Some may posit racism as the primary motive—as Trump has a history of racist statements and actions. Yet racism is not a primary motive for Trump. It cannot be. By all evidence, Trump is not truly animated by big ideas or abstract values. The only thing that matters truly is him.”

The therapist suggests that djt “will accept another person’s (or group’s) worth only to the extent that they approve of and serve [him]. There is no other, independent test of merit. This is why the racism (and anti Semitism) explanation won’t stick on Trump. Racism is an ideology, and a tribal cast of mind. Trump has neither ideology nor tribe, as he lacks the capacity to attach to either. He only has himself.” Interesting.

Shpancer also addresses the “constant lying. He doesn’t do it to further a social, political, or ideological agenda. He lies about the facts when the facts fail to fulfill his needs or flatter him)…

“But what is it about Obama that so injures Trump’s narcissism, compelling him to rage? The answer is not that Obama is black or a Democrat. Rather, it is that in Obama, Trump sees his antithesis–everything he is not and cannot be.

“Politics aside, a fair look at what is already publicly known about the two men will suffice to conclude quite readily that Obama has basic decency… Many of those who disagree with what he’s done as a politician would not mind being who he is as a person.

Shallow and transactional

“Trump is at his core indecent. As a man… he struggles mightily with self-control, by his own admission fears self-reflection, and is clearly incapable of a range of human emotions…

“Despite his gilded life, he’s constantly aggrieved, embittered, and at war with the world… His relations with others [are] shallow and transactional and depend on constant external affirmations, none of which can fill the bottomless pit of his need… Even among those who agree with what he’s done as a politician, few would aspire to be who he is as a person.

“What this comparison makes clear is that Obama, psychologically, is antithetical to Trump. Therefore, so long as Obama exists, Trump is threatened.” An interesting article which you should read, especially the analytical second half.


Forbes, September 2019: He Has Created 1.5 Million Fewer Jobs Than Obama

Presidents Day 2019: Second Bill of Rights

“The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.”

Abraham Lincoln 1836
Abraham Lincoln, Congressman-elect from Illinois. icholas H. Shepherd, photographer. Springfield, Ill., 1846 or 1847

Some Presidential trivia:

From Summer Bowl 9 (Chuck Miller)

Donald Trump has 24, Ronald Reagan has 10, and John Tyler has the most at 30. The most what?

Who was the last U.S. President who did not nominate a judge for the U.S. Supreme Court?

JEOPARDY! game #7807 aired 2018-07-17

CITING THE PRESIDENT $400: In the 1970s: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $800: In the 1970s: “Our long national nightmare is over”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $1200: “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved–I do not expect the house to fall–but I do expect it will cease to be divided”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $2000: In an early 20th c. message to Congress: “We have stood apart, studiously neutral”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $2,000 (Daily Double): In the early 20th c.: “I took the canal zone, & let Congress debate, & while the debate goes on the canal does also”

JEOPARDY! game #7806 aired 2018-07-16

4, 4 (two words, each with four letters) $1000: In 1848 Martin Van Buren was the presidential candidate of this party that opposed slavery in western territories

JEOPARDY! game #7868 aired 2018-11-21

PRESIDENTIAL IRONY, Final Jeopardy! 1 of the 2 Presidents who offered Daniel Webster the VP slot; he declined both, thinking the job went nowhere.

Answers below.

Why Thomas Jefferson Owned a Qur’an

Why James Madison would say our real problem is not misinformation

“The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.” Rutherford B. Hayes

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union Message to Congress, January 11, 1944, including the Second Bill of Rights:
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence… People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all — regardless of station, race, or creed.”

“I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them, and they think it’s Hell.” – Harry S Truman, 1948

“If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

The Eisenhower Matrix

When the President and His Chef Feuded Over Cold Beans

Thursday, August 8, 1974: the night that Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency (three hours)

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter pass up riches to live modest, giving and truthful lives

George HW Bush was a complex man who somehow perfectly embodied a simpler time: both a blue-blood and, to quote Nixon, a ‘nut-cutter’ who knew how to carry out the dirty work of politics

When New York Tried to Take Away a W

What Obama secretly did at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Pastor: When White Folks Say Obama Was an ‘Embarrassment’, Here’s What You Say

One Last Time (44 Remix) – Christopher Jackson, Barack Obama, Bebe Winans #Hamildrop

Answers to quizzes:

Summer Bowl 9:
The number of the age difference between the President and his First Lady
Jimmy Carter

JEOPARDY!
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Abe Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt
Free Soil
William Henry Harrison or Zachary Taylor

Jackie and John Kennedy wedding
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and John Kennedy talking at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island / Toni Frissell. 1907-1988, photographer, 12 September 1953


Photos from the Library of Congress. No known copyright restrictions.

Aretha, QoS has died. Condolences to the world

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience.”

ArethaInitially, I wasn’t going to write anything about Aretha Franklin, who defined an era as the Queen of Soul, dying of pancreatic cancer at the age 76 on August 16. But there were SO many tributes, some of them very interesting.

This piece recommends a specific playlist. But it also shared biography I didn’t see over and over: “Aretha was quirky. She was afraid to fly. She wouldn’t stay in a building over eight stories high. On stage, she was the epitome of power and confidence, but she wrestled with personal struggles that could have felled a lesser oak.

“Her mother died when she was 10. She had her first child at the age of 12 —and we can only imagine what sadness hides behind that story. She ate and starved and fought with body issues and insecurities for decades, and suffered through emotionally and physically abusive relationships and marriages. Yet, like all great artists, somehow she channeled all that pain and passion into something the world has never heard before and will never experience again.”

If you didn’t know before her death, you probably now know Aretha she was born to a musical family. She had more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts. She’s one of the most decorated Grammy winners of all time, nominated 44 times, winning 18. She was an underrated pianist. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And she was a civil rights activist.

Barack Obama said on his Facebook Page:
“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.

“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”

The New York Times notes:
“Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ is the most empowering popular song ever. Could we have shown her more? Just a little bit, our critic writes.” I felt a little sorry for Otis Redding who wrote and recorded the song. But like no one, except maybe Johnny Cash, she would take an existing song and transform it to her own, making it anthemic.

Listen to:

Daydreaming

Let It Be

Aretha Franklin & Hugh Jackman – Somewhere – 59th Tony Awards – 2005

Obama’s Inauguration (2009)

Legendary Live Performances

Sweet Bitter Love, which was the first thing I played after hearing of her passing

Coverville 1230

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – “Murphy Brown” and Aretha Franklin

What’s My Line? (taped 9/9/1974) Mystery Guest Aretha Franklin (at 12:30)

Dustbury wrote: “We are honored to have been alive when Aretha was in her prime, and centuries from now, people will envy us for having been so fortunate.”