Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

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.”

6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health

Poverty Is Criminalized, Wealth Is Immunized

10 Signs of Fascism

Accused Russian Spy’s Boy Toy Is a Serial Fraud

Fog of confusion

There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain His Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?

What changed in Helsinki

What if Russia took over the United States? We saw it in 1987

He doesn’t want skilled immigrants either

God, the regime, and the meaning of morality

She warned America that Russia hacked our voting rolls. Why is she in jail?

Dan Rather’s New Podcast

On Bullshifting

This conservative would take Obama back in a nanosecond

More Evidence That Half of Americans Are In or Near Poverty

What kind of justice would Brett Kavanaugh be?

Trevor Noah Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador – Between The Scenes | The Daily Show

stating the obvious

What the Mystery of the Tick-Borne Meat Allergy Could Reveal

A Century of Global Warming, in Just 35 Seconds

A history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw. Seriously

Disney’s magic highway (1958)

Why Don’t More Men Take Their Wife’s Last Name?

Mr. Rogers was my actual neighbor. He was everything he was on TV and more

The Jackie Robinson of Rodeo

Jaquandor writes his Thoughts on THE LAST JEDI, a lot of them

Greg Burgas: tribute to Steve Ditko without using Spider-Man or Doctor Strange!

Pepe Le Pew

Mark Evanier: Yet Another Harlan Ellison Story, featuring Jack Kirby

Actress Mari Blanchard

Now I Know: The Crime Witness Who Missed the Point and Why Hunters Wear Orange and Full-Circle Wikipedia and The Man Who Was Buried in Paperwork and How a Failed Star Trek Episode Helped Save the Franchise and The Far Side Dinosaur

Internet wading: Lost and found

MUSIC

Warzone – Yoko Ono

Keep a Little Soul – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, previously unreleased

Sober – Demi Lovato

Let’s Impeach The President – Neil Young

Tango Seasons: Seasons Recomposed III – the Cappella Gabetta ensemble

Benadryl – Sofi Tukker

3 a.m. eternal – KLF

Phree Burd · Beth Patterson

50/50 -Garfunkel and Oates

Sleepwalk – Scott Bradlee

These Days – Erin Bode

Lost in the Supermarket – the Johnny Clash Project

Coverville 1224: You’ve Got To Hide Your Indie Hodgepodge and Requests Away and 1225: Rolling Stones Cover Story V

Karelia Suite – Sibelius

Sergei Lyapunov’s Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes

Forgetting- Philip Glass

Die Fledermaus overture by Johann Strauss

Car Phone – Sheeler and Sheeler

RSA – comedy duo The Fan Brigade (Have you signed in?)

Those Sesame Street psychedelic videos

Obladi, Oblada – Bing Crosby

There have have always been nativism movements in the United States. Seldom has been as blatant as it’s been the past year and a quarter. In February 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director L. Francis Cissna announced that the agency changed its mission statement from:

“USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

To now:

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

The aspirational angle has been lost.

By contrast, “During the 1940s, America basically underwent a nationwide sensitivity training program. Zoe Burkholder, a historian of education, writes… that a ‘forced tolerance’ movement had begun frothing a decade earlier as educators feared that scientific racism—the pseudoscientific ‘Master Race’ theories brewing in Germany—could waft overseas.” A reasonable worry, evidently.

Thus the story about the Superman pic shown. (Hey, wasn’t he an illegal alien?) What I do know is that the current regime’s attitude is troublesome.

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn notes: “The part where Jesus says to welcome the stranger is not a suggestion, it is a directive.”

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein writes that Ronald Reagan “not only celebrating the concept of welcoming people from all sorts of places during his kickoff of the fall campaign, but arguing that it was immigrants who helped build the country and it was the dream that they embodied that was what made America great.” The GOP icon didn’t believe in nativism.

In other words, the US Needs ‘sh*thole’ countries, not the other way around. “America’s prosperity and security are greatly dependent on the goodwill and cooperation of other nations, developed and emerging markets alike.”

That would include chain migration, or family reunification.

Read former President Obama on immigration from September 2017

A pastor friend of mine noted recently, “I am thinking this morning of good people, great Americans I know, who have come here from Haiti, [various African countries], Pakistan, Philippines. These Americans contribute to the greater good of the US… [they] have worked hard, learned to live in an often-less-than-friendly new place, raised strong families, and sent their kids to college so they can also contribute to society… You ARE the American People.”

As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting.

The Weekly Sift guy nailed it when he wrote about The Real Immigration Issue: “‘Illegal’ immigration has always been a red herring. The more fundamental question is whether the United States will continue to be a country dominated by English-speaking white Christians.” Will nativism continue to push back?

For a brief historic perspective, read Becoming a Citizen: Naturalization Records, 1850 – 1930

For ABC Wednesday

Roy Moore is a lawless theocratic lunatic

Scientology and the cult of tRump

The Rules of the Gun Debate: The rules for discussing firearms in the United States obscure the obvious solutions

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer

Sandy Hook mom: ‘We value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain’

Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns

Just What We Needed: More Inequality, Bigger Deficits

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories

Forensic Science: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Statistical indicators of President Obama’s eight years in office

The Day Donald Trump Watched An Octogenarian Bleeding To Death And Did Nothing To Help

Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

The Five Stirring Stanzas That Proved a Poem Can Help End a War

“The Closet” where a black camper slept is preserved in Schroon Lake, NY

How to Protest Without Offending White People

Comic: Back to the Future of Racism

Chuck Miller’s two-week boycott of ESPN

Finding Your Roots: Bernie Sanders and Larry David (may be available only in the US and until 31 Oct)

Free counseling for those affected by Hurricane Harvey from BetterHelp.com for up to three months

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

How to handle being “unfriended” on Facebook

Naturalist At Large environmental cartoons by Don Rittner and Raoul Vezina (1983)

“Mr Brunelle Explains It All” Cartoon Gallery

The Vast Influence Of Donald Duck

How one election changed Disney’s relationship with Anaheim

EU English

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Fall Preview

Y.A. Tittle dies at age 90. He was the first New York Giants quarterback of my youth

Sputnik’s 60th birthday

30 Of the Most Amazing Images from Electron Microscopes

Now I Know: The Town that Drives Itself and Why We Yawn and Why Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop and The Ben and Jerry’s Flavor that Left a Bad Taste Behind

Floss Firstenberg Alper Obituary: Floss was an amazing listener, a trusted confidante, the focus of many people’s erotic dreams, an oft-invited dinner guest and irreverent as hell

MUSIC

Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1187: Cover Stories for Gerry & The Pacemakers and Everything But The Girl

Magic Moments – Perry Como

Merrily We Roll Along – Eddie Cantor

Hell hath no fury like Mother Earth scorned; Floods in India, Bangladesh, Nepal kill over 1200

Don’t Fall for Hurricane Charity Scams

Was Barack Obama President During Hurricane Katrina? Did Trump Saved Two Cats After Hurricane Harvey? And how are these even asked?

Obama on DACA and fate of 800,000 uncertain

The foundation of this presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy

The hateful beliefs The Nashville Statement endorses have real-life, devastating consequences to LGBTQ people. In response to it, a Nazareth Statement

When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer

How America Lost Its Mind

The Cheap Prosperity Gospel of Trump and Osteen

Holy tabouli! Shawarma Law – not sharia law – is taking over Dearborn

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world

Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis

The White Flight of Derek Black

This is true: An episode of the 1950s western TV series ‘Trackdown’ featured a snake oil salesman named ‘Trump’ who promised to build a wall in order to prevent the end of the world

Online Censorship: A Global Map & Ranking of Every Country’s Internet Restrictions

Hollywood was exploring sexuality, gender, and feminism in the 1930s—but one man stopped it

I’m 35 and I may suddenly have lost the rest of my life. I’m panicking, just a bit

How are you? An answer from someone with Asperger’s

Why Is Male Anger So Threatening?

That old gang of mine – Arthur on aging, and John Green turns 40

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Places In Idyllic 1960s Postcards Have Transformed Into Scenes Of Abandonment

Richard Anderson, of ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman,’ Dies at 91

Shelley Berman, Stand-Up Comic Who Skewered Modern Life, Dies at 92

George Frederick Ives– when he died in 1993 at the age of 111, he was the last surviving veteran of the Boer Wars

Now I Know: The Rhino Guards and Why the Rainbow Tastes Different Depending on Where You Are

MUSIC

September -Earth, Wind & Fire

Alf Clausen has created many classic ‘Simpsons’ songs

K-Chuck Radio: Studio 54 hangovers for a 54 year old man

Coverville 1183: The Squeeze Cover Story II

Thriller – Kentucky Vocal Union

Alan Lomax

The Shaggs Reunion Concert Was Unsettling, Beautiful, Eerie, and Will Probably Never Happen Again

Do bootlegs matter? What Discogs’ new crackdown means for the site’s future

Spotify Says They Don’t Owe Anything for ‘Mechanicals’

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