April rambling #1: music for tax day

librarians_shout out

Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence.

Preventing Bullying and Cyber-Bullying.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Border Wall and Congressional Fundraising.

The Unabomber takes on the Internet.

The Tip That Led to Terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s Downfall Came From a Muslim Woman.

Ken Screven: And then I tossed a bourbon Manhattan in his face.

The Real Story Behind HBO’s ‘Confirmation’ From The NPR Reporter Who Broke The Story. Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill,and NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

Chip, Implanted in Brain, Helps Paralyzed Man Regain Control of Hand.

Facing life unarmed. “When I was born, everyone was expecting me to have arms.”

Within Our Gates (1920) – Oscar Micheaux Silent Film.

Arthur’s Outaversary.

Dustbury has been blogging 20 years, which, at 11 years, makes me a piker.

Sharp Little Pencil: Lost Word.

Now I Know: Voltaire’s Wager and The Revolt of the Dancing Grannies and They Blue It and The Birds that Sing for Their Supper.

You may have to be from upstate New York to appreciate this: This is a Halfmoon; This is a Black and White Cookie.

The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner.

Can anything good come from an experiment involving whipped cream?

The funnies

Cartoon: The NYC pandering primary.

Frank Welker, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy(R) Awards on Friday, April 29th, 2016. He is the legendary performer of the voices of Scooby-Doo and many others.

Guinness Book of World Records certified famed Mad artist Al Jaffee’s run as a world record for “Longest Career as a Comics Artist.”

How Mickey Mouse Evades the Public Domain.

An Audience With the King. That would be Jack Kirby. Bob Kane does not fare so well.

Book review: A Spanish Comic Book Exposes Franco’s Orphanages.

Music

R.I.P, Merle Haggard and Steve Earle: The Other Side of Merle Haggard and Coverville 1121: A cover tribute to Merle Haggard and some A Cappellaville!

10 Priceless Songs About Taxes and Coverville 1120: A Tribute to Tax Day.

New Paul Simon Album ‘Stranger to Stranger’ Coming June 3rd. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10 29 or 30.

18 Ripping 1960S ROCK & ROLL Bands That Performed On TV Sitcoms And Dramas.

The History of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Only Post-Beatles Session.

The Muppets on the Ed Sullivan Show.

This is a REALLY annoying K-Chuck Radio, especially the Oz piece, which I gave up on. They made a disco song out of THAT?!?

Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven may be partly stolen, judge says.

The lawyers who beat​ the ‘Happy Birthday’ copyright are taking on ‘We Shall Overcome’.

The Black Keys Say They Regret Inducting Steve Miller Into Rock Hall of Fame.

David Kalish: My ode to how music has shaped me.

SamuraiFrog’s 12 albums.

Thanks. Giving. (Refugees)

We make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty.

syrian refugeesThere are three basic arguments against blocking Syrian refugees from entering the United States after the extensive screening already taking place:

1. It’s exactly what Daesh wants. That’s a rather persuasive argument against equating refugees with terrorists, for me. The identified Paris attackers were not refugees, and the Syrian passport conveniently found near one of the attack sites, was most likely a fake.

Daesh has been recruiting people that are already citizens in their target country. As my former TU blogging colleague Kevin Marshall notes: “Planting operatives among Syrian refugees that have to undergo vetting processes, scrutiny, and no resources for them once they reach their uncertain destination? Not only is that the opposite of their modus operandi, but it’s also a really dumb, convoluted plan with unnecessary obstacles. It’s like the Rube Goldberg Device of terrorist plots.”

Yet at least 30 governors say they want to close their states to Syrian refugees. Presidential candidates are talking about shutting down mosques (that would be D. Trump) and discriminating against refugees on the basis of religion. Members of Congress are threatening to cut off funding for refugee assistance while four million Syrian refugees are desperate to get away from a civil war not of their own making.

In other words, to quote the cliche from dozen years ago, “We’re letting the terrorists win.” Or as Robert Reich put it, channeling FDR, we’d be “fearing fear itself.” (Which FDR himself succumbed to with the Japanese internment, one of the most shameful acts in American history.)

2. It falls desperately short of the American ideal. To quote Andrew Cuomo, which I VERY seldom do: “We have to protect Americans and not lose our soul as America in the process.”
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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

When we close our borders and stop letting in those that need our help to enter this country, we make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty, and as Cuomo noted, “I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you’ve gone to a different place.”

And I get to agree with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) when he notes, about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggestion to favor Christian refugees from Syria over Muslims, “I don’t think any child, whether they are Christian or whether they are atheist or whether they are Buddhist, that we should make a distinction,” McCain said. “My belief is that all children are God’s children.”

Plus, resettlement in the U.S. is a long process as it is. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States. John Oliver explains.

We should not respond with hysteria. Here are some things ordinary people can do to restore sanity.

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3. It’s not the Christian thing to do:

Imagine a poor Middle Eastern couple, the woman very pregnant, with no place to stay. Recall how the child who would be born grows up to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Here are some other Bible verses about how to treat refugees. If we claim to be Christians and ignore this invocation, we might as well keep those creches in their storage boxes this Advent season.

When I posted the Resolution for Protection and Hospitality for Syrian Refugees from the Albany (NY) Presbytery on Facebook, I was told, “I think you’ve just glossed over just about everything that [a lengthy rationale from a third party] has said in favor of blind faith.” To which I replied, “I guess I’m just trying to literally respond to WWJD.” Check out Stephen Colbert’s response.
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Or, in the words of The Thinking Atheist: “Why are we so quick to see the ugly…when we stand before the beautiful?”
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Remember this Thanksgiving:
Hello

Thanksgiving explanations from Anglophenia

Choose to be grateful. It will make you happier.

P is for Poland’s perimeter

“The allies decided then that the eastern parts of Poland would be passed on to the republics of the Soviet Union.”

Poland 1920-1939

When I was in 10th grade, or maybe earlier, I was taking a world history course. Much to my distress, I discovered that, in the 1790s, Poland did disappear as a free country. It was carved up by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. “At the height of its power, the Commonwealth of Poland included Lithuania, Belarus, and much of Ukraine.

It developed a unique form of government in which the nobility elected the king and a single dissenting vote (the liberum veto) stopped any legislation. This system invited foreign intervention and civil war, and made the country vulnerable to more powerful neighbors.”

Due to the intellectual and artistic climate of the early 19th century, which included the great composer Chopin, there was a “growth of Polish demands for self-government.” Armed rebellion, though, was ultimately unsuccessful. The latter part of this period was also a time of a large Polish emigration, largely to the United States.

Now, I grew up in Binghamton, a small upstate New York city with a fairly sizable eastern European population. So not only did I think these imperialistic actions were terribly unfair, I recognized, even then, that the changing boundaries of a country must wreak havoc on anyone trying to do any type of genealogical research.

Poland was reborn as an independent nation after World War I. However, after the Second World War, “the allies decided then that the eastern parts of Poland would be passed on to the republics of the Soviet Union. The large cities… were ethnically predominantly or almost exclusively Polish… After 1945 most of the “eastern” Poles were forced to resettle into the present area of Poland and especially into its new western territories which in turn had been cut off from the ‘old’ Germany.”

Here’s a 100-second video showing Poland’s changing borders over the centuries.

ABC Wednesday – Round 12