Caitlyn Jenner turns 70

Kardashians? Oy

Caitlyn Jenner
per the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library
In the spring of 2019, my church had a forum about transgender people, featuring a panel of a half dozen people of a variety of ages and ethnicities who shared their experiences. It was quite remarkable, and in the political climate, rather brave.

One of them discussed an attempt to explain something to a relative. The relative said, “Like Caitlyn Jenner?” “Yes.” So I guess Caitlyn’s very public transformation was helpful in clarifying the subject to the masses. (BTW, there are no good synonyms or antonyms for “transgender” in the dictionary.)

I’ll admit that I was mortified when I discovered then-Bruce Jenner was involved with the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I find explaining Kardashians very difficult, except to say they are the American royalty of self-promotion. They’re collectively very good at it, making oodles of money and becoming trendsetters.

Kristen Mary Kardashian (née Houghton) had four children – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Robert – with her first husband, O.J. Simpson defense lawyer Robert Kardashian. They divorced in 1991, and he died in 2003. Kris then married Bruce Jenner in 1991, and they had two daughters, Kendall and Kylie.

Breakfast of Champions

Bruce Jenner won the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, which dubbed him as “an all-American hero” and “world’s greatest athlete.” He was on the Wheaties box, which I surely purchased frequently, and was the cereal’s spokesman from 1977 to 1984.

Bruce appeared on six episodes of the TV show CHiPS and did some other TV and film projects. He was even a Playgirl cover model.

Perhaps being a well-known athlete then a reality star helped when describing the transition. Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer on April 24, 2015, in a highly anticipated interview. That was the year he got divorced from Kris.

In 2018, Caitlyn Jenner admitted to being quite naive about the current regime. Maybe because of appearances on The Apprentice, she thought the guy in the WH would be more supportive of LGBTQ+ people, which has not proved to be the case except for some lip service.

Caitlyn Jenner turns 70 today.

June rambling #1: procrastination, and tessellation

The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson: America’s Mozart?

waltz in
When You Kill Ten Million Africans and You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’ – King Leopold II of Belgium, who “owned” the Congo.

The Dannemora Dilemma. “‘Little Siberia’ turned out to be the prison’s nickname.”

The Weekly Sift addresses the Duggars’ brand of fundamentalist Christianity and other stuff. Plus What’s So Scary About Caitlyn Jenner?

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet and The Crystal Ball‘s 2016 Electoral College ratings. I have NO idea who the Republican candidate for President will be.

If it’s not Jeb Bush, and I have my serious doubts that it will be, then one of those people from the “he/she can’t win” category could possibly emerge.

ADD on blaming the victims of today’s disastrous economy for trying to survive it.

What Poverty Does to the Young Brain.

Disunion, The Final Q&A: The New York Times’s series on the Civil War.

Franklin Graham Calls for Christian Boycott — Here Are Some Ideas for Targets.

Rachel Dolezal and minstrelsy.

David Kalish: The Fine Art of Procrastination.


Drawing the Undrawable: An Explanation from Neil and Amanda Gaiman, re: The New Statesman and Art Spiegelman.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 will be available on July 29. This SHOULD mean you can update from Windows 7, and I can get rid of the dreadful Windows 8.

How to create strong passwords.

Why Pluto Is a Planet, and Eris Is, Too.

Now I Know: The Lights That Almost Led to World War III and America’s Most Wanted Coincidence and Why are there so few $2 bills?

Gouverneur is a small town of about 6,000 located in St. Lawrence County, NY. But how do you PRONOUNCE it? In English and in French.

Berowne: George Gordon. Better known as Lord Byron.

Never-before-seen film of the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart — from her last photo shoot ever, shortly before she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

The origin of that Orange Church of God sign I see on Facebook all the time. Speaking of which: 6 Facebook Statuses That Need To Stop Right Now.

Mark Evanier’s childhood Christmas chicanery.

The app that identifies plants from a picture. Seriously, I could use this.

What is a tessellation? Math, and design.

A marbles tsunami.

True: Why are the Tony Awards so afraid of the Tony Awards?

Sex Pistols credit card.

The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson: America’s Mozart?

James Taylor’s creativity flows anew.

The Mary Lou Williams Suite, the jazz pianist and arranger. Includes the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee.

SamuraiFrog ranks Weird Al: 60-51. He also brought to mind that the birthday of Todd Rundgren is coming up, which reminded me of a 1985 album I own on vinyl that I haven’t heard in a good while. LISTEN to A Cappella, or at least the last song, a cover of the Spinners’ Mighty Love.

Bert Jansch’s Blackwaterside, first recorded in 1966. Which sounds an awful lot like Jimmy Page’s instrumental Black Mountain Side, from Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut.

DJ Otzi – Burger Dance, “based on the premise that the single aspect of American culture most readily recognizable in the rest of the world is fast food.”

This list is rubbish, but hey, it has links to Beatles songs. The most skippable Beatles cuts, from “All You Need Is Love” to “Yellow Submarine”.

Muppets: Puppetman and Kermit the Frog and Grover on The Ed Sullivan Show and Grover is Special and the 1962 pilot Tales of the Tinkerdee and some other stuff.

Legendary Special-Effects Artist Rick Baker on How CGI Killed His Industry.

Actor Christopher Lee, Dracula and Nazi hunter, dies at 93. From The Guardian and BFI and the Hollywood Reporter and Bruce Hallenbeck in Diabolique and Mr. Frog and Gordon at Blog This, Pal.

Ornette Coleman, Jazz Innovator, Dies at 85.

Dustbury notes the passing of Monica Lewis, a voice, at least, you’ve heard, if you are of a certain age.


Roger and Carmen Green of Baraboo, Wisconsin celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

UK: An illustrated guided walk tracing the route of the Nickey Line is being led by railway enthusiast Roger Green on Saturday, June 27.

Oh, THAT Dennis Hastert

Why is it a crime to evade government scrutiny?

hastert-dennis-displayThis is how much I had forgotten about Dennis Hastert: when I heard that the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House (1999- 2007) had been indicted, I couldn’t even visualize what he looked like.

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about the “victimization” of Hastert, that perhaps the former student he paid nearly $1 million, out of $3.7 million promised, was extorting the former Congressman.

And if Hastert had actually had sex with one of his male high school students, when he was a teacher and wrestling coach between 1965 and 1981, why is he charged with, essentially money laundering, specifically, withdrawing cash from his bank accounts in amounts and patterns designed to hide the payments to the former student?

As many have correctly pointed out, this is selective prosecution. As I’ve noticed over the years, though, a LOT of prosecution is selective.

Since he cannot be charged with a sex crime – the statute of limitation has run out, and proving a case 35 or more years old would have been nearly impossible anyway – the feds went in this direction. Moreover, a second alleged victim is deceased. It’s like getting Al Capone for tax evasion.

But I DO have some questions:

Why would Hastert take out $50,000 at a time early on? Did he not know this would trigger an investigation? Or was he of the belief that he was too important to be bothered with?

Why did he even talk to the FBI about this? He was under no obligation. Lying to the FBI, telling them that he was taking out money because he didn’t trust the banks, is the second part of the indictment.

More significantly, why is it a crime to evade government scrutiny? Yeah, yeah – we’re fighting terrorism and organized crime; I know the narrative.

From the Atlantic:

To see why that is unjust, it helps to set aside Hastert’s case and consider a more sympathetic figure. Imagine that a documentary filmmaker like Laura Poitras, whose films are critical of government surveillance, is buying a used video camera for $12,000. Vaguely knowing that a report to the federal government is generated for withdrawals of $10,000 or more, she thinks to herself, “What with my films criticizing NSA surveillance, I don’t want to invite any extra scrutiny — out of an abundance of caution, or maybe even paranoia, I’m gonna take out $9,000 today and $3,000 tomorrow. The last thing I need is to give someone a pretext to hassle me.”

That would be illegal, even though in this hypothetical she has committed no crime and is motivated, like many people, by a simple aversion to being monitored.

I’m feeling conflicted. On one hand, I’m happy to see Hastert’s apparent bad behavior being brought to light. The irony that he became Speaker because he was “clean”, especially in comparison with the previous House Speaker, Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and his presumed successor, Robert L. Livingston of Louisiana, who were known to be involved in extramarital affairs.

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) blasted the Republican hypocrisy of going after President Bill Clinton for his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky, even having him impeached when the leadership has these activities on their resumes.

On the other hand, the underlying monitoring policy, like many of the provisions of the recently modified USA PATRIOT Act, feels like government overreach. Of course, the irony is that it was the very Patriot Act that Hastert got passed that led to his indictment.

William Rivers Pitt- The Loved and the Lost: A Note to the Biden Family. And bad karma to those mocking Joe Biden at this painful time.

Two music greats died this week. Read about Jean Ritchie and Ronnie Gilbert.
Like many people, I wish Caitlyn Jenner well, but desperately wish I didn’t have to hear about the Kardashians yet again.

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