Juneteenth and other rambling; Smilin’ Ed

When Languages Go Extinct.

Pic was taken by a friend’s SIL in June 2021 and used with permission

‘Epic Failure of Humanity’: Global Displaced Population Hits All-Time High

The Delta variant is serious. Here’s why it’s on the rise. and The Perils Of Covid Complacency

Former WH adviser Fiona Hill considered pulling a fire alarm during Helsinki Summit—to shut Trump up.

The Political, Legal, and Moral Minefield That Trump Left for Merrick Garland and Cleaning Up After Him.

In 2020, 881 active Secret Service employees were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Why Has Local News Collapsed? Blame Readers. Despite all the impassioned pleas to salvage local news coverage, the reality is there’s a demand-side problem.

How Some Americans Are Breaking Out of Political Echo Chambers

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison Heat and PACE, a program meant to pay for environmentally-friendly home renovations.

When Undoing Is Not Enough — Repairing Harms Inflicted on Immigrant Children.

How the world ran out of everything.

Juneteenth/Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory is the New Boogeyeman.

Why do people hate Cathode Ray Tubes so much?

Cartoon: Attack of the critical race theory and Cartoon: History for white people.

How New York’s capital city splintered along racial lines and Black elders in the Capital Region sit down with a young journalist of color to share their stories, experiences, and reflections on being Black in America.

The sad story of southern slave owners, as told in 8th-grade history books

Tulsa isn’t the only race massacre you were never taught in school. Here are others.

Juneteenth is symbolic. Don’t confuse it with racial justice.

GOPUSA Eagle: A Federal Holiday Isn’t Enough; Mayors Commit To Reparations.

Per Newsmax – Sen. Cotton: Juneteenth ‘Fitting Addition to Our National Holidays’ So Let’s Celebrate Momentum of a Growing Racial Justice Movement.

The rat

Staying up too late? Welcome to revenge bedtime procrastination. People are so desperate for time to call their own — even if it comes at 2 a.m. — they’re exhausting themselves. (I’ve done this in 2021. Not recommended.)

What is the only cardinal number whose letters are in alphabetical order in English?

Smilin' Ed complete

I was at my local comic book store recently and I saw copies of the Smilin’ Ed collection pictured, by Raoul Vezina and Tom Skulan. Diamond Distribution is now carrying the book, so you can buy it from a source other than Amazon. Guess which duck has the last word in the book?

A piece about Don Rittner, who, among other things, worked on an environmental cartoon with Raoul.

Fire tore through historian John Wolcott’s documents, maps. I’ve known John and Linda Becker for years.

Slipping of the Mother Tongue: When Languages Go Extinct.

Jeopardy!’s Apology for an ‘Outdated, Offensive and Inaccurate’ Clue.

The Beatles: Get Back — An Exclusive Deep Dive Into Peter Jackson’s Revelatory New Movie.

I absolutely adored Spock. Loving Dad was much more complicated.

Theater needs comedy, Ken Levine says. But I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.

On Ned Beatty and HEAR MY SONG

Frank Bonner, WKRP in Cincinnati’s Herb Tarlek Dies at 79.

Danish Road Safety Council:  Helmet has always been a good idea.

Now I Know: Who is Q (James Bond Version)? and Why You Probably Prefer  European Chocolate and The Man Who Jetted to Millions and When The Faucets Ran Red and When I Learned A Lot About Doughnuts and When Multiple Streams Can Be Taxing.


The New Classics  – virtual Broadway and Broadway’s back

Coverville 1361: Cover Stories for Cole Porter and Tony Levin.

Club 27 – MonaLisa Twins.

An American Symphony by Michael Kamen, from the score to the film Mr. Holland’s Opus.

See You in September by several different artists.

The Way We Were – Aubrey Logan.

Answer: 40

Critical Race Theory

meaningless debates

Critical Race TheoryAlmost all social progress movements inevitably generate a pushback. The recent response to the march for social justice for people of color* has created a boogieman response about the Critical Race Theory.

And what is that? I’m not quite sure, but a writer in a Newsmax piece thinks he does. “Critical Race Theory is Marxist. Its real target is Christianity and the Bible.”

Sounds terrible. And here I thought it was a framework for a better understanding of systemic racism. For instance, Disney has launched a “diversity and inclusion” program, called “Reimagine Tomorrow,” which has Newsmax in a snit.

THE black Republican US Senator

Much of the recent discussion seems to center around the response by Senator Tim Scott to President Biden’s “Can’t Be Called the State of the Union” address. The Weekly Sift guy addresses this:

“The most quoted line of Scott’s response is ‘America is not a racist country.’ I have to agree with Matt Yglesias:

“Is America a Racist Country?” is the perfect meaningless culture war debate because it has basically no content at all. What is it asking? Compared to what?

“Scott clearly wasn’t claiming America has no racism, because he also said, ‘I have experienced the pain of discrimination.’ He even allowed that American racism is not entirely in the past: ‘I know our healing is not finished.'”

In fact, in a 2016 interview, the senator said he had been pulled over seven times by police; he acknowledged he was going too fast two of those times, but the other five times, the only thing he was guilty of was being Black.

“So the argument he started is basically semantic: How much racism does it take to count as a ‘racist country’? Today’s US is not as racist as the Confederacy or Nazi Germany or the old apartheid regime in South Africa. Is that good enough? How many angels of color have to be included before we consider a pinhead dance to be integrated?”

What IS racist?

Part of the problem is that  race-focused “conversations derail when people are using the same terms in different ways.”

Or looking at it another way, the United States is a place. Can a location be “racist”? People can act in racist ways and clearly can create a system that perpetuates racism. So, no, Critical Race Theory isn’t ‘anti-American’.

“Remember: Meaningless debates serve the interests of people who have nothing to say. If you have a real vision of the future you want, avoid getting baited into arguing about nothing.”

The Department of Homeland Security produced a report in 2020, suppressed by the previous regime, identifying white supremacists as the leading domestic terror threat. In the past, the government told us violent white racists were few in number and weak in intent. Yeah, right.

Note the mental health issues facing the black community, sent to me by the publisher. Also, Race and Medicine from the New England Journal of Medicine

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah explains Critical Race Theory as well as anyone. Check out the video near the bottom of the page.

Anniversary of George Floyd’s death

An article in Vanity Fair noted that less than 53 weeks ago, George Floyd was just an average guy trying to make it in this world.

Yes, there has been a lot of outrage over police violence in the past year. Eyes have been opened, hearts and minds changed. Lots of unexpected alliances have been formed.

While there is so much work to do, I’ve decided to be optimistic that things can never go back to the way they were. But change is slow; it usually is.

*or whatever term you prefer