April rambling: Silent Scream

It is brutal, damaging and untrue

Condolences to Dustbury on the loss of his brother James, his last sibling

Thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long

The root of all cruelty?

Travel is fatal to prejudice

Why does the Right hate victims?

50 years after the Wahine Disaster (New Zealand)

Corruption, Not Russia, Is His Greatest Political Liability

His long-term effect on American democracy: How worried should we be?

The Crime-Fraud Exception in the Michael Cohen Case

What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence is Everywhere?

Ten Things That Have Zero Effect on What the Truth Is

Daniel Van Riper’s Albany Weblog: They Want To Fill In The Ravine In Lincoln Park

The Real Story of the Hawaiian Missile Crisis

The REAL Consumer Price Index?

Congress, Not Amazon, Messed Up the Post Office

the beautiful human gumbo

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR

Steven Bochco, RIP; a retrospective – I loved many of these shows

Remembering Winnie Mandela

Living the beam onstage with William Shatner

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Oprah’s Full Chat from SUPER SOUL SUNDAY

From the nifty historical fiction Silent Scream #1
Kickstarter: THE TRUST BOOK ONE: SILENT SCREAM ISSUE 2 – Dennis Webster, Bill Anderson, Gabriel Rearte and Laurie E. Smith

Mark Waid tells a new Captain America story with original artwork from Jack Kirby!

Top 37 Parks To Visit Before You Die

After 40 years, Wendy and Richard Pini finish ‘Elfquest,’ the ‘first American manga,’ and go on fanquest

SNL: Black Jeopardy with Chadwick Boseman

Seth Meyers’ great “desk story”

A Weird and Beautiful Sports Story

150th anniversary of Little Women

vlogbrothers: On Punctuality (John) v. How to Stop Being Late Forever (Hank)

Now I Know: How Overdue Parking Tickets Took Over an Innocent Person’s Life and The Therapeutic Value of a Not-Quite-Flying Pig and The Race to Determine the Fastest Man Alive and Why You Can’t Steal First Base and Why You Shouldn’t Eat Those “Do Not Eat” Packets and The Elevator Light That’s a Total Gas

How he is transforming himself into the greatest president ever

MUSIC

Found Tonight – Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt

Listen to the Music – Playing for Change

Catch Me If You Can -John Williams score

She’s A Rockin’ Machine – Archie and the Bunkers

Coverville 1212: Cover Stories for Jimmy Cliff and Pharrell Williams

Oriental Rhapsody – Alexander Glazunov

Stephen Hawking Picks the Music (and One Novel) He’d Spend Eternity With: Stream the Playlist Online

‘The Weakness in Me’: Notes on Joan Armatrading

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Sonny Vande Putte

Never tell someone they can’t sing – it is brutal, damaging and untrue

What is patriotism?

Hyperpartisanship, which is rampant in America, often paints people like me as unpatriotic; this, perhaps unsurprisingly, really ticks me off.

American flag background - shot and lit in studioRight before Independence Day, PARADE magazine ran this poll of the “most patriotic cities” in the United States, which was actually based on Amazon.com’s “comparison of America-themed flag sales between Jan. 1. and June 24 on a per capita basis among cities with more than 400,000 residents.” I don’t find literal flag-waving to necessarily equate with patriotism.

Indeed, I was taken by this piece by Daniel Nester in the Albany Times Union, A flag stirs feelings of uncertainty, which is also about human relationship.

Flag-waving, depending on whom you talk to, is either something one overthinks or doesn’t think about at all…

I’ve never owned any flag, unless Phillies pennants or rainbow Gay Pride banners count. Continue reading “What is patriotism?”

On the “importance” scale, net neutrality ranks rather high

The FCC is scheduled to vote on a notice of proposed rule making on May 15, addressing a new net neutrality plan.

NetNeutrality_615pxAfter David Kalish’s book reading at Stuyvesant Plaza near Albany a couple nights ago, I was talking to Michael Huber, the Times Union blogs’ cat herder, complaining about the latest threat to net neutrality. This nice lady, standing in line to get PlotnickKalish to sign her copy of his book, had the most puzzled look, and asked, “But aren’t there more important things to worry about?” I sighed and handed her the current Metroland with intellectual property lawyer/drummer Paul Rapp’s article about the issue.

I had been arguing this issue on the grounds of basic fairness of freedom and speech. Continue reading “On the “importance” scale, net neutrality ranks rather high”

MLK as creationist?

For Dr. King, the value of biblical stories is not diminished by their mythological nature. Rather, the myth serves to take the reader beyond the idea or thought within the mind.

MLK-ed-quoteIn a couple different Facebook strains around the Martin Luther King holiday, I read suggestions that Martin Luther King was a creationist. This is, as far as any evidence I’ve seen, a total fabrication.

First, a sidebar: apparently, there’s a narrative out there that suggests that philosophically – it is a Darwinian worldview that allows racism to exist, while a biblical perspective does not Continue reading “MLK as creationist?”

J is for Jesus

There are lots of examples how Jesus was hardly passive, thus clearly inspiring the nonviolent direct action of Martin Luther King Jr and others.

As I have noted, I’ve been reading – very slowly – a book by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, Jesus for President. The subtitle is Politics for Ordinary Radicals. The title had concerned me what it might be promulgating, but that turned out not to be a worry. The book is coming from a Christian POV, but not a traditional one.

Jesus for President shows the political backdrop in the early first century and how subversive Jesus was. “Jesus spoke about a throne, and Herod wasn’t on it… His campaign slogan was ‘Jubilee,'” a topic I’ve addressed recently. Here is a brief video of Claiborne [LISTEN].

The book has a lot to say about war and the environment and patriotism, and I hope you read it. Certainly, in the case of the latter, it spurned my post about the American flag. But let me give you just a taste.

I had the profoundly great opportunity to see Continue reading “J is for Jesus”