Suggestions: work for/be a candidate

At least two of them are from Colorado

This is what happens when I ask for suggestions for retirement.

Tom the Mayor said: Howz about picking a good person, and making them the next POTUS! Volunteer, My friend! Make a difference!

My problem is that I’m not ready to pick a candidate yet. See all those people pictured? Who ARE they?

Which is what people obviously said about Steve Bullock, governor of Montana; Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida; and Sean Moulton, congressman from Massachusetts’ 6th district. None of them got enough support to get on the debate stage this week. Neither is 89-year-old Mike Gravel, former U.S. Senator from Alaska, but he’s running a different type of campaign.

Beyond them, I know little enough about John Delaney, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper to say, je ne sais pas. I do know the latter two are both from Colorado and that I love saying Hickenlooper.

Maybe after the debates (and maybe not yet). Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Julian Castro, Tim Ryan, Bill de Blasio, and Jay Inslee will debate Wednesday, June 26. The second group, who will debate Thursday, June 27, will feature Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang, and John Hickenlooper.

Kevin, from my hometown, with whom I went to college, suggested: run for a local office. Show the world what a good politician looks like. Probably not happening. I was going to suggest that I have too many skeletons in the closet, but then I looked at the guy living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I now realize I have NBO idea what that threshold is anymore.

Alison, my ex-SIL, recommended: Try to see all the annual meteor showers. Now THAT’s a swell idea! Here’s a calendar. “The meteor showers listed are the easiest to observe and provide the most activity. Particular attention should be noted to the time and moonlight conditions. All these showers are best seen after midnight. Some are not even visible until after midnight.”

For reasons too complicated to explain, listen to Midnight At The Oasis – Maria Muldaur.

I’m still taking your suggestions, which, as noted, I can totally ignore.

August rambling #1: Jon Stewart, and Roz Chast

the root of all evil
Nuclear arsenals.

Thanks to Reliance on “Signature” Drone Strikes, US Military Doesn’t Know Who It’s Killing.

John Oliver: Subpar Sex Education in U.S. Schools. Plus: DC Statehood; stay for the song at the end.

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand.

Senator Elizabeth Warren to the GOP: This is 2015! Also, Jeb Bush’s Grandfather Was A Founding Member Of Today’s Planned Parenthood.

FactChecking the GOP Debate.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

Children’s illustrator Mary Engelbreit is losing fans because of her anti-racist art. “There are no words to express how little I care if I lose every bigoted, racist, homophobic and/or sexist follower I have.”

Key & Peele: What if we were as crazy for teaching as we are for sports?

The Cop: Darren Wilson was not indicted for shooting Michael Brown. Many people question whether justice was done.

Is this true? 2015 is the year the old internet finally died.

Michael Moore talks about his new movie.

Dealing with Diversity: Awesome Kid Graphic Novels.

David Brickman reviews Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at Norman Rockwell Museum.

Dan the Man writes about Her Eighth Triathlon. The Wife competes in what might be the last Pine Bush Triathlon, but she did not compete barefooted like some.
Jaquandor’s tools of the writing trade.

1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes by Small Potatoes.

Jon Stewart Started Small, Became Voice Of A Generation, and Exit, Stage Left. Also, from the last episode: Uncensored – Three Different Kinds of Bulls**t, and Our Moment of Zen.

Bob Crane, radio legend.

Cannabis discovered in tobacco pipes found in William Shakespeare’s garden

After Frank Gifford died last weekend, someone wrote, “Many happy memories sitting on the couch with my dad watching Gifford and the New York Giants on a Sunday afternoon.” True of my dad and me as well. Later, I watched him co-host Monday Night Football.

SamuraiFrog’s Weird Al rankings 20-16. I missed this: Weird Al gets Whiplashed.

From Bill Wyman, (correction) NOT the bassist for the Rolling Stones, All 74 Led Zeppelin Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best. And The ESQ&A: Keith Richards Explains Why Sgt. Pepper Was Rubbish.

One of the very first CDs I ever bought was Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, but this commercial for Farxiga, a Type 2 diabetes medicine, is wrecking my enjoyment of the song Walk of Life.

An escalator for a Slinky.

Muppets: Sesame Street on HBO. Plus Harvey Kneeslapper and Jungle Boogie and Cookie Monster in “Jurassic Cookie.” 1974: Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog visit Johnny Carson’s show. The new Muppet TV show is a top pick for the fall, even though Kermit and Miss Piggy have split up. Not to mention a PBS special, An overview of the highlights of Muppet creator Jim Henson’s life and career, which premieres Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET. Check local listings.

K-Chuck Radio: Tony Burrows versus Joey Levine versus Ron Dante.

Dancing with the Renaissance Geek.

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are being chased by Elmer Fudd and escape into paintings in a museum, from the 2003 movie Looney Tunes Back in Action.


Arthur answers my questions about seeings things from the other side of the political and philosophical spectrum.

The near-twin is taking questions for Ask Gordon Anything through August 24.

I made Jacquandor’s brief trip ’round Blogistan, along with some other interesting pieces.

Dustbury notes The bigot on the front line.

Last Week at Trouble With Comics, plus this week’s edition.

Dustbury: Our fits grow ever hissier.

The unchangeable mind

Can’t I be upset about Cecil AND X, Y and/or Z?

bike laneI met this guy the other day, and he made me rethink my answer to Jaquandor regarding his recent Ask Roger Anything question about this: “In this age of increasing partisan division, I am finding it harder and harder to even empathize with the ‘other side'”.

There was this rally I attended a week ago about protected bike lanes and a road diet for Madison Avenue in Albany. Lots of people spoke, fortunately very briefly, as it was HOT. Afterward, this one guy apparently approached one of the speakers, expressing his objections.

As I’m riding off, this same guy says to me, “Let me ask you something.” Hey, I’m a librarian, people ask me things all the time. “I asked this other fellow ” well, something about how, if bikes were going 20 miles per hour, and cars were going 30 mph, the accidents would be worse than if bikes rode on the sidewalk and negotiated around pedestrians going 10 mph. Thus, he concluded, bicycles should ride on the sidewalk.

I told him I agreed with the other fellow he talked to. But, because he really wasn’t interested in a discussion, just agreement, I was unable to actually address the fallacies of his argument, 1) that pedestrians would be more vulnerable on the sidewalk, 2) that the bikes WOULDN’T be going 15-20 mph BECAUSE they would be avoiding pedestrians. Or, and I’ve seen this personally, some of the bikers going through pedestrian traffic, just ringing their bells or shouting for pedestrians to get out of their way, which, as a pedestrian, I hate.

One can make legitimate complaints about bike lanes, in terms of costs and priorities. “When I was a kid” is not one of those explanations that I find useful. I also couldn’t get in a mention that there are places within the city of Albany limits without sidewalks.

Then the guy said, “Don’t you people have anything better to do?” Unsurprisingly, this has NEVER a compelling talking point to me, ever, nor its variant, “you must have too much time on your hands.” Did the people who designed this Bach ball thing, or deconstruct dominoes to put on YouTube, or write a blog every day not have other, more noble pursuits to engage in?

This blog post, Outrage and The Theory of The Universal Double Standard, touches on this. Why are you more distressed about the killing of Cecil the lion than about X, or Y, or Z? Wait, can’t I be upset about Cecil AND X, Y and/or Z?

This guy at the rally continues, more animatedly, “What’s wrong with this country? They spend too much time on unimportant stuff, like that environmental crap” and a litany of other things. What? Dealing with the environment’s a waste of time? A statement just too broad to counter.

“Four Marines died the other day, and nobody’s talking about that…” Except for people all over the country, including more than a few who temporarily provided armed protection to military recruiting stations. The false narrative was jaw-dropping to me.

“Meanwhile, a black kid gets killed and everybody…” At this point I rode away, knowing full well that he believes he’s “won” the argument, whatever that means. And I don’t care.

I got lectured on my Times Union blog about the Socratic method, which I’m not opposed to. But this conversation was not that.

Related: I continue to be fascinated by the means people use to gather news. Recently, someone on Facebook posted something about Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who died in police custody, purportedly by suicide, after an unpleasant encounter with a police officer at a traffic stop. “Did anyone know about this?” Only for the last five days. “I didn’t read anything about it on the Internet.” This librarian doesn’t think “the Internet” is a source, only a conveyance. In any case, the story was on NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, USA Today, etc., including on their online platforms. The story was by no means buried.

That’s not the first time I’ve seen that phenomenon, and it’s often couched in terms of the press “suppressing” the story. I’m perfectly aware of underreported stories, and one should kvetch about that fact when it’s actually true.

Your Republican Presidential debate participants (subject to change)

Jeb went from 17% to 15.4%. The Donald from 10.8% to 14.2%.

Here is the 2016 Republican Primary Debate Schedule. The first one will be on August 6, 2015, at 9 p.m. EDT in Cleveland, OH, airing on Fox News Channel.

The rules of participation: “the Top 10 candidates in an average of 5 national polls will be included.”

I looked at the graphic above from the Washington Post on July 16, and the percentages were these: Jeb Bush: 17; Donald Trump: 10.8; Scott Walker: 9.3; Marco Rubio: 7.8; Ben Carson: 7.6; Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee tied at 6.5; Ted Cruz: 5.1; Rick Perry and Chris Christie tied at 2.9.

I looked again on July 17, and the numbers changed radically: Jeb Bush: 15.4; Donald Trump: 14.2; Scott Walker: 8.9; Ben Carson: 7.6; Rand Paul: 6.5; Marco Rubio: 6.4; Mike Huckabee: 5.7; Ted Cruz: 5.1; Chris Christie: 2.7; and Rick Santorum, who had been an also-ran at 2.2. Rick Perry slipped off the podium at 2.1, along with John Kasich: 1.5; Bobby Jindal: 1.4; Carly Fiorina: 1.3; Lindsay Graham: 0.7; George Pataki: 0.5.

I don’t know what the cutoff date for selecting the candidates, but Christie, Perry, and Santorum seem to be battling for the last two slots.

(Hat tip to Arthur@AmeriNZ.)

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