Since the United States agreed to VOLUNTARY benchmarks for our participation in the Paris climate change accord, the US withdrawal doesn’t even make sense.
Our first contestant in Ask Roger Anything -you may still participate! is Jaquandor, writer of fine books, who asks:
To what degree does the phrase “President Trump” still fill you with stunned disbelief?
It used to be about 11 on a scale of 10. Now it’s only 9.89. To this day, there are people who say I dislike him because my candidate lost. This is not at all the case. I never felt as though his predecessors lacked the ethos of being President, even when I vigorously disagreed with their positions, such as W on the Iraq war.
This guy, though, either doesn’t know how to be Presidential or actively chooses not to be. I never thought He goes on Twitter, finds a video of him hitting a golf ball and his shot “hitting” Hillary Clinton. So, like a juvenile, he retweets it.
And then Trump, possibly encouraged by his shrinking base, uses it AGAIN in his address to the United Nations. This appears to be the dangerous taunting by an adolescent.
And Kim’s use of the word dotard – “a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person” – put many Americans in the uncomfortable position of wondering whether he was onto something.
His threatened withdrawal of the Iran nuclear agreement makes creating a deal with North Korea even more difficult. Since the United States agreed to VOLUNTARY benchmarks for our participation in the Paris climate change accord, the US withdrawal doesn’t even make sense. Our allies oppose our leaving the Paris accords, and most feel the same on the Iran deal.
Trump pardons a criminal sheriff, who violated hundreds of people’s civil rights. He declares that Nazis and white supremacists can be “good people.” Then he calls NFL players who kneel for the national anthem “sons of bitches” who should be fired. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell rightly released a statement saying Trump’s comments are “divisive” and show a lack of respect for the league, the game, and the players.
His behavior, to borrow a term, is unpresidented.
He supports various pieces of legislation in Congress without seeming to have any idea what they mean. He said that Cassidy-Graham, the now-dead latest iteration of “let’s kill Obamacare”, was “better than the other bills” the Senate tried to pass in 2017. Given the fact that the new bill’s impact hadn’t been fully explored by the Congressional Budget Office, this assertion seems dubious.
With any recording, there are two copyrights: one for the song, the composition, and another for the performance of that song, the recording.
There’s a line in a classic Billy Joel song New York State of Mind:
“But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, the Daily News.”
Back in the late 1970s and 1980s, I used to read those two New York City papers, even though I lived 150 miles away. The New York Times, “All The News That’s Fit To Print,” I’d read nearly every day. Even into the 1990s, I was at least devour the massive Sunday Times, which might take all week. In the earlier period, I also read the Daily News, a tabloid publication, on Sunday, mostly for the funnies and the sports.
I almost never read the other tabloid in New York City, the New York Post, which was terrible even before Rupert Murdock bought it in 1993. (Certainly, one of its low points was in 1980, when they showed a slain John Lennon in the morgue.)
It’s nice to see my old friends of the news IN the news:
But in viewing several pictures of the event, it was clear that the picture was not wide enough to include the Bushes without making the shot far too small to see from the newsstand.
Moreover, Times photographer Doug Mills notes: “As you can see, Bush was in the bright sunlight. I did not even send this frame because it’s very wide and super busy and Bush is super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade.”
Nevertheless, there will be people who will find political motivation in this.
There are some who thought Bush should have stayed home, since his Supreme Court justices have weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the very law signed by President Lyndon Johnson as a direct result of the original march. I’m glad Bush was there.
As Vox.com puts it, “The mere act of senators contacting the leaders of a foreign nation to undermine and contradict their own president is an enormous breach of protocol. But this went much further: Republicans are telling Iran, and, by extension the world, that the American president no longer has the power to conduct foreign policy, and that foreign leaders should assume Congress could revoke American pledges at any moment.”
I was surprised by the results. A couple of weeks ago, intellectual property lawyer/drummer Paul Rapp, a/k/a F. Lee Harvey Blotto, wrote this:
The…case, in which Marvin Gaye’s kids are trying to shake down Robin Thicke, Pharrell and TI, is…not going very well for Team Gaye. The judge knocked the stuffing out of the Gayes’ case last month by ruling that the jury would not be allowed to hear the Marvin Gaye recording of Got To Give It Up [LISTEN] the song allegedly infringed by Thicke & Co. in writing Blurred Lines.
Why, you ask? Well it’s like this. With any recording, there are two copyrights: one for the song, the composition, and another for the performance of that song, the recording. What constitutes the song is typically limited to the melody and lyrics, and sometimes a unique chord or song structure. Everything else is embodied in the performance.
There is concern that the verdict could be bad for music, “possibly lowering the bar for what’s considered creative theft.” While I hear the similarities, I’ve found other songs, not litigated against, with far greater parallels. I think the decision was wrong, per this New Yorker article.
Since these things will get further litigated, it’s too early to know the final outcome. But my first thought was, “What will happen to the Weird Al Yankovic song, Word Crimes [LISTEN]? It’s credited to Williams, Thick, rapper TI and Yankovic.
Daniel Nester writes about privilege. I found it interesting, in part, because it reminded me of certain white sociology students, in undergraduate school and subsequently, who insisted on informing me about the sources of my oppression. They also insisted I spell “black people” as “Black people.” Meh. Dan also gives cheeky advice for aspiring writers.
Dustbury found this video, which is about Arnold Schoenberg and 12-tone music but is as much about the stifling US copyright law, the creative mind, the boundaries of art, and how we communicate with each other. He “learned more from this half-hour of unconventional pedagogy than from a whole semester of theory.”
Mark Evanier writes: “My father was a very honest man. Absolutely, utterly honest. Once, he found a wallet in the street with a few hundred dollars in it. He took it home, looked up the number of the person it belonged to and arranged to return it to them…with every buck still in it. He did things like that all the time. All the time.”
The Guardian: Notes from Overground by Tiresias (the pen name of Roger Green) was published in 1984. It became a minor cult, and though it never sold very well, it still gets into the occasional blog today. We admirers occasionally meet and share favourite moments.