January rambling: Room at the Table

Writing While Black

sunshield_2x
From https://xkcd.com/2564/

The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer

Why the Tonga Eruption Was So Violent

A cold case team believes it has solved the mystery of who may have betrayed Anne Frank

One Year Later (Jan 6)

Writing While Black Under Scrutiny

Peter M. Pryor, the trailblazing Black civil rights lawyer, dies at 95

Hockey jersey is retired, 64 years after Willie O’Ree broke the NHL color barrier

Rachel Balkovec latest in a line of women shattering baseball’s barriers

Why Turkey Is Now Türkiye

How do you pronounce Kyiv, anyway? 

Service Providers: Are you Making This Big Sales Tax Mistake?

How Early Should You Get to the Airport, Really?

Can You Actually Work on Amtrak’s Free Wi-Fi?

54 years ago, a computer programmer fixed a massive bug — and created an existential crisis

A review of Pieced Together, the current exhibition at the Pine Hills Branch of the Albany Public Library,

Kelly’s Hawaiian adventures

Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day In New York’ Secures Surprise Theatrical Release in China

Daniel Radcliffe to Play “Weird Al” Yankovic in Biopic

The 40th anniversary of Destroyer Duck, which I bought at the time

How Wordle Became The Internet’s Omicron Pastime

2021 Domain Insights and Trends

Flashlights 

Now I Know:  The Origins of the Football Huddle and When Fake Burps Have Real Consequences and  The Crime Tip from a Non-Tip at the Tip of the Nation and But The Cat Came Back and The “You Should Retire” Law of 1882

RIP

Louie Anderson, RIP. His first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 

Ralph Emery, Country Music Broadcaster, Dies at 88

Dwayne Hickman, Star of ‘The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis,’ Dies at 87

Howard Hesseman, Dr. Johnny Fever on ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 81

Kay Olin Johnson, who has been actively involved with the Olin Family Society (my MIL’s lineage) forever, passed away 1/22, just a week after attending the latest OFS council meeting, which I attended. I was extremely fond of her. She was a remarkable lady who will be sorely missed. She was mentioned at least once in this blog, here

Betty White -This is Your Life (1987)

NY Governor Kathy Hochul announced flags on state buildings would be flown at half-staff in honor of fallen New York Police Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora. Flags were to be lowered to half-staff at sunrise on Jan. 28, the day of Officer Rivera’s funeral service, and returned to full-staff at sunset on Feb. 2, following Officer Mora’s funeral service.

Virtual DC Feb 7 2022

COVID

Seriously, Upgrade Your Face Mask

The Biden admin has launched a phone line for Americans to order four free COVID  tests per household, expanding availability to Americans who may not have internet access: 1-800-232-0233.

Fear of COVID Is Keeping the Vaxxed Out of the Workforce

It is killing Trump supporters by the hundreds each day

MUSIC

Room at the Table – Carrie Newcomer 

Tonight You Belong To Me – MonaLisa Twins

Theatrical Rock and Meat Loaf

Dragons – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

The Family Madrigal – Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz from Encanto 

Academic Festival Overture by Brahms

You Can Call Me Al – Peter Sprague

Coverville 1387: Cover Stories for Kings of Leon and Prefab Sprout and a Tribute to Ronnie Spector and 1388: The 30th Anniversary Tribute to Nevermind at #1

Take On Me – a-ha (MTV Unplugged, 2017)

Bad Wolves – Rebecca Jade featuring Jason Mraz, Miki Vale, and Veronica May was Song Of The Year at the San Diego Music Awards

Sedition – Randy Rainbow (2021)

Abhor-Rent: 525,600 Minutes Since The Insurrection from
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Death Don’t Have No Mercy – Grateful Dead

Miracle and Wonder: Paul Simon – Audiobook by Malcolm Gladwell (Chapter 1 – The Mystery)

What January 6 insurrection?

Big Lie redux

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

I was trying to write a post about the anniversary of the events of January 6. Now, I had gathered tons of articles and video clips laying out why the events of a year ago were so awful. But isn’t that self-evident? Of COURSE NOT, because America.

I’m going to use the I word here. Right after the January 6 insurrection, all manner of persons, even Republicans in Congress, specifically denounced the then-sitting President for fomenting the violence. Then, not so much. Did It Even Happen?! Spoiler: Yes (feat. Chris Hayes and Jordan Klepper | The Daily Show).

Yeah, I know: “When asked to describe what happened at the Capitol, 85 percent of Democrats surveyed said it was an insurrection and an attempt to overthrow the government. By comparison, 21 percent of Republicans said the Capitol attack was an insurrection and 18 percent said it was an attempt to overthrow the government.”

Don’t use that word!

This Newsweek opinion piece by Markweaver bugged me. “Since January 6, a clanging chorus of commentators has standardized the language surrounding the event with the use of a few choice phrases including ‘insurrection,'[oops!] ‘assault on democracy,’ and—according to President Biden— ‘the worst attack on the Capitol since the Civil War.'”

Then he points to United flight 93, which WOULD have attacked DC on 9/11 but for the intervention of “citizen heroes.” He also mentions “a 1954 assault on Congress when terrorists fired indiscriminately from the gallery into the House chamber, wounding five congressmen.”

I would submit that January 6 is worse because it was, apparently, an inside job. The committee investigating the event is subpoenaing Republicans in Congress, including Jim Jordan. Yes, that Gym Jordan, who House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wanted to put on that very committee. He and others will be asked about their role in planning the insurrection.

Not as smart as Chauncey Gardiner

Worse because the “leader of the free world” apparently watched the DC riots on TV, ignoring pleas to intervene. This despite pleas from Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham from FOX News, not to mention Trump’s own family. They all tried to pressure him and his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, to “intervene to stop the insurrection (despite publicly downplaying and lying about it).”

Yes, this is worse because, even before the 2020 election, the incumbent made it clear that if he didn’t win, the system must have been rigged. And he repeated the Big Lie again and again, to the point where state Secretaries of State, county clerks, and even those folks who only work the polls were physically threatened.

This is worse because the intent was to stop the prosaic but required task of certifying the Presidential election. Will we ever be able to have an election that isn’t challenged for no good reason?  

And this is worse because it could be the collapse of democracy in the US. Thomas Homer-Dixon, “the former head of a center on peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto, warned that the ‘political and social landscape’ of the U.S.—a profoundly unequal and ideologically polarized nation that also happens to be ‘armed to the teeth’ —is ‘flashing with warning signals.'”

Vaguely related: Conspiracy Chart, from Detached from Reality to Grounded in Reality

October rambling: Mental Misfires

tarot cards

Halloween not Xmas

Why Is Pentagon Spending Rising When “We Can’t Afford” Everything Else?

What to Make of the Pandora Papers?

Naming Climate Villains As the World Burns and  Indigenous People With Disabilities Are on the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis

Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of  Congress and White House Staff; and Trump’s Cryptic Comment From 2017 May Have Foreshadowed His Coup Attempt; and [SATIRE] Trump to Skip 2024 Campaign and Go Straight to Claiming He Won

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Taiwan and Misinformationrelated to the latter

Don’t believe corporate America’s labor shortage. This is an unofficial general strike.

Did Texas Legislators Read the “Founding” Documents? and Reading While Texan

What did Thomas Jefferson Buy in October 1803?

North Carolina lieutenant governor calls transgender movement ‘demonic’

Christian Academies: Training the Next Generation of Rightwing White Nationalists? and ‘Great replacement’ belief correlates with Christian nationalist views

What Conservatives Tell Themselves About Critical Race Theory

It’s a camera shutter. It’s not a detonator

Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist.

What We Lose When We Lose Local News

How a newspaper’s collapse makes people feel: less connected, more alone.

Bez, the final frontier

DNA testing privacy resource

Diet soda may prompt food cravings, especially in women and people with obesity

MMP 25: New Zealand’s proportional representation officially became the way New Zealand was governed.

Hank Green: A Tool With No Blood On It

But wait! There’s more!

Kelly has even MORE links!

Loopy or Stringy: What would Einstein Say?

The nearly forgotten mystical artist who still foretells fates – Pamela Colman Smith might be history’s greatest victim of copyright injustice

The first major city in the United States passes a dark-sky ordinance

A lovely Shari Lewis story

Betty Lynn, the actress best known for her portrayal of Thelma Lou, Barney Fife’s sweetheart on The Andy Griffith Show, has died

Book review: Why We Swim

The Mental Misfires of Matt Amodio

Meet the Two Women Who Give Prescription Drugs Their Generic Names

Bell peppers are mangoes

Now I Know: A Great Example of Quiche Thinking and The Non-Profit That Gives Drivers Sticker Shock and The Accidental Pet Feeding Hero of 2016 and The Toddler Truce and  The Great Tattoo Cover Up

When you have “tall ZOOM energy” and show up to the office for the first time, it can get awkward.

Winnie-the-Pooh BEFORE Winnie the Pooh

MUSIC

The Bard by Jean Sibelius

Coverville 1375: The Paul Simon Cover Story III and  1376: The Snoop Dogg Cover Story

Lazy Sunday Afternoon – MonaLisa Twins

Farewell, Paddy Moloney and  Late Night with The Chieftains and Earl Scruggs

A Song For You – Donny Hathaway

Celtic Rock – Donovan

Paul McCartney:  on writing Eleanor Rigby and Band On The Run  BBC Documentary

From January 6 to competence

Boring is a good thing.

Jen PsakiThe Saturday night after the inauguration, I decided to view some recordings of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I had watched the January 3 episode, which ended with Amanda Peet in the middle of a game. Since it recorded automatically, I didn’t notice that there were three episodes on January 6. Well, ostensibly.

As it turned out, there was no Millionaire airing that night, but rather three hours of ABC News’ coverage of the siege on the US Capitol. Seeing this news from only 18 days earlier felt almost otherworldly. January 6 seems simultaneously so current – troops are still locking down DC – and in the horrible past. I can’t explain it.

Even then, several of the network reporters indicated how race played a role in the assault. Martha Raddatz compared the armed camp that was summer 2020 DC, where she felt safe with the cocoon of soldiers with concern for her safety in the initial hours of the siege. (She talked about it on The View on January 7.)

It’s not that we’re past January 6. Far from it. But I’m feeling…IDK..less stressed. I haven’t asked my wife if we’ve invaded Iran in over a week, something I feared greatly as recently as January 19.

My TV is even happy

I am really thrilled with catching the CBS This Morning eye-opener and not wanting to curse at my TV set. A recent Boston Globe headline: ‘Boring is a good thing’: A day in post-Trump Washington.

Watching Jen Psaki conduct White House press conferences is like viewing competence. That’s defined as “They know what they’re doing, they know their jobs, and they work to get the job done. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t complications!”

I haven’t become Pollyannic about what the next four years will look like. We’ll have to deal with many of the same problems that we’ve encountered in 2020, not the least of which is COVID. But I feel…dare I say it?… hopeful about the future, and that hasn’t often been the case.

“Who we are” about race

stark contrast

who we are

Jaquandor noted, in his blog response to the January 6 tyranny, “We are who we were.”

Specifically, “The road we walk is the one our ancestors paved, for good or ill. It’s a road that leads to amazing things: a nation that helped defeat Fascism on opposite sides of the globe, and a nation that built itself on the stolen labor of some and the stolen land of others…

“We’re a nation that elected a black man President, and then turned around and enabled a four-year tantrum by people who hate that this ever happened.

“‘Who we are is who we were.’ We were racists and white supremacists and violent conquerors of people who lived here before us. We weren’t just those things, but we were those things…and who we are is who we were.” It’s impossible, then, to avoid looking at America through the prism of race.

Why is it ALWAYS about race?!

As I read conservative websites, few philosophies of “the Left” aggrieve them more than the critical race theory.” The view is that “the law and legal institutions are inherently racist.”

Some conservatives actually say we need to root out racist behavior. The trouble is that the examples of blatant announced racism they can point to are comparatively unusual.

What’s more likely is that a white Columbus, OH policeman, Adam Coy, a “19-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police,” will shoot and kill Andre Hill, an unarmed black man holding a cellphone. And within 10 seconds of the encounter. Coy refused “to administer first aid for several minutes.”

Did  Coy shoot Hill because he feared him based on his race? Can someone prove that? No, but the preponderance of unarmed black folks dying that way forces one to ponder that possibility.

You might have heard about that attempted coup of the US government on January 6. According to the Associated Press report: “The Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times…”

This despite the fact that far-right activists on social media telegraphed violence weeks in advance.

By comparison, last summer, “a diverse group of largely peaceful protesters for racial justice were met with tear gas, military tactics, and legions of police in riot gear.” The contrast was stark.

Difference in tactics

Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner wondered, “Was there a structural feeling that well, these [on January 6] are a bunch of conservatives, they’re not going to do anything like this? Quite possibly. That’s where the racial component to this comes into play in my mind.

“Was there a lack of urgency or a sense that this could never happen with this crowd? Is that possible? Absolutely.” No rows of “camo-clad and helmeted National Guard troops” watching this crowd, some of them wearing neo-Nazi apparel and/or waving the Confederate flag.

President-elect Biden saw it. “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting…, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.” As the article title declares, “What’s happening is white privilege.”

I just started reading The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. The subtitle is “a forgotten history of how our government segregated America.” I’ve gotten far enough to know that the redlining of the US occurred as a result of de jure, rather than de facto segregation.

I’m sure the folks at the Daily Signal are tired of what they deem identity politics. Their conclusion: “the purpose of all teaching about race in American schools is to engender contempt for America.” (SMH) No, the purpose of teaching about race is to recognize that we are on a long, and sometimes imperfect journey. We are striving to form a more perfect union, and we’re not quite there yet.

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