November rambling – We are not the enemy

Tips on how to endure the 18+ hour flight

Cease fire Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers

The American civil war didn’t end, and we have a Confederate president

The First Family of Fraud

Fox and Friends: If the Media Doesn’t Want to Be Called ‘The Enemy’They Should Report the Story How He Wants

Amy Biancolli: We are not the enemy

John Oliver: Migrant Family Separation and Drain the Swamp

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America? Voter turnout lags in the world’s most powerful democracy? and Cost of Voting in the American States

A Legislative Agenda for House Democrats

What Republicans fear most of all

A man who survived a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 was among those killed in the 2018 mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA

There’s very little known about the thousands of victims who survive deadly shootings

Tammy Marshall – My Breast Implants Almost Killed Me – The Truth About BII

The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress

The Ancestor Hunt: Historical Jewish American Newspapers Online

Why are the Spanish living so long?

Ken Levine interviews media consultant, Valerie Geller – Tell the truth, make it matter, never be boring: Learn the keys to successful communication

Ntozake Shange, Who Wrote ‘For Colored Girls,’ Is Dead at 70

Former San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey’s presence was one of a kind

In Conversation: Alex Trebek The Jeopardy! icon on retirement, his legacy, and why knowledge matters

Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL, representative-elect: SNL mocked my appearance; here’s why I didn’t demand an apology

Jimmy Kimmel: Trumpy bear

John Boehner: Washington Needs to Legalize Cannabis – NOW, he says it

The Crazy Contentious History Of Taco Tuesday

Scott McCartney, travel writer for WSJ, taking world’s longest flight — Newark to Singapore; tips on how to endure the 18+ hour flight

The cheapest ways to get to the center of Manhattan from the three airports that serve the Big Apple

Esquire Fiction: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah – Annual holiday super sale? Or zombie apocalypse?

Video tour from the forties Los Angeles side-by-side with the same route in 2016

It slices, it dices, and it’s older than me

This image has exactly 12 dots, but it’s impossible to see them all at once

Now I Know: The Problem With Anonymous Lottery Winners and The Cat’s Meow, Instrumentalized

Fabulous German words with no English equivalent

MUSIC

Take the A Train – Roy Clark And Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown; Roy Clark, country guitar virtuoso, ‘Hee Haw’ star, dies at 85

Above The Law – The O’Jays

BE A DJ: Kathy Buckley – 10/30/18 (WDST, Woodstock, NY)

Snippets of Hey Red! B/W We’re Not Going Steady – Herb London on Buzz Records; London, Conservative Thought Leader and occasional political candidate in New York State, died at 79. (HT to Dustbury)

Solid Rock is now a cultural part of Australian music history

Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No 1, performed by the Moscow String Quartet

Recording of a warning chime recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – In all, Lincoln commissioned six different non-critical warning chimes from the orchestra, covering 25 vehicle functions

Careless Whisper – Train, ft. Kenny G

Happiness is just around the bend – Brian Auger

Anything You Can Do – Voctave

9,999,999 Tears – Dickie Lee

Alice Cooper in a Dodge commercial

GOP, Cuomo, concerts and hiking

boehnerJaquandor, the emperor of Byzantium Shores, muses:

What will it take to get the Republican Party to start moving back to the real world? I look at their collective insanity right now as the 2016 election cycle is revving up, and I remember how I noted in 2012 that if Obama was reelected, THAT year’s Republican Crazy would look quaint compared to what was coming in four years. Now that this prediction is coming OH SO TRUE, I’m worried about what the Republican field will look like in 2020 if the Democratic nominee wins next year.

Some people think that it will take another couple of electoral drubbings for the White House, but I’m thinking, as long as they keep winning at midterm time, that will be enough to keep them thinking that the Insane Approach is JUST THIS CLOSE to winning. (Sorry for the length of the question!)

Re: crazy: I thought the Republicans were in 1994. Now Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker, looks, in retrospect, practically looks like a statesman. You’ve answered your own question: when they start to lose.

I am starting to wonder if party alignments will begin to fray. John Boehrer (pictured) quits as Speaker amidst cheering from some Tea Party types, who considered him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), which is absurd. They are seeking an ideological purity, an “our way or the highway” philosophy, of people who do not appear to want to govern, or even have a government.

If a Democrat wins the White House in 2016, I have a sense that there will continue to be a bloc of obstructionists, in some ways, worse than what Obama faced in 2009, with little chance of a honeymoon. And if it’s a Republican President, I’m not sure he or she will fare much better, because, depending on the Congressional races, it could embolden the House fringe especially.

I can’t think about 2018, never mind 2020.

What’s your general take on Governor Cuomo, now that he’s into his second term? I can’t help feeling there’s something smarmy about the guy.

In some ways, Andrew Cuomo was his father Mario’s enforcer, so he’s been a schmuck for a while. Still, I voted for him in 2006 when he ran for Attorney General, and in 2010, when he went for governor. But I voted against him, twice, in 2014, in the primary and the general election. I ALWAYS voted for Mario, at least a half dozen times.

Some of my antipathy towards Andrew has to do with his generally manipulative ways, particularly with the Common Core education process. He dismantled the Moreland Commission looking into corruption when there was still work to do. He’s hostile to the press, and many citizens. Even the gun control SAFE Act, which I tend to support, I thought was forced through the legislature without due process. During the prison break, he seemed to insert himself in the story as much as possible.

I realized what a jerk he could be when he shows up on his brother Chris’ news program, as Jon Stewart pointed out. He’s just annoying.

This story in the New Yorker from February 2015 is pretty balanced.

There was some controversy in Buffalo recently over tickets to an upcoming Paul McCartney concert — the tickets were WILDLY expensive and sold out almost instantly, leaving a lot of angry people. Do you have views on how live music takes place these days? Demand for Garth Brooks tickets earlier this year led to Brooks actually adding shows to his Buffalo stop — I think he did five total shows — and the Rolling Stones recently sold out Ralph Wilson Stadium. Any thoughts? (What’s with me and the long questions?)

Yeah, I got McCartney tickets on the secondary market for his show in Albany, and they were pricey. I didn’t know until too late if I had followed him on his website a week before the tickets went on sale, I might have had a better shot at the tickets. I don’t have a solution except to say “no”.

Hiking in the woods: Yay or Nay? I’ve always liked hiking but I’ve REALLY taken a shine to it over the last year, now that I’ve got this four-legged-friend to hike with.

On flat services, or mild inclines/declines without a lot of tree roots to trip me up, sure. But I better wear my knee brace, just in case.

Extend the James Zadroga Act permanently

“The terror attacks left in their wake a trail of financial ruin affecting many brave men and women who responded to the attacks and others who had the misfortune of living or working on the tiny piece of the United States that happened to be the target of an attack on our country.”

911more-than-a-stickerThe “remember 9/11” crowd in Congress who stalled for nearly a decade to provide compensation for individuals who suffered physical injury or death as a result of debris removal efforts in the immediate aftermath of the attacks irritate me greatly.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was passed by Congress at the end of 2010 and signed into law by President Obama, in no small part because of the advocacy of Jon Stewart on the December 16, 2010 episode of The Daily Show.

But the provisions of the bill are due to expire, and needs to be renewed this fall:

Much has been written in recent years about the serious physical illnesses that have befallen over 33,000 rescue and recovery workers, survivors and residents who breathed in the poisonous dust that blanketed lower Manhattan after the September 11 terror attack and the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. More than 3,900 cases of cancer have been diagnosed among the participants in the World Trade Center Health Program Nearly 200 FDNY and NYPD members have reportedly died of 9/11 related injuries and conditions, and these numbers are growing.

Less has been written about the effect that the terrible illnesses have had on the lives of these men and women. Many have become disabled from work and are unable to support their families on meager monthly disability payments. Family homes have fallen into foreclosure. The terror attacks left in their wake a trail of financial ruin affecting many brave men and women who responded to the attacks and others who had the misfortune of living or working on the tiny piece of the United States that happened to be the target of an attack on our country.

A renewal bill has been languishing in Congress. At least as of last May, The Speaker of the House seemed to be disinclined to support extending the coverage. This may be Jon Stewart’s next activity: supporting the new bill.

I’ve read the information, and am pleased to note that my member of the House of Representatives, and both of my US Senators are co-sponsoring the renewal bill. See where your representatives stand. Bug those who are not sponsors, and laud those who are.

Malala, the government shutdown, and other things

I worked with Jeff Sharlet’s late mother Nancy, so I knew Jeff from when he’d beat me, legitimately, in SORRY when he was six.

I was quite moved to watch Malala Yousafzai on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this past week. Malala is the teenager shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan, but survived, and has since set up a fund to support girls’ education. Here’s Part 1, the section that aired, but see Part 2 and Part 3 as well. If those links don’t work, try this one.

When you listen, you’ll note that what she’s advocating for is essentially a liberal arts education, wanting girls to think for themselves, radical in the environment from which she came. The group that shot her was pleased she didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize this week Jon Stewart may want to adopt her but she is reviled in her own hometown as not being Muslim enough or being a CIA plant.
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My job is funded by state and federal monies. Which is to say I’m still working, but if this partial government shutdown continues for a while, that could be a problem. Yes, the House GOP’s little rule change guaranteed a shutdown. And Speaker of the House John Boehner, last weekend, acknowledged there was a clean continuing resolution – there are no budgets anymore, just a series of CRs – last July.

I suppose it’s ironic that the “reason” for the shutdown, Obamacare, was instituted anyway on October 1, with all its technical glitches. Perhaps a better strategy for the Republicans would have been to ENCOURAGE participation of the Affordable Care Act, hoping to crash the computers.

And yet, if you give in to cynicism about our democracy, our democracy steadily erodes. If it’s their plan to get so sick of it all that we throw up both our hands and let them do what they do, I must say it’s a brilliant strategy.
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The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857. I had never heard of this.

Sometimes you get a second chance to make a lasting impression.

Melanie has resigned herself “to needing help in private, but there is something that happens to me emotionally when I have to be helped to walk, or even be carried, in public. I do not handle it well.” Also: “Have you ever tried to pray for people who seriously want you dead?

The War on Q, W, and X.

It’s been a year since Mark Evanier’s mom died.

Voice and Hammer: Harry Belafonte’s unfinished fight by Jeff Sharlet. Jeff is prominently mentioned in the article College Writers Exit ‘Bubble’. I worked with Jeff’s late mother Nancy, so I knew Jeff from when he’d beat me, legitimately, in SORRY when he was six.

Roger Ebert’s scalding review of a Rob Schneider film, and what came next.

Disney’s first African-American animator, Floyd Norman.

This Scottish ad for breast cancer awareness may be NSFW, and may save someone’s life.

The reason I like this article is not because of the specific issue, which the homophobia of the Barilla pasta guy, but because Mark Evanier explains the First Amendment so well.

I too was surprised by the lawsuit after the Smiths/Peanuts comic strip mashup. Well, not by the suit itself, but by the fact it came from the Smiths’ music publisher. The Peanuts people have long been very litigious; I DO remember the barn in question.

The back roads of western New York State. Also, Albany’s lost boardwalk.

Entitled vacationers, plus Betty White plugs Air New Zealand.

Nedroid’s Party Cat series.

Jaquandor answers my questions about politics, film casting, and end-of-writing poetry, among other topics.

All about Orange

Keep the pulp!

A bit of Monday Mayhem:

1. What is your favorite orange-colored thing on the planet?

John Boehner. No, I jest. Sunrise or sunset.

2. Ever see an orange person?

Albany mayor Jerry Jennings, who sometimes put Boehner to shame.

3. Name something that you hate that is orange.

Cantaloupe. Indeed, I’m just not a melon guy at all.

4. What is your favorite sports team that uses the color orange?

Easy – the Syracuse University Orangemen. If I were to pick a pro team, it’d be the blue-and-orange New York Mets.

5. Name an orange food.

A clementine, a type of orange fruit.

6. Tell us something funny that entails an orange (like a joke or image).

Eminem was on 60 Minutes in October, interviewed by Anderson Cooper.

He writes all of his own songs and delights in rhyming words others can’t.

We talked to him about how he does it in his private recording studio.

Eminem has said he bends the words.

“It’s just in the enunciation of it,” he explained. “Like, people say that the word ‘orange’ doesn’t rhyme with anything and that kind ‘a pisses me off because I can think of a lot of things that rhyme with orange.”

“What rhymes with orange? I can’t think of anything,” Cooper remarked.

“If you’re taking the word at face value and you just say orange, nothing is going to rhyme with it exactly. If you enunciate it and you make it like more than one syllable? Orange, you could say like, ‘I put my orange four-inch door hinge in storage and ate porridge with George.’ So, you just have to figure out the science to breakin’ down words,” he replied.

7. When is the last time you ate an orange?

This summer.

8. What’s your opinion about pulp- does it belong in juice or should it be removed?

Keep the pulp!

9. Name an orange piece of your wardrobe.

T-shirt with my church’s logo on it.

10. Orange you glad we didn’t say banana?

And my daughter cannot yet tell that joke correctly. In time, I’m sure she will.