Juneteenth and other rambling; Smilin’ Ed

When Languages Go Extinct.

Pic was taken by a friend’s SIL in June 2021 and used with permission

‘Epic Failure of Humanity’: Global Displaced Population Hits All-Time High

The Delta variant is serious. Here’s why it’s on the rise. and The Perils Of Covid Complacency

Former WH adviser Fiona Hill considered pulling a fire alarm during Helsinki Summit—to shut Trump up.

The Political, Legal, and Moral Minefield That Trump Left for Merrick Garland and Cleaning Up After Him.

In 2020, 881 active Secret Service employees were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Why Has Local News Collapsed? Blame Readers. Despite all the impassioned pleas to salvage local news coverage, the reality is there’s a demand-side problem.

How Some Americans Are Breaking Out of Political Echo Chambers

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison Heat and PACE, a program meant to pay for environmentally-friendly home renovations.

When Undoing Is Not Enough — Repairing Harms Inflicted on Immigrant Children.

How the world ran out of everything.

Juneteenth/Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory is the New Boogeyeman.

Why do people hate Cathode Ray Tubes so much?

Cartoon: Attack of the critical race theory and Cartoon: History for white people.

How New York’s capital city splintered along racial lines and Black elders in the Capital Region sit down with a young journalist of color to share their stories, experiences, and reflections on being Black in America.

The sad story of southern slave owners, as told in 8th-grade history books

Tulsa isn’t the only race massacre you were never taught in school. Here are others.

Juneteenth is symbolic. Don’t confuse it with racial justice.

GOPUSA Eagle: A Federal Holiday Isn’t Enough; Mayors Commit To Reparations.

Per Newsmax – Sen. Cotton: Juneteenth ‘Fitting Addition to Our National Holidays’ So Let’s Celebrate Momentum of a Growing Racial Justice Movement.

The rat

Staying up too late? Welcome to revenge bedtime procrastination. People are so desperate for time to call their own — even if it comes at 2 a.m. — they’re exhausting themselves. (I’ve done this in 2021. Not recommended.)

What is the only cardinal number whose letters are in alphabetical order in English?

Smilin' Ed complete

I was at my local comic book store recently and I saw copies of the Smilin’ Ed collection pictured, by Raoul Vezina and Tom Skulan. Diamond Distribution is now carrying the book, so you can buy it from a source other than Amazon. Guess which duck has the last word in the book?

A piece about Don Rittner, who, among other things, worked on an environmental cartoon with Raoul.

Fire tore through historian John Wolcott’s documents, maps. I’ve known John and Linda Becker for years.

Slipping of the Mother Tongue: When Languages Go Extinct.

Jeopardy!’s Apology for an ‘Outdated, Offensive and Inaccurate’ Clue.

The Beatles: Get Back — An Exclusive Deep Dive Into Peter Jackson’s Revelatory New Movie.

I absolutely adored Spock. Loving Dad was much more complicated.

Theater needs comedy, Ken Levine says. But I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.

On Ned Beatty and HEAR MY SONG

Frank Bonner, WKRP in Cincinnati’s Herb Tarlek Dies at 79.

Danish Road Safety Council:  Helmet has always been a good idea.

Now I Know: Who is Q (James Bond Version)? and Why You Probably Prefer  European Chocolate and The Man Who Jetted to Millions and When The Faucets Ran Red and When I Learned A Lot About Doughnuts and When Multiple Streams Can Be Taxing.


The New Classics  – virtual Broadway and Broadway’s back

Coverville 1361: Cover Stories for Cole Porter and Tony Levin.

Club 27 – MonaLisa Twins.

An American Symphony by Michael Kamen, from the score to the film Mr. Holland’s Opus.

See You in September by several different artists.

The Way We Were – Aubrey Logan.

Answer: 40

Black-focused for Juneteenth

support Black communities

JuneteenthIn the weeks following George Floyd’s death, and the subsequent protests, my e-mail has been overwhelmed with black-focused products and services that we should be reading/watching/buying.

This is not a complaint, mind you, though it is a bit overwhelming. It is amazing how quickly American business has been able to pivot to a Black Lives Matter theme. It’s similar to how 90% of the TV ads seem to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cynical among us might have asked, “Where were these resources back in April?”

Many businesses across the country experienced theft and damage during the aftermath of the earlier protests. But despite another significant setback after months of financial strain due to coronavirus, some are siding with the protesters voicing outrage over police brutality, choosing to use the moment to help amplify the message of the Black Lives Matter movement.

BTW, if you’re unfamiliar with Juneteenth: a quick summary: “June 19, 1865, marks the date that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery.” Now that a certain party has deigned to co-opt it, before bumping his rally to a day later, I find the need to mention it.

Here are just a handful of black-focused resources, beyond ones I’ve already mentioned. You are welcome to add your links in the comments.


Resources In Defense of Black Lives.
Code of Ethics for Antiracist White Allies By JLove Calderon and Tim Wise
#8CANTWAIT – a campaign to bring immediate change to policing.


Justice in June.
Five Ways to Talk to Children About Race.
How To Talk To Your Friends And Family About Race, According To Psychologists.
25 Books By Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List.

Black Lives Matter: Anti-Racism Resources Streaming for Free. “In light of the nationwide outpouring of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, movies like Just Mercy and I Am Not Your Negro are available to stream.”


Shop Black-Owned & Founded Wellness Brands: 43 Companies To Support.
Where To Donate To Support Black Communities.

Mea culpa abound

Name changes: Lady Antebellum became Lady A, stepping on the trademark of an existing black singer. The pancake syrup maker Aunt Jemina is changing its name, apparently confounding people I know IRL who are oblivious to its racist history.

Racism is a public health crisis in Boston. Mayor Martin Walsh will seek to transfer 20% of police overtime budget to social services.

Alexis Ohanian says he left Reddit board to help make a “real positive change.” He recognized his privilege with help from wife Serena Williams. “Reddit made good on its promise to hire a black board member, appointing Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel.”

Google commits $175 million to racial equity with focus on black-owned businesses; Plus announces plans to improve representation and support within the company.

From 23andme: “As a leader who really cares, I feel the responsibility to not just talk about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but to make meaningful changes and contributions through my own actions and how we operate at 23andMe. Our management team, Board and employee base must have greater diversity. I am ashamed to say I do not have a single black employee who is at Director level or above. Our product is euro-centric but must expand to be inclusive and equitable. We absolutely have the potential to be better. Despite our efforts, I have to honestly say that we are also part of the problem.

“I’m holding myself accountable. I’m holding 23andMe accountable. And I’m asking that our customers hold us accountable. This will include making sure that we change our hiring practices, that we make sure we give greater promotional opportunities within the company, that we dedicate resources to evolve our product to better represent all communities, and that my management team and Board have more inclusive. representation.”

Of course, some of these apologies have fallen on deaf ears. When Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted, “I didn’t do enough’ when it came to diversity,” folks are saying, “Duh – we told you that at the time.”

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