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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 6,739

About Me

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Journal Archives

No Way To Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

Time for this AGAIN, alas:

PARKLAND, FL—In the hours following a violent rampage in Florida in which a lone attacker killed 17 individuals and seriously injured over a dozen others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Wednesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Indiana resident Harold Turner, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

My visceral reaction is to decry "compassionate conservatism"

as an oxymoronic concept.

Your thoughtful analysis helps me understand (thought not appreciate) the mindset that makes such a position appealing.

Emphasizing points of agreement (such as "Productive work is a societal good that should be encouraged" ) is a good start toward building consensus among parties that are arrayed across the political spectrum.

I could never support the GOP's goal of government-sponsored faith-based initiatives -- and I certainly don't subscribe to the right wing idea that beneficiaries of social programs are by definition slackers.

In a different area, there is -- for example -- a lot of potential for agreement among hunters & fishermen and environmentalists. Their interests are compatible in many ways. We need to focus on those points of agreement rather than excoriating hunters as "animal killers" or letting them paint us as "granola-eating tree huggers."

Full disclosure: I actually am a granola-eating tree hugger, but you get the idea. My granddaddy was a hunter and an environmentalist. There are more out there -- we need to find them and work with them.

These are discussions that we'll continue to have, and the answers may (and most likely will) be different in various states and districts. We need to inspire progressives to devote their energies to the cause, while not losing reasonable moderates who agree with us on some policies but not all.

Centrists lose me when they say "To hell with 'Leftists'" and focus only on how to attract and appease conservatives. Leftists lose me when they say "There's no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."

Your post offers some insight about how to sift through these ideas and positions and find ways to win without resorting to either scorched-earth tactics or appeasement.

Great music from countries we're supposed to despise and fear

"Adouma" by Angelique Kidjo from Benin:

Not to mention you could actually learn something about the music.

The average Spotify listener generally has no idea who the band members are on the tracks they're listening to. I learned a lot about music and musicians' work by reading liner notes and personnel listings on LP covers, particular in the jazz realm.

I'd see the list of band members and think, "Oh, Ben Riley! He played with Monk -- this might be good." Or "Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder? I'm in!" Or I'd read an essay by Nat Hentoff or Ralph Gleason or Orrin Keepnews and learn something about the artists or the music -- often standing in a record store, where this new knowledge would send me to a different bin in search of new treasures to take home.

Same for rock music. And some helpful artists would even include lyrics for those of us unable to decipher words mumbled in a fake (or sometimes authentic) Southern accent.

And then, of course, there's the issue of rolling joints -- without the LP cover of Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die or Coltrane's A Love Supreme, who can craft a tight, seedless doobie anymore?

And the artwork! LPs allowed a fantastic flourishing of album cover art that is hard to match in a cramped CD booklet (or Spotify / Pandora interface).

Books Are Playing a Role in Elevating and Transforming Chicago Communities

This has me thinking about literacy programs in my area and what I can do to help:

Books Are Playing a Role in Elevating and Transforming Chicago Communities
- billmoyers.com
This post originally appeared at AlterNet.

Snuggled under scaffolding in Chicago’s West Loop is an inconspicuous entranceway that leads to Open Books, a bookstore with over 54,000 used books on its shelves. Nearly all of the books for sale are donated, as are the 55,000 for sale online and the 20,000 more at its Pilsen location. This Thanksgiving will be the eighth anniversary of the first store opening, in Chicago’s River North.

Here in the West Loop, Open Books is the anchor store for the space above it, the Literacenter, a co-working space of 123 Chicago-area literacy programs and organizations that range from theater and poetry to childhood homelessness support and books for prisoners.

Tim O’Brien, Open Books executive director — and a former Open Books volunteer — says they process about 650,000 books a year. The book granting team hand-selects books to give to students, classrooms and homes, with a goal of capturing early readers with age- and interest-appropriate stories. “If the student sees themselves in a character, if they identify with the story, they’ll want to read more,” says O’Brien.

This, in turn, leads to community building. For example, cookbooks, especially for baking, are popular among young people because they foster engagement with a parent or grandparent; it gives the family something to read — and do — together.

The bookstore also supports multiple Open Books literacy programs, including creative writing workshops and a publishing academy.

More at link: http://billmoyers.com/story/open-books-transforming-chicago-communities/

Charles Barkley: Roy Moore should have been disqualified 'way before this women stuff came up'

Charles Barkley: Roy Moore should have been disqualified 'way before this women stuff came up'
- AL.com, 11/25/2017

The endorsement at least some people have been waiting for in the race for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat has arrived, with NBA great and former Auburn basketball player Charles Barkley telling NBC News, "if I lived here, I'd vote for Doug Jones."

Barkley -- asked to weigh in on politics while in Auburn for the unveiling of a statue of him outside Auburn's basketball arena on the day of the annual Iron Bowl clash with Alabama in football -- told NBC's Vaughan Hillyard that Republican nominee Roy Moore should have been "disqualified" from the race long before recent allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted teenage girls and behaved inappropriately around others in the 1970s.

"Everybody's going crazy over these sexual allegations, Roy Moore to me, when he brought in Steve Bannon should have been disqualified," Barkley said. "I don't understand. How can you have a guy who's running with a white separatist running for a political office?

"We've got a lot of black people in this state who are amazing people but to run a campaign with a guy as your chief advocate who is a white nationalist or white separatist, that should have disqualified Roy Moore way before this women stuff came up."

More at link: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/charles_barkley_roy_moore_shou.html#incart_river_home


The Democratic Party needs to continue growing, evolving, and adapting to win.

Not sure why that is so irritating to some, but I'm glad the Dems are doing those things. If we continue to change and grow in ways that attract and inspire voters, we'll win.

Staying the same is death.

Speak Softly, But Belong to a Big Country Club

Your list is epic!!

Adding a couple:
The Togs of War
Full Duct Tape Jacket
Full Smoking Jacket
Downfall (no change needed for this one!)
Das Patent Leather Boot
Kelly's Zeroes
We Weren't Soldiers
The Emoluments Men
Where Beagles Dare

Happy 100th Birthday, Thelonious Monk!

And thanks for everything.

Breaking news: "Maniac hurls 100 knives a second from hotel room into crowd, kills 59 & wounds 500+

before turning a knife on himself."

The story to fit this headline has not turned up yet. Nor has the one about the baseball bat mass murderer.

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