Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays

A song inspired by a 1979 school shooting in San Diego. ☹️

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Though the family was very poor, the killer’s father — Wallace — had given his daughter a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle with a telescopic sight and 500 rounds of ammunition for Christmas 1978.

She later said, “I asked for a radio and he bought me a gun.” When asked why he might have done that, she answered, “I felt like he wanted me to kill myself.”

The killer will die in prison.

The father, I assume, is free. If it were up to me, I’d put him in prison too.

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… on male privilege

I doubt any human has had life easier than me — a white, male, heterosexual Canadian born 1957.

Talk about privilege.

Any man calling himself victim to the women’s rights movement is an idiot. And a snowflake. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

Where are LIBRARIES headed?

I spend a lot of time in libraries. They are good. But could be much better.

Eric Klinenberg spent a year researching libraries for his book Palaces for the People.

How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

Social infrastructure is the glue that binds communities together, and it is just as real as the infrastructure for water, power, or communications, although it’s often harder to see.

But Eric Klinenberg says that when we invest in social infrastructures such as libraries, parks, or schools, we reap all kinds of benefits. We become more likely to interact with people around us, and connected to the broader public. If we neglect social infrastructure, we tend to grow more isolated, which can have serious consequences.

Calgary Public Library

I heard Klinenberg interviewed on the 99% Invisible podcast. His argument was compelling.

I’d love to see libraries expand their programs. Increase the hours they are open.

Libraries are unofficial sanctuaries for street people, at least during daylight. That should be formalized.

Libraries could be much, much better.

The Confession by John Grisham

John Grisham is an activist and board member for the Innocence Project, an organization that fights to exonerate prisoners it deems wrongfully convicted.

This 2010 book looks at the issues of the death penalty through the wrongful conviction of  17-year-old Donté Drumm. He is a star on the high school football team and loved by the girls.

Donté’s is accused of murdering Nicole  Yarber, a cheerleader.

It’s set in football mad Slone, Texas.

It’s a very good book. Well told. Some might find it a bit preachy. Repetitive in places.

Travis Boyette is the real killer. The most memorable of the characters, for me. Seems Grisham is skilled at writing complex, weird and evil bad guys.

Amazon

I agree with Grisham on the death penalty. I’m against it. And still recall the day I made that decision. It was in a High School class in the 1970s where we were discussing the topic.

I’ll consider the USA a backwards nation until they ban it.

The USA will be backwards until the Republican Party finally starts to evolve their platform in the area of human rights.

United States, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Belarus, Oman, and Taiwan are some of the most prosperous nations that still have it.

Much of the fictional case presented in the novel is taken from some real-life cases involving defendants on death row.

Welfare Ranching: Subsidized Destruction of the American West

I’m definitely going to eat less beef in future. Cows are TERRIBLE for the environment.

Ranchers on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. …

Ranchers leasing BLM land cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million a year (and probably much more—some say a billion dollars).

According to Stephen Nash’s Grand Canyon for Sale, about 15,000 ranchers receive a $33,000 from the federal government annually.

This windfall of this bill comes in the form of radically reduced leasing fees (that some ranchers, such as Cliven Bundy, refuse to pay altogether). The cost of grazing cattle on privately owned land in the West is $21.60. BLM ranchers pay $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM), the amount of monthly forage eaten by a cow and her calf. In essence, ranchers on BLM land have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. …

These subsidies apply to only 2.7 percent of livestock producers in the United States. Six percent of beneficiaries get 66 percent of the proceeds. So, rather than these subsidies leading to cheaper meat (which might, depending on one’s economic philosophy, justify them), the program tends to benefit corporate ranchers with names such as Koch, Walmart, and Hilton. …

HOW WELFARE RANCHERS TAKE TAXPAYERS FOR A RIDE

https://www.amazon.com/Welfare-Ranching-Subsidized-Destruction-American/dp/1559639423

Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West tells the story of a vast region, sparsely populated by people but tragically battered by an activity many of us have mistakenly believed is benign.

In fact, the production of livestock is incompatible with the ecological health of much of the lands in the West.

Aridity is chief among the factors limiting compatible uses of western landscapes. Over decades, the placement of exotic, water-hogging, ill-adapted livestock on western lands has changed diverse native plant communities …

1939 American NAZI rally New York

It’s an unlikely Oscar contender.

Marshall Curry’s “A Night at the Garden” has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

The film, entirely comprised of archival footage, shows a 1939 rally of American Nazis at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

The rally drew 20,000 people on the eve of World War II.

“The lesson of the film,” Curry told InsideEdition.com, is that “we are vulnerable to leaders who will stir us up against each other.”

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

FOX News refused to air an advertisement for the documentary. Other networks did.

I believe FOX National News has a pro-Trump bias. They believe this rally is somewhat similar to Trump’s.

Like American NAZI’s, Trump uses the phrase ‘America First’.

Click PLAY or watch the entire film on YouTube.

Handmaid’s Tale – season 2

What can be said that hasn’t already been said?

It’s fantastically well done.

Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne must win every acting award.

Madeline Brewer as Janine should win the rest. And Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, of course.

In season 2 I could finally relate to Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford. Her backstory is fascinating.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

… That all said, I’m not sure I can continue with season 3. It’s too violent. Too sad. Too believable in an age where a potential leader of the Gilead theocracy is VP. ☹️