economics, education, ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, things getting better

Martin Luther King Jr in 2022

Would King be happy with what’s happening in the USA?

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has led to some improvements. Here’s what’s WORKING.

The phrase “defund the police” was always stupid. It should have been “reform the police“. Reallocate funding.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

blogs, ethics, Facebook, Google, government, human rights, Twitter

CANCEL me in 2022

If you are irked that I call Donald Trump the fat golfer, please stop following my posts.

After a lifetime study of comparative religion, Joseph Campbell concluded that the best course was to Follow your Bliss. Make a list of those things in your life that you most enjoy; those things that enervate you, compel you; interest you in a sustained way. Do them!

Make a second list of those things that vex your existence. How can you avoid or minimize those? CANCEL them.

When in office I mostly called Trump the toddler President — rash, undisciplined, selfish, spoiled. Out of office fat golfer better sums up my opinion of him in a short, colourful way. Trump is the master of name calling. Since he does it, I feel it’s ethical to reciprocate.

The Ugly American

I believe in freedom of speech. The fat golfer can say whatever he wants on his golf course. BUT not in my home. Not on my blogs. Nor my social media feeds.

I also believe in the freedom to NOT listen to speech.

Since Rush Limbaugh — the Big Fat Idiot — popularized the notion of cancelling people in the 1980s, the word cancelled has become increasingly loaded. And increasingly meaningless.

Though I’m left leaning, I haven’t yet cancelled JK Rowling, Woody Allen, Jordan Peterson and many more. You should if they irritate you enough.

I AM quick to unsubscribe to organizations and people I believe are distributing dangerous and/or unethical content online.

Certainly the American GOP / FOX money making machine picks a new Mr. Potato Head to cancel every day. Gots to keep their mostly old, white supporters angry. (That story was fake news, by the way.)

The best coverage of this issue I’ve heard is on my favourite podcast – Reputation.

Political Fictions On the Media

It’s been over a year since Donald Trump was defeated fair and square in the 2020 election, but polling shows that belief in the Big Lie is as strong as ever. On this week’s On the Media, hear journalists debate how to interview Americans convinced by this dangerous myth. Plus, find out why one political linguist isn’t sure the press can pull democracy back from the brink. 1. Matthew Sitman [@MatthewSitman], host of the Know Your Enemy podcast, shares his tips for interviewing right-wing intellectuals. Listen. 2. Bill Kristol [@BillKristol], editor-at-large of The Bulwark, reckons with 'Stop the Steal'-ers in his party. Listen. 3. Astead Herndon [@AsteadWesley], national politics reporter at the The New York Times, on why he'd rather interview a 'Big Lie'-believing voter than a politician. Listen. 4. George Lakoff [@GeorgeLakoff], linguist and cognitive scientist, reflects on the "truth sandwich." Listen. Music:  Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Brad MehldauCellar Door by Michael AndrewsCello Song by Nick DrakeBoy Moves the Sun by Michael AndrewsI’m Not Following You by Michael AndrewsWhite Man Sleeps I by Kronos QuartetLove Angel by Marcos CiscarTraveling Music by Kronos Quartet
  1. Political Fictions
  2. Snow…in the tropics?
  3. A Question of War
  4. Is New York Times v Sullivan on the Chopping Block?
  5. Road To Insurrection
books, human rights

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

Good book. I’m not sure I’d call it Young Adult, however. though it’s often listed amongst the top YA novels of all time.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming-of-age young adult novel by American author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is the main protagonist.

He’s a typically angry, bored and confused teen. A loner.

Set in El Paso, Texas in 1987, the story starts when Ari meets another Mexican-American teen, Dante Quintana.

Dante is an admirable person in every way. It’s his influence and their friendship which finally helps Ari grow up.

A happy ending.

Several themes feature prominently. These include Mexican-American identity, gender and sexuality, particular masculine gender roles and homosexualityintellectualism and artistic expression, as well as family relationships and friendship.

books, ethics, food, human rights

World Travel by Anthony Bourdain (2021)

Said to be written by Bourdain — his longtime assistant Laurie Woolever actually only had one meeting about this book with her boss before he killed himself at the age of 61 in June 2018. 

A shocking end to one of our favourite travel and food gurus.

But Bourdain had long talked about writing a summing-up travel book, highlighting his favourite foods, cultures, meals and destinations. Woolever made it happen.

The book includes short summaries of 43 destinations from his many years filming Parts Unknown and No Reservations.

Profane, opinionated and often hilarious.

Bourdain was a tough guy. But travel opened his eyes. He wanted to tell the truth, to challenge the powerful, to expose wrongdoing. He’d call out racism at every opportunity.

He championed industrious Spanish-speaking immigrants—from Mexico, Ecuador, and other Central and South American countries—who are cooks and chefs in many United States restaurants,

Amazon – World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, April 20, 2021

ethics, government, human rights

A Fantastic Political Ad

Republican politicians in the States have found that making extreme statements somehow motivates deplorable voters to show up on Election Day.

Democrats are typically more restrained in their ads. Those are often boring.

Here’s Charles Graham who’s running for Congress. I feel like moving to North Carolina so I could vote for him. #inspiring

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

human rights, travel

I like Portland

En route to specific events, I stayed in Portland in 2019 and 2021.

A good vibe.

It’s a smaller, pedestrian friendly city with good public transit and bicycle thoroughfares.

A mild climate. Great city parks.

Though very White, the majority of citizens are liberal and progressive, supporting human rights.

Most days I browsed Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

In 2021 I stayed at the excellent Lolo Pass hostel. Private rooms $162. Dorm beds $43.

In rural Oregon there is no shortage of right wing extremists including Proud (Incel) Boys. The world saw violence and looting on Portland streets during the George Floyd protests. Too bad.

Ongoing — the biggest problem is homelessness. It is awful.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ethics, human rights

“Be a warrior not a wokester.”

Professor Galloway — like many of us — is turned off by out-of-control political correctness.

People are increasingly afraid to say what they think for fear of online backlash.

Similarly, I’m embarrassed by people outraged that William Shakespeare (for example) was racist. You shouldn’t judge people in the 1500s by today’s standards.

Instead of complaining, take ACTION.

Do something REAL.

Be a warrior for social justice.

Listen to Professor Galloway‘s podcast here.

… Structural racism is real, and our economic system is tilted, if not rigged.

The most accurate predictor of your opportunities isn’t your intelligence or work ethic but where you’re born.

But playing the victim decreases your capacity to be a warrior against these injustices. …

Reacting to every slight and demanding satisfaction from every insult is what the system wants you to do. Joining a Twitter mob seizing on a hapless middle manager or an out-of-touch English professor may feel like justice, but it’s just a cheap drip of dopamine ….

Be a warrior. 

Advice to Grads: Be Warriors, Not Wokesters

ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. 😀

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder by a white cop. 

I’m hopeful things have change for the better.  

BLM haters have been more muted since their racist President departed for the golf courses full-time. 

According to professor of critical race theory, David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On Real Time with Bill MaherBill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …


human rights, TV

Good Girls Revolt – season 1

Good Girls Revolt is an American period drama streaming television series.

It only lasted 1 season. Too bad. I found it far more entertaining than Mad Men.

The series follows a group of young female researchers at News of the Week magazine in the revolutionary times of 1969. Women in the newsroom are relegated to low-level positions. Many researchers are more talented and better educated …

Based on true stories, News of the Week is Newsweek. In 1970, 46 women researchers, reporters and the magazine’s one woman writer staged a revolt. They complained to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Finally, in 1972, Newsweek promised that by the end of 1974, one-third of the magazine’s writers would be women.

I like Chris Diamantopoulos as Finn. And Erin Darke as Cindy Reston.

Actually, all the cast is good.

Jim Belushi is cast against his usual character as pro-Vietnam war, Wick.

Grace Gummer (daughter of Meryl Streep) as Nora Ephron is a glimpse into the future. She went on to write Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally… (1989), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

Here are just 6 reasons why Amazon’s “Good Girls Revolt” should not be cancelled

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, ethics, government, human rights, TV

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers is a 1991 crime novel by the Swedish writer Henning Mankell, and the first in his acclaimed Wallander series.

Happily, the audio book is read by one of my favourites — Dick Hill — of the excellent Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch series. Hill has 542 audio books, last time I checked.

Inspector Kurt Wallander is called out to a seemingly senseless and brutal murder on a Swedish farm.

Wallander is forty-two-years-old. His wife left him unexpectedly 3 months earlier. He’s constantly worried about his estranged daughter. And unsure whether his own elderly father can continue living alone out on another farm.

Also, he’s gaining weight.

Uncoordinated. Accident prone.

Near broke.

Troubled, to say the least.

Author Henning Mankell was a left-wing social critic and activist. 

But the themes of the book include Sweden’s liberal attitude regarding immigrationracism and national identity. The character Wallander is conflicted.

Kenneth Branagh is one of the actors who’s played Wallander in adaptations.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.