Why we LOVE Stacey Abrams

If you’re celebrating seeing Donald Trump and the worst of his deplorable followers driven off social media, thank Stacey Abrams.

She devoted years to building the Democratic Party in Georgia. Wrote a book about voter suppression and co-produced an Amazon Prime documentary, “All In: the Fight for Democracy.”

People in the know credit Stacey Abrams for flipping the 2 Senate seats from Republican to Democrat.

NOW the Biden team has control of all 3 branches of government for 2 years.

NOW the Biden team can enthusiastically regulate BIG TECH.

NOW Twitter, Facebook and pretty much every other major platform is banning Trumpy hate speech.

Thanks Stacey.

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

Troubled Blood (2020) is the fifth novel in the Cormoran Strike series …

I ASSume Galbraith is a moral man — respecting human rights.

Cormoran Strike is as irritable and irritating as ever.

We can’t imagine why partner Robin Ellacott likes him as a boss — or for possible romance.

Happily, Robin finally divorced her husband. What a relief.

Troubled Blood is well written. But I enjoyed it least of the series, so far.

The 40 year old cold case is too long, too slow. I definitely couldn’t get into it.

More insight into Strike’s odd family was interesting. In fact, all the other story lines were engaging.

I’ll definitely be continuing with the series, even if it turns out Galbraith is a horrible person in real life.

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The Inevitable is a 2016 nonfiction book by Kevin Kelly that forecasts the twelve technological forces that will shape the next thirty years:

  1. Becoming: Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions
  2. Cognifying: Making everything much smarter using cheap powerful AI that we get from the cloud
  3. Flowing: Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything
  4. Screening: Turning all surfaces into screens
  5. Accessing: Shifting society from one where we own assets to one where instead we will have access to services at all times.
  6. Sharing: Collaboration at mass scale. Kelly writes, “On my imaginary Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10.”
  7. Filtering: Harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires
  8. Remixing: Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways
  9. Interacting: Immersing ourselves inside our computers to maximize their engagement
  10. Tracking: Employing total surveillance for the benefit of citizens and consumers
  11. Questioning: Promoting good questions is far more valuable than good answers
  12. Beginning: Constructing a planetary system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix

Though it might sound scary, the book is surprisingly upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Kevin Kelly (born 1952) is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.

Amazon

 

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is a treat. 

A young adult novel, it’s ideal for younger kids too.

I grew up with Carol Johnston, the gymnast who was featured in the Disney  TV movie Lefty (1980)

Nobody called Carol “Lefty” back at Altadore.  We called her Carol, one of the best gymnasts in the club.

It was difficult for any other gymnast to complain about anything as Carol worked even harder — and never complained.

Carol passed away on May 11, 2019 due to complications from Early On-set Alzheimers, by the way.  Sad.  But her legend lives on.

She’s still a role model for gymnasts with physical challenges.

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them.

And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined.

There are sequels.

Click PLAY or watch the author on YouTube.

 

If you support Trump, never speak to me again.

When you challenge a Trump supporter to defend the toddler’s latest indefensible lie, crime or moral outrage, they very often deflect by calling for “civility”. Let’s look for common ground.

That’s bullshit, of course.   I ask that they instead unfriend me instantly.

So far as I’m concerned you’ll burn in the same Hell as this anti-Christ.

The Ugly American

 

Forgive? Sounds good
Forget? I’m not sure I could

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go ’round and ’round and ’round …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Of many movies and books I’ve recently reviewed trying to become more aware of my white privilege, White Fragility is best.

That surprised me as the author is White writing for a White audience.  Writing for me, a privileged white male who believes he’s anti-racist.

Click PLAY or watch DiAngelo on YouTube.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is a 2018 book written by Robin DiAngelo about race relations in the United States.

An academic with experience in diversity training, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” in 2011 to describe any defensive instincts or reactions that a white person experiences when questioned about race or made to consider their own race.

In White Fragility, DiAngelo views racism in the United States as systemic and often perpetuated unconsciously by individuals….

DiAngelo linked to a study pointing out that children aged 3 upwards believe it better to be White in the USA.

She points out that white, males avowing to be Christian and heterosexual are at consistent advantage.  Everyone else at a disadvantage, especially Black Americans.

That’s systemic racism.

The book is popular but has had a fair bit of criticism, as well.

Personally, I learned a lot.  On the other hand, it’s not well written: too academic, frequently repeating the same bullet points.

Also, I wouldn’t sign-up for one of DiAngelo‘s lectures nor diversity training workshops.  I find her arrogant and too defensive with those who challenge.

And here’s how comedian Ron Hart learned about his white privilege in 1994.  As the only White guy in a comedy club.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Comedy and White Privilege

A one woman investigation into her White Privilege.

On Netflix.

Best part is when she went to meet her High School boyfriend. He had been in prison for 14 years.  Out and clean for 3 years.

“Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea” follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she confronts and explores her personal and cultural impacts around white privilege.

Handler travels around the country speaking with a wide range of people on the topic of race including fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and W. Kamau Bell, anti-racism writer and activist Tim Wise, a Republican women’s group in Orange County, CA, college students at an open mic night, and her former high school boyfriend in New Jersey.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ABOUT those pro-life hypocrites …

I can see the argument for being pro-life.

Nobody wants abortions.

But if you are pro-life you must also have a consistent life ethic:

… an ideology that opposes abortioncapital punishmentassisted suicide, and euthanasia.

Adherents are opposed, at the very least, to unjust war, while some adherents also profess pacifism, or opposition to all war.

The term was popularized in 1983 by the Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to express an ideology based on the premise that all human life is sacred and should be protected by law. … 

In the States, many who claim to be pro-life also support the death penalty, support the right of untrained neighbours to own weapons of war.

They support wasting any amount of money on the military while denying basic health care and education to the young women who might consider having an abortion.

They are pro-birth, not pro-life.  Once the baby is born they no longer care what happens to the child.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.

Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca are the only survivors of the backyard barbecue massacre of her family by a drug cartel.

Her husband had been a journalist who was reporting the crimes.

Mother and son become two of the countless undocumented immigrants from Latin America who undertake the dangerous journey to the United States.

American Dirt debuted on New York Times best sellers list as the #1 on the list for the week of February 9, 2020.

The novel has been optioned for a film adaptation.

Oprah loved the book.  I’d agree.

But many, especially Mexican writers, accused the author (American, born in Spain) of exploitation and inaccuracy in her portrayals of both Mexico and the migrant experience.  A planned book tour was cancelled.

Personally, the book was insightful for me.  It’s the closest I’ve ever come to appreciating the experience of a migrant trying to cross the Mexican border illegally.

It’s fiction.  Not reality.  I understand that.

Amazon