"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, February 08, 2016

Oh, By the Way

More updates on reviews. You can, of course, check them out at Green Man Review.

Friday, February 05, 2016

In My Country, We Call That "Projection"

From the clueless Marco Rubio, on the president's visit to an American mosque:

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) somehow found a way to criticize President Barack Obama's speech on Wednesday denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry.

Rubio, who often stresses religious liberty and his own faith on the campaign trail, said Obama's words at a Baltimore mosque were intended to divide, rather than unite, the American people.

"I'm tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president's done," Rubio said at a Wednesday campaign stop in Dover, New Hampshire. "Always pitting people against each other. Always! Look at today: He gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims."

"Implying"? When the entire Republican stable is demanding discrimination against Muslims?

This counts as a WTF? Moment, I think.

Footnote: Mustang Bobby has a good comment on this at Bark Bark Woof Woof.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Culture Break: Journey: A Twofer

I may have mentioned that I've been making an effort to listen to things that I haven't listened to in a while -- when you've got I forget how many hundreds of albums stored on your computer, you tend to keep going back to a few favorites and lose track of other things that are equally interesting.

At any rate, guess who popped up on my radar this morning:


There's something about Steve Perry's voice -- like, it's perfect.

And then this came up:


I don't love the video, but it's the official video, and the song is one of their best.

I really sort of miss the '80s, sometimes.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Today in WTF?

This whole story is so bizarre I can't quite believe it's real:

School trustees in a conservative community near Fresno are battling to save a dress code that currently prohibits boys from wearing earrings or having their hair long, the Fresno Bee reports.

On Wednesday, the board of trustees for the Clovis Unified School District voted to strike down changes to the current decades-old dress code, even though it may violate state law. Despite the looming threat of litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union, the board voted 4-3 to keep the dress code as-is.

Somehow, this is all about gender equality and "conservative values." I might be more sympathetic to the latter if I thought that conservatives had the faintest notion of what values are about. As for the "gender equality" part -- I'm old enough that I remember when a man wearing an earring was a sign of rebellion, not gender identity. (At one point, I wore five.)

“Let’s get real, what we’re doing is looking at a lawsuit if you don’t vote for this. I’m sick and tired of the ACLU. Because of them, I can have a male come into my daughter’s bathroom,” Melissa Fairless said at the board meeting. “I’m so tired of my rights and my conservative values being trampled on because of this gender equality. Stand up for what Clovis believes in and say we are going to take this to court and we are going to fight this.”

Guess who sounds like an idiot who's swallowed all the anti-gay, anti-trans bullshit being spewed by the usual suspects. As if it were even relevant to a dress code.

I give up. Maybe this country deserves Donald Trump. I wonder if I could apply for refugee status in Canada.





Sunday, January 24, 2016

More Review Updates

Quite a few today, in a lot of categories. To save yourself some hunting around in the Reviews pages here, go visit Green Man Review for todays' "What's New."

Culture Break: Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Winter

This seemed appropriate, the more so since my review of Carmignola's performance on this album has magically reappeared at the new Green Man Review today:


A note: You may have noticed that I prefer to post performance videos of musical pieces. Sadly, the one performance video I found of Carmignola doing this piece is not up to par. Oh, well.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Look At It This Way

Donald Trump is at 32% support in the latest polls from New Hampshire, significantly ahead of his rivals for the Republican nomination going into the primary. However, that means that 68% of Republicans in New Hampshire do not support him.

Jeanne Cleveland, a retired teacher, pursed her lips sourly at the mention of his name and tried to summarize her distaste in diplomatic terms.

“I think he’s arrogant,” she said. “I think he’s rude. I think——”

She paused, reaching for the right words. “Let’s just say, I don’t like the way he represents us as a country.”

To avoid any confusion, Mrs. Cleveland put it plainly: “I don’t like Trump.”

In this, the retired teacher, 70, from Hollis, N.H., has ample, baffled and agonized company in New Hampshire as the presidential primary enters its final, frenzied weeks, with Donald J. Trump remaining atop poll after poll of the state’s Republican electorate.

Or is he? So deep is the dislike for him in some quarters that people like Mrs. Cleveland’s husband, Doug, question the accuracy of polls that so consistently identify Mr. Trump as leading the field with around 32 percent. “I’ve never met a single one of them,” Mr. Cleveland said about those said to be backing Mr. Trump. “Where are all these Trump supporters? Everyone we know is supporting somebody else.”

Via Digby.

Footnote: Also via Digby, this is funny:

The Republican National Committee has disinvited National Review from participating in the Feb. 25 GOP debate because of its outspoken opposition to Donald Trump. . . .

The RNC's decision, which was confirmed by a committee spokesperson, was made after the committee concluded that National Review was no longer an impartial participant.