"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, July 22, 2019

Today's Must-Read: What Independent Press?

This morning's "Must-Read" is a comment thread (for which, unfortunately, Disqus won't give me a link, so you get the whole thing here), courtesy of commenter billbear1961:

From Political Wire:

disqus_lWwzrwNaw6 17 hours ago

Margaret Brennan on CBS pulled off the same little trick George did at ABC: in her interview with Liz Cheney, she struggled to get Cheney to say something critical about Donald's timing, or to acknowledge that "some might say" there's something an eency weency bit racist about how "some interpret" Donald's tweets, while allowing Cheney to get away unchallenged with vile, incendiary lies about what the four Democratic representatives actually said.

No challenge at all from Brennan on that ground. None.

Disgraceful: but over the last quarter century or so, this kind of journalism is how the Republican Party has taken total power.

I was horrified, although not even remotely surprised, by the extent to which George Stephanopoulos let the odious Mercedes Schlapp get away with suggesting that a) the old orange goon had denounced the chant but b) the representatives had indeed said terrible, anti-Semitic, anti-American things.

George challenged Mercedes a little bit on the idea that Donald had immediately denounced the chant, although that line of questioning got muddy as Schlapp pulled the usual Frank Luntzed agitprop routine, but he let stand without challenge the outrageous, incendiary, and deeply false suggestion that any of the four had said anything remotely anti-Semitic, inflammatory, or anti-American.

He let it stand, as one knew he would---most of the press establishment has decided the hair to split involves Fat Donald's reaction time, and whether Fat Donald really means it, and not the toxic, dangerous content of the allegations the Republican Party is making against these women, which may yet lead to bloodshed and death. It would be so impolite to force the Republicans to deal with that one.

This is not only open racism and fascism, but it's based on easily disprovable right wing agitprop, Frank Luntz mantras, and Murdoch Big Lies.

Yet the national press still equivocates about calling Donald a racist ("some say," "critics charge"), and still will not explode the lies about what the four members of Congress actually said.

The press is allowing the Republicans' Big Lie campaign to stand unchallenged.

The real disgrace is that the press is refusing to correct the record: refusing to point out, again and again, as often as it takes, that the Congresswomen didn't say any of the things the Republicans claim they said. This filthy Republican lie is hardening into fact because the press doesn't want to "take sides" and correct the record.


And this is ME speaking--just as the corporate-FASCIST press have, in effect, abandoned the children in the concentration camps, they are helping Trump and the GOP endanger the lives of the "Squad" be refusing to call them out for the LIES they are spreading about what these women have said.

And that pretty much echoes my thoughts on how the press is a failure.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

What's New at Green Man Review

It's a really mixed bag this week -- even more so than usual;

Welsh Mythology in Fiction, Gazpacho, Bounty Hunters in Outer Space, a New take On Spider-Man, Lots of English Music, and more,

And it's waiting for you right here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Giggle du Jour: A Look Back

Teenagers trying to figure out a rotary phone:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

About Those Racist Tweets

There's a series of posts at Hullabaloo that pretty much nail all the ramifications. Start at this post by Tom Sullivan and just work your way down.

Culture Break: Aziz Herawi

I don't know the name of this piece, or even if it has a name. I have one of Herawi's albums, which I enjoy thoroughly:

From Wikipedia:

Aziz Herawi (born c.1952 in Herat, Afghanistan) is a noted musician from Afghanistan. He specializes in the dutar and rubab, both plucked string instruments. Afghan musician Aziz Herawi was seven years of age the first time he heard the strings of the dutar being plucked. He talked one of the family servants, who hid it in a blanket, into buying the instrument for him from a shepherd. The boy would wait until his father was asleep, then sneak into the woods surrounding their home. Alone, in the dark, he practiced, teaching himself to play the long-necked 12-stringed dutar.

Herawi is now 57 and a resident of Sacramento, California. He has lived in northern California since 1985 and released several albums. His music is a blend of Persian and Hindustani instruments and styles and considered to be typical of Herat, Herawi's hometown, near the northeastern border with Iran.

Monday, July 15, 2019


I just checked, and we've indeed had higher than normal rainfall this spring -- 6 inches above average, over 18 inches total.

To bring it into perspective, I was riding the bus up Lake Shore Drive this afternoon and notice that:

The lakefront just north of where the bus leaves Michigan Avenue and enters the Drive is paved and slopes down to the water, which is normally, say, eight to twelve inches below the paving. About a foot at the edge of the paving is under water.

The two most northerly sections of Fullerton Beach are completely submerged.

The doggie beach in Belmont Harbor, which normally extends about fifteen or twenty feet into the water, is almost complete gone.

It's obviously a Chinese hoax.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

From the Wingnut Wurlitzer, Or 1984 Redux

Up is down, black is white:

As thousands of immigrants face getting caught up in ICE raids this weekend, Fox News hosts are shilling for these Gestapo-like raids by trying to criminalize those advising immigrants of their Constitutional rights.

Fox & Friends seems to have taken the lead this morning in smearing those who want to abide by our Constitution - while posing as patriots. Cohost Griff Jenkins, once again moonlighting from his day job as a supposedly objective reporter, said, “the Democrats are putting themselves in a unique position of running against the rule of law.”

Actually, it’s Fox News running against the rule of law since Democrats have merely been publicizing rights under the U.S. Constitution. Despite all the insinuation, I have yet to see a Fox host actually dispute the rights' existence.

Not surprisingly, immigrant-hating Katie Pavlich took the dishonest insinuation a step further on Outnumbered today. She accused Democrats of “advocating for [immigrants] to continue breaking the law by not answering the door when ICE agents show up.”

In fact, disallowing an ICE agent to enter without a judicial warrant is abiding by the law. But Trump lickspittle and cohost Harris Faulkner endorsed the falsehood. “It’s what Katie said,” Faulkner said. “They’re here illegally,” as if she’s too ignorant to know that even the worst criminals have rights under our Constitution.

And a footnote to that last statement by Faulkner: Under U.S. law, an immigrant on U.S. soil has the right to apply for asylum, no matter how they got here. The Trump regime is violating the law by deporting them without due process.

And of course the trumpanzees will swallow this bullshit whole.

This Week at Green Man Review

It's that time of the week again, and it's a really interesting mix this week:

Writings Based on Music, A New Mythology, Japanese Photography, Cider, Supervillains, Nordic Music from the Midwest, Aaron Copland, and other goodies

So scoot over and enjoy.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Antidote: Welcome Home!

From the description: "Watch these dogs welcome home their soldier moms and dads!"