Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Complicated Truth about Why So Many Women Go to Prison in Oklahoma

by Nomad


Photographer: Yousef Khanfar

Women Behind Bars

In the Sooner state, if you are a woman-especially if you are not wealthy- your statistical chance of ending up behind bars is far higher than in any state in the union.

In Oklahoma, 151 out of every 100000 women are in prison and that's twice the national average. In fact, according to a 2013 report, the state had the highest incarceration rate for women per capita in the world.

Are Oklahoma women more predisposed to crime for some reason? Are they just more inclined toward lawlessness than ladies in other parts of the country?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Diversion Time: General Knowledge Trivia Quiz

by Nomad


The art of hosting is based on knowing what your guests crave before they do. And based on the recent conversations on the blog, you need a something more than a steady diet of Trumpian politics. mass shootings and sordid scandal.
That's why I have devoted time to trivia contests, even if they are not strictly political.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gates of War: Donald Trump and the Temple of Janus

by Nomad


Keeping the decision to go to war out of the hands of a single person has long been considered a prudent policy, dating back to ancient times. History has plenty of examples of what can go wrong when this restraint on executive power is ignored.
And that's exactly what Congress is doing with Trump.


The Sacred Gates of War

In Roman mythology, the god Janus was always connected to the ideas of beginnings, of gates, transitions, but also conclusions and endings. This duality is usually the reason Janus is depicted as having two faces, with one face looking to the future and the other to the past.

The Temple of Janus in Rome had a sacred custom of opening its great double-doors during times of war and closing them again in victorious peace. Not too surprisingly, the gates of war were rarely closed. There were always wars being waged somewhere, first to expand and later defend the conquered lands.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sanity Sunday - The Music of Bill Withers

by Nomad


At age 79. singer-songwriter Bill Withers sums up his career like this:
I don't think I've done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia."
From 1970 to 1985, Withers dominated the pop music world with award winners like 1980's "Just the Two of Us" and Grammy-award song like 1971's "Ain't No Sunshine" and 1972's "Lean on Me."

And then something unexpected happened: Withers walked away- one of the few stars in pop-music history to abandon a lucrative career, entirely of his own volition. Despite his fame, Withers was never tempted to revive that career.

Wither's life began in a poor rural area in one of the poorest states in the US. The youngest of six children, his coal miner father died when Bill was 13. As if that were not enough, Withers was born with a stutter.

After a stint in the Navy, Withers traveled to California in the mid-1960s. And somewhere along the way, he conquered his stutter and picked up the guitar. While working at a factory, he was also writing his own tunes. 
"I figured out that you didn't need to be a virtuoso to accompany yourself."

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Stay Tuned with Preet": One Podcast You Really Ought to be Listening to

 by Nomad


As the editor of this blog and host to a very interesting and well-informed community, I am always eager to hear your tips for high-quality sources. I am sure you've noticed that, with so much happening in Washington and all around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with it all.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Outrage and Indifference: Comparing Sex Scandal Claims against Spacey and Trump

by Nomad


Spacey's Disgrace

In the past couple of weeks, there's been understandable outrage over revelations regarding House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey.  
This sordid tale began when a fellow actor, Anthony Rapp, alleged that Spacey at an after-hours party attempted to seduce the then- 14-year-old Rapp. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Trump Card: Why VP Pence is Never Going to be Trump's Impeachment Ace in the Hole

by Nomad

VP Pence

There was a time when vice-president Mike Pence was thought to be the Republican trump card. Any discussion of impeachment was countered with Pence's option of pardoning any and all of the accused- whether or not they were convicted of any crimes. 
However, as the scandalous stain of Russian collusion expanding, that's becoming more and more unlikely.


Pence's Sinking Ship

In June, with the Trump Administration deep in the Russian collusion scandal, vice-president Mike Pence announced that his longtime aide and chief of staff would be stepping down.
In a variety of roles, Josh Pitcock had been with Pence since 2005. Starting to the time when Pence served in the House of Representatives, to Pence's term as Indiana governor, where Pence went, Pitcock was sure to follow. 
And at the beginning of a tumultuous summer, he bolted.
Meanwhile, the once vague allegations of wrongdoing looked more and more realistic.   

Last month, something similar happened. Pence's press secretary, Marc Lotter, also said "hasta la vista" to the administration. In that case, Lotter saw a brighter future in making the rounds defending Trump and Pence in the news media as a so-called surrogate. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Two Gabriels of the Subways

  by Nomad


If you've never been to New York, there's one pleasant thing that might catch you off-guard. That is the extraordinarily high quality of street music. Jaded New Yorkers think nothing of it. It is their background music but as a visitor, I was deeply impressed.  I suppose that's why I often feature street musicians on my blog.

That high quality is not an accident. Every year since 1985, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority holds auditions, to maintain that standard.
The program is called “Music Under New York” or (MUSIC) and with acts like Haitian folk singers and Balkan party bands, reflects the wide cultural diversity of the city itself. 
Musicians Gabriel Royal, and Gabriel Mayers, who play and sing in the subway, are featured in this post.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Privileged Executive: How Sessions Has Shut Down Congressional Oversight

by Nomad

Jeff Sessions

One of the duties of members of Congress is to provide oversight over the executive branch. Presidents have long attempted to evade this scrutiny by means both legal and questionable. One tool at president's disposal is the use of executive privilege. 
Here's how Trump's Attorney General has used it to shield the president from oversight in the matter of Russian collusion.

No question about it, as a concept, executive privilege is a tricky thing. It is defined as "a constitutional principle" that allows the president (and high-level executive branch officials) to withhold information from Congress, the courts and ultimately the public.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Conservative Blogger Unmasks Laura Ingraham's Fake Populism of Mr. Trump

 by Nomad

  Ingraham


It's always a pleasant surprise to find a post of the past linked on other websites. Okay, it's rather flattering. However, when the site that links is called "American Conservative," I tend to be wary about checking to see what gives. I was intrigued, but at the same time, prepared to be insulted and mocked. What I found, to my amazement, was something unexpected.
Common ground.

The Busy Ms. Ingraham

It's an understatement to call the 54-year-old Laura Ingraham a busy lady. She is a nationally syndicated radio show host, an editor-in-chief for her own website, a long time Fox News Channel contributor and starting soon, a full-on Fox News TV host. She riding a wave of conservative broadcasting and publishing that been very good to her. 

She is also a writer of bestselling books like Shut Up & Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN Are Subverting America, The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places and The Obama Diaries. a fictional collection of diary entries not written by President Obama. And finally, there's this year's bestseller to be, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sanity Sunday- The Music of Manuş Baba

 by Nomad

Now a musical interlude in this calm before the storm.

Born in 1986 in the southeastern Turkish city of Mersin, Manuş Baba studied music in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Akdeniz Üniversity.

During this time, he played in coffeehouses, bars, and nightclubs either as part of a group or as a solo performance.

After graduation, Manuş later moved to Istanbul, the cultural capital of Turkey to advance his career.
For a young and talented musician, Istanbul is really the only place to be noticed and to grow as an artist.

He has earned deserved recognition in the last year and released his debut album in May 2017.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

How Rampant Corruption in Russia Forced Putin to Attack Western Democracies

by Nomad


A few days ago, Sergei Aleksashenko wrote an article in The Moscow Times that very likely went unnoticed in the West. Aleksashenko was Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank in the 1990s.
Since that time, Aleksashenko witnessed with his own eyes the 1992 promise of economic transformation turn sour. The creation of the Putin's autocracy, wiping away Russia's chance for substantive reform, has been one of the modern history's sadness stories.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Some Surprising Reasons Why Identifying Psychopaths is Harder Than You May Think

  by Nomad


Confessions of a Psychopath-Spotter

I recently found this extremely interesting and amusing TED talk by Jon Ronson. Even though you've probably never heard of him, Ronson's career covers a lot of ground: a journalist, author, documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, and radio presenter. And one other thing,  he is also a certified psychopath-spotter. He's taken the course and everything.

His TED lecture begins with Ronson stumbling across a DSM manual, the comprehensive manual of mental disorders. If you don't know, the DSM Manual is produced by the American Psychiatric Association and serves as the official authority on mental health diagnoses (and related insurance claims).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Distraction: A Video Tour of the Turkish City of Izmir

by Nomad

Not too long ago, I posted some photos of Izmir which some of you found interesting. I thought I would follow up with a few video clips. These clips come from the city of Izmir only and not from the more beautiful outlying areas. Still, it's a lovely town, I think.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump and de Tocqueville: America's Battle Between Two Types of Patriotism

 by Nomad



Patriotism and What it Means

In 1831, the French diplomat, political scientist, and historian Alexis de Tocqueville made an excellent observation about patriotism in his masterwork "Democracy in AmericaDemocracy in America."

Strictly speaking, the term, patriotism means an attachment to a homeland. The word "patriotism" is derived from the Greek word πατρίς (patris), meaning 'fatherland.'
And with that comes all the loose connotations of a patriarchal system, defined as "a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authoritysocial privilege and control of property."  Historically, the term patriarchy was used to refer to autocratic rule.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Songs by Neil Young

 by Nomad


The spotlight of this week's Sanity Sunday shines on the classic hits of Canadian singer/songwriter, Neil Young. His biography is much too long and detailed to go into here but his Wikipedia bio covers all of the high points.
In November, Young celebrates his 72nd birthday (unbelievable, right?) and that makes him one of the surviving "greats" of the 60s.
A rare honor for a rare kind of artist.
Here's my selection of Young hits.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Film Friday: A Story about Hope and the Bookmobile

by Nomad


We all have stories to tell. It's one of the best things about having an online community: the stories you share. These are stories that make us who we are and what we believe. Stories about experiences that shaped us, for better or worse.

The animation below comes from the StoryCorp archives. The mission of this non-profit storytelling organization "is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs." 
We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.
In that regard, StoryCorps follows in the great tradition of oral historian Studs Terkel and the interviews of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s. Its weekly podcast should be on your list of things to listen to.
Below is a true story which has been made into a short film.   

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Good News Round-Up for Week Two of October 2017

by Nomad

With ugly events happening every place you turn, with stupid insensitive people running the show, and with so many people affected by man's inhumanity to man and all living things, you might sometimes think the world has gone to shit.

You might think that last remaining thing on the to-do list is to shovel the whole mess into a trash can and walk away.
That's one plan.

Giving in to despair might seem like the easiest thing to do. No question about that. That course, however, never made the world a better place, never saved a life and never inspired anybody to be a better person.

To remedy that, it is time for a round-up of the despair-immunizing news for the month. Let's start our search for good news in what might seem an unlikely place. The Carribean.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reddit's AMA Reveals What Life in Post-Maria Puerto Rico is Actually Like

by Nomad


If you aren't a regular Reddit user, you might not be aware of some of the interesting things going on there. One of the topics- called subreddits- is AMA, which stands for "Ask Me Anything."

The premise is simple. A person with inside information, whether they be a scientist, celebrity or politician or an Average Joe or Jane willing to share with first-hand or eye-witness information.  He or she attempts to answer questions from the curious.
Like a virtual press conference for the world with the general question: "what's it like to be you?"

This particular subreddit has become one of the most popular on the site. As of May 2017, Barack Obama's AMA is the highest rated on the site. Wikipedia notes that the increased traffic for Obama's AMA brought down many parts of the website when it occurred on August 29, 2012.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sanity Sunday - The Music of Ian Randall Thornton

by Nomad


Ian Randall Thornton, a touring indie folk artist from Norfolk, Virginia, produces comfort music, precisely what is required for a Sanity Sunday musical break.

A review at Billboard magazine had this to say of Thornton:
"...beautiful vocal and instrumental layering, solemn and thoughtful lyrics, and a rousing chorus. The song’s stoic themes are also given a heavier weight with the impressive, breathy power of Thornton’s voice."
Hard to disagree with that.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Altruism or Anarchy? More Reasons Why Facebook Deserves Closer Scrutiny

 by Nomad

Facebook CEO

In Praise of Facebook

Until recently, most people believed that social media's influence on politics and on society was overall beneficial. It was the world forum for discussion. It allowed people a voice in nations where free speech was limited. Facebook supporters have often sounded like technocrat crusaders, determined to save the world through CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Louisiana Parish's Ignorance of Constitution May Cost Taxpayers in Legal Fees

by Nomad

Flag

Taking a Stand in Louisiana

Last week, a Louisiana parish school district took a controversial step to support President Trump and his stand against the NFL players who refused to honor the American flag.  

Superintendent Scott Smith of Bossier Parish notified 34 schools that standing during the national anthem prior to sporting events would be mandatory for all student-athletes. Smith said he would support decisions taken by school principals to make sure athletes stand.
According to his statement, it would be up to individual schools to discipline any defectors. Potential punishments range from “extra running to a one-game suspension.” 

To make this policy clear, a letter to athletes and parents describing the school’s rules during playing of the national anthem. Smith said:
"In Bossier Parish, we believe when a student chooses to join and participate on a team, the players and coaches should stand when our National Anthem is played in a show of respect. It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation's military and veterans."
That might have been music to Trump's furry ears, but it, as we will see, extremely misguided.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Trivia Quiz: How Well Do You Know the 70s?

by Nomad

Time to take a short break from all the bad news. You've punished yourselves enough for one week.

I thought I would challenge you with this 15-question trivia quiz. The subject this time is the 1970s.
I have questions on news, culture, and even a sports question.Some of the questions are slightly obscure but all of them are multiple choice. There's no rule that says you can't guess.

Actually, there are only two rules: No Googling please. And after you've taken the test, don't spoil the quiz for the late-comers. It's only fair.

If you enjoy this quiz, please be sure to pass it along on social media so you can show your friends how clever you are.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Surviving in Post-Maria Puerto Rico

by Nomad


As of September 29, the situation in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico has reached a full-blown humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Homeless Millennials

by Nomad

For this particular post, I will refrain from too much editorializing and allow the two videos to speak for themselves.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Four by Creedence Clearwater Revival

by Nomad



It's hard to imagine anybody being unaware of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). Formed in 1967 in El Cerrito, California, this band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.

Despite its San Francisco Bay Area origins, CCR's musical style was arguably closer to Southern rock. Besides the band's ability to crank out some good tunes, its enduring legacy was its political and socially-conscious lyrics.
The music has, over the years, been featured as part of the soundtrack in films about the Vietnam War, especially "Fortunate Son" and "Run Through the Jungle."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Nomadic Trivia Quiz- How Well do You Know the Sixties?

 by Nomad


Thought you might need a bit of a weekend distraction. Here's a 10-question trivia quiz on the Swinging Sixties. I don't think this one's particularly difficult so googling the answers is definitely unnecessary. 
In any case, good luck. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall of the Emigre: A Second Look at the Mysterious Death of Mikhail Lesin

by Nomad

 Lesin

For those who appreciate a conspiracy theory, the baffling death of Mikhail Lesin is straight out of a John le Carré spy novel. Officially, it was ruled as an accident and yet, given current events, Lesin's demise becomes even more suspicious.


Blunt Force Trauma

When the doors of the luxurious suite at the Doyle Dupont Circle Hotel were opened on the Thursday morning of November 5, 2015, Russian emigre, Mikhail Yuriyevich Lesin was found dead and alone. He was found without any identification in a hotel room that was under his name. Police detected no obvious signs of forced entry.
After some delay, a member from the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed the identity as that of 57-year old Lesin.

Traveling from Los Angeles, Lesin had been invited to attend a fund-raising dinner for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the city’s West End two nights before.

However, he had not appeared at the event and had failed to respond to phone calls or text messages from the fellow Russian who had invited him, a banker and philanthropist who was honored at that dinner.
Lesin's failure to attend must have seemed peculiar. He had recently confirmed he would be there and was flying into Washington specifically for the ceremony.

In fact, Lesin had been listed among other numerous guests. It meant, as one investigator points out, that "his potential presence could have been known to a large number of people, not all of whom were necessarily his well-wishers."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Names in the News: A Crossword Puzzle

by Nomad

Distraction time- it's a crossword puzzle, specially made for Nomadic Politics readers! 
The theme is names of political people who are currently in the news. Some of them are well-known and some of them are a little obscure. 



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Invisible People: Why It is Important to Hear the Stories of the Homeless

by Nomad


But For the Grace of God

Throughout my childhood, I grew up hearing from my mother this phrase: "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

This was drummed into my head at the earliest age, not as some kind of arrogant boast of divine favoritism. It was instead a reminder never to take things for granted. No man, no woman or child should ever feel exempt from misfortune.

The vagary of life, sudden changes in circumstance, is the one things we all share. A business shuts down, an accident or illness, a poor choice, a hundred things beyond our control. (Add to that the temptations of drugs and alcohol and the instant relief of from boredom, stress or emotional pain.)

All of these things, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, are a part of our common humanity. Today, it might be that person who is begging on the street, living in their car or suffering from an addiction, but never ever think it could not be you or I in that situation tomorrow.
That was the greatest lesson my parents learned from the Great Depression.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sanity Sunday - Six in Ska

by Nomad

Last week, somebody commented that reggae music made them smile.With the news of the nation essentially on autopilot and Florida being ravaged by Hurricane Irma, bringing smiles is something of a challenge.
So, I thought I would devote this post to Reggae's precursor, Ska. The selection of these six is random; a few of them are originals and a few cover versions of earlier popular songs but with a Jamaican spin.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Before the Storm: A Special Announcement to Readers about Hurricane Irma

by Nomad

Path of Irma

Today the nation is holding its collective breath as Hurricane Irma sweeps across the Bahamas, threatening the state of Florida and very likely Georgia and the East Coast in general.  The latest prediction is that Irma will make landfall in the early hours of Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.

It is possible - but unlikely- that Irma will surprise the weathermen and veer out to sea. Nothing is impossible. However, Few sane people are counting on that miracle.

The window of opportunity is closing as we speak. By now, all of us have heard the reports of mandatory evacuations and residents desperate to get out of Irma's path. We have seen images of crowded airports and highways blocked with traffic.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Good News Round-Up- for Week 2 September 2017

by Nomad


This month's Good News focuses on the big picture. Confident in knowing that these dark days of Trump and weather-related disasters will soon pass, I decided that I ought to look at the quiet revolutions going on around us which are transforming the planet.

Even while the bad news makes the headlines, progress continues. So let's take a look at that for a moment.

New Reports See Bright Futures for Wind and Solar

According to two recent reports, we might be underestimating the influence that solar and wind energy will play in the near future. These optimistic forecasts suggest that the radical trends of the last decade are unstoppable and what we are looking at is something akin to an energy revolution.

Both of these reports offer forecasts that are wildly optimistic relative to the mainstream modeling community, but it’s not because they predict wind and solar are going to have some unprecedented explosion.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Five by Steely Dan

by Nomad


I had actually not intended to post this today. However, NPR has just reported that the co-founder of Steely Dan, Walter Becker has died at the age of 67.
The news was later confirmed by his longtime bandmate Donald Fagen. In a statement, Fagen said "I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band."
In memory of Becker's passing, here are five Steely Dan songs. I have so many favorites that I had to limit it to five. Hope you enjoy them. Hard to believe this music came from the 1970s.

Black Cow

Friday, September 1, 2017

Four Worldly Quotes by Marjane Satrapi

by Nomad

Born in Rasht, Iran before the revolution, Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, cartoonist, and an illustrator. She has also directed several prize-winning films including the very successful Persepolis. Satrapi has been listed by the Comics Alliance as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.
Satrapi is married to Mattias Ripa, a Swedish national and lives in Paris, France.

Marjane Satrapi quotes


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Houston: Scenes from a City Under Water

 by Nomad

Embed from Getty Images
Houston, the nation's fourth largest city and the most populous city in the state of Texas, is under water in the wake of the persistent Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds made its first landfall on Friday, 25 August and raged throughout the weekend. By Monday, it was clear that Harvey was going nowhere. By Wednesday, Harvey was making its second landfall.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Document that Rocked Washington: A Second Look at the Steele Dossier

 by Nomad


Since its release by Buzzfeed last January, the so-called Steele dossier has more than earned the descriptive adjectives "infamous" and "explosive." In light of subsequent revelations, it might be a good time to review the file again.

The Origins of the Document

Firstly, let's examine how the Steele Dossier came into existence.

Last June, 52-year-old Christopher Steele, ex-Cambridge Union president, ex-M.I.6 Moscow field agent and ex-head of M.I.6’s Russia desk, ex-adviser to British Special Forces on capture-or-kill ops in Afghanistan, was offered an assignment through his private British intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence. Suffice to say, with a CV like that, his work should not be taken lightly. Or to put it another way, Steele was not a tabloid scribbler, hunter for celebrity scandals.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Delicious Diversions: Ten Easy-to-Prepare Turkish Recipes

by Nomad


This weekend, what with devastating hurricanes and Trump's pardoning nonsense, I thought it was time to divert your attentions away from politics. And what better way than a discussion of food?
I thought it was the right time to share some splendid recipes from my neck of the woods.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Exodus: How Americans are Turning their Backs on Organized Religion

 by Nomad


As a child, I was never obligated to go to church on Sundays. It was, my parents said, something which they felt they should leave up to me. Although I can't recall any quotes, I sensed that in our home, organized religion was not highly thought of. It was, my mom and dad often implied, little better than a racket.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Orange Poison: How Toxins in Ohio Streams Are Being Turned into Works of Art

 by Nomad



When you hear Mr. Trump talk about opening new mines, there's something he doesn't mention about coal mines. We all know about the environmental damage caused by burning coal. Parts of China have been rendered uninhabitable from the coal smoke pollution. And of course, as a carbon, coal adds to the greenhouse gas levels.

However, what is less discussed is the harm caused by mines themselves. That's true even for mine operations that have long been shut down. Decades after the mines have been closed, and the companies have been forgotten, and any person who had anything to do with the mine has become a permanent underground fixture,  the poisons continue to leach out of the ground.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Rift" - A Look at Life for the "Have Nots"

by Nomad

This award-winning documentary was directed American writer-director, Travis Hanour. It reveals the struggles of an impoverished family at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. We meet a brave, 14-year-old boy named Henry as he goes about his daily routine.
Hanour explains:
We found a village in Kijabe with a wealth of compelling stories. The children and families here require superhuman bravery and perseverance in order to survive. But at the same time, they exude an infectious amount of joy. This is a truly humbling dynamic to witness.
 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Return of the Florida Panther: Something Close to a Success Story

 by Endless Summer

A remarkable tale of survival of Florida's wild cat.


A Small Band of Survivors

When European settlers arrived in North America wild cats roamed the entire continent. As population on the Eastern Seaboard increased, habitat for large predators became scarce.

For decades American farmers and ranchers hunted to eliminate predators like wolves and cats, hunted them to the brink of extinction. The survivors moved primarily to the west. But one small band of wild cats moved south. They survive today in Florida’s Everglades.

We know them as cougars and mountain lions, catamounts, puma and panther. Documented by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500’s, by the late 1800’s they had disappeared from the east and the mid-west. Survivors continued to move west, but by the late 1960’s they were threatened with extinction.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why It's Time for the Rabble-Rousing Right-Wing Media and Politicians to Pay the Piper

by Nomad


Denying, Thrashing and Flailing

The phrase "to pay the piper" is described as having "to bear the consequences of an action or activity that one has enjoyed." That perfectly describes what's been going on in the right wing media ever since this last weekend.

Those who have sat back and supported Trump- and continue to support him- despite all of the warning signs during his hate-filled rallies- are now attempting in vain to find solid ground again after the events in Virginia.

It's tough going. They are in a bit of an uncertain quandary, searching for some way to distance themselves from the worst images of the "Unite the Right" rally, to clear the president's name (and their own ) while also attempting not to contradict their own past statements. 
It's a wonder to behold.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Time Out: Teen Heartthrob Match Up

 by Nomad


Next week I will have few informative posts for you but for the moment, I can offer you a  diversion from the nerve-racking world of Trump politics. 

The rules of this puzzle-game are simple: Just connect faces to names of the teen idol. By the way, there are some spare photos to make the game more interesting.  
Good luck!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lost Cause: Why HBO's "Confederate" is a Really Lousy Idea

  by Nomad

Confederate

Controversy over "Confederate"

Recently HBO announced its plan to produce an alternative history called Confederate, which poses the question "What if the South had won the Civil War? What would America look like today?"

"What if..." has always been a source of great fiction but this decision sparked off a round of protests online. This was, many people felt, a really bad idea.
Co-creator David Benioff felt compelled to respond to the objections. He said that while he had "great respect" for critics, he also said that HBO also hoped that the public would "reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

Indeed, there isn't even a script yet. Benioff's comment might seem reasonable, at first glance. Yet. national correspondent for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, isn't buying it and explains why this bit of historical fiction is an idea whose time has not come.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Good News Round for Week 2- August 2017

by Nomad


It's time for a monthly roundup of brighter news than our usual fare.
I have chosen a few stories that might brighten your day somewhat. From free treatment for a killer disease whose victims were once so highly stigmatized to a fresh approach to tackling climate change, there are five links to good news stories coming your way.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Three by Don McLean

by Nomad

Whenever we think of singer and songwriter Don McLean, we remember his classic "American Pie" and the immortal "Vincent."

However, on that same 1971 album (American Pie), there were so many other great songs. I have chosen a selection of three.

Repost.Us

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