Thursday, June 29, 2017

Let's Talk Trash: A Few Thoughts on Garbage

  by Endless Summer

Found Itens

Lately, we have been dealing with a lot of garbage.
I keep thinking at some point the goings-on in DC will abate somewhat and we will be able to catch our breaths, but so far the chaos proceeds at a smashing pace and we watch our political norms and the social contract between the people and the government being ripped asunder in a startling way. Our outrage can barely keep up with the injustices perpetrated by Trump and his crew.

So, while we wait for Mueller, et al, to take out the political garbage in DC, I wrote this post about literal garbage in our world, and some good things that are being done to take out our trash.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Story of Franklin Roosevelt's Alternative Destiny

by Nomad

Here's an obscure bit of trivia about our 32nd President president: a story of a path that was never taken and that made all the difference

The Best Thing

My mother tended to be an optimist and whenever I came home with some tale of woe, no matter how desperate or despairing the situation was, she would usually say, "You know, that might just be the best thing that ever happened to you."

That kind of Pollyanna approach was not exactly what I wanted to hear. I wanted hand-holding sympathy. However, looking back, I think she was, for the most part, correct.
If one chooses to believe in fate, then it is the invisible hand of destiny that nudges us this way and that to keep us on a certain path. Every obstacle in our path, every disappointment has actually been a challenge that we had to learn from.

In my mother's world, nothing happened randomly: there was a reason why terrible things happened, why our hopes and dreams were sometimes crushed or deferred. The detours were just as important as the destination.

FDR: A Man Adrift

The other day, I stumbled across this story about the early career of Franklin Roosevelt. I cannot vouch for the veracity of the story but it sounds plausible enough. I have filled in the details as best I could.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

President Trump and the Tragedy of American Ingratitude

by Nomad

Gratitude-The Parent of all Virtues

I've been doing some thinking on the subject of gratitude. How grateful am I? How much do I take for granted and do I count my lucky stars enough? Do any of us?
As the Roman Cicero said:
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
As a concept, it often seems like it has gone the way of solitude and horse and buggy. Meaning, when you do find it, it's an exceptional and underrated thing.

Gratitude is defined as a feeling of appreciation or thanks. Unique among the nations of the world, the US is the one country that actually has a holiday (supposedly) dedicated to giving thanks. There was a time when saying blessings at dinner was fairly common. You'd think, therefore, giving thanks would still be an unshakeable American principle.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump's Runaway Effect: Tracing the Science of Climate Change and Trump's Denials

by Nomad

President Trump's ignorance of the long history of the science of Climate Change has fueled his irrational denials and conspiracy theories. That, and the prodding and solicitation of special interests. 

First Glimpse of the Ultimate Horror

In the summer of 1982, businessman Donald Trump was celebrating the opening of the 58-story skyscraper, Trump Tower, in downtown Manhattan.
Trump was well on his way to building his own formidable business empire. In that year, Trump reported a personal net worth of $321 million. True, his wealth was built largely on his father’s connections, as well as loans and guarantees for bank credit, it was nevertheless an impressive figure for a man of 36.

Nobody asked but it's doubtful whether or not he took any particular interest in the climate. It is safe to assume he wouldn't have cared whether it was changing or not. Why should he have cared? The topic offered him no path to greater fame nor greater wealth. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Four by Vashti Bunyan

  by Nomad

There's probably never been a career quite like that of Vashti Bunyan. In 1970, when her first album, Just Another Diamond Day, was released it was blasted by critics. Commercially, it was a flop, with only a few hundred copies pressed with little to no advertisement.

The experience was enough to make the English folk singer-songwriter, disillusioned and discouraged, turn her back on the music industry and retreat into obscurity. That might well have been the end of the story.

However, in the thirty years that followed, something peculiar happened. The album (along with her singles that never made it on any albums) began attracting the interest among record collectors and bootleggers. Eventually, that reevaluation of her short music career led to official re-issues that album.
This led to inspiring a whole new generation of folk artists and her music has reached a wider audience than ever.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Four by Antonio Carlos Jobim

 by Nomad

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, Antônio Carlos Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim, became known for as the moving force for bossa nova style in the 1960s.  Jobim was a composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger, and singer.
He was described by friend
He was a gentle man highly interested in all kinds of music, from classical and jazz to Brazilian, Latin and American popular music. Even then he was a great talker when the subjects were music and women.
If that photo is anything to go by, I am sure he was a hit with the ladies. Make no mistake, Jobim was a serious artist.
Generally speaking, he was much more intelligent than most musicians, but he respected the ones he considered talented and intelligent. Usually, he lost patience easily when someone argued things without a musical base, with nonsense arguments.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Visit to PPLA: Planned Parenthood Does More Than You Ever Knew

 by Leadfoot

Because of the volunteer work we have done promoting the Power Pom, Bella and I were recently invited to tour Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA).

For some reason, it never occurred to me just how eye-opening this experience would be for a 14-year-old. However, the questions she asked during the tour opened my eyes to just how much of her innocence is left, and how important it is to discuss women’s health issues with our daughters, as early as possible. It has been 6 days since the tour, and she still hasn’t stopped talking about it. Below is a re-telling of our experience.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Unfit on Day One: Paul Ryan Offers an Insulting Excuse for President Trump's Fiasco

by Nomad

The Foundation Stone

It is hard to find the just one adjective to describe former FBI Director Comey's testimony before the Senate yesterday. "Riveting" for most viewers, "devastating" for Trump and his defenders but perhaps, whichever side of the political spectrum you find yourself, it was a "historical event."

Under oath, Comey made a solid case that the President knowingly attempted to quash an investigation of the alleged Russian collusion of Mike Flynn. Comey's notes claimed that Trump actually said:
I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is good guy. I hope you can let this go.
As the hearing was wrapped up, it was impossible not to conclude that the foundation stone for articles of impeachment had been solidly laid.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Day of Affirmation: Robert Kennedy's 1966 Speech in South Africa

by Nomad

A Voice for the Silenced

The sixth of June marks a historically important day. It is, most famously, the day that saw the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. It was the day the tide turned against fascism and barbarity. There is, however, another event that occurred on this day which took place 51 years ago, to 6 June 1966, to the sixth day of the sixth month of 1966.

Our Nomadic Time Machine takes us to the University of Cape Town in South Africa where Robert Kennedy, former Attorney General and brother of the slain president takes the podium.

Much to the concern of many in the South African establishment, Bobby Kennedy had been invited to give the address at the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) in honor of the "Day of Reaffirmation of Academic and Human Freedom" union president Ian Robertson. Kennedy, Robertson thought, "captured the idealism [and] the passion of young people all over the world."

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Three by George Harrison

by Nomad

I  wanted to dedicate this Sunday sanity break to George Harrison who died 16 years ago next November. Hard to believe so much time has passed already.

A few trivia notes about George Harrison:
  • Harrison was the youngest member of the Beatles.
  • George and Paul McCartney were the first two Beatles to meet. Back in 1954 when Paul was 12 and George was 11, they rode on the same school bus. 
  • George played 26 different instruments. 
  • George's greatest joy was gardening. He claimed to have "planted 10,000 trees" in his lifetime. In 1980, he published his autobiography I Me Mine. The book was dedicated "to all gardeners everywhere."