JP124: June 5th

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(Rainbow ice cream cones to celebrate the passage of marriage equality in Taiwan, Nadine Kirchner, Creative Boom)

Airwars

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Military Reports — June 2017

June 1st – June 2nd 2017
Iraq 13 strikes (12,821-12,833)
Syria 19 strikes +5*  (9,094- 9,117)
Confirmed actions: US


Weekly Roundup

Spoiler of the week: The great slanderer, our dear leader Donald Trump is exploiting this weekend’s London massacre in order to promote his unconstitutional and ill-conceived travel ban on 6 majority Muslim countries. In characteristic repugnance, the American president took to Twitter in order to berate Mayor of London Sadik Khan by taking a quote from a recent address out of context:

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reson to be alarmed!'”

Spoiler alert: Mayor Khan was referring to the increased police presence in the city stating:

“My message to Londoners and visitors to our great city is to be calm and vigilant today. . . you will see an increased police presence today, including armed officers and uniformed officers. There is no reason to be alarmed by this.”

What Trump and Duterte said privately about the North Korean Nuclear Threat, Jeremy Scahill, Alex Emmons, Ryan Grim, The Intercept

Part 2

“We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has times 20, but we don’t want to use it,” Trump told Duterte. (In fact, the U.S. has 6,800 nuclear warheads and North Korea is thought to have about 10.) “You will be in good shape,” he added.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte joke that his soldiers can rape women under martial law, Elizabeth Elizalde, New York Daily News

“If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible, just do your job I will take care of the rest,” Duterte said, according to a transcript cited by The Guardian.

He then said if any of his men were to rape three women, he would claim responsibility.

Rainbow ice cream cone artwork celebrates Taiwan’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage, Katy Cowan, Creative Boom

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s top judges ruled in favour of gay marriage, paving the way for the country to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions. In celebration of this cultural shift, artist and designer Alexandra Plesner has created Series 1 (Culturescape) – a rainbow coloured ice cream cone artwork, reflecting the set of beliefs, practices and ideas that program us to see and function in the world.

German foreign minster says Trump has made the West ‘weaker’ with destructive policies, Jason Silverstein, New York Daily News

“Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk,” Gabriel said.

“The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union. The West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker.”

Brazilian diplomats criticize Temer over protest crackdown, Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press

Several dozen protesters were injured and several news organization captured images of military police firing live rounds at protesters. After scenes of vandalism, Temer issued a decree to use troops to protect public buildings in Brasilia, a measure that was criticized by a Supreme Court justice and key leaders of Congress. The president, whose popularity has fallen into the single digits, said it was a necessary measure to block anarchists that trashed the government area, but he withdrew the soldiers.

Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike in Israeli Jails Ends, Yaniv Kubovich and Jack Khoury, Haaretz

According to Palestinian official Jamal Mohsin, “the strike ended after 41 days and following struggle, steadfastness and long negotiations, including with the leaders of the strike headed by Marwan Barghouti.”

Haaretz has learned that over the past two weeks senior officials from the Shin Bet security service met with senior Palestinian officials and discussed with them the prisoners’ demands. The meetings showed that the defense establishment was intending to meet some of the prisoners’ demands and improve their conditions. However, the Shin Bet demanded that the hunger strike end first.

Thousands rally in Morocco for release of Zefzafi and ending corruption, Middle East Eye

Thousands of young people clashed with riot police in northern Morocco on Friday night, following a general strike called for by activists demanding the release of a protest leader.

Nasser Zefzafi, who emerged as the head of the grassroots al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or “Popular Movement,” was arrested on Monday after three days on the run.

Death toll rises to 206, 68 still missing, DailyMirror

The death toll from the adverse weather conditions in the country had risen to 206 last evening while 68 persons were still said to be missing,disaster Management Centre said yesterday. The highest number of deaths were reported from Ratnapura-84, while 63 deaths were reported from Kalutara, 31 in Matara, 05 in Hambantota, 15 in Galle and 04 in Kegalle.

Motherhood is Complex and So Am I, Rachel Siemens, Man Repeller

The longer I’m a parent, the less of an identity I have other than mom.” I found that quote on a private Facebook group for moms. I read it on occasion for its eyebrow-raising, hyper-granola content. Like, reusable-toilet-paper levels of granola. It was in response to a question a woman had posted about not having anything to talk about with her husband after having kids. Other commenters sympathized, some even responding along the lines of not caring if you’re boring to other adults as long as you’re superheros to your kids. This is a notion I wholly reject. It’s possible to be both a functional, intellectual being and an invested parent.


al-Latheeth

About a month ago I heard some Animal Collective for the first time in a while and have been on a kick since. Couple of my favorites for ya:

Who could win a rabbit, Sung Tongs, Animal Collective (Lyrics)

Banshee Beat, Feels, Animal Collective (Lyrics)


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JP124: Jury Duty

Take a quick scroll…

The 124 on Jury Duty

It’s been a busy few weeks, honest! First it’s Easter and now I have this jury duty summons! But excuses are like assholes, right? Or maybe that’s opinions. . . anyway, going to have to walk back my commitments to doing 124s on Terrorism and Israel/Palestine for the time being. Turns out they’re rather daunting and all time management problems aside, I’d like to devote a little more time to those two topics regardless. This week: The Roundup, Unknown Minstrel Week 5, and some baqia.


Weekly Roundup

“In Indonesia, pious “punks” promote Islam”, Tommy Ardiansyah, Johan Purnama, Kanupriya Kapoor, and Nick Macfie, Reuters

My knee jerk response to this headline was to remember the Christian Rock garbage I was encouraged to listen to at summer camp, the sort of music to which Hank Hill famously opined “You’re not making Christianity better, you’re making rock and roll worse!”. But comparative religions is risky business and I’m not here to be a critic. Interesting contrast to the Orientalist image.

Ahmad Zaki, one of the movement’s founders, believes the genre of punk is often associated with a “tendency towards misbehaviour” but he wants to change that.

“We can redirect ourselves to better, more positive things,” he said.

“The Airline Industry Is a Starving Giant That’s Gnawing at Our Economy”, Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

When the Carter administration began deregulating the airlines in the late ’70s, it did so in the name of fostering price competition. Sure, relinquishing public control might jeopardize smaller, rural cities’ access to convenient air travel, but free-market competition would also make flying more affordable for the vast majority of Americans.

But thanks in no small part to lax antitrust enforcement by President Reagan and his successors, deregulation ultimately turned a public quasi-monopoly into a private one.

War and Peace

“What We Do Best”, Patrick Blanchfield, n+1

Last night, on the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, President Donald Trump authorized the launch of fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian government military base. There has been no call for mass mobilization, no avuncular injunction to report to your local recruiting station. Donald Trump can launch $94 million of cruise missiles from the comfort of Mar-a-Lago; he does not Need You to do anything. But that won’t stop us.

“Trump’s Indonesian Allies In Bed with ISIS-Backed Militia Seeking to Oust Elected President”, Allan Nairn, The Intercept

Associates of Donald Trump in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country’s president. According to Indonesian military and intelligence officials and senior figures involved in what they call “the coup,” the move against President Joko Widodo (known more commonly as Jokowi), a popular elected civilian, is being impelled from behind the scenes by active and retired generals. . . .

. . . Like many officials I spoke with, Kivlan said that the current army-backed street movement and crisis began as a result of the Symposium, a 2016 forum organized by the Jokowi government that allowed survivors and descendants of ’65 to publicly describe what had happened to them and to discuss how their loved ones died. For much of the army, the Symposium was an intolerable outrage and in itself justified the coup movement. One general told me that what most outraged his colleagues was that “it made the victims feel good.” The Symposium, of course, had nothing to do with Gov. Ahok or with religious questions of any kind. It was about the army and its crimes.

Discrimination and Hate Crimes

“Chechen police ‘kidnap and torture gay men’ – LGBT activists”, Laurence Peter, BBC

Gay men are fleeing brutal persecution in Chechnya, where police are holding more than 100 people and torturing some of them in an anti-gay crackdown, Russian activists say.

Poverty and Class Struggle

“Investors are paying college students’ tuition — but they want a share of future income in return”, Frank Chaparro, Business Insider

Melissa Gillbanks is no fan of student loans, so when she was looking for a way to pay for her senior year at Purdue University, she was happy to sign away a portion of her future income in exchange for a very different way to raise cash for college.

Oligarchy

“Oligarchy in America”, Andrew Levine, Counter Punch

Ironically, though, over the same period, income and wealth inequality and other problems associated with plutocracy have gotten worse; voting hasn’t helped with that at all.   Indeed, many less well off voters nowadays vote for candidates and policies that make the problems associated with plutocratic rule worse.  So much for expropriating the expropriators through the ballot box!

There are many reasons why this has happened: false consciousness comes immediately to mind; it is surely part of the explanation.  For evangelicals and others with retrograde social views in the United States, so is “values voting.”

But the most important part of the explanation, in the American case, is the lack of a real opposition party that the system in place does not thoroughly marginalize.  The Democratic Party is useless for that.  To be sure, even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been known to mouth off about the evils of inequality.  But you don’t need a bullshit detector to see that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Israel/Palestine

“Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails begin hunger strike”, Nidal Almughrabi, Ori Lewis, Jeffrey Heller, and Alison Williams, Reuters

Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on Monday in response to a call by prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti, widely seen as a possible future Palestinian president.


Unknown Minstrel Week 5
By Daniel Suhre

Back at it again this week, this time returning to my PNW roots to pay homage to Kind of Like Spitting, a project of Ben Barnett that started around 1995 and lasted 10 or so years (with occasional releases/tours after 2006).

A friend introduced me to KOLS only last year, and what I found was a lot of music, probably created under less-than-ideal circumstances (though not without a sense of humor. Take a look at the cover of Professional Results:1999-2014 for instance).

What I like so much about Ben’s songwriting is he seems perfectly at home channeling Leonard Cohen as Death Cab for Cutie, and doesn’t get mired in purity struggles. On The Thrill of the Hunt we hear covers of much loved classics by Big Star (‘Thirteen’) alongside Dean Martin psuedo-deep cuts (‘Lay Some Happiness on Me’), all in an endearing bedroom folk configuration.

It’s telling that Ben chose to make an entire album of Phil Ochs covers. It was central to Phil’s music never to bow to the ideological demands of the folkies (Take, for example, the infamous Gunfight at Carnegie Hall album, a joyous romp of Elvis medleys and songs by Merle Haggard and Buddy Holly, complete with a telephone bomb threat, Phil smashing the box office window, and a three hour second set ended only by Carnegie Hall cutting the power).

I hear Ben’s music as somewhat of a continuation of Phil’s legacy. Class politics come through subtly on many KOLS releases, perhaps most pronounced on In the Red from 2005 (not coincidentally, this is my favorite KOLS album).

Around 2009, Ben started releasing songs with the band Blunt Mechanic, so more recordings to check out there. For now, listen to Sherriff Ochs (presumably about Phil Ochs, though I can’t verify that) from In the Red.

“There’s more to life than lovers and chores / there’s more to life than an office at the top floor”

https://kolsband.bandcamp.com/track/sheriff-ochs


al-Baqia

Jury Duty

In 10 minutes I’m going to sign in for my jury duty summons. While the timing is inconvenient, I’ve looked forward to jury duty since my 1st grade teacher Ms. Swenson was summoned in the spring of 1995. I hear it’s boring, but I’m also sappypleased to be doing my civic duty.

In honor of this life landmark, I’m posting the trailer to Pauly Shore’s Jury Duty, easily one of the funniest movies ever made about jury duty.


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JP124: Islamophobia

Scrolling so smooth like the butter on the muffins

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The 124:

I shared this anecdote on February 4th and I’m bringing it up again, because this month I want focus on Islamophobia in the west.

I was chatting with a guy today and my studying Arabic came up. He cautiously asked me about my opinions of Islam. I told him that I’ve never met a Muslim that I didn’t like (not totally true, I’ve met A FEW Muslims I didn’t like) and gave my fair opinion, ya know, that they’re people. He seemed relieved. He told me that his wife is Muslim and that he was asking because his boss “doesn’t trust Islam” and “thinks Muslims are dangerous.” Though not too surprising, this is always disheartening to hear. What really struck me though, was that he had a lot of compassionate understanding for his boss. More than the boss deserves. He told me that this person was “just shell-shocked” after being a marine for XX years.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sort of compassion from Muslims and their community. They’re so mistreated here. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the cruelty, fear of, and disregard for Muslims in this country and the west in general. There’s a lot of kindness and solidarity, but too much callousness. Despite all this, despite being the victims of a long lists of western and American injustice, so often the cruelty is met with compassion — a lot of sadness and confusion too — but real compassion and mercy. It really moves me. Almost to tears. It then makes me angry. Furious at anyone who express enmity to the people of this faith. And that, in turn, embarrasses me. These Muslim victims of oppression respond with powerful compassion, but this little privileged man gets furious. What a mess.

In Islamophobia I see a greater and lesser evil. The greater evil is the most critical and refers to the effect that this fear and hatred of Muslims has on the Muslims themselves. The anecdote above is one such example that fits on a spectrum spanning the infliction of terror and insecurity,  outright attacks on Muslim symbols and institutions, actual violence against Muslim people, and the founding of a cultural background that enables torture, more than a decade of war, and the near complete disregard for Muslim lives.

The lesser evil begs attention too. That evil is the one that harms those who hold the prejudice and it wounds twice. First it wounds in the way that any prejudice twists and corrupts its bearer’s heart. Fear and hatred of the other stokes and exacerbates a very ugly part of the human psyche. What’s worse is that the sense of superiority it cultivates can be intoxicating and addicting. This is why, I think, folks who give in to a prejudice like Islamophobia have such a hard time letting go. The other wound is that it robs the prejudiced person of a rich and profound culture. I have an infinite appetite for beauty of this world. I pity any who close themselves off to a treasure in favor of the poisonous intoxicant of prejudice.

I intend to devote some time to both evils, but the greater evil is of more importance. Islamophobia hurts people; makes them feel unwelcome and unsafe. My relationships with Muslims (friends, teachers, mentors) has instilled in me a sense of loyalty and I take any abuse personally. The way these people have been woven into my life has instilled in me a sense of duty and it is incumbent on me to find ways to engage and extract Islamophobia for their defense. I’m not under any illusions,  but a sure path to failure is not to try. Nor do I have any white savior complex, but a mere need to try and do a simple kindness.

Like any prejudice, Islamophobia thrives in ignorance. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do what I can to shed some light on this subject with an emphasis on history, Orientalism, western imperialism and its aftermath, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and terrorism. This is both to provide some resources for anyone interested and to help me organize my thoughts on the matter so I can conduct better dialog with folks in the future.

An added component each week will be an article or piece about the greater problem of prejudicial thinking. What enables it? From where does it derive its strength?

I should add that the Muslims world is expansive, but most of my research and experiences regard the Arab states, spanning the Middle East and North Africa, with a some supplement on the Ottoman-Turks and central Asian peoples.

Middle Eastern Imperialism, Reactions, and Aftermath

In my view, the starting point to a political analysis of the Middle East and North Africa today is the history of Western imperialism. Few parts of the world have been spared this scourge and this region is no different. Most imperialists stories are variants on this narrative: a violent conquest and subjugation justified by an imperial rhetoric of racial and cultural superiority, imposition of an autocratic command structure, a siphoning of the colonized region’s natural resources and labor, a consistent violent suppression of popular resistance, and eventual “decolonization” in the mid-20th century.

Decolonization in quotation marks because these imperial powers often leave behind autocrats with western ties, populations traumatized by violence,  a cultural inferiority complex, economies structured to be reliant on the former imperial power, and oftentimes a large western military presence. Indeed, while these states are nominally independent today, they sometimes strike little contrast to 19th and early 20th century colonial structures and forms of indirect rule, which begs the question: is the age of imperialism really over?

For the Reading List:

Christopher de Bellaigue’s The Islamic Enlightenment, is a book about the Middle East’s struggle against and response to western imperialism. Andrew Lycett’s review breezes over the relevant history and the important cities and leaders covered in the book. This book covers some west-alternative giants: Said Qutub, Hassan al-Banna, and al-Afghani. I studied these three intellectuals in an Contemporary Islamic Thought class at the University of Jordan. For nyone serious about understanding the political landscape of the middle east, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Arab anti-imperialist sentiments, these three intellectuals are required reading  and de Bellaigue’s book appears to be great starting point.

Check your local bookstore, because Frick Amazon, emirite?

Exploring Prejudice

“The Death of Expertise”, Tom Nichols, The Federalist

None of this ignorance stops people from arguing as though they are research scientists. . .This subverts any real hope of a conversation, because it is simply exhausting — at least speaking from my perspective as the policy expert in most of these discussions — to have to start from the very beginning of every argument and establish the merest baseline of knowledge, and then constantly to have to negotiate the rules of logical argument.

Disclaimer: I am not a federalist and take some issue with technocratic conclusions that may or may not be implied, but this article articulates a problem I’ve frequently come up against.

Just about every confrontation I have about Islam comes down to this. Me against an almost complete lack of baseline knowledge. I agree with the author, it’s absolutely exhausting. What’s worse, is how this sort of problem has been playing out, especially recently. The natural and fair response to someone arguing from an imagined authority is to refuse them. Why waste the time? Especially considering how these kinds of people often aren’t arguing in good faith; just want to troll or harass and offend their ‘opponent’.

Unfortunately, ignoring trolls and people arguing in bad faith fuels their culture. I had a family member once retort with that “snowflake” insult, something like ‘Uh-oh, Jimmy’s mad someone disagreed with his worldview”. On a larger, more alarming scale, is how trolls take this refusal to engage as a evidence that they must be right. A friend recently showed me how there are reddit threads devoted to this sort of thing.

This leaves us in a sort of lose-lose situation. Open a dialog with a troll and you fall into a trap of an insulting, unwinnable argument. Refuse this dialog and stoke the flames of ignorance. My best conclusion at this point is that it is worthwhile to hone my debate skills and engage, using tactics to attempt encouraging civil dialog. If its on social media or in an online forum, at the very least anyone else who reads may be able to tell who is reasonable and who is a troll. What do you think?


Weekly Roundup

Julie Johnson: A Legacy of Song“, Bethany Blitz, The Coeur d’Alene Press

The late Julie Johnson spent time teaching in about every elementary school in the Coeur d’Alene School District plus some middle schools. Her passion and joy spread like wildfire to everyone around her.

Now, eight years after her death, her influence is still celebrated at the annual Julie Johnson Jamboree.

“You Shouldn’t Blame Islam for Terrorism. Religion Isn’t A Crucial Factor in Attacks”, Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

The common stereotype of the Middle Eastern, Muslim-born terrorist is not just lazy and inaccurate, but easy fodder for the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam far right. Consider the swift reaction of White House official Sebastian Gorka to the horrific terror attack in London last week. “The war is real,” he told Fox News while the bodies of the victims were still warm, “and that’s why executive orders like President Trump’s travel moratorium are so important.”

“Meet the Palestinian-American Chef Fighting Cultural Appropriation in Food”, Mona Khalifeh, teenvogue

Abeer Najjar is a South Side Chicagoan, Palestinian, Muslim, chef. Abeer is American.

She is the epitome of what a modern-day American looks like. When you strip away the identifiers, at her core, Abeer is a foodie. From an early age, she had a passion for food. Abeer envisioned having her own cooking show, and while the rest of us were watching Rugrats, Abeer was watching Julia Child. Growing up in the cultural metropolis that is the South Side of Chicago, the typical Palestinian fare Abeer was accustomed to at home was influenced by the foods and cultures of the African, Latino, and Asian friends and neighbors she was surrounded by. Those influences made their way into not only her mother’s cooking but also her own as she took the helm in her home kitchen.

Islamophobia and Antisemetism

“The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism”, Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

“Two charged with hate crime for attack on Arab teacher outside AIPAC conference”, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two men were charged with a hate crime for an assault on an Arab teacher allegedly carried out by members of the Jewish Defense League outside this week’s AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C.

Israel/Palestine

“More Gazans sick from polluted drinking water, says utility chief”, Sakher Abou El Oun, The Times of Israel

GAZA CITY (AFP) — More and more Gazans are falling ill from their drinking water, highlighting the humanitarian issues facing the Palestinian enclave that the UN says could become uninhabitable by 2020.

“Israeli Soldier’s Explosive Tell-All: “Palestinians are right to resist”, Abby Martin interviews Eran Efrati, Empire Files

“Thousands of Palestinians March to Commemorate Land Day”, Activestills, +972

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Hundreds of Palestinians took part in marches across Israel on Wednesday and Thursday to mark “Land Day,” commemorating the six Palestinian citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976. The events began on Wednesday in a torch-lit march in the northern village of Deir Hanna, and continued Thursday, when hundreds marched in Sakhnin, Araba and Deir Hanna, as well as in the occupied territories.

War and Peace

“Iraq: Civilians killed by airstrikes in their homes after they were told not to flee Mosul”, Amnesty International

Hundreds of civilians have been killed by airstrikes inside their homes or in places where they sought refuge after following Iraqi government advice not to leave during the offensive to recapture the city of Mosul from the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS), said Amnesty International. Survivors and eyewitnesses in East Mosul said they did not try to flee as the battle got underway because they received repeated instructions from the Iraqi authorities to remain in their homes.

Climate Change and The Environment

“After therapy dog refuses to drink, San Diego unified finds lead in water”, Gary Warth, The Los Angeles Times

A dog’s reluctance to drink from a bowl in a San Diego classroom led to the discovery of lead in the school’s water system, and testing of all pipes in the San Diego Unified School District will begin soon.

American Oligarchy

“David Rockefeller: An Alternative Obituary”, Erik Wallenberg, Jacobin

As a child growing up in a mansion on 54th Street in Manhattan, David Rockefeller remembered roller-skating with his siblings down Fifth Avenue trailed by a limousine in case they got tired. Rockefeller and his family, which included billionaires and politicians at all levels of government, spent a lifetime ensconced in this kind of luxury. At the time of his death on March 20, Forbes estimated that the 101-year-old Rockefeller’s investments in real estate, share of family trusts, and other holdings stood at $3.3 billion.

Democratic Socialism

“IBM’s CEO wrote Trump a glowing letter. Employees responded with a list of demands”, Jack Smith IV, Mic

When IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, wrote a glowing letter to President Donald Trump after his inauguration, it landed poorly, to say the least.

Many used the opportunity to remind the public that IBM collaborated with the Nazis throughout World War II. One senior content strategist quit, writing an open letter about Rometty’s “tacit endorsement” of Trump’s platform.

State Violence and The American Carceral State

“17% Of The Prison Population Has Hepatitis C, Here’s how that could Change”, George Lavender, In These Times

Hepatitis C affects an estimated 1% of the general population but 17% of the prison population. Until relatively recently, treatment for the disease had extremely limited success rates and highly unpleasant side effects. That’s changed with the introduction of new drugs that are significantly more effective at treating the disease.


Unknown Minstrel: Week 4
by Daniel Suhre

A few years back I went to a venue in Washington, D.C. called Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel to see one of the more popular local groups against my better judgement. I’ll keep them nameless here, but it turns out they were opening for a group unknown to me called Those Darlin’s.

Having very little expectations, as well as a general skepticism towards the Nashville commercialized Americana terrain they were skirting the edge of (albeit in a grunge rock context), I was not looking for much more than a few overpriced beers and a laugh or two.

The group blew me away. The creative energy and guitar chops from the two frontwomen was nothing new, but something about the drawl of lead singer Jessi Zazu mixed with a free flowing, organic feminism really delivered a punch in the vein of Kitty Well’s It wasn’t God who made Honky Tonk Angels or Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me. Listen to That Man (perhaps their response to Gore’s own feminist anthem) performed live:

The group is no longer. Creative differences brought them to the decision to part ways in late 2016, and a week after getting back from their final tour Jessi was diagnosed with cancer. If the outpouring of love in the form of donations to crowd fund her recovery is any indication, the group had a huge cult following and a lot of love in the music community.

Of course, nobody should have to crowd fund their right to medical treatment. #MedicareForAll


Your Essay/Post/Blurb/Whatever Here

I think news blogs are a good idea. I want more people to start doing them. That means you. I want you to start a news blog and include a regular blurb, editorial, or essay that I can add to my blog here. I’ll do one for you in exchange. It is a good idea. So, any interest in starting a news blog? Please contact me. Or tweet @jp124blog


al-Baqia

“Get Out”, Jordan Peele
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

This week I saw Jordan Peele’s Get Out

This horror movie is a nightmarish “Meet the Parents” in which a black man, Chris Wallace (Daniel Kaluuya), goes to meet his white girlfriend Rose Armitage’s (Allison Williams) family on their rural estate. Throughout the film, Chris is subjected racial insensitivies of increasing severity. The first few are benign and can be laughed off, like when Mr. Armitage goes out of his way to say wink and say he’d have voted for Obama a third time, but these insensitivites quickly progress to outright objectification. All of this against a backdrop with some rich, symbolic mise-en-scène.

In my view the social commentary outweighed the scares, but that was no problem as this movie has an important message about cultural appropriation and being black in a white social context. And that’s not to say that the movie isn’t thrilling. Rather, director Peele brilliantly elicits the title phrase from its audience. Throughout the film I couldn’t help urging Chris to “Get out. Get out! Get the fuck OUT!”

Great directorial debut from Jordan Peele. I highly recommend it and am eager to see what more he has to offer (Rumor has it, it might be live action adaptation of Akira).


Nations

I’ve caught up on the effort to memorize all the nations and capitals. This week’s additions are:
Antigua and Barbuda — St John’s
Bahamas — Nassau
Barbados — Bridgetown
Dominica — Roseau
Grenada — St. George’s
Saint Kitts and Nevis — Basseterre
Saint Lucia — Castries
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — Kingstown
Trinidad and Tobago — Port of Spain


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March 18, 2017: Love, Henry Wallace, and Cowboy Bebop

Okay three, two, one, let’s jam…

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Henry A. Wallace“, Wikipedia.org

Wallace was a strong supporter of New Deal liberalism, and softer policies towards the Soviet Union. His public feuds with other officials and unpopularity with party bosses in major cities caused significant controversy during his time as Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the midst of World War II, and resulted in Democrats dropping him from the ticket in the 1944 election in favor of Senator Harry S Truman. In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace left the Democratic Party to run unsuccessfully as the nominee of the Progressive Party against Truman, Republican Thomas E. Dewey, and States’ Rights Democrat Strom Thurmond. He won 2.4% of the popular vote and no electoral votes, and finished fourth.


The 124

Henry Wallace, America’s Forgotten Visionary“, Peter Dreier, Truthout

One of the great “What if?” questions of the 20th century is how America would have been different if Henry Wallace rather than Harry Truman had succeeded Franklin Roosevelt in the White House.

Untold History: The Rise and Fall of a Progressive Vice-President of the USA“, Paul Jay interviewing Peter Kuznick, The Real News Network


Weekly Roundup

What if Instead of Leaning In, Women in Tech Just Left?“, Rachel Siemens, Man Repeller

Tech and start-up culture is as notorious for its workforce skewing white and male as it is for craft beers and the consideration of in-office ping pong as a legitimate part of a benefits package (one might even make the leap to say that the former is the reason for the latter). With the current graduation rate at 20% for female engineers, this leaves the few women who enter the tech industry to experience everything from isolation to objectification in what is ostensibly a nerd-flavored boys’ club.

But what if there was another option? What if women just left?

Cambodia Outraged as US Demands Repayment of ‘Blood-Stained’ War Debt“, Nika Knight, Common Dreams

you can’t make this stuff up…

Cambodians are responding with outrage to the U.S. government’s demand that the country repay a nearly 50-year-old loan to Cambodia’s brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U.S.-backed coup and spent much of its foreign funds purchasing arms to kill its own citizens, according to Cambodia’s current prime minister Hun Sen.

 “Years of federal scrutiny lead to Caterpillar HQ raid“, Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune

Authorities from three agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, arrived before 11 a.m. at the headquarters and two nearby facilities. Initially only confirming the raid, Caterpillar later in the day acknowledged it was tied to the same issue that has dogged the company for eight years: its use of a parts subsidiary based in Switzerland and tax-saving practices that sparked a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits and a $1 billion penalty.

Confronting Academia’s Ties to Slavery“, Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times

Harvard had been “directly complicit” in slavery, Ms. Faust acknowledged, before moving to a more present-minded statement of purpose.

“Only by coming to terms with history,” she said, “can we free ourselves to create a more just world.”

The gathering, which featured a keynote address by the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, drew an overflow crowd of about 500, including researchers from more than 30 campuses.

 This Week in the Executive: Antisemitism

Exclusive: Nazi-Allied Group Claims Top Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka as Sworn Member“, Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses, Forward

Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.

Discrimination and Hate Crimes

Salem man arrested in suspected hate crime attack on Middle Eastern restaurant“, Samantha Matsumoto, The Oregonian

A Salem man is charged with assault and intimidation after he allegedly attacked an employee at a Middle Eastern restaurant with a pipe Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Texas Senate passes bill curbing bathroom access based on ‘biological sex’“, Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News

Republicans and one Democrat, you say?

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate has officially passed the so-called bathroom bill, a controversial measure that has divided lawmakers and caused an uproar in the LGBT community.

After more than 4 1/2 hours of debate Tuesday, the bill was given preliminary approval by a vote of 21-10, mostly along party lines. One Democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, broke with his party and voted in favor of the bill.

 Immigration and Deportation

Army Veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan is fighting deportation to Mexico after he was arrested for delivering two pounds of cocaine“, Cheyenne Roundtree, Daily Mail

  • Miguel Perez, Jr. is facing deportation despite his permanent resident status
  • He served in Afghanistan for the Army and lived in the U.S. since he was eight
  • The 38-year-old was convicted of a non-violent drug charge in Chicago in 2010
  • Perez thought he earned citizenship status since he served in the military
  • His parents, who are U.S. citizens, are fighting his deportation back to Mexico

Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws“, Kristine Phillips, The Washington Post

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.

Thousands of undocumented immigrants said they were forced to work for $1 a day or less“, Circa News

A lawsuit claiming immigrants detained by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement were forced into slave labor, originally filed in 2014, reached class-action status earlier this week.

Trump has opened his arms to immigrants, but only if they’re white Canadians“, Robert Fisk, The Independent

Faced with an avalanche of tourist cancellations from Canada and Europe now that the Trump regime is settling into a racist border policy, congressmen are desperately hoping that the Promoting Tourism to Enhance our Economy Act will help to keep the cash flowing into America – because it aims to let Canadians of 55 and over who own or rent property in the US stay there for an extra two months a year. The 55-year old lower age limit for property owners or renters suggests to you that wealthy white Canadians might be the tourists which Republicans (and Democrats, one should add) have in mind.

And you’d be right.

Poverty and Class Warfare

6 in 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings“, Kathryn Vasel, CNNMoney

Only 41% of adults reported having enough in their savings account to cover a surprise bill of this magnitude. A little more than 20% said they would put it on a credit card, the report said, while 20% would cut their spending and 11% would turn to friends and family for financial assistance.

Amid Humanitarian Funding Gap, 20 Million People across Africa, Yemen at risk of Starvation, Emergency Relief Chief Warns Security Council”, United Nations

Twenty million people across four countries faced starvation and famine if the international community did not act quickly, the United Nations humanitarian chief warned the Security Council today, expressing alarm at the funding gap to meet the needs in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria.

Israel/Palestine

Israel imposes ‘apartheid regime’ on Palestinians: U.N. report“, Reuters

A U.N. agency published a report on Wednesday accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people, and said it was the first time a U.N. body had clearly made the charge.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders remains one of America’s most popular politicians“, Philip Bump, The Washington Post

 A fascinating new survey from Fox News asked Americans their opinions of a number of political leaders and politically relevant organizations. No elected official included in the survey had a larger net favorability — overall favorable views minus unfavorable ones — than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), continuing Sanders’s strong showing in such polls.

Somewhat surprisingly, the second-highest net favorability was held by Planned Parenthood.

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders’ Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country“, Alexandra Rosenmann, Alternet

Chris Hayes is sometimes insufferable, but. . .

Sen. Bernie Sanders hosted a panel discussion in McDowell County, West Virginia, Monday night on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes.” And as he did in his Kenosha, Wisconsin talk earlier this year, Sanders succeeded where so many Democrats failed this past election cycle—by connecting with red-state voters.


Unknown Minstrel — Week 2
by Dan Suhre

Recently I’ve found myself wanting to learn more about labor movements and the history of labor unions in the United States. What little exposure I’ve had to labor history mostly came from Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”, a text I’ve wanted to go back to for a while.

Interestingly enough, many of the places close to where I grew up in northern Idaho, Montana, and Washington State, were battlegrounds for organized labor in the early 20th century, and yet little to no time in my high school history classes was devoted to the subject.

So this week I wanted to highlight Utah Phillips, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a self-identifying anarchist (not some liberal-darling, city-slicker folkie mind you). Listen to Utah’s memorial to early twentieth century songwriter and labor activist Joe Hill.

In 1930 Alfred Hayes wrote a song about Joe Hill that would later be covered by Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and many others. The song itself is beautiful to listen to, but I like hearing Utah’s soft-spoken tribute from a fellow Wobbly (member of the IWW).

It’s striking to me the brutality with which the government and powerful interests conspired to silence and kill many labor heroes. One doesn’t often think about the United States as having a violent and bloody labor history, but the reality tells a different story. Now that the heroic Standing Rock struggle has awoken a new will to fight the powerful interests of the state, it’s important to look back at our rich history of rabble-rousers and the songs they inspired.


al-Baqia (The Rest)

The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships“, Krista Tippet interviews Alain de Botton, On Being

Botton: I think that a functioning society requires two things that, again, just don’t sound very normal, but they require love and politeness. And by “love” I mean a capacity to enter imaginatively into the minds of people with whom you don’t immediately agree, and to look for the more charitable explanations for behavior which doesn’t appeal to you and which could seem plain wrong, not just to chuck them immediately in prison or to hold them up in front of a law court. . .

. . . The other thing, of course, is politeness, which is an attempt not necessarily to say everything, to understand that there is a role for private feelings, which if they were to emerge, would do damage to everyone concerned. But we’ve got this culture of kind of self-disclosure. And as I say, it spills out into politics as well. The same dynamic goes on of, like, “If I’m not telling you exactly what I think, then I may develop a twitch or an illness from not expunging my feelings.” To which I would say, “No, you’re not. You’re preserving the peace and the good nature of the republic, and it’s absolutely what you should be doing.”

Cowboy Bebop – The Meaning of Nothing“, Channel Criswell

I was surfing movie reviews on youtube, which is a new post-FB pastime of mine, and I came across this interesting analysis of the characters in Cowboy Bebop. The video maybe runs a little long, but his analysis hits on the lyrical quality that can be found in episodic story-telling in general and the powerful “existential drift” told over the course of this series in particular.

This show is important to me. I first encountered it by accident when I was 14. I fell asleep on the couch watching Cartoon Network and when I woke up, there was this show that immediately made me uncomfortable because of how adult the animation was. I knew right away that this wasn’t normal programming. I was further unnerved when the commercial break revealed I was watching something called ‘adult swim’. I briefly worried that I had stumbled into some twisted pornographic late night realm. Nonetheless, I finished the episode, which intrigued me and captured my imagination. Unfortunately, my family was on a month-long trial of digital cable which ended that week and I didn’t resume watching until three years later when I bought the series on bootleg DVD.

I’ve watched Cowboy Bebop in its entirety 3-5 times in the last decade or so. It’s just that good. Not only is Spike “Whatever happens, happens” Spiegel  the Platonic form of cool, there’s also brilliant animation, characters, music,  action, a jaw-dropping series finale, and the potent saudade that the show evokes. There’s a sequence towards the end  — the one with the eggs for those of you ‘in the know’ — that begins reconciling the character arcs and hinting that it’s time to say goodbye. I think it’s one of the most moving sequences in television. Love this show and watching this review has cued yet another need to re-watch the series.


Nations

Still on a break! I’ve fallen off the nations of the week wagon for two weeks and am just now climbing back on, but now I have to catch up. Should be adding 10-15 countries again in 1-2 weeks.


See you space cowboy…

March 11, 2017: International Women’s Day: Women march around the world + Debuting Dan’s section “Unknown Minstrel”

Take a nice scroll…

International Women’s Day: Calls to Action, Protests and Words of Praise“, The New York Times

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The 124

Housekeepers Versus Harvard: Feminism for the Age of Trump“, Sarah Leonard and Rebecca Rojer, The Nation

Without solidaristic feminism,” in the words of Osorio, “you haven’t solved the problem. You’ve just solved your problem.”

The hotel was a serene, white dreamland on top, all warm chocolate-chip cookies and Harvard Business School guests resting under thick comforters—with a sort of Dickensian factory churning underneath. One day as Lemus ran toward a bed, trying to beat the clock, “my foot got caught on the sheet and it twisted badly and I hit the wall and broke my nose. I was bleeding through the mouth, through the nose. I thought I had broken my teeth as well because I was choking on my own blood.” The first thing her supervisor asked as she was hurried to an ambulance was how many rooms she’d finished.

Such managers were almost certainly under pressure from above. Most workers at DoubleTree, when surveyed for a different union report, stated that the workload had gotten heavier in the last several years. Managers told workers to blame the economic downturn, but Lemus argues that it was more about the change in management. When the university took over, she says, things got so tight that the women were often told to bring their own cleaning supplies. While housekeepers juggled their way through each increasingly untenable day, longtime workers were fired. Lemus thinks they were trying to fire better-paid people for minor errors so that they could replace them with new, lower-paid people, “like a game.” A friend “had worked there for about eight years as housekeeper and was fired because they found a tiny piece of trash” in a room she had cleaned.

Clean In: How Hotel Workers Fought for a Union– and Won


Unknown Minstrel by Dan Bullard

The now-defunct Toast put out a write-up in 2015 on one of my favorite singer-songwriters Judee Sill. I would describe Judee as something of a California gospel mystic, though many talk about her in reference to Joni Mitchell.

Far from the high acclaim of a songwriter like Joni Mitchell, however, Judee toiled in obscurity and was often openly antagonistic to the rock bands she toured with. Despite only a few albums of songs, she’s steadily picked up a cult following over the years.

I find myself coming back again and again to Judee’s music. For her it was clearly a refuge from the turmoil of her life, and I think that’s one reason that the religious symbolism comes off as so authentic and natural.

“I love people who are honest about their misery, “she said. “Who don’t try to be slick when they are uncomfortable and awkward.”

Write-up: The Mysterious Life of Judee Still

Jesus Was A Cross maker, Judee Still


Weekly Roundup

A Feminism for the 99 Percent: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the March 8 Women’s Strike“, Sarah Jaffe, Truthout

Sarah Jaffe: You were one of the original people who called for a women’s strike on March 8. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: The idea for the women’s strike actually didn’t originate in the United States, but it is a call in solidarity with women’s organizations from 30 different countries who put out a call for a strike on International Women’s Day, March 8. This is our effort at trying to explain why it was important that American feminists sign onto this call … in this country, part of our intention is to bring politics back to International Women’s Day by turning it into a political event, by highlighting the ways that women continue to suffer from misogyny and sexism in the United States and to give concrete descriptions of that.

But also, the strike is about highlighting the ways that “women’s work” or “women’s labor” is at times unseen. It can be undervalued, underpaid. The strike is about drawing attention to that by, in effect, extracting those many different manifestations of women’s labor on March 8 to highlight the extent to which women’s labor continues to play a central role in the political and, I would say, social economy of the United States.

A Secret Marines Facebook Shared Nude Photos of Female Service Members“, P.R. Lockhart, Mother Jones

The Unites States Marine Corps is scrambling to address the fallout from revelations over the weekend of a Facebook group where hundreds of nude photos of female service members, veterans, and civilians were posted without their consent by other Marines. Military officials are reportedly investigating the matter, which has reignited discussions over the treatment of women in the military. The photo scandal comes two months after three female Marines became the first women to join the infantry.

Spoiler: ‘Having it All’ Sucks“, Rachel Siemens, Man Repeller

One day I cracked. I was sitting in a tangle of quilts, surrounded by two-weeks worth of unfolded laundry, halfway through an article profiling high-power women and work-life balance, and I started to cry. . .

The Socialist Origins of International Women’s Day“, Cintia Frencia and Daniel Gaido, Jacobin

From the beginning, International Women’s Day has been an occasion to celebrate working women and fight capitalism.

Israel-Palestine; Islamophobia

Israel bill to limit Muslim call to prayer passes parliamentary first reading“, Samuel Osborne, The Independent

An Israeli law to limit the Muslim call to prayer from mosques has won preliminary approval though opponents have denounced the measure as racist.

One of the bills would ban summons to worhsip via loudspeakers between 11pm and 7am, effectively banning one of the first of five daily calls emanating from the mosques a little before dawn.

The second proposal would place a limit on the volume of loudspeakers in residential areas at all hours.

Discrimination and Hate Crimes

Sikh Man Told to ‘Go Back to Your Own Country’ Before being Shot“, Associated Press

Sikhs have previously been the target of assaults in the U.S. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the backlash that hit Muslims around the country expanded to include those of the Sikh faith. Men often cover their heads with turbans, which are considered sacred, and refrain from shaving their beards.

In 2012, a man shot and killed six Sikh worshippers and wounded four others at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee before killing himself.

Indians attacked in US: Mamata Banerjee writes to Sushma Swaraj, wants matter to be taken up at highest level“, Indrajit Kundu, Indiatoday

Mamata Banerjee in her letter to Sushma Swaraj said the minister must see that “the matter is taken up to the highest level” so that such incidents do not recur and Indians living in the US feel “safe, secure and worry-free”.

Jewish Institutions Face Another Wave of Bomb Threats“, Brandon Ellington Patterson, Mother Jones

At least five more Jewish community centers around the United States received bomb threats on Tuesday, including in Milwaukee, Miami, Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; and the DC metro area, the Huffington Post reported. Offices of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, also received threats in multiple locations.

Smartphone footage captures Brazilian transgender woman pleading for her life prior to being beaten to death“, News.com.au

WARNING: Graphic images

HARROWING footage has emerged of a transgender woman begging for her life before beaten to death.

A gang of six men laugh and cheer as they beat 42-year-old Dandara dos Santos leaving her bloodied and bruised.

They then fling her into a wheelbarrow before taking her away to a side street where she was allegedly then murdered.

The incident took place last month in Fortaleza, north eastern Brazil, with much of the horrific ordeal filmed on a smartphone.

Poverty and Class Warfare

While Kansas tries to dump job-killing, budget-busting GOP tax policy, Democratic California booms“, Ian Reifowitz, Daily KOS

What’s the matter with Kansas? That phrase has been around a while, thanks to Thomas Frank’s book that explored why the state is so conservative. Now, however, the question applies in a more direct sense, as in: why is the state’s budget in the crapper, and why is its economy one of the worst performing in the country, both in terms of jobs and overall growth? (Kansas’s economy actually contracted in the last two quarters of 2016—when the state fell, in technical terms, into recession.)

The answer is simple: conservative Republicans got their way. Now the Jayhawk is coming home to roost.

How the Trumps Got Rich“, Samuel Stein, Jacobin

Most Americans know Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a reality television star and a celebrity endorser. But in his home state of New York, he has a different reputation: he’s a real estate shmuck.

Trump inherited his business — which consists of gilded and glassed condos, clubs, casinos, office towers, hotels, and golf courses throughout New York City and beyond — from his father, Fred Trump. Like the Dursts, Rudins, Zeckendorfs, and LeFraks, the older Trump ran a family-based real estate empire.

This Week in the Executive

Steve Bannon’s Autobahn“, Conner Kilpatrick, Jacobin

If terrifying right-wing loonies at the levers of state power could bring about the Fourth Reich, it would’ve happened decades ago, during a truly raging wildfire of American class conflict, at the behest of powerful oilmen like Clint Murchison Sr, who rumor has it funded the American Nazi Party, and Texaco chairman Torkild Rieber, who helped cinch Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War with shipments of much-needed oil and a telegram that read, “Don’t worry about payments.” Despite fascist sympathies in high places, none of these uber-powerful slimeballs tilted our constitutional oligarchy into fascism.


The Rest

#womenStrike organizers Tithi Bhattacharya & Kate D Griffiths“, Katie Halper, The Katie Halper Show

“Eve Ensler & Christine Schuler Deschryver on the PRedatory Mindset of President Trump”, Democracy Now!

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/8/eve_ensler_christine_schuler_deschryver_on

Frida (2002)
Director: Julie Taymor
Cast: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas

This week I watched Julie Taymor’s Frida which features brilliant performances from Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The color editing is beautiful and I like Julie Taymor’s direction with many shots crafted to blur the line between painting and reality. Stunning life, brilliant works of art, and a touching, though turbulent love story. I did find it strange to be watching this movie in English.

The outro this week is Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “The Body Electric”

The Body Electric
Hurray for the Riff Raff

Said you’re gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river
Shoot me down, put my body in the river
While the whole world sings, sing it like a song
The whole world sings like there’s nothing going wrong

He shot her down, he put her body in the river
He covered her up, but I went to get her
And I said, “My girl, what happened to you now?”
I said, “My girl, we gotta stop it somehow”

Oh, and tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s so sick and sad?
Tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s so gone mad?

He’s gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river
Cover me up with the leaves of September
Like an old sad song, you heard it all before
Well, Delia’s gone, but I’m settling the score

Oh, and tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s just dying slow?
Tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for his daughter when it’s her turn to go?


Nations and capitals

On a break this week! I fell behind!


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