Saturday, September 24, 2016

Archie Bunker for President | minus the good parts


Friday, September 16, 2016

voting is one crap I do not care to give | umm....

A few years back — long past the time anything could be done about that year's elections — someone I prize a great deal wisecracked, "I'm not registered to vote, so I don't give a crap."

Without much thought, but I hope not too ungenerously, I cracked back: "Should that be, 'I don't give a crap, so I'm not registered to vote?'"

I get it that some people don't believe their vote can make a difference in the kind of world (or neighborhood) where we conduct our lives, raise children and hope for the best. But I'm still surprised when the young, and parents, and would-be parents, and youth workers and anyone else who cares about the young, don't force their way to the front of the voting line — just in case it should turn out they're wrong ... just in case it should turn out their vote is the one that tips an important race one way or the other.

And for what it's worth ... as it turns out, "I thought I was registered ... oops," isn't a convincing anything. Here's a secure website sponsored by Rock the Vote where you can check your status while there's still time to fix a problem if there is one.

And here's a secure site where you can register.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Congressional Republicans' Christmas Tiff

The Obamas

Obama Message: "We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus this Christmas"

Republicans vow to celebrate Kwanzaa

(Washington, DC)

In a sharp rebuke to President Barack Obama, Republicans from both Houses of Congress pledged in a statement to: "uphold the quiet dignity and communal values of Kwanzaa.

"We will redouble our efforts to avoid the implicit endorsement of religion for which this administration has become famous in eight long years of war against the Constitution," the statement read.

Asked for his reaction, Vice President Joe Biden, a self-described Catholic who may have become radicalized during his Scranton, Pennsylvania childhood, said, "Republicans in Congress couldn't tell you how many A's there are in Kwanzaa — go ahead, ask Paul Ryan to spell it for you — buncha knuckleheads...."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Not so fast," say Republicans | there are rules

McConnell

OBAMA MOVES TO WITHDRAW MERRICK GARLAND SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

"NOT SO FAST" SAY REPUBLICAN SENATE LEADERS

(Washington, D.C)

In an unexpected move, President Barack Obama moved to withdraw his nomination to the Supreme Court of Judge Merrick Garland. The move apparently took Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, by surprise. McConnell issued a tersely worded statement, promising to get to the bottom of whether a president in the last year of his term has the authority to withdraw the nomination of a, "highly qualified jurist who is universally applauded for the evenness of his rulings and the steadiness of his judicial temperament." Reached for comment, a White House spokesman said, "While Senator McConnell is entitled to his opinion, the President does not believe he is entitled interrupt the orderly proceedings of two of our three branches of government." Vice President Joe Biden, who serves as President of the Senate by virtue of his office, said, "I think Mitch should push, or pull, or go back to his day job in Kentucky."

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

No Joke | First Official Trailer

Here's the trailer for the project I'm working on in which, it seems, a rabbi, an imam and a preacher walk into each other's lives and, in spite of their differences — which are numerous and profound — they still just really like each other. Enjoy ... I'll say a few more words after the preview.



If you'd like to see the movie, read the book, or get tickets for the tour, head on over to the No Joke Project ... or drop by the No Joke Facebook page ... or own a little piece of the No Joke dream at GoFundMe.


Watch this space for more....

No Joke | First Official Trailer

Here's the trailer for the project I'm working on in which, it seems, a rabbi, an imam and a preacher walk into each other's lives and, in spite of their differences — which are numerous and profound — they still just really like each other. Enjoy ... I'll say a few more words after the preview.



If you'd like to see the movie, read the book, or get tickets for the tour, head on over to the No Joke Project ... or drop by the No Joke Facebook page ... or get a little piece of the No Joke action at GoFundMe.


Watch this space for more in the weeks ahead....

Sunday, July 17, 2016

blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God | Newt Gingrich steps in it


Imam Mufti
[Commenting on the massacre-by-truck in Nice on Bastille Day, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich uttered appalling ignorant or appallingly cynical words calling for screening of American Muslims and deportation of any Muslim unwilling to disavow sharia law. 
Mr. Gingrich, the former history and geography professor, either doesn't know or doesn't care what sharia law is in fact. Nor, apparently, does he care (surely he must know!) that his call to screen, let alone deport, American citizens for religious reasons is constitutionally crazy. This privileged man - who just a week ago acknowledged that he does not and cannot know what it's like to be an oppressed minority in America - is prosecuting a campaign of ignorance, bigotry and hate. If he misspoke, it's his duty to take it back clearly, directly and immediately. If he said what he meant, it's our duty to shame him for his unAmerican behavior. 
In Peoria, Imam Kamil Mufti, a man I know directly and trust deeply, responded to Mr. Gingrich (whom I do not know and have never found a reason to trust). - jh]
1. Nearly 80 people were killed in the Nice attack. This came after dozens of attacks in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim majority countries. Our outrage should not be based on geography, but our humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and victims killed by terrorism. It is not possible to imagine what they go through!
2. Shortly after the tragedy, Mr. Gingrich said, "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in shariah they should be deported."
3. Islamophobes call crimes in Islam "shariah"! Based on testimony of neighbors and family, the attacker was "depressed", "loner", "creepy", "used to chase girls", "nightclub hopper", "didn't pray", "didn't attend a mosque", and "previously charged with domestic violence and robbery." The irony: attacker rejected shariah as demanded by Mr. Gingrich!
4. Is shariah ‘incompatible with western civilization’? 
Shariah highlights the basic principals of Islam and its primary concern is the protection of five essentials: life, religion, intellect, property, and family. More from shariah: 
1. Pray daily. 
2. Fast Ramadan. 
3. Give charity. 
4. No compulsion in religion. 
5. Do not go to sleep while your neighbor is hungry. 
6. Smile. 
7. Give greetings of peace to those you know and do not know. 
8. Be just and honest. 
9. Do not lie. 
10. Be kind to parents. 
11. Take care of orphans. 
12. Do not harm a cat, overload an animal, or hunt for sport, let alone take life of a human being. 
13. Obey law of the land. 
14. Fight against terrorism.
5. Roughly speaking, shariah is to Muslims what the 10 commandments are to Christians and the halaka law is to the Jews!
6. While the ‘Islam is the culprit’ fits the narrative of Islamophobes so well, they ignore all facts and pander on fears and ignorance. Do you know which of his most favored countries officially endorses sharia as a legal system? Israel. Israel’s sharia courts allow more than 15% of Israel’s population (that is Muslim) to refer to them. Here are two questions for Mr. Gingrich: 
a. Does Israeli government’s paying the salaries of sharia judges cast doubt on the Jewish state’s commitment to Western values? 
b. Will Mr. Gingrich call for an inquiry of the Israeli president who in a recent ceremony quoted the Quran: “Indeed, did We send Our apostles with all evidence of truth, and through them We bestowed revelation from on high, and gave you a balance so that men might behave with equity.” He did so while welcoming the appointment of seven new shariah judges!


in the wind | tweets from the space ending 07.16.16

An opinion piece by religion historian Stephen Prothero | "Cultural politics are always a politics of nostalgia...."

Neither more nor less | New report from State of Colorado finds teen marijuana use stable since legalization

What these schools are not saying in so many words is they don't think much of the quality of people who've been seeking admission | Prestigious colleges reframe what matters in life by rethinking what looks good on admission forms

ya'll | Thoughts & Prayers: The Game

Erstwhile Republican apologist  The trivializing of Christian faith | "It's like watching a man insult a mirror."

Proof that it's possible to learn + live on our home planet | "...scientists identified a problem, the public grew concerned, and politicians acted to solve it" http://buff.ly/29MLjzb

Parker Palmer on what it will take to move forward together | "We need citizens with chutzpah and humility to occupy our civic space and call American democracy back to health." http://buff.ly/29MLRFn

Jonathan Capehart, an expert in the field, writes | ..."as every African American knows, a routine traffic stop is never routine when you’re black" http://buff.ly/

A lovely + loving origin story from Stephen Colbert | the sneeze of truth

The namesake of General Robert E. Lee stakes his claim from the pulpit | "Now is the time to stand with the oppressed, to put our money where our mouths are and say, 'Enough is enough.'” http://buff.ly/29EFD9c

@commonsense offers a handy mashup of geekspeak + social media shorthand for people who weren't born digital

Anne Lamott on hard luck + bad news | “grace always bats last, it just does--and finally, when all is said and done .... Love is sovereign here.

several new adult beverages available this summer don't look like alcohol - e.g.

the world breaks everyone | midway through a heartbreaking month @youthspecialties posts this to help kids make change where they are

Monday, June 06, 2016

in the wind | tweets from the space ending 06.05.16

the mistakes of the past are the torches of the present | Col Robert G. Ingersoll, May 31 1888

Surprise... | it's the voters

read it yourself | Obesity in the Early Childhood Years

On acting like Donald Trump buff.ly/1t6Dg4I

Who's yer ... oh never mind - here are some movies with dads worth talking about #fathersday

Poor Donald | Rich*, with an asterisk http://buff.ly/1r7y3aE


Saturday, June 04, 2016

Poor Donald | Rich, with an Asterisk

Poor Donald.... He's kind've rich but, you know, with an asterisk. The asterisk reminds us he's not that rich - not compared to other Americans whose names we all know (and a bunch whose names most of us don't know).

This is an inconvenient truth for Poor Donald because the only card he has to play is his money, such as it is. If he were working class, would he would get a half percent of the vote? I don't think so. If he were working class - correct me if I'm wrong, but - would he be anything other than a verbally abusive, sexist, racist, prick?

As far as I can see, his only vaguely political asset is money ... and he has a mouth on him - so there's that.

Of course we're not talking Bill Gates money. Poor Donald doesn't have Bill Gates or Warren Buffet money ... or Michael Bloomberg money ... or Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Koch brothers, or George Soros money.... In fact, Poor Donald doesn't have the kind money that's in the hands of fifty, maybe a hundred, Americans you probably never heard of. But for some reason Poor Donald doesn't mind talking - a lot - about the money he has, and maybe it's not as much as he claims, and maybe it is, but, in any event he's mostly talking about his money to people who have a lot less of it than him. 

So, to recap, there are really wealthy people on one end, and the rest of us on the other end, and then there's Poor Donald - way above the median, yes, but somewhere in the broad middle if you average it out (which we don't do, of course, because averaging would statistically ridiculous here ... but people do it all the time to make a point, so I'm going to as well because it's my right as an American with a blog). 

The bottom line for a guy like Poor Donald, who appears to really care about this sort of posturing is straightforward: Yes, he has a lot of money compared to the rest us of us, but really not that much if we set him side by side with really rich people. 

About that mouth.... People who have done very well - don't talk much about their wealth the way Poor Donald talks about his money. Other people talk about the money really rich folks have - or, more often, they talk about what really rich folks do with their money - how they spread it around,  their visionary investments in the future, in science, technology, human rights, education, health care, ending extreme poverty.... 

Maybe people who have a lot more money than Poor Donald are motivated to pursue different ends. Observers who follow such things seem unsurprised that the really rich don't spend a lot of time calling in to talk on radio and cable tv shows. Not that there's anything wrong with that ... it's just, you know, interesting.

I will say I'm a little surprised Poor Donald hasn't seen fit - as someone aspiring to lead the government of the United States of America - to invest some of what he has to acquire more sophisticated insights in domains beyond his specialties in deal-making, real estate development, brand licensing, entertainment, celebrity....  You know, there's a lot of good, fact-based, information out there in domains like statecraft, macroeconomics, constitutional law, cultural anthropology, political geography, war studies, demographics, religion, ethics.... I suppose Poor Donald has the best people advising him on these matters - and maybe this is just me ... God knows I'm no genius, but - that doesn't seem like quite enough to qualify a candidate for what I think of as world class leadership.

So, yes, Poor Donald is rich*; but he doesn't appear particularly thoughtful about what money means; what relationships mean; what trust, integrity, character, and justice mean; what empathy, collaboration, community, and e pluribus unum, really and truly mean. Perhaps these are insights that money - at least the kind of money Poor Donald has - simply can't buy.

Friday, June 03, 2016

yes ... but | on behaving like Donald Trump

My primary reaction to the candidacy of Donald Trump is revulsion.

I have found nothing praiseworthy in the arc of his life, his values, his demeanor, this ideas, his words....

Having said that — and I expect to say it again — I am also revulsed by the actions of people who express their opposition to Donald Trump by behaving like Donald Trump.

I live in a creative world where we frequently add-to and improve each other's work by saying, "Yes, and what about this...."

Watching people harass folks leaving a Trump rally — menacing and dehumanizing them, treating them very much as I imagine Donald Trump might treat people he regards with contempt (if he thought he could get away with it) — I cannot say, Yes, and ... I have to say, Yes, but....

Yes, I am revulsed in every way by Donald Trump's behavior. But, I am also revulsed by your behavior.

If you act like Donald Trump then, in that sense, you are following Donald Trump.

And that's no good at all.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016