I've said it before, but sometimes I think my journey in listening to music can be summed up by constantly re-learning just how much I love Annie Lennox's voice. There are few moments surfing TV where I've just had to stop on a channel. One of those few times was to watch a broadcast of her concert on PBS. In my estimation, she's fabulous. So I guess it's a good thing I already like the Book of American Standards. Oh well, there goes some more money.
Just in time for the Dia de los Muertos, what it's like to speak with the dead. This is an article on the Spiritualists (there's quite a number in NE Ohio, BTW). Also noted because I wrote a story where the main character speaks with the dead all the time, although I can see in hind site that he probably came off as too close to the Magical Negro for the story to get accepted anywhere. I have a particular fondness for that character and always have a notion to write more stories of him (and now that I know better, I'll be able to avoid the problem of cliche). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
The tombstone as art. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
Some perspective on the Confederate Battle Flag. I agree with the author, it's willful ignorance to not know that the Stars and Bars represents slavery and oppression, even in its original form. If you say "state's rights!" I'm going to remind you the state's rights that caused the rift, the one enshrined in the Confederate States Constitution, and the one people fought to protect was slavery, specifically African slavery, so don't even go there. This is why the KKK and other white supremacy groups use the flag, they didn't change what the flag stood for. Even if we can divorce this flag from it's racial history, it is the flag of traitors to the country. There are people who live around me who fly this flag and they believe they do so for the reasons outlined at the end of the article. And they will tell you it's all about pride, rights, and dignity. And when you scratch them hard enough you will also find racists underneath. The stories they tell themselves don't include that part. Unfortunately history is against them. I used to harbor an indifference to people who use this flag. Lately, the more I've met and interacted with them, the more I've learned of our own country's history, the more I get angry whenever I see it. And that is also a reason why they fly it. "This is the 21st century, and the Confederate flag has no place in our time."
Ta-Nehisi Coates with some of that history. The idea that the Civil War was not about slavery is revisionist, part of the attempts at reconciliation. It's the societal way of, "We don't say bad things about the dead, dear." "This is about a lancing shame, about that gaping wound in the soul that comes when confronted with the appalling deeds of our forebears. Lost Causers worship their ancestors, in the manner of the abandoned child who brags that his dead-beat father is actually an astronaut, away on a mission of cosmic importance." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)
"'Where's the next Ebola virus going to come from?' (CDC director Tom Frieden) wondered aloud last December. 'There are 46,000 fewer people working at state and local health departments today than there were five years ago.'" Just in case you were wondering why we weren't ready (or questioning the line of how cuts have left us ill prepared).
How conservatives really think about the rest of us. Now I'm sure she meant it as a joke. You know, the way people say, "Why are you so upset, I was just joking." "Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day suggested… 'I don't want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife.'" The phrase she was looking for was "Not the sharpest knives in the drawer." You're welcome, Sharon Day.
No, really, they believe in this shit. Another one of the reasons the party left me. "Gays" and "Pro-Choicers" are "Gremlins"? Sometimes they make me want to support FEMA Re-education Camps.
"Because the Republicans haven't put forth a candidate to effectively refute accusations that the party 'favors the rich and is anti-woman,' (Bill) O'Reilly said, virtually every poll has shown that 'American women continue to favor Democrats, no matter what happens to the nation.'" Because da wimen put "feelings" ahead of "country." Again, they're making the Romney 47% argument.
What's actually very strange about this (Ohio Gov. Kasich on the Medicaid Expansion) is that he's running on taking credit for having expanded Medicaid in Ohio. All while trying to say we should repeal Obamacare. This is like Mitch McConnell saying Kentucky should keep the healthcare exchange, but repeal Obamacare (which provides for all the insurance sold on the exchange). Seriously, this is a mental problem.
And just to put it all into perspective, the GOP isn't the only party world-wide who thinks poor people (or the people who might have something to gain from a compassionate government) shouldn't vote. In Hong Kong, the Chinese sponsored government also feels the same way. It's the company you keep.
The Pew Poll on "How Liberals and Conservatives Keep Up with Politics" (PDF) by looking at their news sources. It shouldn't come as a surprise that "Liberals rely on several different outlets for information, but never Fox News. Conservatives, on the other hand, overwhelmingly trust Fox more than any other source."
"The economy has gotten bigger, but much of that growth hasn't reached the middle class. Indeed, the top 1 percent grabbed 95 percent of all the gains during the recovery's first three years. And that's not even the most depressing part. Even adjusted for household size, real median incomes haven't increased at all since 1999." Say, what happened in 2000? Oh yea, compassionate conservatism. (Grokked from Astrid Julian)