84 Comments

Watched the video break over morning coffee in Rotorua NZ. Visited the Lady Knox geyser where our crew found a stick insect! Coincidence? I think not.

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Here in Texas we have our Agricultural Commissioner challenging a State Senator with fisticuffs. They are both Republican office holders over 70. Bless their hearts

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Jan 31·edited Jan 31

Great one this week. Loved all the articles. Especially the one on we are changing constantly and we need to embrace this. Just got this on my facebook feed. It's for women but I think men can use it too; "The woman I was YESTERDAY introduced me to the woman I am TODAY

Which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become TOMORROW

-Unknown"

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Dear Kareem, here is some important news about the very great Brian Wilson.

https://ew.com/beach-boys-brian-wilson-mourns-death-wife-melinda-ledbetter-8553478

Melinda Ledbetter did indeed save Brian, and brought him back to the rest of the world.

Among many, many great things, Melinda enabled Brian to return to live performances, and allowed his millions and millions of fans (like me) to experience (once again) his creative genius and love of his art. 💔💔💔

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The New York Times column about Taylor Swifts sexuality shows that even a respected newspaper such as the Times is not above salacious stories.

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American anti-intellectualism was first written about at least 150 years ago, but its roots go back farther. As a youth, I can remember occasionally hearing variations on the fully disdainful statement, "What is he, some kind of PhD or something?" General support for that viewpoint was assumed by the speakers. Dictators and Authoritarians thrive on that attitude. Often, so do populist movements. They reject the "so-called experts", while elevating the less educated and informed.

That is purely the Trump playing field. I hear serious people opposing Trump by saying that he believes such-and-such negative thing. While they are pointing out the danger he poses, it's wrong. Trump doesn't believe any of it, or necessarily the opposite either. He only "believes" whatever it will take to maximize his own power over others and to feed his fragile ego. He only "believes" what he can use to manipulate those willing to be suckered.

In the case of the border showdown, only he can save us. Well, nobody else is allowed to. Maximizing chaos at the border is only meant to show how much America needs him. He's like the playwright of this act, but you can see him directing from the wings.

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Sad to hear about Melanie, but interesting to learn more about her.

From just a quick search, it seems if she didn't actually bump elbows with my host here, they may have had much common ground in late formative years, tween and early teen.

Growing up in the Queens part of NYC, I'm guessing she was no stranger to the subway into downtown Manhattan and Greenwich Village, like my host was from uptown Manhattan, in the early '60's, where there was not only a lot going on musically, but enough idealism going on for soon-to-be murdered JFK to launch his presidential campaign there.

I'm guessing all that because her family moved to a Jersey Shore town for high school, where she was bullied as a "beatnik", causing her to run away to CA, and then come back to finish HS in the next town. Maybe she was wearing a hat.

Then she's off and running as a performer at night while attending performance art school daytime. Nice to know her inspiration transcended generations, at least through Miley Cyrus, with whom she recorded a neat video in 2015.

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Kareem, Donald Trump can in fact create a civil war. He's a master manipulator. He foments hate every time he opens his mouth. His true believers are armed, are willfully ignorant, despise anyone who isn't them. They are people who believe the earth is flat, that drinking bleach cures covid, and that there are alternative facts. His true believers scare the dickens out of me, and if the unthinkable happens (don't rule it out) and he is put in the White House again, we are all in serious trouble.

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It gets hard to handle the news these days. It's as dark as it gets. Kareem does a great job covering the important stories - but he also never fails to see the good in things. From Manhattan Transfer to Bill Morressey (talk about eclectic tastes!) and from Robert Frost to Walking Sticks, he never fails to give me something to smile about. Thanks so much.

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I yam what I yam now, because of what I've learned since I was. Another terrific newsletter covering so much, so coherently and thoughtfully. I can't thank you and your subscribers enough.

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founding

One of the greatest pleasures of your columns is their eclectic nature! I always get something new to check out or chew on.

Just in in my news feed is the latest MAGA descent into fantasy degradation...a New York legislator has nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize (ostensibly for his advancing the Abraham Accords). Meanwhile, he's already gained the "honor" of nailing the Indictment Awards, presented by various state and federal prosecutors.

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RE: TV. For me, nothing beats the documentaries on PBS. Between Frontline, American Experience, and the various Ken Burns series alone, you simply can’t beat what they put out. Their “passport” streaming access is about the best value there is - $5 a month. In the last few weeks, we watched documentaries on the Holocaust, The Vote, Rise of the Nazis, and the German Bund of 1930’s America. ALL happened 100 years ago. ALL are topical TODAY in their similarities to current times.

Far as women on “reality” TV showing signs of being sexual predators, they know the cameras are rolling. And they know where their meal ticket lies. It certainly doesn’t surprise me. But I do agree it’s a HORRIBLE message to send, especially when we’re trying to educate that sexual harassment is just WRONG. Ask the guy who - God willing - will actually be forced to cough up $83 million for doing it.

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Thank you, Kareem. Always a

pleasure to read and share

your insights.

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Your comments on Taylor Swift are spot on. I've never understood why anyone would be interested in someone else's sexual preferences unless they were or wanted to be sleeping with them. Otherwise, as you say, none of our business.

The MO State Senator you talk about is one of the two who were photographed using flamethrowers on what appeared to be boxes of books and he later tried to spin that as a "joke" or metaphor too. Possibly it's the water in St. Charles County although I have to be careful because I have friends who live up there and they're not crazy; not happy with their state legislators either.

Regarding Popeye and growth, I must respectfully disagree with your conclusion. You are the same guy who revolutionized college basketball while playing for Coach Wooden, who dominated the NBA for years and who has set new standards for what it means to be a role model. Like you, I have parts of my earlier life that I'd like to delete, but, like you also, they're part of me and I've grown as a result of both the good things I've done and the mistakes I've made. We're not zero-sum people, we're additive and every experience we have increases (or should) our perspective and ability to make sound decisions. We can't step in the same river twice because, as the river moves, we grow, and our feet get wetter.

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RE: Taylor Swift. I’m thinking she doesn’t respond to the article for a couple reasons, which are not mutually exclusive:

1) There’s no such thing as bad publicity. No matter why her name comes up in conversation, it furthers her career.

2) Her personal life is nobody’s damned business, and she’s simply going to ignore the trolls who think it’s theirs.

For my mind, she seems VERY intelligent, and my money’s on #2.

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Excellent column I agree with all of your points with the possible exception of maybe a little too simplistic about border

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