My take on news, pop culture, sports, and whatever else interests me.
Hi Kareem: I hope you had a chance to see the documentary on 'Little Richard' on CNN. It was interesting to see how he helped others at the beginning of their careers ... e.g., The Beatles and Rolling Stones, as well as his sojourn into religion.
Hi Kareem -
Thanks as always for your newsletter - between you and HCR, I get almost (!) everything I need to stay up to date. Two things to comment on here:
- the insane, undemocratic actions of many state legislatures that you highlight in this article are, for me, indicative of serious cracks in the foundation of our union. Why would the west coast, all of New England (save NH), and many other states with a preponderance of more open, tolerant and progressive thinking people want to stay united to Alabama, Texas, Idaho et al? The electoral system of electing a president is deeply flawed and gives far too much power to a minority of people.
- while I understand where you're coming from, I don't think comments like "And they aren’t smart enough to be swayed away from Trump through reason" are at all helpful. Have you read The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt? Most of the most intransigent views people hold are immune to reason - they are deeply held emotional views. it has nothing to do with being "smart enough" and hurling insults only makes matters worse! Makes me think of Hillary's gem "basket of deplorables."
When I was a kid in a tiny town in southern Pennsylvania, there were two societies in the town - black and white. I don’t recall any outright racism, and my mother adored her hairdresser, who was a black guy. But the races kept to themselves.
In high school I was friendly with a couple black kids my age. We’d play sports with each other, and enjoyed each other’s company, but when the games were over, we went out separate ways. In college, I knew and hung out with a couple black guys, but we never had any deep discussions.
15 years later, my kid named Frank, went to high school with a black guy named Frank. They teased each other DAILY about their races. And both had a good laugh about it. I’m PROUD to say my Frank has several black buddies and doesn’t foster ANY racism toward ANYBODY.
Do we have a loooong way to go? Yeah. But it IS improving, if way too slowly. We have to call it out when we see it, and don’t just turn away. Charging cops with violent crimes is overdue. Maybe there’s hope.
I confess I don't understand gerrymandering cause in its definition it does not entirely explain how it is done. How is a vote taken away or not counted once new district lines have been drawn? Your example says "The revised map, approved over the objections of Democrats, increased the percentage of Black voters in one of the state’s six majority white congressional districts to about 40 percent, from about 30 percent." So, did the 10% increase of Black voters in the White district nullify their vote cause the majority votes win....but the white vote was gonna win the district anyway, why pull the Black vote away from it's majority district that also wins it's district? I've read a lot about how gerrymandering works, yet I still don't understand how it works...
The Everly Brothers and Phil Ochs in one Substack? Heaven! Both were revolutionaries in their own way. When people were taught to "bow down to our authority," as Phil Ochs noted, he also begged to differ, offering "When I've got something to say sir, I'm going to say it now!"
Coping with divisiveness and ignorance is so exhausting. Sometimes I barely make it to the music that heals like the Balm of Gilead.
Thanks for sharing two beautiful songs by the Everly brothers that sprouted a garden of fond memories.
Thanks Kareem, I haven't heard Phil's song for a long time and it should be one of our anthems.
I totally agree with you that something is wrong when people are not protesting the the complete erosion of their vice as elected officials are removed for their views. And where is the messaging from the Democratic Party on this issue. If fact, what messaging is the Democratic Party turning out? It is time to take the gloves off with the so-called Republican Party.
Started a comment yesterday after reading your latest Newsletter & lost it. Wanted to comment since you mentioned being a Father of five. ("I believe the children are our future, teach them well & let them lead the way...) My girls were taught in a great public school system. They both have made me extremely proud. As I wrote a couple weeks ago about my "Hurler"; now I must say something about her younger sister. My little darling has been a Flight Attendant for 10yrs & her hubby, a Pilot for 15yrs. NOT as easy & glamorous as one would think. Early on, my little girl called me crying. A passenger had died on their flight...she was devastated. But Dr on board & crew did all they could. Then in 2018 when a young Mom was sucked out of SWA1380; my Son-in-Law made a point of calling me @work to say HE/& MY DAUGHTER were fine.
We'll always worry about our children; yet sometimes they do so well/so good we MUST pat ourselves on the back.(at least just a little) Bet your "5" are as amazing as their fabulous Dad...lucky kids💚🥰💛
The insurrection continues on every level. They are not content to disagree, they threaten, and often employ violence. They use the courts, and they take cases to the Trump/McConnell judges who have no concern for established law, they just rule based on fascist ideology. Every day is new battle, and the lies that stoke anger in the deluded just keep coming. They go after "woke" business, individuals, and the usual scapegoats of Black people, immigrants, and Jews.
"I often wonder how they justify these insidious actions that are clearly detrimental to democracy and still think of themselves as patriotic Americans."
I'm not sure, other than for rhetorical purposes aimed at their base, that that they really consider themselves as such.
Take a look at the Heritage foundation's Project 2525, part of which states "Project 2025 — Presidential Transition Project. Our goal is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State." Just for starters, there are plans to remove and replace civil service employees and dismantle any environmental programs in place.
If we look at the regressive party's action and not their words, we see that they are a pro authoritarian, wealthy/business, racist, misogynistic, and the anti-abortion/working class/education/voting party.
This is very far from most people's concept of patriotism.
Love the quote! And even though I already knew the litany of GOP awfulness, it helps to know that others are paying attention.
“The GOP has been stumping across America, singing the song that White Americans want to hear: There is no systemic racism in America.”
Hey, hey, hey, hold on here for a minute! *I’m* a white American, and I’m *well aware* there’s systemic racism - and sexism - in the US. And also that there always has been.
In the 1700’s it was section 2.3 of the Constitution - “three-fifths of all other persons”. In the 1800s, a WAR was fought over *slavery* being legal in several states. In the 1900s, *citizens* who committed no other “crime” than being of Japanese descent were put in internment camps. Not to mention Jim Crow and the entire civil rights movement.
And if anybody thinks those days are totally in the past, ask Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, or Ahmaud Arbery. Oh wait, you can’t. Let alone the ones who are only severely beaten coast to coast because they look or act different than the “majority”. Try being black, gay, Hispanic, or female in a small town. Better stay on your side of the tracks.
an amazing variety of things once again, amazing that it seems so effortless.
there was a moment where i wish you elaborated on why certain "politicians of color" (a topic in itself; generalizing political affiliations on the basis of color) are republicans in this century.
are they cantankarous self-hating people ? uncle toms ? isolated and aggrieved "wanna be" elitists ? true believers of MAGA ? i think i could understand Ms. Haley's SE asian culture for fostering a caste view of things (white republicans = hindu brahmin caste; both thinking "we're just meant to rule all you others" ? ). But Senator Scott ? Others ? Where do you think their motivations are coming from ?
It would be a highly appreciated segment to read your deeper thoughts on these politicians.
In 1990, sick of my fear to go to a film at night, on my own, and sick of jerks who got too up into my personal space, I enrolled in a 6-week course of Model Mugging. Changed my life, my outlook, my carriage, my future. Now, I knew not only what to do if confronted by a threat, but more important, I know THAT I would not hesitate to use my new skills. Highly recommend for women of all ages. https://modelmugging.org/
I never missed one of your games, and I don't expect to ever miss one of your newsletters. The Everly Bros remind me of all the artists who I couldn't/didn't appreciate at the time but do now. Keep comin with the oldies.