Mass incarceration

newjimcrow2Arthur, the Yankee Kiwi dandy, in response to my July 4 post, notes:

Yep, and now we have people like Bobby Jindal [Republican governor of Louisiana] — who always follows his party’s rightwing, never leads it—declaring that an armed rebellion by rightwing “Christians” is in the offing. It just keeps getting better, eh?

I’d be quite keen to see a post about government overreach. We hear that all the time from the right—the far, FAR right in particular—but I can’t recall every seeing anyone from our side of the Great Divide talking about it.

You want an example of government outreach? OK, and it was massive, and it continues. Per The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, and other sources, there have three major enslaving periods of black people in the United States. Continue reading

The Return On Investment of leaving blog comments

brainWayne John wrote in June: “Well it’s been about 2 months since I’ve written my little ‘I’m back’ post, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about writing something here. I have, in fact, written a number of posts that I simply haven’t made public.”

Now he has a different, more monetary reason for some of the non-production. Still, many bloggers will relate to this:

There is one decision that I’m making though, and that is to stop being so damn hard on myself.

I haven’t posted anything because I have been striving for a level or quality that is simply not achievable on a consistent basis. With each post I write, I try to make it “Epic” or “value filled”, and while those are great marketing buzz words, I simply don’t have time to write a post of that nature each and every time.

I’m sure you don’t expect it either, so why have I been so damn stuck?

It’s all me. I strive for perfection. Add to that a healthy does of OCD and nothing gets done.

To some degree, that even happens to me, the guy who blogs day in, day out. I want every post to be “value filled.” Continue reading

Why the Hobby Lobby decision is bad for people of faith

FaithFlagsI’ve actually written my responses to all of you folks who participated in Ask Roger Anything this past round. And the rest of you people can STILL ASK.

But I’ve bumped my responses back a couple days to answer Arthur; I even postponed my answer to Arthur’s earlier question, so it’s his own fault. He wrote, in response to this post about the US Supreme Court case regarding a store chain, Hobby Lobby, providing contraceptive care:

I’d really like to see you expand on how YOU see this ruling as bad for people of faith. Do you see this case alone as being bad for religion and/or religious people, or is it the ideology behind it? In either case, what bad effects do you personally expect to see or fear may happen?

The answer is all of the above. Next! OK, I guess I’ll expand on this.
Continue reading

Growing up gay (as it were)

HRCFrom New York Erratic:

How do you think growing up gay today is different than growing up gay in the past?

Well, since I never grew up gay, it’s kind of tricky to say. But I’ll try.

In my collective of high school cohorts, the politically involved, left-of-center, antiwar demonstrating, civil rights supporting folks, we formed a club called the Community Action Forum. But outside of school, we were friends called Holiday Unlimited, and our motto was “a splendid time is guaranteed for all, stolen from the Sgt. Pepper album.

In our group of maybe a dozen and a half people Continue reading

March Rambling: mostly about me

roger2
My old buddy Augustus (who you FantaCo customers might have known as Matt), put this together for my birthday. Pic on the left is from the cover of the FantaCon 1988 convention program, drawn by the late Chas Balun. The image is on the right was John Hebert’s rendition from Sold Out #1, c. 1986.
This is about me because: It was so cool. And he wrote: “Thank you for turning me on to a world of literature far beyond science fiction and fantasy. Your are still an influence on this boychik. Long may you arrange. (books in order).” And you thought I couldn’t blush.

Now Jaquandor KNOWS how to celebrate my birthday. He added me to his sentential links here. He answered my question about football.
This is about me, obviously. (Sidebar: some highly educated person wrote “As is my want” recently in a mass e-mail I received. You have NO idea how difficult it was for me NOT to correct him. Jaquandor would NOT make this misteak, er, mistake.)

Tom Skulan of FantaCo is being interviewed for Theater of Guts.
This is about me because: I worked at FantaCo for over eight years I took the photo of Tom, and also the pic of the late Chas Balun looking towards the ceiling. I find it interesting that my photos of the store Continue reading

February Rambling: niece Rebecca Jade in a movie

autocorrectFrom Jeff Sharlet, who I knew long ago: Inside the Iron Closet: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia. In 2010, Jeff wrote about the American roots of Uganda’s anti-gay persecutions. He notes: “Centrist media sources dismissed my reporting as alarmist; The Economist assured us it would never pass. [This week], Ugandan President Museveni is signing the bill into law.”

There was no Jesse Owens at Sochi.

Arthur’s letter to straight people: why coming out matters; read the linked articles therein, too. (Watch that Dallas sportscaster on Ellen.)

So Dangerous He Needs a Soo-da-nim. Racist homophobes who comment on Sharp Little Pencil’s blog.
Continue reading

Advent/Christmas stories and songs

Random FB pic

MUSIC:

Jaquandor has been offering Your Daily Dose of Christmas.

About.com’s Top 100 Christmas songs

The Bells of Christmas by Julie Andrews from a Firestone tire LP I still own.

Nat King Cole -The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)

Snow from White Christmas (Bing Crosby, et al).

The Dream Isaiah Saw, plus the backstory of the song, the lyrics and another rendition.

Tamale Christmas by Joe King Carrasco

SamuraiFrog’s contributions Continue reading

October Rambling: artist Indigo Anderson; Arthur and Nigel get married


Amen, 39.
***
The Perfect Epitaph for Establishment Journalism: “In other words, if the government tells me I shouldn’t publish something, who I am as a journalist to disobey? Put that on the tombstone of western establishment journalism.”
***
I just don’t have the energy to blast the jerks responsible for the 16-day US federal government partial shutdown. Fortunately, Dan is both willing and able to do so.
***
Reader Wil: After our time as p.o.w.’s in Japanese concentration camps, we were liberated by the British. Two months after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we could escape a new danger.
***
Arthur and Nigel got married today. Or yesterday – that New Zealand time zone stuff always confounds me. Arthur’s observations before the big day. (I still think it’s because of the broken stemware.) Congratulations!
***
Amy’s Sharp Little Pencil wrote The Migraine Speaks (much to my dismay) and In the Palm of God’s Hand.
***
Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Childhood #3, which made me cry.
***
Leslie on setting boundaries as a teacher.
***
Steve ponders The Things We Say When Drunk.
***
Young Indigo Anderson is passionate about manga, anime, cosplay and making comics. “That is why when her tenth grade AP World History teacher asked for a paper about the relationship between North and South Korea, she requested to do it as a comic.
Continue reading

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not


The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’ comics with lyrics by The Smiths. Continue reading

D-Day, as in discovery

There’s a blogger called Altonian, who is writing a lot about The War Years in England, most recently: “Alton received its fair share of evacuees during the war, most of which came from London.” With my life proceeding as it has, I had not sought to follow any more bloggers. But I saw him comment on the blogs of both Berowne AND Sharp Little Pencil; both of them I met on ABC Wednesday, which, BTW, you can join too.

Berowne, BTW, generally takes a movie or play, changes it up and sees if you can recognize it. For his current entry, I must admit, Continue reading