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Submitted by Frank Bell on Mon, 03/06/2017 - 3:27pm.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone for or March gathering on Thursday, March 9, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
I was somewhat distracted for the better part of February with technical problems at my own website, which were related to issues with my personal blog's database. In the process of resolving those issues with the extremely competent assistance of my hosting provider's tech support staff, I moved the website from shared hosting to a Virtual Private Server. I also cloned the website to my local computer so I could troubleshoot it and test any changes I was considering in safety. If you are interested in the geeky details of how I did this, you can read about them here.
There was a bright side: Not having a blog to feed, I pulled back a bit from the news. The rain of depressing stories went from unrelenting to somewhat relenting, and I found the break refreshing.
Nevertheless, I've a list of items that I commend to your attention:
Garrison Keillor Trumples through the valley of the shadow of death. (I stopped listening to Prairie Home Companion some years ago; I found it to have become stale, but Keillor is turning into quite to op-ed columnist.)
Rekha Basu, a marvelous columnist at the Des Moines Register and a naturalized citizen from the Indian subcontinent, is distressed at the Trumpling of immigrants and the bigotry it manifests.
In the Trump Laundromat, nothing survives the Reince Cycle.
Paul Krugman argues that the era of spin is over, supplanted by an era of overt mendacity.
Dick Polman follow the buck to find out where it stops. His conclusion should surprise no one.
There will will be a blue book exam Thurs--we can talk about these issues and more Thursday evening. Hope you can make it.
Submitted by Frank Bell on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 12:37pm.
I'm over my flu and looking forward to seeing you all at our meeting Thursday, February 9, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
I have a few articles you might find interesting. The list is not as long as usual. I'm lazy; I usually compile the list of links by going back through my blog and selecting some of the items I've linked to there, but my website has issues. I hope to have it working properly by the end of this week, but it's on hiatus while I try to shoot the trouble. Nevertheless, here are some things that have caught my eye.
Friday's Sacramento Bee had a blistering editorial about what it referred to as Trump's American carnage..
Badtux, the Snarky Penquin, has been on quite a roll lately. Here's a link to one of his posts. (I'm not sure I agree with him, but it's worth a read.) You can look at his other posts later.
Werner Herzog's Bear points out that Trump's supporters are not a new breed of voter. They are just plain old Republicans.
All Things Amazing, an image site (warning: some images not safe for work), offers a look into the past.
Dick Polman, who has also been on a roll, analyzes the new reality show, Presidential Apprentice.
In the Charlotte Observer, a son of a refugee reflects on the vastly different experiences of his father and his grandfather. One made it to the States. The other did not.
Submitted by Frank Bell on Mon, 01/09/2017 - 2:31pm.
The chapter will be holding its regular meeting Thursday, January 12, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach.
Despite my earlier optimism, I fear I cannot be there. I'm getting over a case of the flu and think that laying low is in my and your best interest, so I urge everyone who can to show up and toast my health--after the last two weeks, I need all the help I can get!
Here are some articles that might provide topics for discussion:
John Gurda recaps America's history of hostility to immigrants.
Alan Caron marvels at the rise of stupid.
Karl Albrecht explains how to understand Donald Trump.
The Rev. Derrick Keith Rollins, Jr., explains that pretending racism doesn't exist does not make it go away. In a similar vein, Chauncey Devega argues that, in the phrase "white working class" so beloved of the punditocracy, the key term is "white," not "working class."
Shaun Mullen looks back at 2916, then ahead to 2017.
Blogger Thoreau argues that, despite what you may have heard, North Carolina is indeed a democracy in the American tradition.
Solomon Jones explains how the wealthy have used white supremacy to mask and distract from their depredations.
If I am lucky enough to experience a miracle cure, I shall be there Thursday, but I fear that's unlikely, given the tenacity of this bug. So you all have a good time, y'hear.
Submitted by Frank Bell on Tue, 12/06/2016 - 5:53pm.
I'm looking forward to our fellowship on Thurday, December 8, at 6:00 p. m., at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach. I hope to see you there.
Your assignment is to stay informed, and here are some links that should help:
Dick Polman marvels at Mike Pence's defense of "fake news" (AKA "lies"), while blogger Badtux points out that lies have consequences.
Shaun Mullen, blogger and retired editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, says that, if you can answer this question, you can explain the results of the Presidential election.
Psychiatrist Lawrence Blum offers a quasi-Freudian explanation that might answer Shaun's question.
In a fascinating and frightening discussion, Der Spiegle interviews David Remnick of the New Yorker about Donald Trump.
The staff at AM Joy discuss the "fragilty of whiteness."
Will Bunch takes a peek into the the cabinet of horrors.
Hmmm. That should be enough to leave everyone thoroughly depressed. Come raise your spirits and glasses on Thursday.
One final thought: I have had trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, as no doubt have many of you. It occurred to me today, though, that, if there is a true meaning of Christmas, one that transcends sect and creed and place, it is that, however dark today may seem, there is always hope in the darkness, so long as we stand fast.
Submitted by Frank Bell on Mon, 11/28/2016 - 3:00pm.
I hope that everyone found something to be thankful this Thanksgiving. I tried my best, and one of my tactics was to cut back on the amount of news I read. I have not disengaged; I've just reduced the amount of clatter. Disengagement certainly might seem attractive, but it is not the action of a responsible member of the polity.
Here are some articles, columns, and blog posts that I've found worth engaging with over the past week or so; I hope you find them worth your while:
Der Spiegel applies Umberto Eco's "Ur Fascism" scale to the words and actions of Donald Trump. If you follow only one of these links, follow this one; it is fascinating: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/can-donald-trump-be-called-a-fascist-a-1122035.html
Jim Wright asked social media, "If you think Trump and Clinton are the same, ask yourself this: would you honestly be this afraid for the future if Clinton had won?" The answers may not be what you expect, but he was not surprised. http://www.stonekettle.com/2016/11/quacks-like-duck.html In a later post, he responds to his having been temporarily banned from the Zuckerborg due to spurious accusations of spamming; his rant is a thing of incisive beauty. http://www.stonekettle.com/2016/11/facebook-nazis.html
Werner Herzog's Bear wonders whether we are seeing a repeat of 1877, asking, "Is this the end of the Second Reconstruction?" http://notesironbound.blogspot.com/2016/11/is-second-reconstruction-over.html
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the increase of hate-full graffiti, verbal encounters, and the like, especially in schools, since November 8. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/402955326.html
In The Virginian-Pilot, a veteran attorney who once worked for the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Department tells of his encounters with Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. It's not pretty. http://pilotonline.com/opinion/columnist/guest/j-gerald-hebert-jeff-sessions-and-civil-rights/article_96e44561-a837-5725-874f-7e134d77e017.html
At The Root, Michael Harriot looks back over the past eight years for inspiration as to how to oppose Donald Trump. http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/11/tips-from-white-people-o
Will Bunch reports on how Trump with use the politics of distraction to help a compliant corporate media to miss the real stories. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/How-Trump-plans-to-distract-America-to-its-death.html
The Boston Review offers a list of books (remember "books"?) to help put the results of the election in perspective. http://bostonreview.net/reading-lists/technocrats-populists-citizens
I look forward to seeing you on the second Thursday of December, December 8, at 6:00 p. m., at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th St, (Cypress and 19th one block east of the Convention Center), Virginia Beach, Va.
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