Politics, Technology, Middle East War, and Super Ants

Something for Everyone Today

Taylor Swift Rigs The Super Bowl!

By now, you have surely heard about the Right Wing conspiracy theories that Taylor Swift has somehow conspired to right the Super Bowl for her boyfriend’s team to win and, according to one version, she will then appear at half-time to endorse Biden.

How nuts can these people get?! It really is amazing how this mindset has established itself among a lot of people. If something happens or is pending that I don’t like, there MUST be a conspiracy to blame, no matter how outlandish it seems.

Good News – Part II

10 More Observations of People, Institutions, or Things to Celebrate

Continuing Our Relentless Pursuit of Good Stuff

A couple of weeks ago, this blog listed a number of good news stories that seemed to me were not getting enough attention, or at least were getting lost in all the doom and gloom we sometimes generate. I mentioned then there were other good news items that made that list but did not want to make the blog too long.

Today, the rest of that list. Admittedly an arbitrary list, not complete and in no special order.

Good News, Here & Now      

As Promised Last Week, Signs of Progress and Possibilities

Where We Are

An awful lot of what we read in the media, and what we say to each other, calls out a sense of Doom, with a capital D. The political atmosphere seems permanently charged and forever divided There is, in fact, no shortage of seriously worrisome and frightening news out there, just waiting for us.

But hold on a minute- there is a lot of positive news to celebrate and encourage as well. Let’s remind ourselves of a few of them as we start a new year.

Favorite Reads That Stand the Test of Time

A Good Time of Year to Revisit Old Friends in Print

 Looking for Gifts? Thinking New Years Resolutions? These Reads Could Help

 I had occasion recently to check back in on a book I read long ago. It was like catching up with an old friend. This, in turn, led me to reflect on what other books I have read over the years that are worthy of rereading or at least perusing a bit to refresh my memory of what I learned from these writings and to reflect on why I liked them so much.

Tis the Season! Spending Time with People Who May Not Be Your Favorites

Seven Tips to Ease Relations

I like to joke (sort of) that one of the special things about the holidays is that many of us get to spend time with people you would not choose to hang around with were they not relatives and you were at gatherings that seem mandatory over the holidays.

So, in a modest effort to help ease the pain and tension, to minimize the risk of food fights, and to ease up on the need for aspirin and Alka-Seltzer during this holiday season, I am sharing my often used tips for such encounters.

Have a Favorite Season?

I Wonder What Our Favorites in Life Say About Us

Pick a Season

I had the pleasure last week of attending a concert built around Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. A fine choice for a concert, of course (those Italians are pretty good at this stuff). As I listened to the music, I thought, as I often do when hearing this collection, about my favorite season, and that of others.

For me, it’s Fall – no contest. No other season even comes close. The crispness, the color, that dynamic bridge that takes us away from the heat of Summer and pleasures us before the cold of Winter.

Book Banning May Be The Single Worst Idea of All Time

It’s Wrong to Begin With, and Never Stops with “Just” Book Banning

Better Late Than Never

We were going to talk about this over a week ago, but the Middle East demanded a change of focus. That obscene mess is certainly not over, and we likely will come back to it again, but life does not think much of doing one thing at a time.

So, while we worry about international affairs, let’s not loose focus on key domestic issues. And book banning is pretty darn high on that list that deserves our attention and our action.

The House, the Middle East, & One Athlete

A Varied Mix to Ponder This Week – Much in the Balance, Everywhere

The House of Representatives

That seems an odd title of late: it’s not much of a House, and it seems to represent few of us. As if all the ongoing tensions in that small zoo where not enough, now we have a Speaker fired by 8 of his members, no clear replacement or plan to get one possibly worthy of the title, only about 30 days before the US Government goes broke, and Ukraine held hostage by a pouting few.

October is going to be an interesting month,

A Close-Up Look at Music from the Other Side

We Have All Enjoyed Concerts from the Audience. What’s It Like from the Stage?

Today, a short break from politics and social issues. You’re welcome.

Music in Life, and in Asheville

As I have noted in an earlier posting some years ago, I have a pretty eclectic music taste. I like a lot of different types of music. Were you to look at the play list on my phone, you would find everything from classical symphonies, to jazz, to mountain music, to Gregorian chants, to classic rock – and about everything in between.

But the sweet spot for me has always been classical symphonic music.

A Perpetual Conundrum: Immigration & Migration

How Solvable is This? Are There Wins to be Had, for Anyone?

The American Experience with Immigration

Historically and in modern times, America has been shaped in many ways by immigrants. Much of our progress, culture, and social construct comes from immigrants. After all, the ancestors of most of us were immigrants, too. I think one could make the case that so much that is good about this country comes from immigration. I acknowledge that Native Americans might take exception to that idea, and they surely have a point. But that is another conversation, for another time.