Friday, April 27, 2018

Booknote: Citizen's Guide to Impeachment

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, 2017.  ISBN: 9781612197050.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: U.S. government, U.S. history, civics
Format:paperback
Source: My workplace library, Hutchins Library, Berea College


This is a short little book that more people, especially those barely literate "constitutional scholars" out there, ought to read. At less than 100 pages of text (88 pages out of 150 total pages are text. The rest is notes), this is an easy read any citizen can and should do.

Radnofsky organizes the book as follows:

  • Short introduction.
  • Origins of Impeachment Law. This is where the author presents the history and how the Founders decided to add an impeachment mechanism in the Constitution.
  • Legal Principles and Process of Impeachment. Basically this explains what impeachment is and is not. The author provides a review of the law and how it works. 
  • Federal Impeachments in the United States. This is a historical overview of 19 impeachments done so far, plus "other significant impeachment activity." For each instance we get the who, dates, and result, a short history of what happened, and key lessons from the event. The key lessons are probably the most important part, and they illustrate how impeachment law has improved and been refined over time. 
  • A short conclusion. 
  • Notes and bibliography. This is a very well documented book by the way. 
The book is an easy and accessible read. The author is very good at explaining what impeachment is, what it is not, what it does and does not do. She can take the complex ideas and lay them out in terms any citizen and even legislators can understand. If you have heard about impeachment a lot lately (can't imagine why), but you are not sure what it is or how it works, then this is the book for you.

This is a book that every public library needs to have and promote. If public libraries are about providing access to good, honest, reliable information, including information about their government and  how it works, then they need to have this book. I also recommend it for academic libraries. I already ordered a copy for my library.

Overall this is an excellent book. This is the kind of book that explains key concepts well that we need more of.

5 out of 5 stars.





Friday, April 20, 2018

Signs the economy is bad: April 20, 2018 edition

Welcome to another edition of "Signs the Economy is Bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular (as in when I have time and/or feel like doing it) feature where I scour the Internet in search of the oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Sure, pundits may say things are getting better, but what do they know? And to show not all is bad, once in a while we look at how good the uber rich have it.



It is another Friday, and yes, the economy is still bad. So let's get on with it and have a look.

  • Let's start with Christian rackets. When it comes to making money off gullible people, Christian leaders certainly have a big market on that. My father often joked he wanted to go off, set up a "revival" tent, start preaching, and let the money come in. It was a joke, but  I am starting to think that if I  had less ethics and decency, that might be a good idea. Anyhow, let's look at those who did go into the racket. 
    •  Jerry Falwell's Liberty University is a well known Christian racket and supplier for the Party of Stupid bureaucratic machine in D.C. as well as for conservative think tanks. What many may not realize is that it also has a big money generating operation from its online and distance learning. We are talking billions of dollars, praise Jeebus. Story via AlterNet
    • Life can be tough in the bad economy. You have a private jet you need to make payments on, your law firm is not generating as much income as you expected, and you got a bunch of family members you need take care of with nepotist jobs. What do you do? If you are a Christian, you get poor and jobless people to give what little they have left to your nonprofit Christian organization, and your money woes are solved. Story via The Guardian. With a hat tip to Juanita Jean's. Again, praise the lordy lord. 
    • By the way, Catholics, who are also Christian, have their rackets as well. One way to make sure you are OK The Man Upstairs is to bring a little tribute to His representative on Earth, and what better offering that some good old Kentucky bourbon. And by the way, this is the Pope we are talking here, so some piddly old bourbon like Maker's Mark or Four Roses will not do. You gotta bring  him the good stuff, like a fine bottle of the mythical Pappy's. Story via Lexington Herald Leader. Because nothing reinforces that new image Papa Francisco is trying to cultivate of being the cool, humble pope than bringing him as gift a bottle of the most rare, expensive, people will camp for days and cut you if you dare cut them in line for a chance to buy a ticket for a raffle of one bottle  bourbon. 
  • Next, let's see how the bad economy is screwing women over. As if the bad economy is not bad  enough for all of us who work for a living, women often get the really short end of the stick, if there is even a stick. 
    • When it comes to child care and maternity leave, the U.S. is stingier than the rest of the world. Story via The Conversation. Given the selfish and often misogynist culture of the United States, that is not surprising.
    • And if you are a single mother, things are not much better for you. For many, the 2008 recession is finally becoming a memory. But for single moms, the effects still remain strong. Story via The Conversation
  • In food and spirits, 
    •  College students continue to suffer in the bad economy. News reports that food pantries to help out hungry students are proliferating. Story via Lexington Herald Leader
    • Restauranteurs pretty much confirmed what many of us knew: they are fine paying slave wages to their workers. In a recent poll, that they themselves commissioned, a poll done by a Party of Stupid pollster (i.e. it could not get more biased against supporting minimum wage if you tried), it was revealed that "a nation that stands in solidarity with low-waged workers, with 71% of Americans supporting raising the minimum wage to at least $10, even if they have to pay higher prices as a result." Yes, unlike those owner assholes, many Americans are decent people who want the people who prepare and serve their food to be paid a decent wage. Story via Boing Boing
    • Wasting food is something that irks me. I think part of it is because I grew up with a mom who insisted on eating what was on my plate and gave me lectures about how lucky I was not to be a starving kid in Ethiopia (or insert your poor Third World country here). So this day seeing food waste bothers me. So this story concerns me. A new study looks at the stunning amounts of food people waste regularly. To make it worse, the ones doing the most egregious wasting of food are actually the healthy eating nuts. Story via Mother Jones. On a side note, every so often I go eat at the campus dining service, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of food students waste, often including untouched food and fruit. Yes, some take an apple or a banana, leave it untouched and leave it to the waste. If I could find who does that, I'd smack them right over the head. 
    • This is more just a bit of trivia and a story that I found interesting. It is about Chinese winemakers. Story via The Conversation.
  • In other news. 
    •  Odds are good many people out there love Amazon, the online shopping, and their whole get it via Prime quick thing. Odds are also good you do not give a single thought to how exploitative Amazon can be. Here is this week's Amazon fuckery story, and it comes from the United Kingdom. Over across the pond, things are so bad for Amazon warehouse workers that they are often denied bathroom breaks, forcing them to pee in bottles so they can make their quotas. Story via Telesur. And you thought those Brits were such nice people. 
    • Because the Pendejo In Chief is pretty much King Midas in reverse, i.e. anything he touches turns to shit, his tariffs are a problem for a lot of people in a lot of places. The latest possible target? Your local newspaper. Story via The Lexington Herald Leader
    • Meanwhile, in Detroit, thousands of poor people are about to get their water cut off. Story via Mother Jones. It is not just about poor people losing water. It may well be also about the usual: racism and gentrification. 
    • In Haiti, charcoal made out of wood is a big business. Problem is it is a shady not quite legal affair that is helping make climate change worse, but how do you stop it given all the money it generates for those involved? Story via Latino Rebels
    • The news recently have been filled with stories of stores going out of business and having liquidation sales. For the most part, liquidation sales are not worth the paper their ads are printed on, but if you choose to take a gander to see if you can find anything, here are some tips and things to consider. Story via The OASG.  
  • And in stories of "it could not happen to  a nicer  person." 
    •  The bump stock manufacturer, the remaining one since they are the ones with  the patent and sued their rival into oblivion, is closing down. Story via NPR. Aww, poor guys. All they were doing is creating tech to get around laws that regulate things like machine guns so gun fetishists could make their semiautomatics fire almost as good as a machine gun. For those of you who may not know what a bump stock is, "bump stocks are modification devices used to accelerate a gun's shooting rate so it fires like an automatic weapon — almost as fast as machine guns, which are largely outlawed." Amazing what a little bad publicity in light of a spate of mass shootings can do. (And if you are one of those fetishists who wants to argue from "hey, you got the (minor) specs off or some other technical detail, so what do you know?" you can go fuck right off. We all know what we are talking about, and no amount of nerdy minutiae rhetoric on your part is going to hide it.)  
    • Meanwhile, working for the Pendejo In Chief and his administration in  any capacity is proving the kiss of death for those folks. No one wants to hire anyone who has worked in the White House for the Pendejo In Chief. Again, could not happen to a bunch of nicer people. Story via VICE. They can go live in a van under the bridge for all I care. Destitution is the least they deserve. 
  • And finally for this week, let's see how the uber rich are doing. 
    • Apparently Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO and owner who has recently been in hot water over his business practices, has had to pay more for his security detail. Story via Boing Boing. I wonder why.



Some thoughts on my reading habits

This post is inspired by this post from Angel's Guilty Pleasures. The questions in bold are as provided; the answers are mine.


— Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?

Mainly in my workstation/office at home. 

— Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmarks as much as possible. In fact, I collect bookmarks, so I usually have a bookmark handy. In a pinch, I will use some piece of paper, but only until I can replace it with a proper bookmark.

— Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages?

Depends. For fiction, I usually have to stop at the end of a chapter or at some other stopping point. For nonfiction, I can usually stop anywhere. 

— Do you eat or drink while read?

Not really, but once in a while I may drink coffee while I read. 

— Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

No. I usually give reading my undivided attention. 


— One book at a time or several at once?

For me, it is usually several at a time. The minimum number is: a graphic novel or manga, a fiction selection, and a nonfiction selection. I may also have more than one nonfiction selection going at the same time if they are different topics.

— Reading at home or everywhere?

While my main reading is done at home, I can and do read anywhere. As much as possible, I try to have a book handy be it in print or an e-book. 

— Reading out loud or silently in your head?      

Silently. 

— Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Hell yea, even more so if a book sucks. 

— Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Books are for use, so if I need to break that spine for comfort and use I do so. There, I said it.

— Do you write in your books?

Heck no. I do keep a personal journal where I can keep reading  notes for any text I am reading.

 
    

Reading about the reading life: April 20, 2018 edition

Welcome to another edition of "Reading about the reading life" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is where I collect stories about reading and the reading life. Basically, these are items related to reading, maybe writing and literacy, that I find interesting and think my four readers might find interesting as well with a little commentary. As with other features I do on this blog, I do it when I have time or feel like it. Comments are always welcome (within reason).




I have found quite a few stories  since the last time I did this feature, so let's get started.

  • In New York City news: 
    • There is a bookstore that only opens once a month. The owner is in no rush to get customers. Story via The New York Times.
    • Read about the librarian who was right there in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Via Atlas Obscura.
    • People magazine featured a profile of Cafe Con Libros, a new Afro-Latino bookstore in Brooklyn. 
  • In pearl clutching news:
    • Yet another article bemoaning the death of handwriting. In this one, some snobby calligrapher is fine with it so calligraphers can keep the monopoly apparently. Story via The Times Literary Supplement.  On a side note, a colleague and I were looking at a recent display our library set up that contains some old letters, written in cursive. He was lamenting how cursive is not taught anymore, so over time, newer generations will be unlikely able to read those letters.
  • In stories from around the world: 
    • In Mexico, the largest floating bookstore has recently docked in Veracruz as part of the ship's Latin America tour. Story via The Hindustan Times
    • In Berlin, a local bookstore is not putting up with  Neo-Nazis marching in their neighborhood, so the bookstore took action. Story via The New York Times.
    • Book Riot has a post highlighting London's radical bookstores
    • In New Zealand, a library weeding project brings fears the weeded books will be incinerated. Story via Radio NZ. Fears are not unfounded as previously weeded books have been incinerated.  Usually another library weeding story would be under "pearl clutching," but this one I wonder if better efforts could not be made to transfer books elsewhere before burning them.
  • In Amazon news, which are mostly about Amazon's fuckery: 
    •  They are making "sex" a dirty word. Story via The Rumpus
    • They are pulling reviews without explanation nor reason, often hoping you will not notice. Story via City Book Review. Honestly, why anyone would use Amazon reviews for anything is beyond me given how unreliable and even shady they can be. As a librarian who does collection development, I would not be caught dead relying on an Amazon review for a purchase decision. There are plenty of more reputable review sources out there. But I suppose we need some sympathy for poor authors who need those Amazon reviews to stay alive in the game, and it IS a game when it comes to Amazon, as in an often rigged game. 
  • About authors and writers: 
    •  Noah Webster's dictionary endeavor? Today his dictionary is known for using social media to fact check the Pendejo In Chief and his Party of Stupid administration. However, that was not always the case. At the start, it was just another American nationalist project. According to this article from The Paris Review, "Merriam-Webster’s resistance to an administration steeped in nativism, however, is complicated by the dictionary’s original goal to create and preserve a monolithic American culture. Noah Webster Jr., the dictionary’s founding author, was one of the first American nationalists, and he wrote his reference books with the express purpose of creating a single definition of American English—one that often existed at the expense of regional and cultural variation of any kind." 
    • In an interview, Alberto Manguel speaks of being a reader for Borges as well as a new book. Story via LitHub.
    • For all the ragging Playboy often gets, people tend to forget that at one point it featured great journalism and writing. Many great authors wrote for the magazine. James Baldwin had some radical writing in the magazine looking at questions of masculinity and what we would likely call now toxic masculinity. And yes, Playboy went ahead and published it. Story via LitHub.
    • Gabriel García Márquez may no longer be with us, but he left us some good writing advice. Story via LitHub.
  • Some stories written in Spanish: 
  • In books and money, or stories that could have gone over to "Signs the economy is bad."
    • I will admit that looking for bestsellers at the dollar store is not something I do. I keep my expectations pretty low when it comes to the remaindered and liquidated books you might find at a dollar store. High quality is not something you will see in our local dollar stores here when it comes to books. So I really want to know which Dollar Tree this author at Book Riot shops at because the one here is nothing like that. Anyhow, never hurts to look. 
  • In other miscellaneous stories: 



Friday, April 13, 2018

Signs the economy is bad: April 13, 2018 edition

Welcome to another edition of "Signs the Economy is Bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular (as in when I have time and/or feel like doing it) feature where I scour the Internet in search of the oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Sure, pundits may say things are getting better, but what do they know? And to show not all is bad, once in a while we look at how good the uber rich have it.



It may be Friday the 13th, but this is just another Friday, another bunch of signs to tell you the economy is bad. Let's have a look.

Let's start with some news from back  in the U.S. colony:

  • Puerto Rico is closing a quarter of its public schools. The government wants to blame Hurricane Maria, but as a former boss of mine used to say, "that dog don't hunt." Story via Grist. So what may be the real reason: ". . .the disaster is being used as scapegoat allowing officials to sell off rather than repair public services on the island" I am honestly starting to believe a  theory a friend of mine suggested. It sounded a bit like conspiracy theory, but not anymore. Anyhow, idea is that actions like these are all part of gentrifying island so the locals leave, then the rich swoop in, buy the land and all the other assets dirt cheap, then make a rich people's exclusive paradise. 
  • Puerto Rico is also dismantling its own official statistics agency. Story via Boing Boing. I mean, numbers are hard, and who the hell needs statistics anyhow? Not like you use them to make decisions or anything. Again, just part of privatizing everything to turn it over to the wealthy absentee overlords. 
  • Meanwhile, back in Puerto Rico as well, some dialysis patients need to take a 12-hour plane journey to get their dialysis. Story via The Atlantic.

Meanwhile, in rural news. Most of these are basically those yokel white farmers suddenly scared that the  Pendejo In Chief is, lo and behold, doing what he said he was going to do. So now, for some reason, the media feels a need to go on safari and ask them how they "feel" and worry about the future. For one, I say fuck 'em. Yes, I said it. They went right ahead and voted for the Party of Stupid despite every warming, evidence, facts, and information available that it would be detrimental and lethal because, hey, the guy is a man who will do what he says. Yea, he will drain that swamp, and besides, there were her e-mails. So way I see, this is just consequences. Stop whining. You got what you asked for. (Thing is in the end us liberals will likely give them the helping hand anyhow when we get the chance because it is what we do. Unlike them, who thought nothing of tossing everyone else under the bus, we still find some compassion someplace. But in the meantime, oh well.).

  • The Daily Yonder reports that rural farmers are wary of a trade conflict with China. Gee, I wonder why. Article is worth a look as it looks at a bit of history and how things like tariffs and embargoes can be connected.
  • Another worry is steel tariffs. Why? They can make farming equipment much expensive. Story via The Rural Blog.
  • Not that Americans overall give a shit about anything outside of themselves. As long as they get things as cheap as possible, it does not matter who has to be exploited, oppressed, so on to make it happen. Case in point: Americans love cheap meat. Here is how it works: "Americans want cheap meat. That requires low wages. So plants hire undocumented workers. ICE raids the plants. Latino families cry. Schoolteachers are put in the untenable position of either supervising children after hours or sending them home, knowing their parents are missing. People are appalled by the human cost, momentarily. Then employers and workers become more sophisticated at evading detection and the cycle begins again." Story via The Rural Blog. I bet you do not think about any of that  when you are chomping down on  that Big Mac or grilling some steak in your backyard. 
  • Another problem in rural areas: a shortage of local reporters. Why is this a problem? According to the story via The Rural Blog, "Fewer reporters means citizens don't have the information they need to make decisions as citizens and hold institutions accountable. They have less information about local candidates, and less reporting has been correlated with lower voter turnout. News outlets have less horsepower to challenge elected officials, and increasingly print stories based on press releases — giving politicians more power to spin the narrative, Waldman and Sennott say." This is also how they end up often on a steady diet of Fox News and shit like InfoWars. 
  • Dialysis issues are not just something for Puerto Ricans victims of a hurricane. Rural areas have a large amount of population with diabetes that also needs dialysis. Folks in that situation often rely on ambulance transport to get to their dialysis clinics. This is life or death. Well, I am guessing a few of those folks will be dying off a bit sooner "when a 13 percent cut in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for non-emergency ambulance transportation goes into effect Oct. 1." Basically, if the ambulances do not get paid, no transport. No transport, no dialysis. No dialysis, you get the picture. Story via The Rural Blog
    • And because things CAN get worse for diabetics in rural areas, it turns out that "rural residents are 17 percent more likely to die from a diabetes-related hospitalization than people who live in large metropolitan areas." This can be due for various reasons ranging from access issues to health care to  just obstinacy of not trusting the health care system (the often heard "I want to be left alone" narrative they love, until they need help. In the end, like it or not, we are all connected somehow). Story via The Rural Blog.
  • Let's move on to the big state of Texas, where locals love to tell you how great their state is and how people are rushing to move there because it is oh so wonderful.  Unless you live in a rural area with an oil boom. If you do, good luck traveling around since said boom is pretty much fucking up their roads and infrastructure. And the state, raking billions from said oil boom, is in no rush  to maintain something like piddly rural roads. Oh well. Story via The Texas Tribune.

In news from college and higher education:

  • Eastern Michigan University professors are critical of a decision by the university to cut four sports but leaving their loser (financially and athletically) money sucking football team in place. Story via Inside Higher Ed. The comments over there defending the university keeping the football team range from ridiculous to just cluelessly hilarious.  Heaven forbid they have to move to a lower sports league. The horror. 
  • Meanwhile, in evidence that not all college students are smart, it is revealed recently that 1 in 5 college students use their financial aid money for stupid gambles like BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies. Story via Inside Higher Ed. What can I say? The stupid is strong in those students.

In other news of the bad economy:


And finally, let's take a peek at how the uber rich are doing:

  • If you got some money to burn, and you really like bourbon, perhaps this new special limited edition of bourbon at $2,500 a bottle is your thing. Story via Kentucky.com





My Life In Books-- A book tag thing

I saw this at Angel's Guilty Pleasures, who got it from someplace else (you get the idea), and I figured I could give a spin. So here we go. Questions are as provided.

Find a book for each of your initials. (Links go to my reviews of the books)


A:  
 Ahsoka (Star Wars).

R:




R:  



L:   





Count your age on your bookshelf. What book is it? (I just counted to magical number on my shelf of read books): 




Pick a book set in your city/country.





Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.  



 Ghostland (I would love to see the haunted places this book presents)


Pick a book that’s your favorite color.



 Bringing the Tarot to Life (blue cover).


Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish edition of course. Amazingly enough, I have not reviewed it. I will have to do that sometime down the road).

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Ensayo sobre la ceguera (Essay on Blindness. I hated this so much I did not review it). 

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment when you finish it?

I have so many books on the TBR pile, and no rush when it comes to reading them, so who knows. Having said that, if I manage to complete reading the Horus Heresy series, that would be pretty cool. 



     

Friday, April 06, 2018

Signs the economy is bad: April 6, 2018 edition

Welcome to another edition of "Signs the Economy is Bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular (as in when I have time and/or feel like doing it) feature where I scour the Internet in search of the oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Sure, pundits may say things are getting better, but what do they know? And to show not all is bad, once in a while we look at how good the uber rich have it.



I was not sure that I was going to have enough stories for this week, but the news were more than happy to provide. So here we go.

  • The big news in the Bad Economy continue to be the Pendejo In Chief doing a game of chicken with the Chinese over tariffs. Nothing has been done yet. As of this writing, it is mostly threats, but things can escalate quite quickly, and the Chinese have made some moves.  In the meantime, all sorts of stories of collateral damage and natural consequences are surfacing, such as: 
    • Red-State voters, i.e. Party of Stupid conservative supporters of the Pendejo In Chief are starting to panic. Story via AlterNet. All of a sudden, they are starting to realize that unlike their leader, the Chinese play long term and they actually know strategy. They are targeting their retaliatory tariffs to products and places made in Red USA. I do not know what they are complaining about. They voted for the guy on  the basis of him doing what he said he would do, and the  Pendejo In Chief is doing exactly what he said he would do. 
    • However, not all the trade war is with  China. Who else gets their imports into the U.S. hit hard by tariffs? Pretty much a lot of South Asia. Story via Pew Research.
  •  Wealth shock can send you to an early grave. Story via Inc. So what is wealth shock? According to the article, "Middle-aged Americans who experienced a sudden, large economic blow were more likely to die during the following years than those who didn't. The heightened danger of death after a devastating loss, which researchers called a 'wealth shock,' crossed socio-economic lines, affecting people no matter how much money they had to start." So, what could cause some "wealth schock"? Well, a sudden catastrophic medical emergency in the United States that, if you survived it, left you bankrupt and destitute would qualify. One of those pesky details of not having universal health care like the rest of the civilized world. 
  • Meanwhile, in rural communities, hospitals continue to close. Story via The Rural Blog. Hmm, rural communities, a.k.a. the places that overwhelmingly voted for the Pendejo In Chief and keep voting for the Party of Stupid. I guess health care must not be that big a deal there. However, according to the article, these hospital closures could force some of those states to implement Medicaid expansions. We shall see. 
  • In education news: 
    • In Oklahoma and Kentucky, teachers are staging protests and walking out of classrooms to demand better pay and conditions. In Oklahoma, Kentucky, and many parts of the U.S., teachers face a choice: love your job or leave it to make living wage. Story via Reuters.
    • Meanwhile, college students continue to starve and suffer food insecurity.Story via Inside Higher Ed.
    • Inside Higher Ed also reports that the Urban Institute has a new tool to track student loan debt geographically. 
  • The Food Politics blog reports and comments on the USDA releasing the 2018 U.S. Food Assistance overview (the document link is a PDF). 
  • Meanwhile, we all know Walmart is notorious for paying their workers so badly that they have to take food assistance and other government help. Well, Amazon is pretty much just as bad and exploitative as illustrated by the fact that at least ten percent of their workers in Ohio rely on  SNAP. Story via Project Censored. So keep that in mind when you happily click buy on your latest Amazon purchase. Bezos may be beyond rich, but he did it on the  back of his barely fed and lowly paid workers. 
  • Meanwhile, in Mexico, Coca Cola and junk food are messing up local diets and health. In fact, in Mexico, Coca Cola even owns and runs convenience stores. Story via AlterNet.
  • And in news of U.S. military incompetence, it turns out the Pentagon has lost track of $496 million dollars for its African operations. How the fuck do you lose that much money? According to the article, "the Inspector General’s assessment implies that no IG, AFRICOM or CENTCOM personnel have any clue about how much money was spent, what the money was spent on, whether projects were completed, or if it made a difference in the fight against the illegal drug trade." Story via Project Censored. Ponder that one. No one who should know has a clue whatsoever. Personally, I am not surprised. This  is about consistent with U.S. military operations abroad and their financing. See also the book Arms and the Dudes (link to my review of the  book). 
  • In news of what can be hit the Millennials with now, turns out that Millennials are missing out on life because they have more debt than savings. Story via VICE. All  I got to say is gee, I can't imagine why. According to the article, "Perhaps the weirdest, saddest part of today’s survey is the presumption millennials are currently having to “delay” commonly agreed life goals, as if debt is just a temporary blip and we’ll all get there in the end." At this point, just insert sad laughter here. 
  • In a different story that I found interesting, turns out if your grandpappy fought the Nazis in World War II, he may have a few trophies and Nazi souvenirs in his home. Say he passes away, and his  descendants inherit the Nazi memorabilia. For whatever reason, they want to get rid of it and sell it maybe, but that is not as easy as easy as it sounds. Read on why. Story via VICE.
  • Finally, I will end this week with some good news. It turns out the bigoted racist white supremacists assholes of the Stormfront website are having financial problems and difficulty keeping up their website. Story via Pharyngula. What can I say? It  could not happen to a nicer bunch of guys. Once in a while the Bad  Economy does have good news.






Media Notes: Roundup for March 2018




These are the movies and series on DVD I watched during March 2018.


Movies and films:

(I did not watch any movies on DVD this month) 



Television and other series:

  • The Muppet Show (Season One, 1974-1976). This is the first season  of the original The Muppet Show, and it is quite the who's who of 1960s and early 1970s performers as guest stars of the show. The show itself is amusing and family friendly. Sure it may have aged a bit, but it is still healthy light fun anyone can enjoy. In the fashion of a variety show, we get comedy, dance, music, and performances. I would say do not bother with that new series Disney recently inflicted on people where they tried to make it into a reality show. Go seek this original out and see the Muppets as they were meant to be. Overall, great fun. Guest stars for Season One include: Rita Moreno, Jim Nabors, Florence Henderson, Charles Aznavour, Candice Bergen, and Vincent Price. 
  • The Muppet Show (Season Two, 1977-1978). I continued to enjoy this wonderful and fun series. In the second season, some changes were made including the opening sequence. In the opening, Scooter now warns the guest stars that they will soon be on stage. The opening song sequence is also changed. The show remains great fun.  Some of the guest stars on this season were: Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy, Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rudolph Nureyev, Elton John, and Lou Rawls. What I continue to find interesting is how they did pretty well in having a variety of celebrities and cultural icons. Plus it is an amusing show.