Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Europe Erects Wall to Keep Out Americans

According to The New York Times, "E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S. The bloc will allow visitors from 15 countries, but the United States, Brazil and Russia were among the notable absences from the safe list."

It's fitting in more ways than the obvious one.

Random Thoughts: I Never Had a Black Teacher

Tweets from June, 2020:
  • 2020-06-01: Wow. I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember *ever* having a black teacher. And being blithely unaware of that fact until just now. :-(
  • 2020-06-01: Irony. Many of the 2A crowd who insist on arming themselves to defend liberty from government oppression are now calling on that same government to impose martial law to put down protests against the government.
  • 2020-06-01: I admit, when Trump was elected, I feared he would start a war, but I never would have guessed the war would be against American citizens in our own country.
  • 2020-06-01: Trump is still pissed he didn't get his military parade in Washington, DC.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Living in Exhilarating Times

2020 will go down in history as a pivotal time in American history, along with 1968, 1929, 1860, and 1776. The year has already seen a presidential impeachment, the coronavirus pandemic, economic collapse, and widespread demands for racial justice. All that in just the first half of the year. Still to come is a presidential election that will determine whether our nation survives as a democratic republic. We are witnessing history.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Hail, Caesar (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes
Hail, Caesar (2016): Farce about a 1950s Hollywood problem fixer. The Coen Brothers' homage to Ben Hur, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, Gene Autry, and more. Add subplots with Hedda Hopper and Communist screenwriters, and the whole is a game of spot-the-references. B-


Sunday, June 28, 2020

LBJ's Civil Rights Grade

President Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, thus doing more for civil rights in this country than any President since Abraham Lincoln. Still, the country erupted in violent protests against police brutality in the summers of 1967 and 1968. What went wrong? Maybe it was the unrealistic expectations that racism could be solved with a stroke of a pen. LBJ understood that progress is made in fits and starts.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Review: The Nickel Boys

From The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead:

Open quoteThe discovery of the bodies was an expensive complication for the real estate company awaiting the all clear from the environmental study, and for the state’s attorney, which had recently closed an investigation into the abuse stories. Now they had to start a new inquiry, establish the identities of the deceased and the manner of death, and there was no telling when the whole damned place could be razed, cleared, and neatly erased from history, which everyone agreed was long overdue." The Nickel Boys

The story of one of the victims of a 1960s Jim Crow reform school for boys. Fiction based on a real school in Florida. Story arc is depressingly predictable but offers some surprises. A timely contribution to today's Black Lives Matter movement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Richardson Police Policies

In response to attention placed on local police nationwide since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Richardson Police Department (RPD) Chief Jim Spivey was asked to brief the Richardson City Council on the department's policies, training practices, community engagement, and transparency initiatives. The briefing took almost two and a half hours. Here are my takeaways.