Monday, January 17, 2022

TIL: MLK on Economic Justice

Minimum Wage by State

Today, our country honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Normally the focus is on his movement for voting rights. It's tragic that today, more than half of a century after his death, the voting rights secured in MLK's day are under threat in America. In 2021 alone, "19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote." But voting rights are not what I want to focus on today. Instead, I want to turn to a speech by MLK that ties voting rights to economic justice. In it, MLK makes an observation that explains a feature of that map above showing the minimum wage laws by state. The connection MLK drew between economic justice and segregation is what I learned today.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Licorice Pizza (2021): Southern California, 1973. Teen boy and mid-20s woman, independent go-getters, both too busy hustling to connect. Movie is a series of good standalone scenes that lack a connecting thread. Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper each get a scenery-chewing cameo. B-

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Hawkeye (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Hawkeye (TV 2021): Clint Barton is on the way out and Kate Bishop is getting started. The crisis surrounding the handoff is crowded with characters and subplots. I would trade a quiver full of trick arrows for a gun. On the plus side, it's Marvel's best Christmas show. C-

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

TIL: Iran is Winning

"Isfahan is half the world"
From 1977 03 29 Iran

When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, most Americans barely noticed. We were too busy dealing with Covid-19. Not even the clear and present danger to our democracy could focus out attention. Still, the danger we face in Central Asia and the Middle East is not gone. Who was the big winner from the American experience in Afghanistan? It was Iran. And Iran is likely to extend its winning streak.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

POTD: The Valley of the Kings

From 2019 11 22 Valley of the Kings

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. It's across the Nile River from Luxor. Whereas Luxor itself was splendid with magnificent temples, the Valley of the Kings was deliberately underwhelming. The pyramids far to the north had all been ransacked by grave robbers in previous centuries, so later pharaohs tried to protect their tombs by digging deep into the mountains, then covering up the entrances to hide them from future grave robbers. (Spoiler: it didn't work, with one notable exception, but more on that later.) Today, tourists can walk into the valley, but other than some uncovered tomb entrances, there's nothing to see to suggest the magnificent displays deep inside.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Monday, January 10, 2022

From "The More Things Change..." Dep't: CPC Edition

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."
("The more things change, the more they stay the same.")
— Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849.

From the December 13, 2021, Richardson City Council meeting minutes:

City Plan Commission

Motion to: reappoint Joe Costantino and Gwen Walraven for a term effective 08/01/2021 to 08/01/2023; to appoint Sibyl LaCour as a full member effective immediately for a term ending 08/01/2023; to appoint Bryan Marsh as Chair for the remainder of his term and Stephen Springs as Vice Chair for the remainder of his term; and to appoint Nate Roberts as an Alternate for an unexpired term ending 08/01/2023. Motion by Councilmember Justice, seconded by Councilmember Corcoran, and approved unanimously.

From the (few) CPC meetings I've attended, Walraven and LaCour were "furniture" members of the CPC, contributing nothing but their votes in support of the majority, and Bryan Marsh was the leader of that majority supporting the establishment position against needed change. Seeing them all reappointed is no surprise. What is a surprise is that the motion was made by Jennifer Justice and seconded by Joe Corcoran. Was I fooled by their candidacies into believing they would bring change or have they succumbed to the indoctrination into the "Richardson Way"? The vote was 7-0.

Encanto (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Encanto (2021): Disney animated musical. Huge ensemble, mostly female. Latina power. Abuela's magical house gives magical gifts to all except Mirabel. When magic stops, it's up to Mirabel to save the day. Everything is enchanting. Grading for family viewing, it's a hit. B+