Being an atheist, I probably won’t have a funeral, but here’s what you can do to remember me.
Alan Waldman: Facing the music. Houston, 2014.
I have always detested guns. Recently my friend Tucker Teutsch, 73 year-old brother of Texas music icon Joe “King” Carasco,” accidentally shot himself to death. It got me thinking…
I last touched a gun 59 years ago when fellow 12-year-old Texas Jewboy Richard (pre-“Kinky”) Friedman and I shot little .22 rifles at paper targets at his parents’ childrens’ summer camp, Echo Hill Ranch, near Kerrville, Texas. It was fun, but I won’t touch one again.
For many years I have asked my wife Sharon to play two songs at my funeral: John Lennon’s Imagine, which perfectly expresses my world view, and Manfred Mann’s My Name is Jack, which is a delightful fantasy view from 1968 of how I thought I would like to have lived my life.
and therefore would not approve of President Obama making a lame duck appointment to replace him, right? Wrong.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia. Caricature by DonkeyHotey / Flickr.
Once upon a time, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, there was a patriotic organization of lawyers and academics called the Federalist Society. They were alarmed by federal court decisions that appeared to favor non-white persons and prefer human persons over corporate persons.
Over the years, they gained virtual veto power over judicial appointments by one of the major political parties and they opened chapters in every major law school, to catch new lawyers before deviant ideas could take hold. By 2012, four justices of the Supreme Court were Federalist Society members — Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito.
We dive into higher ed, live on the Asian-American hyphen, get anarchic, go populist, and dig us some honky-tonk.
Kate Catterall, Rich Reddick, and Julia Mickenberg in the KOOP studios, March 25, 2013. Photos by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.
The following podcasts are from recent Rag Radio shows with host Thorne Dreyer. The syndicated Rag Radio program, produced in the studios of Austin’s cooperatively-run KOOP-FM, has an international audience and has become an influential platform for interviews with leading figures in politics, current events, literature, and cutting-edge culture.
♦ ‘The Future of Higher Education’: Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick & Kate Catterall
UT-Austin professors Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick, and Kate Catterall teach a unique grant-funded experimental collaborative course at the University of Texas at Austin called “The History and Future of Higher Education” that was inspired by the goal “to make UT the smallest big university in the world.” We discuss this innovative course and the larger questions of higher education in America.
Read the full show description and download the podcast of our March 25, 2016 Rag Radio interview with Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick, and Kate Catterall, here — or listen to it here:
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Tagged Anu Naimpally, cindy soo, Interviews, Jim Hightower, Julia Mickenberg, Kate Catterall, Leng Wong, Melancholy Ramblers, Podcasts, Rag Bloggers, Rag Radio, Richard Reddick, scott crow, Thorne Dreyer, Toshio Mana, Tracey Schulz
They have been distorting the history of the Supreme Court nomination process to justify
their political desires.
President Obama announces the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Public Domain photo.
The Supreme Court nomination process is being fought out between Republicans and Democrats, with no thought given to its effect on the biggest plurality in the country — independents.
Neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I am an independent. For the last 24 years, I have voted for candidates all over the ballot. I have voted in both Republican and Democratic Party primaries. I find the range of views within both of the major parties incoherently disparate. But what concerns me today is that the intransigence of one of those parties’ elected officials is denying me and all other independents (as well as most Americans) a properly functioning federal government.
The estimable Robson Green stars in this rural whodunnit, whose exciting second season returns to P.B.S. on Sunday, March 27.
[In his Rag Blog column, Alan Waldman reviews some of his favorite films and TV series that readers may have missed, including TV dramas, mysteries, and comedies from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. Most are available on DVD, Netflix and/or Netflix Instant Streaming, and some episodes are on YouTube.]
Grantchester is yet again one of those smart, well-made, excellently performed British procedural cop shows, this one set in the small Cambridgeshire village of the same name, back in 1953. James Norton stars as Anglican priest (and former Scots Guards officer) Sidney Chambers who develops a sideline in sleuthing, with the initially reluctant help of Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (the always wonderful Robson Green). The series is based on The Grantchester Mysteries collections of short stories, written by James Runcie. His father was a WWII tank commander and later the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The major parties in the U.S. are not ideological parties in the European sense, but are constantly changing coalitions.
Image from Activist Post.
Successful strategic thinking starts with gaining knowledge, particularly gaining adequate knowledge of the big picture; of all the political and economic forces involved… It’s not a one-shot deal. Since both Heaven and Earth are always changing, strategic thinking must always be kept up to date, reassessed and revised.
This statement was part of the opening to a widely-circulated article I wrote about two years ago, “Strategic Thinking on the U.S. Six Party System.” It’s time to take my own advice, and reassess the working hypothesis I put forward back then.
For the most part, the strategic picture holds. I suggested setting aside the traditional “two party system” frame, which obscures far more than it reveals, and making use of a “six party” model instead. The new hypothesis, I suggested, had far more explanatory power regarding the events unfolding before us.
One reason: Mexico City’s 10 million people simply won’t give up their cars.
Photos from Yamile Requena.
Leer este artículo en español
MEXICO CITY — After a couple of days of unusually cold, windy, and rainy weather made pollution levels drop, Mexico City has faced an ozone alert since Sunday, March 13. The causes:
- March is the beginning of the hot, dry season.
- Leaders of the right-wing PAN political party won an injunction in July against Hoy no circula, the program that, for decades, forced certain cars to stay parked one day a week to reduce traffic and pollution. While the injunction really only forced changes in the program, city officials decided to cancel it almost completely, allowing more than 600,000 more cars per day on the road.