Friday, December 1, 2023

Random Thoughts of the Day December 1, 2023

Better late than never as George Santos was finally expelled from the House of Representatives. IMHO the fact that he lied about his background and credentials to the voters of his district should have been enough to deny seating him last January.  The Republicans wanted to keep him as their majority in the House was razor thin.  There will soon be a special election in that district to fill that seat.  The 100+ Congressman who voted against expulsion should also be kicked out of Congress.  I expect the utmost integrity from all elected and appointed government officials.

It is sad that money controls who is elected to office.  A well-qualified person cannot attain an office if he/she cannot raise funds.  I would not give one penny to anyone running for office.  Speaking of fundraising, I have donated to several charities regularly.  These include cultural institutions, radio stations, medical organizations, and institutions providing food.  Once you donate, they hit you up for more money almost immediately by snail mail, email, and phone calls.


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Finally. Someone Else is Bashing the Electoral College - Gail Collins


Gail Collins is an American journalist, op-ed columnist, and author, most recognized for her work with The New York Times.  As an online subscriber to the New York Times, I am allowed to give away 10 articles every month.  I thought my readers, especially Alan Seltzer, would enjoy this article where she bashes the Electoral College.  She concludes:

"Nothing is going to happen to fix the Electoral College. Can you imagine trying to get a change in the Constitution that enormous? It was a long haul just to pass an amendment to prohibit members of Congress from raising their own pay between elections."

It would take a vote of 2/3 in the House and Senate followed by approval by 3/4 of the state legislators to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Book Review: Jack Ruby: The Many Faces of Oswald's Assassin by Danny Fingeroth


Over the past 60 years there have been countless books, articles, and conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination.  Interest in this tragic event has likely piqued on its 60th anniversary although most people today were not yet born in 1963.  Danny Fingeroth, known as a cultural critic, comics writer, editor, educator and commentator, just wrote a detailed biography of Jack Ruby, the killer of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.  He is noted as the biographer of Stan Lee best known for his work with Marvel Comics.  Danny was ten years old at the time of the murder of Oswald and, like millions of others, viewed it on live TV.

He interviewed some of Ruby’s nieces and nephews and Rabbi Hillel Silverman who knew him quite well. Many of the books written about the assassination and its aftermath were consulted.  It took Danny about ten years to research and write the book.  He describes Ruby’s early years in Chicago, his relationship with his family and Rabbi Silverman, and his business ventures before the historic events in Dallas. Danny details the actions of Ruby in the two days after the assassination, his murder of Oswald, his trial, and the events after the trial.  He succeeded in refreshing my memory of those events.  Ruby’s lawyers tried to use the insanity defense to acquit Ruby, but he was convicted and sentenced to death.  There was a successful appeal with a new trial at a location outside of Dallas.  Ruby died in January 1967 before a second trial could be held.

There are still many unanswered questions about the Kennedy assassination, but nobody has definitively proven a conspiracy.  The uniqueness of this book is the comprehensive study of Ruby’s life.  Danny is to be commended for a fine book.  Younger people should read the book to learn about the tragic events that changed history.

I became acquainted with Danny Fingeroth through a Bob Dylan video chat group that meets monthly.  There are a few Dylan references in the book including his recent song Murder Most Foul.



Monday, November 27, 2023

How I Would Change the Government


I can't change things independently, but here is what I wish would happen.

Federal Government

My proposals will never happen since a constitutional amendment would be required.  A 2/3 vote in the House and Senate followed by approval by 3/4 of the state legislatures would be needed.
  • Abolish the electoral college and the presidential election be decided by popular vote
  • The term for the House of Representatives be expanded to four years with the election held in even-numbered years when there is no presidential election.
  • Limit Senators to two six-year terms and Representatives to three four-year terms.
  • All Supreme Court justices can be appointed to one ten-year term that may not be renewed.
New York State Government
  • There should be term limits for the Governor, State Senate, State Assembly, Attorney General, and Comptroller.
New York City Government
  • Abolish the office of Public Advocate.  I need to see what the person in this position accomplishes.  Most previous incumbents have used this as a stepping stone to a higher office.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday Afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)


A Picasso seen today

I thought it was time for a return visit to this fine museum as I hadn't been there since April 2021.  There was plenty to see over six floors.  Most of the views were cursory since there was so much to see.

One exhibit was ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN which features over 200 works—in mediums including painting, drawing, prints, photography, artist’s books, film, and installation—that make use of everything from gunpowder to chocolate.  

This work by Ruscha should amuse my radio friends.

Another exhibit was An-My LĂȘ: Between Two Rivers - works of a Vietnamese artist.  The two rivers in the exhibition’s title refer to the Mekong and Mississippi River deltas.

A third exhibit was Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism explores how architects in the US responded to the environmental crisis of the 1960s and 1970s.

Here is one painting from the general collection

Friday, November 24, 2023

Tangled Up in Blue is Lee's Favorite Dylan Song

Tangled Up in Blue was voted the #1 Bob Dylan song by WFUV listeners two years ago.  Lee had the pleasure of hearing Dylan in concert singing it a few times in the past.


Original Studio Version from Blood on the Tracks

Concert Version From September 2000

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Murder Most Foul with Video by Bob Mori



 I am not allowed to show this video in my journal. Please click on the link to see it on YouTube.

Bob Mori, a video editor, did an excellent job of visualizing Bob Dylan's thoughts.
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