Tag Archives: #RESIST

Rants and raves

If I survive this semester . . . .


New eyeglasses are better than new clothes.


I hope that man who so precipitously and rudely cut me off on Kingshighway on Thursday (in a red van-ish SUV of some indeterminate sort) is proud of the words he made spew from my mouth.


Electronics are made for obsolescence.  I had to replace my 5.1 receiver this week.  These things are ‘spensive!


Even in the midst of such busy days at the office, and full days of teaching voice lessons, finding some time to whip up a meal is a sheer delight.


Quiche makes me happy.


I gave a talk this week about my sabbatical, and provided a nibble of babkas at the conclusion.  The students seemed happy.  So did a few faculty with a sweet tooth.

 


Acquaintances enrich my life in so many ways.  So do students, and the circus kids.


Fall Break and NYC cannot arrive quickly enough.


Teaching the Ernst Toch “Geographical Fugue” to my applied musicianship class may be the death of me, but we are going to lick this thing and have fun along the way!  (You should have seen them rapping this week.)


Is anything more fulfilling than teaching voice lessons?


I’m ramping up my expectations for several of my students, who are showing they are ready for more push.


The current president of the United States of America is one dumbass.  There.  The emperor has no clothes.  Someone said it.


I can’t wait to start cooking out of my new Moroccan cookbook!


Some days I miss having a dog.

Taxes

I filed my 2018 taxes yesterday.

And I owe the federal government more than $2200.

This is the first time in years that I’ve owed.  Some factors: 1099 income from Circus Harmony and from Variety Children’s Charity.  And pension distributions from my father’s estate, but that chunk had a huge piece of tax withheld.

I can’t help but think that the middle-class tax reform so widely proclaimed by the previous Congress might have had something to do with this.

My 1099 income shouldn’t have kicked the taxes up that much!

 

Criticizing

Theodore Roosevelt said

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

— The Kansas City Star, 7 May 1918

My birthday

My birthday (July 17) has been clouded over the past decades by various calamities and tragedies.

For instance:

  • 1981. The Hyatt skywalks fell in Kansas City. 114 people died.
  • 1996.  TWA flight 800 explodes over Long Island Sound.  230 people died.
  • 1998.  Papua New Guinea tsunami killed more than 2200 people.
  • 1999.  The world woke on July 17 to news of the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • 2014.  Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine.  298 people died.

I don’t think this day is particularly cursed, any more than any other day. But my own natal day perhaps distills may attention a little bit!

This morning, as I lounge in my flat in Vienna, I’ve been watching the world’s reaction to our American president.  His unconscionable bloviations in Helsinki yesterday are being reported with utter amazement on BBC, Sky News, CNN, and the French English-language news feed.

And one must wonder: is his treason the beginning of something even more tragic than the one-off events that I associate with my birthday?

Read on:

Dear Senator Blunt

Dear Senator Blunt,

Hi.  It’s me again.

Do you even care about the damage that this so-called President of the United States is doing to the world order, to progressive democracy, to social institutions, to diplomacy, to the party that you claim to represent?

You are now so complicit in the damage that you must have a hard time sleeping at night.

Let me quote and paraphrase The Atlantic (which I’m betting is not your favorite magazine) —

I am old enough to remember Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon telling lies on TV, about Vietnam in both cases, and Watergate for Nixon. I remember the travails and deceptions of Bill Clinton, and of George W. Bush in the buildup to the disastrous Iraq War.

But never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.

Trump manifestly cannot help himself. This is who he is.

Those who could do something are the 51 Republican senators and 236 Republican representatives who have the power to hold hearings, issue subpoenas, pass resolutions of censure, guarantee the integrity of Robert Mueller’s investigation, condemn the past Russian election interference, shore up protections against the next assault, and in general defend their country rather than the damaged and defective man who is now its president.

For 18 months, members of this party have averted their eyes from Trump, rather than disturb the Trump elements among their constituency or disrupt the party’s agenda on tax cuts and the Supreme Court. You already bear responsibility for what Trump has done to his office.

But with every hour that elapses after this shocking performance in Helsinki without Republicans doing anything, the more deeply you are stained by this dark moment in American leadership.

When are you going to step up?

Dr. Jeffrey Carter