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About Merkin

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    Virginia USA
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    breathing in...breathing out

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  1. Every time I take a gander at one of Des's comments I feel as though my brain has been goosed.
  2. Once the Kiwis get their own Trump-like leader, no doubt he will want to build a border wall.
  3. I don't care what color The Donald pisses. He is hosing us all. If he is impeached and removed from office, then Pence will take over. I fear him even more. What we need is a legal means to kick them all out.
  4. This has been a wonderfully thoughtful behind-the-scenes look at the real world of being a gay couple becoming temporary dads—or even permanent ones. The threats are real and Graeme teaches us that preparation, awareness, and sensitivity to the issues that will always befall gay parents are all part of the package. But the rewards are immense for those brave enough to undertake this responsibility. Thank you, Graeme, for guiding us through this journey.
  5. It's the birthday of American composer and pianist Harold Arlen, born Hyman Arluck, in Buffalo (1905), the son of a musician. In the mid-1920s he met lyricist Ted Koehler; together they collaborated on such tunes as "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" and "I've Got the World on A String." Among his many Broadway and Hollywood songs are "It's Only A Paper Moon," "That Old Black Magic," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." --From "The Writer's Almanac" for Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
  6. Thanks, Resurgam. You can ignore Cole's carping, as we all do. I second your recommendation; "Thrift Shop Nation" has been one of my favorite long short stories, and you sent me back to it just in time for a perfect Valentine reread. James
  7. One of the most famous Valentine's Day poems appeared in Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784), a collection of verse and nursery rhyme: The rose is red, the violet's blue, The honey's sweet, and so are you. Thou art my love and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine: The lot was cast and then I drew, And Fortune said it shou'd be you Wish I could tell you who wrote it, but that seems to be lost to the ages. Thanks, though, to Garrison Keillor and his research staff at The Writers’ Almanac for coming up with the source. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! James
  8. I am hoping our system for "The Balance of Power" will kick in. Our founders believed that the accumulation of power in any person or institution was dangerous and that balancing the principal elements of our government off, one against the other, protected against tyranny. Consequently we have structures in place so that each branch of our government -- executive, legislative, and judicial -- has some measure of oversight and control over the others. It is time for that process to assert itself. It will not happen overnight, but it must happen. However, we who are citizens of this sorry mess of a democratic republic MUST protect ourselves by providing the pressures that result in legislative and judicial branch actions that will be in our favor.
  9. Whoops. Profound apologies to bi_janus; I didn't mean to subvert discussion of your video, which is wonderful. I had meant to merely give a link to the Social Experiment video, Sorry. James
  10. This is wonderful. At the end of the video are links to several other somewhat similar videos created to open hearts and minds. Including this one, directed toward homophobia:
  11. I've often thought that the "clash" between the generations is more notable when it occurs in the classroom among teachers and students. Although we expect it to occur in households between parents and children, I'd offer the observation that there it is softened by day-to-day interaction from birth and parents are at least aware of the changes that may be taking place to influence their children. Teachers, however, often seem frozen in time, and that time was likely set for them when they stepped into their classrooms for their first class. I still remember the awful poems and worse novels pushed onto me for required reading by teachers whose repertoire of worldly wisdom stemmed from a much earlier part of the twentieth century.
  12. I love it that they are two brilliant kids having so much fun. There's a lesson there for all brooding artists...
  13. Oh, wow. Thanks, guys. I had nearly forgotten these brilliant lyrics. For his day job Tom Lehrer was a mathematician, who lectured at UC Santa Cruz.
  14. James, you are so good at capturing a sci-fi moment and making it believable. P.S. I'm glad to see that the 'hourglass' wait-one symbol will still be meaningful!
  15. I agree, Cole has said what he wanted to about Avery. And he has said it skillfully and delightfully and quite convincingly. But brother Ted is an untold story, and his transformation has made me want to know more about a boy who got the smaller room.