low morale

Despite it being a Birky day (he’s my shrink), I am struggling with a bit of a low morale today. I attribute it largely to watching and thinking about what’s happening in my country. That the voting rights bills that went down this week bummed out me terribly. I like everyone else didn’t expect them to pass. But still depressing

McConnell’s inadvertent exposure of his own racism was also depressing to watch: Mitch McConnell’s viral Black voter comments cause widespread furor | US Senate | The Guardian

Then when Clarence Thomas held out against the SCOTUS ruling allowing access to archival stuff about the Jan 6 went down. Dang. This exposes the underlying corruption of Ginnie Thomas’s actions and positions. See Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court by Jane Mayer, New Yorker January 21, 2022. Sheesh.

I talked to Birky about all this. The upshot was he copied the names of two books I recommended: The Cruelty is the Point by Adam Serwer and the 1619 Project. You know you’re in trouble when your therapist is looking to you for updates and readings about the morass of idiocy happening in our country.

But I did listen to a good podcast from the American Constitution Center this morning. MLK, the Declaration, and the Constitution | The National Constitution Center The inimitable Jeffrey Rosen joins William Allen, emeritus dean and professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University and Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, where he teaches courses on the civil rights and Black Power movements.

The three of them picked out six or seven of Martin Luther King’s speeches to discuss. At the end of the podcast Rosen suggests that listeners read all the speeches they discussed. Although he promised to link them in in the description section of their podcast, some of the links are to purchases and not to the speeches themselves. I made a list.

Martin Luther King speeches and articles

An Experiment in Love, 1958
Pilgrimage to NonViolence 1960
Letter from the Birmingham Jail 1963
I have a dream 1963
Our God is marching on 1965
Beyond Vietnam (1967)
Where do we go from here? (1967)

I linked in “Beyond Vietnam” because I fond it online. It’s also titled “A Time to break silence.” As far as I can tell all of these speeches and articles are in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches: King, Martin Luther, Washington, James M.: 9780060646912: Amazon.com: Books. I’m not planning to purchase this right away since I’m curtailing my book purchases and much of this stuff is on line, but I will eventually own this collection, I’m sure.

Adriano in Siria – Wikipedia

I was listening to the Inside Music BBC show from Jan 8. The presenter Keval Shah played an aria from the opera, Adriano in Siria by Vincenzo Legrenzio Ciampi. I was interested in learning more and could only recall the title. I looked it up on Wikipedia to discover there are over 60 operas based with this title. Who knew? Never heard of it.

President Biden’s first year with the press – Columbia Journalism Review

CJR is excellent.

‘Nocebo effect’: two-thirds of Covid jab reactions not caused by vaccine, study suggests | Medical research | The Guardian

Remember placebo and nocebo (the opposite) effects are real. If you take a placebo and get well, you get well, eh? Conversely by drawing attention to the fact that many reactions attributed to the vaccine are not caused by the vaccine does not mean people are not actually having them, just that they are not caused by the vaccine.

Covering the Republican assault on American Democracy – Columbia Journalism Review

like I said above, this source is excellent

NYTimes: The Persistent Gender Gap at the Supreme Court Lectern

At the lectern. This refers to whose arguing before the court.

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