Thursday, 30 April 2015

Amazon Fail

The email which I submitted to Amazon dot com's "Help" department.

I have attempted four times to submit a review for a book which I have read, "The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities." Each attempt has been unsuccessful. The error message that I have received - the same one each time - has been unhelpful in guiding me towards a more acceptable review. I lack the time and technical expertise required to be a spam artist. I have made changes in the text each time that I have submitted it. I have added an explanation of how the "Crisis" benefited me personally. Through it all, I have kept in mind the fact that "Crisis" is read by academic scholars and has been used as a textbook for university courses and have aimed my review at that audience in particular.

I have begun to look at Google Books as a possible repository for my praise of this book, given the difficulties that I have encountered at your site. It will certainly be my destination of choice when I rate the dictionary which I am about to receive from Amazon, as well as any books which I have been blessed to check out from my library.

Even so, I would like to satisfy your requirements just for this one review, please and thank you so much.

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 30 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Thursday April 30: Cloudy Today, High Near 60. Partly Cloudy Tonight, Low 42. Sunny...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Have Been Here Before: Racism and Baltimore

There is violence in the city of Baltimore. There has been violence for quite some time now.

I do not refer to black people protesting. I refer to that which they protest: racist police violence, racist corporate policies which left them unemployed and others which have left them homeless, racist housing policies which have ghettoised them, racist economic policies which have impoverished them, racist political policies which have effectively stripped them of a meaningful vote, etc.

 Emile Badger covered the history of the racist disenfranchisement of black people in Baltimore, a pattern which, as the author pointed out, was repeated in other major American cities.
The long, painful and repetitive history of how Baltimore became Baltimore
Emile Badger, Washington Post
29 April 2015

Just a few years ago, Wells Fargo agreed to pay millions of dollars to Baltimore and its residents to settle a landmark lawsuit brought by the city claiming the bank unfairly steered minorities who wanted to own homes into subprime mortgages. Before that, there was the crack epidemic of the 1990s and the rise of mass incarceration and the decline of good industrial jobs in the 1980s.

And before that? From 1951 to 1971, 80 to 90 percent of the 25,000 families displaced in Baltimore to build new highways, schools and housing projects were black. Their neighborhoods, already disinvested and deemed dispensable, were sliced into pieces, the parks where their children played bulldozed.

And before that — now if we go way back — there was redlining, the earlier corollary to subprime lending in which banks refused to lend at all in neighborhoods that federally backed officials had identified as having "undesirable racial concentrations."

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's Center on Society and Health have found that Baltimore neighborhoods that were redlined in the 1930s still have lower rates of homeownership and college attainment and higher rates of poverty and segregation today — as well as worse health outcomes.
An article at TheRoot covers the way that all of this systemic racism converged in Baltimore.
Angry About the Riots? Then Be Angry About the State-Sanctioned Killing That Caused Them
Kirsten West Savali, TheRoot
29 April 2015
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose tenure includes the controversial closing of neighborhood recreational centers and the pending closure of beloved schools, also called some of the protesters thugs and tweeted, “We will not let these deplorable and cowardly acts of violence ruin #OurCity.” She has had very little to say about the deplorable and cowardly acts that left Freddie Gray dead or about the viciousness of the Baltimore Police Department at large.

This is systemic racism at work. It doesn’t matter that there’s a black president, a black attorney general, a black police commissioner or a black mayor. Black youths expressing pain and rage, fear and disbelief, are characterized as criminals, and the cops who left Freddie Gray nearly decapitated are on taxpayer-paid vacations.
After decades of this violence, after the prominent murder of yet another black man at the hands of cops, and in the wake of strategically racist police maneuvers aimed at artificially aggregating and isolating black youth in the middle of the city, black people finally erupted into protest. Regarding my claim that black youth were intentionally gathered in Baltimore, Mother Jones has covered the buildup very well.
Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think
Sam Brodey and Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Joones
28 April 2015
When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.
This was intentional. It was racist. It had an entirely predictable result, one which has drawn the usual white support for cops and the usual calls for black non-violence. Few realise that such calls rest on a heavy amount of privilege and are racist. An article by Najia Tameez of MuslimGirl and another by Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Nation spell this out for us.
On Privilege, Struggle, and the Hypocrisy of Calling for Non-Violence
Najia Tameez, MuslimGirl
28 April 2015
Struggle does not come without a price. Struggle is not overcome without sacrifice. But, for far too long, the price has been human dignity. For far too long, the price has been the spilled blood of Brown, but primarily Black, peoples. So, excuse me if I am not overly concerned with damaged property, a minimal sacrifice in the fight against hundreds of years of injustice. Watching the riots in Baltimore unfold causes me no anger — rather, it causes me to mourn for our broken systems and the thousands of lives lost, either through death or destruction, to a system that is meant to protect them. ... In Baltimore, city officials are calling for non-violence while the city itself is brutally beating and killing its citizens. This is hypocrisy. Reprimanding the oppressed for reacting “violently” to a violent system is hypocrisy. Reprimanding people whose very lives are at jeopardy for no other reason then the color of their skin, because of some damaged property, is ludicrous.

Nonviolence as Compliance
Ta-Nehisi Coated
27 April 2015
I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today's riots began. My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution.

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con.
It isn't even as though peaceful protest has been effective in the past. An excellent cartoon appearing in The Nib illustrates - literally.
Great Moments in Peaceful Protest History
Matt Lubchanksy, The Nib
29 April 2015
[one of several panels is displayed here]
Those of us who would quote Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr at our black siblings are also called out on Everyday Feminism. MLK, Jr was a complex person who addressed different situations at different times in different ways.
10 Things All White Folks Need to Consider about the #BaltimoreUprising
Jamie Utt, Everyday Feminism
29 April 015
There is not a statistical measure that exists by which White people are oppressed while people of Color are privileged. ... The Rev. Dr. King was a radical revolutionary who called for a complete overturning of the racist, capitalist system in which we live.
I myself will stop typing here. However, I am leaving you all with some more reading materials and a video at the end as a prize for all who finish reading it all. (No cheating!) The first two readings deal with the subprime mortgage crisis. As one can see, it was aimed directly at black people. The third is a somewhat academic apprisal of the history of resistence in the black Muslim community and the obstacles faced by black Muslims.
Bank Accused of Pushing Mortgage Deals on Blacks
Michael Powell, New York Times
06 June 2009
As she describes it, Beth Jacobson and her fellow loan officers at Wells Fargo Bank “rode the stagecoach from hell” for a decade, systematically singling out blacks in Baltimore and suburban Maryland for high-interest subprime mortgages. These loans, Baltimore officials have claimed in a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo, tipped hundreds of homeowners into foreclosure and cost the city tens of millions of dollars in taxes and city services. ... Loan officers, she said, pushed customers who could have qualified for prime loans into subprime mortgages.

The toll taken by such policies, Baltimore officials argue, is terrible. Data released by the city as part of the suit last week show that more than half the properties subject to foreclosure on a Wells Fargo loan from 2005 to 2008 now stand vacant. And 71 percent of those are in predominantly black neighborhoods. ... City and state officials across the nation have investigated and sometimes sued Wells Fargo over its practices. The Illinois attorney general has investigated whether Wells Fargo Financial violated fair lending and civil rights laws by steering black and Latino homeowners into high-interest loans. New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, raised similar questions about the lending practices of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, among other banks.

The New York Times, in a recent analysis of mortgage lending in New York City, found that black households making more than $68,000 a year were nearly five times as likely to hold high-interest subprime mortgages as whites of similar or even lower incomes. (The disparity was greater for Wells Fargo borrowers, as 2 percent of whites in that income group hold subprime loans and 16.1 percent of blacks.)

“They referred to subprime loans made in minority communities as ghetto loans and minority customers as ‘those people have bad credit’, ‘those people don’t pay their bills’ and ‘mud people,’ ” Mr. Paschal said in his affidavit. He said a bank office in Silver Spring, Md., had an “affinity group marketing” section, which hired blacks to call on African-American churches. “The company put ‘bounties’ on minority borrowers,” Mr. Paschal said. “By this I mean that loan officers received cash incentives to aggressively market subprime loans in minority communities.”

More Than Reform For Subprime Hurt
Laura Flandders, The Nation
28 April 2010
Millions of underpaid Americans have lost their homes, their nest eggs, and many of them, their incomes. Their legitimate desire to own a home and have some equity was twisted and turned against them, especially if they lived in minority communities. The subprime rip-off is resulting in the largest transfer of wealth out of minority America ever, estimated now at close to $1 trillion.
Towards a Black Muslim Ontology of Resistance
Muna Mire, The New Inquiry
29 April 2015
The Nation of Islam and other Black Muslim resistance movements that came out of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s might dominate our sense of its place in history, but Islam has been central to Black resistance and liberation movements for much longer than that. Muslim slaves and freedpeople in Georgia and South Carolina maintained their traditions at great risk to themselves in places like Sapelo Island and St. Simons Island – self-contained majority-Black enclaves with large, centralized plantation infrastructures.

Part of the covenant of the American Dream is an agreement non-Black immigrants enter into when they land on U.S. shores. It’s an implicit contract with explicit aims: when you come to America, you’d better not ally yourself in any way with Black people or Blackness if you expect to get ahead. Black people are bad news. For Arabs and South Asians who make up a significant portion of the U.S. Muslim community, this manifests in a model-minority ethos that uses Black Americans as an example of what not to do and who not to affiliate with.

Because Black Muslims are not perceived as Muslim, they face rogue Islamophobic violence less often—but when that violence comes, their deaths do not garner as much outrage or mobilize Muslims in the same ways. Around the same time three young Arab Muslims were murdered in their Chapel Hill home, a Somali Muslim man was shot through the door of his apartment in Fort McMurray, Alberta. While Deah, Yusor, and Razan’s deaths trended worldwide, Mustafa Mattan’s murder was barely a passing blip outside of the Somali community.

But when you add the identity marker of “Muslim” to that of “Black,” something very different happens: erasure. Black Muslims are invisible to their faith communities and to wider society, for Muslims, unlike Black people, must actively legitimize their identities as Muslims—through practicing faith, maintaining proximity to a community, or a cultural inheritance. The hypervisibility of Blackness makes one’s identity as a Muslim impossible precisely because Blackness precludes Muslimness in the cultural imaginary. So to occupy both subject positions is to experience the downward thrust of cognitive dissonance: you will always be too Black to be a true Muslim, but you must live with all of the pain that America inflicts on both Black people and Muslims.

Racism Is Real • BRAVE NEW FILMS
The #BaltimoreUprising is a symptom of a much larger problem! LIKE our page Brave New Films (Y)Something is wrong when thousands of resumes are mailed to employers with identical information and black-sounding names are 50% less likely to get a call back. Something is wrong when black people are charged prices roughly $700 higher than white people when buying cars. Something is wrong when black drivers are twice as likely to get pulled over by the police and black male teens are 21 times more likely to be killed by cops than their white counterparts. Something is wrong when black people are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of white people.And something is wrong when we continue to NOT do anything about it! Please SHARE & sign the pledge to challenge racism whenever it rears it's ugly head! #Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter #BaltimoreRiots
Posted by Brave New Films on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

UK Voting Very Important

Dear Britain:
Please remember to vote Conservative on May 8 for a better UK. Mark it on your calenders, set your phone alarms - be sure to come out on 8th May and support proper British leaders.

PS: Enjoy the delightful programming on Cbeebies with your families next Friday as a special treat for them. Nothing matters more to families than your valuable time.

Books and Hearts

How to win Freedom's heart: buy books.

Below image for Facebook visibility purposes.

Howard Sharper Weather Post 29 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Wednesday,April 29: Partly Sunny Today, High 65. Turning Cloudy Tonight, Showers...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 28 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Tuesday April 28: Morning Sun, Afternoon Clouds, Daytime High 62. Cloudy Tonight, Low 40. Sunny Tomorrow, High 64.
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 26 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Sunday April 26: Becoming Partly Cloudy And Breezy Today, High 55. Cloudy Tonight, Low...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 25 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Saturday April 25. Turning Partly Cloudy And Breezy This Afternoon, Daytime High 52. ...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 23 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Thursday April 23: Cloudy And Breezy Today, Scattered Morning Flurries Possible, Daytime...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Shame. Recognise Armenian Genocide and Condemn It.

"If you haven't heard already, a coalition of American Muslim groups published a joint statement basically dismissing...
Posted by Ilana Alazzeh on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SIGN: Armenian, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Muslim-Americans Condemn USCMO Statement on the Armenian Genocide

Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 22 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Wednesday April 22: Cloudy And Windy Today, Scattered Rain And Snow Showers, Winds...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Old Catholic Hymnals (Or, Zero Excuse to Use Protestant Hymns at Catholic Churches)

Just a brief survey reveals increasing crossover through the decades, but nothing like what I hear on EWTN.

* Cantiques Francais a l'Usage du Catechisme de l'Eglise de Saint-Patrice de Baltimore
pub:  Jean Hayes, pour le compte de J. Rice, Baltimore, Md., 1798
Well, it's French, so not much chance of "familiar" tunes being in here, right?

* Anthems, Hymns ... Usually Sung at the Catholic Church in Boston
pub: Manning & Loring, Boston, Mass., 1800
Some are familiar, some not; and most unknkown. Apparently folk back then didn't read music?
d1 Assemble, ye faithful, be joyful, and triumph      
d2 Before the closing of the day      
d3 Behold the royal ensigns fly      
d4 Break forth, O Zion [Sion], thy sweet Savior sing      
d5 Bright Maker of the starry poles      
d6 Come, Holy Ghost, send down those beams      
d7 From east to west, from pole to pole      
d8 Grateful notes and numbers bring      
d9 Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame [tell]      
d10 Hail, martyrs, blossoms early blown      
d11 Hail, thou resplendent star      
d12 Hail to the queen who reigns above      
d13 How various, Lord, thy works are found      
d14 Jesus, the ransomer of man      
d15 Jesus, the very [only] thought of Thee [You]      
d16 Jesus, who man's Redeemer art      
d17 Let all who have God's goodness proved      
d18 O faithful cross, O noblest tree      
d19 O God, be present and inspire      
d20 O gracious Lord, incline thine ears      
d21 O great creator of the light      
d22 O Jesus let thy anger cease      
d23 O saving Victim, pledge of love      
d24 Sing, O my tongue, adore and praise      
d25 Sing, O my tongue, devoutly sing      
d26 Sing ye praises to the Lord      
d27 Spirit, Creator of mankind      
d28 That day of wrath, that direful day      
d29 The fiery sun now rolls away      
d30 The fleeting year pursues its way      
d31 The Lord no longer will delay      
d32 The red sea's dangers are now past      
d33 The wonders which God's laws contain      
d34 Through all the changing scenes of life, In trouble      
d35 To thee, O Christ, be glory, praises loud      
d36 Under the world's redeeming wood      
d37 What makes thee, cruel Herod, shake      
d38 While angels to the world proclaim      
d39 While the disciples weep the loss      
d40 Ye dear bought Christians, come and sing      
d41 Young men and maidens, rejoice and sing
* Hymns, for the Use of the Catholic Church in the United States of America (New ed.)
pub: John West Butler, Baltimore, 1807
No notated music, just typed words. Some familiar, most not.

* The Catholic Harp: containing the morning and evening service of the Catholic Church, embracing a choice collection of masses, litanies, psalms, sacred hymns, anthems, versicles, and motifs
pub: D. & J. Sadlier, New York, 1830
Behold the era of proessional cantors? Because damn.

* Manual of Catholic Melodies: or, a Compilation of Hymns, Anthems, Psalms
John Murphy, Baltimore, Md., 1843
Nothing really looks familiar, but no words or music available.

* A Collection of Psalms, Hymns, Anthems, &c. to Which is Added the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin
pub: Robert Coddington, New York, N.Y., 1844
It really looks as though most of the hymns are unique to the Catholic Church - they appear mostly in other Catholic hymnals of the time.

* The Little Catholic Hymn Book: Containing a Collection of Hymns, Anthems
pub: Edward Dunigan & Bro., New York, N.Y., 1851
Plenty of crossover.

* The Choral Sodality Hand Book, Containing Hymns, Canticles and Litanies
pub: Thomas J. Flynn & Co., Boston, Mass., 1898
Plenty of crossover.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 20 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Monday April 20: Cloudy And Windy With Scattered Showers And Thunderstorms Today, Winds...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunday Morning Thoughts, 19 April 2015

On the EWTN Mass, my fave priest at the pulpit today. There are times when he acts as though he were Fam. In addition, he can actually sing. Beautiful pipe organ music. One point of contention: there was NO Old Testament reading. I was so disappointed. All three readings from the NT. Why, EWTN, why? Not hype about the sermon, but at least it wasn't politicised.

Got up at 7 am. A win for me. Hoping to move that up to 6:30.

My brain seems to be settling down after the excitement of the past couple of weeks. Thank God. Had a "scary" dream last night, but it was nothing more than a horror flick playing in my head. It was fun to watch.

Finally broke down and got some whole wheat "tortilla" wraps. It works so, so much better for me than plain wheat wraps. However, they simply do not hold a candle to the whole wheat wraps from La Estrella in Saginaw, Michigan.

Tried oolong tea because it is fair trade (stand up against slavery). Light, easily sweetened. It didn't brew as dark as black tea. Still not sure what is in it. I am so glad, though, to have it and to have spent money on a fair trade item. This is in contrast with the tube of spearmint chapstick that I bought from Walmart. I am so sorry, World.

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Sunday April 19: Turning Mostly Cloudy And Breezy This Afternoon, Winds Gusting To 28...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Photography 18 April 2015: Sunrise & Flowers

Me desperté con esta brillantez esta mañana.

Entonces fui a ver algunas flores...

Hay que cliquear en esta foto para ver todas las detalles:

 Por supuesto, se debe cliquea en todas, que he tomado casi perfectísimas fotos hoy. :)

Friday, 17 April 2015

< / 3

How to break Freedom's heart: date an exclusivist/monogamist.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Me and My Moments


*jumps around*
*holds fork aloft in victorious pose*

Yup. I made it in.

For my own purposes (because I have also been dancing and lip-synching to this), some lyrics to another song.

Allah Hoo, A
llah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Malik ul mulk lashareeka lahoo
Wahadahoo laa ilaahaa illaahoo

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Yeh zameen jab na thii yeh jahaan jab na thaa
Chaand suraj na thay aasman jab na tha
Raaz-e-haq bhi kisi per ayaan jab na tha
Tab na tha kuch yahaan tha magar tu hee tu

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Sana bashar ke liyeah bashar sana k liyeah
Tamaam hamd sazawaar hai khuda k liyeah
Ata k samnay yarab khata ka zikar he kya
Tu ata k liyeah hai bashar khata k liyeah

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Kiyoon piyaa ibn-e-haidar nay jaam-e-fanaa
Khaal khichwai tabraiz ne kiyoon bhala
Daar per charh ke mansoor nay kia kaha
Sab banatay khilonay lay raha tu he tu

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Laa ilaahaa teri shaan ya wahdahoo
Tu khayaal-o-tajassus tu he aarzoo
Aankh ki roshni dil ki awaaz tu
Tha bhi tu, hai bhi tu, hoga bhi tu hee tu

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 16 April 2015

Howard Sharper's photo-accompanied weather forecast:

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Thursday April 16: Turning Cloudy This Afternoon, Showers Likely, High 60. Cloudy...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Thursday, April 16, 2015

And some more photos by the ever-exhilarating Howard Sharper

By The Dawn's Early Light ... April 16, 2015. Crow Island State Game Area
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Thursday, April 16, 2015


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 14 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Tuesday April 14: Sunny Today, High 63. Clear Tonight, Low 36. Sunny And Breezy Tomorrow, High 61. Partly Cloudy And Breezy Tomorrow Night, Low 40.
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Brownness, Mental Health, and Masculinity

So "American Sniper" happened. The backlash against the Muslim community was completely unsurprising. There was more even of the same racist slurs and death threats against Muslims. Some of these were depicted in the Facebook preview for an article that was distributed rather widely in the wake of that fallout.

The same article asked a very a propos question: where were all of the "moderate Americans" to stand up against this violence? Perhaps they were in the same place as the "moderate Muslims" - that same deep, long-ignored echo chamber where journalists who value their jobs daren't venture for fear of exposing brown people as patently un-frightening.

Then we had those infamous white people at the apex of the two great white masculine adventures, sports and über-nationalistic jingoism, confirming their status as bigots. Gratitude to Khaled Beydoun for covering this despicable quote.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan's Football Coach: "Michigan Football will watch American Sniper. Proud to be an American and if...
Posted by Khaled Bey on Thursday, April 9, 2015

On the other extreme were those who, lacking other words in their vocabulary to express disgust at hypermasculine portrayals of White Saviour men rescuing white women from the non-existent threat of scary brown bodies, lashed out in the most excruciatingly ableist of furies. I was infuriated when I saw in my Facebook feed someone taunting Kyle Cooper as someone who went to Iraq to kill many innocents and then came home and cried about it.

I live with PTSD. If anyone were ever to refer to me as the one who went off to some other state to be severely abused and then come home to cry about it... Well, to be perfectly honest, I would probably cry about that. Because that isn't how people are supposed to treat each other - mocking each other's illnesses. After all, we don't make fun of cancer, or asthma, or diabetes. Why should mental illnesses be singled out for this kind of ableism? Another article - this one nearly as ableist as the post which I observed, complained about the ahistoricity of the movie.

The original poster's commentary was worse than the language contained in the article preview.

Some level-headed critique of the movies was available, however. The Guardian, a United Kingdom newspaper with an online presence, carried a two-part series analysing "American Sniper" along with to other movies. The author's focus was masculinity, which made the series interesting for me. Excerpts below as a very unceremonious end to this blog post.

Boyhood, Selma and American Sniper: race meets masculinity on film – part one
Steven W Thrasher, The Guardian
19 Feb 2015
Indeed. Should we consider, then, the repeatedly constructed innocence we cheer for of the semi-fictional Mason’s boyhood in comparison to the presumed guilt (with mortal consequences) of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, or Trayvon Martin’s boyhood? Or Renisha McBride’s girlhood? Or young John Crawford’s manhood? Can one accept Boyhood’s message unquestioningly and still believe black lives matter? To quote hooks again: “I don’t think we will get much further in terms of decolonizing our minds” unless people like me who liked Boyhood can also critically examine that accepting Mason’s white privilege is indissoluble from his transition from boyhood to manhood.
men depicted in black and white – part two
Disappointingly, given it is one of the few feature films to be directed by a woman in any given year, Selma moves away from those girls and on to the men for the bulk of the film. Manhood – as it also is in American Sniper – is constructed in Selma largely in the absence of women, save for the frozen-out wife. Except for a supporting role from Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and an even smaller role for Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, Selma takes us to the civil rights domain of straight men.

Oyelowo’s King is a black man in full. He is sexual and not a neutered saint, his marital affairs acknowledged with a refreshing frankness. Personally, he has many doubts (including of white politicians). Professionally, he is assertive and pragmatic, utilizing radical non-violent resistance as an offensive strategy and not, as oft portrayed a half century later, out of passivity and defensiveness. He butts heads figuratively and literally with white men.

Much more so than Selma’s dream of pacifist, transnational blackness, American Sniper is a perfect fantasy for our current conception of manhood in the United States, a nation where violence against women is too often dismissed; where violence by individuals in ethnic groups swiftly casts aspersions on all its members; and yet, where no number of mass shootings by white men – waged in movie theaters, elementary schools, neighborhood congressional meet-ups, or sovereign countries – will ever allow white manhood to be seen as anything but as innocent and pure as young Mason heading off to college at the end of Boyhood.

Being Asexual and Literal-Minded at the Same Time

On Being Asexual with a Literal Mind
"And as I flee the scene of this literal-minded collision, I accidentally knock over your box of crayons.



A poem about asexual romance. Excerpt:
"You've left me bereft of my core; and I wander in your wake."

Howard Sharper's Weather Post 12 April 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Sunday April 12: Sunny This Afternoon, High 66. Cloudy Tonight, Low 50. Partly Sunny, Windy And Warmer Tomorrow, Showers Possible, High 68.
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Callando la Voz Popular

Entonces la Constitución de España es diferente que la de los Estados Unidos (o quizás es semejante, pero es posible modificarla por el Congreso) - parece que no hay la misma protección para manifestaciones que tenemos aquí.

Extractos de un artículo «El País» sobre el asunto:

Hologramas contra la “Ley Mordaza”
Carlos Córdoba Vallet
11 Abril 2015

«Convocada por la plataforma No Somos Delito, la concentración mostró su rechazo a la Ley Orgánica de Seguridad Ciudadana, aprobada por el Gobierno del Partido Popular y bautizada por la oposición como “ley mordaza”. La manifestación permitió ver, de 21.30 a 22.30, más de 2.000 imágenes virtuales enviadas durante las últimas dos semanas por personas desde todos los rincones del mundo (Rusia, México, Alemania...) y que la organización almacenó en ... “Prohibir las manifestaciones ante un Parlamento constituye una restricción desproporcionada de la libertad de reunión; lo dice el relator especial de Naciones Unidas”, asevera Alba Villanueva, otra de las portavoces de la plataforma.»

Una foto:

y la manifestación:

Julie Andrews Singing as a Child

Teddy Gibson, Pipe Organist

Teddy Gibson plays the Wurlitzer at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Two Harps, One Castle Ruins

Epic IRON MAIDEN Cover by The Harp Twins
Epic IRON MAIDEN Cover by The Harp TwinsIdentical twins, Camille and Kennerly (The Harp Twins) play their Electric Harp duet arrangement of “Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden!Please share!SUBSCRIBE to our YOUTUBE channel for more epic music videos! New video every couple weeks!, watch our DANCE OF DEATH - Iron Maiden (Harp Twins cover) HERE:
Posted by Camille and Kennerly on Monday, February 2, 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Friday April 10: Cloudy, Rainy And Windy Today, High 50, Sustained West Winds At 30 MPH,...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Listeria in Your Sabra Hummous

because I am not yet awake and hardly literate, I am copy-pasting from the Detroit Free Press (even though I hate Gannett, that slave profiteer) ... a word first, though, that while I bought hummous recently, I don't have to worry about listeria - because I boycott the crap out of that apartheid-supporting corporation

Listeria in hummus prompts national recall by Sabra
Robin Erb, Detroit Free Press
09 April 2015

Inspectors with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development learned of the possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes after routine inspections March 30 at a Kroger in Port Huron, according to Jennifer Holton, MDARD spokeswoman.

Samples from the prepackaged product were collected for testing, and the results came back days later. Michigan officials alerted inspectors in Virginia and officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who, in turn, are working with Sabra.

These are the codes:

040822011143/300067 – Sabra Classic, 10 oz. – 3-059/Best before May 11;

040822011143/300067 – Sabra Classic 10 oz. - 3-060/Best before May 15

040822014687/300074 – Sabra Classic, 30 oz. – 3-059/Best before May 11

040822342049/301216 – Sabra Classic Without Garnish, 32 oz. – 3-059/Best before May 11

040822017497/301290 – Sabra Classic, 17 oz. Six Pack – 3-058/Best before May 11

040822017497/301290 – Sabra Classic, 17 oz. Six Pack – 3-059/Best before May 11

040822342209/301283 – Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic – 3-058/Best before May 11

below image for Facebook Visibility purposes

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cracker. So There.

Think that it's racist? Think again. There is no such thing as "racist against whites."

"Cracker." So there. I said it. What'cha going to do about it?

Ahhhhh, but wait! First you need to produce a list of thousands of whites who were lynched, had their houses burned, were refused jobs, etc. to that pejorative. Take your time. I am waiting.

Rated X (Asexuality Documentary) with embedded video

There are parts of the "Relationships" section that really describe me. I highly recommend this video because of the way that it introduces so many important topics in a clean and concise way.

The image below (of some of my awesome poetry) is for Facebook visibility purposes.

Howard Sharper: Mid-Michigan Weather Wed 08 April 2015

Because his posts really are that awesome.

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Wednesday March 8: Rain Showers This Morning, Cloudy This Afternoon, High 45. Cloudy...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Think Ahead Gaming Question!

For indoor gaming recreation, what is your pleasure:

* board games?
* card games?
* acting-it-out games?

Why so, or why not?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Keep It Always Chronological

Whenever Facebook refuses to deliver your newsfeed to you in chronological order, change your bookmark to

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Until the Killing of Black Men Is as Important...

Nearly 150 black Africans were slaughtered in Kenya.


Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday at 1st Congregational, Saginaw

Clicking each photo will bring it to your view in its original size.

Happy East-Mas!

So this is our weather forecast.

What we didn't get for Christmas, we're getting for Easter? hahahahahahaa