Okay, I broke away from Bruno Mars on Spotify today only for Alicia Keys.
Bruno comes out later this month, Alicia's already dropped her new album.
And now I may need to grab another one.
This is from NPR:
Solange Knowles' newest album, A Seat At The Table, is her most commercially successful yet — it hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts last month. It's also her most political. On the record, Solange explores what it means to be black in America today. The songs in this album celebrate black culture, confront prejudice and explore the trauma of witnessing black people killed.
This is Solange's most personal work yet, too. The album includes interviews she conducted with her parents, and she wrote most of the lyrics in the town of New Iberia, La., where her family has roots. "I wanted to reclaim that space," she says. "I wanted to be able to go back as a descendant of my grandparents and stake my claim and create work that honored them."
Solange shared stories about her family and about the healing process of making A Seat At The Table with NPR's Ari Shapiro. Read an edited transcript of their conversation below; hear an abridged version at the audio link.
I am not big on Beyoncé.
She's a pop tart.
As a kid, I loved Anita Baker, real singers like her.
And Diana Ross who could put a song across.
And Janet Jackson who was so much fun.
Beyoncé's never done it for me.
But I am interested in her sister's album.
If Solange's trying to make a statement on the world today, I'll definitely give it a listen.
But I'm in love with Alicia's new album and with every track of Bruno's new album I can find online.
There's some great music coming out as the year ends.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, November 11, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, the refugee crisis continues, the refugee population includes a cat named Lulu, there's no "spolier," and much more.
If the plight of the woman doesn't effect Americans, maybe the cat Lulu will?
Displaced #Iraqi woman holds her white cat, known as Lulu while she waits to be transported to Shaqouli ( AFP).
Mosul has been held by the Islamic State since June of 2014. The operation to free or 'free' it began 25 days ago.
For those late to the party, yes, just 25 days ago.
Over two years ago, the city was seized by the Islamic State.
For over two years, the Baghdad-based government did nothing.
That was certainly plenty of time to, if nothing else, plan effectively.
But that didn't happen.
The World Food Program notes these numbers:
- 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA)
- 18 governorates affected
- 3.2 million people displaced (IOM)
- 2.4 million people food insecure (WFP)
- 225,455 Syrian refugees in Iraq (UNHCR)
The refugee crisis keeps getting worse every year and the answer since August 2014 has been?
Drop bombs on Iraq daily.
That's not helping.
Brett McGurk claims there's a diplomatic response, let's hope so because we haven't seen it thus far.
(More on Brett later in the snapshot.)
On the ground, Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) reports:
Musab Juma, a Shiite who used to live in the Mosul area, said he would not be going back, either. He relocated to Najaf, in southern Iraq, where he has a food stall and has decorated his home with old photos and antiques from his hometown. Yazidis and Kurds and Shabaks, other minorities that were once vital pieces of Mosul’s human tapestry, have moved on, too. And many Sunni Arabs, who make up most of Mosul’s population, say they will never go home again, even if that is where their parents and grandparents are buried.
It's a very important article. The opening is very strong and probably what would most grab but I went for a paragraph that noted multiple sects in that city.
The city's being torn apart.
The number of refugees is climbing.
And the number of War Crimes being committed is climbing.
THE INDEPENDENT doesn't appear to have time to report on War Crimes.
It's too busy serving up propaganda.
A column passed off as a news report claiming that Mosul has been liberated.
Mosul is liberated?
Well surely the militias will be dancing and congratulating one another.
So let's check their Twitter feed.
Mosul remains occupied.
AP notes that the advance halted on Thursday to allow the forces to "regroup."
But THE INDEPENDENT has published a piece of garbage column (passed off as reporting) claiming that Mosul is liberated.
By the way, when an ambassador writes a column, their byline should read "Ambassador." No one should have to go to the bottom of that long piece of junk to discover that it was penned by Iraq's Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Today is Veterans Day.
My country can feed 10K Syrian refugees, but can't take care of 50K homeless veterans
Usually, we do more on Veterans Day here. My apologies that we're not this time. Like a lot of other Americans, I'm exhausted by this election. (We'll be talking about the election later in the snapshot.)
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is always on the job, however.
We will note On The Border because they always e-mail (and I'll try to do a stand alone of it near lunch time today).
Brett McGurk is President Barack Obama's special envoy. He Tweeted the following this morning:
Let's note this from IAVA
Back to Brett McGurk.
Had the privilege of working with President Bush during the transition to @POTUS & now orderly transition begins to new President-Elect. 1/3
This democratic transition process is what makes our country great & our enemies -- #ISIL terrorists -- will have no chance to breathe. 2/3
Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, has won the election.
Psychos and psychotics like Debra Messing are calling for electors to the Electoral College to vote instead for Hillary.
Grasp, they aren't calling for abolishing the Electoral College.
In the US, there is the popular vote after all ballots are counted. The states then send electors to the Electoral College and that is who actually votes in the republic.
The Electoral College thwarts direct democracy.
I'm all for abolishing it.
But the Debra Messings don't want to change the system, they just want to try to rig it.
"I'm not happy with the results!" so they want to get a pass this one time.
Grow the hell up.
POLITICO has the state by state vote tally.
Hillary Clinton is responsible for the fact that she is not president.
As is the media and crony system that elevated her.
She was a lousy candidate.
"I'm With Her" renders the American people tag alongs and that's all she had to offer in her dismal, vanity-centered campaign.
She picked a running mate who was just as right-wing as she was.
This did not add 'variety' or 'mix' to the ticket.
She ran as The Woman of Wall Street.
How dare the American people ask about her speeches to them!!!
She will keep them hidden.
How dare the American people ask about The Clinton Foundation!!!
She will run out the clock.
In fact, how dare the American people ask anything of her.
Don't they know their place?
Their place is simply to vote for her.
She offered nothing.
Her campaign had no theme and no higher purpose.
And she offered nothing to the left.
She was a lousy candidate.
Gary Johnson did not steal her votes.
Jill Stein did not steal her votes.
This nonsense of 'spoiler' emerged after the Supreme Court awarded the 2000 election to Bully Boy Bush.
This allowed the cronies in the DNC to move further right.
They didn't need to try to win back voters who left because they were to the left of Al Gore and Joe Biden.
They just used fear.
And people let them get away with that.
Glenn Greenwald or someone had some comment about the fear factor of this election.
Where have you been?
I gave up on fear when the idiotic NATION magazine declared an election the torture election and if the country didn't vote their way . . .
Fear cannot be a motivating factor for campaigning.
You have to win votes.
You have to appeal to voters.
Failure to do so results in what we just saw.
Naomi Klein has a new column that we'll note this from:
"Information Clearing House" - "The Guardian" - They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.
But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?
Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.
Robert Parry also makes a strong point:
November 10, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Consortium News "
With blinders firmly in place, the Democrats yoked themselves to Clinton’s gilded carriage and tried to pull it all the way to the White House. But they ignored the fact that many Americans came to see Clinton as the personification of all that is wrong about the insular and corrupt world of Official Washington. And that has given us President-elect Trump.
You want better and more responsive candidates?
Stop pimping the lie that anyone's a "spoiler."
In an election, you campaign for votes.
No one owes you their vote.
You have to win it.
If someone else wins it, they haven't done anything wrong, you have.
Hold the candidate accountable.
Stein & Johnson didn't elect Trump, Nader didn't elect Bush.
Let's finally put that nonsense to rest and move on.