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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The man, the moment: two thoughts on books from Yeezy

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The Hollywood Reporter, April 13, 2018:

VERVOORDT I don't know, I never even thought about it because I live now, as in now, the past, the future is present. Why should I want to live in another time period?

WEST Yeah. … Really big, be here now, now be here. I go to an extreme. I've got this new concept that I've been diggin' into. I'm writing a philosophy book right now called Break the Simulation. And I've got this philosophy — or let's say it's just a concept because sometimes philosophy sounds too heavy-handed. I've got a concept about photographs, and I'm on the fence about photographs — about human beings being obsessed with photographs — because it takes you out of the now and transports you into the past or transports you into the future. It can be used to document, but a lot of times it overtakes [people]. People dwell too much in the memories. People always wanna hear the history of something, which is important, but I think it there's too much of an importance put on history. One of the things that I thought was interesting was how far people go in the past when you're working on clothing. There's people who will go and reference something from the 1920s or reference something from the '40s, especially dealing with sportswear. My sports wear is athletic wear. I was working with a guy named David Casavant and we were looking at a jogging pant from the 1940s and we were looking at a jogging pant from the 1980s, and I thought it was interesting that he refused to go all the way back to the '40s as a reference, that he wanted to keep the references close to now, to be here now. So I'm not saying that, you know, it's bad to go all the way back. (Laughs.)

Reuters, May 26, 2009:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Kanye West does not read books or respect them but nevertheless, he has written one that he would like you to buy and read.

Entertainer Kanye West (L) and co-author of the book "Thank You and You're Welcome," Sakiya Sandifer, pose for a portrait while promoting the book in New York May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The Grammy Award winner, known for his No. 1 albums and outspoken statements on everything from racism in America to the banality of Twitter, is the co-author of “Thank You And You’re Welcome.”

His book is 52 pages — some blank, others with just a few words — and offers his optimistic philosophy on life. One two-page section reads, “Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react!” Another page reads “I hate the word hate!”

“This is a collection of thoughts and theories,” West, 31, said in an interview about his spiral-bound volume, which was written with J. Sakiya Sandifer.

West said he put his thoughts in a book because “I get paraphrased and misquoted all the time.” He calls his wisdom “Kanye-isms.”

“My favorite one is ‘Get used to being used,’” he said.

“I feel like to misuse, overuse or abuse someone is negative. To use is necessary and if you can’t be used, then you are useless.”

So does he fancy himself a modern-day Confucius?

“I’m trying to end the confusion,” he said, laughing and adding, “I’m gonna put that on the next album.”

West’s derision of books comes despite the fact that his late mother, Donda West, was a university English professor before she retired to manage his music career. She died in 2007 of complications following cosmetic surgery.

“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed,” West said. “I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.

“I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life,” he said.

West, a college dropout, said being a non-reader was helpful when he wrote his book because it gave him “a childlike purity.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Book Fair Week at last!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Don't miss this week's BookWeek!

An American original

Here's this week's LGBookT program!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

This week in literary trivia-

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Selections from the Sun King's 144 tweets on Syria, or, how to be a dumbass.

Saturday: the book laird of Kentucky

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another day.

Needed: intercessory incantations

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"You can call it whatever you want, just don't ask me to call it 'marriage'."

I came across this today and thought it worth posting for all the family and former friends who need to see it but won't, and who haven't evolved an inch past being able to spend a few minutes with me once every decade or two. They consider that progress, bigly.

"Don't know why/There's no sun up in the sky..."

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28 Code of Federal Regulations 600.7 - Conduct and accountability.

(d) The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.

Politico, April 10, 2018:

President Donald Trump “certainly believes he has the power” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday, a day after the president left the door open to the possibility.

"Mister, we could use a man/like Hoibert Hoover again...."

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Monday, April 9, 2018

We're doin' Hanukkah, in Santa Monica!

After the primary, he won't care for another two years. Stop him May 8.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Another reason not to send Joel Ford back to Raleigh

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Here's today's Rare Book Cafe program!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Texas congressman finally chokes on sleaze; late resignation leaves his district too late to fill the vacancy. Residents say the seat has seemed empty since 2008.

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Corpus Christi Republican Blake Farenthold abruptly resigned from Congress Friday afternoon, less than four months after dropping reelection plans under siege for crude and verbally abusive office behavior.

All the news they say you shouldn't read.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

One of Senator Joel Ford's bragging-rights programs isn't so much of a success, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's school superintendent says.

He has supported school programs like Project LIFT and the Beacon Initiative to change the way traditionally underserved students are educated, supported and empowered to realize their full potential. The results increase academic achievement and graduation rates by utilizing nationally recognized professional development and providing job-embedded coaching to transform leadership, instruction and culture into sustainable results at each school.
From WFAE-FM, April 6, 2018:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the district has not seen the achievement gains it had hoped for at Project LIFT schools.  
Since 2011, more than $100 million in public and private funds has been pumped into 10 predominately low-income west Charlotte schools to improve them academically.
In a presentation before a joint state legislative education committee, Wilcox said the Project LIFT program has had some successes but still faces a lot of challenges.  
When Project LIFT started, West Charlotte High School and its feeder schools were not performing as well as other schools in the district. The plan was to implement new teaching strategies and give the Project LIFT schools more resources. Calendars shifted—some schools added days to the school year and four schools went to a year-round calendar. The program gave students access to technology at home and at school, something many did not have in the past. 
...A target of a 90 percent proficiency rate in math and reading was set for all Project LIFT schools. Although those schools are meeting state growth requirements, about 50 percent of the students are still not proficient in those subjects.  
“What we thought when this project began was that we were going to simply be able to change the learning outcomes for kids quickly," Wilcox said. "We found the work is much more complex and it’s not going to be solved by simply putting dollars in it -  although dollars are a necessary component of it." 
Wilcox said another challenge that Project LIFT faces is that students within the program move a lot. Last year, only 30 percent of Project LIFT eighth graders continued on to West Charlotte High School - showing that most students aren't continuing in the program.
"Most challenging to LIFT is that [students] are going to our magnet programs," Wilcox said. "They’re going to our choice program and they are not staying in the program where they began." 
New students take their place, but they don't have the benefit of the whole Project LIFT experience - which includes more personalized and innovative instruction, free computers and counseling. For some, it also includes year-round school.
Ford styles himself a problem solver whose mantra is cozying up to Republicans in Raleigh. In 2016, another of his brainwaves boomeranged when Republicans pulled up the football:
As a 33-year veteran of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Superintendent Ann Clark knows the district’s twists and turns better than most. 
But her most recent foray into state politics surprised and alarmed both the teachers who work for her and members of the school board that employs her. 
The political storm arose from an April meeting among Clark, two representatives of the public-private Project LIFT and two state legislators. They talked about state Rep. Rob Bryan’s controversial Achievement School District bill, which would let charter operators take over five of North Carolina’s lowest-performing elementary schools, and how it might be expanded to give CMS more flexibility to improve some of its own struggling schools. 
Clark says she has never supported the charter takeover plan, and adds that her proposals for CMS flexibility only reflect what the school board has endorsed in recent years. 
But after an Observer editorial linked Clark to Bryan’s bill, CMS Board Chair Mary McCray held a press conference to emphasize the board’s opposition to the bill. Erlene Lyde, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, told the school board Clark’s apparent support of the bill left her feeling “blindsided, stabbed in the back and made to look like a trusting fool.” 
Beyond the political crossfire lies an essential question: What can be done when most students keep failing at certain schools? 
Those schools are easy enough to identify. They show up at the bottom of state test results year after year. Almost always they serve the most disadvantaged kids. 
And it’s simple enough to conclude that those schools need something different from the educational formula that hasn’t worked for them. 
The charter school movement is one response: Let independent boards create schools that can step outside the district model. With more freedom to hire and fire teachers, set longer school days or year-round calendars and experiment with educational techniques, the thinking goes, those schools can succeed with students who fail in traditional schools. 
Bryan, a Mecklenburg Republican, proposed last year that the state try an Achievement School District that would let charters take over some of the state’s most persistently troubled district schools. It drew flak from people who said similar efforts in Tennessee and New Orleans had produced little benefit, and Bryan decided to wait until this year to push for a vote. 
...State Sen. Joel Ford, a Mecklenburg Democrat, says he contacted Clark to suggest the April meeting that would prove so controversial. His district includes the Project LIFT schools, and he suggested working with Bryan to get CMS more freedom to improve those schools.

All the news to give you fits.

Tired of a ghost senator?

Last year, the word he had for it was "Dump.'

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"We knew we weren't electing a bazooka specialist. He said he was gonna shake things up."

He forgot Gay Pride when he was running for mayor last year, too.