Cluster Map

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pollyanna is with you again

is taking her turn now.She has successfully navigated past the holiday season and is now waiting for some winter weather and rain. Anyone, including President-elect Trump who still thinks that climate change is not real, is totally delusional.

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site.  Pollyanna and Titan hope that you will visit there, take the actions and make the donations.


LEONARD COHEN 1934-2016 

Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned nearly 50 years, died Monday at the age of 82. Cohen's label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page Thursday evening. Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and
fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet. A biography is given in Rolling Stone.


Pollyanna, Titan and YandA are all shocked at the victory of Donald Trump in the US elections. In general, we have had surprise results recently, including the Brexit and the initial  rejection of the peace deal with the FARC by the Colombian public. It appears that the pundits are totally out of touch with what the masses of people are thinking.  Paul Krugman writing in the NYTimes puts it in basic terms: "We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time. We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law. It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label."

These failures of prediction tell us that the media and the pundits, to say nothing of the liberal political class, must become more attentive to the needs and frustrations of the people who have been left behind by technological and cultural changes and who see their familiar world crashing around them. It is indeed not realistic of them to believe that the likes of Trump or Boris Johnson will turn back the clock, revive the moribund coal industry and restore the America or Britain that they remember and in which they held a position of value and prestige. This is particularly true of men--one day you are a foreman at a steel plant and the next day you are  on the dole. So you vent your anger and frustration at the voting place in the futile hope that something will change. Punditry has again turned out to be a false guide as shown so clearly by David Schulz in Counterpunch. Of course, one pundit may have it right.

The failure of punditry did not keep Anthony Dimaggio from providing us with an interesting analysis of what the Trump presidency might hold for all of us. It is not a pleasant prospect by any  means. He puts the question why tens of millions of people voted for Trump. There is no single magic bullet answer to this question, and anyone who claims to have one is not giving you the full story. It seems silly at this point to deny considering a mountain of polling data that much of Trump’s support originates from a noxious blend of sexist, racist, and xenophobic beliefs.
The future of punditry is indeed secure:
Image result for punditry

It is worthy to consider the situation of minorities under a regime such as may well evolve under Trump. We consider two cases, an Arab-Israeli who went to the US to seek asylum from the position of a second-class citizen in Israel and the other the case of a native American Jew pondering whether he can still trust the country he loves.  The two articles are important in that the breaking of faith that comes when the regime changes is a trauma toward all should feel empathy.


Ali Afshar a California physician was driving along when he saw a black man in police custody.  As you may or may not know, the incidence and relapse rates of schizophrenia in African-Caribbean males in Western countries has been reported as being much higher than equivalent white male cohorts. E.g.

We found remarkably high IRRs (inter-rater reliability) for both schizophrenia and manic psychosis in both African-Caribbeans (schizophrenia 9.1, manic psychosis 8.0) and Black Africans (schizophrenia 5.8, manic psychosis 6.2) in men and women Fearon et al, 2006 

He saw what looked like severe mental issues with the prisoner and stopped to offer medical help. The reaction of the cops is something you must read.


Enough of politics says Pollyanna and calls our attention to a profile article in the New Yorker by Janet Malcom about the pianist Yuja Wang. At age 29 she is on top of her field and her virtuosity is matched by her mode of presenting herself visually. Yuja Wang has appeared in Israel with the Philharmonic and every concert has been an amazing experience for us

This photograph shows how she attacks the piano. Rather than quote from the profile, Pollyanna says go read it all and be glad that you did.


Ilana Dayan is a major TV journalist in Israel. She has put many a public figure in the frying pan, the latest the PM himself. Pollyanna invites you to read a detailed interview with her by Ravit Hecht. The PM responded to the critique by sending her a vituperative letter which she read out on live television. You can dig out the details yourself, Pollyanna wants you to get into the world of Ilana Dayan. It is worth the read.

 Since we seem to be living in an alternate universe in which people like Trump and Netanyahu are elected, let us look at some whatif's from an alternate
universe--ye gads!!


The Talmud tell us (Avot, IV) Said Rabbi Meir: Look not at the vessel, but at what it contains. There are new vessels that are filled with old wine, and old vessels that do not even contain new wine.
Apparently this applies to classical records as well. The good folks at KUSC (Los Angeles) have compiled a list of the worst record labels. They have come out with the first ten. For example:

Oh…busts…I get it.:
Open the link for the rest of the goodies!!



WUMO show real insight into the male psyche


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