Category Archives: my film clips

Cato forum today, “Populism and Nationalism in the Trump Era”

The Cato Institute held a two-part panel today, “Populism and Nationalism in the Trump Era”, link here gives the names of the speakers.

There was a presentation of a report “Stranger in my own Country: Populism and Nativism in America”.  The report had surveyed people near Pittsburgh and in Wilmington NC.  There is a general impression that Trump voters did feel left out in today’s world, and were inhibited from speaking their minds about old-fashioned values, which they see as local and related to faith and not as intrinsically hateful or discriminatory.  The subject of political correctness, identity politics, and campus speech codes came up. 

There was criticism of the extreme vetting and immigration suspensions being discussed now, as not likely to improve real security. 

Some survey respondents felt that Muslim immigrants did work hard but did not seem as interested in assimilating culturally as maybe was the case the past.

There was also mention of the danger of neglecting any working population too long;  history has shown that this can invite fascism and dictatorship.

In the reception afterward, I heard an account that refugee assimilation in Germany had generally gone well with few problems for hosts or volunteers, which contradicts other reports I had heard in September.






(Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 11:15 PM EST)

Video of Women’s March on Ballston, Arlington VA

You cannot get to the Women’s March on Washington right now as of 10 AM Saturday AM.

I like that first sign. “O, Go way Butterfly!” (like at Fort Eustis in the Army).  Bring on Tiny Tim.  Tiptoe through the tulips with me.

Ballston Common Metro – can’t get past first escalator.  But the mood is certainly festive!

Route 38 Bus line

(Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM EST)

Refugee Ball in Washington DC

On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, I attended the Refugee Ball, or “An Alternative Inaugural Ball”, between 5 PM and 9 PM.  I arrived around 6. The event was held at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in downtown Washington DC near the Verizon Center and near Calvary Baptist Church.  There was a process of going through security, which was to be expected.

I have twelve clips:

1 and 2

I heard musical performances by Karna Gyaltsen (Tibet) and Amal Nourelhuda (Sudan)


Then Jason Dzubow and Sameen Ahmadnia spoke, looking back to the days of the Soviet Union.


Loide Jorge led a singing of “We Shall Overcome”.


Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS  said that his group was open to refugees precisely because it was Jewish.

Michael Namulan, who arrived from Azerbaijan and successfully received asylum in June 2015, abut the time of Obergefell, spoke of torture of gay men in Muslim countries. (This country is Shiite, like iran.)

7 and 8

Next there was a musical performance by Kinobe, emphasizing music of the Congo.


Law professor and immigration judge The Honorable Paul W. Schmidt spoke about the need for due process of law.

10  and 11

Next there was a musical and dance performance (the “ball”) by Maritu Legesse and Teddy Jijo.


Finally, there was a brief speech by Dr. Kate Sugarman, and a longer one by Lindsey Wilkes, which mentioned DC Center Global and the need for housing assistance.

(Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10 AM EST)

Bull Run Mountains, VA (Piedmont)


I did a little field trip today to the Bull Run Mountains behind Haymarket, VA, just north of Va-55 and I-66.  There is a road, Antioch, which connects to Hopewell Road and goes through the mountain pass (at about 1000 feet) and goes down to The Plains, VA.

I think I was here in the fall of 1962 (while a patient with NIH) with high school (Science Honor Society) old friends.

I found a horse attraction, then a county park with a lake, and then went up the mountain.

Three videos follow.  I talk a little about the last story in my DADT-III book, “The Ocelot the Way He Is”, as this is the area that “Bill” drives through to meet “Nolan” and then go to the fictitious ashram or intentional community, after which stuff happens.  (See June 25, 2014 for treatment of “Two Road Trips”.)  I also talk about some legal issues that could potentially occur with hosting asylum seekers.




(Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 8:30 PM EST)

Cato forum on “Men Without Work”

Today I attended a Cato book forum, about “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis”, by Nicholas Eberstadt, from Templeton Press, from the American Enterprise Institute.

Davd Bier also spoke, about how immigrant males compare in workforce participation compared to naturally-born Americans.

Men with less education, and especially black men, and especially also men with some law enforcement problems, have shown a steady decline in employment, up to about 25% non-participation. The decline has been consistent during economic recoveries as well as declines (2008).

These are men who do not even look for work, but “watch”, on electronic devices, as if doing so were a fake job.  Some live at home with parents as adults.  They tend not to participate in childcare or volunteer work or chores.  They seem lazy.

Immigrant men do not show this problem as much.  Immigrant men (despite the “Trojan horse” issue) have lower crime rates than native men.  Men who are married with children are much less likely to remain idle.  The lecture did not address same-sex marriage, but presumably a male couple with children to raise would perform similarly to traditional couples.  Immigrant men are more likely to be married with kids and follow conventional gender roles more than native men.

Immigrant men are also more able to move around geographically, but this could mean lower home ownership rates.   In higher paying tech jobs, I would think that single men would be more geographically mobile.  When education level improves, the performance of single men starts to compare much better with married men.











(Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:30 AM EST)

Some clips from a pre-Christmas service at a local “southern” Baptist Church

Today I paid a visit to Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church VA. It was a service associated with this church that provided caregiving when my mother broke her hip and had surgery in 1997 while I was moving to Minnesota for a job transfer.

This was the classic, formal service at 11:15 AM.

A bit of the prelude (orchestra, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

And Advent wreath lighting.

The improvistory sermon by Dr. Baucom started out with some jokes about Christmas customs (including how most people really don’t like to eat fruitcake that much – I don’t, but “fruitcakes like fruitcakes”, an unfortunate metaphor) before admitting that faith in Grace and in a savior was not completely logical, and counter to what we view as intellectually sound behavior everyday – but necessary because we are broken – for quantum effect reasons. Reproductive life, after all, exists to counter entropy in the universe. And consciousness, leading to free will, directs it all.

Another quote: “The birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.”

(Posted: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 at 7:30 PM EST)

MGM is back: that is, the MGM Grand at National Harbor

A short day trip to MGM Grand in National Harbor, on the Potomac River, just south of I-95 (really 495), the Beltway in Prince Georges County, MD,

I visited the “rooms” of the Hotel, the District, the Parlor, all kinds of places that belong in another Clue game.

and then the outdoor deck

The parking lot was very crowded (but free) but I finally found parking on P4 mid-day weekday. (The number-of-space counters are misleading.) The crowd indoor was moderate on a weekday, but there were lines in all the eateries.

In the “lobby” atrium, the Hotel tower looks a bit like Freedom Tower in Manhattan.

Does Oprah own some of this?  I thought she had an interest in bringing MGM back to its former glory.

(Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 at 8:30 PM EST)