Friday, July 27, 2018

Additions to David Brooks NY Times 27 July - my comments with pictgure

David Brooks is a New York Times columnist whose columns regularly appear in Swedish in my Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. The New York Times has the best comment and comment review system of any publication known to me, and I often comment there using Swedish examples in comparing a situation in the USA with a similar situation in Sweden.

Here is my first comment accepted at the NYT at 09:00 h CET (3 AM EDT):

Larry Lundgren

David, I look forward to seeing your American Renewal story in Swedish in Dagens Nyheter, DN, right beside me as I write this first submission. I have been a volunteer at the Red Cross working for the past 18 years in programs intended to help asylum seekers learn Swedish and do well enough in school to eventually be able to study, free, in college or medical school.

I support volunteer programs. But as Socrates, no. 1 R Pick writes: Community and volunteer programs are lovely...but are no substitute for humane policy and good government. 

I translate from the front-page story in DN 7/25: "There are very few families with children (in Sweden) that suffer from serious poverty". Inside a graph shows that the percentage of children age 18 or younger who suffer from "material poverty" is the lowest in Sweden (0,7 %) of all18 EU countries studied. 

Larry LundgrenSocrates reminds us that the USA, by contrast, has the highest rates of poverty in the developed world. USA would be off the chart in the graph I cite. 

My admiration for Sarah Hemminger is unbounded. A congress with more women with her kinds of experience, empathy, and education would be a first step to setting a distant goal of making America humane again. 

Vote in November. 
Citizen US SE

In a second submission I call attention to reporting in DN on a situation taking place in Indiana as being far more powerful in presenting a message than NYT reporting on that situation. I place in focus a photograph that appears on the front page of DN today, 7/27. I provide a copy of the front page since US readers will not be able to see that picture if they try to go to DN at Only in the e-Edition can the front page be viewed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

American Dilemma - My 21 Days On A Mountain 2018

I have been lucky enough to have spent the past 21 days or so here in my home away from home, Cedar Shelter up on Mount Philo in Vermont's first state park, Mount Philo State Park just south of Burlington.
The Swedish flag is there to indicate that even though I was born long ago in Attleboro, MA, I have had the good fortune to keep a promise to my grandmother Hulda, to visit or even move to Sweden, the country to which she was never able to return.

Here is the paradox, the extreme American dilemma: On every single one of those 21 days I experience the America I would like to believe in, a place where people with countless different lines of descent can live an create new lives as did my grandparents and great grandparents after they came from Sweden.

I get the chance to meet these people here at two distinctively American places, Speeder &; Earls and Muddy Waters. Here we are at S & E where I encounter a familiar scene, creative people at work, here two artists discussing layout using the acrylic work of the young artist to the right.

And here we are at Muddy Waters where just about everyone seems to be doing something creative, studying, painting, drawing, writing a book, maybe even closing a million dollar deal. Here my final-day barista question: Anybody here speak a 2d or 3d language was greeted with "Yes, Farsi or Persian, came here from Iran."

And every night up on Mount Philo I can enjoy the peace and the beauty provided by the changing scene before me, Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondack Mountains. As a future geologist I first worked in the Vermont mountains while a geology major at Brown and then as a doctoral student at Yale I worked in the Adirondacks exactly in the center of the skyline.

What more could one ask for, to grow up in a place where the experience of nature mattered, where people of different lines of descent could get along and create music, art, science, literature?
And yet in this America I learn every day from Vermont Public Radio and the New York Times that the goal of the present government of the United States is to tear all this apart.
So as I drove down the road to Mount Philo last night, I thought about Gunnar Myrdal and his "An American Dilemma" the continued practice of segregation in a country that professed to have moved on beyond that. Up on Mount Philo I opened the only paper copy of the NYT I have read in my 21 days, and there saw the headline above Paul Krugman's column "Fall Of The American Empire"
and there in the text was Krugman having that same thought leading him to point back to one American Dilemma still with us, racism now as presented to us by our president.

Where to go next from that start? Very likely to compare some elements of the situtations faced in my two countries, the United States of America and Sweden.

Now I am leaving Speeder & Earl's to visit in Winooski where I hope to find out where my friend Abdi Dhare has gone after his Banadir Market and Halal Store were gentrified into oblivion some time in the past two years.

I was successful at Somali Bantu and was able to talk with Ahmed who speaks English, Somali, Mai Mai and maybe more and he helped me to connect with Mohamed who went to Kenya last year.

Next stop was B & N Bookstore in South Burlington, also a great home for me, so many books (have bought some) and the usual nice people. So as always on my last visits I ask the baristas if any of them speak a second or third language after English and the quick answer was, "Yes, Russian and some Japanese" from the young woman who is almost always here. In the context of my post, I wonder what you know who would say if we told him how many helpful people I meet here who came from other countries or who are so-called 2d generation immigrants, born here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Anat Cohen takes a Giant Step from jazz saxophonist to Choro clarinetist

Anat Cohen was Artist in Residence at the Burlington Jazz Festival 2018 and then at an interview explained for all of us who have known her as a jazz saxophonist what led her to take a giant step to playing clarinet with Brazilian practioners of Choro. Here is a sample from Flynn Space.

Monday, June 18, 2018

It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

Burlington Jazz Festival fills Church Street with music from the people for the people. Here the people are 7th, 8th, and 9th graders ending their gig on a day in June. They are singing a song Duke Ellington wrote the year before I was born and it is amazing to me that 87 years later a teacher at a school in Vermont can get this performance from these kids.

When I was going to school at that age, Roger Williams School in Rumford, Rhode Island, I have one memory from "music" We sang "Abide With Me" led by our 6th grade teacher, Miss Roe. To have been singing Duke Ellington would have been unthinkable.

Join in, sing the doowat, doowat, doowat, give that rhythim everything you've got!

Posted at Fletcher Free Library, June 18, 2018 from my YouTubeSeries Music for all the people

Friday, June 15, 2018

Myra Flynn at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018

Myra Flynn singing at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

She told us that her first name comes from her Irish father and I add that her mitochondrial genome information comes from her African American mother.

I also note that those designations take us only one generation back. African American tells us much less than the Census Bureau would have you believe.

Will add picture as soon as I can find one. My Cedar Shelter home on Mount Philo is not set up for doing this work, but Speeder and Earls on Pine Street is, sort of.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Just came down from my Mount Philo retreat and here, at Speeder & Earls on Pine Street I want to post my catch-as-catch can video of the couple I would love to have joined in dancing if I were not also playing the role of photographer.

Now the video is working fine. I also have a YouTube post but am not adding that here. I add this Never In Sweden not after seeing my AMBlås trumpet section mate's (Kristian who played 2d trumpet when I still had a functioning embochoure) post at his Facebook. He shows an absolutely deserted downtown Linköping and wonders if everyone, yes everyone, can be on vacation. I wondered that years ago when I first returned to Linköping after my 21 days in Burlington. Conclusion, that is just reality, on Church Street there is always an abundance of life and live music.