At some point in 2024 Trump will have to reluctantly share the stage with the person he selects as his running mate for the general election. In normal times with conventional behavior a presidential candidate’s pick for his vice president would not only be a major news story, it could determine who wins the race. Of course, these are not normal times and Trump is anything but conventional. At this point it could be argued that whoever he chooses would hardly make a difference. Traditionally the hopes of becoming president would and could be impacted by a misguided choice. If John McCain had taken a few moments to think again about being corralled into nominating Sarah Palin as his VP, things could have turned out differently. In truth, another VP choice by McCain would not have quashed Obama’s win. Yet, the aftermath would have certainly been different. The choice of Palin inflamed the radical right and the Tea Party into prompting self-admitted disgruntled voters to rally around Trump’s appalling rhetoric. That’s all history and speculation, now it’s hypothesizing about the future of democracy. We asked perceptive commentator Ahmed Baba to weigh in on who he believes the GOP front-runner will decide upon for his VP. Ahmed cautions that he does not want to give well-considered advice to Trump, but he does agree there is a certain perverse humor in evaluating the possible candidates. Although, he does draw the line in considering the ex-governor of Alaska. At that sardonic suggestion, Mr. Baba almost choked with laughter. Continuing on with the dread of Trump becoming president again, Ahmed recently wrote in his popular Newsletter, an astute piece titled, What Is Project 2025 And Why Is It So Dangerous?. We took this opportunity to ask Ahmed to explain.
Erich Schwartzel has written a fascinating book, Red Carpet – Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy. His story-telling reads like the screenplay for a Netflix documentary, designed to binge-watch. If there were such a category, then Schwartzel’s book would come under the heading binge-read. He takes the reader back in time to early Hollywood while filling in the gaps in the movie industry in China. There are generous amounts of anecdotes and tantalizing details all perfectly placed to make Red Carpet a page-turner. Erich’sdepiction of dubious characters, American and Chinese who validated a curious relationship between Hollywood and China suggests the narrative is not only about the movie business but the state of our world. Erich Schwartzel is an engaging conversationalist, you won’t want to miss.
Since November 7th of this year and the Israeli-Hamas war that ensued there has been a number of music recordings released with the proceeds of sales going to charities to aid victims of the tragedy. House of Afandi Records out of Amman, Jordan have produced an excellent compilation titled, By The People, For The People with 100% of the proceeds going to The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. Afandi Records write, “Our people of Palestine are an enigmatic paradox, embodying strength amidst profound pain, unshakeable faith when all hope seems lost, and a resilience that defies the darkest of hours. Their courage has moved the hearts of millions around the world, inspiring artists to pour hope into every note, lyric, and melody. A display of unity and compassion, 40 renowned artists from across the globe have joined forces to create an album that stands as a thunderous declaration of support for our people in Gaza, and our people in the West Bank enduring the horrors of the genocide. This collaborative music album is not just a collection of songs; it is a symphony of empathy, a testament to our shared humanity, and a promise that the world will be unapologetically loud in standing with the people who have inspired us with their strength, faith, and unwavering spirit in the face of unspeakable suffering.” The cut we selected is Free Palestine by Moktar.