Remember These Words. They Will Stand You In Good Stead In Times Ahead

Our good friend Roger is a history scholar and thus understands the lessons of history far better than most of us. And, from his perch across the big pond, he sees our situation here in the U.S. better than we do sometimes, for I think we have trouble “seeing the forest through the trees.” I enjoyed … and learned from … his recent post, and I think you will too! Thank you, Sir Roger!

Writing Despite Computers and Programmes


The face may not be familiar. Nor the name Joseph N Welch (22nd October 1890 – 6th October 1960). These words may strike a chord though:

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

These were address to Joseph McCarthy on the 9th June 1954 during  30th day of the Army–McCarthy hearings, one of McCarthy’s several ‘enquiries’ in alleged Communists within US government and wherever else he could think of. Welch was acting on the behalf of the armed forces against McCarthy’s team and had just rebutted Roy Cohn McCarthy’s chief legal counsel. McCarthy interrupted with a personal accusation against Fred Fisher a young lawyer working in Welch’s firm. McCarthy had kept this in his seedy back pocket thinking it would embarrass Welch. McCarthy was not ready for this response, from a prepared Welch:

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I…

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♫ Charlie Brown ♫ (Redux)

I’ve only played this once before, back in 2018, but I was in the mood for something fun tonight, and this one came to mind …

Tonight I just wanted to have a bit of fun, and this one will make you smile … I guarantee it.  This one goes back a ways … 1959 … maybe before some of you were even on this earth.  Don’t ask why it popped into my head tonight … but it happened as I was taking fish sticks out of the oven for me ‘n Miss Goose.

Like most Coaster’s songs, this was written by the songwriting team of Leiber And Stoller. They wrote hits for many artists, including Elvis Presley, The Drifters, and Ben E. King. The songs they wrote for The Coasters were usually more comical.

Leiber and Stoller made up the story of Charlie Brown, a kid who is always getting in trouble and wonders why everyone’s always picking on him. It has nothing to do with the character in the Peanuts comic strip.

Jerry Leiber, of Leiber and Stoller fame, reports that the phrase “He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown” occurred to him after a long creative dry spell. Their previous Coasters hit was “Yakety Yak,” which almost wrote itself when Mike Stoller was fooling around on the piano and Leiber yelled from the kitchen, “Take out the papers and the trash!”

The BBC banned this song because of the bad behavior Charlie Brown demonstrated, especially throwing spitballs. This ban was soon lifted.

Charlie Brown

The Coasters

Fe-fe, fi-fi, fo-fo, fum
I smell smoke in the auditorium

Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown
He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see
(Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)

That’s him on his knees, I know that’s him
Yellin’ “seven-come-eleven” down in the boys’ gym

Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown
He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see
(Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)

Who’s always writing on the wall?
Who’s always goofin’ in the hall?
Who’s always throwin’ spit balls?
Guess who (who, me?) Yeah, you!

Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow?
Who calls the English teacher Daddy-O?

Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown
He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see
(Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)

Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow?
Who calls the English teacher Daddy-O?

Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown
He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see
(Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)

Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

“Soldier ask not”

My blogging friend Brian (Equinoxio) typically posts about art in many venues, many styles. It was he, I believe, who first introduced me to the famous street artist, Banksy. I’ve long enjoyed Brian’s art posts, but until yesterday I had no idea that he, himself, is a very talented artist. Brian is also a humanitarian who shares my horror at the continuing war in Ukraine and in his latest post he uses his artistic talent to share his thoughts on Ukraine. It is a very moving post and I warn you … you may need a box of tissues. Thank you, Brian, for this post and your permission to share it … it needs to be seen far and wide.


I forgot my name. I forgot everything, or most of everything. I forgot where I am. On a lonely country road in winter it would seem. There are still patches of snow on the ground.

Wait! Wait! I do remember one thing. I’m a soldier. That’s for sure.

Yes. I’m a soldier. Now what is my name? Does it really matter? “Soldier ask not”, the Captain told us.

Oleg? Nah. that’s a R*ssian name. In Ukrainian it is Oleh. We used to joke with the R*ssians that they had a bad accent. That they mispronounced everything. And they would laugh. I guess they’re not laughing any more…

Oleh, or Oleg, comes from the Old Norse ‘Helgi’ or ‘Helge’, which means ‘Holy’. Old Norse? Yeah, the Vikings. We’re all cousins of sorts, aren’t we? The name is very common in our parts. But Oleh is not…

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Mike Pence Is WRONG!

On January 6th, 2021, the insurrectionists Trump had summoned to Washington to storm the Capitol constructed a noose outside the Capitol and began chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”  When informed that they were threatening to hang Mike Pence, his own Vice President, Donald Trump replied, “Mike deserves it” and said that those rioters were not doing anything wrong.  Since then, Donald Trump has contended that the responsibility for the attempted coup on January 6th was the fault of Mike Pence …

“Had he sent the votes back to the legislatures, they wouldn’t have had a problem with Jan. 6, so in many ways you can blame him for Jan. 6.”

In March of this year, Pence said at the Gridiron dinner in Washington …

“His reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

Now, against that backdrop, here is what Mike Pence said on Wednesday regarding the indictment that would be handed down the next day (yesterday) …

“I hope the DOJ thinks better of it and resolves these issues without an indictment. No. 1, I think it would be terribly divisive to the country.”

“ I think it would also send a terrible message to the wider world. I mean, we’re the emblem of democracy. We’re the symbol of justice in the world.”

Take a minute to process that … and to pick your jaw up off the floor.

First … “divisive to the country”???  Seriously???  Has Pence turned on the news, picked up a paper, or gone online for the past two years???  Thanks in large part to Trump’s never-ending spew of hate speech, this nation is more divided than it has ever been since the end of the Civil War!  There is no longer ANY middle ground. Trump being convicted and sentenced to prison would be the best thing that could happen to the country.

Second … Donald Trump intentionally and with malice put Pence and his family in serious danger.  He put the entire nation in serious danger.  But Pence’s excuse smells like what comes out of the rear end of a bull!

Indicting a ‘man’ who placed the entire nation in danger, a ‘man’ who grievously harmed that democracy that Pence says we are an emblem of, a ‘man’ who engaged in criminal misconduct, a ‘man’ who has lied to the people who placed their trust, their lives into his hands, is not a black mark, it merely shows the world that we made a mistake and we’re attempting to rectify it!  It says to the world that we will not tolerate a crooked regime, one who acts out of self-interest.  It shows the world we realize we are not infallible, but that we will hold everyone, regardless of who they are or what position they served in, accountable for their actions.

If we fail to hold Trump accountable for his crimes, the message we send to the world is that we are no longer a democracy, that we are a corrupt regime that is willing to re-install a criminal in the highest office of the land.  We will have proven that we are no better than Hungary, North Korea, or maybe even Iran.

But third … how in the Sam Hell does Pence think the Department of Justice could “resolve these issues without an indictment?”  Does he think there’s a magic wand that Attorney General Garland can wave that will make the whole document theft simply disappear, erase everyone’s memory of it?  This is not a damned board game where you can just swipe the board clean and set it up afresh!

And then Pence went on to say, “I don’t know the facts of the former president’s case.”  He doesn’t know the facts, but he knows it could be resolved without an indictment?  Isn’t that somewhat like a doctor trying to diagnose cancer over the phone?

We the People have been waiting for this indictment for a long time, and no doubt there will be turmoil and chaos in the coming months, most of it caused by Trump himself and his rabid followers, but at the end of the day, all we want is justice.  We want to know for a fact that there is equal justice under the law, no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have, and no matter if you were once called ‘Mr. President.’

Mike Pence once earned a degree of respect in my eyes for doing his job and certifying the 2020 election rather than doing as his boss demanded and throwing the nation into chaos.  However, for him to deny accountability to his former boss is disrespectful to We the People and to the nation.

♫ Neither One Of Us ♫

I last played this one in 2020 … it’s one of those songs that you can’t NOT love!

Released on December 26, 1972 on Motown’s Soul Records, it became one of the biggest hit singles to date for Gladys Knight and the Pips, and was also the last single the group released prior to them leaving Motown for Buddah Records in February 1973.  They had been with Motown for six-and-a-half years, but according to Ms. Knight, she and the group were regarded as a second-string act and that “Diana (Ross) & The Supremes, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye were given all the hits, while we took the leftovers”.

On March 2, 1974, at the Grammy Awards ceremony, Gladys Knight & The Pips won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for Neither One of Us. Previously that same night, they had won their first Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for Midnight Train to Georgia.  In 1996, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I did not know that Gladys Knight made her singing debut at the age of 4, and three years later, she won a $2000 first prize singing Nat “King” Cole’s Too Young on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.  Pretty impressive, eh?

Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)
Gladys Knight

It’s sad to think
We’re not gonna make it
And it’s gotten to the point
Where we just can’t fake it

For some ungodly reason
Just won’t let it die
I guess neither one of us
Wants to be the first to say goodbye

I keep wondering
What I’m gonna do without you?
And I guess you must be
Wondering the same thing too

So we go on
Go on together living a lie
Because neither one of us
Wants to be the first to say goodbye

Every time I find the nerve
Every time I find the nerve to say, I’m leaving
Memories, those old memories
Get in my way

Lord knows it’s only me
Only know it’s only me that I’m deceiving
When it comes to saying goodbye
That a simple word that I just cannot say

There can be no way, there can be no way
This can have a happy ending, no, no
So we just go on hurting and pretending
And convincing ourselves to give it just one more try

Because neither one of us
Wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us
Wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us
Wants to be the first to say

Farewell my love

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: James D. Weatherly
Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

What Happened … and What’s Next at CNN?

Well, Chris Licht lasted just over a year as CNN’s chairman and CEO, and now he’s standing in the unemployment line … okay, probably not, since his net worth is an estimated $15 million, but you get the picture.  What happened?  I think that Robert Reich explains it as well as anyone … and for the record, I never liked Licht or his goals, and nothing I ever read about him made me change my mind, so I just hope the head honchos at Warner Bros. Discovery choose more wisely next time … and bring back Brian Stelter and Don Lemon!!!

Goodbye, CNN’s Chris Licht. But what’s the lesson?

CNN sought to move to a “center” that no longer exists

By Robert Reich

07 June 2023

As I predicted yesterday, Chris Licht is out at CNN.

David Zaslav — CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns CNN — delivered the news this morning to CNN staff, noting that Licht’s job “was never going to be easy” and that Licht had “poured his heart and soul into it.”

What should CNN or any other media enterprise learn from this debacle?

The lesson is that Licht’s goal of shifting CNN from anti-Trump confrontation toward an imagined political center was doomed from the start, because there is no longer a political center.

For years now — since Newt Gingrich took over the House in 1995 — Americans have been moving toward either authoritarianism or democracy.

The old political center of “liberal” Republicans like Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller and “conservative” Democrats like Scoop Jackson and Joe Lieberman (and, some would say, Bill Clinton) has been disappearing.

Before Newt there had been stirrings of rightwing fascism — led by Father Coughlin, Huey Long, and Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s, Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, and by George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in the 1960s.

But Newt turned the growing anger of the non-college white working class into the beginnings of an authoritarian political movement that would undergird the Republican Party for the next thirty years.

By 2016, Donald Trump was helpful to anyone who still had trouble making the choice between authoritarianism and democracy. Trump required they take sides.

Chris Licht’s predecessor at CNN was Jeff Zucker, who understood that the only big pool of viewers available to CNN were those who still believed in democracy. Zucker competed mightily with MSNBC for them.

Trump was helpful to Zucker in the same way he was helpful to Americans who had trouble making the choice. Trump forced viewers to choose between Fox News and the alternative, thereby giving Zucker’s CNN a fitting nemesis.

CNN’s new management came along at a time of establishment confusion over whether the old political center would return after Trump. America’s business establishment — including Warner Bros Discovery billionaire John Malone — hoped it would. But that proved a pipe dream. The division between authoritarianism and democracy is now too deep. If anyone had any doubts, CNN’s Trump town hall should have erased them.

What especially confused Chris Licht and the rest of CNN’s management was the difference between being politically partisan, and standing up against authoritarian demagogues. They assumed that holding Trump accountable for what he did (and continues to do) was inconsistent with so-called “balanced journalism.” 

Wrong. It is not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy. That’s where CNN’s audience wanted — and presumably still wants — CNN to be.

That’s where most Americans want the nation to be.

Merging with Murderers

As most of you already know, I am not a sports person. And while I might occasionally enjoy a baseball game if the Mets or the Dodgers are playing, you couldn’t pay me enough money to make me watch grown people hitting a tiny little ball around on a golf course, trying to hit it into a tiny little hole. {yawn} Boring. I don’t follow golf, couldn’t name a single golfer other than Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods, but my interest was piqued when I read of the merger between the PGA and Saudi LIV. Why anybody in their right mind whose last name isn’t ‘Trump’ or ‘Kushner’ would even do business with the Saudis at this point is beyond me. Of all the articles I’ve read, Clay Jones sums it up the best, and with his, you get a cartoon, too!


The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is a Saudi Arabian entity controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and is worth over $620 billion. It invests in many private projects to boost the image of Saudia Arabia to distract from its horrible record on human rights, such as its investments in the civil war in Yemen, oppressing its own citizens, murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi and sawing him into several pieces in the basement of its embassy in Turkey, etc, etc.

The fund is very secretive and corrupt, but it’s owned by a corrupt government that doesn’t allow freedom to its citizens, so that’s natural.

One way the fund spends its money is to reward someone who defends Saudi Arabia and its murderous Crown Prince. Jared Kushner got a cushy gift from the PIF of $2 billion right after he left the White House. Steve Baby Fishmouth Mnuchin already received a financial…

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♫ Li’l Red Riding Hood ♫

I can’t believe I haven’t played this one here before!  My inspiration for thinking of it today was a thought I had upon reading about yet another ‘Christian’ organization vilifying the LGBTQ community … the thought process that led from point A to point X will be explained elsewhere, no doubt, but I was excited to see that I have yet to play this one, so … something different for a change!

Written by Ronald Blackwell and produced by Stan Kesler, this was the second big semi-novelty hit for the Texas band Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs. Their debut hit Wooly Bully (my favourite!) also made it to #2.  It also made #2 in Canada and a big #46 in the UK!

Sam, whose real name is Domingo Samudio, developed his act in the Dallas area where he played lots of local dances. With the Pharaohs, he became a comedy act, touring in a hearse and wearing turbans and Egyptian garb on stage. Some of their other songs were The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin, I Couldn’t Spell †&%$@?! and Pharoah A-Go Go.

The group’s female backup singers were known as The Sham-Ettes, and when Little Red Riding Hood took off, the group’s record label, MGM, had the Sham-Ettes release an answer song called Hey There Big Bad Wolf.

The Big Bopper released a slightly different version called Little Red Riding Hood in 1958.

Li’l Red Riding Hood

Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs

Who’s that I see walkin’ in these woods?
Why, it’s Little Red Riding Hood

Hey there, Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are lookin’ good
You’re everything a big, bad wolf could want
Listen to me

Little Red Riding Hood
I don’t think little big girls should
Go walkin’ in these spooky ol’ woods alone

What big eyes you have
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad
So just to see that you don’t get chased
I think I ought to walk with you for a ways

What full lips you have
They’re sure to lure someone bad
So until you get to Grandma’s place
I think you ought to walk with me and be safe

I’m gonna’ keep my sheep suit on
Until I’m sure that you’ve been shown
That I can be trusted, walking with you alone

Little Red Riding Hood
I’d like to hold you if I could
But you might think I’m a big, bad wolf, so I won’t

What a big heart I have
The better to love you with
Little Red Riding Hood
Even bad wolves can be good

I’ll try to be satisfied
Just to walk close by your side
Maybe you’ll see things my way
Before we get to Grandma’s place

Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are lookin’ good
You’re everything that a big, bad wolf could want
Awooh! I mean baa
Baa? Baa

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Ronald Blackwell

Li’l Red Riding Hood lyrics © Sony/atv Acuff Rose Music

Filosofa Writes A Letter … Again

This is the letter I will be sending to my ‘representative’ in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Warren Davidson, later today …

Dear Mr. Davidson,

I would like to take a few moments to let you know why you do not represent me.  Yes, I realize you won the election fair and square, but you still do not represent me.  Why?  Because your values and mine appear to be 180° apart, because you do not make legislative decisions that are in the best interest of the people of this nation, or even the people of your district.

Here are the things I consider to be most important for this country, that I think should be top priorities in the House of Representatives:

  • Equality.  Women should have the same rights as men to make their own medical decisions, to be treated as equals in the workplace, and not to be dominated by men.  LGBTQ people deserve the exact same rights as straight people.  Black people, Hispanics, and Asians all deserve the same rights and privileges as white people.  And atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews all deserve the exact same civil and human rights as Christians.  There should be no differences.  These are the rights that need to be codified into law and the law enforced rigidly.
  • Guns.  I do not believe that guns belong in the hands of civilians, period.  It is a Pandora’s Box.  That said, I realize I’m fighting a losing battle, but I am a student of Constitutional Law and I can tell you that there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that guarantees the right of every man, woman and child in the U.S. to own an AR-15 assault weapon.  A Congress with a conscience would be working diligently to pass a permanent and irrevocable assault weapon ban.  Do you realize that in Cincinnati there were 29 shootings in just 10 days?
  • Voting rights. Every person age 18 or older in this country should have access to the ballot.    Gerrymandering and voter restriction laws like the one recently passed in Ohio deprive people, typically poor people, minorities, and young people, of their constitutional right.  Last year, Congress had the opportunity to pass two very important voting rights laws that would have overridden any restrictive state laws, and you fell down on the job.  Reinstate those bills and this time pass them!
  • Economic.  I do not view money as the most important consideration, but that said, I realize that it is necessary for life.  Every working person deserves a livable income, and $7.25 per hour (or less in the cases of tipped employees) does not constitute a living wage!  The federal minimum wage has been stagnant since 2009, despite a significant rise in the cost of living during that time.  Why?  Because Congress is more interested in helping the wealthy 1% than the rest of us.  I see no reason whatsoever for anybody to have millions or billions of dollars sitting around in investment accounts while people are struggling, some putting their children to bed hungry at night or living in cardboard boxes on the streets.

Certainly there are other important priorities such as education, healthcare, the environment, the war in Ukraine, etc., but the ones I listed are, in my book, the highest priorities that Congress should be focusing on instead of revenge investigations and petty bickering that will accomplish nothing.  I believe that if you sat down, one-to-one, with everyone in your district and asked them to talk about these priorities, you would find that at least 85% of them would be in agreement with me.  But are you?  Based on your actions, your votes, and your weekly newsletters, I would say that you and I do not share the same set of values and concerns, and therefore I must conclude that you do not represent me or the majority of people, and you seem to have no desire to do so.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.  A response will be welcomed.


Jill Dennison — citizen, voter, taxpayer

I’ll let you all know when/if I receive a response.  I usually do get one, but it’s typically a canned response written by an aide, or perhaps even by AI!