Profiting From A Crisis

Thus far, eight states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont) have banned single-use plastic bags in the U.S.  Fourteen others, including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting laws to tie the hands of local officials.  In January, New Jersey attempted to pass a law banning single-use plastics, but the bill failed.  Why?  Why aren’t all 50 states on-board with this legislation?  Take a look at what plastic bags and bottles are doing …bags-1bags-2

bags-3

bags-4And the answer to the question why all 50 states aren’t doing their part is simple … the GOP motto is: profit over all else.  Profit is more important in this nation than people, than wildlife, than the environment … in fact, today’s profit is more important than life on earth tomorrow for far too many of our so-called ‘leaders’.  I could expound at some length about this concept, but for today I have a single focus:  those damn re-usable plastic bags that they shove down our throats at the grocery store.

Even though only eight states thus far have banned plastic bags, it’s a start, it’s progress.  Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have raised public awareness and many of us now bring our own reusable canvas bags to the grocery and use reusable mesh bags for produce.  Even with that, the stores have been very slow in finding packaging alternatives, so we still end up with unwanted plastic in our rubbish.  Single use plastics account for around 20% of solid rubbish in the U.S., and only about 10% of that is recycled, so 90% ends up in landfills, rivers and ultimately the ocean.

Never let it be said that big industries, focused solely on profit, miss an opportunity to increase their profit, even at the cost of earth’s future.  Enter the coronavirus.  By March 18th, the plastic industry in the U.S. had kicked into high gear.  The trade group Plastics Industry Association requested that the US Department of Health endorse the idea that “single-use plastic products are the most sanitary choice when it comes to many applications.”  A conservative nonprofit called the Independent Women’s Forum started running ads pressuring Washington state, New York, and California to reverse their bag bans. IWF’s ad’s claim: “Researchers say COVID-19 can survive on reusable tote bags for nine days. However, some state legislators are enforcing draconian bans on plastic bags, which might contribute to the spread of the virus and other harmful microorganisms.” 

Many of the groups that have picked up these claims, including the Manhattan Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute, receive support from the Kochs, the infamous family of moguls who made their fortune in the petrochemical industry.  Now are you starting to smell a rat?  The plastic industry’s tactics seem to be working: Maine’s plastic bag ban was supposed to go into effect on April 22, but it’s been postponed till January 2021. New Hampshire’s governor Christopher Sununu, who has misrepresented climate science, has gone further to use the state of emergency to temporarily ban reusable bags. Republicans in Washington state, New York, and New Jersey have been waging campaigns to reverse or delay the blue states’ bans because of coronavirus.

On Sunday, when I had access to daughter Chris’ car and could go to a grocery store a bit farther afield than the Kroger that is only a half-mile from my home (my van is not reliable and I go no further in it than I could walk home), I went to the Meijer store, a midwestern chain, hoping to find some of those rare items such as toilet paper and Clorox wipes that had been impossible to find at Kroger.  A sign on the door warned that re-usable bags were prohibited, but I entered anyway, figuring to argue the point when I got to the check out.  But a young manager stopped me almost before my posterior had cleared the automatic doors and informed me that I could not bring “those bags” into the store.  I rarely give away pieces of my mind, as I have so few left, but he got a rather large piece.  Enraged, I accused him of personally killing every fish in the ocean and also told him that the lives of his own grandchildren (he was only about 25) were on his shoulders, as he was ensuring they would die from lack of water to drink and air to breathe.  I then indignantly stormed out and returned to my own Kroger, hoping against all hope that they had not implemented a similar rule.  They hadn’t, but I was informed I would have to bag my own groceries, for they wouldn’t touch my bags.

Now, there are two things to argue here.  First of all, my bags are a few million times less likely to have any form of germ, let alone a corona-bug, on them than that can of peas you see in aisle #12, or even the tomatoes you picked up in produce.  My bags were wiped down with disinfecting wipes after their last use, and have resided in my locked van ever since.  They are sterile!  Every item in the store is germier than my bags!

The other thing, and the whole point of this post, is that the coronavirus pandemic is a short-term problem.  Yes, a very serious problem at this time, but nonetheless one with a limited lifespan.  Destruction of the environment is an ongoing problem that is shortening the hope for the continuation of life … any life … on earth every single day.  Just because we have a serious problem with this pandemic does not mean we can ignore all the other problems in the world!  The coronavirus has resulted in thousands of deaths and may even rise into the millions.  I’m not making light of that, but there are 7.8 billion human inhabitants on this planet, and exponentially more other life forms that rely on us turning around the damage that has been done over the past 150-200 years.  Plastics in all forms are part of that destruction, and single use plastic bottles and bags are one of the biggest culprits.

The re-usable bags aren’t the problem, but rather the excuse that is being used as the plastic industry seeks to profit from this human crisis.  Once again, We the People are being lied to and tricked, and I for one am damned sick and tired of it.  And for the record, I will never shop at Meijer again, nor any other store that attempts to force me to use their plastic bags!  Excuse me … I need to breathe now.

♫ Right Here Waiting For You ♫ (Redux)

I first played this one back in November 2018.  I am playing it again tonight for reasons that … must remain my own.  Nonetheless, I hope you all enjoy the music!


Singer and songwriter Richard Marx wrote this song on the road as a love letter to his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes.

“I wrote the song for my wife Cynthia who was in South Africa shooting for a film. We were not married then and I wanted to meet her because I had not seen her for a few months. But my visa application was rejected and when I came back I wrote this song which was more of a letter from me to her. It was the fastest song I wrote, in barely 20 minutes. And this was the time when there was no Skype and Social networking so I had to ship the track to her. The song was very personal and was not intended to go public. But my friends pursued me to record it.”

A bit about Richard Marx … His father wrote TV jingles for chocolate bars and peanut butter, and Richard made his professional debut singing on some of his dad’s commercials. When he was 18, Marx left his hometown of Chicago and headed to LA, where another commercial-minded musician, Lionel Richie, took the young singer-songwriter under this wing. After a 5-year apprenticeship in which he sang harmonies on several of Richie’s hits had some of his compositions recorded by artists such as Kenny Rogers and Chicago, Marx finally landed his own recording contract. And he was poised for stardom: Marx’s self-titled 1987 debut album yielded four top-10 hits, including the #1 song Hold On To The Nights.

Marx originally pitched the song to Barbra Streisand. But she had a few issues with his lyrics. “She called and said, ‘I love this music, this melody is gorgeous, but if I’m going to record it, I’m going to need you to rewrite the lyrics because I’m not going to be right here waiting for anybody,'”  I’m rather glad he kept the song … and the lyrics.

Right Here Waiting for You
Richard Marx

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn’t stop the pain

If I see you next to never
How can we say forever

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can’t get near you now

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I’m with you
I’ll take the chance

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you
Waiting for you

Songwriters: Richard Marx
Right Here Waiting for You lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

Jolly Monday With Popcorn!

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come on in and take a load off.  For obvious reasons, I shan’t ask how your weekend was, but take heart … Jolly and I spent several hours last night searching the neighborhood (the Internet, that is) in search of things to (hopefully) bring a smile, or maybe even a chuckle!  But first, I attempted to make a strudel, and jolly made popcorn … and of course, there’s bacon for the bacon-lovers and a sprinkled donut & juice box just in case Benjamin happens to drop in, so grab a snack and then we’ll go have a bit of fun.

Oops … forgot the tea …

tea  Monday-tea


popcorn-3Teeny Tiny Critters

Take a look at this adorable hedgehog midget …tiny-1

And these owls …

tuny-2

No, they aren’t real, but I bet you can’t guess what they’re made of!  They are made of stones!  Akie Nakata, is known as the Stone Artist.  She has been drawing adorable animals on stones since 2010 and over time, she has built quite a solid collection.

tiny-3For her, stones are not just materials or canvases that she just draws on. First, on her usual walk along the riverbank, she finds a stone that catches her eye:

popcorn-3“When I find a stone, I feel that stone, too, has found me. Stones have their own intentions and I consider my encounters with them as cues they give me that it’s OK to go ahead and paint what I see on them. So the stones I decide to paint on are not arbitrary, but my significant opposites with whom I have established a connection, who inspire me to work with them.”

tiny-4The artist leaves the shape of the stone untouched. She neither grinds nor smooths them, as she likes to stay true to the stone that inspired her.

“In my encounters with the stones and in my art, I respect my opposites in toto, so I never process stones and would never cut off an edge to alter the shape. The art I want to create is a life newly born in my hands through my dialogue with the stone. I want to paint the life I feel inside the stone. I consider my work completed only when I see that the eyes are now alive and looking back straight at me. To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”

You can see lots more of Ms. Nakata’s work if you head over to Bored Panda.


Elephants are afraid of … WHAT???

Recently, India has been having a problem with elephants wandering onto the railroad tracks and getting themselves … well, smushed.  But, the owners of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), found a solution.  Guess what, it turns out, elephants are afraid of?elephant-beepopcorn-3Yep, you got it … great big ol’ elephants fear little teeny-weeny bees!  So, Northeast Frontier Railway’s Moradabad division installed honey bee sound systems at various points along the railway tracks.  Once an elephant herd is sighted, villagers at once inform the local staff about their presence, the buzzing sound is then played near the tracks to scare them away. “Till now the project has been a success,” said the Divisional Railway Manager. Elephants have been long known to be frightened by the buzzing sound of bees and stings.

Who would have guessed?


A dangerous criminal …

The Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida have been after an elusive criminal since January, and she led them on a merry chase, but finally, on March 19th, they were able to capture her.

unknown-cow

The Pembroke Pines Police Department said the cow was spotted in the area of Sheridan Street and Interstate 75, causing officers to respond and guide the animal toward an enclosed field in Davie.

The property owner agreed to allow the cow to stay until it could be safely moved.

popcorn-4“We wish the cow well on its future adventures,” the department said.

The police department said last week that the cow had been wandering the area since January, and repeated failed capture attempts revealed the animal is “faster than it looks” and is a “talented fence jumper.”


Shall we have a few ‘toons ‘n memes for a laugh or two?

meme-1meme-2meme-3meme-4meme-5meme-6meme-7toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4popcorn-3toon-5toon-6toon-7


popcorn-4And of course, I cannot end a Jolly Monday without a cute animal video!


jollyOkay, folks, that’s a wrap for yet another Monday!  I hope you guys all manage to find some good karma this week, keep your cool, and for Pete’s sake keep safe!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!

YOU’RE FIRED!!!

 

We the People
Sea to Shining Sea
United State

Mr. Donald F. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

29 March 2020

Dear Mr. Trump,

We the People regret to inform you that your services will no longer be needed.  We understood in the beginning, more than three years ago, that you were inexperienced and new to this type of work, and we decided after your first big mistakes that you would need time to grow into the job.  We have given you that time … more than three years of time … but instead of growing into the job, you have become increasingly inept and incompetent.

It would take more than this letter to list all the many mistakes you have made, but let us clarify a few of the worst:

  • Constantly demeaning citizens of this nation who are, technically, your employers. This has included lying about them and name-calling reminiscent of a junior high student.
  • Unprecedented racism and bigotry that is far beneath the dignity of your position and damaging to the continuity of this nation.
  • The terrible things you have allowed to happen to immigrants who came here seeking asylum, seeking to make a better life for their families. You tore their children out of their very arms, threw them in cages, and thus far six of those children have died as a result.  Not only was this in violation of the laws of this country, but it qualifies as international ‘crimes against humanity’.
  • When you were hired, it was made clear to you that you must step away from your own businesses for the duration of your employment with us, but instead, you have used our money to fund your own businesses, with nearly-every-weekend visits to your Florida resort, requiring your staff and Secret Service protection to pay you for the “privilege” of traveling with you.
  • A man is judged by the company he keeps, and to date a number of your companions and associates are in prison, or soon will be. This speaks volumes to us about your character, or rather lack thereof.
  • On at least eight occasions you have directly incited violence, calling on people to attack those who criticized you. In addition, you have made utterly ridiculous videos of yourself that you posted on Twitter … again, something we would expect of a 13-year-old boy, not a public office-holder.
  • One of the most important aspects of your job is honesty and integrity, and you have failed miserably in both. It would take a book to enumerate every instance, but suffice it to say that your employers no longer trust or believe a word you say.
  • Your negligence cost nearly 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico in 2017-2018 after Hurricane Maria. In addition, your bungling and mishandling of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic has already cost thousands of lives and we cannot even begin to estimate what the ultimate death toll will be.  Many of those lives would have been saved if you had not allowed your greed and ego to get in the way of taking appropriate action.
  • Your predecessor implemented some excellent regulations to, along with every other nation on the planet, work toward reversing the damages caused by years of burning carbon-based fossil fuels. Within a matter of weeks after accepting your job, you destroyed almost every one of those regulations and have contributed significantly to the decline of the air we breathe, water we drink, and the safety of the food we eat.  It is almost as if you are willfully attempting to kill your employers.
  • You have acted without dignity or compunction toward our friends and allies, and as a result we no longer have the respect or trust of the very friends who we may someday need to be able to call on for help. Meanwhile, you have cozied up to our enemies and acted without the oversight of Congress, which we mandated when we hired you.

All in all, Mr. Trump, you have been given more than ample time to prove yourself up to the task, and in every single instance, you have failed.  You have abused your power, and devalued the office you hold. As a result of your failures, we are left with a debt of more than $25 trillion and a large number of terrible messes that will take decades to clean up.  Therefore, we are requesting your resignation, effective immediately, to be submitted in writing to We the People in care of The Washington Post.

You will have exactly one week, until Sunday, April 5th, to remove your family and personal belongings from the residence we provided you at the above address.  Your possessions will be closely checked by White House security to ensure that you take only that which belongs to you and your family.  Any damages found after you have left will be billed to you through your attorney.

You will receive one month’s severance pay, but we cannot provide Secret Service protection once you are gone, as we have done for all of your predecessors, as you have bankrupted the country and we simply cannot afford it.

Best wishes for your future endeavours,

We-the-People

♫ Touch Me ♫

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song as “Hit Me,” based on fights he had with his girlfriend. They lyric was, “C’mon, hit me, I’m not afraid.” In a rare show of restraint, Jim Morrison insisted on changing it to Touch Me.  At the end of the song, Morrison chants “Stronger than dirt!” The line is from an Ajax commercial popular at the time where a white knight rides around destroying dirt. The last four chords of the song were also lifted from the commercial.the doorsMany critics claimed this was a sellout, as the horn and string sections were not typical of The Doors. The band admitted they were trying to broaden their audience and achieve commercial success with this album, which they did.

The sax part was played by Curtis Amy, who was a popular session horn and flute player who got his biggest exposure playing on Carole King’s famous Tapestry album. Jim Morrison remarked that the song was the first rock hit with a jazz solo.jim morrisonSomething that was news to me when I was researching this song tonight … this song was popular around the time Jim Morrison was arrested in Miami for indecent exposure. The song had nothing to do with Morrison’s arrest, apart from an unfortunate title, but some radio stations refused to play it as a result. Morrison was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail for the incident, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, the governor of Florida pardoned Morrison, believing that the conviction was politically motivated and that no conclusive evidence showed that the Doors frontman exposed himself.

Touch Me
The Doors

Yeah!
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, baby
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won’t you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?

Now, I’m gonna love you
‘Till the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
‘Till the stars fall from the sky
For you and I

Come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, baby
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won’t you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?

I’m gonna love you
‘Till the heaven stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
‘Till the stars fall from the sky
For you and I
I’m gonna love you
‘Till the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
‘Till the stars fall from the sky
For you and I

Snarky Snippets, Volume _____?

I’ve got just a couple of small snippets to start out your Sunday …


Many things have been put on hold during this time of pandemic crisis.  Though I may disagree with the way in which they were done (no thinking or planning involved), I can’t argue against the need for these measures such as the shuttering of restaurants and pubs, people working from home or in some cases being laid off from their jobs, the closing of schools.  But, the one thing that should never ever have been put on hold are environmental regulations – the few we have left, that is.  There is no logical justification and it will only lead to further decimation of our environment.

From an article in Friday’s issue of The Guardian

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suspended its enforcement of environmental laws during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, signaling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans.

In an extraordinary move that has stunned former EPA officials, the Trump administration said it will not expect compliance with the routine monitoring and reporting of pollution and won’t pursue penalties for breaking these rules.

[…]

There is no end date set for this dropping of enforcement.

Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the EPA, said that coronavirus had made it difficult for businesses to protect workers and the public while adhering to clean air and water rules.

According to an article in Reuter’s, this was triggered by a letter sent to Trump by the American Petroleum Institute, using the current pandemic crisis as an excuse to be relieved of regulatory requirements for the foreseeable future.  Here’s the kicker, though … they claim to need to be free of all regulation “in order to ensure steady fuel supplies”.  But … there is currently a market glut because … nobody is going anywhere, a large portion of businesses are shuttered, and therefore we don’t need anywhere near the amount of fuel we needed just a month ago!  Additionally, it is that time of year when households are using neither heat nor air-conditioning in any large quantity.  They could cut the supply in half and still have a surplus!  There is absolutely no justifiable reason that they need relief from environmental regulations, but all they had to do is ask Trump, and Presto Bingo … they got their wish.

Would someone please explain to me just exactly how in hell the coronavirus makes it difficult for businesses to follow the few provisions that remain in the Clean Water and Air Acts???  NO, this is just a sorry excuse by Trump and his cronies, his partners in crime, to further pander to their friends in the fossil fuel and other industries.  The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts have been in effect since 1963 and 1972 respectively and cannot simply be dissed because Trump and/or Wheeler say so!  THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!

I am not alone in my fury.  Says Cynthia Giles, who was head of EPA enforcement during the Obama administration …

“EPA should never relinquish its right and its obligation to act immediately and decisively when there is threat to public health, no matter what the reason is. I am not aware of any instance when EPA ever relinquished this fundamental authority as it does in this memo. This memo amounts to a nationwide moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and is an abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the public.”

The sooner we become fully reliant on renewable energy sources and are able to tell the oil companies where to put their oil, the happier and healthier we will all be!  It is simply unconscionable that they are attempting to profit from this crisis!


You know those $1,200 checks that are going out to anybody who filed a tax return in 2018?  Well, it is reported that Donald Trump is insisting his signature be the one on the checks.  What an ego trip!  No, wait, this goes well beyond ego … this is the sign of a truly evil megalomaniac.  Fortunately, I will not have to see a check from him, for a) I was not required to file a tax return in 2018, and b) my daughter’s will be direct-deposited into her account, so I won’t have to face the temptation of wanting to rip that check into a thousand pieces.

My recommendation to those of you who can is if you receive a check with Trump’s signature, transfer it to a charity of your choice, such as a local food pantry or homeless shelter, local hospice or whatever suits your fancy.


Remember that a couple of days ago I mentioned the Trump re-election campaign had issued a “cease and desist” order to networks who were running an ad by a PAC called Priorities USA?  Well, at the time, I couldn’t find an embeddable copy of the ad, but I have one now.  Take a look …


And, for just a bit of humour, J.L. Cauvin of New Jersey is a comedian/satirist and he has done a video that … well, you must see if for yourself!  If you close your eyes, you’d swear it was trumpie.


Alright, friends, that’s all I’ve got for now … be back this afternoon!

About That ‘Stimulus Bill’ …

Let me just start by saying one thing:  No, Donald Trump, you have not done a great job.  Thanks to your bungling and mismanagement, the U.S. is quite possibly in the worst shape it has ever been in.  Thanks.  It speaks volumes that a number of television networks are editing or refusing to air Trump’s daily bragging sessions, otherwise known as ‘updates’ or ‘press briefings’ because they say he is providing too much misinformation.

Yesterday, the House passed and Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid Package”, aka bailout bill, aka emergency stimulus package.  The U.S. government doesn’t actually … have … $2 trillion … to spend, being $23 trillion in debt (this works out to approximately $69,696,969.69 worth of debt for every man, woman and child in the U.S.), but Donald Trump has always used other people’s money to do what he wants, so that’s nothing new.  But, let’s take a look at that ‘stimulus package’ and what’s actually in it:stimulus-pkgYou’ll notice that big corporations are getting almost as much as individuals.  Funny that, for the CEOs of the big corporations have plenty of money … in fact, they should be giving us money instead of the other way around.  And you’ll also notice that education was just an afterthought.  Close all the schools with no advance planning, no guidance or direction, and then throw them a biscuit.

But the thing I want to talk about today is that $339.8 billion for state and local governments.  Or rather, the strings attached to that money.

  • Trump demanded that governors show deference to the administration during the coronavirus crisis, saying, “I want them to be appreciative. I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true. I want them to be appreciative. We’ve done a great job.”

  • Trump has sparred with a handful of Democratic governors who are asking for aid and medical equipment to help combat their coronavirus outbreaks, most notably Jay Inslee of Washington and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. On Friday, he called Whitmer “the woman from Michigan” and said “she has no idea what’s going on.”

  • Trump implied that he believed Vice President Mike Pence shouldn’t call them if they did not show the proper appreciation. “You know what I say? If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said.

I ask you, friends, is this the sort of person you really want leading the nation in a crisis (or at any other time, for that matter)?  It isn’t Trump’s money … it is our money!

I remember a time when my children were little, and my son wanted something at the store that I couldn’t afford.  I explained to him that I did not have enough money to buy it for him, and he responded, “But mommy … you gots a checkbook!”  He was probably 3 or 4 at the time, so it was understandable that he did not understand the concept of banking and money.  Donald Trump is 73 years of age and doesn’t it just seem like he should have figured this all out by now?

Another aspect of this ‘stimulus bill’ is that democrats insisted on a newly appointed Inspector General who would provide oversight in the disbursement of funds, especially the loans to businesses.  The democrats intent was to ensure that Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could not abuse the bailout fund. They feared that Mr. Trump, who has previously stonewalled congressional oversight, would do the same when it came to the corporate aid program.

Now, however, Trump is claiming that he can and will ignore the oversight provision.  Two hours after signing the bill, Trump issued a statement saying that as president, he can gag the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, known by the acronym S.I.G.P.R., and keep information from Congress.

“I do not understand, and my administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the S.I.G.P.R. to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required.”

Checks and balances???  Congressional oversight???  Not for Donald Trump.  This, folks, is the behaviour of a dictator.  This is a Putin or an Erdoğan.  This is not in any way, shape or form, in accordance with the foundation of law in the United States, the Constitution.

In light of his authoritarian ways, his unconscionable lust for power, and his complete disregard for the laws of the land, it is more imperative today than ever before that this ‘man’ be removed from office.  It is more crucial than ever that we have a fair and honest election on November 3rd no matter what.

♫ Kenny Rogers — Final Tribute ♫

Well, folks, it’s been a week of memories, hasn’t it?  I’m sad to see it end, and I realize I didn’t get to all the requests from everybody, but I have made note of them and … Kenny’s legacy, his music, remains with us to be played over and over, whenever we want.  I debated what to do for this final post.  Lady was requested by a couple of people, but since I had already played it twice, last May and in October 2018, I held off on that one.  For tonight’s grand finale, if you will, I selected a few songs and tributes from other artists.  Rather than take up space with trivia & lyrics, I shall let the videos speak for themselves.  First, of course, it had to be Dolly’s own tribute …

What would any tribute to Kenny be without his iconic The Gambler

Even morning talk/news show Good Morning America had to say ‘goodbye’ to Kenny in style …

And, as our friend Ellen suggested, there might be no better tribute than this song by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, You Can’t Make Old Friends …

I finish with a recording that Kenny, along with so many other wonderful artists, such as Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, James Ingram, and too many to even name, participated in to raise money for humanitarian aid.  The first recording session on January 21st, 1985 brought together some of the most well-known artists in the music industry at the time.

This one never fails to bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes.  What a perfect way, I think, to close this tribute to a great artist …

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this week-long tribute to the late Kenny Rogers … I have certainly enjoyed doing it!  R.I,P. Kenny,  and thank you for all you have given us.

Saturday Surprise — A Short One

Good Saturday morning, folks, and welcome to the … w-w-weekend!  I won’t ask if you have big plans, for obvious r-r-reasons, but I will try to give you a smile … how’s that?


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I bet you didn’t know that in Northern Canada they hold hair-freezing contests! frozen-hair-2

From Atlas Obscura …

Even in the dark, subarctic winters of the Yukon Territory, hot water flows from the depths of Earth’s crust into Takhini Hot Springs at the toasty temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural hot tub, which attracts hundreds of locals and tourists annually, lies just outside the city of Whitehorse. For most of the year, visitors spend hours relaxing in the mineral-rich and odorless waters, which are privately owned by the company Takhini Hot Pools. But much more is at stake during winter months, when the pools become heated arenas for the world’s only frozen-hairdo competition.

The Hair Freezing Contest is a challenge of both art and science. Participants dunk their heads underwater, emerge into the frigid air, and style their locks into stiff, eye-catching sculptures. Depending on one’s creativity and luck with the elements, the results range from frosty, mop-like tangles to dramatically manicured spikes.

According to co-owner of Takhini Hot Pools Andrew Umbrich …

“All this rising steam collects on your hair and freezes really quickly when it meets the cold air. You can get good results within 15 minutes if it’s cold enough.”

frozen-hair-1

frozen-hair-3frozen-hair-4

Er … um … thanks, but no thanks.  I cannot imagine my head being frozen.  Things contract in the cold, and if my head contracted much more, I’d be a pinhead.  Still, looks cool … literally.


Guess what it is

I bet you can’t guess what this is …stage

Hey, don’t be so quick to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a stage by its finish.  This stage, folks, is going on the auction block on April 10th in an online auction and is expected to fetch as much as $20,000.  Do you know who once played one of their first concerts as The Silver Beats on that stage?  C’mon, some of you die-hard fans must know this one.  Ellen?  David?  Okay, I’ll give you a little hint.  The band consisted of Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Tommy Moore on drums, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison on guitars. Lathom-Hall-ticketIn addition to playing at Lathom Hall, they were also there to audition for local concert promoter Brian Kelly.  They did so well that they were invited back the next Saturday night, but at the last minute they declined and that was it for them and Lathom Hall or any of Kelly’s concert venues for several months.  As their popularity gained traction, eventually Kelly invited them back.

Silver-BeatsOn April 10, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the band’s breakup, California-based Julien’s Auctions will offer a slew of Beatles memorabilia (with live online bidding available), from the handwritten lyrics for “Hey Jude” to corduroy trousers worn by John Lennon himself. While it may not look so illustrious, this set of wooden planks pulled straight out of the floor are in fact witnesses to history, and a marquee item that could fetch as much as $20,000.


Just a few ‘toons and things I found over at Phil’s Phun

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4toon-5


Th-th-that’s all I’ve got for today, friends.  Try to have a p-p-peaceful weekend.

Note to readers:  I apologize for my negligence these past 2-3 days in responding to comments.  Sometimes life throws more at a person than they can field, and one struggles to catch up.  I always operate under the philosophy that if you, my friends and readers, can take your precious time to leave a comment, the least I can do is reply.  I have let that ball drop in recent days.  I promise to do better starting today.  Please forgive my negligence.

Discord & Dissension – Part XI -The Climate

The single most important issue in the 2020 election (apart from unseating Trump, of course) is climate change. We have stepped back 20 years in the last three years under Trump, and quite frankly, time is running out. The earth’s resources are finite and we are using them at an alarming rate. For this, Part XI of our series Discord & Dissension, Jeff discusses where we are, where we need to go, how we can get there, and what happens if we don’t.

On The Fence Voters

While the Republican and Democratic Parties disagree on most things these days, nothing epitomizes the significant divide more than does climate change. And it’s not just those who sit in Congress either. According to a recent Pew Research poll conducted in February of this year, among Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party, 78% said climate change should be a top priority.

However, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, only 21% felt the same way. To put that in even more stark terms, Democrats view climate as a top priority by nearly three times that of Republicans.

And, it gets even worse when registered voters were asked whether climate change is a problem for the country today. 77% of Democrats/lean Democrat said yes, it was a huge problem, and 17% said it was a moderately big problem—a net of 94%. On the flip side, Republicans/lean Republican answered 13/27% for…

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