♫ Peace Train ♫ (Redux)

A few days ago I played Wild World by Cat Stevens, and ever since, I have had this song hopping through the cobwebs of my mind.  I played this in March 2019, but that was 20 months ago, and somehow this song seems fitting for our times … not only here in the U.S. where our very foundation is being threatened, but in many nations on this planet.  One portion of the song …

‘Cause I’m on the edge of darkness
There ride the Peace Train
Oh, Peace Train take this country
Come take me home again

… strikes a chord, don’t you think? 

Note to readers:  The past two weeks, it seems that many of the videos I play are not available to readers outside the U.S.  I sincerely apologize … I have no way of knowing until one of you lets me know.  I’m not sure if YouTube has made changes, or if it’s just been a coincidence.  Please do let me know if you are outside the U.S. and cannot view a video I post … I’m trying to figure out the problem and resolve it.


A National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and all those affected by it, was held this morning.  Yusuf Islam, better known to the world as Cat Stevens, performed his 1971 song, Peace Train, and I cannot think of a more appropriate song for the solemn occasion.

yusuf-islam

Yusuf Islam – 29 March 2019

One of my readers, Anne, suggested it might be a good song for my music post, and I fully agree.  Thank you, Anne, for this perfect suggestion.

Prior to performing, he delivered a short speech, dedicating his appearance “to the families who lives were snatched away in that evil carnage while they were worshipping in the mosque two weeks ago,  To those shining souls whose lives were snatched away in that moment of madness may peace be upon them. Peace in this world may take a bit longer.”

Peace Train
Cat Stevens

Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come

‘Cause I’m on the edge of darkness
There ride the Peace Train
Oh, Peace Train take this country
Come take me home again

Now I’ve been smiling lately,
Thinkin’ about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
Something good has begun

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train

Get your bags together,
Go bring your good friends, too
‘Cause it’s getting nearer,
It soon will be with you

Now come and join the living,
It’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
Soon it will all be true

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Peace Train

Now I’ve been crying lately,
Thinkin’ about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
Why can’t we live in bliss

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a Peace Train
Oh Peace Train take this country,
Come take me home again

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on, come on, come on
Yes, come on, peace train
Yes, it’s the peace train

Come on now, peace train
Oh, peace train

Songwriters: Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam
Peace Train lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

FINALLY — Some Good News!

I lost count of how many “Breaking News” updates hit my phone yesterday, but most contained good news, so I’m not complaining.  Four things among the maelstrom of pings, dings and knocks from my phone stand out, all of them positive, at least from where I stand, though I’m sure there are those who would disagree with me.

  • The first was that Joe Biden announced several of his choices for key cabinet positions. I’ll have more about this in future posts, for I will need time to research these people, some of whom I’m not familiar with.  But the one that caught my eye first was Biden’s appointment of John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate.  This sends a message, loud and clear, that no longer will we shirk our duty toward climate change and the environment.  As Secretary of State under President Obama, John Kerry played a key role in negotiating the landmark Paris Climate Accord, which was adopted by nearly 200 nations in 2015 and was aimed at addressing the negative impacts of climate change. Trump withdrew the US from agreement, and Biden has pledged to rejoin it on his first day in office.

  • Next came the news that the election officials in Michigan certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. I let out a few YAHOOOOOOs over this one and found myself, inexplicably, with tears in my eyes.  Too much stress lately, I guess.  Pennsylvania and Arizona are close to certifying Biden’s victory, but despite having a BA and an MA in Political Science, I simply do not understand what the holdup is.  Yes, I know Donnie Darkness is protesting, continuing to claim that he actually won, and suing everybody and their brother, but his cases are consistently being thrown out of the courts because there is zero evidence of any widescale aberrations anywhere.  Trump’s legal eagles have failed to provide a shred of evidence.  It’s time for every state to certify the vote, to follow the law and the will of the people.  Trump lost by more than 6 million votes – he’d have to find a hell of a lot of “voter fraud” to overturn that!

  • Then there was this headline in the New York Times: G.M. Drops Its Support for Trump Climate Rollbacks and Aligns With Biden.  Trump is suing the state of California (isn’t that rather like suing one’s own family member?  Perhaps he forgot that California is one of the 50 ‘United’ States?) in an effort to strip California of its ability to set its own, strict fuel economy standards.  Initially, three U.S. automakers joined in the lawsuit:  General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler.  With G.M. dropping their support, it is likely only a matter of days before Toyota and Fiat Chrysler join their competitor in dropping out.  In fact, G.M.’s CEO, Mary Barra, urged the other two to follow G.M.’s lead.  Score one for the environment!

  • And last, but certainly not least, came the news just around supper time, that Emily Murphy at the General Services Administration (GSA) acknowledged Joe Biden as the ‘apparent’ winner of the election. This move will give the Biden transition team access to federal transition funds, and will also allow the team to establish contact and working relations with federal agencies.  A day late and a dollar short, as they say, but … better late than never.  Trump attempted to take credit for the decision, but made a point of saying that he is not conceding the election, and that … “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good … fight, and I believe we will prevail!”  I laughed at this … I really no longer care what he says, for he is quickly becoming irrelevant.  The sooner he, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Kayleigh McEnany figure that out, the sooner our lives will become more peaceful!

I still have concerns, still do not trust Donald Trump, nor the congressional republicans, nor the Supreme Court, nor the white supremacist gun freaks who say they are planning violence when Joe Biden is inaugurated, but overall I think yesterday was a red-letter day for positive news … something we were sorely in need of.  We still have many problems, and yesterday was not quite a ‘jump for joy’ moment, but more a ‘sigh of relief’ one.  Perhaps soon we’ll even be able to sleep for more than an hour at a time.

Open Letter To Republican Members Of Congress

Dear Senator/Representative,

I write today out of extreme frustration as a citizen of the United States, a person who has paid taxes since 1964 when I was but 13 years of age, and an independent voter who has voted since 1972 for both parties at various times.  I believe I have earned the right to speak my piece, and I shall do so now.

Since the U.S. Constitution was adapted in 1787, this nation has abided by certain standards, one of those being a fair and honest election whereby everyone has an equal voice, and once the results are tallied, they are accepted by all.  In the 2016 election, it was later proven that Russia aided and abetted the election campaign of Donald Trump, who actually lost the election by nearly 3 million votes, and yet due to the electoral system, was placed in office on January 20th, 2017.  His opponent, Hillary Clinton, graciously congratulated him on his ‘win’ the day after the election, as did then-President Barack Obama.

Fast forward to November 3rd, 2020, not quite three weeks ago.  The election was held, but results were not immediately available because of the surging pandemic that led many of us to vote by absentee ballot.  Within a couple of days, it became obvious that Joe Biden had won the election, had earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and had scored over 6 million votes more than Donald Trump.  And yet … without one shred of proof or evidence, that result is being hotly contested by Trump and his lawyers.  Not only that, but Trump continually claims, falsely, that he won the election, that there was massive voter fraud, and that “the democrats stole” the election from him.

You know, and I know that not a single shred of evidence exists to support Trump’s claims.  Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, said that the 2020 election was the most secure in the history of the nation.  He was fired for telling the truth and for doing his job.  Still, Donald Trump continues to create chaos by making false claims.

In the past week, four members of Congress have followed their conscience and condemned Trump’s attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the election:  Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Ben Sasse, outgoing Senator Lamar Alexander, and Senator Pat Toomey.  Each of the four have said it is time for Trump to face the fact that he lost and be gracious in conceding the election.  YOU, however, remain silent.  I ask you now … WHY?  You know that Joe Biden won the election honestly and fairly.  You know that Donald Trump is a temperamental, dishonest ‘man’, lacking in integrity, who has done more damage to this country than the last ten presidents combined.  So … why are you silent?  Your silence speaks volumes about your character.

Surely you must realize that Trump is casting doubt, not only on the integrity of the 2020 election, but on our democratic processes as he continues to rant and rave about things that simply do not exist.  You have achieved one of the highest-ranking positions in the nation, so surely you must be an intelligent and well-educated individual, and yet at this moment, it appears that you are without conscience.

I, and my fellow citizens, call on you today … yes, TODAY … to condemn Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions, to demand that he concede the election so that President-elect Biden’s transition team can get to work, planning for a smooth transition and the ongoing safety of the nation.  IF you do not, if you continue to enable Trump and his minions to undermine the democratic processes of this nation without so much as a whimper on your part, then you do not deserve the position you hold.  Know that, if you continue to allow this to go on without adding your voice to those of Senators Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Alexander, then I and others will work tirelessly the next time you are facing a re-election bid, to ensure that the American public knows just how disinterested in the future of this nation and its people you are, and I will work to support your opponent, whoever he or she may be.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – citizen, taxpayer, voter


Note to readers:  I have sent this letter to Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Representative Warren Davidson, and am planning to send it to the local newspaper, as well.  The silence in the GOP on this matter is deafening and we cannot wait forever for these members of Congress to find their consciences.  Feel free to adapt and use the letter if you wish.

♫ This Guy’s In Love With You ♫

I have long … and I do mean long, like since I was about 12 or 13, some 50+ years ago … been a fan of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

This Guy’s in Love with You is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and recorded by Herb Alpert. Although known primarily for his trumpet playing as the leader of the Tijuana Brass, Alpert sang lead vocals on this solo recording, arranged by Bacharach.

As documented in an A&E Biography episode featuring Bacharach, the recording originated when Alpert, while visiting at Bacharach’s office, asked, “Say, Burt, do you happen to have any old compositions lying around that you and Hal never recorded; maybe one I might be able to use?” Alpert said he made it his practice to ask songwriters that particular question: often a “lost pearl” was revealed. As it happened, Bacharach recalled one, found the lyrics and score sheet in his office filing cabinet, and offered it to Alpert: “Here, Herb … you might like this one.”

Alpert’s previous material consisted of instrumental songs recorded with The Tijuana Brass Band. This, released in 1968, was his first released on A&M Records that contained vocals.

Alpert sang this to his first wife in a 1968 TV special called The Beat of the Brass; the sequence was taped on the beach in Malibu. The song was not intended to be released, but after it was used in the TV special, thousands of telephone calls to CBS asking about it convinced label owner Alpert to release it as a single two days after the show aired.

The song hit #1 in the U.S. and Canada, and #3 in the UK.  In 1969, Dionne Warwick’s version, This Girl’s in Love With You, peaked at #7 in the US.

This Guy’s In Love With You
Herb Alpert

You see this guy, this guy’s in love with you
Yes I’m in love who looks at you the way I do
When you smile I can tell it know each other very well

How can I show you I’m glad I got to know you ’cause
I’ve heard some talk they say you think I’m fine
Yes I’m in love and what I’d do to make you mine
Tell me now is it so don’t let me be the last to know

My hands are shakin’ don’t let my heart keep breaking ’cause
I need your love, I want your love
Say you’re in love and you’ll be my girl, if not I’ll just die

Tell me now is it so don’t let me be the last to know
My hands are shakin’ don’t let my heart keep breaking ’cause
I need your love, I want your love
Say you’re in love and you’ll be my girl, if not I’ll just die

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Burt F. Bacharach / Hal David
This Guy’s in Love With You lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Jolly Monday — And Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

thanksgivingGood Monday morn, my friends!  Come in out of the c-c-cold … just toss your jackets on that chair over there … Jolly will hang them up for you in a minute.  So … how was your weekend?  Did any of you do anything special?  No?  We didn’t either.  I sent daughter Chris out on errands Saturday evening and she picked up some fish ‘n chips from Red Robin, but that was about the height of the excitement around here.  Yesterday was cold, rainy, dark and gloomy, so I’m glad to see the sun out this morning … perhaps it will warm things up a bit.  Since Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., Joyful and I thought Thanksgiving-themed treats were in order for this morning.  Sorry, guys, I tried but simply could not form a piece of bacon into the shape of either a turkey or a pumpkin!  So, the bacon will be back on the menu next week.  Help yourself to some treats and a warm drink, and then let’s get this week of to a start with a bit of humour, shall we?

juice boxes


You know how you go to the park and a few dozen pigeons come around to see if perhaps you’ve brought them a treat?  We had a pigeon this summer that was a veritable pig … he would come around back where Ali had put out seed for the other birdies, and he would run them off, then proceed to devour half the food!  Eventually he discovered the sunflowers out front, and stopped eating the other bird’s food, but he sure was a pig.  Anyway, who knew that one single pigeon could be worth nearly $2 million???

pigeon-1New Kim is her name, and she is a two-year-old Belgian-bred racing pigeon.  Who knew pigeons raced?  New Kim broke a world record and became the world’s most expensive pigeon when she was sold at auction for nearly $1.9 million … $1,894,672, to be exact.  Now who in their right mind pays that kind of money for a pigeon???

pigeon-2Turns out the buyer was a Chinese man using the pseudonym Super Duper.  And this isn’t Super Duper’s first foray into idiocy!  He previously set the world record in March 2019, when he paid $1.4 million for a champion racing pigeon named Armando.  I wonder if he plans to breed Armando and New Kim and sell their offspring for some unmentionable sum?

I did some research, and the average lifespan of a pigeon is six years.  Now, New Kim is already two years old, so that means Super Duper is likely to have her for another four years, making his purchase equate to $473,668 per year!  And that doesn’t include food and upkeep!  Damn, what couldn’t I do with that kind of money?


Now, how ‘bout a few ‘toons to bring a chuckle?  I figured that since it is the week of Thanksgiving, I ought to go in search of some Thanksgiving humour …

thanksgiving-toon-1thanksgiving-toon-2thanksgiving-toon-3thanksgiving-toon-4thanksgiving-toon-5thanksgiving-toon-6thanksgiving-toon-7thanksgiving-toon-8thanksgiving-toon-9thanksgiving-toon-11thanksgiving-toon-12thanksgiving-toon-13thanksgiving-toon-14


And last, but not least, a fun critter video of animals playing in … and enjoying … the snow (it’s coming, folks … winter is upon us)


thanksgiving-2And that’s a wrap for this Jolly Monday before Thanksgiving.  Joyful, Jolly and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  It’s a tough time for people everywhere but remember … there is always something to be thankful for … friends, family, a place to live and food to eat.  When we think about it, despite our troubles, despite the pandemic, despite governments overrun by corruption, we are still pretty lucky compared to so many.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 11/21

I thought a bit of humour might be in order this afternoon, so I’m sharing with you TokyoSand’s weekly assortment of the best political cartoons from the past week.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the political cartoonists surely prove that.  I do find, though, that I don’t find as much humour in them these days as I once did.  Hopefully, a year from now we will be shed of both the diseases that are crippling the nation … the pandemic and Donald Trump … and then we can once again look outward and see what’s happening in the rest of the world, can laugh over the little faux pas that make the news. 

Anyway … thank you TS for doing such a great job finding the best of the best!

pol-toon-1pol-toon-2pol-toon-3

View more ‘toons on original post

♫ Wild World ♫ (Redux)

I played this one back in 2018, and as I am thoroughly exhausted tonight, I hope you’ll forgive the redux.  I had a new song picked out for tonight, but I simply don’t feel up to digging for trivia, formatting the lyrics, etc. 


Cat Stevens, nee Steven Demetre Georgiou, is a British singer/songwriter.  I have a confession to make … I did not know he was British!  I’ve always loved this song … it is on my ‘walking’ playlist, as it gets me going faster than some and adds a bit of bounce to the steps.

Stevens tells why he wrote the song …

“I was trying to relate to my life. I was at the point where it was beginning to happen and I was myself going into the world. I’d done my career before, and I was sort of warning myself to be careful this time around, because it was happening. It was not me writing about somebody specific, although other people may have informed the song, but it was more about me. It’s talking about losing touch with home and reality – home especially.”

cat-stevens-2008

Yusuf Islam – 2008

In 1978, Stevens converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and abandoned his musical career, saying that it had “becoming a chore, and not an inspiration anymore”.  Today, he uses his ongoing royalties for philanthropic works, and has founded several schools and Small Kindness charity, which initially assisted famine victims in Africa and now supports thousands of orphans and families in the Balkans, Indonesia, and Iraq.

There is a considerable amount of controversy surrounding this artist, but this is a post about the music, and not a place to delve into controversy.  And so … let us enjoy the music …

Wild World
Cat Stevens

Now that I’ve lost everything to you
You say you want to start something new
And it’s breaking my heart you’re leaving
Baby, I’m grieving

But if you want to leave, take good care
Hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do
And it’s breaking my heart in two
‘Cause I never want to see you sad girl
Don’t be a bad girl

But if you want to leave take good care
Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware
Beware

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
And I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

Baby I love you
But if you want to leave take good care
Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware
Beware

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
And I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
And it’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
And I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

Songwriters: Yusuf Islam
Wild World lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Our Lives, Or A Game Of Golf?

On Friday, the U.S. recorded 204,179 new cases of the coronavirus, and 1,998 deaths in a 24-hour period.  This is tragic, appalling, frightening.  Well, to most of us, it is, though to Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who calls himself ‘president’, it’s just another statistic … ho-hum … where are my golf clubs?

This weekend, the G20 summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 260,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world. Based on that, one might think that Donald Trump, the outgoing ‘president’, would be extremely interested in the proceedings, but yesterday morning, as the summit was starting at 8:00 a.m., Trump was too busy tweeting to be bothered logging on.  He did, at some point, appear via video link, but not to discuss the pandemic.  Instead, he tooted his own horn, boasting about the US economy and military, and repeated false claims that his government’s Operation Warp Speed was behind both the first two successful coronavirus vaccines, which was a blatant lie. Warp Speed provided funding for development of the vaccine produced by Moderna, but not the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed without US government help. And he also made a strange remark, given that his term of office will end in just 59 days …

“It’s been a great honour to work with you, and I look forward to working with you again for a long time.”

Throughout the short time he spent online with the summit, he was intermittently busily tweeting about the election.  And then, after opening remarks, when it was time to begin the session on pandemic preparedness and response, Trump left and went to play golf.  When questioned about the impropriety of his behaviour and obvious lack of concern, Press Secretary and resident bimbo Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement …

“During his remarks, President Trump highlighted how the United States marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis, as well as the unprecedented economic recovery of the United States on a foundation of tax and regulatory cuts, energy independence, and fair trade deals. He spoke about the aggressive actions and safety measures the United States took to protect the vulnerable, pioneer groundbreaking treatments, and develop vaccines and therapies at record-setting speed, which will save millions of lives. President Trump also reaffirmed the importance of the G20 working together for future economic growth and prosperity.”

He may have said all that, but it’s a pack of lies … not one bit of it is true!  Had he actually done any of that, perhaps the U.S. wouldn’t have the highest number of infections and the highest death toll of any nation on the planet.

Worse yet … Trump said that he wants U.S. citizens to be the first to receive vaccinations against coronavirus — a position that is in keeping with his crappy ‘America First’ ideology but contradicts the position of public health experts and other world leaders, who have urged giving priority to front-line health workers and vulnerable populations such as the elderly.  Trump’s is an unconscionably selfish viewpoint and one that I, as a citizen, voter and taxpayer do not support!  I’m sure his rabid base, however, will love him for being willing to allow people to die in other countries.

A lot of good can come from international summits such as this … it is an opportunity to work cooperatively to solve problems such as the pandemic and climate change.  The U.S. needs to be a part of these groups, we need to participate in the international community!  Yet, Donald Trump would sooner isolate us, make us the pariah.  The other nations will move forward with or without us, and the other nations will be more prepared, more organized, and better able to deal with what comes next.  The U.S. will continue to have the highest number of infections and the highest death rate.  It is my hope that once Joe Biden assumes office in 59 days, he will be able to mend some of the fences that Donald Trump has destroyed.

It speaks volumes, my friends, when as our friends and family members are becoming ill, some even dying, the ‘man’ who could help is out on the golf course playing a game.  This is how much our lives mean to him … less than a game of golf.

Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

The dreary gloom outside matches my mood inside, so … It’s time for some snarky snippets!  Granted, most of what I write these days is snark-filled, but still there is more … it’s never-ending.


AR-15 vs pandemic

Junior, aka Donald Trump, Jr., has contracted the coronavirus.  He says he is doing well … too bad.  He also said he will pass the time in isolation battling with the virus by cleaning his collection of guns.  I wonder just how many he has?  And what … does he think if he gets those guns all nice and clean (how did they get dirty, anyway?) that he can just shoot the virus and make it go away?  Or perhaps he’s planning another killing spree with his brother soon …

trump-killer-1


The last party …

Meanwhile, Karen Pence, has invited Congressional Club members to an afternoon “Christmas Craft” at the VP’s residence on December 9th at 1 p.m. Attendees are requested to wear ‘Holiday Attire’, but the invite makes no mention of masks. The event comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has discouraged holiday gatherings, and as we have set new records nearly every day for new cases and deaths due to the pandemic. Her husband, Vice-president Mike Pence, is allegedly the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, which has said indoor gatherings should be limited.  Oh, the irony!  The delusion!  The stupidity!

Karen-Pence-invite

Thankfully, this will likely be the last time she gets to use that title.


Poetic justice …

Merrick-GarlandIn a bit of fun irony, it is reported that President-elect Biden is considering Merrick Garland for the position of Attorney General!  You’ll remember that moderate Garland was President Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left open on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2012.  Mitch McConnell single-handedly refused to allow the Senate to even interview Garland or consider the nomination, claiming the seat should remain open for the next ‘president’ to fill.  Funny, isn’t it, how he changed his tune this year after the death of Justice Ginsburg?  I wonder if Moscow Mitch will find some objection to Garland as Attorney General?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the other republican senators grew a pair and stood up to Mitch … just once?


mnuchinGiving Americans a middle finger

It isn’t bad enough that Trump is certifiably insane and is throwing roadblocks up all over the place to deny President-elect Biden access to information that would allow for a peaceful, smooth transition in January, but his minions are playing the game also.  On-his-way-out treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to end a variety of programs aimed at helping markets, businesses and municipalities weather the pandemic and asking the central bank to return the funds earmarked to support those efforts.

By ending the programs, Mnuchin is taking away a source of economic support just as the new administration comes into office and as rising virus cases dog the recovery. By asking the Fed to return the money that enables the emergency efforts, he could make it harder for Democrats to restart them at a large scale and on more generous terms.  This is another trumpeter giving We the People a middle finger.  Again.  If this country goes into a deep recession next year, don’t even think of blaming the Biden administration … put the blame where it belongs, in Donald Trump’s court.


The murderer is back on the streets

Remember Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old white supremacist punk who shot and killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin back in August?  Well, he is out of prison on $2 million cash bond as of yesterday.

Hours after the release, one of his attorneys, Lin Wood, posted this picture of Rittenhouse alongside actor Ricky Schroder.

rittenhouse

“Free at last!!!,” Wood wrote, above the smiling photograph in which the newly freed Rittenhouse is wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company t-shirt.  Well, not exactly ‘free’, since he faces five felony charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.  In another tweet, Wood called Rittenhouse “a hero”.  And this may well define just what is wrong with half of this nation today.  When we applaud killing, when we call cold-blooded killers ‘heroes’, then we have for damn sure lost all shreds of humanity.

Personally, I hope Rittenhouse goes to prison and doesn’t come back into society until he is too old and doddery to even walk straight, let along shoot straight.


A final note …

And last but not least, Fox News’ idiot Geraldo Rivera thinks Trump should be honoured by having the coronavirus vaccine named after him.  Personally, I think it would be more appropriate to name the virus itself after Trump, for he has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands due to his intentionally inept response.  Yes, the trumptanicvirus … or TTV … sounds about right to me.

♫ Mighty Quinn ♫

This has been a week, hasn’t it?  I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster ride that lasted … well, for a week.  We all knew the election would be … contentious, to say the least, but to have the highest office in the land soiled as it has been these last two weeks is demoralizing.  So, in picking tonight’s song, I chose one that reflects a character who “changes despair into joy and chaos into rest …”  I don’t know about you guys, but I could use some joy and also some rest.

This was written by Bob Dylan, but British rock group Manfred Mann was the first to record it.  It was rare for Dylan to let anyone record one of his songs before he did, but Quinn The Eskimo was an exception. Mike D’Abo of Manfred Mann explains …

“We met in a publisher’s house as Bob Dylan was making some new material available to other artists. We heard about 10 songs and I thought ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ would be the one to do, but Manfred liked The Mighty Quinn, which was called ‘Quinn The Eskimo’ then. It was sung in a rambling monotone but Manfred had recognized its potential. He sold me on the idea of doing this song, but I had to make up some of the words as I couldn’t make out everything he was saying. It was like learning a song phonetically in a foreign language. I have never had the first idea what the song is about except that it seems to be ‘Hey, gang, gather round, something exciting is going to happen ’cause the big man’s coming.’ As to who the big man is and why he is an Eskimo, I don’t know.”

Typical of Bob Dylan, the lyric is vivid but vague, telling the story of the eagerly anticipated Quinn the Eskimo. It’s possible that Dylan came up with the idea after seeing the 1959 Nicholas Ray movie The Savage Innocents. In that movie, Anthony Quinn plays an Eskimo named Inuk. The film is also notable as the first screen appearance of Peter O’Toole, who demanded that his name be removed from the film as all of his dialog was dubbed by another actor.

Dylan released his version in 1970 on his album Self Portrait. While the Manfred Mann version was titled Mighty Quinn, Dylan’s was Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn). It also appears on his 1972 album More Greatest Hits. Ron Cornelius was Dylan’s guitarist for the Self Portrait sessions.  According to Cornelius …

“There’s everybody and his brother flying into Nashville to play on that thing. If you look at the credits, it’s amazing how many people were delighted to come and play on it. Out of everybody I’ve worked with, I don’t know of anyone who’s been any nicer than Bob Dylan.”

The song was featured in a 1989 movie with the same name starring Denzel Washington as a police officer named Xavier Quinn. The song is performed in the movie by Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Nearly two decades after the song’s 1967 release, The Grateful Dead started playing The Mighty Quinn in concert in 1985. It became a favorite encore among the Grateful Dead’s fans, and remained so to the end of their career.

Mighty Quinn topped the charts at #1 in the UK, #3 in Canada, and #10 in the U.S.

Mighty Quinn
Manfred Mann

Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

Everybody’s building
Ships and boats
Some are building monuments
Others dummy pound notes
Everybody’s in dispair
Every girl and boy
But when Quinn the eskimo gets here
Everybody’s gonna jump for joy

Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

I like to go just like the rest
I like my sugar sweet
But jumping queues and making haste
Just ain’t my cup of meat
Everyone’s beneath the trees
Feeding pigeons on a limb
But when Quinn the eskimo gets here
All the pigeons gonna run to him

Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

Let me do what I wanna do
I can’t decide on my own
Just tell me where to put ’em
And I’ll tell you who to call
Nobody can get no sleep
Cause there’s someone on everyones toes
But when Quinn the eskimo gets here
Everybody’s gonna wanna doze

Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come on without
Come on within
You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn