When Conservative became Noservative

Our friend Brosephus shares his thoughts on today’s Republican conservatives, or ‘noservatives’ as he so aptly dubs them. What, he asks, has happened to the Republican Party in the past decade or two? Where is the party that actually DID something instead of simply trying to put roadblocks up for the other party? Brosephus’ post is one well worth reading and pondering. Thank you, Brosephus!

The Mind of Brosephus

Cover of Time Magazine from March 21, 2016

There’s been several topics that have popped up that I haven’t had the time to write about. Most times, these topics usually get discussed in the comment section. I appreciate that because I don’t always have the time to post a new topic to address recent events to allow “on topic” commenting.

That said, I happened to come across the above Time Magazine cover, and I think it asks a very important question that we don’t discuss enough. What happened to the Republican Party? I’m talking beyond the personality cult it’s become with the sole intent on pissing off liberals. What happened to the ideas and guiding principles of conservatism?

For example, let’s discuss immigration for a minute. Conservatives will whine and bitch to no end about how immigration is a problem and there’s a border crisis going on. We’ve been hearing…

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♫ Everything I Own ♫ (Redux)

I am remarkably uninspired tonight.  It’s late, I’m tired and not in the best of moods, but nonetheless I went in search of something new to play, something I haven’t yet played.  Every single song that popped into my mind was one that I had already featured here!  HELP!  I’m running out of music!  (Bite your tongues, Herb Brown & Jerry Miller!!!)  Anyway, yes, I have played this one by Bread before, but it’s been a few years, so you’ve all forgotten, right?  RIGHT???

According to the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, at his father’s funeral, a friend took David Gates aside and said, “Your dad was so proud of what you were doing.” David agreed by replying, “My success would have been so special to him as he was my greatest influence. So I decided to write and record Everything I Own about him. If you listen to the words, ‘You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, gave my life to me, set me free,’ it says it all.”

In 1974 at the suggestion of his producer Lloyd Chambers, Jamaican singer Ken Booth recorded a smooth reggae cover version, which topped the UK charts. Booth sang “Anything I Own” instead of “Everything” but retained the original title, making it one of the few UK #1s not to have the actual title featured in the lyrics. In 1987 Boy George recorded his electronic dance-pop version, this time singing “Everything” not “Anything,” and again it topped the UK charts.

I have only heard Bread’s version, and I’m of the old school that thinks, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  And frankly, although daughter Chris is a huge fan of Boy George (he is the background scene on her computer, and her bedroom walls are plastered with his mug!), I am not a fan of his music.  Last time ’round I only played the Bread version, but I like to think I’m more flexible now and so, I offer both Bread and Boy George this time!  In truth, I didn’t dislike the Boy George version … I just like Bread’s better.

Everything I Own
Bread

You sheltered me from harm
Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free
The finest years I ever knew,
Were all the years I had with you

And I would give anything I own
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again

You taught me how to love
What it’s of, what it’s of
You never said too much,
But still you showed the way
And I knew from watching you

Nobody else could ever know,
The part of me that can’t let go

And I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again

Is there someone you know,
Your loving them so,
But taking them all for granted?
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away,
And they don’t hear the words you long to say

I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again
Just to touch you once again

Songwriters: David Gates
Everything I Own lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Saturday Surprise — Pareidolia (?)

Okay, so it’s time for a Saturday Surprise post.  I skipped over it last week … I don’t remember why now, but either I wasn’t inspired or I had something I wanted to get off my chest (like our cat Pandi, who LOVES to lie on our chests!)  At any rate, today I am determined you will start your weekend with a smile … GOT THAT???

I wasn’t quite sure, when I came across the term, what ‘pareidolia’ was, so I looked it up and found that it is:  the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.  The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.  Um … okay.  Probably better that I show you  … in some cases the captions steal the show!

After Stewing In His Emotions, Emo Veg Comes To The Conclusion That The Root Of The World’s Problems Is That People Don’t Seem To Carrot All

This Tomato Looks Like A Duck

Leonardo da Vinci, for example, described seeing characters in natural markings on stone walls, which he believed could help inspire his artworks. And in the 1950s, the Bank of Canada had to withdraw a series of banknotes because people saw a grinning devil leaping from the curls of the Queen’s hair.

The Evolved Radish

Alien Pickle

Going To Have To Eat This Chicken As It Hasn’t Laid A Single Bloody Egg Yet

Sometimes, an abnormal look can make fruits and veggies land in the bin. Of course, food waste exists across the food supply chain due to pests and mold, poor climate control, and household waste, but imperfect produce is often turned away by grocery stores for not meeting strict cosmetic standards as well, making up around 40% of total food waste.

This Incredible Carrot Hand Was Found While Digging Juice Carrots At Our Farm Today

She Thought He Did Not Carrot All, But He Bought Her 21-Carrot Ring

Foot Shaped Radish Goes On Display

Reducing food loss has been identified as one of the most effective ways to improve food security – an increasingly important challenge as the global population continues to grow. Plus, food waste also hugely contributes to global warming and our carbon footprint.

But ugly food is fighting back. More and more companies are selling ugly produce and using it in their products, reversing the fate of discarded monstrosities to delicious, perfectly edible, and nutritious food.

The ugly produce movement also has the potential to pass lower prices onto customers.

So if you stumble upon a radish that resembles a foot — buy it. You’ll be doing your part.

Kawaii Gourd

This Banana Looks Exactly Like My Mom’s Dog

This Onion Looks Like An Angry Bird

That’s A Sweet Beartato

F**k You Too, Broccoli

This Tomato That Grew In Our Garden Is Shaped Like A Butterfly

This Strawberry Looks Like A Butterfly

Best Eggplant Ever

My Wife’s Bell Pepper Looks Like A Big Nosed Grumpy Old Man Smoking A Cig

The Happiest Potato I’ve Ever Seen

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s trip through the funny produce aisles … and maybe even learned a new word!  Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!!!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Was there ever a day when my head wasn’t about to explode from all the injustice and lunacy that we live with on a continual basis?  Was there ever a day when people just treated others right, when our government wasn’t being ripped apart by radicals?  Sigh.  I do remember a day when things were better than today in many ways, but let’s face it … there has never been a time that people were completely kind and compassionate toward all, never been a time when there weren’t arguments within the government – and among people – about how things ought to be done.  So, I suppose it’s what keeps me going, gives me the will to fight injustice and ignorance yet another day.


Selling children …

The headline that made my jaw drop read:

New York becomes sixth state in U.S. to ban child marriages

You mean to tell me that 44 states in this union still allow and/or support child marriages???

Last month, Rhode Island’s Democratic governor signed legislation barring minors from being married. Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have enacted similar laws, as have the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.  It stands out like a sore thumb that not a single one of these states are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The legality of child marriages varies widely across the other 44 states. In Wyoming, the minimum age of consent for marriage is 16, but a child of any age can be married with parental and judicial consent. In Virginia, the minimum age is 18 — but there is an exception for minors who have been legally emancipated.

Nearly 5,000 children were married in New York between 2000 and 2018, according to a study published in April by Unchained at Last, a nonprofit that advocates against child marriage in the United States.

Nationally over that period, nearly 300,000 children were legally married, the study found. Of that figure, 86 percent were girls, and most were married to adult men.  I’m sorry, but this isn’t marriage, this is child abuse, it is sex trafficking, it is … it is just WRONG!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Overstepping their bounds — the House Freedom Caucus

The House “Freedom Caucus” is a group of Republican representatives who claim to be representing We the People, but in truth they are a bigoted, homophobic lot.  It was formed in 2015 by members of the ‘Tea Party’ movement and its members are those conservatives who take conservativism so far to the right that it strains the definition of democratic principles.  The utterly despicable Jim Jordan is one of the founding members, which tells you just about all you need to know about the group.  The group was largely to blame for the resignation from Congress of then-House Speaker John Boehner in October 2015, a fellow Republican, though you’d never know it from the treatment he received from the radical right in his own party.

Today, the House Freedom Caucus is urging Kevin McCarthy to ‘do something’ to remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.  Mind you, the Speaker of the House is selected by the majority party, which as of today happens to be the Democratic, not the Republican Party, and thus it is not the Republican’s place nor their responsibility to determine the leadership role.  But, when has the Republican Party in the past ten years ever played by the rules?

In a letter Friday, the far-right group asked McCarthy to file and bring up a privileged motion by July 31 “to vacate the chair and end Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian reign as Speaker of the House.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s tenure is destroying the House of Representatives and our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve. Republicans, under your leadership, must show the American people that we will act to protect our ability to represent their interests.”

Bullshit!  They are annoyed that Pelosi rejected Jim Jordan and Jim Banks for seats on the select committee to investigate the January 6th insurrection, plain and simple.  McCarthy knew damn well that those two buffoons wouldn’t pass muster … he likely selected them for that very reason, setting the stage for his little temper tantrum saying he wouldn’t put any Republicans on the committee if he couldn’t have the two Jims on the committee for the purpose of turning it into a circus act.

It is a near certainty that their request will fail, but what it serves to do is further divide not only the House of Representatives, but the nation.  Remember Abraham Lincoln’s speech in 1858 where he spoke the now famous words … “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  It’s a fact, and when I hear Republicans utter such inanities as “our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve,” I want to punch somebody or something.  The current representatives in the Republican Party, with very few exceptions, don’t give a damn about the people they are supposed to represent!

Cut the bullshit, Republicans!  We’re not stupid and we can see right through you, especially since you are unburdened by such things as a heart, a conscience, and a functional brain!  You’re as transparent as a glass bottle.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

♫ Lodi ♫

I was considering a redux of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son, but decided I’d look just a little bit and see if there was one of their songs that I like but haven’t played here yet.  Sure enough … I came up with Lodi.  I was very surprised to find that this only charted at #52 in the U.S. and not at all in Canada or the UK, for I thought it was one of their better songs.  But then, I’m not known for my good taste  😉

This song is a reflection on John Fogerty’s days with The Golliwogs, an early version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. They had to struggle for success, playing wherever they could with dilapidated equipment and an often indifferent audience. He did not want a return to the Bad Old Days.  Lodi is a city in California located in the central valley, about 30 miles south of Sacramento and 75 or 100 miles east of San Francisco/Oakland. Fogerty and his earlier band often performed in “nowhere towns” like Lodi.

Of the song, Fogerty once said …

“On ‘Lodi’, I saw a much older person than I was, ’cause it is sort of a tragic telling. A guy is stuck in a place where people really don’t appreciate him. Since I was at the beginning of a good career, I was hoping that that wouldn’t happen to me.”

Lodi
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Just about a year ago
I set out on the road
Seekin’ my fame and fortune
Lookin’ for a pot of gold
Thing got bad things got worse
I guess you will know the tune
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

I rode in on the Greyhound
I’ll be walkin’ out if I go
I was just passin’ through
Must be seven seven months or more
Ran out of time and money
Looks like they took my friends
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again

The man from the magazine
Said I was on my way
Somewhere I lost connections
Ran out of songs to play
I came into town, a one night stand
Looks like my plans fell through
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

If I only had a dollar
For ev’ry song I’ve sung
And ev’ry time I had to play
While people sat there drunk
You know, I’d catch the next train
Back to where I live
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty
Lodi lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC

Now Is The Time … Maybe The Last Chance

There was a time when I would have eschewed the very notion of socialism.  A time I didn’t understand the evil that humans are capable of.  A time I thought that ‘right’ would win out over ‘might’.  Over the years, the decades, the rose-coloured glasses have broken to pieces, and the naiveté eroded from my psyche.  Today, I see the human species clearly as it is, and as such, a true democratic socialist state holds much appeal for me.  Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has, in my view, all the right ideas for what this … or any nation … should be.  Can we get there?  Bernie thinks so.  What follows is the column he wrote for publication in The Guardian on Wednesday … his words make a heck of a lot of sense, at least to me.


The biggest win for the working class in generations is within reach
By Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Now is the time.

At a time when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, when two people now own more wealth than the bottom 40% and when some of the wealthiest people and biggest businesses in the world pay nothing in federal income taxes, the billionaire class and large profitable corporations must finally start paying their fair share of taxes.

Now is the time.

At a time when real wages for workers have not gone up in almost 50 years, when over half our people live paycheck to paycheck, when over 90 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, when working families cannot afford childcare or higher education for their kids, when many Americans no longer believe their government represents their interests, the U.S. Congress must finally have the courage to represent the needs of working families and not just the 1% and their lobbyists.

Now is the time.

At a time of unprecedented heatwaves, drought, flooding, extreme weather disturbances and the acidification of the oceans, now is the time for the US government to make certain that the planet we leave our children and future generations is healthy and habitable. We must stand up to the greed of the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and lead the world in combating climate change.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee I fought hard for a $6 trillion budget which would address these and other long-neglected needs. Not everyone in the Democratic caucus agreed with me and, after a lot of discussion and compromise within the budget committee, an agreement was reached on a smaller number. (Needless to say, no Republicans will support legislation which taxes the rich and protects working families.)

While this budget is less than I had wanted, let us be clear. This proposal, if passed, will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s. It will also put the U.S. in a global leadership position as we combat climate change. Further, and importantly, this legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs as we address the long-neglected needs of working families and the planet.

Why is this proposal so significant?

We will end the days of billionaires not paying a nickel in federal income taxes by making sure the wealthy and large corporations do not use their accountants and lawyers to avoid paying the massive amounts that they owe. This proposal will also raise the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and the corporate tax rate for the most profitable companies in our country. Under this proposal, no family making under $400,000 a year will pay a nickel more in taxes and will, in fact, receive one of the largest tax cuts in American history.

We will aggressively reduce our childhood poverty rate by expanding the child tax credit so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child.

We will address the crisis in childcare by fighting to make sure that no working family pays more than 7% of their income on this basic need. Making childcare more accessible and affordable will also strengthen our economy by allowing millions more Americans (mostly women) to join the workforce.

We will provide universal pre-kindergarten to every three- and four-year-old.

We will end the international disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right.

We will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in America tuition-free.

We will address the disgrace of widespread homelessness in the United States and the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50% of their incomes for housing by an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

We will ensure that people in an aging society can receive the home health care they need and that the workers who provide that care aren’t forced to live on starvation wages.

We will save taxpayers hundreds of billions by having Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and use those savings to cover the dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses that many seniors desperately need.

We will rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater treatment plants, broadband and other aspects of our physical infrastructure.

We will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

This effort will include a nationwide clean energy standard that moves our transportation system, electrical generation, buildings and housing and agriculture sector toward clean energy.

Through a Civilian Climate Corps we will give hundreds of thousands of young people good-paying jobs and educational benefits as they help us combat climate change.

We will fight to bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

In the midst of the many long-ignored crises that this legislation is attempting to address, we will not have one Republican senator voting for it. Tragically, many Republican leaders in Congress and around the country are just too busy continuing to lie about the 2020 presidential election, undermining democracy by suppressing voting rights, denying the reality of climate change and casting doubts about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

That means that the 50 Democrats in the US Senate, plus the vice-president, will have to pass this most consequential piece of legislation alone. And that’s what we will do. The future of working families is at stake. The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake.

Now is the time.

Listen to Bernie, my friends … he has the right ideas to take this nation in a positive direction.

Tribal troubles

Ever since a few years ago when a reader informed me that the reason for racism in the U.S. … or anywhere, for that matter … was ‘tribalism’, I have despised that term. I consider myself to be a part of NO tribe, but rather an individual thinker who agrees with some things, disagrees with others. But, I am not a part of any tribe that seeks to put their own religion, ethnicity, skin colour, gender or gender identity, above others. To me, that is the height of stupidity and arrogance. Anyway, I found fellow blogger and author Kevin Brennan’s views on Amy Chua’s book about political tribes to be thought-provoking and interesting. You might, too!

WHAT THE HELL

By now it’s pretty obvious that our politics are marked in this era by rampant tribalism. That’s why I wanted to read Amy Chua’s important book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.

Chua aptly identifies the tribalism that’s currently ripping America to shreds, though her conclusion that all we need to do is really talk to each other and really, like, listen, isn’t a viable option to my mind. When you have half the country denying that the ocean is full of saltwater, it’s hard to listen to those people and not break down in tears. They believe conspiracy theories that have zero chance of being true, but the bottom line is that believing these theories is the signal (to one another) that you’re in the Trump Tribe. It’s like a hand stamp that lets you back inside the disco.

Where this book comes through most…

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Snarky Snippets Are Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a snarky snippets post, though in truth almost all of my posts contain an element of snark!  Anyway … I have just a couple of short ones for you this afternoon …


Killing us softly with …

The big news yesterday was that the U.S. has seen a significant drop in life expectancy … the biggest decrease since WWII.  My first thought was … “Well duh.  625,000+ people dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – what do you expect?”  And certainly, the pandemic has played a role in the decline in life expectancy, but it isn’t the only culprit.  Turns out that the ever-expanding income disparity is one of the biggest culprits, and it has been bringing down life expectancy rates for a few years now, even before the pandemic.

During the second half of the 2010s, life expectancy fell on a sustained basis for the first time since the fighting of World War II killed several hundred thousand Americans.

It’s hard to imagine a more alarming sign of a society’s well-being than an inability to keep its citizens alive. While some of the reasons are mysterious, others are fairly clear. American society has become far more unequal than it used to be, and the recent increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year college degree.

For many, daily life lacks the structure, status and meaning that it once had, as the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have explained. Many people feel less of a connection to an employer, a labor union, a church or community groups. They are less likely to be married. They are more likely to endure chronic pain and to report being unhappy.

These trends have led to a surge of “deaths of despair” (a phrase that Case and Deaton coined), from drugs, alcohol and suicide. Other health problems, including diabetes and strokes, have also surged among the working class. Notably, the class gaps in life expectancy seem to be starker in the U.S. than in most other rich countries.

Covid has also caused sharp increases in racial inequality. As a Times article on the new report explains:

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

Covid has also killed more men than women, Case and Deaton pointed out, increasing the mortality gap between the sexes, after years in which it had mostly been shrinking. Life expectancy was 5.7 years longer for women last year, up from 5.1 years in 2019. The gap had fallen to a low of 4.8 years in the early 2010s.

The bottom line: Covid has both worsened and exposed a crisis in health inequality. But that crisis existed before Covid and will continue to exist when the pandemic is over – if it ever is.


Spot on!!!

You all know my feelings on rich bastards wasting their money on not-so-cheap thrills like building a rocket ship and flying to the edge of space for no other reason that they can afford to do it.  The latest was Jeff Bezos, and frankly I’m so disgusted with this ‘man’ and his lack of compassion, lack of humility, that I am seriously considering canceling my Amazon account permanently.  Anyway … talk show host Gayle King got the best of him in my view yesterday when she spoke with Bezos on CBS This Morning and she asked him …

“All of you keep saying this is not a competition, and I find that so hard to believe because you’re all type A personalities. Don’t you want to be first? It really to you isn’t a game of whose is bigger? Honestly, it really isn’t?”

I nearly choked with laughter!  Penis-envy run amok!


Filiwhat?  Filiwho?  Filihow?

President Biden made an appearance here in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday and at the end of the day he participated in a CNN Town Hall along with Don Lemon.  When asked about the filibuster and whether it should be killed off in the Senate, he was far less forceful than I would have liked.

“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

WTF???  Nothing at all is getting done now!!!  The Senate Republicans have all but killed the For the People Act, the infrastructure bill, and anything else that might be on the table with their damned filibuster!  Joe did say he wouldn’t mind seeing it altered to the ways of yore, when senators actually had to stand on the floor of the Senate and expound for hours, but let’s face it … the Republicans have enough hot air in them to ramble and rant for days without coming up for air!


Moscow Mitch said WHAT???

You may have noticed that a number of Republicans have been urging people in this country to get the Covid vaccine this week … people like Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and even Fox’ Sean Hannity.  I note we haven’t heard the positive take from the absolutely disgusting Tucker Carlson, but then he marches to the beat of a different drummer, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m not sure what triggered the Republicans’ sudden faux concern for people, but hopefully their constituents listen to them, for as long as we continue to have some 30% of the nation refusing to be vaccinated, we are NOT going to end the pandemic.  Period.  One of my favourite late-night comedians has a humorous take on the newly-discovered consciences that I think will give you a chuckle or two. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Colbert has done!

♫ Cat’s in the Cradle ♫ (Redux)

Our friend Keith posted yesterday about the songs he used to sing to his children when they were little, and a number of the songs he mentioned stood out to me.  A few I have already played or maybe even over-played here, some I haven’t, but this one, “Cat’s in the Cradle”, jumped before my eyes.  It is an old favourite, but seeing it on the post where Keith recounts many, many nights of singing his babies to sleep … the contrast hit me.  Too many … both men and women, fathers and mothers, fail to realize just how short their children’s childhood actually is and they keep saying, “Tomorrow”.  My hat is off to our friend Keith for being home with his babes and singing them to sleep at night.

I have played this one here before, but it was nearly three years ago, back in 2018, so … pretend you’ve forgotten and enjoy the music one more time, okay?


I’ve always liked this song, which was Harry Chapin’s only #1 hit song.

The song’s lyrics began as a poem written by Harry’s wife, Sandra “Sandy” Gaston; the poem itself was inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband, James Cashmore, and his father, John, a politician who served as Brooklyn borough president. She was also inspired by a country music song she had heard on the radio. Chapin also said the song was about his own relationship with his son, Josh, admitting, “Frankly, this song scares me to death.”

Harry Chapin was a dedicated humanitarian and arguably the most politically and socially active American performer of the 1970s.  He fought to end world hunger; he was a key participant in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977.  In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work.  According to his wife, “Harry wasn’t interested in saving money. He always said, ‘Money is for people,’ so he gave it away.”

Sadly, Chapin’s career was cut short in July 1981 when, at age 39, he was killed in a fiery car crash.  His wife and son Josh carry on his philanthropic legacy through the Harry Chapin Foundation. Chapin is buried in the Huntington Rural Cemetery in Huntington, New York. His epitaph is taken from his 1978 song “I Wonder What Would Happen to This World”:

Oh if a man tried
To take his time on Earth
And prove before he died
What one man’s life could be worth
I wonder what would happen
to this world

Cat’s In The Cradle
Harry Chapin

My child arrived just the other day;
Came to the world in the usually way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
He was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it.
And as he grew he said,
“I’m gonna be like you, Dad.
You know I’m gonna be like you.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you comin’ home ?”
“Son, I don’t know when.
We’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

Well, my son turned ten just the other day.
He said , “Thanks for the ball, Dad. Come on, let’s play.
Could you teach me to throw ?” I said, “Not today.
I got a lot to do.” He said, “That’s okay.”
And he walked away and he smiled and he said,
“You know,
I’m gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I’m gonna be like him.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you comin’ home ?”
“Son, I don’t know when.
We’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
“I’m proud of you. Could you sit for a while ?”
He shook his head and he said with a smile,
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please ?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you comin’ home ?”
“Son, I don’t know when.
We’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
“I’d like to see you, if you don’t mind.”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I could find the time.
You see my new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu,
But it’s sure nice talkin’ to you, Dad.
It’s been sure nice talkin’ to you.”
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me,
He’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you comin’ home ?”
“Son, I don’t know when.
We’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

Songwriters: Sandy Chapin / Harry F. Chapin
Cats In The Cradle lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

The GOP Madness … Doing Us A Favour?

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the Republican House members who had been appointed by Kevin McCarthy to sit on the committee to investigate the January 6th insurrection.  The two were Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Burns of Indiana, and Speaker Pelosi was well within her rights to reject them, for both had refused to certify the election results from the 2020 election, though there was no question whatsoever that President Biden had won by more than 7 million votes. Both attempted to stifle our votes, our voices.

McCarthy, who qualifies as one of the head clowns in the GOP circus, went ballistic and pulled the other three, the ones Pelosi had agreed to, off of the committee.  Fine by me, for his only goal was to be disruptive and ensure that the committee would be unable to conduct a full investigation as we need them to.  Why?  Why are Republicans so adamant that we not get to the bottom of an attack that threatened the democratic principles founded in the U.S. Constitution?  Because … they know the role that certain Republicans played in inciting and participating in the events of the day.  Some of those people carry the last name “Trump” and that is already a proven fact!  So, let’s cover it up … bury it so that they don’t have to try to justify their actions, justify their attempt to rob We the People of our voice … so that come November 2022, people will have forgotten the coup that almost was, and those who bear some responsibility for the events won’t have to answer awkward questions that might land them on the other side of the iron bars!

That said, Washington Post columnists Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman have collaborated on a piece that I think worthy of being shared.  For what little my opinion may be worth, I am 100% in agreement with these gentlemen …


How Kevin McCarthy is boosting the integrity of the Jan. 6 investigation

Opinion by Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman

21 July 2021; 5:08 p.m. EDT

We should be thankful that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) just pulled Republicans out of any involvement in the select committee to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection. In so doing, he ensured that the committee’s investigation will both have more integrity and be more likely to undertake a valuable accounting.

Which goes to a larger truth about this moment: Efforts at a real examination of arguably the worst outbreak of political violence in modern times — and efforts to protect our democracy more broadly — will not be bipartisan. These things will be done by Democrats alone.

McCarthy’s handling of the Jan. 6 committee illustrates the point. It comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she is nixing two of McCarthy’s picks to serve on it: Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

McCarthy mustered great outrage about this, railing that it was an “abuse of power” that had cost the committee “all legitimacy and credibility.”

In fact, precisely the opposite is true: By pulling out, McCarthy has boosted the committee’s legitimacy and credibility immeasurably. The less involved McCarthy is with this committee, the more likely it will be to undertake a genuine and comprehensive accounting.

McCarthy’s picks were expressly designed to prevent that accounting. This is not speculation or a mere guess at McCarthy’s motives. It is unavoidably clear from the public statements and conduct of Banks and Jordan themselves.

Banks’s first act on getting named by McCarthy was to release a statement declaring that the committee must investigate the “hundreds of violent political riots” in which “many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked.”

That’s an explicit declaration that the insurrection and Donald Trump’s incitement of it should not be the focus of the committee and is a less serious matter than those riots.

Similarly, after Jordan was picked, he immediately declared he wants to serve on the committee because “this is impeachment round three,” unwittingly revealing — or perhaps unabashedly declaring — that he saw his role as solely a means for working to exonerate Trump.

What’s more, Jordan had already played a prominent role in spreading the very lies about the 2020 election that helped inspire the insurrection the committee will be investigating. Given that the committee is charged with probing the causes of the violence — and that those lies are a major cause — any real accounting must also implicate Republicans such as Jordan.

On top of all this, remember that McCarthy could have exercised even more control over the investigation — yet declined. Back in May, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the Homeland Security Committee chair, announced an agreement with the ranking Republican on an evenly divided 10-member bipartisan commission, with both parties having veto power over subpoenas.

Guess who voted against that commission? McCarthy, Banks and Jordan did.

All three also voted to object to President Biden’s electors, a vote that represented the culmination of the lies this committee will investigate as a cause of the violence.

There’s another hidden dynamic here, too: McCarthy and Jordan are very likely witnesses themselves. McCarthy made a frantic appeal to Trump to call off the rioters; he likely has firsthand experience of Trump’s truly sociopathic and insurrectionist intentions that day.

And Jordan was present in a Dec. 21 White House meeting with Trump and others, at which they discussed how to overturn Biden’s electors on the day of what would become the insurrection. What was said at that meeting will be of great interest to the committee.

“Anyone who is a material witness to the key events leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection doesn’t really belong on the committee,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the select committee, told us.

“The investigative inquiry is being shaped right now,” Raskin continued, “but those are likely to be key events in the chronology.”

Here’s the bottom line: By nixing Banks and Jordan, Pelosi actually protected the integrity of the committee’s investigation, from their openly advertised intention to misdirect, disrupt and sabotage it. By appointing publicly committed saboteurs, McCarthy openly advertised the same intention.

The conventions of political reporting are such that this basic and obvious truth will not be faithfully rendered in press accounts. But it follows from a straightforward interpretation of the statements and conduct of those Republicans themselves.