A Growl-Worthy Story

When I read Nicholas Kristof’s column yesterday evening, I found myself growling.  Republicans in this country need to put their money where their mouth is.  Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words! By their actions, the Republican Party is proving that all their talk about supporting families is just that … talk.  Take a look at Kristof’s column and I think you’ll be growling by the midpoint.


Turning Child Care Into a New Cold War

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

June 5, 2021

For a country brimming with “pro-family” politicians, the United States sure is a tough place to raise a family.

We Americans like to think “We’re No. 1,” but one recent study found that the United States was the second worst out of 35 industrialized countries as a place for families. We ranked behind Bulgaria. Behind Chile.

Now we have a historic chance to support children and families, for President Biden’s American Families Plan proposes programs such as high-quality day care and pre-K that are routine elsewhere in the world. You might think that the “pro-family” Republican Party would be eager to translate platitudes into practical help. But you’d be wrong.

“You know who else liked universal day care?” tweeted Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican. She cited the old Soviet Union, apparently suggesting that there is something Communist about day care, and falsely claimed that participation would be mandatory under the Biden plan.

J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” warned, “‘Universal day care’ is class war against normal people.” Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, denounced efforts “to put Washington even more in the middle of your life, from the cradle to college.” Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, railed at “lefty social engineering.”

In Idaho, a Republican state representative, Charlie Shepherd, explained that he was against a day care measure because “that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child.” He later apologized because his remarks “sounded” sexist.

This is sad because the G.O.P. is right to hail the importance of family. Having loving, supportive parents who read to children, hug them and help them with homework — that’s crucial for kids. One University of Minnesota study found that maternal attachment at age 3 was a better predictor of high school graduation than I.Q.

So Republicans are correct that healthy families make a healthy nation. Democrats sometimes are too reluctant to acknowledge the toll of dysfunctional families, for fear of blaming the poor for their poverty, but it’s difficult to have a serious conversation about improving opportunity and equity in the United States without acknowledging the complicated problems in many homes.

Some eight million American children — roughly one in eight — live with a parent with a substance abuse problem. Millions more live in a household with domestic violence. Others are latchkey kids who look after younger siblings because parents are working and no day care is affordable.

Families desperately need help. In other countries, they get it. In the United States, they get empty homilies about the importance of family.

As a poorer nation in World War II, the United States could afford to operate an excellent day care program to enable moms and dads to hold jobs in the war economy. A follow-up study found that children in that wartime day care went on to enjoy higher high school and college graduation rates and earned more money as adults.

As of 2019, only 34 percent of American 4-year-olds attended state-funded preschool, and an important new study underscores why America needs national high-quality pre-K. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Boston offered public programs for 4-year-olds but couldn’t meet demand, so a lottery was used to determine which children to accept.

Scholars have now found that the long-term effects of this random assignment were enormous. Children who had been accepted into pre-K were 18 percent more likely to enter college on time. They were more likely to graduate from high school and get better SAT scores, and were less likely to be incarcerated while in high school and disciplined as often. Effects were particularly strong for boys.

This new study is part of an enormous body of research showing that the greatest leverage we have to help people may be early in life, as brains are developing.

Skeptics say early childhood programs are expensive. Sure — but poorer countries can afford them. And educational failure and juvenile delinquency are even more costly, and also undermine American competitiveness around the world.

Senators say they care about crime. Well, here’s a way to reduce juvenile crime: Offer high-quality pre-K. They say they want to help young people attend college. So back the Biden plan for pre-K. In other words, this isn’t spending, but high-return investment.

It’s odd that Republicans perceive early childhood programs as a Democratic plot. One of the best states for early childhood programs is Republican Oklahoma, and Oklahomans don’t see pre-K as Communist but as common sense: If you don’t invest in children at the front end, you pay at the back end.

Biden’s effort to slash child poverty and create systems for day care and pre-K could be historic. It’s the most important policy issue of 2021. These initiatives would do for children and families what Social Security and Medicare did for the elderly.

So, please, Republicans, come to your senses: Helping children isn’t the first step to Communism. It’s a step to strengthening America’s families, and thus to strengthening America.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/5

One thing I love about Saturdays is the collection of the week’s best political/editorial cartoons that our friend TokyoSand publishes weekly.  This week’s topics range from Pride Month to the ignominious senate filibuster to racism to the current state of freedom in the U.S. to the killing of the January 6 commission and more.  Thank you, TS, for this great collection!


Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons over at Political Charge!

♫ Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You) ♫

I was determined not to do a redux tonight, for it seems I’ve done far too many of those lately … I’m getting lazy in my dotage!  I was thrilled when I saw in a comment on another blog that our friend Keith had mentioned a song, All Out of Love by Air Supply and I thought I had found my song, for I love that one.  But alas, I played it within the last year or so, and being determined to come up with something new and original, the search was on.  With Air Supply now playing in my mind, I thought I’d see if perhaps they had one that I like but haven’t yet played here.  BINGO!  Found one!

Air Supply was formed by an Australian duo, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock after they both performed in a 1975 Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. They took on other band members, who are credited on their early albums and appear on the covers, but eventually pared down to a duo.  Say’s Graham Russell …

“We always had a band, and at that point, they always were in the photos, and they actually shared in everything. But there were a couple of small squabbles within the band, so we said, ‘Okay, we’ve got to stop this. It’s going to be Russell and I from now on.'”

The name ‘Air Supply’ was chosen as a contrast to ‘Heavy Metal’.

This song, released in 1981 was written by Norman Sallitt and included on the group’s album The One That You Love.  I don’t find much background trivia about the song, and the one site that offered some background lost all credibility when they said the song was written by Barry and Robin Gibb!

The song hit #5 in the U.S., #4 in Canada, and did not chart in the UK.

Here I Am
Air Supply

Here I am
Playing with those memories again
And just when I thought time had set me free
Those thoughts of you keep taunting me

Holding you
A feeling I never outgrew
Though each and every part of me has tried
Only you can fill that space inside

So there’s no sense pretending
My heart it’s not mending

Just when I thought I was over you
And just when I thought I could stand on my own
Oh baby, those memories come crashing through
And I just can’t
Go on without you

On my own
I’ve tried to make the best of it alone
I’ve done everything I can to ease the pain
But only you can stop the rain

I just can’t live without you
I miss everything about you

Just when I thought I was over you
And just when I thought I could stand on my own
Oh baby, those memories come crashing through
And I just can’t
Go on without
Go on without
It’s just no good without
You

Without you
Without you
Without you
Without you
Without you
Without you

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Norman M. Sallitt
Here I Am lyrics © Embassy Music Corp.

Saturday Surprise — In Pictures

I started the Saturday Surprise feature in late August 2017, and this post was only the third one I ever did — the first one featuring unique animals.  I don’t typically redux Saturday Surprise, but frankly this week I drew a blank in whatever direction I tried to head.  So, those of you who are long-time readers — pretend you didn’t see this one in September 2017!  For the rest of you it will be new and I hope you enjoy these critters!  (The header image is, for me, like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning!)


One of the suggestions for the new Saturday Surprise feature came from Eschudel of Zombie Flamingos who suggested a ‘Snapshot Saturday’ with unusual or interesting pictures from the week.  Sounded like a good idea, so I went in search of and found a hodge-podge of unusual, touching pictures, but as I was loading them onto this post, I concluded that there needed to be a theme.  So, I sat down and ate dinner, responded to comments from the day, chatted a bit with the family, and then when I came back to work, a theme hit me!  (No, it didn’t hurt … at least not much.)  What about unusual animals?  So, I once again went in search of … and I found some really, really strange creatures (no, I wasn’t in a bar!!!).  So … sit back and take a look at some of these guys!

The Panda Ant

Panda-ant

The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda. (Image credits: Chris Lukhaup)

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

hawk-moth-1

hawk-moth-2

As this hawk-moth feeds on flowers and makes a similar humming sound, it looks a lot like a hummingbird. What’s interesting is that it is surprisingly good at learning colors. (Image credits: Jerzy Strzelecki | unknown)

Glaucus Atlanticus (aka Blue Dragon)

blue-dragon-1.jpg

blue-dragon-2

blue-dragon-3.jpg

Also known as the blue dragon, this creature is a is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. (Image credits: unknown | unknown | paulhypnos)

Venezuelan Poodle Moth

poodle-moth-1

poodle-moth-2

Discovered in Venezuela in 2009, this new species of alien-looking moth is still poorly explored. Waiting for more info about them! (Image credits: Arthur Anker | imgur)

The Blue Parrotfish

parrotfish-1

parrotfish-2

This bright blue fish can be found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and spends 80% of its time searching for food. (Image credits: imgur | depalmadise)

Okapi

Okapi-1.jpg

Okapi-2

This mammal is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Despite the zebra-like stripes, it is actually more closely related to giraffes. (Image credits: marylandzoo.org | baynews9.com)

Sea Pig

sea pig-1

sea pig-2

sea pig-3

Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. They are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud. (Image credits: imgur | thedailygreen.com | realcoldfish)

Aye-aye

Aye-aye-1.jpg

Aye-aye-2.jpg

Due to its bizarre appearance and unusual feeding habits, the aye-aye is considered by many to be the strangest primate in the world. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. Unusual physical characteristics include incisors that are continually growing (unique among primates), extremely large ears, and a middle finger which is skeletal in appearance, and is used by the animal as a primary sensory organ.

Aren’t they all just adorable?  Which was your favourite?  I am torn between the Okapi and the Aye-aye.  I had fun finding these guys … there are many, many more, so we shall do this again sometime soon.

Stay tuned for next week’s Saturday Surprise!

Filosofa’s Pet Peeves

A few things annoy the bloody heck out of me these days.  We all have our pet peeves, things that for whatever reason grate on our nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Mine used to be confined to such things as drivers who don’t move when the traffic light turns green because they are too busy playing or talking on their cell phone, but lately there is a whole new crop of things to annoy us.

One is that any time I visit a news website such as the New York Times or The Washington Post, they have some video that loops the first few seconds repeatedly.  I find this so distracting, having something moving in my field of vision while I’m trying to read that I cannot help but wonder how many people with epilepsy have been sent to the hospital for seizures from these annoying videos.  Sometimes I can use ‘block element’ to get rid of them, other times I can’t.  I have my browser settings set such that videos will not automatically start playing, but these are just clippets similar to gif files and don’t technically qualify as a video, so they fly under the radar of my browser settings.

There are a number of politicians or hopefuls that I follow because I’m interested in what they have to say.  A few are Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Nan Whaley who hopes to become governor of Ohio next year.  I appreciate hearing what they are doing, what battles they are fighting, etc.  What I do NOT appreciate is the begging that accompanies each and every email I receive!  I am not made of money … I am retired, live on a fixed income of about $1,500 per month, more than half of which pays for my insulin and other meds.  I cannot afford to donate to every politician every day and wouldn’t even if I could!  Recently I have opted out of most of their emails because I’m sick and damn tired of being asked for money … money that if I can spare it, I will donate to people who are in need of food, clothing, and shelter, not politicians whose net worth is already over six figures!

Photos on every news site and every social media site of people receiving their Covid vaccine.  I’ve seen more bare arms in the past three months than in the 70 years prior to that!  I know what a needle going into skin looks like, for I poke one into my belly or leg six times every damn day, okay?  I really don’t care to see a needle poised to enter someone’s bare arm!  It’s not bad enough, but certain friends on Facebook have to share the picture of them getting their vaccine.  Just get the vaccine, don’t make it a social media advertisement, and then shut up!  Sheesh … I don’t post pictures every time I shoot myself with insulin, now do I?

People who post pictures of every meal they cook/eat on social media.  Seriously, my friends, we have much bigger problems in this country than what crappola you ate for lunch!  Are people really so obsessed with food that they think their salad and grilled sausages are more important than the fact that people are being murdered daily, our government is under constant threat, climate change is killing us, people are homeless and starving all over the world?  Yes, I know we cannot constantly worry, that we need to sometimes step back and give ourselves a break, but … posting food pictures???  Really???

Scammers and hackers trying to infiltrate our lives.  It used to be just robocalls on the cell phone, so I now have an excellent call blocker that only allows calls from known contacts whose calls I choose to accept.  Now, however, the scammers have infiltrated text messaging with things like “Your order is being held up because we need more information … please click this link,”  or “Your PayPal account has been suspended … please click the link.” Now, I know better than to click that link, but how many people don’t think, just click the link?  Doing so could put a virus on your phone or computer, could ask for something like bank information or social security number and then use that information to clean your bank account out.  Apparently, there are a lot of people who would rather steal our money than go out and earn their own!

Software, websites and browsers that make sudden unwanted changes.  Most of you here on WordPress can relate, for WordPress has made numerous changes over the past six months that most of us hate, but they seem not to care about the opinions of their customers.  Microsoft Office continually makes small changes, or what they call ‘improvements’ that require us to do something differently, generally requiring extra time.  And the two browsers I use, FireFox and Opera, have recently made changes that, at least in my view, are not welcome!  It seems we just get used to something, figure out how to work with it, and then it’s changed for no apparent reason.

I have more pet peeves, but these are the ones that are bugging me most at the moment.  What are some of yours?

♫ Killing Me Softly With His Song ♫ (Redux)

It wasn’t my intention to redux again tonight, but this song crossed my path earlier this evening and decided it would stay and visit the inside of my head for a few hours.  By the time I sat down to do my music post, every song I looked at sounded exactly like Killing Me Softly.  Long story short, here it is again, though I did play it just a couple of years ago. 


This was written by the songwriting team of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, and first recorded by Lori Lieberman in 1972. Gimbel and Fox also wrote the theme songs to the TV shows Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. They are the only credited songwriters on “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” but Lori Leiberman has claimed authorship. A press release put out on Lieberman’s behalf states: “Lieberman to this day is never given credit for lyrics and her version.”  Lieberman also claims that Don McLean of American Pie fame was the inspiration for the song, but Charles Fox denies it.

Roberta Flack heard Lieberman’s version on an in-flight tape recorder while flying from Los Angeles to New York. She loved the title and lyrics and decided to record it herself. In an interview with The New Musical Express, Flack said: “I was flicking through the in-flight magazine to see if they’d done an article on me. After realizing they hadn’t, I saw this picture of a little girl called Lori Lieberman. I’d never heard of her before so I read it with interest to see what she had that I didn’t.” Flack decided to record the song but felt it wasn’t complete, so on arriving in New York she went into the studio and started experimenting. She changed the chord structure and ended the song with a major rather than minor chord. Flack worked on the song in the studio for 3 months, playing around with various chord structures until she got it just right.  In my opinion, she succeeded.

This song won Grammys in 1974 for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal. Flack’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won Record of the Year the previous year, making her the first artist to win the award 2 consecutive years.  While I far prefer Roberta Flack’s version to any others, the song was recorded in 1996 by a group called the Fugees, and it was their version that hit the #1 spot in the UK in ’96.  I listened to their version tonight, and admit it is damned good … almost as good as Roberta’s.  They wanted to change the lyrics and make it a song about poverty and drug abuse in the inner city with the title “Killing Him Softly,” but Gimbel and Fox refused.  Thankfully.

Killing Me Softly with His Song
Roberta Flack

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while
And there he was, this young boy, a stranger to my eyes

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he’d found my letters and read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly, with his words

Songwriters: Norman GImbel / Charles Fox
Killing Me Softly with His Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Wear Orange Day

I typically make fun of all the ‘national days’ … I mean, there are some thoroughly ridiculous ones like National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Rat Catcher’s Day, and National Talk In An Elevator Day.  However, there are a few of the national days that are worthy of being honoured, and today is one such day:  National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate guns and would happily see every last one of them destroyed, so it should come as no surprise that I’m writing about this day.

Until a few days ago when a dear friend emailed me about this day, I was not even aware of it … which likely means that most people are unaware.  Raising awareness is the goal of this day, and I aim to do my part to help raise that awareness.

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Now, it is observed nationally on the first Friday in June and the following weekend each year. In the years since, participation in Wear Orange has increased tenfold.

In 2020, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with over 150,000 Americans taking part along with more than 300 corporate and nonprofit partners such as Viacom, Levi Strauss & Co., Postmates, Amalgamated Bank, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AFT, and HRC, and some of the most impactful thought and culture leaders in the country—including President Obama, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Jason George, Pearl Jam, and 25 individual sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Mystics. More than 100 buildings and landmarks lit the skyline orange across 40 states + DC, including a record 11 stadiums and arenas, while grassroots volunteers hosted more than 270 virtual events in all 50 states plus DC.

According to the Everytown website:

“In 2021, the 7th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 4, the first Friday of the month. That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 5-6, which will feature virtual events across the nation.  From the south side of Chicago, to community organizers in Queens, to students around the country, we will come together to wear orange and demand a change.”

Miss Goose and I were talking and we thought that neither of us owned a piece of orange clothing, but then … I remembered that we both have Hallowe’en t-shirts that are orange with jack-o-lantern pattern on the front, so if you see someone wearing a Hallowe’en shirt this weekend, don’t be surprised!

In case you don’t think that guns are a serious problem in the U.S., here are a few facts to make you stop and think …

  • The U.S. gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm homicide rate is 24.9 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm suicide rate was 9.8 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • 7% of all firearm deaths occurred in the US.
  • 7% of women and 98.1% of all children killed by firearms were in the US.
  • Firearm homicide rates in low-gun states were 13.5 times higher than other countries.
  • On average, eight youth are killed by gun violence in the U.S. every day. Another 32 are shot and injured. Mass shootings are on the rise, averaging 11 each week in 2021.

Oh yeah, my friends, this country has a serious gun problem.  Some who love their killing toys have misinterpreted what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution … NEVER did they intend for people to own weapons not even heard of back in their day that can kill hundreds of people within a minute or two.  NEVER did they intend for every person to carry a gun everywhere they go, even to the grocery store or to church.  And NEVER did the Founders intend us to use those weapons to simply randomly kill people because we did not like the colour of their skin, what they wear on their head, where they came from, or because we were having a bad day.

The United States is literally the laughingstock of the world for our gun policies, or should I say lack of gun policies.  No, wearing an orange shirt today will not change that, but it is one step in raising awareness that guns in America are one of the biggest problems we have, one of the biggest hurdles to our safety, our lives.

To the gun nuts, I say this:  NO, the Constitution does NOT give you the right to own an AR-15 or AK-47, it does NOT give you the right to own an arsenal, and it does NOT give you the right to intimidate innocent people by carrying your gun into schools, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc.  You do NOT have a right to leave that gun unsecured where your child may get it and cause heartbreak.  You do NOT have a right to be in my presence with that damn blasted piece of machinery.  Period.  My right to safety and life in this case supersedes your right to have that gun attached at the hip.

No one is immune to gun violence, as proven by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.   So far this year 18,429 people have lost their lives to guns, and last year a total of 43,558 people were killed by guns in the U.S.  So far, I have yet to hear of that “good guy with a gun” that the National Rifle Association claim exists, but every single day I hear of a lot of bad guys with guns … people who should never have been allowed to own a gun.

So, if you own an orange shirt, wear it this weekend to show your support for human life, to demand change in gun laws, to demand action.

♫ When A Man Loves A Woman ♫

cute-beeTonight I must admit I struggled with a song to play here.  Given my current mood, I was about to opt for “Make The World Go Away”, but … somehow that didn’t seem quite right.  I apologize that tonight’s is yet another redux from 2019, but hopefully it will bring a smile to your face anyway, for there’s nothing quite like the voice of Percy Sledge to warm the heart.  (I’ve got no idea why the cute cartoon bee is here, but he was on the one I played in 2019 and he’s cute, so he gets to stay!


There are a couple of interesting things in the backstory to this song.  First, this song is a huge part of music history, as it is the first #1 Hot 100 hit recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and many other famous musicians would later record some of their classic songs.

Second, is the dispute over who actually wrote the song.  Percy Sledge claims that he actually wrote the song one night when he was so upset over a woman that, while performing with The Esquires Combo, he was overcome with emotion and asked the band to play a slow blues backing – any key, their choice – to which he could sing.  The band started to play and Sledge vented in song for about six minutes.

In Sledge’s story, Quin Ivy was at the show and approached the band about polishing the song and recording it. Sledge says he worked on the lyrics with Lewis and Wright, and recorded it at Norala Sound with Ivy producing …

“When I wrote the song at first, it was called ‘Why Did You Leave Me Baby.’ And I changed it from that to ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’ I just reversed it. Quin told me that if I was to write some lyrics around that melody and the expression I’d put into ‘Why Did You Leave Me Baby,’ he believed it would’ve been a hit record. He was one of the top disc jockeys at that time. Sure enough, he asked me if I had any lyrics for that. He said, “That’s it! Write a story around that title! What a song that would be with that feeling you had!” It was a song that was meant to be. It wasn’t just what I had done; it was the musicians, the producer, the background singers, the right time.”

But, according to Andrew Wright …

“We were set to play a Friday night dance, and we were practicing … I was messing around on the organ when this riff came up out of nowhere. There was no one in the club but us. I told Calvin to go home and write some words.”

According to SongFacts …

In Sledge’s version of the story, he co-wrote the song with his bandmates Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, but let them have sole composer credits, since they gave him the opportunity to sing his heart out. Whether Sledge was acting out of the goodness of his heart or had nothing to do with writing the song is a matter of debate, but the writing credit had huge implications, resulting in a windfall for Lewis and Wright, who get the royalties every time it is played. Since the song went on to be covered by many artists, they get paid for those as well. If it was a goodwill gesture by Sledge, it cost him millions of dollars.

Who knows?  Percy Sledge died in April 2015, at the age of 73, so we will likely never know quite how this song came to be.  It was later recorded by Michael Bolton, among others, but I remain partial to the Percy Sledge version.

When a Man Loves a Woman
Percy Sledge

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Trying to hold on to what he needs
He’d give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way it ought to be

Well, this man loves a woman
I gave you everything I had
Trying to hold on to your precious love
Baby, please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she plays him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Loving eyes can’t ever see

When a man loves a woman
He can do no wrong
He can never own some other girl
Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re my world

When a man loves a woman

Songwriters: Andrew James Wright / Calvin Houston Lewis
When a Man Loves a Woman lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Snarky Legal Snippets …

I’m afraid I’m in a bit of a rant-y mode tonight.  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a judge and hear some of the garbage excuses people come up with for the evil they do, but … no way I could do that job!  I’d be leaping over the desk and bashing heads in!


They let one of the terrorists skate!  WHY???

Federal prosecutors have dropped the case against one Christopher M. Kelly, a New York man who participated in the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  The charges were obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and unlawful entry to restricted buildings or grounds.  Additionally, the FBI says that Kelly used a Facebook account to inform “associates” that he had breached the Capitol and was inside the building. Two days before the attack, he told another Facebook user that he planned to be in Washington “with ex NYPD and some proud boys.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui agreed to dismiss the case against Kelly after prosecutors said in a court filing on Tuesday that they discussed the merits of the case with Kelly’s lawyer and decided that ending the prosecution “serves the interests of justice” based on “the facts currently known to the government.”  No further elaboration was forthcoming.

Now, I want to trust the government again now that we have a president and his cabinet whom I can once again trust.  But … I find this dismissal sans explanation to be highly questionable.  Twice, prosecutors have postponed preliminary hearings, saying there were ongoing plea deal negotiations taking place.  Then on the eve of the rescheduled court date on Wednesday, prosecutors announced that they would move to “dismiss the complaint without prejudice, and end this matter.”  Dismissing it without prejudice gives prosecutors an opportunity to refile charges at a later date, if they decide to do so.  And assuming that at that point they are able to find Mr. Kelly who, unless I miss my guess, will conveniently disappear.

On December 28th, prior to the attacks, Kelly posted on Facebook …

“‘When good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Evil, sin and sinful men must be opposed. God commands those who are good, not just to avoid evil but actively oppose it.’ Where will you be on 1/6?”

He considers himself a ‘good man’???  Sounds like a freak to me!  Read on …

On January 6th, once inside the Capitol, Kelly wrote on a group chat …

“We’re in!  Taking this back by force now, no more bs. Tear gas, police, stopped the hearing, they are all headed to the basement. Fuck these snakes. Out of OUR HOUSE!”

Christopher M. Kelly, January 6th, 2021

I don’t know about you, but to me these do not sound like the words of an innocent man who should be allowed his freedom without penalty!  It seems to me that at the very least, We the People whose freedom was damn near destroyed on that day deserve some explanation for the dismissal of this case.  Are there others who will just walk away without paying a price?  I want justice, I want every single person who entered the Capitol during that attack to spend time in prison!


Probation???  I think not!

Yesterday, prosecutors filed a sentencing memo in the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who brutally murdered George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.  The prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence … one that I believe is entirely fair, given the fact that George Floyd’s death sentence at the hands of Chauvin’s knee is a life sentence.

Chauvin’s attorney, naturally, disagrees as I would expect him to.  I would expect him to try paring the sentence down to 5 years, 10 years, but Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, is asking for Chauvin to not serve a single day in prison, but rather to be given probation!  Say WHAT???  Says Nelson …

 “Mr. Chauvin’s offense is best described as an error made in good faith reliance his own experience as a police officer and the training he had received — not intentional commission of an illegal act.  A stringent probationary sentence with incarceration limited to time served would achieve the purposes of the sentence in this case.”

Bullshit!  For nearly ten minutes, Derek Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck, listening to his gasps, his cries of “I can’t breathe”, heard him call out for his mother, watched him die.  Yes, Mr. Chauvin had a smirk on his face as he … WATCHED. HIM. DIE.  That is no “error in judgment”, that is murder.  No, probation is NOT good enough.  Chauvin is a murderer who killed Mr. Floyd because his skin was Black.  Period.  I sincerely hope the judge in the case sends him upriver for the full 30 years with no room for early release.


Stand Your Ground … against an iguana???

PJ Nilaja Patterson was arrested in Lake Worth, Florida last September on charges that he brutally beat and murdered an iguana.  The animal died as Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control was transporting it to be euthanized, so serious were its injuries.

Last week, Patterson’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge.  On what grounds, you might ask?  Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law that states deadly force can be used if a person “reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.”  Bullshit!  This is the same law that enabled George Zimmerman to skate free after brutally murdering a black teen, Trayvon Martin.  The iguana in this case was no more likely to kill Mr. Patterson than unarmed Trayvon Martin was to kill Zimmerman!

The story the lawyers tell is that their client was trying to save the iguana from getting run over by cars. When he brought it to safety, a crowd agitated the animal and it bit his right arm when he tried to move it, so he kicked it as far as he could kick.  Patterson’s attorneys said the animal was the first to engage in aggression, so Patterson had a right to defend himself …

“In this case, Patterson acted in a reasonable manner under all the circumstances because the wild iguana was first to engage with physical violence, during the encounter.”

Um, excuse me but an iguana is not versed in the ways of human laws, in what is ‘socially acceptable behaviour’.  The iguana was no doubt frightened and acted as any animal cornered will act.  Fortunately, Judge Jeffrey Gillen has better sense than Patterson or his attorneys and he rejected the motion last Friday.  Patterson will be back in court on July 30th. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of animal cruelty.  I hope he serves every single day of those five years!


And to lighten the mood, just a couple of ‘toons …