Trump And Golf …

Now, we all know how much Trump loves to play golf, right?  He typically has an uber-short attention span, and according to many of his aides and advisors, they must be careful to feed him important information in very small doses.  I recall a time when one of them was trying to walk through the U.S. Constitution (you know … that document he swore to uphold?) with him and by the third article, he got bored and started tweeting!  But, when it comes to hitting a defenseless little white ball around with a stick, he never seems to tire.

Trump once said he was “the best golfer of all the rich people”.  But multiple people have come forward to say that … first of all, he isn’t a very good golfer, and second, he cheats!  Now is that a shocker or what???  The most dishonest ‘man’ we’ve ever had in our government and … GASP … he cheats???  He claims to have won something like 18 championships, but … for some reason, there is no record of such.Trump-golf.gifThere have, in fact, been so many reports of Trump’s cheating that sportswriter Rick Reilly has written a book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.  Reilly has said he would like to challenge Trump to a game, but with some caveats …

“I’ll play him for 100 grand, [with the money going to] either of our charities. But the rule is, we can’t play his course, we can’t use his cheating caddies, and there’s got to be a rule guy with each of us, and I’ll play him all day.”

According to Bryan Marsal, chairman of the coming 2020 Men’s U.S. Open …

“I played with him once. It was a Saturday morning game. We go to the first tee and he couldn’t have been nicer. But then he said, ‘You see those two guys? They cheat. See me? I cheat. And I expect you to cheat because we’re going to beat those two guys today.’… So, yes, it’s true, he’s going to cheat you.”

Not long after becoming president, Trump invited Tiger Woods and two other notable golfers to play with him.  According to one of the players, Fox golf analyst Brad Faxon …

“On this one hole, Donald hits his second and fats it into the water. But he quickly says to me, ‘Hey, throw me another ball; they weren’t looking.’ So, I do. But he fats that one into the water, too. So, he drives up and drops where he should’ve dropped the first time and hits it on the green.”

Says another frequent guest at Trump’s golf games …

golf“I’ve played with him a lot. This one time, I was in the fairway and he was right of the green but a little bit down the hill. He didn’t think anybody was watching, but I was. I saw him make a chipping motion from the side of the hill, but no ball came up. Then he walked up the hill, stuck his hand in the hole and pulled a ball out. It must’ve been a ball he had in his hand the whole time.”

And there are more stories, if you care to read them.  But this week, there was a bit of poetic justice.

Apparently, Trump has an account on the U.S. Golf Association system where scores are recorded and maintained.  Par in a round of golf is typically around 72, and Trump has traditionally posted more flattering scores in the 70s and 80s which, as we might guess from the reports of his less-than-honest play, are likely a fabrication.  Well, last week someone obtained access to Trump’s page and posted awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102!  Unfortunately, the Association became aware of the faux scores and has removed them.Trump-golf.jpgRemember back on the campaign trail (when isn’t he on the campaign trail?) when he criticized President Obama for playing golf, saying …

“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

Well, he has played at least once a week nearly every week since he’s been in office, on average 4-6 hours at a time, and we are footing the bill.  There is even a website that tracks his golf games, the duration and costs!  Your taxpayer dollars hard at work!

I look at it this way … I don’t care about Trump’s golf scores one whit, but … BUT anybody who will cheat at a game will cheat at anything.  If he cannot even be trusted not to cheat on his friends, how can he be trusted not to cheat on We the People?  Think about it.

Trump-golf-tantrum

♫ It’s Not Unusual ♫

Tash & Nala

Miss Goose & Princess Nala — circa June 2010

We had to have our oldest kittie, Princess Nala, put to sleep today.  It made for a solemn day for us all, and I’m still feeling quite down, so I decided I needed to play something upbeat tonight.  After a few false starts, I was just about to revert to re-posting Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection when Tom Jones popped into my head.

This was written by the classical music arranger and conductor Les Reed along with Tom Jones’ manager Gordon Mills. They wrote it for the British singer Sandie Shaw, but she turned it down. Tom Jones saw the song’s potential, recorded it, and it became his first hit single.

“I did the demo on this song when it was being offered to Sandie Shaw. I was just starting out and, God bless her, she said: ‘Whoever’s singing this, it’s his song.’  Finding great new songs is never easy, and back in those days, finding one that would fit me – the way I felt and sang anyway – was difficult. I’m indebted to Sandie for being so generous.”

Tom Jones’ real name is Thomas Jones Woodward. Early on, manager Gordon Mills suggested the name Tom Jones and secured him a deal with Decca. After a succession of hit singles in the UK and US he moved to California in 1969, performing regularly in Las Vegas.

In 2006 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music.  His personal life has been … um … shall we just say “interesting” and leave it at that.  By the way … the header photo is Tom Jones, then and now.

 

It’s Not Unusual
Tom Jones

It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone
It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone
But when I see you hanging about with anyone
It’s not unusual to see me cry,
I wanna die

It’s not unusual to go out at any time
But when I see you out and about it’s such a crime
If you should ever wanna be loved by anyone,
It’s not unusual it happens every day
No matter what you say
You’ll find it happens all the time
Love will never do what you want it to
Why can’t this crazy love be mine?

It’s not unusual to be mad with anyone
It’s not unusual to be sad with anyone
But if I ever find
That you’ve changed at anytime
It’s not unusual to find that I’m in love with you

Songwriters: Gordon Mills / Les (gb) Reed
It’s Not Unusual lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Another of those WTF Moments …

The Equality Act was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island on March 13, 2019.  In summary …

This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.

The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.

Nothing too controversial there, right?  The LGBT people in our world surely deserve the same rights and protections as everyone, right?  It isn’t rocket science, right?  Well …

“Standing with my colleagues in opposition to the so-called “Equality Act” as it undermines human dignity, freedom of speech, religion, and conscience, and puts parental rights at risk.” – U.S. Representative Warren Davidson, Ohio

Say WHAT???

No no no no no Warren!  Human dignity is what it is trying to protect and preserve.  What, do you want separate water coolers, perhaps, for LGBT people?  Or … perhaps they should have segregated schools?  Oh, I know … you don’t want any to be able to buy a house in your neighborhood, or to get a decent job, or even to be able to purchase a wedding cake, perhaps?  Or … perhaps you would like them to have a number tattooed onto their arms and wear a gold star on their clothing?  Dignity, Warren?  How do you define that word?  Seems to me you’re trying to take away the dignity of an entire group of people … yes, Warren … people.

Religion?  How does giving an LGBT person a fair shot at a job or at a slot in college or to get a loan to purchase a car interfere with anybody’s ‘freedom of religion’?  Answers, please?  Freedom of speech?  Um, excuse me, but what … you want to be able to shout from the steps of the Capitol Building “I hate gays!”?  Sure, go ahead … see if anybody votes for you next year.  How in the Sam Heck does ensuring equal rights for people interfere with your or my freedom of speech?  The answer is it doesn’t.

And lastly … “puts parental rights at risk”???  What planet are you on, Warren?  Let me ask you a quick question, if you don’t mind … just how much alcohol do you drink in the course of a 24-hour period?  First, I’m not even sure what you mean when you say, “parental rights”.  I think of parental responsibilities as parents’ duty to keep their children warm, healthy, well-fed, safe and to see to their education, but … what “rights” do you refer to?  And how does giving people equal opportunities in employment, housing, credit, education, and public facilities undermine those “parental rights”?  Answers, please.

Warren Davidson happens to be my representative and I know him to be a fool who is more concerned with preserving bitcoin than human life, so apart from the fact that he represents my district in Congress, it would be easy to write his babbling rhetoric off as foolishness.  But …

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) joined with Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri), Jody Hice (R-Georgia), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Carol Miller (R-West Virginia) to speak out about the Equality Act’s harmful effects on women and girls. Alongside the lawmakers, representatives from CWALAC, Women’s Liberation Front, Alliance Defending Freedom, Susan B. Anthony List and Family Research Council, were clear – the “Equality Act” will do away with women’s sports, safe spaces for women, and jeopardize parents’ jurisdiction over their child’s health care. It is dangerous for our country. This bill is extreme and dangerous. It is not about equality; it is about imposing a new form of discrimination against women and people of faith in our country.” Concerned Women For America

WTF???

Has this entire bloomin’ nation gone loco?

There is not one single legitimate concern voiced by either Davidson or this “women’s” group or anyone else, for that matter.  So … what’s going on here?  Well, folks, it’s called b-i-g-o-t-r-y.  Homophobia.  Fear of that which is not understood.  So, rather than seek to educate, they choose hate.  Rather than accept people as they are, they choose to shun them because they are not just like them.

LGBT people are people.  Humans.  Just like me and you.  Just because some narrow-minded portion of society feels threatened by people who love someone of their own gender is no reason to deny people the right to earn a living, live in a decent neighborhood, shop in their local store, send their children to school, get a loan, or have a wedding cake baked.  People, that’s all.

The Equality Act bill passed in the House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 236-173, with 23 abstentions.  Eight of the ‘Aye’ votes were by republicans, and all 173 ‘Nay’ votes were by republicans.  The eight republicans who supported the bill are:

  • Susan Brooks (Indiana)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania)
  • Will Hurd (Texas)
  • John Katko (New York)
  • Tom Reed (New York)
  • Elise Stefanik (New York)
  • Greg Walden (Oregon)

These eight deserve a thumbs up for voting their conscience instead of toeing the party line.  The rest of the republicans continue to do the bidding of the evangelicals and the person in the Oval Office … shame on them!

Sadly, the bill will die a rapid death when it reaches the Senate, for Mitchell McConnell has made a pledge, it seems, to ensure that no bills that are for the benefit of the people of this nation will pass under his watch.  And, if it passes the Senate by some miracle, Trump will veto it, for his puppeteers like Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress and Pat Robertson are against it and he does their bidding, not ours.  ‘Tis a sad state of affairs when people in this nation no longer have basic civil rights, human rights.

An Anniversary To Remember …

Yesterday marked the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark decision that established that racial discrimination in schools is unconstitutional.  To honour this anniversary, I would like to share with you a post by the Jon S. Randal Peace Page that tells the story better than I could.

She just wanted to go to a good school, to be with her friends.

She lived in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, growing up playing with children of all races.

The school she wanted to attend, where her friends were, was only four blocks away.

Her father would take her to that school, the Sumner School. Being a part of the neighborhood, the family received a registration form for the school in 1952. She was so excited, to be able to attend a school nearby with her friends from the neighborhood.

But, when they arrived there, the principal would take her father to the office and close the door. She didn’t know what was happening, why the principal had to speak to her father alone. She heard her father’s voice begin to rise. After a few minutes, her father opened the door, he was upset, and he just took her hand and walked back out of the school.

The school had apparently sent the registration form to her family by mistake. They thought the family was white, Linda Brown and her parents were black and Sumner was a whites-only school.

“I just couldn’t understand what was happening,” she would say, “I was so sure that I was going to go to school with Mona and Guinevere, Wanda, and all of my playmates.”

Linda-Brown.jpgLinda Brown did not realize that she was unable to attend the school because of the color of her skin. This was because the elementary schools in Topeka, Kansas, were racially segregated, with separate facilities for black and white children.

“I didn’t comprehend color of skin,” she said later. “I only knew that I wanted to go to Sumner.”

She and other black children were barred from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites because of the “Jim Crow” laws.

Brown would be forced to walk 6 blocks through the dangerous Rock Island Switchyard in order to catch a bus to the segregated all-black school.

According to the Washington Post, Linda’s father, the Rev. Oliver L. Brown, an assistant minister at St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, “felt that it was wrong for his child to have to go so far a distance to receive a quality education.”

Linda’s father would join several other parents, and, together, led by a young, NAACP attorney named Thurgood Marshall, would take the case, Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, would rule in their favor, saying that school segregation violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The unanimous ruling declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

Brown v. Board of Education would be the basis for many other rulings that led to desegregation, motivating the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

But, not only did black students benefit from the ruling, Native American children were also affected. Native American communities had to deal with segregation laws as well, with native children being prohibited from attending white institutions. After tribal leaders learned about Dr. King’s desegregation campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, they would contact him for assistance, resolving the problem.

Although Brown’s family was just one of 13 plaintiffs who sought to ensure the city fully integrated the rest of its schools, Brown would be burdened with the publicity because her family’s name was part of the case name. Her family would briefly leave their home in Topeka, Kansas, when she was a teenager, but she would return to Topeka after her father died in 1961.

She would also take on the civil rights mantle of her father, becoming an educator and civil rights advocate.

Brown was part of a group of Topeka parents who, in 1979, joined with the American Civil Liberties Union to successfully argue for the reopening of the Brown case. The parents argued that because of housing patterns in Topeka, racially segregated schools remained in the city, in violation of the 1954 ruling.

In a 1985 interview for “Eyes on the Prize,” a PBS documentary series on the civil rights movement, Linda Brown said, “I feel that after 30 years, looking back on Brown v. the Board of Education, it has made an impact in all facets of life for minorities throughout the land. I really think of it in terms of what it has done for our young people, in taking away that feeling of second-class citizenship.”

When Brown died on March 25, 2018, at the age 76, the Kansas governor paid tribute to Brown, saying:

“Sixty-four years ago a young girl from Topeka brought a case that ended segregation in public schools in America. Linda Brown’s life reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people can have an incredible impact and that by serving our community we can truly change the world.”

In an interview with the Washington Post in 1994, Brown had said, “We feel disheartened that 40 years later we’re still talking about desegregation. But the struggle has to continue.”

Sixty-five years later.  Everybody accepts that racial intolerance has no place in our schools, in our society, right?  Wrong.  A number of Trump’s recent judicial nominees have flat-out refused to affirm the Brown decision.  One even went so far as to say she did not agree with the decision in 1954. Why???  Are we, in fact, headed on a backward slope in terms of racial discrimination just as we are in terms of women’s and LGBT rights?  Suffice it to say that with the recent rise in white supremacy and Trump’s pandering to the right-wing hate groups, it is something we cannot afford to ignore.

♫ Ring Of Fire ♫

As usual, I am a day late … well, actually three days late … with this one.  And, you will never guess … never in a million years … who suggested I play this one … a day late!  If Ellen apprised me of these things a few days in advance … sigh.

I am not a fan of country music, though I can tolerate some John Denver, Willy Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and some of the ‘softer’ country artists.  However, when I think ‘country music’, there are a few icons of the genre that come to mind … Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, and of course Johnny Cash.  The original ‘man in black’.

Ellen’s reason for requesting this song … three days ago … are best stated by her:

“The love story of June and Johnny has been explored from every side and angle … both were married when they met in the 50’s, both divorcing and soon marrying in 1968 after his proposal to her during a live performance in Canada. I will tell you about two things. First, June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003 and was followed by Johnny in September of the same year. Second, the song that I have always loved is “Ring of Fire”. According to them, it was written by June in 1962 as a love song to him having been inspired by a line of Elizabethan poetry. There was a co-writer, but I forget his name, and she first gave it to a sister to record. It wasn’t a hit and Johnny wanted to record it his way and the result was a hit.”

To embellish just a bit on the information Ellen provided, I turned to SongFacts.  June Carter wrote the lyrics about her relationship with Johnny Cash. She felt being around Cash was like being in a “ring of fire.” Cash was involved in drugs and had a very volatile lifestyle. June Carter wrote this song while driving around aimlessly one night, worried about Cash’s wildman ways – and aware that she couldn’t resist him.

“There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns.”

Cash released this in 1963, and Eric Burdon and the Animals covered it six years later.  By the way … the co-writer was Merle Kilgore, who was also the best man at June & Johnny’s wedding.  Their marriage lasted 35 years, until death did them part.

Now, don’t anybody ask for country music for at least a month, please, for it will take me that long to recover from these two back-to-back country songs!  This one’s for you, my dear friend Ellen …

Ring of Fire
Johnny Cash

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire

And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire
The ring of fire, the ring of fire

Songwriters:  June Carter/Merle Kilgore

Saturday Surprise — A Celebration of A Grumpy Life

It is with great sadness in my heart that I must bring you the news:  Grumpy Cat has died.  😢

grumpy-1-1.jpg

Now, I can hear you saying that Saturday Surprise is supposed to be fun, not sad, and that the death of the world’s best-known Grumpy Cat is not a happy thing.  I agree, but … this post is not about Grumpy’s death, but rather about her life … rather a tribute, a celebration of her life in pictures.grumpy-3.jpgGrumpy Cat was rather the ‘Maxine’ of the feline world. Grumpy’s real name was Tardar Sauce, and while I always thought Grumpy was a he, he was in fact a ‘she’.  I guess I just think of grumpy beings as male.  (No comment from the peanut gallery here!)  Grumpy’s perpetual scowl, that earned her the nickname Grumpy Cat by which the world knew her, was actually caused by a form of dwarfism.grumpy-4She first achieved some level of Internet celebrity in 2012, after pictures featuring her frowning face went viral on social media, then turned into a mean-mugging meme.  It wasn’t long before Grumpy Cat was everywhere. She appeared on TV, popping up in episodes of “American Idol,” “The Bachelorette” and WWE’s “Monday Night Raw.”grumpy-5.jpgIn 2013, Grumpy beat out “Gangnam Style” and the “Harlem Shake” to win Meme of the Year at the Webby Awards. The following year, she scored her own Lifetime holiday movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,” a two-hour spectacle featuring the voice talents of actress Aubrey Plaza as the title character. Two years later, she made her Broadway debut, a one-night only appearance in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, “Cats.” Of course she did.grumpy-6In 2016, her sculpture was added to Madame Tussauds Las Vegas — and the cat was invited to curl up alongside her own wax figure.grumpy-tussaud.jpg

Grumpy Cat had amassed nearly 4 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter, with a Facebook page that boasts 8.5 million likes.

In 2013, Grumpy became the official “spokescat” for Friskies cat food.

There is even a Grumpy Cat online store, Grumpycats.com, where you can find hundreds of products available for purchase, from ugly Christmas sweaters and laptop sleeves to drink coasters and guitar straps — all of them, of course, bearing the cat’s famous frown, usually along with a similarly surly message.

grumpy-calendar.jpggrumpy-christmas-shirtgrumpy-christmas-sweater

grumpy-bookGrumpy wasn’t a huge fan of holidays …

grumpy-birthday

grumpy-xmas-1

grumpy-xmas-2

Grumpy Cat’s death is indeed sad, but you know what?  She will live on forever in both our hearts and on the Internet, for there must be at least a million pictures and memes out there.  And I close with a short video of some of her finest moments …

 

U.S. Rules The World???

As I noted in a post earlier this week, there is a movement among republicans and groups who misnomer themselves as “pro-life” to overturn Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision from 1973 that gave women the right to make their own medical decisions when it comes to abortion.  A growing number of states have passed or are attempting to pass highly restrictive laws that contradict Roe v Wade and would take away women’s rights.  I had not planned to revisit this issue this soon, but something came to my attention that stirred my anger yet again …

Trump is trying to impose his and the evangelical’s heinous views on other nations as well, cutting off all funding to any overseas organization or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing abortion.  The ban, dubbed the “global gag”, was actually instituted by Ronald Reagan, but has been revoked by every democratic president, and re-instated by every republican president since then.  And along came Donald Trump.  Donnie, so eager to please the only people who support him, the radical right-wing evangelicals, has decided that he (or rather people like Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham) knows what is best for the 7.7 billion people living on planet Earth.

In March, the US extended the gag, stating that any organization counselling women on abortion and using funds from elsewhere – even from its own government or a donor in another country – will no longer be eligible for any US funding.  Take, for example, an international health care agency that provides women’s health care, possibly including family planning and abortion counselling, but also treating kids with HIV in other countries … countries where there is no women’s health planning, for it is illegal.  Those organizations will no longer be eligible for any funds from the U.S., not even to take care of sick children in African nations.

My friend Jeannie, who lives in the Netherlands, told me the other day that “The Netherlands have one most liberal laws about abortion in Western Europe, but the number of actual abortions are amongst the lowest worldwide.”  Think about this, folks … facts, not fantasy.  A study published last year by the Guttmacher Institute found that countries with the most restrictive abortion laws also have the highest rates of abortion and that easier access to birth control drives down abortion rates.

A 2012 study found that when women got no-cost birth control, the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions fell by between 62 and 78 percent. But political appointees under Trump advocate for abstinence-only approaches, which have been shown not to affect unplanned pregnancy rates.  Not to mention that they are impractical.

This isn’t just about abortion, people … this is about making women second-class citizens around the globe.  This is about men’s dominance over women.  In many nations women already have few independent rights, but in the Western world, women have come a long way in the past century or two.  In the U.S., we are now allowed to vote as we choose, to own property, and there are laws to ensure we receive equal pay and treatment in the workplace, though the reality is often something different.  And for the past nearly 50 years, we have been able to make our own health decisions.  We cannot … we must not … allow this abomination to continue.

The United States is a secular nation whereby the government does not favour any one religion over another, and no religious organization or cult should be able to influence the law of the land to the detriment of all others.  The United States is one of 195 nations on this globe, and we do not have the right to set policy in other nations.  It is the height of arrogance to think that we do.  It is time for the evangelicals to understand that they may have a place in this country, but that their beliefs are not shared by us all, and that the rest of us have rights also.  It is time for government to base decisions on facts, not the religious fantasies of one group.

If abortion rights are taken from us, the abortion rates won’t drop, but more women will die as they seek back-alley or do-it-yourself abortions.  That is an undisputable fact.  Let this nation legislate based on facts, and let other nations decide their own policy … nobody died and left the right-wing white evangelicals leaders of the world.  They will take us back to the Dark Ages if we let them.

♫ Crazy ♫

I was going to play one for Ellen tonight, but I remembered (with a little nudge of a reminder) that I had promised Larry last week that I would play this by Patsy Cline!  I tend to forget things, like where my car keys are when they are in my hand, and to put clothes into the washer before I run it, so it was no surprise that I forgot to play this for Larry.  Sorry, my friend! I will get to Ellen’s song tomorrow, if somebody will remind me.

Patsy-Cline

I had no idea, until 3 minutes ago, that this song, released in 1961, was written by none other than Willie Nelson!  At the time, Willie was a struggling country singer and got a big break when Cline recorded this and made it a hit. It has become one of Nelson’s most enduring songs. He covered the song for his own debut album, …And Then I Wrote, in 1962.  Willie later revealed that the original title of the song was to be Stupid.

I also did not know that just two months before she recorded Crazy, Ms. Cline was in a serious auto accident and was thrown through the windscreen (remember, they didn’t even have seatbelts back then), and at the first session, she couldn’t hit the high notes because of a broken rib, so the studio musicians recorded their parts without her. Two weeks later, she did her vocals while standing on crutches.

Tragically, Patsy would die in a plane crash just two years after the release of this song, at the young age of only 30.

There is so much fascinating trivia about Patsy Cline that I cannot possibly include it all here, but here are a few tidbits …

  • She was the first female country singer to headline in Vegas
  • She became the first solo female artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973
  • In 1997, Cline’s recording of “Crazy” was named the number one jukebox hit of all time
  • Her given name was Virginia Patterson Hensley and as a child she was known as Ginny
  • In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service created special-issue postage stamps to honor Patsy Cline, along with other country superstars such as Hank Williams, the Carter Family and Bob Wills.
  • When Patsy was 13, she was hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic fever. She later said, “The fever affected my throat and when I recovered I had this booming voice like Kate Smith.”

Wikipedia has an impressive amount of detail about Patsy’s life, death, and the mark she left on the music industry … check it out if you’re interested.  And another article I came across, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Patsy Cline, also had some really interesting facts and trivia.

Thanks Larry … I had fun doing the legwork on this one!

Crazy
Patsy Cline

Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you’d leave me for somebody new

Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wondering what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying

And I’m crazy for loving you
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving you.

Songwriters: Willie Nelson
Crazy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

In Honour of Benjamin …

This is a special post for a special friend … at age 5, my youngest reader, in fact.  I’m afraid I let my young friend Benjamin down on Tuesday, the 14th, for that was our ‘anniversary’.  It was one year ago on that date that Benjamin discovered Filosofa’s Word, thanks to his Gem of a grandmother Ellen, and he has been an avid follower ever since!  Benjamin, I am so sorry I didn’t do something special for you on Tuesday, but I hope I can make up for it today.

I was thinking that since it was Berkley Bear that first brought you to my blog, perhaps you would enjoy watching Berkley playing in the snow, because I know you love to play in the snow too!  So here, just for you my young friend, is Berkley Bear enjoying the winter!

Thank you for reading my posts for the past year and I hope there will be many more years!  Namaste, Benjamin!  I love you!!!

Image result for paw prints

He Sure Can Pick ‘Em …

I’ve frequently written about Trump’s staff picks, for they all seem to be the most un-qualified people for the jobs they are assigned.  I mean, he hired Scott Pruitt, a man who had sued the EPA numerous times, to head the EPA!  He chose Betsy DeVos, a woman who doesn’t believe in public schools, to head the Department of Education! It doesn’t get much more buffoonish, does it?  Anyway, I haven’t written about any of his recent staff pics, but since a couple of them are cluttering up my radar screen, it seems a good time to do so!


Mark Morgan …

Typically, we wouldn’t pay much attention to a new Director of Ice (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), but in the era of Trump, we pay attention to things we never needed to before.  And so it was that Trump’s latest staff pick, Mark Morgan, flew across my radar.  Well, truth be told, he rather flopped onto it like a dying bird.

Mark-Morgan

Mark Morgan

The thing that brought Morgan flopping onto my radar screen was his claim that he can look into the eyes of a child and know if that child will grow up to be a criminal.  Say WHAT???  In an interview with Fox News’ resident moron Tucker Carlson, Morgan said …

“I’ve been to detention facilities where I’ve walked up to these individuals that are so-called minors, 17 or under. I’ve looked at them and I’ve looked at their eyes, Tucker — and I’ve said that is a soon-to-be MS-13 gang member. It’s unequivocal.”

Morgan likes to be on television … a lot.  In addition to at least three appearances on Tucker Carlson’s show, he has racked up more than 100 television appearances on other shows such as those of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  He sure knows how to pick ‘em, yes?

Morgan was head of Border Patrol for the last four months of the Obama administration, but was almost immediately fired by Trump once he took office.  Perhaps solely on the basis that he had been hired by President Obama … we all know how jealous Trump is of anything with Obama’s name on it.  However, he has proven his worth to Trump by being a cheerleader for Trump’s ignominious border wall, and Fox News refers to Morgan as a former Obama administration official who “saw the light”.

Morgan has also applauded the administration’s policy for keeping immigrant children in cages, saying how wonderful it is that the cages were designed with the occupant’s safety in mind.  Seriously???

His nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and that, believe it or not, is not a certainty.  Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado, both of whom will be up for re-election next year, are treading softly on the issue of immigration, as they have come under fire from their constituents over the abominably cruel policy of separating children from their parents at the border.  Other republicans in the Senate have also expressed concerns, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  Let us hope that at least 5 of the 54 republican senators find a bit of a conscience and refuse to confirm this animal.  Of course, it won’t matter, for Trump will no doubt find another who is just as unacceptable.


Steve Dickson …

And then there is the position of FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Administrator.  The purpose of the FAA in a nutshell is to regulate all aspects of civil aviation.  This includes airline safety.  Remember the Boeing crashes in recent months?

Steve-Dickson

Steve Dickson

For this crucial post, Trump has nominated Steve Dickson, a former Air Force fighter pilot who went on to become a commercial pilot for Delta, where he has worked for 27 years. Dickson retired as the company’s senior vice president for flight operations last year.  Okay, so he knows how to fly a plane, but frankly those ties to the airline industry seem a built-in conflict of interest to me.

Initially, Trump had planned to name his own personal pilot, an employee of Trump’s company, to head the FAA, but even senate republicans balked at that one.  So, last fall, Dickson stepped down from his position at Delta almost at the same time that Trump announced his decision to nominate him.

On the surface, there isn’t a lot to dislike, but … something is niggling at me.  Perhaps it is the fact that he just left Delta as a senior V.P. … it’s rather like having people in the interior department and the EPA with ties to the fossil fuel industry.  Inherent conflict of interest.

But perhaps the thing that is causing my antennae to twitch is that two days ago, Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, sent a letter to Senators Roger Wicker and Maria Cantwell, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, calling for the quick approval of the nomination of Steve Dickson to serve as the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.  I tend to twitch these days when somebody calls for “quick approval” … remember Brett Kavanaugh?

I would urge caution and research on the part of the Senate, but of course he will be confirmed hands down, in all likelihood, and no doubt quickly.  The FAA dropped the ball on holding Boeing to the industry standards when they rolled out their 737 MAX fleet, and as a result, 346 people died in two crashes within a few months of each other.  The U.S. was the last country to ground the MAX 8 after the second crash, once again putting corporate profit ahead of human lives.  We need to ensure that whoever heads the FAA is independent of Trump and able to stand against industry pressure for profit.  I’m not so sure Steve Dickson is that man.


This administration is looking more and more like a circus every day, but do you notice anything?  Take a look at this picture … granted, some of these are gone and have since been replaced, but you can still see what I’m driving at in this picture, and then look at the statistics chart at the bottom.

Trump-cabinet.png

He’s got his ‘token black (male)’ in Ben Carson, but Ben is … well, let’s just say he is a poor representation of his race.  And a smattering of women, but not nearly representative of the population of women, and as far as DeVos, I’m not convinced that she is a woman at heart.  Oh yeah, folks, we definitely have a racist, misogynistic bigot in the White House, and he is surrounding himself with people who look just like him.  Think about that.