Just for a chuckle …

I’m sorely in need of a laugh … okay, I’ll settle for a chuckle … and figured perhaps you are too, so just for a laugh at the end of the day, I give you … Andy Borowitz …

Putin Loses Control of the House

♫ Ai No Corrida ♫

One of the things I love about doing these music posts is I always learn something about either the song or the artist.  Tonight, I have to admit that I learned something about the title of the song, for I had the title translated all wrong!  I was assuming it was Spanish, which translates into “Ay, no bullfight”.  As a child, I was once taken to a bullfight, and was so sickened that Ay, no bullfight!!! seemed perfectly logical to me.  But … turns out it is Japanese and means “rope of love”.  Who knew?

The song was written by Chaz Jankel and Kenny Young, first recorded in 1980 and featured on Jankel’s self-titled debut album.  It was only in 1981 when Quincy Jones recorded the song and included it on his album The Dude that it became popular.  Jerry Hey and Quincy Jones received the 1982 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for their recording of this song.

Ai No Corrida
Quincy Jones

I hold you, I touch you
In a maze can’t find my way
I think you, I drink you
I’m being served you on a tray
You see girl
That’s what I go through every day
Is this the way it should feel?

Pinch me, I’m dreaming
But if it is, don’t let me know
I’m drowning, don’t save me
It’s just the way I’d like to go
You see girl
You thrill me, half kill me
That’s what you do

Ai no corrida, that’s where I am
You send me there
You dream is my command
Ai no corrida, I find myself
No other thought
Just you and nothing else
You and nothing else

Before my heart saw you
Each day was just another day
Night, the lonely interlude
Just came, then blew away
You know girl
Everything was come what may
Until you fell in my life

This spell I’m under has caught me
I’m in a daze
Your lightning and thunder
Sets my poor heart ablaze
You see girl
You thrill me, half kill me
That’s what you do

Ai no corrida, that’s where I am
You send me there
You dream is my command
Ai no corrida, I find myself
No other thought
Just you and nothing else
You and nothing else

I hold you, I touch you
In a maze can’t find my way
I think you, I drink you
I’m being served you on a tray
You see girl
That’s what I go through every day
Is this the way it should feel?

Pinch me, I’m dreaming
But if it is, don’t let me know
I’m drowning, don’t save me
It’s just the way I’d like to go
You see girl
You thrill me, half kill me
That’s what you do

Ai no corrida, that’s where I am
You send me there
You dream is my command
Ai no corrida, I find myself
No other thought
Just you and nothing else
You and nothing else

Ai no corrida, that’s where I am
You send me there
You dream is my command
Ai no corrida, I find myself
No other thought
Just you and nothing else

Songwriters: Chaz Jankel / Kenny Young
Ai No Corrida lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Words & Music A Div Of Big Deal Music LLC

Saturday Surprise — Going Places!

Okay, friends … twice this week I have robbed you of the fun stuff, Jolly Monday and Good People Wednesday, so I am determined to provide a bit of fun today in hopes of making up for it.  We haven’t done any traveling for a while, so I went in search of really odd things we could go visit.  Are you up for a bit of an excursion?  Be sure to bring your coats, hats ‘n mittens, for at this time of year you never know what sort of weather we might run up against.  So, hop aboard the Filomobile and let’s head for our first destination …


First stop … the Netherlands!  Maybe we can pop in and visit my friend Choosing while we’re here!  But first, a housing community comprised completely of ball-shaped houses. ball-houses-1Bolwoningen (“ball homes” or “bulb homes”) is but one of the country’s housing experiments. The giant orbs stand in stark contrast to the conventional abodes located right across the street.

Artist Dries Kreijkamp was the mastermind behind the project, which was completed in 1984. Kreijkamp, who died in 2014, said he drew inspiration from clay huts in Africa and Inuit igloos. His logic behind the design is that round shapes are the most seminal and natural forms for living.ball-houses-3But to humans accustomed to living within more standard houses, dwelling within a concrete globe can feel unnatural. The buildings are best suited for single people or childless couples, as space inside is tight (592 square feet/55 square meters). The lowest level includes storage and central heating installations. A spiral staircase leads to a bedroom. Keep climbing the stairs, and you’ll then arrive at the level housing the toilet and shower. The highest part features a tiny living room and kitchen area.ball-houses-2Though interest in and funding for additional ball houses dwindled, this settlement is still going strong. People still live in Bolwoningen, and tourists have been known to wander by to gawk and gape at their unusual homes.

I’m thinking … no corners to clean!!!  Then again … the square/rectangular furniture might not fit so well, either.


Since we’re so close, let’s travel over to Derbyshire, England, where there is a giant snail sculpture I was hoping to check out …snail-1This magnificent example of public art is based at a location which was, from the 1990s until the early 21 century, a derelict industrial factory site between the Chesterfield railway station and the River Rother.  The derelict factory was demolished and replaced with a housing development. This spiral sculpture is a result of the Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning policy, which encourages all large developments to include up to one percent of the total investment for public art.snail-2Liz Lemon, the sculptor behind the artwork, used the land as inspiration, as the area is known for both Goniatite and gastropod fossils. She also paid homage to the land’s industrial past. Because the factory that formerly stood at the site built turbines for many of the world’s large hydroelectric dams, Lemon designed the sculpture in metal with a high precision finish to reflect the former factory’s dedication to high-quality engineering. Manthorpe Engineering completed the construction.snail-3The resulting sculpture is about 25 feet high. The spiral form was created from many sections of stainless steel sheets that vary in thickness, and the way it fits together is evocative of the types of pipework construction used in the hydropower plants that the former factory worked on. The artwork has five rows of “portholes” of reducing size all the way around the spiral. The internal cavity houses blue and green fiber optic lights that are switched on at night.

Pretty cool, yes?


You guys know I love Japan, right?  You didn’t know?  Well, you’re right … I’ve never been there except on virtual tours like this one, but from what I have seen, I think I love Japan.  And so, when we were invited to stop by Tokyo for a visit to a little bar in Kichijoji that boasts an elaborately decorated interior made up of skulls, skeletons, and even agony-filled faces of the damned adorning the walls, well, how could I resist?Tokyo-bar-4The name of the bar is Yurei Izakaya, named for ghosts known as yurei, and its decor, menu, and staff blend Japanese folklore with plenty of haunted house kitsch. The food and drinks are made to look like bloody eyeballs, impaled bodies, and various yokai (mythological monsters). Most reviewers rate their meals—which are standard izakaya fare—as average, so don’t be expecting 5-star dining – it’s all about the atmosphere!

The highlight of visiting Yurei is the “wasabi roulette” in which the guests eat an order of dumplings or kushikatsu and whoever gets the one filled with wasabi “dies.” The unlucky soul is then dressed in a white kimono and laid in a coffin in the middle of the bar. The waiter then chants a traditional Buddhist prayer, thus completing the mock funeral.  Isn’t this fun???


Back across the pond we go and let’s travel south to Argentina!Sarmiento-houseThis house was the former home of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Argentina’s seventh president. He was also the author of one of the country’s most important pieces of literature, Facundo, which is not only a testament to his political views, but also a reflection of Argentina’s history.Sarmiento-house-2Sarmiento also carried out some ambitious policies regarding education and had a tremendous influence on Argentina’s school systems. He trained new teachers and built new buildings for public schools. He successfully passed a sanction that guaranteed schools would be free and separate from religious teachings and opened various free libraries.Sarmiento-house-3Sarmiento lived with his family in this house after his tenure as president (1868-1874),  until he died in 1888. He chose a quiet abode in Tigre, a city within the delta around the La Plata River. Trees he planted still stand around the property, and the house still holds some of its original furniture. The building, which became a National Historic Monument in 1966 is encased in glass to protect it from the elements and now functions as a museum.


And now, folks, it’s time for us to head back home, for it is Saturday morning and I know we all have plenty to do, what with less than two weeks ‘til Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and just over six weeks ‘til Christmas.  I have mentioned postponing Christmas to my girls, but they weren’t amenable to the idea, especially when I said I wanted to postpone it until next December – 2019.  Sigh.  I’m lacking spirit this year.  Anyway, have a wonderful weekend, whatever you do!weekend

No, Folks, This Is NOT Normal …

Yesterday morning we awoke to news of another mass shooting, this one at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, that left 13 dead, including the gunman.  The first headline I saw claimed it was the “First mass shooting in the U.S. in over 10 days”, as if that were a statistic in which we ought to take pride.  First, a mass shooting every eleven days would be nothing to be proud of even if true, but the reality is that it was not the first, but rather the eleventh mass shooting since the shooting at L’Simcha (Tree of Life) synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27th.  Eleventh.  Think about this one for a moment.  Did you realize there had been, on average, one mass shooting per day for the past ten?  Why did we not know?  How could we have missed it?mass shootings map-2According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 307 mass shootings in the 312 days of 2018.  It has become a common occurrence in our lives and we are, apparently, no longer shocked.  Five people shot, nobody died … oh well, just another day in paradise, eh?

The words of one parent whose son, Telemachus Orfanos, lost his life yesterday morning tell it all …

“I don’t want prayers.  I don’t want thoughts.  I want gun control.”

Telemachus had survived the Las Vegas massacre last year, only to lose his life in this one.

Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in 2011, tweeted …

“307. There have been 307 mass shootings so far this year. Do we really want to raise our children in a country where mass shootings like Thousand Oaks are a weekly occurrence? A country where every single day in America, more than 90 people are killed with guns?  Classrooms. Places of worship. Newsrooms. Movie theaters. Restaurants. Yoga studios. Nightclubs. Playgrounds. No place in America feels safe anymore. No other high-income nation has this level of gun violence. I’m heartbroken, angry, and never going to accept this as normal.”

None of us should ever be willing to accept this as normal … it isn’t.  I’ve quoted statistics in past posts, so I won’t bore you with them again, except to say that every other nation in the industrialized world has stricter gun laws than the U.S., and not a single one has the number of gun deaths … not even close … that the U.S. sees every single year.  Every.  Single.  Year.

Tree of Life synagogue, Parkland, Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook … how many more?  How many more people in this country have to die before somebody wakes up and says ENOUGH!!!  Small men who rely on guns to make them feel like big men need to find some other outlet for their anger!  We The People are tired of the killing.  The NRA owns most every republican in Congress, as well as the small man sitting in the Oval Office.

Please … don’t sit back and shrug this one off, don’t accept that gun violence in the United States has to be ‘the norm’.  It doesn’t have to be.  Write letters, make your voice heard, or one of these days it might be you who gets that call in the middle of the night.gun-pointing

And So It Continues …

Yesterday I wrote a post, And So It Begins, about the White House, aka Donald Trump, suspending the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta simply because Acosta had the temerity to ask Trump the tough questions that we should all be asking.  Later in the day, the White House released a manipulated video that attempted to prove their point that Acosta had grabbed the arm of the intern who was trying to take his microphone away from him.  The video was immediately exposed as having been ‘doctored’ by experts and Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders were left looking like even bigger fools than before, though I doubt they realized it.

Today, Trump threatened to revoke the credentials of more reporters if they didn’t “treat the White House with respect”.  Anybody feel a chill in the air?  But he didn’t stop there.  No, he went on to hurl criticisms at other reporters … completely unfounded and untrue criticisms.

Of April Ryan, also a CNN reporter, he said …

“You talk about somebody that’s a loser; she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise or a contract with, I think, CNN. But she’s very nasty. And she shouldn’t be. She shouldn’t be. You’ve got to treat the White House and the office of the presidency with respect.”

Might I remind Donald Trump that ‘respect’ is something that must be earned?  In his 22 months in office, not once has Donald Trump treated the press (other than state-run Fox News) with any respect, but rather has taunted and harassed them at every opportunity.  The office of the president was once respected, but frankly Donald Trump has not earned any degree of respect from the press and is well along in the process of sullying the office and the White House.

In response to a question by another reporter, he said …

“What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot — you ask a lot of stupid questions.”

The question was not at all stupid but was concerning whether the Mueller investigation would be ‘reined in’ with the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.  A valid question and one which we are all asking.

Yesterday, in response to my post about Acosta’s revoked press credentials, a reader commented with the following quote by President Franklin D. Roosevelt:

“Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged.”

Now do you feel the chill in the air?

♫ Bad Moon Rising ♫

John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words “I feel the hurricane blowin’, I hope you’re quite prepared to die.” Overall, he said the song is about the “apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.”  That is a theme that, I think, is just about as relevant today as it was in 1969 when this song was released by Credence Clearwater Revival, aka CCR.

The song reached its US chart peak of #2 (one of five CCR songs to place that this position – they never got to #1) on July 28, 1969, eight days after the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song has nothing to do with space travel, but the title was somewhat apropos, especially after the mission succeeded.

Now, you all know that I am the world’s worst at getting song lyrics all wrong, so I took some pleasure in reading that the line, “There’s a bad moon on the rise” has often been mistaken for “There’s a bathroom on the right”!

And now, I give you Credence Clearwater Revival …

Bad Moon Rising
Creedence Clearwater Revival

I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today

Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin

Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quit prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Oh don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
There’s a bad moon on the rise

Songwriters: John C. Fogerty
Bad Moon Rising lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

Another … sigh … Trumptian Terror

On Wednesday, the day after the mid-term elections, Donald Trump demanded the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  We all knew it was coming, and I think others will follow. While I have no love for Jeff Sessions, who is a proven racist, I am greatly disturbed by his termination.  With Sessions gone, the door is open to either terminate or stifle the Mueller investigation.  The Mueller investigation is no ‘witch hunt’, as Trump has claimed, but I strongly suspect has uncovered scandal and corruption beyond what we can even imagine.  Methinks Mr. Trump doth protest far too much, and his claims of innocence are a joke … a bad joke.

Let us take a look at the man who will be serving as a temporary replacement for Session.

Matthew-whitakerHis name is Matthew Whitaker.  He is an attorney with a rather unremarkable career thus far, his biggest ‘claim to fame’ being that he has run for public office three times … and lost ‘bigly’ two of the three.  Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002 and lost by 12%.  He ran for the Iowa Senate seat vacated by Tom Harkin in 2014 but came in only 4th in the republican primary with less than 8% of the votes.  After the 2014 loss, he became a paid advisory board member for a company called World Patent Marketing, a fraudulent business based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.  The company was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2017.

In September of 2017, Whitaker was appointed to be Jeff Sessions’ Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice.  The month before, he wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”  His premise was that the Mueller investigation should be limited and should not probe into Trump’s finances.  And in June 2017, three months before becoming Chief of Staff, he said publicly …

“I also think, you know, we have another hearing in front of Congress where there is no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Democrats continue to conflate the collusion issue, which there is no evidence of, with, with the fact that Russians did try to interfere with the election.”

His views on the Mueller investigation are high priority and would take an entire post to discuss, and while that is the most urgent issue that he will likely face in the coming two months, there are others that are equally appalling.  Let’s take a look at a few …

  • On gun control“The mass shootings we’ve seen in our country have been often times and always executed by mentally ill individuals who those laws never would’ve impacted in the first place. So I don’t think infringing on Second Amendment rights will prevent those types of events.”  Right-o … why bother to try to save a few thousand lives every month … they aren’t your lives, after all!

  • On climate change“I think the evidence is inconclusive, but there may be a human component to global warming. But that’s very small and it may be part of the natural warming or cooling of the planet. I’m certainly not a climate expert, but I don’t believe in Cap and Trade or those types of regulations that try to hamstring the U.S. economy as other countries continue to put carbon into the air. I don’t believe in big government solutions to a problem that doesn’t appear to be that significant or quite possibly isn’t man made.”  Yeah, again … what’s a few million lives as long as they aren’t yours?


  • On education“I think the Department of Education should be disbanded and the resources either returned to the taxpayers or put into the schools. Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. shouldn’t know how to better educate my kids than I do.”  Heh heh heh … like you’ve shown yourself to be so bloomin’ smart???  🤣🤣🤣


  • On marriage“I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Throughout history it’s traditionally been up to the churches and to God to define that. I don’t have an omnibus solution. Certainly it’s affecting all sorts of parts of our country. Here in the state of Iowa we can’t even get our elected officials to do anything about it and that’s really frustrating. It’s affecting our military. There are chaplains in the military under a lot of pressure to go against their religious beliefs.”  Bigot.  Homophobe.


  • On federal judges“I’d like to see things like their worldview, what informs them. Are they people of faith? Do they have a biblical view of justice? — which I think is very important. And what I know is as long as they have that worldview, that they’ll be a good judge. And if they have a secular worldview, then I’m going to be very concerned about how they judge.” Hey Jerkface … every hear of separation of church and state???  Has anyone ever told you that this is a SECULAR government???

Add to that he has indicated his belief that Social Security is unconstitutional and that basic labor laws like the minimum wage must be struck down.

In an interesting twist yesterday, a number of prominent attorneys including none other than George Conway, Kellyanne’s husband, have claimed that it is illegal for Trump to appoint Whitaker as acting Attorney General because he is evading the requirement to seek the Senate’s advice and consent for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.  Don’t hyperventilate over this one, folks.

Under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, otherwise known as the “appointments clause” of the U.S. Constitution, a principal officer, that is one who reports only to the president, must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate under its “Advice and Consent” powers.  Legally, I agree with Mr. Conway and the others, but … this is the reign of Trump, where Trump considers himself above the law, and the relevant people in Congress and the Supreme Court have upheld his lawlessness more than once.  And the bottom line is that if Trump is forced to bring Whitaker before the Senate to confirm his nomination … well, need I say more?  It will mean not much more than a delay of a few days.  Remember Brett Kavanaugh?

In Case You Missed It …

Tuesday’s election was about more than the Senate, the House and the governorships.  Little attention was given to some of the ‘issues’ on that ballot, but a few are of major importance.


On gerrymandering …

Michigan, one of the most gerrymandered states in the Union, overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment which provides that future legislative maps will be drawn by an independent commission. At the peak of its effectiveness, in 2012, Michigan’s gerrymander allowed Republicans to win 9 of the state’s 14 U.S. House seats, despite the fact that President Obama won the state by over 9 points that year.  Granted, it is only one state out of fifty, but added to Ohio and Pennsylvania that have already made progress against gerrymandering, it is a start.  Remember that Rome was not built in a day, and racism in politics will not be defeated in a day, either.

On funding education …

Education funding has dropped drastically in recent years. Twenty-nine states were providing less total school funding per student in 2015 than in 2008!  In 19 states, local government funding also fell. In more than half of the states in the United States, the poorest districts — districts with the highest rates of poverty — get $1,000 less per pupil in state and local funding than districts with the lowest poverty rates.

On Tuesday, six education initiatives passed overall, in Seattle, Washington; Georgia; Maryland; Montana; and two in the state of Maine.  Four others were defeated in Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah.  Although Colorado is the 12th richest state in the United States, it ranks low in terms of its education spending. It ranked 42nd in spending on public education and 39th in per pupil spending.  The reason for its failure on Tuesday?  The funding for the initiative would have come from a corporate tax increase that was turned down flat.  Those investment portfolios are a lot more important than the education of our future leaders, yes?

On abolition …

Yep, you heard right.  The State of Colorado’s Constitution still had a clause left over from 1865 stating …

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The state tried to pass an amendment to remove this clause in 2016, but the amendment failed because the wording on the ballot was so confusing that people weren’t sure whether they would be voting for or against.  The state finally got it right this year with …

“Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and thereby prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances?”

It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support … 65%.  Um … so 35% want to keep the potential for slavery?  Sigh.  Some things just die hard.  It’s Colorado, the state that turned down increased educational spending.

Tough on guns …

The voters in Washington State deserve a two-thumbs-up and an ‘attaboy’ from us all, for on Tuesday, they passed one of the toughest gun regulations in the country with a 60% margin.  The measure will raise the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21. To obtain such weapons, people will need to pass an enhanced background check, take a training course and wait 10 business days after a purchase.  In addition, they will enact a storage law. Gun owners who don’t secure their firearms with devices such as a trigger lock or safe could be charged with gross misdemeanor or felony “community endangerment” crimes for allowing prohibited people (such as children) to access and display or use the weapons.

A group funded by the NRA (go figure) called Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has announced its intention to sue in an attempt to block the measure.  Let us hope there are some sensible judges in Washington State.

On restoring voter’s rights …

Florida voters have approved a ballot initiative which provides former felons with the right to vote, re-enfranchising 1.4 million people.  I applaud this one with all of my hands.  I know there are many of you who disagree with me on this issue, but my thoughts are that a person who commits a felony is nonetheless still a citizen of this nation … he or she should still have a voice in the way the nation is run and who does the running.  The ‘punishment’ for their crime is, as meted out by the courts, imprisonment or probation, but does not include revocation of citizenship.  Especially when you consider how many convicted felons’ only crime was drug-related.  So, I am thrilled that Florida took the initiative and hope to see more states follow suit.

Last but not least …

The State of Michigan passed Proposal 1, legalizing marijuana aka pot, making it the first state in the Midwest to legalize pot for both medicinal and recreational use.  The proposal passed by 56%.  Two other states, Utah and Missouri, legalized it for medicinal use only.


There were other issues, initiatives, proposals and measures covered in Tuesday’s election, some important, such as Florida’s constitutional amendment banning both offshore drilling and indoor vaping, and several states’ proposals to limit a woman’s right to choose in abortion cases, and I will have more about those at a later date.  These were all largely overlooked in the feeding frenzy over the House elections, but now we can step back and see what else was either fixed or broken by voters.

♫ Words ♫

I seem to be into single-word titled songs this week, don’t I?  Purely coincidence … I swear there is no conspiracy to … what?  Denigrate multi-word sentences?  Sigh … it’s getting to me, folks!

Seriously, though … I wanted a song tonight about smiles and this one came to mind.

The Bee Gees were three brothers – Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. They wrote this after getting in a few arguments and realizing the power of words – how they can make you happy or sad.  What I did not know is that this song was written for a movie called The Mini-Affair. In England, the movie was titled The Mini Mob.  Never having heard of the movie, I was going to say it must have been a flop, but then a quick check on IMDB shows it with a 7.7 out of 10 rating, so … not a flop.

Barry was the only Gibb to sing on this. It was the first Bee Gees single where only one brother sang.

Words
Bee Gees

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile can bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you gone
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost it’s glory
Let’s start a brand new story
Now my love, right now
There’ll be no other time
And I can show you how, my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say

It’s only words, and words are all I have
To take your heart away

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say

It’s only words, and words are all I have
To take your heart away
It’s only words, and words are all I have
To take your heart away
It’s only words, and words are all I have
To take your heart away

Songwriters: Barry Gibb / Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb
Words lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

And So It Begins …

Acosta

Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta, one of CNN’s most astute reporters, has had his press pass, his access to the White House, revoked “until further notice”.  Why?  Because he was doing his job, he was asking questions.  The same as Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs was doing when then-candidate for the U.S. Congress, Greg Gianforte, took umbrage and knocked Mr. Jacobs to the ground and proceeded to beat him.  A year later, Donald Trump praised Gianforte for his actions, and now Trump has barred Mr. Acosta.

Jim Acosta was doing his job … he was asking Trump questions like why he lied about the migrant caravan, calling it an ‘invasion’, asking why he was demonizing immigrants.  He was, in other words, doing precisely what we want our free press to do … holding the president accountable for his words and actions.  See for yourself …

As you can see, an intern attempted to take the microphone from Acosta and he did nothing but hold onto the microphone and turn slightly to keep her from taking it from him, for he had not gotten an answer to his question about the highly controversial, racist ad that Trump ran at the end of the mid-term campaign.  Trump put an end to Acosta’s questions, calling him a “rude, terrible person”, and the microphone was removed from Acosta’s hand by a White House staffer.

Later in the day, Acosta attempted to return to the White House for a scheduled program with Anderson Cooper, but was stopped outside the White House by Secret Service agents, one of whom blocked his way, and another of whom asked Mr. Acosta to hand over his press credentials, which he did without argument.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied … blatantly lied about the interaction between the intern and Mr. Acosta, saying …

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”**

CNN Producer Allie Malloy responded to Sanders via Twitter: “This is a complete lie. The woman grabbed Jim’s arm repeatedly. He never once touched her. In fact at one point @Acosta tells her politely ‘pardon me, mam’ as she’s yanking on his arm.”  As you saw in the video, Acosta did not “place his hands” on the intern.

Ryan

April Ryan

The news conference lasted one hour and 26 minutes, and Acosta was not the only reporter denigrated by Trump.  April Ryan, also with CNN, attempted to ask a question about voter suppression concerns, when Trump said to her …

“Sit down please. Sit down. I didn’t call you, I didn’t call you, I didn’t call you.”

Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

Toward the end of the event, Yamiche Alcindor, a correspondent for PBS “NewsHour,” asked Trump about the widely shared view that his rhetoric has emboldened white nationalists.  Trump’s response was to tell her that it was a ‘racist question’ and then proceeded to tell her (falsely) that he had the highest poll numbers ever among African-Americans.  Watch …

The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) issued the following statement in response to Acosta’s press credentials being suspended:

“Journalists may use a range of approaches to carry out their jobs and the WHCA does not police the tone or frequency of the questions its members ask of powerful senior government officials, including the President. Such interactions, however uncomfortable they may appear to be, help define the strength of our national institutions. We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”

Friends, this is the most egregious abuse of power, the most blatant attempt to shut down the free press, that we have seen from Donald Trump to-date.  This cannot go unnoticed, cannot be allowed to pass without comment.  Please ask yourself this question:  What next?  The answer should scare you … it scares the hell out of me.

**Here is the full White House statement:

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history. Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not being supportive of a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of an hour and a half — including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration. As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.” — Sarah Sanders