Wednesday, September 28

Freedom Worth Fighting For...

“We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.”

Trump’s slogan—“make America great again”—is the broadest, most unspecific, common denominator of non-ruling-class Americans’ diverse dissatisfaction with what has happened to the country. He talks about reasserting America’s identity, at least by controlling the borders; governing in America’s own interest rather than in pursuit of objectives of which the American people have not approved; stopping the export of jobs and removing barriers to business; and banishing political correctness’s insults and injuries. But all that together does not amount to making America great again. Nor does Trump begin to explain what it was that had made this country great to millions who have known only an America much diminished.

ADDED: Lol. Wondering, what is the back story there?
Angelo Codevilla was born in Voghera, Italy, son of Angelo (a businessman) and Serena (Almangano) Codevilla. He emigrated to the United States in 1955, and became a US citizen in 1962. He married Ann Marie Blaesser, December 31, 1966. His children are David, Peter, Michael, and two more.
Hopefully, two of them just preferred anonymity on the wiki page, and there is no disowning going on -- either way, but really, that just reads oddly!

Tuesday, September 27

RIP Shimon Peres.

Israel is not really old enough to have a period of "Good Old Days."
But if you can forgive old-timers for looking back on the country's early years -- the more idealistic days before it became so clear what it was going to cost in human sacrifice to keep the light on the hill lit -- with a glimmering fondness, then you might understand tonight, perhaps, what it is they mourn that died just a little bit today with the passing of Shimon Peres.
Go in peace, my friend,
to love and serve the Lord...

* Peres led the creation of Israel’s defense industry, negotiated key arms deals with France and Germany and was the prime mover behind the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons. But he was consistent in his search for an accommodation with the Arab world, a search that in recent years left him orphaned as Israeli society lost interest, especially after the upheavals of the 2011 Arab Spring led to tumult on its borders.

ADDED:  "Mr. Peres broke the taboo, and the impasse."
But the era of good feelings did not last. It was shattered in 2000 after a visit by the opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the sacred plaza in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The next day, the Israeli police fired on stone-throwing protesters, inaugurating a new round of violence that became known as the second intifada.
"If you have children,” he said, “you cannot feed them forever with flags for breakfast and cartridges for lunch. You need something more substantial. Unless you educate your children and spend less money on conflicts, unless you develop your science, technology and industry, you don’t have a future.”


Refugees, or Rosie?

Where Obama led America?... or where Obama came from?...
Destabilizing Libya, or Demanding Tax Returns?

Don't stop thinking 'bout... Yesterday? (when our troubles seemed so far away...)

If you think last night addressed the important issues dished up by our media, and you were sated with what you consumed. then vote for Hillary Clinton for a continuation of rewarding the people in power.  She's trying to turn back the clock, to convince everyone that Trump is another cranky old-white-man Perot (who in retrospect turned out to be amazingly prescient in what eventually happened to America's economic dominance and world leadership...)

If you still think the country needs Change,
and you don't like what we have passively accepted as normal here at home, with people dying and crying in the streets for Change, then cast off the shackles and help elect President Donald Trump.

Let's reverse course, while we still can.
Listen to reason, and prioritize the important issues v. the trivial fluff the media is determined to focus on, in looking backwards.

I was disappointed by the lack of serious discussion last night about the important choices this country faces in the future.  I think the media has their issues, and they are like the brother runners -- determined to do whatever it takes to toss Mrs. Clinton over the finish line first as she collapses the country.

If you like that image, vote Clinton and keep the Democratic party pumping.

As for me and mine...

Monday, September 26

You Light...


*just coincidence that the AM station was playing that on the car radio earlier, I am sure.*

** come out strong, and keep it a clean fight out there...**

Bake that Cake!

A Walmart in Georgia reverses itself, after originally refusing to design a retirement cake with the police flag and words "Blue Lives Matter."  The court of public opinion, and independent commerce, nudges back...

Walmart is apologizing for refusing to make a police officer’s retirement cake last week after an employee told the cop’s daughter that her “thin blue line” cake design might be considered racist.

The police officer’s daughter, who has remained anonymous, told radio host Todd Starnes that she went to a Walmart in McDonough, Georgia on Thursday to ask for a cake with the American flag in black and white with a blue stripe added in.

But one of the employees at the bakery balked at the common police officer emblem, telling the woman “the design could be perceived as racist and nobody feels comfortable decorating the cake,” she recounted to Starnes. When she asked for a simpler cake, with just one blue line on a chocolate background, the employee said she didn’t “feel comfortable” with that design either.

Read more here:
(I just spotted those flags* -- coming soon to a community near you -- in my Illinois hometown when I was home a few weeks back.  Had to ask what it meant. The ones with a red stripe are in honor of firefighters.  Quite a few hanging in our neighborhood.  Silent support.)
*  Thought the neighbor's American flag had the colors washed out! 

Sunday, September 25

Arnold Palmer...

Takes Top Prize!

Sacked! More Bad News in Charlotte...

By Vinnie Iyer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The last time Cam Newton, his offensive line and the Panthers' wide receivers looked like this, they were losing Super Bowl 50. This time, the reigning NFC champions were dominated by the new NFC favorites, 22-10.

Those would be the 3-0 Vikings, who actually two-upped what the Broncos did in that February game on Sunday, sacking Newton eight times, including a much-needed spark from an early safety. They also also forced Carolina blockers into bad penalties with their relentless pursuit and pressure. The Panthers hadn't been sacked that much since taking nine against the Eagles in 2014.

Minnesota did it mostly with its front four, but also was just as effective with linebacker, safety and cornerback blitzes. Big, rangy corner Xavier Rhodes took away Newton's go-to guy, Kelvin Benjamin, and the Vikings trusted the other 10 guys to swarm him. The result was three interceptions while Newton was pressing to get the ball to his other targets.
Newton's final passing numbers (21-of-35, 262 yards, 3 INTs, zero TDs) were a lot worse than they looked. Mike Zimmer and his staff simply did with their 4-3 alignment what Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips had done with the 3-4 in the Super Bowl.

There are few teams capable of executing that way with Newton. With it, the Vikings, going with Sam Bradford, backed up what they did to befuddle Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week.

That's no fluky 1-2 punch.

Minnesota’s defense is proving it needs to be mentioned in the same breath as that of Denver, which rode its defense all the way to a Super Bowl last season.
*Defense...defense! *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap*
Adrian Peterson
✔ ‎@AdrianPeterson

No one gave us a chance today! Good thing predictions means nothing! All for 1🏆 #Vikings
3:03 PM - 25 Sep 2016

👏🏾 well done fellas
3:08 PM - 25 Sep 2016

We Need Change.

Newt Gingrich ‏@newtgingrich
· 56 minutes ago

Clinton is a fox who knows many things you can fact check.
Trump is a hedgehog who knows one very big thing: We need change.

Breaking News...

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is reported dead in a boating accident.

Asked how he would remember Fernandez, Manager Don Mattingly could barely speak through his sobs.

When I think about Jose, it’s going to be thinking about a little kid,” Mattingly said. “I see such a little boy in him when — the way he played, there was just joy with him when he played and when he pitched, I think that’s what the guys would say too.
“As bad as he would make you [look] with some of the stuff he would do, you just see that little kid you see when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That’s the joy that Jose played with and the passion he felt about playing. That’s what I think of.”
Fernandez owned a high-90s fastball and a devastating slider that he mixed with a changeup and occasional curveball. The combination could be nearly unhittable, and he combined them with a competitive swagger that could be imposing. Several opposing players and executives said, over the course of his career, that Fernandez was the one pitcher they would least like to face in a crucial game.
Fernandez’s last start came Tuesday against the Washington Nationals, and he was vintage Fernandez – eight innings of three-hit ball in which he struck out 12 and walked none in a 1-0 Miami victory.
ADDED: In the comments:
12:27 PM CDT
The baseball community has lost a great person and baseball player. What an incredible competitor. I will never forget his last pitch against us last week in the eighth inning getting out of a jam to keep the score 1-0.

I will always remember Jose Fernandez walking off the mound I could see him shaking his head "No, No, No! They are not going to beat us today!" That was his last game.

I am so saddened and my thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends, and teammates.

The Mall Shooter in Washington is Arrested.

Damned if he too does not fit the recent profile...

Island County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Hawley* said he spotted Arcan Cetin from a patrol car Saturday evening in Oak Harbor, Washington, and immediately recognized him as the suspect who killed five people at the Cascade Mall in nearby Burlington.
Cetin, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, is a legal permanent resident who has been living in Oak Harbor, authorities said. He had been arrested once before in the county for assault, Hawley said.
* Pin a medal on that man!

These "wars" won't be won militarily.  Not by billion-dollar airstrikes or prolonging other people's pain by pretending they can overthrow their governments with American support for any rebels. 

Imagine how long our own Civil War might have lasted, if foreign governments had been convinced it was wise to step in and resupply the Rebs...

We need to be more defensive-minded, and invest our taxpayer dollars only in military missions that can be clearly defined, with limited parameters. Why create enemies, especially here at home?  We need assimilation with everyone working toward a stronger more just America. (Emphasis on working. )

No more bombing hospitals, or destroying cease-fires with the accidental firing on foreign troops, as America recently did in Syria.  (That should have been Breaking News, not when a presidential candidate holds a routine Friday press conference.)

In the meantime, good Americans are keeping our eyes and ears open, from the malls of Washington and Minnesota, to the streets of New York, Boston and Charlotte.  Peace comes through strength.  And true intelligence.  Never forget.

We need real Change, and we need to take back our own streets and police our own lawgivers and enforcers before we go exporting any more taxpayer dollars under false promises.  We need to start thinking first, not simply reacting violently to every perceived slight and threat.

We need to stand up already -- don't stick your arms in the air in surrender all the time, and never ever put yourself down on the street.  Odds are, nobody's coming to lift you up...

So keep on your feet, and rely on your own power.

Enjoy the Sabbath, however you choose -- or not -- to celebrate today!


like Jonathan Gruber is watching...

In the first, most widely publicized video taken at a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber said the bill was deliberately written "in a tortured way" to disguise the fact that it creates a system by which "healthy people pay in and sick people get money".

He said this obfuscation was needed due to "the stupidity of the American voter" in ensuring the bill's passage. Gruber said the bill's inherent "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage" in selling it.  The comments caused significant controversy.

In two subsequent videos, Gruber was shown talking about the decision (which he attributed to John Kerry) to have the bill tax insurance companies instead of patients (the so-called "Cadillac tax"), which he called fundamentally the same thing economically but more palatable politically.

In one video, he stated that "the American people are too stupid to understand the difference" between the two approaches, while in the other he said that the switch worked due to "the lack of economic understanding of the American voter"
Count this vote, Mr. Gruber!

Making a Statement. Going Down in Defeat.

After the Liberty finished 21-13 with the Eastern Conference’s best record, their season ended after just one playoff game.

The Liberty’s No. 3 seeding had given them only a bye in the first round of the W.N.B.A.’s new playoff format for this season, which features single-game playoffs for all but the semifinals and the final and eliminates the importance of conferences in the postseason matchups.

The Mercury, the eighth seed, advanced to the semifinals against the top-seeded Minnesota Lynx.
The moral of the story?

Don't take your eye  off the ball, ladies. Play the game, and don't settle for being entertainment fodder, just providing symbolic shows in the pre-game...
The Liberty's Swin Cash, who has said she plans to retire, finished scoreless in more than 11 minutes of play, but her impact on the team was evident before the game.

Through the season, Cash has guided her teammates as they have staged protests in response to police shootings and gun violence.  
Before Saturday’s game, Liberty guard Brittany Boyd arrived at the Garden wearing a No. 7 San Francisco 49ers jersey to support Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who has become a leading voice among athletes in the national discussion on race, violence and policing.

During the national anthem, Boyd sat on the bench with her head bowed.
And then her team lost. The Liberty lost.
“I was really hoping this was the year we could get over that bump, but sometimes you got to take a couple bruises before you figure it out,” Cash said.
Here's to healing up in retirement, I guess...
After the game, when asked what the totality of this season meant, including the Liberty’s protests, Cash said, “It’s tough to kind of completely reflect right now, but I’m very proud of this team.”
The Mercury, the eighth seed, advance to the semifinals against the top-seeded Minnesota Lynx. (Defense...defense! *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!*)
The Mercury and Lynx will play Game 1 of their best-of five series Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center. Game 2 will be Friday night at Xcel. The second-seeded Los Angeles Sparks will open the semifinals Wednesday against Sunday’s Chicago-Atlanta winner.

Saturday, September 24

Saturday Stories*...

From March 13, 2010:

Remember the Red River Valley...
I moved to northwest Wisconsin in the summer of 1996. It was a harsh winter that year with above average snowfall. I was commuting into St. Paul, learning the skyway system, and adjusting to the heartier-than-Chicago winters; Ruth was teaching me the importance of eating well during cold times. Fattened me up, she did.*

That following spring, came hell and high water. We got Minnesota, not Wisconsin, television channels over there, and watched in horror the coverage of the Grand Forks, N.D. flooding and fires. The timing too was particularly bad: it was a waxing moon, with greater power to lift tides, effectively drawing the water up, in addition to the millions of gallons of meltwater pouring from the tributaries into the river systems.

The Red River flood waters crested at 54 feet (with 28 feet being the flood stage), and a fire broke out in the downtown business district:
The Red River, usually 100 feet wide, became a shallow lake 15 miles across, in places. Overall, the Red River Flood of 1997 was classified as a 100 year flood. Some cities along the river saw peak discharges with over 500 year recurrence levels.

The devastation did not stop there. A fire erupted downtown. It was caused by an electrical problem triggered by the floodwater, and destroyed much of the historic down-town area. Firefighters attempted to fend off the fire but conventional methods were out of the question. The streets surrounding the fire were flooded and there was no water pressure in the fire hydrants. Eventually, they were able to extinguish the fire by dropping fire retardant from an airplane, along with 120,000 gallons of water dropped from a helicopter in 60 massive dumps.

The estimated damages for the entire Red River flood totaled about $4 billion including all U.S. portions of the Red River. The Grand Forks/East Grand Forks area claimed $3.6 billion of that total.

No lives were lost immediately because of the floods, but perhaps the evacuations and distress helped contribute to early deaths, especially amongst the numerous elderly residents. It was the worst natural disaster I'd seen, pre-Katrina.

This time of year, I've learned, while you're glad for warmer days and rain instead of snow, everybody hopes for a gradual meltdown, so as not to distress the river systems. Because even when one town reinforces and builds up, all that water has to go somewhere and now the river towns downstream take on a greater risk.

We've had almost a week, maybe two now, above freezing, so it's pretty much 24-hours of melt, plus the additional rainwater pouring into the system. We haven't has as much snow as southern Wisconsin and the East Coast this year, but again, the rivers are running.

I'm heading outside to the park, to enjoy the day, maybe even get a campfire going to cook some venison wieners outside. But once the weekend is done, after we've set our clocks ahead and are thinking ahead to St. Patricks' midweek?

Don't think I'm nuts when I tell you I'm hoping for another quick cold spell. Just to slow things down and give Mother Nature a chance to catch up. Just remember the Red River Valley...

Pictures at the links.


*At 5'6", consistently 140 pounds now, compared to 125 when I moved up here 15 years ago. That's my healthy weight; don't let them convince you that everywhere, less is necessarily more.
*(Akin to Thursday Throwbacks, a selection of old stories from the blog.)

Otherwise, I'm just drinking my coffee,
reading, and waiting for the sun to come up
so I can head to the farmers' market and pick up
some ground cherries hopefully, and other fruits
and vegetables...  Saturday!

Saturday, in the dark...

* Did I ever mention, where I rent now,
there is a big beautiful (and new) American flag
buffered by the pines,  flapping right outside my window?
So nice to wake up to, especially in this weather
when I am trying to sleep, and then drink the coffee
and read, next to the open window, before it turns...

Wednesday, September 14

"Trump in a Landslide..."

My recent road travels took me from Minnesoata to Illinois (and Indiana even),  travelling a long stretch through Wisconsin.

Everybody I talked to, and who spoke with others who travelled to Missouri hometowns and back, solidly supports Trump.

Workers, professionals, women, men, white, black, and Hispanic... I don't think the media or the money can overcome this common-sense support.

And that was before the camera caught her once again in one of her narrative lies, this time about her health.

Sorry ladies, even the prospect of electing the first woman to the Oval Office is not going to overcome the damage she has done to her brand, or to what remains of the Democratic party.

"Trump in a Landslide" as one man, who attended the School of Hard Knocks, predicts.  I just do not see how she can overcome her record in Libya, her reluctance to answer media questions succinctly and honestly, and her hawkish tendencies.

Trump won't defeat Hillary Clinton.
The truth is:  she defeated herself long ago, back when she was the gullible wife who would not listen to the women telling her her husband was up to no good; to the advisors who begged her to come clean on the disastrous effects of her policy positions; to the voters who urged her to put some daylight between herself and the Obama administration.

Can't; Won't, or Choose Not To...
In the end, Hillary Clinton has no one to blame for her defeat but herself.  The media has given her every advantage, but she just cannot deliver in the role.  That doesn't mean her career is over:  if there is still good left in her, she can follow Jimmy Carter's lead and create a better world out of politics than what she did while she had donors, and voters, to answer to-- not necessarily in that order.

ADDED:  The signs are there, for those who can still read:

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s New Book Off to a Slow Start
“Stronger Together,” Mrs. Clinton’s blueprint for where she wants to take the country, sold less than 3,000 copies in its first week — compared with 85,000 of her 2014 memoir.
Maybe, just maybe, nobody much wants to hop on board to where Mrs. Clinton will take the nation.  After 8 years of pretty talk, but disappointing results with young Democrats laying down in the streets, maybe we really will get the Change everyone understands this country needs...

Thursday, September 8

A Night at the Fair.

by Scott Fitzgerald.
The Saturday Evening Post (July 21, 1928)

The two cities were separated only by a thin well-bridged river; their tails curling over the banks met and mingled, and at the juncture, under the jealous eye of each, lay, every fall, the State Fair. Because of this advantageous position, and because of the agricultural eminence of the state, the fair was one of the most magnificent in America. There were immense exhibits of grain, livestock and farming machinery; there were horse races and automobile races and, lately, aeroplanes that really left the ground; there was a tumultuous Midway with Coney Island thrillers to whirl you through space, and a whining, tinkling hoochie-coochie show. As a compromise between the serious and the trivial, a grand exhibition of fireworks, culminating in a representation of the Battle of Gettysburg, took place in the Grand Concourse every night.

At the late afternoon of a hot September day two boys of fifteen, somewhat replete with food and pop, and fatigued by eight hours of constant motion, issued from the Penny Arcade. The one with dark, handsome, eager eyes was, according to the cosmic inscription in his last year’s Ancient History, “Basil Duke Lee, Holly Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States, North America, Western Hemisphere, the World, the Universe.” Though slightly shorter than his companion, he appeared taller, for he projected, so to speak, from short trousers, while Riply Buckner, Jr., had graduated into long ones the week before. This event, so simple and natural, was having a disrupting influence on the intimate friendship between them that had endured for several years. ...

Worth spending some time with...

Reality Check.

Do we still believe that Might Makes Right?
Have we all given up on Reason and Diplomacy?
Will these ongoing wars never end, even as the U.S.-financed "airstrikes" are proving less and less effective (essentially, prolonging civil wars with the latest military weaponry that the US supplies to the "rebels", and creating boatloads of refugees?)

Doesn't anyone care about Human Life anymore?

While Americans savored the last moments of summer this Labor Day weekend, the U.S. military was busy overseas as warplanes conducted strikes in six countries in a flurry of attacks. The bombing runs across Asia, Africa and the Middle East spotlighted the diffuse terrorist threats that have persisted into the final days of the Obama presidency — conflicts that the next president is now certain to inherit.

In Iraq and Syria, between Saturday and Monday, the United States conducted about 45 strikes against Islamic State targets. On the other side of the Mediterranean, in the Libyan city of Sirte, U.S. forces also hit fighters with the militant group. On Sunday in Yemen, a U.S. drone strike killed six suspected members of ­al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The following day, just across the Gulf of Aden in Somalia, the Pentagon targeted al-Shabab, another group aligned with ­al-Qaeda. The military also conducted several counterterrorism strikes over the weekend in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and the Islamic State are on the offensive.

Militants in each of those countries have been attacked before, but the convergence of so many strikes on so many fronts in such a short period served as a reminder of the endurance and geographic spread of al-Qaeda and its mutations.

“This administration really wanted to end these wars,” said Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger and Pentagon official now at the Center for a New American Security. “Now, we’ve got U.S. combat operations on multiple fronts and we’re dropping bombs in six countries."
Speaking only for myself, I will never accept this state of affairs as the New Normal.  Too many hawks in both parties, spending money not their own, on futures they will not live to see...

When will the Change come, and who will finally... Bring It! ?

Wednesday, September 7

Treat the Help Better, Kanye Kardashian.

Seems his fashion show started late, he left the models standing in the sun with no shade, and water was provided sparingly.

Stella Bugbee, who is an editor for New York Magazine's The Cut, tweeted that she felt she needed to leave the show because of the models. She called out Adidas and said it should be “ashamed” because of the struggling models, some of which almost fell she claimed.

“Most awful thing I have ever seen at #NYFW. Getting the f*** out of this. #YeezySeason4 what a nightmare,” she tweeted.

Watching editors leave #YeezySeason4 But I feel obligated to watch out for these models and see what else they have to go through.

Audience member finally helps model about to fall on runway.

I feel physically sick from that abomination.

Saturday, September 3

Being There.

Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer

Craig Sager's wife, Stacy, has been by her husband's side throughout his battle against an aggressive form of leukemia.

But a few days before Sager's most recent bone marrow transplant, Stacy was unavailable. She came down with a cold, and doctors told her to stay home to avoid transmitting her illness to Craig, the well-known TNT sideline reporter.

Enter Charles Barkley.

Craig Sager received a rare third bone marrow transplant on Wednesday in Houston, as the TNT broadcaster continues his fight against acute myeloid leukemia.

When Barkley heard Stacy was unavailable, he flew to Phoenix to be by Craig's side, defying his own doctor's orders to be with his good friend and colleague. The Hall of Fame forward had hip surgery a few weeks ago and was not cleared to travel. But Barkley told his doctor that he was faced with an emergency.

"Craig Sager is one of the most interesting people I've ever met," said Barkley, who has worked for years with Sager at TNT. "We go to see Sager to cheer him up, and by the time you leave, you're like, 'Is anything wrong with him?' He has the most positive attitude.

"When you go to try and cheer him up, his attitude is so upbeat, he cheers you up."
Always did like that Charles Barkley...

He's his own man, a rarity these days, when conformity trumps independence in too many.

Sager sounds like a winner too.
Craig Graham Sager, Sr. is an American sideline reporter for TNT and TBS. Sager is a graduate of Northwestern University. He has previously covered sports for CBS and CNN

Saturday Flashback.

Prince's gal pals and his backing band re-assemble after the musician's death by overdose to keep the music playing. He didn't always treat them well, but they live on and except for the music, he is gone...

On Thursday night, Prince’s band the Revolution arrived on that stage for the first time since 2012 to honor, and grieve for, one of their own. For three months after his death, the group had remained silent about details of a reunion, finally confirming a two-night stand (which grew to include a third) in early July. “I need this as much as you,” the bassist Mark Brown, a.k.a. Brownmark, wrote on Facebook at the time of the announcement. “Sharing the music with you is what will heal.”
Last night, they kept him alive for just a little bit longer.
Wednesday, June 25

"Yes Lisa." "Is the water warm enough?"
"Yes Lisa." "Shall we begin?"
"Yes Lisa."
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman were young Minneapolis musicians -- working gals -- whose style ended up influencing Prince's Purple Rain album, a bit more than they maybe got credit for.* This is a good interview, the news hook being the album's 30th anniversary.

How conscious was Prince of assembling for the Revolution that racial and sexuality rainbow you described?
Wendy: He was incredibly conscious of it. Look at the way he looked during Dirty Mind and Controversy and 1999. He was so androgynous. He didn't care if you were [paraphrasing Prince's 'Uptown' lyric] 'black, white, straight, gay, Puerto Rican, just a freakin'.' That guy wanted fans. So anyway he could get them -- and a more interesting way he could do it -- appealed to him. The Sly and the Family Stone mentality, that whole black/white/freaky thing on stage appealed to him.
Lisa: I'll give you an example. We had a photo shoot for the Purple Rain poster. We were all in our different positions and he at one point walked over to me and Wendy and lifted my arm up and put my hand around Wendy's waist and said, 'There.' And that is the poster. That's how precise he was about how he wanted the image of the band to be. He wanted it to be way more obvious. We weren't just the two girls in the band.
Wendy: We were the couple.
Lisa: We were the gay girls in the band. It was very calculated.
Wendy: And how did it make us feel? I felt slightly protected by it, which is really ironic. There was so much mystery around him and he never had to answer to anybody or anything and I was so young and dumb that I thought I could adopt that philosophy.
Lisa: It was validating. It was just, 'Here you go. This is the name of the story and this is what it looks like.' And it was all the more reason why we didn't feel as though we had to talk about it. People just saw it. They bought the records and we were successful, so it wasn't that big a deal. It's like hip-hop today. It's dangerous, but every little kid in the Midwest is rapping.

So Prince knew the full extent of your relationship?
Wendy: He wouldn't spend the night at our house. He was very much aware of it. [During the mid-'80s, Prince dated Wendy's twin sister, Susannah Melvoin, who sang the Family's 1985 version of "Nothing Compares 2 U."]

How far back had you known each other before the Revolution?

Wendy: Lisa and I had known each other since we were two years old. Our families grew up together. We had bands together. We went to the same schools together, the whole thing. And then during those pivotal teenage years, we spent a few years apart. I turned 16 and fell in love with her, and we were a couple for 22 years starting when I was 17. We fell in love in 1980, and we were a full-blown couple from 1981 to 2002.

Did you first think Prince was gay?
Lisa: He was little and kinda prissy and everything. But he's so not gay.
Wendy: He's a girl, for sure, but he's not gay. He looked at me like a gay woman would look at another woman.
Lisa: Totally. He's like a fancy lesbian. ...

Prince certainly played up the ambiguity of his sexuality, and yet many straight men have a certain kind of relationship with lesbians that a gay man doesn't have: It's a turn-on for them. Did you feel at any point as though you were being exploited to assert Prince's heterosexuality?

Wendy: Yes. Towards the very end of our relationship together as a working triumvirate, yes. It felt more like he had used up all he needed from us and he was going on to something else.
Lisa: But do you think that was connected to sexuality?
Wendy: Well, it might've been because he got Cat the dancer and Sheila E. to be in the band and be more sexually irreverent on stage with him, and that kind of played to his heterosexual side. Because as a lesbian couple, we weren't playing that sexuality with him specifically, and I think that maybe he needed more of that playfulness, and that probably came from him wanting to exploit his heterosexual side more. Maybe it was unconscious, but yeah, for sure.

Are you hitting a point in your career where things are finally turning around for you?

Lisa: Now it's kinda just fun. I actually find myself enjoying my memories more.
Wendy: But we'll end up getting more calls from Prince because he can't stand when we talk about him.
Lisa: He's always like, 'Could you just err on the side of privacy?' Well, it was our life too, pal! Whatever. It's okay.
Wendy: Trust me, Barry. He will read this article and we will get a phone call and he'll be pissed. Somewhere in this article he'll find something to be pissed about.

Won't he be proud of you too?
Wendy: No. No. No.
Lisa: He's not very generous like that.

Well, I'll do my best.
Lisa: Make it crazy! I don't care.
Wendy: Holy shit, Lisa. I don't wanna get that call.
Lisa: I'll take the call.

Lol. Go crazy! That is from a 2009 interview The Revolution Will Be Harmonized that still cracks me up. "Could you just err on the side of privacy?" (Prince is a godly man.)

* In 1980, Lisa Coleman replaced Gayle Chapman in Prince's touring band on keyboards and piano. Lisa was asked to contribute vocals to several tracks over his next few albums. In 1983, guitarist Dez Dickerson left the band over religious conflicts. Lisa suggested Wendy, who had been brought on tour, as a replacement. Prince accepted Wendy into the band as they began to record Purple Rain. The film and album were a phenomenon, turning Prince and the newly named Revolution into superstars. Prince's personal life also became intertwined with Wendy's when he began dating her twin sister Susannah.

After Purple Rain, Coleman and Melvoin continued to participate in Prince projects, including Parade, the soundtrack to Prince's film Under the Cherry Moon. In interviews, the two reported they felt they were not getting the recognition and credit they deserved despite their growing contributions to his work. During 1986, Wendy & Lisa became increasingly disillusioned with Prince's decision to expand The Revolution with non-musicians, such as Wally Safford and Greg Brooks, and Prince's increasing machismo that these new members brought with them.

posted by Mary E. Glynn at 7:42 PM

Know Your Place...

President Good Time Charlie lands in China and is greeted less than enthusiastically. Remind me again why America is so submissive to China in trade and human rights issues?*

SEPT. 3, 2016

HANGZHOU, China — White House officials expect sharp words and the occasional elbow when an American president travels to China. But the reception that President Obama and his staff got when they arrived here Saturday afternoon was bruising, even by Chinese standards.

When Air Force One rolled to a stop, there was no staircase for Mr. Obama to disembark in view of the television cameras. Instead, he emerged from a rarely used door in the belly of the plane. It did not matter, since the reporters who normally cover the president’s movements were kept behind a rope under a wing, where they could not see him, prompting an angry exchange between a security official and White House aides.

When Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, ducked under the rope, she was immediately stopped by a Chinese official, who heatedly challenged her. Asked later by a reporter what had happened, a diplomatic Ms. Rice said, “They did things that weren’t anticipated.”
He Who Accepts Insults
Too Will Accept Injury.
~Chinese Fortune cookie.

Let's just requote diplomatic Ms. Rice here, she of the Libya coup campaign...
“They did things that weren’t anticipated.”

Will we continue to be caught off guard by our enemies, or will we get competitive under a non-lame duck President? #ObamaOut, so why are we funding his vacation plans instead of leaving foreign policy strategy to the next president, one who still has his head in the game?

* Do they own all our asses already?

Wednesday, August 31

If at First, You Don't Succeed...

Try, Try Again.

Amen to good advice,
good people, and good thinking.

Keep close those who love you,
and keep their advice in mind as you advance in life.
Sometimes, the Will is just as important as the Way...

Monday, August 29

Many are the Blessings He Bears...

to Those Who Trust in His Ways.

We the daughters and sons of Him,
who built the valleys and plains...
Praise the wonders our God has done,
in every heart that sings.

In His wisdom He strengthens us,
like gold that's tested in fire.
Though the power of sin prevails,
our God is there to save...

Glory and praise to our God,
who alone gives light to our days.
Many are the blessings He bears...
to those who trust in His ways.

Every moment of every day,
our God is waiting to save.
Always ready to seek the lost,
to answer those who pray...
Thanksgiving in August!~

Tuesday, August 23

Big Hands, Little Hands...

"Look, Ma, No Hands!"

American workers understand:
When the call goes out for All Hands on Deck (or, "Everybody In"), there is precious little time to spare for measuring...

Pass the word.


It's not the hidden emails...
it's what was being hidden in the hidden emails that is of importance to the American public.

We deserve to know.
(and the more the Washington media tells us Mr. Trump is a bad, bad man... the more we want to know what they too might be covering up.)

You gotta report something of substance sometime soon, surely, no?

(Cutesy doesn't last forever.)

Monday, August 22

Someday, at the Olympics...

American men won't be "boys"...

My impressions of the Games?
American athletes are either young girls prancing and posing, very athletically, or old boys playing at the amateur levels while being compensated at verrry professional rates.

Why do we do that in America?

Why not let our athletes age and grow up? Sure, Michael Phelps is an amazing swimmer. He's a professional. What other job has he held?

Personally, I think it is sad to think of all the time the man has spent, underwater, going back and forth and back and forth, in a pool... That's child's play.

Sure, it worked for him, as a career. But what comes next? What of the others -- the lost boys? Why don't we let these young men grow up, become fully immersed in the adult world, and compete as grown-ups once their amateur swimming days are over?

They would be healthier overall, no matter their physical conditioning. Goodbye too, to all the tats, the boyish haircuts, and all the other distinguishing factors that kept so many American males competing as boys well into their 20s and 30s, not as men.

Thursday, August 18

The Boys in the Bathroom Who Cried "Cop!"

Let's see if police and journalists can get to the bottom of this matter, figuring out the truth of what really happened:

“This incident has caused so much damage to Rio’s brand abroad that I think Brazilians deserve a clear, consistent account of what happened,” said Brian Winter, vice president for policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas.

The entire episode, Winter said, “has tapped into one of Brazilians’ biggest pet peeves — gringos who treat their country like a third-rate spring break destination where you can lie to the cops and get away with it.”

Wednesday, August 17

Count Your Blessings!

When you think of all the things you want, but don't have...

Don't forget to count all the things you don't want that you don't have...


Tuesday, August 16

Eternal Life with Oliver.

"Please, Sir, I want some more..."

RIP John McLaughlin.

During the December 26, 2014, year-end awards episode of The McLaughlin Group, JohnMcLaughlin ended the show saying:
"Person of the year: Pope Francis, especially now that he's told that animals can go to heaven. And Oliver is up there waiting for me."
Oliver Productions, Inc., is named after McLaughlin's pet dog — a basset — and is seen in an animation as part of the brand logo shown at the close of each show. Oliver shared their Watergate apartment during McLaughlin's tenure as speechwriter for President Nixon.
His show was legend.
In a 1992 profile in The Times, Mr. McLaughlin defended his style. “Does this depreciate journalism?” he asked. “Not one damned bit. Journalists can get very pompous, especially in the formalized days of ‘Meet the Press,’ when they took themselves so damned seriously. This show demythologizes the press, and I think people like that.”

A Song for the Nation.

Crazy Train
Crazy... but that's how it goes.
Millions of people living as foes.
Maybe? It's not too late....
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate...

Mental wounds not healing...
Life's a bitter shame...
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train.
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train.

I've listened to preachers;
I've listened to fools;
I've watched all the dropouts who make their own rules.
One person conditioned to rule and control.
The media sells it and you live the role.

Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train.
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train.

I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words, yeah, yeah

Heirs of a Cold War,
That's what we've become
Inheriting troubles,
We're mentally numb.
Crazy, I just cannot bear.
I'm living with something that just isn't fair...

Mental wounds not healing.
Who and what's to blame?
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train
Imagine if we could devote as much attention and resources to ... retaking some of the combat zones in the inner cities of our own country, before we go picking more fights in lands far, far away?

Imagine how much safer and secure we'd all be at home,
and how that would stimulate spending and growth.

We're going off the rails on a Crazy Train!
~ Ozzy, of course.


Monday, August 15

If You Liked George W. Bush...

You'll Loooove Hillary Clinton!



Are the millennial Bernie voters young enough, and dumb enough, to fall for the false promises of the Clinton campaign?

Time will tell...
(I'm betting not. They might be young and green about the workings of the world, but surely they are not that stupid still...)


Why Jamaicans Can Run:
By the time I went to high school, in the ’50s, track and field was as popular among my friends as baseball was among kids my age in Brooklyn. My heroes were the runners who had triumphed at Helsinki. Noel A. White, one of our country’s most revered coaches, joined Foster to coach my high school to Champs victory in 1957. White was also my homeroom and history teacher, and he coached me after school, free of charge, to the top of my graduating class and a university scholarship.

But the institution is only part of the answer. These efforts succeeded because of an abundance of very healthy children and young people — the result not of Jamaica’s mountainous terrain, as some have claimed, but of the extraordinary success of a public health campaign partly spearheaded in the 1920s by specialists from the Rockefeller Foundation.

The program began in the small town of May Pen, where I later grew up. It emphasized hygiene, clean water and fecal and mosquito control. The old mantras “healthy bodies, healthy minds” and “cleanliness is next to godliness” took hold in our communities and primary schools, whose teachers were recruited in the public health campaign. Running, as the cheapest sport, was the natural beneficiary of this movement. As a child, Usain Bolt received his initial training at a remote, poorly equipped rural grade school.

The result was what the historical demographer James Riley calls the Jamaican paradox: one of the rare instances of a poor country with the life expectancy of an advanced society, a health transition that began in the 1920s and improved at one of the fastest paces on record, from 36 years at birth in 1920 to 70 by 1977. It’s no accident that the oldest individual medalist in Olympic track history is a Jamaican woman, Merlene Ottey, who was still sprinting in international meets at age 52.

Yet another factor is Jamaicans’ combative individualism, the dark side of which is the country’s chronic violence. Its bright side, though, is extreme self-reliance — which, along with effective health policy, is Riley’s main explanation for the life-expectancy paradox. But it also dovetails nicely with running, in which performance is entirely up to the athlete.

Jamaican track is a far cry from the British ethic of winning with grace. One Olympic medalist and alumnus of one of the dominant schools at Champs was quoted by the writer Richard Moore as telling young athletes:
“One thing we go out there for, and that’s to win. To win. To win. To win. To win. To dominate. To crush them!”
The world got a taste of Jamaica’s cutthroat track culture in Beijing, where Bolt, on the verge of winning the 100 meters in record time, slowed down, thumped his chest and spread his arms in a taunting, triumphant gesture. “We are a confident people,” he later told the BBC.
The remarkable success of Jamaicans in building the institutions of a globally dominant sports enterprise and a complementary system of public health is a positive story, but it raises another question: Why have they failed so badly in developing a successful economy?

The answer is complex and incomplete. But it might lie in a deeper truth about the island. Political and economic successes are often top-down, relying on leadership that adapts and manages appropriate institutions that also benefit the non-elite. But things like health reform and sports success — and the reggae industry, for that matter — are largely bottom-up. Jamaica is yet to acquire the leadership for national development it deserves. But it has no lack of talent, energy and self-reliance — qualities as evident in health statistics as they are on the track.