Music Suffers More Loss

Closing Thought–26Oct20

It has been a bad year for music…..rock and country…..and the losses are not finished yet.

Arlo Guthrie, the son of famed folk singer and activist Woody Guthrie has decided that he will no longer tour and give live performances….

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant—but it appears we’ve seen Arlo Guthrie tell us that in person for the last time. In lengthy posts on his Facebook page and website, the 73-year-old folk singer announced Friday he’s retiring from performance immediately. He’s canceled numerous shows he had planned around the country for the next year and said he won’t be booking any more, per the AP. “It’s been a great 50-plus years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible,” he said in the statement titled “Gone Fishing.” Guthrie didn’t respond to email and phone messages asking to elaborate, but he indicated in his statement that health issues played a major role. He said he’d suffered two strokes in recent years, including a serious one that hospitalized him for several days last year.

The son of folk music legend Woody Guthrie rose to overnight fame in 1967 with the release of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” a hilarious 18-minute talking blues ballad about how his Thanksgiving Day 1965 arrest for littering kept him out of the Army during the Vietnam War. He went on to record more than 30 albums, write several children’s books, and occasionally appear in TV shows and films, including playing himself in the 1969 movie “Alice’s Restaurant.” Guthrie, who frequently declined to play “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” for audiences over the years, had planned to perform it at next year’s shows. In July he released a new song, Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More,” and indicated Friday that his retiring from the stage doesn’t mean he’ll go away completely. “In fact, I hope to be a thorn in the side of a new administration pretty soon,” he said in a veiled reference to President Trump.

This is not the only bad news……country rock musician Jerry Jeff Walker has died…..he was most famous for the hit song Mr. Bo Jangles….

Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” has died at age 78. Walker died Friday of cancer, family spokesman John T. Davis told the AP. “He had battled throat cancer for many years, and some other health issues,” Davis said Saturday. Walker emerged from New York’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s and he was a founding member of the band Circus Maximus. He moved to Texas in the 1970s and in 1972 scored a hit with his version of the Guy Clark song “LA Freeway.” Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band in 1973 recorded an album live in Texas called “Viva Terlingua” that became a classic of the country-rock scene. Walker had since released more than 30 albums.

In 1986, he formed independent music label Tried & True Music and released albums under it. Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, he told the Austin American Statesman in 2018. “I guess I took my singing for granted, and now I don’t,” he told the newspaper. In 2017, it was announced that Walker had donated more than 100 boxes of his music archives to The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, including tapes, photographs, hand-written lyrics, and artifacts. Walker’s survivors include his wife, Susan, son, Django, and daughter, Jessie Jane.

But for me his best song was …..

I’m an old fart so I remember both these artists as if they were here yesterday…..

The one I did not know was Viola Smith the World’s Fastest Girl Drummer”…..

The “fastest girl drummer in the world” is gone. Viola Smith, a swing musician who fought for female inclusion in the big-band era, died Wednesday at home in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Washington Post reports. She was 107. At a time when jazz giants like Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman dominated the dance-band world, Smith led her own group—the all-female Coquettes—with a 12-drum kit that featured two big tom-toms by her shoulders. The band was best-known for the playful arabesque “The Snake Charmer” with Smith’s dramatic drum-frills. She also made waves with a 1942 DownBeat essay called “Give Girl Musicians a Break!” that urged top band leaders to include more women—especially with so many men fighting in World War II.

“Instead of replacing them with what may be mediocre talent, why not let some of the great girl musicians of the country take their places?” she wrote. “Girls work right along beside men in the factories, in the offices. … So why not in dance bands?” They mostly didn’t, but Smith found steady work in Phil Spitalny’s all-girl band—which played in the Abbott & Costello comedy Here Come the Co-Eds—and later in the Kit Kat Band jazz quartet heard in the musical Cabaret on Broadway, per the Guardian. Born in Wisconsin in 1912, Smith lived much of her life on the road, then moved to New York, and later settled in Costa Mesa. She left no immediate survivors. “I really had a charmed life,” she told Tom Tom in 2013. “Unless people call drumming work. Then I worked hard in my life.”

They will be missed.

Thanx for the memories.

That Tank!

I recently read an article about the massive and impressive tank……but before I go into the article let us look at the tank….which is a little over 100 years old and has been a supporting player in every war since World War One.

Let us now turn to a little history of the tank.

The weapon known as the tank was invented by the British in 1916…..

The first official photograph taken of a Tank going into action, at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15th September 1916. The man shown is wearing a leather tank helmet.

The concept of a vehicle to provide troops with both mobile protection and firepower was not a new one. But in the First World War, the increasing availability of the internal combustion engine, armour plate and the continuous track, as well as the problem of trench warfare, combined to facilitate the production of the tank.

The name ‘tank’ came from British attempts to ensure the secrecy of the new weapons under the guise of water tanks. During the First World War, Britain began the serious development of the tank. Ironically, the Royal Navy led the way with the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, establishing the Landships Committee in early 1915.

The military combined with engineers and industrialists and by early 1916 a prototype was adopted as the design of future tanks. Britain used tanks in combat for the first time in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-britain-invented-the-tank-in-the-first-world-war

Then when the US entered WW1 and the US became a major proponent to tank used in warfare…..

Most American military observers were unimpressed but some officers felt differently. Even before the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France, General Pershing took a liking to the tank. Seeing the metal monster in action, Pershing ordered the formation of an American tank corps before the end of 1917.

Two men, who would go on to become major figures during the next world war, began fitting this new battlefield beast into the U.S. army’s ranks. In France Captain George Patton worked hard to assemble the U.S. Tank Corps, while in the U.S., Captain Dwight Eisenhower helped create the U.S. Tank Service.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a17015005/history-american-tank/

We all remember seeing the impressive sight of the American tanks screaming across Iraq in the 1990s and again in 2003….and of course the tank was credited with our quick successes in both those invasions.

Recently there has been less and less dependence on tanks in our many asymmetric conflicts….and some are proposing a radical idea.

From the day that the concept of a tank was introduced there has been debate about the utility of these vehicles. Hard to build, difficult to man and drive, and ultimately vulnerable once deployed, tanks have never been the perfect package that they externally represent. The late Professor Ogorkiewicz wrote in his 2016 book Tanks, of how Lieutenant Colonel J. F. C. Fuller came to realise the limits of tanks during the 1917 Ypres offensive.  And, following that war, only Britain and France continued to see utility in the tank for close to a decade, before the Soviet Union began to enter the field.

The contemporary discussion around the abiding value of the tank is not therefore new, however the context and the nature of the modern battlefield has changed considerably since 1916, and this in turn warrants a different discussion around the value of the tank. To be clear, this article is intended to initiate discussion, it is a reflection of those issues that must be considered when balancing forces. There is value to any asset deployed to the battlefield, from an entrenching shovel to aircraft carriers, providing that they are used properly and adequately supported.

We have chosen three select areas, which all influence the utility of tanks; the Totality of the Battlefield (TotB), the totality of technology, and the totality of society. Much of this discussion should be regarded as a “Red Team Exercise”, a deliberate attempt to pull apart entrenched thinking. And, while it is framed against the current climate that prevails within the British Army, it should be understood that these considerations will apply in some measure to every single force in the world.

The tank is dead. Long live the tank.

Could this be the beginning of the end for our beloved tanks?

Well let’s look….an Abrams cost about $4.3 million and cost annually about $250,000……that does not include fuel for the many trips to the battlefield.

With Napoleonic battles a thing of the past it would make sense to rid the burden to tanks and their upkeep from the military budget.

Any Thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dear Democrats–Great Idea But Laughable

I have often stated that I think Dems have great ideas they just suck at politics…..and a recent attempt by Progressives if Biden is elected is another of those great ideas I speak of but it is also goddam hilarious.

The Progressive want Biden to pledge to deny lobbyists and other sycophants places in the cabinet….

A group of progressive lawmakers, candidates, and organizations have collectively signed a letter urging Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to eschew appointing corporate executives and lobbyists to his administration if he is elected, Politico reported Friday. 

According to Politico, signatories to the letter include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and New York congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman.

Groups that signed include Public Citizen, Communications Workers of America, Greenpeace USA, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee—which is closely associated with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Our Revolution, founded by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“One of the most important lessons of the Trump administration is the need to stop putting corporate officers and lobbyists in charge of our government,” the letter, which was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday morning, states.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/16/aoc-and-other-top-progressives-urge-biden-if-elected-deny-k-street-wall-street-execs

Let me reiterate….a great idea….but laughable.

Does anyone really think that Biden will ignore all those big dollar donors after he is elected?  Again damn laughable!

A great idea that is more theatrics than actual policy desires…..

I am all for getting “fat cats” out of the government but it is just a dream that they will ever be eliminated from the reins of power…..after all they do want something for all that cash they spread about like so much fertilizer.

Money is why you will never be in government….that is unless you sell what is left of your soul to the soulless….it is never about the service but rather the money and the influence.

I have let it be known what I think we should do with these sycophants…..https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/arrest-the-lot-of-them/

Dems please stop cracking wise and focus on an actual Progressive agenda that will benefit the people….all the people.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump’s Family Attacks

The final push for the vote in 2020 and I want to just help the info out if you are still trying to decide which old fart gets your vote.

Let’s look at Trump policies toward families and then you tell me where he has done a good job…..we all have heard the horror story about the missing children from the border….545 to be honest….probably more…..but here is what Trump has had to say about this situation….

In response to a question about the more than 500 parents who have yet to be found after they were separated from their children under Trump administration’s “zero tolerance policy”—which forcibly broke up thousands of families before it was halted in June of 2018—President Donald Trump said that “children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels,” a claim immigrant rights groups rejected.

“Fact check: Migrant children separated by the Trump administration during Zero Tolerance came with their families, not coyotes,” the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services tweeted. “We know. We worked with the children who were sent to shelters after being separated. Facts matter.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/23/cruelty-was-always-plan-pressed-mass-family-separations-final-debate-trump-smears

Center for American Progress has done a look around at the Trump family policies…..

The long-term well-being of the United States is rooted in how well we invest in young children and prepare them to lead the country, drive economic growth, and build strong families. This requires children to have their basic needs met: food, housing, safe caregiving, and adequate medical care. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s policies have undone many of these goals.

For the past four years, the administration has undermined basic supports—in particular, targeting Black families, Indigenous families, and other families of color, as well as families with low incomes and immigrant families. Now, as the nation faces a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting these same communities, the administration’s unique failure to respond to the coronavirus crisis is exacerbating existing harms that will negatively impact a generation of children.

Here are five ways that the Trump administration’s policies are harming children:

5 Ways the Trump Administration’s Policies Have Harmed Children

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iran Did It!

Just a mere year ago the term was “Russia Did It”….and now to reinforce the lame attacks on Iran they are in the same boat as Russia with their meddling in our elections.

Sorry but the timing of this accusation smells like bovine fecal matter….and coming from the DNI, Ratcliffe makes it smell that much louder.

But this is what I am going on about…..

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

https://www.axios.com/fbi-russia-iran-voter-registration-information-f9ba3ba8-bf0b-4694-bcab-35493aba27a5.html

As usual the media does its part to prop up a lie or the disinformation…….

Why do I say this?

“This really left me shaking my head,” a former senior official with the National Security Agency said of the press conference. The intelligence community “has a ton of information” on foreign interference in elections. “The example they gave was pretty silly … ridiculous.” The Iranian operation, besides being clumsy, wasn’t even a big deal: Voter registration records are public documents, readily available; it takes no master hacker to obtain them.

Why then did Ratcliffe hold this hastily called and absurdly overdramatized press conference? His purpose seems to have been blatantly partisan: to help Trump win the election by saying that Iran, which is commonly viewed as a hostile actor, wants him to lose.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/10/iran-election-interference-russia-proud-boys.html

Why indeed?

Could it be to instill some fear in the voter and in doing so collect some more votes?

Ratcliffe has been carrying water for this president a long time…..he is a prime example of the term “sycophant”.

To be fair I would like to give Iran’s response to Ratcliffe’s accusation…..

The Iranian government is rejecting as “absurd” and “dangerous” U.S. intelligence officials’ allegations Wednesday evening that Tehran was behind a torrent of threatening emails recently sent to registered Democratic voters and designed to appear as if they were sent by the Proud Boys, a violent pro-Trump group.

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, said in a statement that the accusations—leveled by U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray during an unusual Wednesday night press conference—are “nothing more than another scenario to undermine voter confidence in the security of the U.S. election.”

“Unlike the U.S., Iran does not interfere in other countries’ elections. The world has been witnessing the U.S.’s own desperate public attempts to question the outcome of its own elections at the highest level,” Miryousefi added, apparently referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to preemptively sow doubt about the election’s legitimacy. “Iran has no interest in interfering in the U.S. election and no preference for the outcome. The U.S. must end its malign and dangerous accusations against Iran.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/22/iran-denies-malign-and-dangerous-us-allegations-election-interference-critics-note

The Iranian spokesman does have a point….the US has been known to interfere with other country’s election processes….

What do I think?

It is a bit too suspicious that this revelation has been made just days before the vote….and this administration has proven to be anything but reliable and honest.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”