R.I.P. In 2020

WE know of all the “famous” people that died in 2020 like country singer Charlie Pride and RBG and Eddie Van Halen among others but there were others that were equally important and this post is just my way of acknowledging their passing….

Elizabeth Wurtzel, 52. Her blunt and painful confessions of her struggles with addiction and depression in the bestselling Prozac Nation made her a voice and a target for an anxious generation. Jan. 7. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, 79. He was the Mideast’s longest-ruling monarch who seized power in Oman in a 1970 palace coup and pulled his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between adversaries Iran and the US. Jan. 11. Thomas Railsback, 87. An Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Nixon in 1974. Jan. 20. Bernard Ebbers, 78. The former chief of WorldCom who was convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history. Feb. 2. Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, 86. A longtime associate of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa who became a leading suspect in the labor leader’s disappearance and later was portrayed in the Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman. Feb. 13. Sy Sperling, 78. The Hair Club for Men founder who was famous for the TV commercials where he proclaimed “I’m not only the Hair Club president but I’m also a client.” Feb. 19. Thich Quang Do, 91. A Buddhist monk who became the public face of religious dissent in Vietnam while the Communist government kept him in prison or under house arrest for more than 20 years. Feb. 22.

Max von Sydow, 90. The actor known to art house audiences through his work with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and later to moviegoers everywhere when he played the priest in the horror classic The Exorcist. March 8. Rev. Darius L. Swann, 95. His challenge to the notion of segregated public schools helped spark the use of busing to integrate schools across the country. March 8. Tom Dempsey, 73. The NFL kicker born without toes on his kicking foot who made a then-record 63-yard field goal. April 4. Earl Graves Sr., 85. He championed Black businesses as the founder of the first African American-owned magazine focusing on Black entrepreneurs. April 6. Herbert Stempel, 93. A fall guy and whistleblower of early television whose confession to deliberately losing on a 1950s quiz show helped drive a national scandal and join his name in history to winning contestant Charles Van Doren. April 7. Linda Tripp, 70. Her secretly taped conversations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky provided evidence of an affair with President Bill Clinton that led to his impeachment. April 8. Phyllis Lyon, 95. A gay rights pioneer who, with her longtime partner, was among the first same-sex couples to marry in California when it became legal to do so in 2008. April 9.
Astrid Kirchherr, 81. She was the German photographer who shot some of the earliest and most striking images of the Beatles and helped shape their trend-setting visual style. May 12.

Ken Osmond, 76. On TV’s Leave It to Beaver, he played two-faced teenage scoundrel Eddie Haskell, a role so memorable it left him typecast and led to a second career as a police officer. May 18. Christo, 84. He was known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects that often involved wrapping large structures in fabric. May 31. Shigeru Yokota, 87. A Japanese campaigner for the return of his daughter and more than a dozen others who were abducted to North Korea in the 1970s. June 5. Bonnie Pointer, 69. She convinced three of her church-singing siblings to form the Pointer Sisters, which would become one of the biggest acts of the 1970s and ’80s. June 8. Charles Webb, 81. A lifelong nonconformist whose debut novel The Graduate was a deadpan satire of his college education and wealthy background adapted into the classic film of the same name. June 16. Milton Glaser, 91. The groundbreaking graphic designer who adorned Bob Dylan’s silhouette with psychedelic hair and summed up the feelings for his home state with “I (HEART) NY.” June 26. Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 82. He was the last of three one-time Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four Black girls and was the deadliest single attack of the civil rights movement. June 26.

Mary Kay Letourneau, 58. A teacher who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted of raping him in a case that drew international headlines. July 6. Joanna Cole, 75. The author whose Magic School Bus books transported millions of young people on extraordinary and educational adventures. July 12. Connie Culp, 57. She was the recipient of the first partial face transplant in the US. July 29. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, 83. A prolific Jewish scholar who spent 45 years compiling a monumental and ground-breaking translation of the Talmud. Aug. 7. Gail Sheehy, 83. A journalist, commentator and pop sociologist whose best-selling Passages helped millions navigate their lives from early adulthood to middle age and beyond. Aug. 24. Lady Yvonne Sursock Cochrane, 98. One of Lebanon’s most prominent philanthropists and a pioneer defender of the country’s heritage. Aug. 31. Injuries suffered from a massive explosion in Beirut.

Kaing Guek Eav, 77. Known as Duc, he was the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, who admitted overseeing the torture and killings of as many as 16,000 Cambodians while running the regime’s most notorious prison. Sept. 2. Winston Groom, 77. The writer whose novel Forrest Gump was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop culture phenomenon. Sept. 17. Rev. Robert Graetz, 92. The only white minister to support the Montgomery bus boycott and who became the target of scorn and bombings for doing so. Sept. 20. Ang Rita, 72. A veteran Nepalese Sherpa guide who was the first person to climb Mount Everest 10 times. Sept. 21. Timothy Ray Brown, 54. He made history as “the Berlin patient,” the first person known to be cured of HIV infection. Sept. 29. Bernard S. Cohen, 86. He won a landmark case that led to the Supreme Court’s rejection of laws forbidding interracial marriage and later went on to a successful political career as a state legislator. Oct. 12. Christopher Pendergast, 71. A suburban New York teacher who turned a Lou Gehrig’s disease diagnosis into a decades-long campaign to raise awareness and fund research. Oct. 14. James Randi, 92. A magician who later challenged spoon benders, mind readers and faith healers with such voracity that he became regarded as the country’s foremost skeptic. Oct. 20.

Diane di Prima, 86. A poet, activist and teacher who was one of the last surviving members of the Beats and one of the few women writers in the Beat movement. Oct. 25. David Dinkins, 93. He broke barriers as New York City’s first African American mayor but was doomed to a single term by a soaring murder rate, stubborn unemployment and his mishandling of a riot in Brooklyn. Nov. 23. Dave Prowse, 85. The British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of archvillain Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Nov. 28. Rafer Johnson, 86. He won the decathlon at the 1960 Rome Olympics and helped subdue Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin in 1968. Dec. 2. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, 97. The World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who in 1947 became the first person to fly faster than sound. Dec. 7.

So many…..

May their families and friends find the peace of mind that they need.

May they all Rest In Peace

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dead Before He had His Chance

A tragic death for a soon to be representative before he was sworn in from his station in the government……the representative-elect from Louisiana…..

Luke Letlow, Louisiana’s incoming Republican member of the US House, died Tuesday night from complications related to COVID-19 only days before he would have been sworn into office, the AP reports. He was 41. Letlow spokesman Andrew Bautsch confirmed the congressman-elect’s death at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport. “The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” Bautsch said in a statement. “A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.” Louisiana’s eight-member congressional delegation called Letlow’s death devastating, and US House leaders were also offering their condolences. Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two children, Jeremiah and Jacqueline.

The state’s newest congressman, set to take office in January, was admitted to a Monroe hospital on Dec. 19 after testing positive for the coronavirus. He was later transferred to the Shreveport facility and placed in intensive care. Dr. GE Ghali of LSU Health Shreveport told the Advocate that Letlow didn’t have any underlying health conditions that would have placed him at greater risk from COVID-19. Letlow, from the small town of Start in Richland Parish, was elected in a December runoff election for the sprawling 5th District US House seat representing central and northeastern regions of the state, including the cities of Monroe and Alexandria. He was to fill the seat being vacated by his boss, Republican Ralph Abraham. Letlow had been Abraham’s chief of staff and ran with Abraham’s backing for the job.

My first thought was if he is a GOPer was he one that flaunted the calls for social distancing and masks?

The reports are that he had mixed use of masks….could that have led to his death?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Charley Pride–R.I.P.

And his name can be added o those already dead from Covid…

His name is Charley Pride…..

Charley Pride, country music’s first Black star whose rich baritone on such hits as “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” helped sell millions of records and made him the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died. He was 86, the AP reports. Pride died Saturday in Dallas of complications from COVID-19, according to a public relations rep. “I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away,” Dolly Parton tweeted. “It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19.” Pride released dozens of albums and sold more than 25 million records during a career that began in the mid-1960s. Hits besides “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” in 1971 included “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Burgers and Fries,” and “Mountain of Love.”

He had three Grammy Awards, more than 30 No. 1 hits between 1969 and 1984, won the Country Music Association’s Top Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year awards in 1972, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Until the early 1990s, when Cleve Francis came along, Pride was the only Black country singer signed to a major label. In 1993, he joined the Grand Ole Opry cast in Nashville. “They used to ask me how it feels to be the ‘first colored country singer,'” he told the Dallas Morning News in 1992. “This country is so race-conscious, so ate-up with colors and pigments. I call it ‘skin hangups’—it’s a disease.” In 2008 while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award in Mississippi, Pride said he never focused on race.

Us old farts that use to enjoy country music will remember his name……most social media addicts may not…..that is why I give you one of his many hits…..

I offer his family and friends my condolences…..may he forever Rest In Peace…..

Sorry for the sad note to end my Sunday postings…..

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11Dec20

This post should have been made yesterday but I got side-tracked with life…..I apologize.

On 10 December 1967—the day the music died.

One of my favorite musicians died in that plane crash…..Otis Redding.

His song “Dock Of The Bay” was a standard for us in Vietnam…..and to this day I get goose bumps when I hear him sing…..especially that song.

The song is a classic and should NEVER be re-recorded. PERIOD!

On December 10, 1967, a plane carrying Otis Redding and other members of his band, The Bar-Kays, plunged into Lake Monona.

They were on their way to a show, when their twin-engine aircraft crashed in the lake, miles from the airport. Redding, 26, a soul singer and songwriter, along with six others, died in the crash.

https://madison.com/gallery/news/archives/photos-from-history-redding-plane-crashes-in-lake-monona/collection_55f50468-1b64-11ea-95e6-9b97aa9fe109.html#1

Learn more about the Voice of Soul……

https://www.biography.com/musician/otis-redding

In his memory I would like to present his song that I still cannot get enough of…..and the memories flood back into my psyche.

May he Rest In Peace….we miss you.

Be Well….Be Safe….

Weird Historic Deaths

Most of my regulars know that I do like me some history and I try to find cool and interesting stuff to help my readers learn about our distant past.

Deaths!

We know about Julius Caesar and Spartan kings and Socrates….among others.

These deaths are pretty straight forward….assassination, poison, combat….but there are also deaths that can be explained as…well….weird.

There is never an easy time to be alive. The New York Times claims that, in 3,400 years of recorded history, humanity has only been at peace for a grand total of 268 years, or eight percent of the time. And as world diplomacy becomes increasingly complex and national interests rub up against one another, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be adding to that total anytime soon.

But perhaps it’s fair to say that some periods of time are more unpredictable, or rather that societies were so ungovernable that very strange things could occur. This is true especially of the ancient world, when democracy was experimental and science was equal parts observation, interpretation, and superstition, a way of looking at the world that was both searching and naive.

From domestic life to war, from private passions to public performance, the lives of ancient people have suddenly ended in the most unexpected ways. That’s not say that each of the ancients in this article should be receiving a long-overdue Darwin Award, but their deaths constitute such overwhelming weirdness that their stories have been transmitted down the millennia. There’s an element of timelessness to them, and once you read about them, you won’t be able to get them out of your head.

Draco–Death By Applause

https://www.grunge.com/244727/the-weirdest-deaths-from-ancient-history/

Strange deaths…..stuff that is not taught in your typical history class….and that is why the Old Professor is here……to teach the stuff others ignore.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Jail, The Killing Fields

The election is over and time to return to looking and posting on society and the problems that need attention.

We have been bombarded with the tragic deaths of people that are being taken into custody by the people……the protests are justified….the violence, in my opinion, is justified by the protesters for those sent to “control” protests are showing NO mercy to the people or their rights.

However there is a part of this story that goes virtually under reported…..deaths will accused are in jail awaiting trial……nearly 5000 deaths in a decade of accused dying in jail for various reasons….

7,571 inmate deaths Reuters documented in an unprecedented examination of mortality in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2008 to 2019. Death rates have soared in those lockups, rising 35% over the decade ending last year. Casualties like Hill are typical: held on minor charges and dying without ever getting their day in court. At least two-thirds of the dead inmates identified by Reuters, 4,998 people, were never convicted of the charges on which they were being held.

Unlike state and federal prisons, which hold people convicted of serious crimes, jails are locally run lockups meant to detain people awaiting arraignment or trial, or those serving short sentences. The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the U.S. criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty.

The Reuters analysis revealed a confluence of factors that can turn short jail stays into death sentences. Many jails are not subject to any enforceable standards for their operation or the healthcare they provide. They typically get little if any oversight. And bail requirements trap poorer inmates in pre-trial detention for long periods. Meanwhile, inmate populations have grown sicker, more damaged by mental illness and plagued by addictions.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-jails-deaths/

This is unacceptable….but do I need quote the Constitution? 

Damn silly question!

Of course I do!

The U.S. Constitution grants inmates core rights, but those provisions are hard to enforce. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees fair treatment to pre-trial detainees, but “fair” is open to interpretation by judges and juries. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel punishment forbids “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners,” but proving deliberate negligence is difficult. The Sixth Amendment assures speedy trials, but does not define speedy.

Don’t trust me…then I suggest you look it the fuck up!

Here is one proposal…..

End pretrial detention for most defendants

Problem: Many people who face criminal charges are unnecessarily detained before trial. Often the sole criteria for release is access to money for bail. This puts pressure on defendants to accept plea bargains, even when they are innocent, since even a few days in jail can destabilize their lives: they can lose their apartment, job, and even custody of children. Pretrial detention also leads to jail overcrowding, which means more dangerous conditions for people in jail, and also drives sheriffs’ demands for more and bigger jails — wasting taxpayer dollars on more unnecessary incarceration.

Solutions: States are addressing this problem with a variety of approaches, including bail reforms that end or severely restrict the use of money bail, establishing the presumption of pretrial release for all cases with conditions only when necessary, and offering pretrial services such as postcard or phone reminders to appear in court, transportation and childcare assistance for court appearances, and referrals to drug treatment, mental health services, and other needed social services.

Any thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

I Read I Write You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Say Good-Bye to James Bond

Sad news…..I am a huge James Bond fan…..and was thrilled when they brought Ian Fleming’s books to the big screen…..now my favorite James Bond has died…..Sean Connery.

He was the first actor, and many say the best, to portray James Bond in the spy film series. Now, a goodbye to the original 007: The family of Sir Sean Connery says the Scottish actor has died at the age of 90, reports the BBC. Connery kicked off his role as a British MI6 agent in 1962’s Dr. No, based on the books by author Ian Fleming, and went on to star in seven of the franchise’s films. He was also known for his wide span of other movie roles, including The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock, and 1987’s The Untouchables, for which he won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Irish cop Jimmy Malone.

Born Thomas Sean Connery in Edinburgh, Connery grew up poor and first toiled as an unskilled laborer, until he joined the Royal Navy at age 17, per Variety. He left a few years later due to health issues and worked various jobs before he started entering bodybuilding contests; he even placed third in an early-50s Mr. Universe competition. His trajectory changed when he moved to London and heard about a part in South Pacific: He took a crash course in singing and dancing and surprisingly got the part. He worked for various repertory companies in and near London for several years before his first Bond role. Connery was formally knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, earning him the right to use “Sir” in front of his name. Connery is survived by his wife of 40-plus years, Micheline Roquebrune, as well as son Jason Connery and a grandson.

I realize that Sean Connery was a masterful actor….but for me he brought a fiction hero to life and he will always be the best James Bond in my book…all the others were just pale imitations.

He was missed when the actor change came and he will be missed now.

May he Rest In Peace.

Please share your thoughts as well.

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Killings By Police

I have written many times about the deaths caused by the police mostly against people of color and how that can be eliminated….for one stop equipping the police with military weapons……that could go s long way at solving this murder problem of people of color.

Why would I say that?

There is a body of proof that illustrates the PDsm that get military equipment have a higher kill ratio of the public than those that do not get the equipment from the DoD.

Americans have seen it time and again in recent months on the nightly news: Protesters in the streets confronted by local police officers carrying assault rifles, some atop armored vehicles, looking more like soldiers than public servants.

Much of that equipment has trickled down to police departments from a controversial Defense Department initiative known as the 1033 program, a 30-year-old federal initiative that provides a way for the military to dispose of surplus equipment by sending it to local police.

The results paint a troubling picture: The more equipment a department receives, the more people are shot and killed, even after accounting for violent crime, race, income, drug use and population.

Only 7% of Georgia’s law enforcement agencies received surplus military gear at any time over the 10 years, but those agencies accounted for 17% of the 261 people shot and killed by police.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/10/09/police-killings-more-likely-agencies-get-military-gear-data-shows.html

Instead of basically giving this equipment away why cannot the DoD sell it to Third World countries that could use it for their own defense and the US could recoup a bit of the cash it spent funding the development of this equipment?

Just A Though!

For those inquiring minds……further reading will fill any gaps….

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/07/closing-thought-07sep18/

https://lobotero.com/2020/07/21/is-it-police-reform-or-defund-or-abolition/

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/24/de-fund-the-police/

There is more….but it will take some interest if you would like to search IST…..

Time for the Police to return to their motto of “protect and serve” and leave the fascistic BS of “punish and enslave” to the garbage heap of history.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Death Of Che

Today in history….1781 the American forces started shelling British forces at Yorktown signalling the war is near a close.

Speaking of revolutionary fighters…….

On this day in history the revolutionary guerilla fighter Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed in Bolivia……09 October 1967.

On October 9, 1967, socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara, age 39, is killed by the Bolivian army. The U.S.-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October 8 while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and executed him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1997, Guevara’s remains were found and sent back to Cuba, where they were reburied in a ceremony attended by President Fidel Castro and thousands of Cubans.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/che-guevara-is-executed

What about his life as a fighter and later a statesman…..

Guevara became part of Fidel Castro’s efforts to overthrow the Batista government in Cuba. He served as a military advisor to Castro and led guerrilla troops in battles against Batista forces. When Castro took power in 1959, Guevara became in charge of La Cabaña Fortress prison. It is estimated that at least 144 people were executed on Guevara’s extra-judicial orders during this time.

Later, he became president of the Cuban national bank and helped to shift the country’s trade relations from the United States to the Soviet Union. Guevara addressed the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1964, where he also expressed support for the people of Puerto Rico. One year later, he was appointed minister of industry. Guevara left this post in 1965 to export the ideas of Cuba’s revolution to other parts of the world. In 1966, he began to try to incite the people of Bolivia to rebel against their government, but had little success. With only a small guerrilla force to support his efforts, Guevara was captured and killed on October 9, 1967 in La Higuera by the Bolivian army, which had been aided by CIA advisers.

https://www.history.com/topics/south-america/che-guevara

I have read his book on guerilla warfare…..very informative and should be required reading by the people that lead us to war whenever it is needed (needed in their tiny minds)…..

For those that would like to know more then may I suggest the book…..you can find the books…”Guerilla Warfare and “Che Guevara: a Revolutionary Life” on Amazon and both are well worth reading for a better look into the life of this complex individual.

Be Smart!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

It’s Been A Bad Week For Music

It has been a horrible week for music icons from them70s and 80s…….death has taken two of the greats from the era…..Mac Davis and Helen Reddy.

First Helen Reddy…..

Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her rousing feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78. Reddy’s children Traci and Jordan announced that the actor-singer died Tuesday in Los Angeles, the AP reports. “She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and a truly formidable woman,” they said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.” Reddy’s 1971 version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No. 1. The Australian-born singer enjoyed a prolific career, appearing in Airport 1975 as a singing nun and scoring several hits, including “Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady,” “Delta Dawn,” “Angie Baby,” and “You and Me Against the World.”

In 1973 she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for “I Am Woman,” quickly thanking, among others, “God because she makes everything possible” in her acceptance speech. The song, which she also performed at the awards ceremony, would become her biggest hit, used in films and television series. In a 2012 interview with the AP, Reddy cited the gigantic success of “I Am Woman” as one of the reasons she stepped out of public life. “That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book,” she said. “And I thought, `Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.’ So, it was an easy withdrawal.” Reddy’s death comes less than three weeks after the release of a biopic about her life called I Am Woman.

Next was Mac Davis…….

Mac Davis, who wrote hits including “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto” for Elvis Presley before forging a successful solo career, has died. Jim Morey, the 78-year-old’s longtime manager, says Davis died Tuesday in Nashville after becoming critically ill following heart surgery. As a country singer in the ’70s and ’80s, Davis had a string of easygoing hits, including “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” which topped both the country and pop charts in 1972, the Los Angeles Times reports. Davis, who was born in Lubbock, Texas, also had his own NBC show, The Mac Davis Show, and made numerous film and TV appearances, reports the AP.

Country superstar Kenny Chesney was among many artists who paid tribute to Davis, Variety reports. He recalled how Davis and his “tremendous creative light” helped him when he was starting out. “A small town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, he remained a good guy, a family man,” Chesney said. “That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a bigger creative spirit. I was blessed to have it shine on me.” Davis also wrote hits for stars including Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and, in later years, received co-writing credits on songs by Avicii and Bruno Mars.

Of all of Reddy’s songs my favorite was not one of her better known tunes…..

Thank you guys for your contribution to my life and my music…..

May they Rest In Peace.