Sunday, May 31, 2009

CNN fades in prime-time picture - Michael Calderone - POLITICO.com


CNN fades in prime-time picture - Michael Calderone - POLITICO.com

In the first few months of the Obama administration the ratings at CNN have begun to slide. The question is; can they maintain their "middle of the road" approach while ratings at opinionated networks like MSNBC and Fox News continue to rise?

Michael Calderone of POLITICO.com reports.

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Abortion Provider Killed At Kansas Church - CBS News


Abortion Provider Killed At Kansas Church - CBS News

Commentary from "Hugh Jee"

This morning I attended Mass; this particular Sunday is The Pentecost, the day in which Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended among the disciples of the resurrected, and believed to have ascended into heaven, Jesus Christ. There was a ceremony that included the different children of the parish, each in the ethnic dress of their individual nation of origin. They participated in the Mass by reading the invocation of prayer in their native languages, followed by an English translation. This exercise was to show the unity of mankind, brought together under the power of the aforementioned Holy Spirit.

During my pastor's homily, he said something that I found troubling. He was speaking about the difficulty of being a child in today's world, a world he said "doesn't want children". That generalization, to me, wasn't accurate, as well as the undertone that he set without actually saying it; this a world that wants to abort its children, was his intended implication.

Yes, its my pastor's job to look after children and their needs, and it is church doctrine to "protect the rights of the unborn".

But this question raced through my mind when the pastor made his pronouncement; where was the sense of urgency from the Church when the priest sex abuse scandal first surfaced a decade ago?

The answer- there was no sense of urgency. They dragged their feet, they paid off victims and their lawyers, they sent their mouthpieces on TV and radio talk shows to attack the messengers, and they covered up- the first order of business was to save the Church.

Today my pastor, a good and well meaning man, made a potentially dangerous generalization; that the world no longer wanted its children. And that being the case, there must be villains out there who are doing evil.

Today in Wichita, KS, Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late term abortions, and an advocate for abortion rights was gunned down while he served as an usher at Wichita's Reformation Lutheran Church. The 67 year old Tiller was murdered while his wife sat in the the choir.

While selecting a picture of George Tiller to accompany this post I went to GOOGLE IMAGES. The tag that accompanied the picture on this page was "George Tiller- baby killing doctor". There was an entire page of other images, most of which were provided by "pro-life" websites. And most had more or less the same angle regarding Tiller- that he was, in their words (not mine) a killer of babies.

It was a matter of time. George Tiller was a marked man, and today someone decided to play judge, jury, executioner, and the Second Coming in eradicating Dr. Tiller from this earth.

It doesn't matter where you stand on this issue, pro-life or pro-choice. Murder is not the answer. Gunning a man down in a house of worship- in front of his wife, and a congregation of the faithful was, if you believe in God and acted to murder in His name, is probably the worst sin of all.

Its been nearly 2,000 years since the birth of Christianity, and we haven't quite gotten it right yet.

Maybe we can in the next 2,000.

(Please click the link above underlined in blue to go to CBS News story of Dr. Tiller's murder)





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The Dave Matthews Band Opens Up - CBS News


The Dave Matthews Band Opens Up - CBS News

A feature story from today's CBS SUNDAY MORNING.

Tomorrow night (June 1st) The Dave Matthews Band live from the BEACON THEATER, online on HULU, on TV with FUSE at 9:00PM EDT.

Click Dave Matthews Band for official homepage.

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Return To Tiananmen Square, 20 Years Later - CBS News


Return To Tiananmen Square, 20 Years Later - CBS News

From CBS SUNDAY MORNING. This was a story the Chinese embassy did not want CBS news to show. To this day, the Chinese people have yet to see the iconic image of the young man standing before the tanks.

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Springsteen Tickets For Giants Stadium Go On Sale Tomorrow (June 1st)



If you are among the two or three who haven't heard the news, tomorrow morning (June 1st) at 10am tickets for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will go on sale for the last performances by a major act at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford NJ. The shows will be September 30, and October 2 and 3.

Its Bruce and the band, its Jersey, its Giant's Stadium for the last time.

Expect some magic that'll rock the spirits in the night.

More info here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Delaney C . Walsh- Update


In my next installment of championing the career of Delaney C. Walsh so she can become an international superstar and subsequently dismiss me years from now with a "Hugh...who?"......(and no, she isn't asking for a chocolate soft drink! Do they even make that stuff anymore? Oh, never mind).

Anyway.....

The name 'Delaney Walsh" keeps popping up in Top Search Queries for this and my other blog; so I have to keep writing about her... and admit it, you're gettin' hooked, too.

Here's the latest regarding Ms. Delaney; she's now #29 on the Rock Charts on ReverbNation.

Mucho congrats are in order!

So click the link for some new info and more bio information.


(Delaney Photo#1 from MySpace, #2 from TwitPics)

Had she been born a generation earlier Delaney would have been hanging with Waylon and Willie, and she has a voice that echoes another lady from Texas named Janis.

Good stuff....and here's more about Delaney on my UT&MR blog.

So don't be a cheapskate. Take the fishhooks out of your pockets. Buy this lady's music.



My cousin Anthony from North Caldwell. He's a very persuasive guy. And he just might be a fan. And who knows? Cousin Tony just might drop by your house for a visit.

Ciao!

Writer's Block Solved! I Think She's The Culprit!


Yet Another Lame Attempt At Humor

In my last post I was whining and carrying on like a two year old because of my inability to write anything of any substance whatsoever. Call it what you will- brainlock; failure to launch; or good old "writer's block". Nothing was flowing, no cohesive thoughts. None. Zippo. Nada.

My once fertile and imaginative brain had devolved into a bowl of lukewarm and spoiled mush.

Literally.

And overnight I figured out why.

Today is the the day the lovely Lynn Murphy of HSN is getting married. And I never got invited. It doesn't matter that we've never met, spoken, or been in the same building at the same time (or for that matter, even in the same state). I probably had a latent crush on her for the past 17 years, beginning when I was a young twenty-teen- something years old.

I not only couldn't write- I couldn't eat, sleep, drink responsibly, drive without rear ending somebody, remember to floss and wash behind my ears, or even enjoy The Three Stooges on COMCAST ON DEMAND. I, much like Ed Grimley, felt as "doomed as doomed can be.....I must say".

So....if you've seen this entry during a GOOGLE search, and your looking for more info, pictures, the scoop on who Lynn married, or an eyewitness account of the proceedings...fageddabboutit!

Not on these pages!

I wasn't invited. Remember? HELLO!

I'm sure my pal Queen Bea will have "the REAL story" in her Home Shopping Queen blog.

Because I know nothing...and that's that.

The only thing left for me to do is make breakfast, water the lawn, and take a 45.3 mile bike ride (one way only) from Staten Island NY to Buck's County, PA in my futile attempt to ease the pain!

And one last thing.....best wishes to Lynn and her new husband on this special day. Live long, and prosper!

Seriously!

Now..... I want an invite to your 25th anniversary party! I don't want to have to go through this again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Its Writer's Block, I Tells Ya!



I've been sitting at this keyboard for the past 2 hours considering what to write for today's entry....and I came to the conclusion that I just don't feel like talking today.

Now I could go into a self indulgent thing about "writer's block" and how hard it is to come up with new ideas all of the time....but rather than do that, maybe its time to "get human" again and enjoy this late spring day instead of agonizing because the words won't come.

A tortured genius I most assuredly am not!

So....I'm outta here. Time to join living, breathing people. I'll get my glove, ball, and bat and play with the big kids.

And I'll be back....Sunday, maybe.

Ciao!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Your Two Minute STANLEY KUBRICK


A short animated feature of "bloopers" from some motion picture classics, all directed by the legendary STANLEY KUBRICK.

Limbaugh; Crazy Like A.....(Your Choice Here)


This is how I concluded my post regarding the Mad Hat Trick of Limbaugh, Gingrich, Beck and Tancredo yesterday.

"In RED DRAGON, Hannibal Lector was smarter than the FBI profiler Will Graham, who caught Lector. When confronted by Lector in the mental hospital in which Lector was being held, Graham told the Good Doctor that Lector had 'disadvantages'.

The disadvantages Lector had were....he was insane.

And just listening to the nonsense being spewed by these wise old white American patriots, I think only one of two things is possible; (a) They themselves are crazier than hell or (b) They're totally sane but its their audience that's looney tunes. Because you have to be nuts to listen to this drivel and take it seriously. Sorry Dittoheads...and even that name speaks volumes about those who embrace it."


Today Keith Olbermann on COUNTDOWN (on MSNBC)
took the premise to his audience, and discusses with Arianna Huffington...."is Rush Limbaugh insane?"....and other fun stuff.

Our 300th Post!


Here it is, ladies and gents.

Blog entry #300. And like I said after #200....nobody said we were going to last.

To celebrate this milestone, who else do we call on but The Simpsons..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Usual Suspects; The Right Goes After Sotomayor



It doesn't matter that she graduated with honors from Princeton, or that most legal minds agree that Associate Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor has more experience than any jurist nominated in a generation.

Because even if the leaders of the Republican Party in Washington will concede Ms Sotomayor will be appointed, the usual gasbags of the Far Right....and so far right they're off the map...will fight this nomination like it was Custer's Last Stand- with a similar outcome.











Tom Tancredo; Newt Gingrich; Glenn Beck; Rush Limbaugh....is anybody shocked? Some people on left of center or progressive blogs will hear the name calling, and dish it out to the creeps by calling them even worse names. I think that's counterproductive. You see, these guys got where they are by being smart...and they just might be smarter than me.

In RED DRAGON, Hannibal Lector was smarter than the FBI profiler Will Graham, who caught Lector. When confronted by Lector in the mental hospital in which Lector was being held, Graham told the Good Doctor that Lector had "disadvantages".

The disadvantages Lector had were....he was insane.

And just listening to the nonsense being spewed by these wise old white American patriots, I think only one of two things is possible; (a) They themselves are crazier than hell or (b) They're totally sane but its their audience that's looney tunes. Because you have to be nuts to listen to this drivel and take it seriously. Sorry Dittoheads...and even that name speaks volumes about those who embrace it.

And dat's da name o' dat tune!

Suicides Rise At Kentucky Army Base, Part 2



This is a followup to the previous post. CNN host Rick Sanchez reports on the unusually high incidence of suicide at Fort Campbell, KY, the home of the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

Lost and Found- STONE THE CROWS & MAGGIE BELL



I was first made aware of the Scottish band Stone The Crows through a tragedy in the band. I was reading a rock publication in the summer of 1972 when I came upon an article about the band losing their lead guitarist, Les Harvey, when he was electrocuted on stage in Swansea, Wales during a soundcheck. The freak accident occurred when Harvey touched his mike, which probably was not grounded properly, and his guitar at the same time.

About two years later I had been transferred to the UK, and I bought a compilation album of various artists in a bargain bin of an English market. Among the artists on the record were John Mark, Cat Steven's sideman Alun Davies, and Stone The Crows. Stone The Crows did an acoustic version of the old Josh White song, Blindman. The female voice was familiar- she was Maggie Bell, the Scottish blues belter who did backgrounds and harmony with Rod Stewart on the song Every Picture Tells A Story



,







Alex Gitlin.com has a very fine and extensive bio of Stone The Crows and of Maggie Bell, both by British rock journalist Chris Welch, the former from the reissue of the group's album Stone The Crows, the latter from Maggie Bell's debut reissue Queen of the Night. Both were reissued by Repertoire records in 1997. I'll give you a brief history of the band, their albums, some rare video clips, and some "where are they now?" material.

The band was from Scotland, and was originally known as POWER when it was formed in 1968. The following year Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant, along with Mark London, became POWER's manager. Singer Maggie Bell, guitarist Les Harvey, bassist/vocalist Jim Dewar, keyboardist John McGinnis were joined by new drummer Colin Allen and the band changed its name to Stone The Crows.

Maggie Bell on the band's name.

"Peter picked our new name. When he said: 'Cor blimey, stone the crows' we thought - what a name! But it stuck and people remember it."
.

This lineup recorded two albums, Stone The Crows (1969) and Ode To John Law. The band did tour America in those years and achieved critical success, and a modest following in the States. After the release of their second album both McGinnis and Dewar left, with Dewar teaming with former Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower with his self named power trio. Replacements were Ronnie Leahy (keyboards) and Steve Thompson bass for STC's third album Teenage Licks (1971). It was the band's most successful album, and things were on a roll in Britain. Maggie was named Britain's "Best Female Vocalist" by MELODY MAKER in 1971. But on May 2,1972 Les Harvey died in the tragic aforementioned incident on stage. The band decided to move ahead, and after considering former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and founder Peter Green they settled on young Jimmy McCulloch (ex Thunderclap Newman) on guitar. Ontinuous Performance (1972) was the band's 4th and last album. The aftereffects of Harvey's death was too much for STC to overcome.







Colin Allen went on to join FOCUS, and Leahy was a member of several groups in the future, including NAZARETH. McCulloch joined Paul McCartney in WINGS for several years, joined a reunited Small Faces for a short stint in the late 1970's, and started THE DUKES at the end of the decade. He died of a heroin overdose in 1979 at the age of 26.

Maggie Bell recorded the solo album Queen of the Night (1974) in New York with the legendary producer Jerry Wexler and many notable sidemen, to great critical success. Her second album, Suicide Sal (1975) included a great version of the FREE song Wishing Well. It was on Led Zeppelin's label, SWAN SONG, and players included Jimmy Page. Her other solo albums are The Great Rock Sensation (1977) and Crimes of the Heart (1988). In addition, she has done several live albums. In 1981 Maggie teamed with BA Robertson for the Number One (UK) single Hold Me. In her sixties, Maggie Bell continues to perform to this day.

Here's some videos of Maggie and the fabulous STONE THE CROWS.









Some Final Thoughts
Who knows why certain artists gain international fame and fortune, and why some fall into a niche or cult status, or why some fall into obscurity with the passage of time? In the UK, Maggie Bell remains a kind of a Godmother of Scottish rock; in the United States, she's a trivia question, as are the magnificent Stone The Crows. You wonder that had Les Harvey lived, could they have gone on to truly conquer America and become rock royalty? Or would Maggie's vocal similarity to Janis Joplin always be held against her in this country; she wasn't ripping off Janis's legacy, she was singing in an American blues style just as Janis was. But maybe the sensitivity to Janis's death in the eyes of American rock audiences made it especially difficult for Maggie to make in big in the United States.

At any rate, I only wish I could have seen this band in any of its three configurations.They were amazing and talented, and their star should have burned much brighter than the less than half decade that it did.

But we still have the great Maggie Bell....and that's pretty damned good.



More at The Maggie Bell Home Page.

Suicides Rise At Kentucky Army Base



According to Kentucky.com (The Lexington Herald Leader) suicides have become alarming in their frequency at Fort Campbell, KY, the home of the 101st Airborne. There have been 14 suspected suicides so far this year, and two possible suicides this month.



CNN's Kyra Phillips will have Joe Varney, the Suicide Prevention Program Manager at Fort Campbell on her show today (Wed. 5/27) between 1-3PM EDT on CNN. Her TWITTER page is KyraCNN.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Waterboarding Torture? Ask Mancow Muller; Appears on COUNTDOWN With Olbermann



Contrary to what Sean Hannity, Former Vice President Dick Cheney, his daughter Liz Cheney, Brian Kilmeade, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck might think or theorize about whether or not waterboarding is torture, count one convert to the side of...."its torture".

That convert is right of center/libertarian Chicago radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller, who last week was waterboarded on air to settle the debate once and for all.

I just post the videos, and I let you make the decisions. First, Mancow being waterboarded; then Keith Olbermann talks about it with Lawrence O'Donnell on COUNTDOWN; then Keith contributes $10,000 to a veteran's charity for Mancow; and finally Mancow appears with Keith on tonight's (Tuesday 5/26) edition of COUNTDOWN.







Meet The Two Year Old Pool Shark



I'll bet your toddler can't do this.

Two year old Keith O'Dell, Jr has been shooting pool from the time before he could talk...and today he is the youngest member of the American Pool Association.

According to his website young Keith will be appearing on the Rachael Ray Show on July 20th, and has been featured in many news broadcasts and several print aricles, as well as being a budding star of YouTube.

Check this out.







Gotta lighten up folks...I can't talk politics 24/7!

Ciao!

Limbaugh Calls Sotomayor a "Reverse Racist"



The Mouth That Roared aka Rush Limbaugh has called Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a "reverse racist".

MSNBC's Nora O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow discus.



To borrow a line from the 1950's...."Mr. Limbaugh at long last, have you no sense of decency? Have you no sense of shame?"

Obviously, the answer is no.

More on Limbaugh's comments on Poltico.

Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court



President Barack Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor, a federal judge on the US COURT of APPEALS 2nd DISTRICT for the Supreme Court position being vacated by the retiring Associate Justice David Souter.

Judge Sotomayor is a 54 year old woman of Puerto Rican heritage; her appointment would be the first for an Hispanic in history. She grew up in the South Bronx- and is a lifelong Yankees fan.

More on Judge Sonia Sotomayor from the Huffington Post.



Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009



Thank you.

Now.....

Give peace a chance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Too Old To Rock N Roll- Too Young To Die: Dixie Chicks- TRAVELIN' SOLDIER


Too Old To Rock N Roll- Too Young To Die: Dixie Chicks- TRAVELIN' SOLDIER

A song for those who serve, have served, and those who have given their lives in uniform.

And if you still irrationally hate the Chicks....then you've probably logged onto the wrong blog.

(click the link above for the vid)

Enjoy your rest of your Memorial Day Weekend!

Dixie Chicks- TRAVELIN' SOLDIER



Maybe the country music establishment doesn't want them anymore.

So rock and rockers will embrace them.

And maybe Texas will secede from the union (if their blustering governor goes through with his "threat").

If that's the case, just give us Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robison before you vacate the premises.

A song to reflect on all who serve and have served, and for those who never came back....The Dixie Chicks.



Visit The Dixie Chicks official website.

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making a Difference- Bob and Lee Woodruff



Bob Woodruff of ABC News succeeded the late Peter Jennings in the anchor chair of World News Tonight in January 2006.Later that same month, while covering the Iraq War with the 4th Infantry Division, Woodruff was severely injured by a roadside bomb and suffered brain injury. Also badly injured in the attack was cameraman Doug Vogt. Both were evacuated to the US Air Force Hospital at Balad for emergency surgery by a joint team of Army and Air Force medical personnel. Part of Woodruff's skull had to be removed to reduce the swelling of his brain.

Both men were moved to the US Army Medical Command hospital at Landsthul, Germany. Woodruff was moved to Bathesda Naval Hospital for recovery. he was kept in a medically induced coma for 36 days during his recovery. Upon regaining consciousness
Woodruff, who was fluent in several languages, suffered expressive aphasia- its a condition where words are disjointed, sentences become fragmented, and common words become difficult to remember. He struggled with this condition for more than a year.

Lee Woodruff, Bob's wife, remained close by his side during the difficult months that followed. In December, 2006 Lee appeared on GOOD MORNING AMERICA and told of Bob's project; he was putting together a documentary about his experiences of the past year, his injury and his recovery. In February, 2007 that documentary, To Iraq and Back; Bob Woodruff Reports was broadcast on ABC. He spoke of his recovery, and showcased the problems encountered by recovering Iraq veterans who had brain and other injuries.

Woodruff has since resumed regular contributions and reports to ABC NEWS. Lee and Bob Woodruff wrote and published In An Instant;A Family's Journey of Love and Healing.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation was founded with the following mission (from the BWF WEBSITE);

"The Bob Woodruff Foundation provides resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically."


"More than 1.65 million U.S. service members have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since September 11, 2001.

More than 35,000 service members have been physically wounded.

It is estimated that more than 320,000 have sustained traumatic brain injuries.

More than 300,000 have psychological wounds.

BWF works to support all injured service members with a special emphasis on the Hidden Injuries of War - Traumatic Brain Injury and Combat Stress. While the wounds of these injuries may not always be visible, their impact is felt long after a service member returns and their treatment is often the most costly and difficult to attain."


"We are ensuring that “Support Our Troops” is no longer a slogan. It’s an action. It is time to return the tremendous loyalty our brave men and women have shown to this country.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised over $6 million for injured service members.

In 2008, BWF funded $3.4 million in program spending which is estimated to impact approximately 516,000 service members, veterans, family members, and support personnel.

Through 52 grants to charitable organizations around the country, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has funded programs to reintegrate injured service members and assist their families with the transition."


"After Bob Woodruff was nearly killed in an improved explosive device (IED) attack in Iraq, he and his family had an opportunity to get to know so many of our nation’s injured heroes and their families. They realized their unique position to be a voice that could be heard in civilian and military cultures, across political lines and throughout our nation— a voice that would call for tangible support to assist our injured service members and their families. Thus, the Bob Woodruff Foundation was born.

In January of 2008, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) separated from the Brain Injury Association of America and became an independent 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization."


This Memorial Day weekend the BWF is using Tweet To Remind to raise $1.65 million, which symbolizes $1 for every person who has served since 9/11. They are asking for a donation of $5.25 from each donor on 5/25.
This is a most worthy cause- these men and women, and their families, need your help.

On the TWEET TO REMIND site the question is asked, "Who is your hero?".

I just wrote a few paragraphs about two of them.

Please give them a tweet and $5.25 at Tweet to ReMIND. there's more story and video there from Bob and from Lee.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day 2009; Remember What The Day Is About



An Essay

With Memorial Day Weekend, Summer 2009 is officially kicked off, amen and hallelujah! And not a minute too soon. Its time to step back, relax a bit and appreciate the small and wonderful things in life. We'll be with friends and family, biking, boating, and belching after overindulging on burgers and brew. Its a great time of the year, even in these tough times; and even greater to be an American.

I'm aging but digging it, and all things considered, I've had a pretty good life. But more than 50,000 men and women of my generation lost there lives in Southeast Asia in the 1960's and early 1970's. I went to high school with one, a guy named Paul. The last time I saw him was in the spring of 1969. We had a couple of beers and some laughs in Staten Island, back in the days when New York had an 18 year old drinking age, and the surrounding states were 21. A few days later he was off to Parris Island as a Marine boot. We lost contact and I didn't know what became of him until November of 1970. That's when I saw his obituary in a newspaper. A sniper got him in Vietnam. Two months later, it was my turn to serve. I joined the Air Force in January 1971, and remained in until late 1975.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was never shot at, and spent most of the Vietnam War stateside. There was only one time where it got tense for me, when I was told to get ready for a possible TDY (temporary duty assignment) to either Travis AFB in San Francisco, or possibly to Southeast Asia. It never happened.

Sometimes I think of the "what if's?" It could have been me in Da Nang, or the Mekong Delta, or on a rooftop trying to get out of Saigon. But it wasn't. And that war is a distant memory for me, and for newer generations its a few paragraphs in a history book. So distant, that SPELLCHECK is telling me that Da Nang is not a word.

I served in the Vietnam Era, my Dad in the Pacific in World War II, his father was in the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) in the First World War, and fought in France. My late uncle (who I've written about) was in Korea during that war, another uncle was on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and we lost someone who would have been my cousin at Gudalcanal. The bottom line is when your "in", you always know or knew a casualty, or someone who's life had been changed by war.Most of the men in my family were lucky.

We all made it back to "the world".

This weekend, don't forget those who serve, and those who have served. The thing I hate most about the wars we fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan is that we, as a nation, have asked too much of too few, for way too long. These wars are on the back pages of newspapers, and the 24 hour news channels, for the most part, regard the conflicts as yesterday's news. To a great degree, the public has moved on- "war fatigue", some pundits have called it.

To a public that is tired of hearing about the Mideast wars, all I can say is the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are probably more than a little tired of fighting, being wounded, and dying there.

It doesn't and shouldn't matter how you stand on politically or ideologically- honor the veterans and those who serve. They do a job that too few of our citizens would choose to do.

Give them a minute of your thoughts and prayers. Its the right thing to do.

(About the flag raising scene from Iwo Jima; two great books for summer reading are Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys by James Bradley. Bradley's father, Jack Bradley, was one of the flag raisers at Iwo Jima. Clint Eastwood's film of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS was terrific, but the book went into greater detail, particularly with the backstories of the six flag raisers. FLYBOYS is Bradley's followup. It deals with the naval aviators in the Pacific in the months before the proposed assault on the Japanese home islands. One of the heroes of the book- a young pilot named George H.W. Bush).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kevin Spacey To Play Jack Abramoff in CASINO JACK




Here's a neat tidbit from the TWITTER page of Oscar winner Kevin Spacey- he'll be playing former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who had been convicted of Federal charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy in a motion picture that will begin shooting shortly.

"Casino Jack is about disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is serving a prison sentence currently for wire fraud & other crimes".




For a look at the Abramoff case click here for a report from the Washington Post.

And for even more information on Jack Abramoff, click here.

More information on Casino Jack

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glenn Beck Busted By Whoopi and Barbara on THE VIEW


Fox News host Glenn Beck made an appearance on The View today. And it was just about all over at "Hello".

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg busted Beck about some "misinformation" Beck made about Whoopi, Barbara Walters, and Steve Croft from 60Minutes on his radio show. The other ladies of The View (Sherri Shepard, Joy Behar, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck) sat in silence as Whoopi and Barbara did a "good cop-bad-cop" on Beck as he was exposed and dismantled in front of a national audience.



OUCH!!!!

"A lyin' sack of dog mess". I wonder if Glenn and Whoopi will exchange Christmas cards in the future?

Man Attempts To Rob Internet Cafe With A Banana (Where Did We See This Before?)



Last night on Countdown Keith Olbermann had a classic for his "Best Persons In The World". His number one "best person" was a criminal so incompetent you.........well, you have to see this for yourself.



A banana? I wonder where he got that from?

Check out this classic from Monty Python's Flying Circus....on "self defense against fruit".



From the BBC, and originally shown 10/26/69, and shown many times over the best four decades. Featuring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and the late Graham Chapman.

Joe Cocker- 65 Years Old Today


Birthday greetings go out to the legendary John Robert Cocker aka "Joe", who turns 65 today.

Sheffield (UK) born Joe burst into the music scene in the late 1960's with his debut album With A Little Help From My Friends, and his single version of the Lennon-McCartney title song. He electrified the crowd of 400,000 at the Woodstock Festival (Aug 18, 1969) with his versions of Dear Landlord, Feelin' Alright, I Don't Need No Doctor, and With A Little Help From My Friends, among others. His appearance in the film version of Woodstock backed by his group, The Grease Band (Henry McCullough, Chris Stainton, Alan Spenner, and Bruce Rowland) was a highlight of the production.

Joe's second album Joe Cocker! was recorded shortly after his Woodstock appearance. Two more Beatles covers appeared on this release; Lennon and McCartney's She Came In Through The Bathroom Window and George Harrison's Something. He had a UK hit with Leon Russell's Delta Lady, and began an association with Russell.

Joe Cocker disbanded The Grease Band in late 1969, but contractual obligations forced him back on the road, this time with a aggregation of 30 musicians and singers led by Leon Russell, called Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The group included such notables as Jim Price, Rita Coolidge, Chris Stainton, Kathi McDonald, Carl Radle, and Russell. The tour went on into 1970, the hits kept on coming, including his version of The Letter, once a hit for THE BOXTOPS. The live album of the tour was a major hit for Cocker, but its followup Joe Cocker recorded two years later was a disappointment sales wise. The years between 1970-72 were clouded by personal issues and deteriorating health for Joe. and the following years found some successes in between the highs and lows. In 1974 he had a hit with his version of Billy Preston's You Are So Beautiful, and had an international hit with his duet with Jennifer Warnes in 1982 with the Grammy winning Up Where We Belong from the film An Officer and a Gentleman. The 1980's had more hits, including You Can Leave Your Hat On and Unchain My Heart, as well as more chart successes, mainly in Europe, in the 1990's and into the new millennium.

Today Joe is married to Pam Baker, and lives on The Mad Dog Ranch in Crawford, Colorado. Joe Cocker is currently involved in a a US tour , with dates available on his website.

A few months ago Joe appeared on Tavis Smiley on PBS, and was asked about his stage mannerisms (which he has since toned down). He explained that he was so into Ray Charles as a young man that he would try to mimic him....but he didn't know what to do with his hands, so he began playing his "invisible bass" and started to flay his arms around like a windmill.

Consider the mystery solved.











Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants: Delaney C . Walsh- "It Ain't Right"


Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants: Delaney C . Walsh- "It Ain't Right"

Yes, this is another "cross pollination" post, linking to my current events/ magazine blog. And yes, this is a blog that deals mainly with "classic rock", which will elicit a different definition from just about anyone you ask the question, "what is Classic Rock?"

Classic Rock doesn't and shouldn't belong to old geezers like me- there's a new generation of terrific performers who are carrying on the Classic Rock tradition. And they deserve recognition.

Delaney C. Walsh is a young singer based in Nashville, who's styling is that of a classic rocker. And she has a connection to a famous classic rocker- Delaney has collaborated with Leon Russell on one of her songs. They'll be more on Leon in an upcoming post

So click the link to Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants and meet Delaney C Walsh.

And long live rock!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Delaney C . Walsh- "It Ain't Right"




Delaney C. Walsh showed up in my email one day- she was just there, unannounced. I had just jumped into the wonderful world of TWITTER with both feet. And I got this email from TWITTER saying that Delaney Walsh was now following me.

I had no clue as to why!

But when you get to be my age and a pretty (much) younger woman knocks on your door...you let her in. And I started following Delaney's "tweets" on Twitter.

She's a self described "singer, songwriter, and rockin' revolutionary" based in Nashville. I kept telling myself that one day I would check out her songs and videos. And today I finally did.

This young lady is a wonderful talent. I went on to her MySpace Page, and the first song I heard was her duet with the legendary Leon Russell, with a version of Leon's old song Stranger In A Strange Land. I was blown away by Delaney's performance. She has a voice reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge, as well as of the greatest blues singer most Americans have never heard of, Scotland's Maggie Bell.

Then I went to YouTube, and checked out a video she had posted for her song "It Ain't Right". I watched it.....and I wanted to stand up and cheer. Delaney has a the voice...and she has a sense of social consciousness as well. As a veteran of another war, I felt touched by her caring for those who have been wounded or broken or killed. As an American, and a lover of music, I was impressed by the power of her voice, and of her words, and of the images she chose to convey her message of solidarity with those who are in pain and who are suffering from the ravages of war and from recession.

This lady's got a big dose of the "60's residing in her soul. God bless her.

She deserves attention, and an expanded audience.



Pretty incredible, ain't she?

Delaney C Walsh can be found on MySpace and Twitter. Her MySpace page will give you additional information about her and her EP which can be downloaded.

Jesse Ventura vs FOX AND FRIENDS



No, this blog is not part of Jesse Ventura's publicity tour in advance of his new book. But he has had some very memorable TV appearances over the past couple of days, and some very notable "dust ups".



The latest "you've gotta see this" Ventura appearance was this morning Fox and Friends. Watch what happens when Ventura mixes it up with hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and in particular, a very combative Brian Kilmeade.





Now...I couldn't tell- was Brian Kilmeade crying when he walked off the set?

Ciao!

A New Look

I had been considering changing the template of this blog for sometime...and today, I did it. The old style seemed to be a bit cluttered, and not especially easy to read. So, it was time to make it a little more user friendly, and brighter.

They'll be a few things I have to tweek in the near future...like shrinking the video sizes from YouTube to something more suitable.

But overall, I think this cleaner and brighter look is an improvement. and I hope you like it.

"Hugh Jee"

Pete Townshend Is 64 Today!



Today is the 64th birthday of Pete Townshend, the primary songwriter and guitarist of The Who, my alltime favorite artists, and the group that produced my favorite record of the rock era, Who's Next.

Rather than show videos of Pete with The Who or with surviving fellow founder Roger Daltrey, lets' check out some solo Pete, electric and acoustic, and in some interviews from the past.









This following video is the original demo of Who Are You by Pete, accompanied by a Who slide show.









For more information on Pete Townshend or The Who, visit The Who's official website.

Round Two; Ventura vs Hannity



Hours after Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura appeared on ABC's The View and mixed it up with Elizabeth Hasselbeck, he went across town to Fox News and took on arch conservative talker Sean Hannity

Below, the results of the "interview".



Notice the "faux pas" from Jesse when he referred to the "Osama Bin Laden- John McCain election"? Other than that slip of the tongue, Ventura seemed to get his message out; Barack Obama inherited a mess, and the country was worse off after George Bush than before him.

What did we learn? Ventura might be the most brutally honest man on the face of the earth. Secondly, Hannity is and always will be an apologist for The Right.

And furthermore....Elizabeth Hasselbeck is a helluva lot prettier than Hannity.

Here's the link for Jesse Ventura's YouTube Channel, JesseVentura2012.

It seems he wants to add "Next President of the United States" to his list of titles past or present. But to be fair, nowhere on the channel does it say that Ventura has an association with it, and no website for a campaign has been set up- the channel may be set up by fans. It does list his name and age, but nothing else.

Among subscribers- Rep. Ron Paul and Tommy Chong.

Ciao!

Ventura Smacks Down Hasslelbeck on "THE VIEW"



It was "Beauty vs The Body" on Monday's edition of THE VIEW. And "The Body" kicked just a little bit of butt...verbally, that is




Jesse Ventura, former Minnesota governor, actor, pro wrestler, and ex Navy Seal visited the ladies of The View on Monday. The discussion moved on to the controversy involving waterboarding of suspected terrorists, was it torture, what did Nancy Pelosi know, and the culpability of the Bush-Cheney administration in its adoption as "enhanced interrogation". Once again, conservative host Elizabeth Hasselbeck sprang to the defense of the former President and Vice President....and former Governor Ventura cut her to ribbons.



What did we learn? Once again, Jesse Ventura is a true populist and independent who is owned by no one.

And secondly....Elizabeth Hasselbeck as a mouthpiece for the conservative side. OK...is she the best you've got? In this conversation she went from being blond to being really, really, really....blond. (No offense to any blonds out there...I've got a few in my family).

But I'll admit...Elizabeth is really cute.
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