…eleanor rigsby turns off the tv…

…Eleanor rigby turns off the TV, that TV that has programmed people like her into loneliness, and into watching some idiotic ‘ball drop’ at Times Square in New York City of all places, a nothingness so far removed from her culture and her being 

Instead, she decides to no longer live life vicariously, to no longer be a mere witness in a programmed life, when all life is so very, very brief. She decides to be an active participant in life. She calls a friend who thought she was dead. Another similarly inspired, not heard from friend then calls. Reassured and reinvigorated the sense of loneliness is replaced by the sense of being alone, comfortably alone, but not lonely – if they cannot meet, they realise that doing something (say, reading a book or writing some reminiscence) and listening to music can be still enlivening, at hand, a coffee or a ‘beverage’. Read the rest of this entry »

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…annus horribilis… 2014, annus mirabilis?…

…Pretense of ‘Beacon of Democracy and Freedom’ discarded, the US is easy Victor Ludorum of Annus Horribilis for 2013, and in all categories, the especially bad ones…

The US President denies vehemently ever telling the US public that they could keep their existing health plan with the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that eponymous ‘Obamacare’. Reality: plans canceled, sudden increases in health premiums. Which results in,

‘Lie of the Year’ prize goes to Obama

And how had the the real world been seeing this? One example, Obama denies he made a promise that was videotaped two dozen times. You see it and you ask, ‘How do they do it? And with a straight face?’ The alarm bells were there for some years, from Marcy Wheeler in 2009 to Glenn Greenwald in December 2012, with his Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job, with two excerpts

…As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that legislation was Elizabeth Fowler, his chief health policy counsel; indeed, as Marcy Wheeler discovered, it was Fowler who actually drafted it. As Politico put it at the time: “If you drew an organizational chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations, Fowler would be the chief operating officer.”

[snip]

More amazingly still, when the Obama White House needed someone to oversee implementation of Obamacare after the bill passed, it chose . . . Liz Fowler. That the White House would put a former health insurance industry executive in charge of implementation of its new massive health care law was roundly condemned by good government groups as at least a violation of the “spirit” of governing ethics rules and even “gross”, but those objections were, of course, brushed aside by the White House. She then became Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council.

Read the rest of this entry »


…those were the days…and an inspiration …

And it’s the right time of the year…

Mary Hopkin provides the memory for many of us, and an inspiration for those embarked on the journey, to sing, ‘Those were the days…’, confident of those lines of Sinatra, ‘Regrets I’ve had a few; But then again too few to mention…’

Or, more importantly, as Edith Piaf would, and we should sing, ‘Je regrette rien…’


…what is home?…

…Nice for year-end [H/t HC] – yesterdays, today and tomorrow…

From the NYT Travel section comes a view of, and living of life, that we should all recognise. Linda Ronstadt takes its author, Lawrence Downes, on a brief journey, a road trip, through her life, Linda Ronstadt’s Borderland. Downes shares her observation, one that strikes home, no matter where we roam.

When Linda thinks of home — meaning where your soul inhabits the soil, wherever else your body might be — it’s not Southern California, the place forever associated with her professional life, as Queen of Rock in the land of Byrds and Stone Poneys and Eagles. Nor is it San Francisco, where she lives now.

And that soul takes us home at very predictable or even the unlikeliest moments.


…for a sunday evening, a verse, a piano, a voice…

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:

Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, To a Skylark

…and then a voice,


…the demise of msm, the rise of blogs and new media?…

…if not demise, at least increasing irrelevance? Some interesting articles from mainly non-traditional sources, with some quick ‘two cents’ worth.

Clearly, the Guardian newspaper has been doing, and doing very well, what the US corporate MSM has tended to studiously avoid: present facts with sound analysis, and to not accept as truth immutable any release (or ‘leak’) from a government in evident disrepute; nor be intimidated into acquiescence or compliance. Representing (and promoting) corporate and state interests is not quite what news media should be doing.

Greenwald: US, British media are servants of security apparatus To put some of this into context, one note and example. The US businessman reported as missing in that ‘terrible’ Iran since 2007, turns out to be not a businessman. AP would report earlier this month that he was CIA agent, something the NYT had long known but chose not to report. Nothing like competition from the blogs and new media, and the dire thought of increasing irrelevance to have such a notable defection by AP from the loyal establishment herd. And who can forget the horrid Iraq debacle, the continuing horrific consequences of which are now very much ignored by the very war-promoting MSM?  Read the rest of this entry »


…a brew, a memory of tots and toys…

…in many Christian countries the mood of the season continues into 06 January. Naturally, the fascination with toys for tots of today should still continue. And as they indulge that fascination, the tots of all ages can hum along as similar ‘tots’ play Leopold’s composition,