C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pete, Bernie, Trae on Kamala

Official White House portrait of Kamala Harris,
Vice President of the United States
Click to enlarge.

Well, what a weekend that was, a total turnaround in the Democratic party, which raked in $80 million in campaign contributions from small donors in 24 hours.  Whooeee!  We are fired up for sure, now.  

This is the most electrifying political moment in my memory, which goes back to the time of JFK.  Your Head Trucker voted for him, I'm proud to say.  It's no lie - I went into the voting booth with my mom, and she let me reach up and pull the lever next to his name

This was state of the art in 1960, and they kept working just fine all over the country for decades.  The votes were recorded and tallied electrically.

.But between you and me, fellas, although I'm very enthused about smart, strong Kamala, I also know she has flaws alongside her virtues:  she's a human being, like all other politicians.  I may not agree with everything she says and does; but I do believe her heart and mind are firmly on the side of democracy and the rule of law, with liberty and justice for all.  

And she's electable!  She has my vote in the bag already, and I hope will get enough more to stop the fascist steamroller from taking over.  That's a mighty big, mighty tough job - she will be a target for outrageous abuse and maybe worse.  We should all keep her in our prayers.

Here's Secretary Pete:

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ;  I was never a Bernie fan, but I agree with every word he says here:

 

And here's that hillbilly sumbitch Trae Crowder, plagiarizing me. What he says about the veep choices in the last part of this video is exactly what I wrote in my Sunday post - a part I later deleted, thinking it sounded too smartass. 

Damn, boy! What you mean, poaching off my blog? Or are you some kinda fuckin' mind reader or somethin'? Hell, maybe we just think alike, in which case you are a goddamn smart fella. Next time you come through town, gimme a call, I'll buy you a beer.



BONUS:  Kamala outlines her experience and her vision in her first speech to campaign workers in Wilmington, Delaware, yesterday:



And this just in:

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Sunday, July 21, 2024

BIDEN BOWS OUT


President Biden has announced he is leaving the presidential race, and has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to succeed him as the Democratic candidate. 

Click to enlarge.

NBC News reports:


Sky News (UK) reports:


CBS News:



What I Say:  Thank God.  Now we have a chance to win this election and save democracy.  A really good chance.

Thank you for your service, Joe - and for choosing your country over your own ambition.  This single act shows you are a true patriot.  History will be kind to you.

I can breathe again.

* * * * * * * * * *

Bill and Hillary Clinton have endorsed Harris:

Click to enlarge.

3 p.m.:  Harris takes up the challenge, reports the Guardian;

I am honored to have the President’s endorsement and my intention is to earn and win this nomination. Over the past year, I have traveled across the country, talking with Americans about the clear choice in this momentous election. And that is what I will continue to do in the days and weeks ahead. I will do everything in my power to unite the Democratic Party — and unite our nation – to defeat Donald Trump and his extreme Project 2025 agenda.

We have 107 days until Election Day. Together, we will fight. And together, we will win.
You go, girl!  Now put on your running shoes, get out there and fight like hell!  We got your back!

What will her campaign against Trump look like?  Check out these two videos from 2019. when Harris was running for the Democratic nomination:


 

Yesss!  Fired up!  Ready to go!  Whooeee!

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Sunday Drive: Desiderata

Click to enlarge.

For my truckbuddy Frank, who loves it:  The 1927 poem by American author Max Ehrmann, as spoken by Les Crane on the 1971 Grammy-winning recording, which your Head Trucker used to own.


Note to the younger generations:  The visuals in the above video are of recent date.  There were, of course, no music videos in 1971, nor any VCR's or home computers or Internet.  You listened to the radio, you listened to records, and you made up pictures in your head.  Once in while, if you happened to be sitting in front of the TV set, watching a particular show at a particular time, you might get to see a song performed; but then you never saw that episode again.  Not ever.

Believe it or not, children, that's just the way it was, and we all thought it was wonderful.  You don't miss what you never had.
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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trae Crowder Rips Vance

Your Head Trucker doesn't necessarily agree with every word that comes out of Trae Crowder's rude, crude mouth - but what he says about his old drinking buddy J. D. is certainly noteworthy.  Funny, too.


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Friday, July 19, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend


You know, fellas, your old Head Trucker is always concerned for your mental and moral welfare.  So at the end of a hellacious week, our text for the day is, Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.  

And to show you how it's done, here's a charming little sermonette in film:

 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

We're Fucked


 And by "we," I don't mean just Democrats.  I mean Democracy.

This morning I saw this headline:

Tonight, I saw this one:

Shit.

Whether crude face-saving ploy or cosmic irony, this election's over.

Shit.

Frail old grandpa or death-defying superhero, whodyathink is gonna win?

Shit.

The clock's running down and we got no team, no replacement.

Shit.  Shit.  Goddamn fucking shit.

What else is there to say?


Update, 7/18/24, 11 a.m.:

Well, I was pretty upset and frustrated yesterday, fellas.  I still am; but please don't despair.  Bad things happen, and we've seen a string of them in the last few weeks.  But good things happen, too. 

Perseverance through adversity is what makes a man a man:  what has made many men worthy of our respect and admiration down through the ages.  Even a girly boy like me can be a real man by that measure.

I really don't know if it's better for Biden to stay or go, or what the future holds for us and our country.  But we can face it together if we hang tough, buddies.  A good time may come yet.  Keep a smile on your face and peace in your heart.  

Cowboy up!  The rodeo ain't over yet.

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Monday, July 15, 2024

Convicted Felon Picks "Never-Trump Guy" for Veep

I think that I’m going to vote third party because I can’t stomach Trump.  I think that he’s noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place.
--J. D. Vance, 
NPR "Fresh Air"
August 17, 2016

The words quoted were spoken when Trump was making his first run for the Presidency. Vance is now the junior Republican senator from Ohio, who began his political career just 18 months ago in January 2023 and today was formally named the vice-presidential candidate at the Republican convention in Milwaukee.  

Vance's remarkable rise from childhood poverty to Yale Law School to author and journalist to the heights of national politics is very well documented in his Wikipedia article as well as today's report on his nomination by the Associated Press.  I recommend these sources to all my truckbuddies for reading and reflection.

In 2016, Vance repeatedly condemned Trump harshly.  But by 2021, Vance had become one of Trump's staunchest supporters.  Now what on earth could make a smart guy like that do a total 180?  I wonder.  I highly recommend watching the following reports by Rachel Maddow and by Nicolle Wallace on Vance's stunning transformation from outspoken never-Trumper to toady-in-chief:



And if there's still any question in your mind where Vance stands, check out this New York Times report from last December that begins, "When a historian wrote an essay the other day warning that the election of former President Donald J. Trump next year could lead to dictatorship, one of Mr. Trump’s allies quickly responded by calling for the historian to be sent to prison."  Yep, it was Senator Vance - himelf a published book author and writer for the likes of CNN and the NYT -  who wanted a fellow writer thrown in jail merely for daring to suggest that the divine DJT could ever possibly become a dictator.  Perish the thought.

Who's really on the side of democracy here, and who's all for dictatorship, hmm?

For another perspective on the crisis in American politics, listen to the remarks by former U.S. Representative (R-Ill.) Adam Kinzinger on the Stephen Colbert show earlier this evening:

Part 2 of 3 - remarks about Vance

While in Congress, Kinzinger was an outspoken critic of Trump - one of the very few Republicans who had the guts to call a spade a spade - and served as one of the two Republican members on the January 6 Committee that conducted an exhaustive inquiry into Trump's failed self-coup in 2021.


And just for laughs, though it is no laughing matter, you could read this dimwitted opinion piece (or plain old propaganda?) by a completely cluleless Guardian contributor in the UK:  


That's as Orwellian a wordfuck as I ever saw:  black is white, white is black, and 2 + 2 = 5.  Sad!

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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Biden Tells the Nation: Cool It

For the second time since Friday's assassination attempt on Donald Trump, President Biden addressed the nation today, saying,
There is no place in America for this kind of violence, for any kind of violence, ever, period, no exceptions.  We can't allow this violence to be normalized.  You know, the political rhetoric in this country has gotten very heated.  It's time to cool it down.  We all have a responsibility to do that.

What I say:  Well, all right, Mr. President.  I agree that calmness is needed now.  But a spade is a spade is a spade.  

How can you succeed in defeating this Teflon-coated opponent if you don't plainly point out that he tried to overthrow the government of the United States, overturn an election, and is a pathological liar with no conscience or sense of shame?  As you yourself have done before.

How can we ordinary citizens down here at the bottom of the totem pole discuss what you yourself have called a grave threat to democracy without telling the simple truth?  Without mentioning the many, many outright lies and bogus claims that we have all seen and heard, which were recorded by every news outlet in the country?

How can any decent, intelligent, moral person ignore that fact that your opponent and his political cohorts are openly planning to shred the Constitution and establish a permanent dictatorship in this country?  Aided and abetted - indeed, encouraged - in that enterprise by a corrupt and partisan Supreme Court?

Just what are we supposed to say - cooly, calmly, reasonably?  Please tell us in plain words so that we can follow your lead,

I know you're a very busy man, and don't have the time to get back to every constituent immediately.  That's okay - I'll wait for your response.  But I'm not sure history will.
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Sunday Drive: Do the Locomotion

RichardSimmonsSept2011
Richard Simmons in 2011.  Click to enlarge.

Bubbly, bouncy Richard Simmons died yesterday at his home in Hollywood Hills, just a day after his 76th birthday.  I'll be honest, I never liked or watched his show:  too silly and way too, um, fruity!  Your Head Trucker never wanted to be that damn obvious: there's safety in camouflage and just keeping your gay mouth shut. And apparently Richard never spoke about his sexuality one way or the other in public.

But twinkly, sparkly Richard had a huge fan base, and thousands claimed his exercise and diet routines saved or greatly improved their lives. I have read that during personal appearances he would hug his fans, weep with them over personal stories, and even pray with them.  So at the end of the day, with so many testimonials, I say he was a sweet guy who used his fabulous talents to do much good for others, so he's OK in my book.  And no doubt St. Peter will smile and wave him right on through the Pearly Gates, toll-free.  May he rest in peace.

I couldn't find a single-song tape to play for you, but you can listen to just the first one on this.  Got your dancing clothes on?  Well move it, girlfriend!


Update, 7/21/24:  Richard's "team" has shared his final social media message to his fans, written but not yet posted at the time of his death.
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Saturday, July 13, 2024

DON'T CELEBRATE

ABC news reports on the attempt to assassinate Donald Trump in Butler, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh:

 

NBC provides this aerial photo of the location where the shooting occurred during a Trump campaign rally.  (148 yards = 444 feet = 135 meters)

Click to enlarge.

According to early reports, the shooter on a nearby rooftop fired at least eight shots from an automatic rifle.  On spectator was shot in the head and died instantly.  Two others are in critical condition at a local hospital.

The shooter was killed by a police sniper.  Details are yet to be provided.

This despicable act will only infuriate and energize the Trumpists.  Political violence has no place in American life.  What goes around, comes around, fellas.  Don't rejoice, don't gloat.  Biden could be next. 

And now Trump is a kind of martyr:  the Passion of the Donald will be a powerful icon.  This changes everything.  

Pray for our country:  deliver us from evil.

CBS News:


NBC News:



 President Biden spoke at an impromptu press conference shortly after the shooting:

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Friday, July 12, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Oh yeah, baby . . . pull my chain. 

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Sunday, July 7, 2024

Vive La France Libre!


An alliance of left-wing parties has slapped down the far-right National Rally in France in today's legislative elections.  This will complicate things for centrist President Emmanuel Macron, but when have French politics ever been easy?


Thank God the fascist threat is removed - for now.

This is an upset victory; last night all the pollsters were predicting a right-wing majority.  But the left turned out en masse.  A lesson for us in America.  The bullies don't have to win, if we stick together. 

 


The French election upset follows the victory of the Labour Party in last Thursday's UK election.  Having accepted the King's invitation to form a government, Sir Keir Starmer is now off to a running start with his program of "National Renewal," after 14 years of endemic corruption, mismanagement, and gross incompetence by successive Tory governments.

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Sunday Drive: Rhythm of the Blues

An old favorite by Mary Chapin Carpenter:  just the right vibe for a lazy, wistful Sunday afternoon.

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Friday, July 5, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

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Thursday, July 4, 2024

God Bless America


From the mountains, to the prairies, 
To the oceans white with foam-- 
God bless America. my home, sweet home.




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Monday, July 1, 2024

Supreme Court Gives Trump Absolute Immunity

CourtEqualJustice
The front pediment of the Supreme Court building.

CBS News reports:
 

NBC News reports:
 

This is a black day in American history.  In a momentous, breathtaking, party-line decision released this morning, the six Republican-appointed justices (three of them appointed by Trump) ruled that Trump - along with all former and future presidents - has "absolute immunity" and cannot be prosecuted for any "official act" during his presidency.  The Supreme Court summarizes its decision (read the full document here) -- emphasis mine:
Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority. And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts. 

This case poses a question of lasting significance: When may a former President be prosecuted for official acts taken during his Presidency? In answering that question, unlike the political branches and the public at large, the Court cannot afford to fixate exclusively, or even primarily, on present exigencies. Enduring separation of powers principles guide our decision in this case. The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official. The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts. That immunity applies equally to all occupants of the Oval Office.

The three Democratic-appointed justices dissented.  Justice Sotomayor's dissent was particularly irate (pp. 68-97):

Today’s decision to grant former Presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the Presidency. It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law. Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom about the need for “bold and unhesitating action” by the President, ante, at 3, 13, the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more. Because our Constitution does not shield a former President from answering for criminal and treasonous acts, I dissent. , , ,

Looking beyond the fate of this particular prosecution, the long-term consequences of today’s decision are stark. The Court effectively creates a law-free zone around the President, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the Founding. . . .  The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law. 

Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide [by] will not provide a backstop.

With fear for our democracy, I dissent. 

The Court's reasoning on both sides of the case is nuanced and detailed, and requires an understanding of the basics of law and government to fully comprehend.  (See the wikiarticle Sovereign Immunity and related topics.)  None of which matters to Trump and his followers.  He and they will take it as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card, a license to kill, complete freedom to do whatever he wants.

And he has already said he wants to be president for life, terminate the Constitution, and kill his political enemies.  Now he has all the justification he needs to do whatever he wants, with no consequences.

It's a helluva mess, fellas.  Instead of being the backstop of democracy, the six Republican justices have sold the country down the river.  And they knew exactly what they were doing - they aren't ignorant, dimwitted "deplorables" out in the boonies.  They know the effect this ruling will have on Trump's court cases and on the election.  They know.  

The only chance left to stop the madness is the ballot box - we have to save ourselves, because the politicized Supreme Court certainly won't. So Democrats and all others who aren't in league with the devil had better sure turn out in droves for this election.  It doesn't matter if Biden or someone else is the candidate - the only thing to do is Vote Blue, No Matter Who.

God help us all.

FYI:  Opinion polls show that voters are evenly split (within the margin of error) between Biden and Trump.  Your Head Trucker cannot understand how half the population intends to vote for Trump, but go look at the figures for yourself:  

Nationwide opinion polling for the 2024 United States presidential election (Wikipedia)


Update: This evening, President Biden addressed the nation from the White House, succinctly and eloquently denouncing the Supreme Court's ruling: 


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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sunday Drive: The Stars and Stripes Forever


Who knew our grand old march had words?

The Dallas quartet Acoustix performs it somewhere in England, 1995.

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Saturday, June 29, 2024

Vitruvian Men

Call it a summer fling. 

 

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Friday, June 28, 2024

Biden Must Go

This is all I saw of last night's presidential debate, and all I needed to see:

 

I haven't blogged much about politics these last few years, and for good reason:  it's not safe to speak freely in America anymore.  And the vicious madness of current politics is not good for my mental equanimity.

But I will say that for the good of the country, Biden ought to decline the nomination at the Democratic Convention next month and let some other Democrat run for election this November.

Who that would be, I haven't the faintest idea.  Pete Buttigieg is the only politician I know of who is smart enough and good enough to be the leader of the free world.  He's sharp as a tack, he's got heart, and he's got balls.  But Pete is still a bit too young, and needs more experience at the top of the ladder.

What about Kamala, you say.  Well, what about her?  She seemed like a woman who would really make a mark on Washington when she was elected Veep - but since then has largely faded into the woodwork.  My impression is that Biden has kept her on the bench all this long time, and she's dutifully kept her mouth shut about it.  She's a cypher to me - an unknown quantity.  A fearless, outspoken woman who came out swinging just might energize the the party faithful and capture many voters' attention.  But who knows.

However -- and remember, I told you Biden was too old five years ago! -- the choice before us now is to vote for a bad man who would be an incompetent president (to put it very mildly) -- or to vote for a good man who would also be an incompetent president.  Both are unfit for office, albeit for very different reasons.

A terrible choice.  Whichever way it turns out, we lose, and the world loses.  Big time.

The stakes are too high to be indifferent about this election.  God bless Joe Biden, who deserves our thanks and respect for doing all he could do -- but he should now yield the scepter to a younger and more vigorous man or woman.  Someone who can pick up the baton and win the race, if there is anyone.  It's not just about parties - it's about the continuation of democracy, or the hell of dictatorship.  It's about the lives of millions of people all around the world.  It's about Good versus Evil, and that's no joke.

There, I've said it.  That's my good deed for today.  Make of it what you will.


P. S. --  The more I think about it, a Harris-Kinzinger "unity" ticket might be a real humdinger.  Hmm.


Update, 6/28, 11:30 p.m.:  It's cold comfort, but I see the Editorial Board of the New York Times agrees with me:

“The president appeared on Thursday night as the shadow of a great public servant. He struggled to explain what he would accomplish in a second term. He struggled to respond to Mr. Trump’s provocations. He struggled to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his lies, his failures and his chilling plans. More than once, he struggled to make it to the end of a sentence,” the board wrote in an opinion piece published Friday.

“The greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election. As it stands, the president is engaged in a reckless gamble. There are Democratic leaders better equipped to present clear, compelling and energetic alternatives to a second Trump presidency. There is no reason for the party to risk the stability and security of the country by forcing voters to choose between Mr. Trump’s deficiencies and those of Mr. Biden. It’s too big a bet to simply hope Americans will overlook or discount Mr. Biden’s age and infirmity that they see with their own eyes,” the Times also said.

Biden is manifestly unfit for the highest job in the world, and the most demanding.  To ignore what is right in front of our eyes is utterly foolish; that's exactly what we reproach the Republicans for doing in the face of all Trump's wickedness, isn't it?  It would be disloyalty to our country to pretend all is well, nothing to worry about. Do you care more about your party or your country?

The board went on to say it would still support Biden as its “unequivocal pick” if the choice remains between him and former President Donald Trump.

Well, yes - if the choice is between Hitler and Pee-wee Herman, you have to go with the latter.  But that's a damn rotten shame.  

Roge Karma summarizes the current state of play in the Atlantic:

As of last night, there are no plausible theories left of how Biden could win the election. Last night was the test of whether Biden was up for the job of campaigning, and he failed it. This wasn’t just a weak performance, like Ronald Reagan’s first debate in 1984 and Barack Obama’s in 2012. The man could hardly speak. To believe that things will somehow turn around come September, when the next debate is scheduled, would be delusional.

The alternative to a Biden candidacy is for the president to voluntarily drop out of the race and either handpick his preferred successor or leave it entirely up to Democratic National Convention delegates to select a new candidate in August. Both come with significant risks; neither has a high probability of working. Vice President Kamala Harris, the most natural choice, may be even less popular than Biden, and other options, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, are totally unproven at the national level. But the notion that a younger, more energetic, more articulate candidate could defeat Trump is at least plausible. Biden turning things around is not.

Your Head Trucker says, without a new quarterback and smart, dramatic, honest game plan to turn things around, we're fucked.  And I mean all of us:  the country, the world, the whole human race.  Remember you heard it here first.

As Elizabeth Bruenig writes, also in the Atlantic:

The candidates said some factual things and some false things, but only one message came across as true: Our nation is shambling along the road to hell, and there doesn’t appear to be an off-ramp. “We are living in a rat’s nest,” Trump said, right for the wrong reasons. “We’re like a bunch of stupid people,” he went on; “we’re a failing nation.” Absolutely, but not because of migrants or the Chinese or the Russians: This mess is made in America, and all of us are going to suffer for it.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Kinzinger Endorses Biden

Adam Kinzinger is a true patriot and a real man.  I admire him.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mano a Mano

Two studly gymnasts act out a love affair.  Wow.

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Friday, June 21, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Come on in, make yourself comfortable.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Fatherhood

Last week, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg spoke to CBS Sunday Morning about the experience of raising their son and daughter. 

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday Drive: Delibes, Flower Duet

The lovely duet from Lakmé, as performed at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2023 by Nadine Sierra and Pretty Yende; this piece is a great favorite of M.P.'s, who is much more au fait with grand opera than your Head Trucker.

 

A recent video about Ms. Yende's remarkable journey from a childhood in apartheid-era South Africa to the heights of the operatic world:



And here is a 2017 interview with the American-born Ms. Sierra on French television (in English):

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trooping the Colour, 2024

Nobody does it better:  the annual review of troops by His Majesty the King for his Official Birthday, to be followed by a fly-past of the Royal Air Force and the appearance of the King and the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The ceremony on Horse Guards Parade commences with the arrival of the King at precisely 11 a.m., London time (6 a.m. in New York), with the fly-past due around 1 p.m.


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Friday, June 14, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Caution:  Slippery when wet.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Importance of Being Lazy

Your Head Trucker has been preaching and living this splendid truth all his life.  Now the rest of the world is catching on, it seems. 


 
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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Drive: Nightingale Serenade, Toselli

As performed by Andre Rieu and His Orchestra:

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Friday, June 7, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

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Thursday, June 6, 2024

D-Day Plus 80


Eighty years ago on this date, Allied land, sea, and air forces invaded Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Hitler's evil empire.  Four years earlier, the Nazi blitzkrieg had overrun the free states of Europe, and only Britain was left to defy him.  But the forces of darkness would not enjoy their triumph long.  After careful preparation, the tables were turned on June 6, 1944, as the greatest assemblage of armed forces in the history of the world breached the supposedly impenetrable walls of Hitler's Fortress Europe, leading to his utter defeat the following year, and Japan's too.

After the Fall of France in June 1940, Winston Churchill. in courageous words that echo down the halls of history, steeled his countrymen for what was to come next:
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”
We who were born after the war have lived our whole lives in those "broad, sunlit uplands," however hilly or rocky they may have seemed in part; in the Western world at least, we have lived in times of peace and plenty, blessed with a panoply of comforts and conveniences undreamed of by any previous generation, and available to all but the most abjectly poor.  

Antibiotics, vaccinations, and ingenious new treatments for all sorts of bodily ills and injuries have allowed us, collectively, to live longer, healthier, and consequently happier lives than any generation who came before us.  How very lucky we were, how blessed, to have lived in the second half of the twentieth century, and into the first quarter of the twenty-first.  In material terms, the human race never had it so good.

And yet, times change.  Mr. Starmer. who in all likelihood will shortly be the next prime minister of Great Britain, said just the other day, "The post-war era is over and a new age of insecurity has begun."  He might be putting it mildly.  I think all halfway intelligent people must view the current trend of things as very alarming - frightening - horrifying, even.  

But today I will say only that I am mindful of and deeply grateful for the sacrifices made by those soldiers, sailors, and airmen in 1944, who died so that my generation could grow up in peace and prosperity and freedom.  May they rest in peace and rise in glory.  





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Sunday, June 2, 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

June is here - the beach is open!

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Impossible Dream

Your old Head Trucker is admittedly - and happily - behind the times in many ways.  The song is one of my favorite tunes from way back, but I never heard of this fellow until now.  All I can say is, What A Voice!  Wow.


If you like that, check out this other recording he did of the song, in which he reaches even higher in the last few bars. 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ken Burns: "The Choice Could Not Be Clearer"

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time or die by suicide.
-- Abraham Lincoln, 1838

Forsaking his customary neutrality, renowned filmmaker Ken Burns (finally looking his age at 70) gave the commencement address at Brandeis University last week, a warning and a clarion call:


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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday Drive: Time Is Tight

From 1969 . . . 55 years ago . . . end of school . . . childhood's end . . . no longer a boy . . . not quite a man . . . Where would I go?  What would I do?  Who would I be?  No answers then . . . only the sound of happiness . . . a long road ahead . . . hopeward bound.

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Friday, May 24, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

You want some of this?

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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Cajun Comedian: Jonathan Perry

M.P. and I are working our way through some of this guy's videos.  Very funny - and you wouldn't believe his resume if I told you about it, so go look at it yourself.  

You should understand that Cajuns are Southerners with a French twist and a splash of hot sauce.  They enjoy a bit more joie de vivre than their Anglo neighbors.  And like M.P., they are great cooks.



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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday Drive: Bach, Air on the G String

As performed exquisitely by Hauser.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Right hand or left hand?  You pick.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Selleck at 79

Selleck then.

Selleck now.

When Magnum, P. I. came out, I watched it religiously every week for years.  Tom Selleck was my dream man come to life in all outward appearance - for a time, I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall.  But life went on, real lovers came and went, and I lost track of him.  

I haven't watched broadcast television for many years, and I had no idea he was/is starring in another hit TV show at this late date.  Good for him.  He looks like somebody's gruff old grandpa now - but a sexy grandpa.  CBS Sunday Morning gives us the update on Selleck and his remarkable career:

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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Sunday Drive: In the Garden

Down South here, this old hymn is one that everybody knows, and is often played at both weddings and funerals.  It was a favorite of my mama's, too.  Anne Murray gives a definitive performance:


However, I did not know until today how the lyrics came to be written, which adds greatly to the song's significance.  
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Friday, May 10, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Hi, I'm your new neighbor.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

What We're Watching: Finding Lucy


This 2000 documentary about America's favorite redhead was produced by WNET for the PBS American Masters series, and won an Emmy Award.  I discovered it only the other day, and highly recommend it to all you Lucy fans out there.

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