Tweet! Tweet!! Tweet Tweet!!!

It’d not be going out on a limb to say…

Far more pleasant and smarter sounding tweets emanate from densely leaved shade trees than from out of the dense White House.

 

Original 1958 Recording

 

ADDENDUM 06/17/2017 09:09 a.m.

To add one more word to the above…

Far more pleasant and smarter sounding tweets emanate from densely leaved shade trees than from out of the dense, shady White House.

The New “Ballad” of John and Yoko… Imagine That!

 

Preface…

Over the course of the past four plus decades, we’ve been hearing how the musical output from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, inarguably one of songwriting history’s most prolific teams, did not always involve 50/50 contributions to each and every finished composition.

Over the course of the past several days, we’re now finding out how the late Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, had made significant contributions to the classic rock song, Imagine… that she’s finally getting credit where credit is due… where credit has been long overdue. Oh, btw, that’s the way John had eventually realized it should be.

Their story has inspired my tribute to both of them… as follows…

 

 

The New “Ballad” of John and Yoko

 

 

So long, long ago; many scores, many years

John and Yoko, united, explored new frontiers

Noteworthy notions sprung forth from these two balladeers

The world they imagined spanned all hemispheres

 

In our world bankrupt of ethics; in deep, deep arrears

Ono, Lennon, faced down the facades and veneers

Confronted flawed biases, unfounded fears

Their sequenced bass, treble dots still, indeed, please our ears

 

Ideas beautiful, brainy, fleshed out their careers

Ideals heartfelt and heady, meshed like cogs of two gears

They transcended space/time, it strongly appears

Their shared vision enlightens, endures and endears

 

Yoko Ono, John Lennon, can be called pioneers

Imagine, their song, evokes tears, on two tiers

Their apt message and melody sure perseveres

To REALLY listen to them, could, too, make them two seers

 

 

What happens next?

 

There’s been another mass shooting incident in America. At present, congressmen, who are conservative in their thinking… who are (figuratively speaking) calling all the shots… need to open their eyes to the realities… but likely won’t. Were they to wise up, they’d realize that their savage, greed driven, upward redistribution of the wealth eventually winds up pissing off the very folks who they’re screwing over… that there’ll be times when pissed off people will reach their breaking points… to the point of committing violent acts… that heartless, budgetary cuts to the very programs that could provide psychological counseling oft means that angry folks will have no place else to turn EXCEPT to the gun shops… where far too lax gun regulations make it way too easy to lock and load.

What happens next?

There’s been another mass shooting incident in America. At present, congressmen, who are conservative in their thinking… who are (figuratively speaking) calling all the shots… need to open their eyes to the realities… but likely won’t. Were they to wise up, they’d realize that their savage, greed driven, upward redistribution of the wealth eventually winds up pissing off the very folks who they’re screwing over… that there’ll be times when pissed off people will reach their breaking points… to the point of committing violent acts… that heartless, budgetary cuts to the very programs that could provide psychological counseling oft means that angry folks will have no place else to turn EXCEPT to the gun shops… where far too lax gun regulations make it way too easy to lock and load.

What happens next?

There’s been another mass shooting incident in America. At present, congressmen, who are conservative in their thinking… who are (figuratively speaking) calling all the shots… need to open their eyes to the realities… but likely won’t. Were they to wise up, they’d realize that their savage, greed driven, upward redistribution of the wealth eventually winds up pissing off the very folks who they’re screwing over… that there’ll be times when pissed off people will reach their breaking points… to the point of committing violent acts… that heartless, budgetary cuts to the very programs that could provide psychological counseling oft means that angry folks will have no place else to turn EXCEPT to the gun shops… where far too lax gun regulations make it way too easy to lock and load.

What happens next?

Just how many more times will I need to paste this?

A Clear Conscience and Clarity of Thought

 

Granted, humans cannot be expected to remember everything. If we ever attempted to take on such a daunting task, each day would soon become so chaotic we’d likely drive ourselves nuts.

To help maintain our psychological equilibrium, we assess the degree of importance of events, faces, facts and figures, etc.… compartmentalizing this data as either short or long-term memories. We do tend to dismiss low ranked items… in other words… eventually forget the inconsequential stuff. But, that does beg the following Qs…

Would not folks who… oh… say… hire on as high ranking presidential campaign workers OR staff high profile, presidential cabinet positions all become so impressed with… maybe even geeked about… their assignments that they’d automatically categorize more things as important? Ergo, transform more of what they’ve been experiencing and whom they’ve been meeting into long-term memories?

Should not such individuals… oh… say… when questioned during congressional inquests into suspected wrongdoing, become fountains of knowledge? In other words… are they not uniquely qualified / intrinsically better prepared to supply answers to nearly all of the tough questions? And more to the point… is it not their patriotic duty to come clean?

Yet, more often than not, we hear such individuals hemming and hawing… practically mincing words down to their atomic structure… qualifying and prefacing nearly every last damned statement they utter with, “To the best of my recollection…” And then, there’s always that inquest thwarting, stonewalling, robotically deadpanned, “I don’t remember.”

True such amnesia can be legitimate… but what if it’s not? We then wind up witnessing selective amnesia… a.k.a. the convenient feigning of forgetfulness…the ploys to cover up the guilty party’s incompetence, malfeasance and/or corruption.

Let’s not fall victim to, yet, another form of amnesia. We must NEVER forget that the duties many of these federal employees / appointees are responsible for carrying out oft involve national security issues.

Inquisitors must never let slide anyone’s claims of amnesia. Why not? The following two scenarios will elaborate…

Scenario 1: If the forgetfulness is legitimate (and not an isolated occurrence), that means someone might be seriously ill and in need of prompt medical evaluation. Towards them, we can remain compassionate BUT we must also remain vigilant… understand that unless and until meds/therapy can expeditiously “lift the fog” as it were, we cannot allow anyone to remain in a position where being anything less than fully alert could jeopardize our national security.

Scenario 2: If the forgetfulness is feigned (and a chronic behavior), such individuals are in need of prompt legal attention. Their transgressions need to be evaluated in a court of law. Prison sentences should await all who are convicted. If not? Well, then we are allowing such individuals to remain in positions where their corruption could jeopardize our national security.

In our post 9/11 world, national security is what it’s all about. From each of our elected and appointed government entities we cannot and must not settle for anything less than a clear conscience and clarity of thought. Those qualities go hand in hand with transparency in government, too. For anyone unable to meet or exceed (what should be) our high expectations, they should either resign or be fired.

 

The Hot Tub: A Microcosm Of Planet Earth

 

When it comes down to the new DC régime’s pecking order, Mike Pence is Number 2.

Shortly after his boss had withdrawn America from the Paris Agreement, Mr. P publicly commented on issues of the environment. And one almost felt sorry for the li’l guy because he seemed to be genuinely mystified when he said…

“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world. It’s long been a goal of the liberal left in this country to advance a climate change agenda.”

Now Mr. P, there really is a reason and it is… or should be… nonpartisan. But let’s ease into this slowly. We lefties do realize that righties feel flummoxed by science. Nonetheless, you guys simply need to open up your minds… maybe just a tad? Meet us at least half way? OK?

Perhaps you’d gain a better understanding were this environmental stuff to hit home a bit more? And here’s where being a wallowing in wealth type of guy could actually come in handy. I mean, somewhere within your posh mansion, we would find a family sized hot tub, right?

Now let’s say you’ve worked up a profuse sweat from gutting government of all ethics and laying waste to our economy and ecology. Come the weekend would you not want to kick back and relax… to take a dip into all that warm bubbling water?

Perhaps, from time to time, even your wife Karen and your three kids, Audrey, Charlotte and Michael Jr. all hop in to join you?

Now let’s say on one particular weekend, you suddenly come down with a really nasty case of diarrhea… and by that I mean you’re, literally, unable to contain yourself. Under those circumstances, would you hop into the hot tub anyway? Expect your family to smile, say nothing and even remain soaking in the no longer clean water with you?

Of course not! You’re too refined to expect that, right?

Don’t you get it, Mr. P.? In this make-believe scenario, your hot tub is a microcosm of our climate change, warmed up planet… the fouled water analogous to our contaminated seven seas. You represent all of the world’s polluters who your admin enables… your family is akin to the family of man… all seven plus billion of us.

The obvious difference, here, is your spouse and offspring can easily make their escape.

However… on the grander scale, where in our vast universe would seven+ billion people run to?

Mr. P, are you beginning to see the big picture, now?

Decent, considerate folks… and yes you’re right… we’re mostly on the left… do understand that planet Earth is the only home we have. If we render our world utterly uninhabitable… shoot (oo = i) all over the place, as it were… there’s no other known, nearby, earthlike planet, within our vast universe, where humankind can seek refuge.

 

 

Tracking Down ALL The Beatles’ Studio Tracks

Lately, this 63-year-young, Beatles fan has been riding incredibly high upon a massive wave of feel good nostalgia… fueled, in part, by the fanfare surrounding the 50-year anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

However, in order to get to the root cause of my deep-seated feelings, we’d need to turn back the hands of time a bit further… to be exact… to arrive in my living room on Sunday, February 9, 1964, 8 p.m.

It had been at that merger of space/time, where/when I had been 1 amongst 73 million viewers in TV land tuned into the Ed Sullivan Show.

“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” That’s the night where the Fab Four had begun to weave their unique, brilliant British sound into the drab fabric of America’s formulaic, pop music scene… forever changing it for the better. Their first set opened with All My Lovin’… followed by Till There Was You and She Loves You. Their second set closed out that historic broadcast with I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

For this then 9-year-young lad, the Beatles could not have made the scene at a better time. After all, only a scant eleven weeks (+ some temporal “change”) had passed since the assassination of President, John F. Kennedy and we Americans were still deep in mourning… continued to feel haunted by November 22, 1963’s raw TV news coverage… all of that ghastly black and white imagery bleeding out from our TV screens… figuratively staining our living room carpets and searing sorrow into our gray matter.

But being ear-witnesses to John, Paul, George and Ringo’s upbeat, feel good music sure as hell had helped us with our healing process.

Now, to get back to Sgt. Pepper’s 50th anniversary and how I celebrated…

Somehow… just playing back that one, particular album didn’t seem to go far enough. Instead, I wound up tracking through, start to finish, the Fab Four’s full discography… the one, which encompasses the totality of their incredible studio output. If one opted to binge listen, that’d clock out at approximately 10 hours. I have done that before… but… this time around, I chose to spend a week to savor everything a bit more.

Now, if you don’t own this collection and would like to, the data I’m providing, below, will help you immensely. “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” I know it’s an old fashioned notion to actually own physical copies of anything… BUT… in an era fraught with talk about looming government censorship… well… need I say more?

My search to secure these precious albums began and ended in 1990. I had gotten into the CD revolution rather late in the game, but, once in the thick of things, I made it my top priority to assemble the Beatles’ complete body of work. At that juncture, the record stores (remember those?) were stocking the Fab Four’s CD’s, as presented in their U.K. released format, which was (still is) totally cool with me.

I’ve always felt that recording artists should maintain complete, creative control over presenting music in the order they see fit. In other words, not entrust that task to corporate bean counters, who don’t see the notes on the treble and bass clefs… only the dollar signs on their spreadsheets. And… to be sure… during the Beatles’ early years, stateside, Capitol Records had opted to carve up and repackage the Fab Four’s UK albums… resulting in play lists that would not necessarily have amused JPG&R. But I digress…

The following discography features all 13 of the Beatles’ UK released CDs, listed by catalogue number along with a linked album title (which will provide you a wealth of data re the musical content plus historical fun facts).

The 14th and 15th entries are for CDs that include songs, which had been originally been released as 45s, EPs… etc. The liner notes from both of these Past Masters compendia will further clarify…

“If you have the other 13 CDs, and these two, you have everything that the Beatles, the most successful artists in the history of recorded sound, commercially issued during their remarkable reign.”

Well… almost everything… re the 16th and 17th entries on my list, this data will help you find the two songs where Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had laid down their tracks… added their talent to that of the late John Lennon’s solo work… resulting in the first two “new” Beatles songs released in 25 years: Free As A Bird and Real Love.

 

01 ~ CDP7 46435 2 ~ Please Please Me

02 ~ CDP7 46436 2 ~ With The Beatles

03 ~ CDP7 46437 2 ~ A Hard Day’s Night

04 ~ CDP7 46438 2 ~ Beatles For Sale

05 ~ CDP7 46439 2 ~ Help!

06 ~ CDP7 46440 2 ~ Rubber Soul

07 ~ CDP7 46441 2 ~ Revolver

08 ~ CDP7 46442 2 ~ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

09 ~ CDP7 48062 2 ~ Magical Mystery Tour

10 ~ CDP7 46443 2 & CDP7 46444 2 The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) Disc 1 & 2

11 ~ CDP7 46445 2 ~ Yellow Submarine

12 ~ CDP7 46446 2 ~ Abbey Road

13 ~ CDP7 46447 2 ~ Let It Be

14 ~ CDP7 90043 2 ~ Past Masters Volume One

15 ~ CDP7 90044 2 ~ Past Masters Volume Two

 

16 ~ CDP 7243 8 34445 2 ~ Anthology Volume 1

17 ~ C2 7243 8 58544 2 2 ~ Real Love

 

My Sanctuary City’s 5-Star Bistro / Birthing Centre

 

For the past several weeks, quite by surprise, I’ve found myself wearing a diverse array of occupational hats… e.g., proprietor/head chef of a five star bistro (which I hadn’t even known I owned)… silent partner of a suddenly “christened”, necessity is the mother of invention, birthing center… and mayor of a sanctuary city, as it were.

Now, lest I needlessly raise the hackles of overly zealous U.S. federal ICE agents and my own home state’s inspectors of eateries and medical facilities … it is with both sudden alarm and alacrity that I must point out that the hungry patrons (inclusive of a new mom) are none other than a family of rabbits. 1

Undoubtedly, these refugees had been displaced by urban sprawl… the dirty deeds of avarice driven, excessively capitalistic fools… i.e., those who have yet to “meet” a natural, pristine parcel of land that they would not hesitate to violate.

Yes, I do get it… with the level of our global human population on the rise, there is a real need to construct new housing. Even so, would not renovating rather than razing existing homes and apartments slow that sprawl and, in the same breath, be far friendlier to the environment? Would that not show proper consideration for the rabbits and other creatures, which humans are supposed to live in harmony with?

After all, every living organism has a purpose… provides a natural balance within our Creator’s (or if you’d prefer, Ma Nature’s) grand scheme. One would think that in the interest of interspecies amity, humans, allegedly the smartest creatures of all, could find it within their heads and hearts to favor the carrot over the stick?

One wonders if humankind will realize this stark reality soon enough to avert an environmental cataclysm? Time will tell… but… alas… time is also running out… rapidly.

Well, this kindly “mayor” has opted for the carrot… as it were… to welcome my newfound rabbit pals and what a pleasant experience co-existence has been for all. Each new day we’ve been sharing our sit down breakfasts and suppers together… I at my dining room table, indoors, while they’re nibbling away at whatever they choose, al fresco.

As for their specific dietary requirements, most of the lush, verdant, naturally, abundantly growing vegetation within my backyard provides them an “all you can eat” vast smorgasbord of culinary delights.

As for their delivery room / maternity ward needs, mother, instinctively, knows best.

So you can clearly see, my new furry friends are no trouble… not in the least.

Of course, I don’t take my newfound “mayoral” duties lightly. I have felt one overriding concern… namely, unless it’s found within the vegetation, itself, what and where is their water source? Albeit briefly, just as many a restaurateur would do, I did think about setting their “table” with a few shallow containers of water but… factoring in my legitimate worries about standing, summertime H2O being a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos (perhaps even inclusive of the Zika virus), “quick as a bunny”, I wisely nixed that notion.

Of course I had actually had nothing to worry about. If needed, located less than a kilometer down the road, there is a creek, which could amply quench their thirsts. For them, the travel time would be no prob, either. On the rare occasions where I’ve unintentionally spooked them, watching them race away in a blur, indeed, establishes how well deserved their “quick as a bunny” reputation truly is.

But even so, that short distance does seem a long way to go. Why would they prefer moving into my yard rather than dwelling closer to that stream? And why my yard vs. the yards of my next-door neighbors?

I think it’s fair to conclude that rabbits find better tasting vegetation growing within my “sanctuary city”. How could they not? Unlike far too many urbanites ISO the picture perfect lawn, I believe stinky lawn chemicals are a bane… not a boon… are likely carcinogens, too.

The perceptive nature of rabbits amply proves they are not dumb bunnies.

NOPE, such nomenclature would be far more appropriate in describing the money-grubbing, land grabbing developers, who so thoughtlessly (oft needlessly) invade and pave over natural habitats. And the same goes for the lawn chemical industry, which (soon afterwards) steps in to con ill-informed new (and current) homeowners into poisoning our entire planet.

 

1 Please keep in mind that my intent is not to trivialize the suffering of human war refugees and émigrés. Indeed, I believe this blog will demonstrate how man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.