Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Litle Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Last week we had the Army, this week we'll let a couple of the sailors take a turn.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Keith Arneson, banjo Petty Officer 1st Class Joe Friedman, guitar

Monday, December 9, 2019

Geography Div (Continental Drift subsection)

Things sure can change in 6000 years, eh ?? Here's a political Pangea circa 250 Million BCE

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (It's that time of year subsection)

Time for the Holiday Bluegrass. The US Army Band's Bluegrass group from 2015

SFC Dean G. Woods, guitar . SFC Marlisa D. Woods, fiddle . MSG Michael J. Ford, harmonica . SFC Kristopher C. Armstrong, string bass . CW5 (ret.) Charles Vollherbst, banjo

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass (Busker ? subsection)

2019 IBMA Instrumental Recording of the Year ---

Missy Raines and Alison Brown cover the classic bluegrass duet "Little Darlin', Pal Of Mine" live from Station Inn in Nashville, TN, from Raines' album 'Royal Traveller.' Featuring Mike Bub and Todd Phillips.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

2019 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year - Kristin Scott Benson. Here (with the Grascals) doing
Shenandoah Breakdown.

A Little (Early) Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Obit subsection)

Saburo ‘Sab’ Watanabe passes

I've always enjoyed Bluegrass 45 from Japan. Sorry to hear this.

Tsuyoshi “Josh” and his older brother Akira Otsuka (mandolin); two other brothers Toshio (bass) and Saburo Watanabe (Inoue) (banjo) and; Chien-Hua Lee; and Hsueh-Chieng “Ryo” Liao 

Racism Div (sadly subsection)

Here in South Dakota, we don't have an overabundance of black people. Our people of color are predominately the Native Americans from which we went out of our way to get rid of in so many continuing ways.
Mrs Bear recently received this from a long-time acquaintance:
Sociology 101
A young black kid asks his mother, "Mama, what is Socialism and what is Racism?"

"Well, Child… Socialism is when the white folks work every day so we can get all our governmental entitlement stuff for free.

You know… like our free cell phones for each family member, rent subsidy, food stamps, EBT, WIC, free school breakfast, lunch, and in
some places supper, free healthcare, utility subsidy, and on and on… you know, that's Socialism."

"But, Mama, don't the white people get pi--ed off about that?"

"Sure they do, Honey. That's called Racism."

(Never was it more simply explained.)
My wife (and I, when informed) was shocked, hurt and disgusted.
Her reply to the sender:

                          I am appalled that you sent me this horrid, racist story.

                           Surely you do not condone such hateful nonsense. 
                           It is clearly something espoused by white supremacists,
                           by the Ku Klux Klan
                           Seriously, do you really believe that “white folks” work to support 
                           programs for “black folk”.

                           Surely there is nothing Christian in what you have emailed:
                            it only fuels hatred and racism. 

                            I am sick at heart that a friend of mine would propagate such hateful rhetoric.

                            Please remove my name from your list of “forwards”.

I don't know what else I can say about this blatant, racist piece of shit (I won't deign to give the sender that much dignity), We've known the sender for years and have always valued her friendship despite her politics.You can probably  imagine what she thinks of the thug occupying the the Article II office and which political party she supports.
Needless to say, she's no longer welcome in our home.

We have a problem here in South Dakota ...... and it ain't Meth (even though "We're on it").

Monday, November 18, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

IBMA Vocal Group of the Year - Sister Sadie doing Losing You Blues.

Sister Sadie: Dale Ann Bradley - Guitar, Tina Adair - Mandolin, Deanie Richardson - Fiddle, Gena
Britt - Banjo and Beth Laerence - Bass.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Question and the Answer (Impeachment subsection)

The Question:

Yovanovitch: The President had a right to withdraw me, but was it necessary to smear my reputation? 

The Answer:

'nuf said 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

2019 IBMA Entertainer of the Year: Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers doing Fiddle Man's Delight.

Joe Mullins, Banjo, Mike Terry, Mandolin, Duane Sparks, Guitar, Jason Barie, Fiddle and Randy Barnes, Bass

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Boston based Lonely Heartstring Band doing their original The Tide.
This from 2014

George Clements (guitar, vocals) Patrick M'Gonigle (fiddle, vocals) Charles Clements (bass, vocals), Matt (now Maddie) Witler (mandolin) and Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo).

Monday, October 28, 2019

Giography Div ( ... and New Mexico will pay for it subsection)

What can I say ..........

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a wall is being built in Colorado.
"And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we’re building a wall in Colorado. We’re building a beautiful wall. A big one that really works — that you can’t get over, you can’t get under,” Trump said during a speech at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh.
He continued, “And we’re building a wall in Texas. And we’re not building a wall in Kansas but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible.”
Colorado is not positioned along the U.S.'s southern border, where Trump has focused his desire for a physical barrier, and there have been no reports of plans to construct a border wall in the state. A portion of the border wall is being built along the Colorado River in Arizona.
Trump presumably misspoke, as he had just been speaking about the border wall plans along the southern border between New Mexico and Mexico.
“You know why we’re going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on their border. And they didn’t have it. And we’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico,” he declared before mentioning Colorado.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Fiddlin'' Around subsection)

I can't say that I entirely enjoy Live From Here since it replaced Prairie Home Companion. Though gifted, Chris Thile hosts too many "weird" and un-listenable acts. Every now and then, the true genius does emerge.
Here along with Chris Eldridge and Jeremy Kittel doing a medley of fiddle tunes: St. Anne's Reel, Whiskey Before Breakfast and Salt Creek.

Chris Thile - Mandolin, Chris Eldridge - Guitar and Jeremy Kittel - Fiddle,

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Our "Hospitality" Preznit

Trump Still Considers Himself To Be In Hospitality Business

Screw the Ukraine business (tho it's just as damning) .................... Mulvaney sez it all ...

And WTF is wrong woith South Carolina ???

Monday, October 21, 2019

Geography Div (What's Up Doc??)

Seems like there's a lot of Smiths, eh ? (... and I think that Patel is the Indian version).
Of course, we know what the Johnsons specialize in ..... (heh)

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Dic

One of the best pieces of advice I ever had as a young pilot was that "Good judgement is the result of experience. Unfortunately, experience was often the result of bad judgement."
So it goes, Don Schlitz  doing Bad Decisions.

 Don Schlitz lead vocal, Glen Duncan - fiddle, with Rob McCoury on-banjo, Cody Kilby - guitar, Casey Campbell -  mandolin, and Dennis Crouch -  bass.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Geography Div (Marsupial subsection)

There's been some talk of Kangaroo Courts lately (mostly from idiots, but I digress.

Just what is legal in these here United States ??

                 IS IT LEGAL TO OWN A KANGAROO ?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div ( not blue "grass" subsection)

Our idiot governor here in South Dakota won't let the farmers grow industrial hemp; let alone this stuff. (Though she voted for its legalization when she was a loyal trumpeteer in Congress) go figure.

Andy Thorn, banjoist of Colorado band Leftover Salmon doing Blazing New Frontiers from his new solo album Frontiers Like These. 
I'm sure no musicians got high in the production of the video.

Andy Thorn - Banjo, Jon Stickley-Guitar, Andrew Marlin-Mandolin, Bobby Britt-Fiddle, Miles Andrews-Bass, Jeff Stickley-Tenor Vocal

Monday, October 7, 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

Darren Nicholson and his band with a twist on the old standard Old Joe Clark. In this case, they call it Old Jah Clark Mon. From the new instrumental album Fret a Spell.

Darren Nicholson-Mandolin, Kevin Sluder-Upright Bass, Griff Martin-Guitar, Richard Foulk-Drums, Matt Flake-Fiddle and Barrett Sullivan-Banjo

Monday, September 30, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Dead Memories subsection)

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley doing one of my favorites, the old Grateful Dead classic Friend of the Devil.

Rob Ickes - Dobro and Trey Hensley - Guitar

Friday, September 27, 2019

MAGA Div ( and the current crroks ain't gonna do it subsection)

There's going to be a lot more of the Trumplican chant of making America great. Ain't gonna happen with the current gang of self-centered crooks.
Saw this last night .......... It's still true .......... but it can be.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Geography Div (Commodities subsection)

2017 ... but today nobody's sellin' very much. And guess who gets the credit ??

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

One of my favorite groups: Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen doing Blue Moon of Kentucky followed by The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

Frank Solivan (vocals, mandolin, guitar, fiddle) Mike Munford (banjo), Chris Luquette (guitar), and Jeremy Middleton (bass) 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Geography Div (You decide subsection)

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?
Well, today in 1620, the Mayflower departed Plymouth, England.
We know what followed.
As one of my Lakota co-workers answers to the riddle, "Genocide."

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

A group from Burnsville, NC The True Grass Band doing Back On My Mind.

Jeff Allen on guitar, Anthony Allen on bass, Daniel Cook on guitar, Jeremy Painter on mandolin, and Daniel Norton on banjo.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Just heard this while driving. The Grascals doing Clear Corn Liquor. Definite hints of  Whiskey Before Breakfast.

The Grascals: Danny Roberts - Mandolin, Chris Davis - Guitar, Terry Smith - Bass,  Adam
Haynes - Fiddle, John Bryan - Guitar and Kristen Scott Benson - Banjo.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Geography Div (Workin' for a livin' subsection)

It's Labor Day.  Supposed to be a holiday, but untold numbers of workers are out there helping bidness do bidness. I won't be shopping.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Two more IBMA nominees for 2019 Scott Vestal and Kenny Smith, in this from 2013; The Ramblin' Rooks doing Earl Scruggs' Groundspeed. 

The Rambling Rooks consist of, from left, Scott Vestal (banjo), Don Rigsby (mandolin), Ronnie Bowman (bass) and Kenny Smith (guitar).

Monday, August 26, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Litle Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Was glad to see Stuart Duncan nominated for Fiddle Player of the year for the 2019 IBMA awards,
he's always been one of my favorites. Here he is joined by two other 2019 nominees, Sam Bush (Mandolin) and Bryan Sutton (Guitar) doing the old standard Paddy on the Turnpike.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Another song nominated for the 2019 IBMA Song of the year. The Po' Ramblin' Boys doing
Last Train South.

CJ Lewandowski - Mandolin, JerememBrown - Banjo, Josh Rinkel - Guitar and
Jasper Lorentzen - Bass.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

One of the songs nominated for Song of the year for the 2019 IBMA Awards,
Appalachian Road Show doing Dance, Dance, Dance

Barry Abernathy - Banjo, Darrell Webb - Mandolin, Jim VanCleve - Fiddle, Todd Phillips - Bass
and Zeb Snyder - Guitar.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Dale Ann Bradley was just nominated for Female Vocalist of the year by the IBMA. From her new album The Hard Way, she superbly covers the late Jim Croce's Hard Way Every Time.

Bradley on guitar and band members Matt Leadbetter on mandolin, Ethan Burkhardt on bass, Steve Wilson on banjo and Chance Watt on guitar.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Geography Div (more names subsection)

The Minibears fouled up and posted this earlier this month. They have been chastised.

Looks like Emma just beat out Olivia.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Heard this song a week or so ago driving home from work. A band originally from the Boston area, Mile Twelve doing The Margaret Keene, from their first album Onwards.
They were just nominated for New Artist of theYear by the IBMA.

David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals), and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals).

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

The Amanda Cook Band with their single released last April, Point of No Return.

Amanda Cook - Mandolin & lead vocal, Carolyne VanLierop - Banjo, Joshua Faul - Bass,
George Mason - Fiddle and Aaron "Frosty" Foster - Guitar.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass (Songwriter recognition subsection)

John Prine was recently inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Here's the Seldom Scene doing one of his early efforts, Paradise.

Seldom Scene is Dudley Connell on guitar, Lou Reid on mandolin, Fred Travers on reso-guitar, Ronnie Simpkins on bass, and Ron Stewart on banjo and fiddle.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Get Well Subsection)

I've followed Jeff Autry for years and was happy to finally meet him three years ago when he was with the Dave Atkins Band.
Sorry to hear that he recently suffered a stroke.


Jeff Autry - Guitar
Glen Crain - Dobro Edgar Loudermilk - Bass Zack Autry - Mandolin

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

An unusual group makeup -- father - son and father - daughter. Duck Wallow Lane from Plant City, FL doing Let Me Know written by Mike Maravilla

Duck Wallow Lane is Michael Maravilla on banjo, with his 15 year old son, Barrett, on mandolin, and Beau Brake on bass, with his 13 year old daughter, Morgan, on guitar

Monday, June 24, 2019

Geography Div (Population density subsection)

I've worked at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site for four years. One of the most common questions asked is "Why here?" (in this case being South Dakota.
Well, take a look at these two maps and make a guess.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (More Furriners subsection)

... And it's even about a bear !! The Bluegrass Boogiemen, from Holland doing Old Slewfoot.

Robert Jan Kanis - Guitar), Arnold Lasseur  - mandolin, Aart Schroevers - Bass 
and Bart van Strien - banjo..

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Local Happening subsection)

The Black Hills Bluegrass Festival is currently in progress. Featured band this year is The Dave Adkins Band. He was here two years ago when he was teamed with Edgar Loudermilk, Here's his new band doing  Little Maggie.

Dave introduces everyone at the end of the number.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Geography Div (National Shame subsection)

Two weeks ago my wife and I visited the National Memorial For Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.
At one point, I sat down and cried.
Every pillar hanging from the ceiling represents a US County where a lynching took place and is inscribed with the victim's names and the date of their murder.
There really aren't words adequate enough to describe the horror of what happened.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Been hearing this song quite a bit lately on Bluegrass Junction [Sirius XM}. Unspoken Tradition doing I Say Let's Go.

Unspoken Tradition: Audie McGinnis - Guitar, Zane McGinnis - Banjo, Sav Sankaran - Bass, Tim
Gardner - Fiddle and Ty Gilpin - Mando;in

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

One Grass Two Grass  doing Why we've Come

The Band: Sam Trimboli is on bass, with Anthony Dente on fiddle, Carson Hunter on banjo, Bud Dillard on mandolin, and Riley Hill on guitar.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Seein' as Mr & Mrs Bear are in Alabama, seemed appropriate that a southern  group is featured.
Breaking Grass doing the song made famous by Buddy Holly (and Linda Ronstadt) When Will I Be Loved.

Breaking Grass: Cody Farrar - Guitar, Britt Sheffield - Bass, Tyler White - Fiddle, Zach Wooten - Mandolin and Jody Elmore - Banjo.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

High Fidelity performs a twin banjo rendition of the classic Don Reno & Red Smiley instrumental "Follow the Leader" from their new album HILLS AND HOME [Rebel Records, 2018]

Jeremy Stephens - Banjo, Curt Stephenson - Banjo, Corina Rose Stephens - Fiddle, Vickie
Vaughn - Bass and Daniel Amick - Guitar

Monday, May 13, 2019

Geography Div (Colonists subsection)

1607 - An expedition led by Captain Christopher Newport arrived at Jamestown, Virginia. The passengers went ashore the next day and this site became the first permanent settlement English colony in America.

I've lost count how many time I paddled around that island in a kayak.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Cane Mill Road with Gap to Gap from their album of the same name.

Band members range in age from 16 to 21 years and include: 16-year-old Liam Purcell on vocals, fiddle, mandolin; 21-year-old Eliot Smith bass; 19-year-old Trayn Wellington on banjo; and 21-year-old Casey Lewis on guitar and vocals.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (RIP Subsection)

John Starling has passed away. He joins John Duffy and Mike Aldridge. Only Ben Eldridge and Tom Gray remain from the original Seldom Scene.
RIP John. Thank you for your service to your country and the wonderful music you made.
He Rode All the Way To Texas.

John Starling - Guitar, John Duffey - Mandolin, Mike Aldridge - Dobro, Ben Eldridge - Banjo and Tom Gray - Bass.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Sideline with their #1 single Thunder Dan.

Steve Dilling - Banjo, Skip Cherryholmes - Guitar, Jason Moore - Bass, Bailey Coe - Guitar,
Troy Boone - Mandolin and Daniel Greeson - Fiddle

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A LIttle Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Allegheny Drifters from Pennsylvania doing Kansas City Kitty.

Bernie Cunningham - Guitar,Bob Artis - Mandolin, Karen Artis - Bass, Radford Vance - Banjo and Michele Birkby-Vance - Fiddle

Saturday, April 13, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

New band Backline from Spartanburg, SC doing Your Love from their album A Thousand Wishes.

Travis Tucker on reso-guitar, Zachary Carter on banjo, Louis Hughes on mandolin, Jason blue on bass and Katelyn Ingardia on guitar.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Down Under subsection)

Mustard Courage with the title track from their new album We Played With Fire

Nick Keeling - banjo, Julian Abrahams - guitar, Josh Bennett - mandolin, and Josh Bridges - bass and lead vocal.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Stevie Wonder subsection)

Nashville Quartet Lateral Blue doing Stevie Wonder's Superstition.

Caleb Edwards (mandolin), Laura Epling (fiddle), Kyle Lee (banjo), Kori Caswell (upright bass)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Geography Div (Who's Readin' subsection)

Well, it appears that the Minibears spent too much time reading over the weekend and didn't get any geography up for today. They have been chastised and told to submit book reports. Guess where they got the books??

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Furiners subsection)

Italian grassers Red Wine doing Fiddle and Bow.

Lucas Bellotti (bass), Martino Coppo (mandolin), Marco Ferretti (guitar), Silvio Ferretti (banjo)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Irish theme subsection)

Well, tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, and what better than an Irish-themed song, written by an American and performed by a group from Slovenia. The Bluegrass Hoppers doing Steve Spurgin's Walk in the Irish Rain.

Marko Logar-guitar, Dragan Verber-banjo, Mitja Novak-guitar, Anton Cigula-mandolin, Milan Kebrič-bass, Luka Banović-tin whistles, clarinet, Dušan Waldhüter-accordion,

Monday, March 11, 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Newtown doing Long Hard Road form their new album Old World.

Kati Pen Williams - Lead vocal and Fiddle, JR Williams - Banjo, Travis Anderson - Bass, Mitchell
Cannon - Mandolin and Jared Hensley - Guitar

Monday, March 4, 2019

Geography Div (Bang, You're dead subsection)

Looks like 2017 was a pretty lousy (or good, depending on your point of view) year for dying by gun.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Katy Kallick Band doing Foxhounds, From an earlier album.

Kathy Kallick, guitar, Annie Staninec, fiddle, Tom Bekeny, mandolin, Cary Black, bass, and Greg Booth banjo and dobro.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Little Bluegrass Memory (RIP subsection)

Mac Wiseman passed away this morning.
One of the true pioneer giants of Bluegrass music. Here he is doing Jimmy Brown the Newsboy. 
I'll bet Mac bought a copy of the Gospel News from Jimmy as soon as he arrived.
RIP Mac .........

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Chatham County Line with Siren Song, Performed at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA 

Dave Wilson - Guitar, John Teer - Mandolin, Chandler Holt - Banjo and Greg
Readling - Bass.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Geography Div (Road Trip Subsection)

Hey, it's President's Day (I much prefer the term Linchonton's Washday), but here's roadtrip honoring Prez #1.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Newgrass subsection)

Everything Is Possible by the Sam Bush Band.

Sam Bus - Mandolin, Scott Vestal - Banj, Stephen Mougin -Guitar,  Todd Parks - Bass 
and Chris Brown —Drums

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Little Mid-Week Bluegrass Div (Sad News Subsection)

News just received that John Starling, one of the founding members of the Seldom Scene has entered hospice. When he passes, only Ben Eldridge and Tom Gray will remain from the original group, John Duffey and Mike Auldridge having died in 1996 and 2012 respectively.

The "Scene" was unusual in that they all had "day" jobs and considered their weekly jams their "poker night." Once going public, stage performances were of short duration in local clubs in the DC area. Though Duffey was the unofficial leader (and the strongest personality) everything was shared equally and there had to be full agreement on the repertoire.

Here's a performance featuring John singing lead (probably from around 1980 -Starling left in 1977) of Herb Pederson's Wait a Minute.

May John's transition to his new adventure be a smooth and comfortable one. Thanks for the memories.

John Starling - Guitar and Lead vocal, John Duffey - Mandolin, Mike Auldridge - Dobro,
Tom Gray - Bass, Ben Eldridge - Banjo and Phil Rosenthal - Guitar.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Geography Div (Historical subsection)

Today in 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts signed a redistricting bill and gave birth to this monster - the Gerrymander. It's descendants continue to live.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Foreigners subsection)

A band from Sweden, The Original Five (yeah, yeah, there are only four of them), with the title track from their just released album of the same name: Wipe Away Those Years.

Dan Englund is on bass and lead vocals, supported by Johan Malmberg on banjo, Daniel Olsson on reso-guitar, and Jonas Svahn on guitar.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Geography Div (taking Life -- Seriously)

Of course, Montana and Wyoming don't have that many people, eh ?


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Occasional Mid-Week Molly (SOTU subsection)

    "There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief." -Molly Ivins

Boy Howdy, are we ever in for a boxcar full of the aforementioned "bull" ... and there will be very little of that truth stuff. Best to turn on NETFLIX and save yourself some heartburn.

SOTU: Have some fun. Think up your own definition for those strung-together letters of the alphabet.
How 'bout: Say Only Ten Untruths ?? Well, you get the idea (and trust me, when the current occupant of the Oval Office stands up in front of Congress - on national teevee, there will be more that ten of them there"untruths" spoken). Maybe we should emulate that idiot and simply characterize his utterances as "Fake Facts." Perhaps a buzzer sounding for every lie/falsehood wouldn't be inappropriate.

Anyhow, Donald of Orange didn't get to stick with his schedule but now he's going to appear on
5 February (check your local listings). Before he shows up to make a total mockery of his office (and these suggestions would be applicable to all further SOTU addresses by any chief executive) then there should be a few rules for the public conveyance of this Constitutional requirement, which would also restore some degree of decorum, dignity and solemnity to what has become a media driven, political side-show. It's probably too late now to implement these rules, but something needs to be done for the future (and our overall sanity).

Here are  my suggestions:

1. No one except the sitting members of the House and Senate may be present on the House floor.
  ---- These rules apply equally to the Senate chamber should the address occur there. 

2. Seating in the gallery of the chamber will be open to all citizens chosen by a random lottery. Applicants must submit their own entry - no sponsorship.
Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, military brass, congressional staff/ advisors and all other        celebrities, hanger-ons, lackeys and assorted horse holders can submit their names for the lottery and take their chances along with the rest of us.   
3. Seating in the gallery will be on a first-come, first-seated basis for lottery ticket holders. No reservations or reserved seating will be allowed. Should you be lucky enough to get a ticket, you might have to sit next to someone above or below your perceived social status, a sexual/gender orientation or ethnic/religious background different than your own or an opposing political persuasion and/or party affiliation ..... tough, we're an egalitarian society: suck it up and play nice together.
4 The speech will NOT be televised. Radio only. A visual recording may be made (for historic/accuracy purposes) using a single camera, but may only show the speech giver head-on, neither the audience nor those on the dais will be shown.(Let the radio commentators describe the ceremonial entry and leave us to our imaginations.)

5. A verbatim  transcript of the speech will be posted within 24 hours in the Congressional Record and any other Congressional or Executive branch website. It may not be edited for content. It will also be made available to any requesting media organization.
6. Should the president choose, she/he may submit the contents to the Congress in writing. Within 24 hours of its receipt, it will be handled per item 5 above.

7. Should the president choose to make a televised production of this Constitutional requirement from somewhere other than the Capitol, the broadcast will be required to comply with the rule regarding visual recording (point 4 above).