Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ghost of Hamilton haunts Iceland? International potpourri

I'm at the point of making a clean break from the past, in terms of my heavy reliance on the BBC first for international news; today, France 24 beat the pants off of 'em, while the UK indulges in deep navel-gazing spawned by the latest Tory Party/Labour Party row. The Queen getting directly involved, now?  Here's a reminder to Yankees that the UK isn't the democratic dream y'all thought it might be as a constitutional monarchy, but because the upper house is almost entirely Anglican thanks to that same monarchy, it's actually an Anglican theocratic monarchy that King James Stuart the First had in mind when he had the Bible overhauled...but I digress from the news from Iceland as reported by France 24.

Another round in the Tory/Labour row--The Guardian

Iceland was a major fall guy when Lehman Brothers bit the dust and although our own system's too rigged for much of anything by way of reform with teeth in it, Iceland may very well position itself to force our own reform--they're not fond of the U.S. bosses of the IMF, either. #AIIB

In short, Iceland's about to overhaul its monetary system with the power to create cash solely in the power of a single bank, citing Iceland's hopping from crisis to crisis since 1875. Yup, sure sounds Hamiltonian.  Anyhoo, France 24 also reported on the important election in Nigeria, the one that Good Luck Jonathan lost to Muhammadu Buhari, and I suspect that the Boco Haram kidnappings with Jonathan's failure to lift a pinkie to do anything about it played a large role in that, but I also have to wonder if Nigeria didn't jump from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.  Worth keeping an eye on if you're also concerned with ISIS and similar ilk.  My interest in this stems from Nigeria's neighbor, Cameroon, which Boco Haram has also targeted and it's growing.

U.S. base in Okinawa is once again in dispute as if China isn't breathing down Japan's neck enough.  But speaking of banking, China's taking an initiative for the Asian neighborhood which is sort of a cross between what Iceland has in mind and its own version of a central bank for the region which *might* include TPP nations, if the TPP could ever get off the ground; ASEAN nations definitely targeted. Yet Israel has applied for membership in this AIIB
see also #AIIB #AAIB  #ADB

I just heard an interesting take on the Iran negotiations, now going into overtime, and that's about how the people who are against these talks taking place also have big investments in big oil and once Iranian oil starts flowing onto the global market, the price for a barrel of light sweet crude (benchmark barrel price) is going to plummet still further with projections being around $30 per barrel.  So, Bibi Netanyahu--you thought you actually had friends, didn't you. You're just a congressional patsy, and you've been played, sucker.

Yeah, the Indiana backlash is a big deal and in the world's spotlight, not just here Stateside, and there's a truckload more to get to, so I'm gonna have to take it a piece at a time.

Wednesday UPDATE, Special City Meeting Edition: For all the poo-poohing I got  about the industrial/recreational lake in the beginning, the City is coming around to my way of thinking on that as of this evening, when a series of engineering firms presented their ideas for the Kaw Pipeline project and two of them said that a reservoir was also recommended in addition.  Vindication is mine!  I shall commence to be insufferably smug and a half for the rest of the day!

High wind outside and a garage across the street just went up in big flames. O_O
At first it looks small, but the wind whipped it up big in a hurry.  When it was put out, turns out it wasn"t a garage, but a detached shed unit. Yes, it's behind a fence, which didn't last long by the time the fire was put out.

Thursday UPDATE: This blog is in mourning for the passage of Dr. Robert Schuller, mega-televangelist, and I know this will sound quite odd to my regular readers, as I generally express disdain for clerics as a rule, with the exception of that dear Dubliner, Padre Dave.  Unlike other preachers, Dr. Schuller made a lot of practical sense, and one favorite memory of this man is his book, "Tough Times Never Last; Tough People Do".  I liked it so much I bought one.  R.I.P., Doctor.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Clarafication in response to an email received

Consider this post to be a mini FAQ sheet.

This warrants a separate post because the content of the email has been echoed by more than one person, personal security vs personal identifying data online & such.

First, the name on this account is a pen name used by one person since 1973, and has been in publication back then, so you won't find much, if any of the early writing, online or republished recently.  Because CL got launched as a lampoon of another CL, there's a schtick that goes with the pen name, and you can read my full G+ profile for the details of that. The accent I have when I speak is not southern, it's Ozark.  Ozark East, specifically. I do not identify the Oklahoma accent as "cowboy", but as Ozark West. It's New Mexico, Texas and Arizona that speak "cowboy". Southern is southeast, as in east of the Mississippi. Ozarks East is my native tongue.

Second, every address of every FCC license holder is public record, and I hold an FCC amateur radio license.  My address is also public record by other governmental departments as well. Anybody can find it rather easily at any time with minimal effort.

Third, I mentioned that, since moving to Enid OK, I've been inactive because of the Hoenigsberg Barrier, and that has to do with local ass-kissing ARES to the exclusion of SkyWarn, and though it's true that  I kiss nobody's ass, there's more to it than that, and that has to do with FCC regulations for license class.  I'm a Tech Plus, meaning that phone operations by me are restricted in the bands that ARES operates, and Hoenigsberg's ass stands in the way of every Tech ham, Plus or not. (For those who want an explanation of FCC license classes, Tech is a grade above Novice, with more electronics and regulation knowledge tested for, but there's no Morse Code test.  A Tech Plus has passed a Tech test and a Morse Code test for a minimum of copying code 5 words per minute.) Due to the Honigsberg problem, I've been inactive for years, therefore also have been stuck with the Tech Plus class license for the same number of years I've been inactive. I'll reactivate and then work on upgrading my license in celebration of Honigsberg's  permanent departure.

Correction: since the date of this posting, Honigsberg and I have had direct contact via which things were worked out and the problem seems to have been the misinformation conveyed to me by EARC, which is still a functionally closed old boys club which favors males while discouraging females despite their claim that they do not discriminate.

Important update to the above comment about Hoenigsberg: we had a discussion about the above situation and I'm to visit with him in about 2 weeks about re-certifying, so it looks like I'll reactivate.  However, NOT via the Enid ARC.  I attended the last EARC meeting and that lot was just as frigid as the first time I showed interest in joining, and the number of YLs in that club remained the same since the last time I attended: NONE.  They claim, on their website, that they don't discriminate and I guess, on paper, they don't.  In person, they do--they showed all kinds of enthusiasm toward a young BOY who was there to get into amateur radio, and all I got were two hellos and a question as to whether or not I plan to renew my license.  That's it.  Hell with 'em.

I've explained this many times to deaf ears in Enid, and so I do not plan to reactivate unless and until Hoenigsberg gets gone, and I ain't holding my breath til that happens, even if I have been certified to run an  emergency network.  I keep my license and my station just in the event of an emergency, and I remain proud to have been a member of SARA (Shawnee Amateur Radio Association), as well as the Phoenix Coffee Clutch Net.  Via SARA I was an official in the legendary River to River Relay and worked the Herrinfest Marathon (Herrin, IL).

Oh, another Clarafication----People familiar with amateur radio callsigns know that the number 7 designates the region where I was licensed, and it's not Illinois--that would be 9.  As long as I continue to renew, I keep the 7 designation where ever I go regardless.

 Over and out. SK

River to River Relay Group on Facebook

By golly, one of these days I otta post a gallery of prized souvenir tee shirts, huh. Anyhoo, just on Herrin's outskirts (actually Energy, IL) is a World War II vintage restaurant that first introduced soy-based "mystery meat" when rationing made it necessary, and is still serving up victory burgers: the Polar Whip ( Neslar's Polar Whip on Facebook) ( On G+). I can personally attest to the fact that they are indeed yummier than they sound, and were this not the case, they would have gone belly-up a long, long time ago. Conveniently located not far from the Herrin/Marion airport. At the bottom of the tee, note the salute Herrin gives to the River to River Relay.
Actually, that Maytag factory is an historic Norge factory prior to Maytag's takeover.

Speaking of prized souvenir tees, and having already spoken of the legendary 1993 NBA Finals complete with ball cap...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday talking heads edition--Yemen & the House of Saud's house of cards

I'm going to begin addressing the content of Fareed Zacharia GPS and add others as the talk shows progress in this post.

There's the matter of a Somali author of the book "Heretic" (Ayaan Hirsi Ali) who is about the business of claiming that Islam needs a large scale reformation similar to the Christian Reformation who doesn't realize, apparently, that this is what Wahabism was and still is.  Reformationists are what ISIS thinks they themselves are. Wahabism is, of course, the Saud version of Sunni Islam, and both sides of this argument--Wahabism and the Heretic--overlook the significance of how the Battle of the Camel was resolved so that the Califate Empire could be established in early Islamic history, and what Mohammed said about internal divisions reaching the number of 99, and how, after the Battle of the Camel, Islam touts Pillars separate from all Sharia, both Sunni and Shiya.

The House of Saud rose to power by waging war on fellow Muslims in the first place, instituting Wahabism as a proper fundamentalist "reform" in the beginning of its rule, and we, today, mustn't forget that--and yet, it seems, we have, and by "we" I'm including all historian experts, even the Islamic historians currently making the talking head circuits these days.

The U.S. would make a grave error in following the Heretic's advice because it's an ally of Wahabist Saudi Arabia, which claims that Wahabism is legitimate Islam while the President says Wahabist ISIS is not legitimate Islam as if he's in a position to issue a fatwah on that matter, and he isn't.  Alliance with Saudi Arabia says he can't, besides.  Additionally, no Saudi can make such a fatwah simply because a fatwah of that kind would announce to the world that the Saudis themselves are illegitimate.

"Religion of peace" is primarily the Sufi position and in the current rise of ISIS, it's the Sufis that are cast aside and in terms of reform, the Sufis hold the key to resolving the issue.  In Zacharia's program, he questioned the role of The West/U.S. in either resolving or aggravating the situation in the Middle East, mentioning how the U.S. has a long track record of propping up secularist dictators but didn't draw a connection between U.S. ME policy and "U.S. interests" in the form of the petroleum industry which, on the whole, backs the U.S. interventionist policies in what it props up, and in the process overlooked a rather old book on that subject which also explains how the policy cuts the legs off of any claim to U.S. exceptionalism.

Try reading the 1958 book, "The Ugly American", on which a 1963 film was based.  This is a good time to resurrect it.

Supplemental--column on Yemen's Islah Party

Sunday Evening Addition: BBC Newsnight comment about Saud family being in a family business sparks this comment from me: Everybody who has been told that the main difference between Shiites and Sunnis is the policy of succession, and whereas Saud Wahabism is Sunni, their dynasty belies that claim, and they're not the only Sunni dynasty out there.  One can look at Iran and see Shiites that are NOT dynastic, so any Muslim making the aforementioned claim is a liar.

Elite Eight UPDATE: Ya, I'm sad about the Cats, but today, Duke put on a show worth watching, and they go on to the Final Four.  Duke's had a consistently high quality hoops program, too, so it would have been a surprise if they didn't make it...just like it was a disappointment that the Cats didn't make it.  Betcha Duke and Kentucky make it to the Big Dance.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dead Man's Switch Revisited--plane crash, Yemen

...BUT FIRST....
A shout out to the Admin of Dr. Who Online (UK) who graced me with  his/her presence today.  I visited their site today, reset my password, logged in just to have a look around the place after having been absent a rather long time.  All I did was look around and put some stuff into my account info. That's it.  And that's how I know it's the Admin that visits my blog via info I just put into my account there.   Elementary, my dear Doctor. XD

Welcome to the blog.  Yes, you'll find that I claim to be a time traveler here, but before you scoff, look at the simple statement I made in my About Me section on your site.  It says "Grand Inquisitor of Chautauqua" and you'll have to know what Chautauqua in the U.S. is first to get a clue.  Here's another hint: there are historians who do the Chautauqua circuit--those with PhDs in history--who, after grumbling about it considerably, would grudgingly testify to their being convinced that I am indeed a time traveler.  Last summer, one of 'em actually called me a know-it-all. I couldn't be more delighted.

I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.  --Mikhail Bakunin

You know the truth of it: I'm the original time traveling Clara, the Impossible Person. Then, now, and for all time.

Damn.  Down go the Sooners. #MarchMadness

Although this blog often posts about international incidents, it would seem to my regular readers that I've ignored such things lately, and so this post seeks to remedy that.  To begin, I'll address an issue heard on NPR this morning and covered extensively elsewhere: how the current pilot safety protocols involving cabin door access and automatic pilot capability proved to actually be a vulnerability.  And before I go there, I must mention again railroad safety measures in the form of the Dead Man's Switch.

To review: in the context of a Canadian rail accident where oil tankers exploded, the rail officials claimed that it was the engineer's fault for not setting the brake on, when the fact of the matter is that the default position of all train brakes is ON, and I explained the Dead Man's Switch: in order for the brakes to be disengaged, an engineer is required to actively keep them disengaged, else they're always engaged.  USA Today reported that firefighters, responding to a call about one of the engines, had deliberately disengaged the brakes, which makes more sense than blaming the engineer for failing to engage them. There's no such thing as "forgetting to set the brakes" because no human action is required to set brakes--human action is required to disengage the brakes. Regarding the Airbus crash, a similar principle should be instituted in the cockpit: in order to change the programming of autopilot while in transit, or to access the manual controls at all in mid flight, the system should require the presence of both pilots else the default programming is maintained.

Sure, that can get awkward if one pilot just had a heart attack or some terrorist killed him while he was en route to the bathroom, but contact with a terrestrial control station would remedy that situation, with the terrestrial station being the only facility capable of overriding the required other pilot's presence, necessitating communication contact in that type of circumstance, and in no occasion is any pilot trained to know how to effect the override himself as only ground control crew would know that information and have the equipment available to do so.

I would think that it would be within the realm of drone capability for ground control to take over the controls and guide the plane down without either pilot's intervention.  Within the realm of possibility is every airport designating one runway to be an emergency ground-controlled landing strip that airlines would also regard as being the one to avoid when in the process of requesting to land when an emergency occurs, rendering a possible emergency as somewhat predictable/planned-for contingency; if the plane has mechanical issues necessitating the landing on a nearby farm field or highway, highway patrol could be notified if there's enough advance time to permit that, with a location given to them and possible first responders.

The downed location would be known in advance of the downing, which would cut search time.  A designated emergency runway would render autopilot programming to be simple and predictable on every commercial carrier plane as well as introduce a measure of predictability for other air traffic and ground crew, compared to the tactic of using whatever runway might haphazardly be available at the time of the emergency.

Yesterday I heard some discussion panelist (I forget which) remark that putting cameras in the cockpit would give you only pictures of the pilots, which would be of no help cuz all we could do is just watch.  Au contraire, mon vieux--cameras would assist in giving the ground crew remote pilot capability.

I heard the most alarming thing repeatedly yesterday, and that's the Big Excuse for why the airline industry on the whole is trying to save their customer base: the odds of you getting on a plane with a suicidal pilot are slim.  They don't recognize the fact that your lives are a gamble to the industry and they insist that you continue to bet your life on their odds. Just ONE instance of this problem is one too many.

 Well, all this also raises an interesting question: if we're so upset by mass murder committed by a co-pilot with a death wish, why are we not equally concerned about mass murder attempted by rail when it's not just petrol products being carried by rail that go boom?  There's nitrates that travel by rail, as well as pure chlorine gas and anhydrous ammonia, the stuff of Syrian barrel bombs.  Stuff doesn't have to go boom in order to be equally effective instruments of mass murder.

There's also the productivity issue, and in both arenas: industrialists who profit from these things always demand more work for less money to maximize profit and are uniformly blind to the safety hazards that overworking their workers produce and that would include job burnout, which leads to on-the-job depression.  There are no clean hands in that regard.

Saturday Tech Addendum: KOCO channel 5 just reported on an Astria Project (can't find a link to this particular project yet, nor to the KOCO story about it) via BAE in the UK working on the capability of remotely piloting commercial planes.  Wait--they re-ran the segment and I caught it this time. Soon as I process that clip, I'll post it here.

Actually I just found the LINK to BAE and their Taranis program, so it's not Astria as reported--it's ASTRAEA. Definitely a step in the right direction for commercial planes, IMHO.

Yemen et al: The Atlantic makes a great Confused Person's Guide to the Middle East:

{.....sorry, folks, they removed the image, the scoundrels!}


Well, how 'bout them Zonie Cats last night, hm?  Oh, you were watching the Fighting Irish instead?  You missed some spectacular basketball, then, like Xavier's alternating hand layup, which was a marvel to behold and a thing of beauty.  But yeah--I was rooting for the Cats, and coming off of the first half it looked like a freakin' nail-biter.  The one thing I know that the Cats can do is think on their feet and adapt to changing conditions on the court, and they've got a tradition in that regard.  Although I'm basically a Sun Devils fan, I recognized the institutional prowess of the Cats ever since Hedake Smith was making headlines.  Cats are awesome and have been awesome for a long, long time.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tornado season again-plus significant 4/11 UPDATE!

The following paragraph gets a 4/11 update as follows:

We have it every year, and every time Oklahoma gets a "big one", it's Moore that gets hit. People who live there love to live dangerously, clearly.  There was another outbreak near Tulsa, and I thank my friends for being concerned about my well-being, but I'm fine and am likely to remain so even if there are tornadoes sighted around Enid.  I've got a hidey-hole to go to, and I've been emergency trained ever since I was in grade school working with what used to be known as Civil Defense.  Earlier in my days as a ham radio operator, I was also trained as a severe storm spotter by an official from the Paducah KY NOAA facility who was giving classes to members of SARA (and I'm still on their newsletter mailing list, by the way).

I'm good, and I don't mind being out in it, either.  The only drawback in the Enid area is ARES, so I'm automatically at odds with Hoenigsberg--I'm SkyWarn.
I recently found out that an Enid Ham Club repeater does now have a SkyWarn link. I also talked in person with Hoenigsberg and have a sort-of appointment to talk with him in depth in about 2 weeks about updating certifications. This communication difficulty remains an issue with the club, clearly, but it does look like my re-activation is more imminent than it would have been otherwise. WOOT!

Nope--Garfield County's emergency management czar is back on my shit list because he lied to me about ARES just like EARC lies about being not bigoted.  When that asshole retires, I'll be throwing a celebration party.

I also managed to locate a rather ancient radio artifact, but you'll need to scroll to the bottom to see it. HINT: it's a Chicken Band license. Yeah, the FCC used to issue licenses for that band, once upon a time.


Real plate. IL let me keep it when I re-licensed.

IL let me keep this one, too. It make sense--nobody else can run with it.

You guessed it--I designed my own QSL cards.

This shelter is also on a public registry list kept by the city.
Besides a 2 meter transceiver handy-talkie, there's also a Part 15 FM transmitter, obtained via a 75% off Christmas clearance sale, antenna for which also passes through the feed thru.

Yeah, I know that's a rather old repeater directory. :P

Oh, I know--if I lose the roof, I lose the spotlight charging unit. But if I don't, I won't, and besides--there are other battery-operated illumination devices down there as contingency. And if I lose the spotlight, it's not a big loss either. I got the thing at a yard sale for a pittance.

You can bet your sweet bippy that I also have a solar charger for the auto battery. Plus the thing can be used to run the handy-talkies on.

Because of poor conditions in storage area, I had to toss out a lot of important stuff in transit, and the originals of my certifications were part of what got ruined and then tossed out.  The following are the remaining old school Xerox copies:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kime pulled the "sked change w/out notice" shit

...and pulled Punched Out Judy from its scheduled slot, the black'ard!

I'm calling SHENANIGANS!

+cityofenid #FAIL

Friday, March 20, 2015

WUT??? Ducks sunk the Pokes?!?!!!--blog stat mini-update


Over and OUT!
At least the Sooners go to the Sweet 16.

...or not, given the rather intense activity on this blog logged by Blogger in recent weeks on all my posts about the demise of PEGASYS.  Perhaps the reality of what I'd said during the city election season, about the nature of what I knew to be my voter base, and the city-wide scope of that, has finally sunk in with some people as a reality.  While Enid's PEGASYS voters weren't in a position to place me in the Ward 5 seat, they sure sent a message to the Wardsmen who voted in accord with Vanhooser's leadership, and should those other Wardsmen run again, might find themselves against the same opposition in their own wards when it's THEIR turn to run again.

Ain't that right, Wardsman Timm?  You're next in the PEGASYS voter crosshairs.

Vanhooser is just 1/6th of the City Commission. Wilson is just 1/6th of the City Commission.  The only way the Commission gets stuff done is with the consent of other Wardsmen who think that the bright idea on the table is worth approving.  Vanhooser is just one guy--those of you who thought Vanhooser's  bright idea was worth supporting had best keep looking over your shoulders in  your own wards--my supporters are in all six of them, and Ron Janzen shouldn't have run unopposed.

Consider very carefully whose bright ideas you support with your vote, Commissioners. Should you vote in favor of, say, a Commissioner's plan for self-dealing enrichment, you yourself could go down with the ship your vote is tied to.

(Screenshot of one instance of what I was talking about--every day for the past few weeks, every post I ever made about PEGASYS was hit on all at once, multiple times...)

Ooooh! KUCO is about to re-run the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!  Thanks for all the fish!

Sunday Funnies for tech geeks: xkcd's flow charts.

Tuesday UPDATE: The hits, though one visitor at a time on all PEGASYS posts, continue to rack up as if the people doing this haven't read this PEGASYS related post. Dirt diggers, perhaps? One thing I've learned from stat observations, though, is that China in particular shadows the other foks who read this blog and I'll get hits from them sometimes in duplication of hits I get from reg'lar folk.  What I mean is that I'll hit the Now button to show stats and it'll show one hit and highlight the nation of the hit's orign--but in a few minutes I hit it again, and there'll be 2 hits and 2 coutries highlighted, and the other country is almost invariably China.

Don't worry--stats don't identify specific individuals; they just show general demographics and that's all, and nearly all via some search engine, and most of that is Google.  With respect to certain individuals I know in particular, the demographics pretty much give dead give-aways as to who it is by pattern, so I'm always better than certain when gri visits here more times than not, ha.  And so it is with the day-in-day-out PEGASYS hit pattern--that's how remarkable it is.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Zing go the strings--shazaaaaaaam!!

Catching the U of K - Hampton game as I'm typing this, and although I typically tune out a cake-walk like this game is turning out to be, this isn't your average cake-walk.  KY sure has some moves that are beauties to behold, and I've gotta say that they've got better defense than I've seen even in the NBA.

It's funny to see this game interspersed with ads featuring Charles Barkley because when he played for the Suns, coach Westphal was pinning all his bets on Sir Charles and let defense go to hell in a handbasket, and sometimes KJ (Kevin Johnson, point guard) got the blame when Sir Charles couldn't carry his own freight.

Also got a little valley-sick when I saw those Southwest Airlines ads, too, because I used to be a big fan of their Fun Fares.  I miss ya, Sky Harbor! Oh yeah--Zonies know who my post title is referring to: the inimitable Al McCoy.

MAN wotta game! GO CATS!

That 1993 Finals series of games were the most memorable in MY book--Suns beaten by a single trey shot not by Air Jordan, but by Paxon. I remember that like it was yesterday.
Back in the day, I thought KJ and Dan Majerle were awesome. Sir Charles, not so much.
Oh yeah--there's a new "Dare Greatly" Cadillac commercial I'm partial to, and that's the one that plays Edith Piaf's "Je Ne Regrette Rien". Ha!!

...car ma vie, car mes joies, aujourd'hui, ├ža commence avec toi!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mother Machree & Co.

Didn't get much of a chance to post about St. Patrick on the 17th proper, and I did promise to post some of my Scotch-Irish sounds from antiquity, so I'll launch this better-late-than-never post with, of course, Mother Machree, followed by Kathleen Mavourneen.  Will also try to find Scot representation by way of the Ames Brothers' version of My Bonnie Lassie, which is invariably played these days by both of Scots and Irish heritage here in the U.S.. And thus launched, advise that you check back periodically for additions.

You won't find "Danny Boy" here, though--I'm really really REALLY weary of hearing that around here and not just on Paddy's Day...which is why I prefer to call it "London Derrier" (Londonderry Air). Similar story with James Joyce--I would have been dancing for joy at Finnegan's Wake. I'll take Finian's Rainbow instead, thank you very much.

Next is a record minted in 1921 with an unusual plastic substrate, via Vocalion--"Bells of Shandon" and "In The Wee Little House I Love":

Famous whistler Margaret McKee recorded on this label as well as others, and multi-label recording was common practice in those early days of recording. Sure, Billy Murray recorded on Edison, but he's also to be found on Columbia and others as well, and the same could be said of Henry Burr, etc.

Now, "The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls"...

"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"...

{........and I can personally attest to the truth of that......}

The power of the smiling eyes of Irish extraction weren't lost on Dolly Parton early in her career, and you'll notice it right away in the first stanza of the song she launched her career on.  Here she is with a reprise in Glastonbury (southern U.K.) just last year...

Sure, America may very well be a melting pot of different nationalities, but it's the Scot-Irish Americans who have had a major cultural impact, particularly in what our nation calls "country", and hillbillies all over the nation, not just confined to the South.  Sure, we have a lot of different nationalities, but it's the Irish element that has made an incursion on American folklore, in the form of the tales about Mike Fink from which originates the derogatory term "red-headed stepchild" (and Mike's esteemed cousin, rat fink).  And take a wild, wild guess as to where the country dance form, clogging, comes from...and from that, how urbanfolk acquired the derogatory term for countryfolk known as "shitkickers".  It just seems to me that hiphop adopted the shitkicker form of dance and we can consider cultural revenge has been had thereby.

Mini-UPDATE: when I checked the blog stats just now, I saw the usual automatic hits via G+ and then I saw something else: there's a smart, regular reader out there who knows that I've previously posted related recordings in my 2013 entry about the Great War, The Great War's Armistice Remembered (post now removed--sorry 'bout that), tying in the Prohibition aspect of that era to Irish immigration in the tune "Molly and the Baby, Don't You Know". When one confines one's self to material written by other scholars, the life of those times too frequently is the content that's missing, and in this case, it's the bearing that the Irish immigration had on the fact that the Prohibition amendment actually passed and got ratified.

It's often claimed that the alcoholic beverage industry only went underground instead of out of business, but that leaves another question unanswered: if there was that much demand for the products of that industry, wouldn't there have been a lack of votes to pass the amendment in the first place?  Ask a question like that of a scholar and you're all but guaranteed to get rudely blown off.  And yet the answer to that question is clear when one considers the essence of the life and societies of that era: voters were more anti-Irish than they were pro-liquor.

It's not like the Irish immigrants didn't give people a reason to be anti-Irish, especially in New York where they formed rather notorious gangs (and it's after one of those Irish gangs that the now-defunct Hypercrites West got its theme: The Dead Rabbits Society).  Backlash to that was the recruitment of Irish constabulary for the purpose of patroling areas like, say, the Bowry, and thus was born the stereotypical Irish cop image.

Dead Rabbits Riot

Organized crime didn't begin with Prohibition even though there are scholars who will leave that impression on an audience.  Organized crime is as old as trade business and capitalism.  There were always Ali Babas, pirates, skimmers, trade gatekeepers whose palms required greasing, speculators, market manipulators, racketeers, as long as there's been business. For you Enid locals, I'd think that the situation with Lodgewell is a perfect case in point, but not the only case in point.  The excuse is that they, a holder of a high-dollar hotel franchise as a high-dollar developer, are unable to raise the scratch to start building even after they bought the land for $10, stinks like a long dead rabbit..and the money demanded by the City is looking more and more like palm grease.

Here's Nelson Eddy with an Irish medley...

I did mention Lydia Pinkham in the aforementioned post about the Great War (the song about her that was popular then, that is), and there's an Irish connection here.  Although the following gents are better known for singing about green alligators and long necked geese (and unicorns), here they are bending an elbow to honor Ms. Pinkham.

The Irish Rovers have another connection to the Great War by song, and that is via one of their tunes on the topic of the shipyard where the Titanic was built.  The song about Lydia Pinkham is but one link between the Irish and the Great War--there was also an eerie Eire themed stage play in 1919 which was eventually produced into film thrice: 1922, 1932, and, with Jeannette Macdonald, in 1941: "Smilin' Through".

Besides the theme song, another related tune became popular, too: "Kerry Dance".

John McCormack was quite popular in his day and quite proud of his Irish bent in music, too.  Here's a film of him performing two other Irish classics...

...and here's a lovely choral version of "The Kerry Dance"...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am officially honorarily Irish every March 17 because I was properly baptized such by a Dublin priest who gets a case of Guinness direct from the Emerald Isle annually, by which I've proven that I can hold me stout.  With that, I salute erstwhile photographer who is likely to still be in Mexico, Padre Dave (It's-Not-A-Sin-If-Ye-Take-No-Pleasure-In-It) Rice!

...and a nod to Tommy Steele...

Just can't leave these two out...with a tip o' me tam to the dearly departed Jimmy Ferguson...

The above are the 1960s vintage.  Next is The Unicorn sung by the doddering old codgers that once recorded the previous version in their youth...

Just located this tribute to Jimmy Ferguson on YouTube, and can't be left out either...The Orange and the Green.

A joyous man who clearly died a sinner--looks like he had a life that he took pleasure in, and good on 'im for that.


Sunday April 5 UPDATE: We interrupt this whimsical take on the Orange and Green to mention just how serious the difference remains, thanks to a CBS report on 60 Minutes about the Belfast Project of Boston College. It was no laughing matter to Sinead O'Connor and I'm sure none of the dead are laughing. With the possible exception of Jimmy here. He's earned the right to.


Here's a CBC clip where it looks like more of Jimmy fit into a pound, in the 1970s. In the clip, they're later joined by Anne Murray....

None but an Irishman can properly tell the tale of how something came about, and, in particular, how Ireland came about.  As in, "A Little Bit of Heaven"...

(More old recordings can be found, in due time, in the bottom addenda to this post--just scroll down a wee bit and Bob's your uncle.)

Blarney--not just for the County of Limerick anymore. Quite the Corker, that one.
And speaking of Limerick...

                    As a beauty, I am no star;
                    There are others more fair by far.
                              But my face, I don't mind it
                              Because I'm behind it--
                    It's the people in front that I jar.

The latter day Irish Rovers...

(this was in Belfast)

They're finally settling into old age, saying "Farewell to Roving" this year and part of the next.             Difficult to imagine.

The online Irish Gaelic Translator

Friday UPDATE, sorta: Just got back from a poetry reading at the Enid Symphony Hall and it was presented by 4 poets who met in Ireland, only one of them was a local--a lady mailman, to boot.  You betcha I've got more vids to post, so by all means, stay tuned.

This is posted to prep you on the low-light conditions of the video, as well as to mention that Gene Barry here was the only poet of the lot who actually sounded Irish.

Heh. I just visited Gene's Facebook page and notice he, a skinny guy, is heavy into rugby. :)  He also posted one of the poems he read tonight, and in print it reads like a Catholic Litany; but to listen to him read it is something quite different when he arrives at a line which ends in the word "bastard".  I think he just acquired a new fan here.

Ah, here we go...the beginning of the readings.  And who knew that emerald came in such a dark shade...

Now we arrive at Stones in Their Shoes, prefaced by preamble and dedication:

This just in via G+:



I'll preface this section with the observation of generational differences in childhood doggerels learned at one's earliest age, and the noticed absence of a tune that used to be as popular among kids as were "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" aka The Alphabet Song and Baa Baa Black Sheep, among others.  That tune would be "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean", a tune quite pertinent to this post entry.  To review:

                    My Bonnie lies over the ocean;
                    My Bonnie lies over the sea
                    My Bonnie lies over the ocean,
                    Oh bring back my Bonnie to me.
                              Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me, to me--
                              Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me!

When a generation of young children first learn nursery rhymes and such doggerels, they are,of course, of nursery age, so the first thing they try to do, when they get older and prefer to exhibit the fact that they're old enough to be distinguished from the younger set of children, is lampoon those earlier-learned nursery rhymes and doggerels.  Case in point, how "On Top of Old Smoky" morphed into "On Top of Spaghetti", both versions of which were, in their day, published by commercial recording labels to great advantage. Same can be said of "Clementine", lampooned by no less a figure than Bing Crosby, again to great advantage.  The lampooning of "My Bonnie" was not so fortunate, alas, but still became more of a widely spread joke rather than a recorded tune lampoon, as follows:

ENGLISH TEACHER: Now that we've added the words "analyze" and "anatomy" to our vocabulary, can a student volunteer to use those two words in sentences?

CLASS CLOWN: (raises his hand first eagerly, is called on, and says the following)
My analyze over the ocean
My analyze over the sea
My analyze over the ocean
Oh bring back my anatomy!

With that, I now present the rest of the addenda.

Coleen Aroon

Killarney and You

Come Back to Erin

Molly (An Irish Love Song)

Only An Irishman's Dream

Everybody Loves an Irish Song

You should have recognized a number of what's been regarded as American standards in the last piece, and I'll wager that there's not been a lot of Americans who realize that the tune "Home Sweet Home" was of Irish extraction...except that it's actually of English extraction.  Or that a good number of what's now regarded as bluegrass standards are of Scot extraction, like the following--"Sally Johnson", which abruptly begins, and almost as abruptly ends:

There was no such music category called "bluegrass" back then. Or country/western, either. Only one term was used: hillbilly. AKA American highlanders. The next selection, "Irish Lament", is performed by a gent whose name strongly suggests Jewish extraction.

Sandy MacFarlane now takes us back to Scotland with "MacNab's A Jolly Sailor".  The one thing that the English, the Welsh, the Cornish, the Irish, and the Scottish all have in common: the sea.

Two more from Sandy, on the same record--When Heather Bells Are Blooming and The Wedding of Sandy MacKae...

My Wild Irish Rose

I did mention before that Henry Burr (not his real name) recorded for multiple labels (there was no such thing as an exclusivity contract back then) and I did present the Brunswick label version (different singer) of "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" in the post about the Great War.  But it's still a great Scot-extracted tune and here is Henry Burr's version on the Pathe label.

I say "Scot-extracted" because of the long list of Scot-extractions attempting to claim first credit for writing the thing on the North American continent, and there's no country that expresses stronger Scot extraction than Canada, eh?

There are Scottish standards that remain in American discography, such as Annie Laurie, but such are to be added at a much later date. Now, back to the Irish...

As a label, Grey Gull is most interesting to me because of its track record of recording activist tunes, all the way from train wreck commemoration to temperance and suffrage tunes.  And speaking of interesting labels, albeit later in time, would be the MacGregor label, and, dare I say, for obvious reasons.

...and here are the Irish Rovers celebrating 30 years in circulation...

So--How are things in Glocca Morra?

Oh, enough of the immigrants to America, hm?  How about immigrants to England?
Alright, stay in Rathcullen, then.
The following is copyrighted, folks, and I've granted myself permission to post it:

                    A lad of wee stature in town
                    Failed somewhat to be the class clown
                              But folks he'd astonish
                              With pranks leprechaunish
                    So the class made him wear a green gown.

 ...and a bit of a postscript about Miss Fogerty.  I first encountered her in the form of an old poem, but when I went looking for the verses, I found out it was also a song about her and her infamous cake.  So guess what--I found the Irish Rovers singing it.

What's scarier is that someone in the kitchen posted this same Irish Rovers ditty, and posted it there, too. The Kitchen Witch .  Figures.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thicke shoud appeal, but yeah--he asked for trouble.

...Thicke sued the Gaye estate first.

I didn't comment on the recent judgment against Thicke, but not co-writer Williams, when it was fresh news because I didn't think that was the end of that story.  As I've said in a much earlier post, "look and feel" isn't a copyright argument, it's a trademark argument, and besides, copyright law provides coverage for derivative works.

But Thicke & Co. messed up by a pre-emptive lawsuit , which wasn't smart.

The link I provided goes to an NBC report/commentary on the subject because it has come to my attention, via Twitter, that MSNBC host Chris Hayes, has been in the process of taking this up as a sort of pet cause, and from what I've seen thusfar, he's making a case similar to what I would have, in Thicke's defense AND based on precedent rulings.

What causes copyright infringement is exact copying--not, as someone on NPR put it, imitation of a vibe.  So far I have yet to hear a media person cite derivative work copyrights, though, and a parody exemption (yeah, Blurred Lines wasn't a spoof of Got to Give It Up, but it was a spoof, period).

The jury got wrong instructions from the judge if they were told that "look and feel" was a proper copyright argument, and if Thicke appeals, that would be sufficient grounds for an appeal right there. But what's curious is that Williams appears to be getting off the hook even though they were supposed to be co-writers.  Improper application of penalty would be another good reason for an appeal, but only if "guilt" were admitted to.  But there's no guilt here, actually.

A better case of outright plagiarism occurred when the Columbia label and Morey Amsterdam got sued over "Rum and Coca Cola". Morey wrote the lyrics, alright, but he stole the music from central America.  And lost.  Columbia was ordered to destroy the master recording (Abe Lyman was the performer, and I used to have a copy of that performance, as it happens; it got lost in the shuffle in Arizona, though).  Couldn't sell that tune anymore.  That didn't keep the Andrews Sisters from reviving it on a different label, on which Morey Amsterdam STILL got sole credit for writing it.

Word to the wise, Marvin Gaye Estate: a tune that's catchy enough will survive your efforts to squash it.  It's just a matter of time.

mini-UPDATE: whilst tuning in to All In with Chris Hayes, interviewing the percussionist from Got To Give It Up, Jack Ashford--claiming an original sound with a ...what did he call it? a hotel board? ... which isn't original in Australia, where it's called a "wobble board".  It was first heard in the States in the 1960s via Australia, via Rolf Harris, in the tune "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport".  Seems to me this bloke could be sued now, for using it in the second part of Got To Give It Up.

By golly--YouTube yanked Jimmy Fallon's version that I embedded in an earlier post, too. Good thing I have a home copy of that. It'll be back.

Pi Day Pushbacks: I've been listening to the pro-Gaye arguments and find, quite frankly,  a lot of legal shortcomings in those, like how Gaye died almost penniless as if he's the only denizen of the recording plantation industry to do so. Writers and performers exist only to enrich the big boys because that's been the tradition and Gaye's no different. I watched CSPAN's replay of the Senate hearing on music streaming/copyright "reform" and found the big boys claiming that they actually protect such interests when they don't really.

Playing the cowbell constitutes a copyright infringement? Then so does playing the wobbleboard and Gaye's just as guilty.  And he's guilty of robbing the Isley Brothers, too.

Late May UPDATE, Richard Prince Edition: ...similar to the UPDATE I posted in the Auntie Beeb post...I don't know that it's such a "landmark case" as it's been billed, but it's certainly a big deal and it's certainly a Fair Use argument I thought was more of a Derivative Work argument rather than Fair Use.  I got into a somewhat heated debate with some lawyer type on Twitter about it and he was trying to say I was wrong when in fact we agreed--that the instance shouldn't have made a Fair Use claim in the first place, and that we were both astonished as all get-out that the argument actually persuaded a judge.

Monday, March 09, 2015

A killer of downtown business is about to get an award from Cowboy Museum

...which shows just how clueless the Cowboy Museum is about the actual performance of Mainstreet Enid insofar as removing Halloween business away from downtown to Meadowlake Park on the outskirts.

And I'm just the person to give 'em an education on the trouble with giving awards to people who kill downtown business.

Dateline 2013: Ward 5 Commissioner decides to kill Scare on the Square for that year, October 31 although it has taken place every October 31, downtown, since its founding by a PEGASYS show in 2003.  Did Mainstreet Enid pick up the ball where Wilson dropped it?


Dateline 2014: Ward 5 Commissioner decides to take all that downtown business to Meadowlake Park on the outskirts of town, and did Mainstreet Enid do anything to continue the downtown tradition?

NO.  Tomkins preferred to kill off the well-established Halloween downtown business despite years of tradition. #FAIL

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Enid's latest credibility crisis with usual suspects: the paper & Ward 5 Commissioner

This is why video is so essential even when context isn't presented.  It's a record of what happened...

The context that would be missing in both the report and a video is the fact that since the newspaper published Dale's op ed as if it were an article, Dale hasn't been reporting on either the City study sessions or the Commission meetings--it's been this gal who has apparently replaced him.

But guess who gets to rebut the report not by a letter to the editor, but with the status of a "guest columnist"? The other credibility-challenged person, Tammy Wilson, credibility of which has taken a nosedive along with her business partners in taking City pork for special events as of that false police report they filed on October 31, 2014.

It's a study session that ETN failed to take its portable cameras to, and you got it, friends and neighbors--I'm the only one with the footage of what actually happened.  But context is important, so I won't be posting just the raw footage without adding that context, and that, friends & neighbors, is still a work in progress.

Watch this space.  And I'll bet you didn't know this: the City of Enid is ALSO in the food vending business--operates its own food carts.  How 'bout THEM apples.

Monday UPDATE: just uploaded Part 1 of the study session discussion about this item.  The whole discussion is 24 minutes long and YouTube has a 15 minute limit, so editing is necessary, with careful attention paid to context.  Part 1 is the context setup clip.  The good stuff will be in Part 2.

While you're waiting for Part 2 to be published, take a gander at the off-record extracurricular activity going on just before Wilson chimes in and generates the report made by the paper...

Good point just in: Yes, it is true that even though Wilson stayed in power, the waning of her credibility also diminishes what power she has to accomplish much.  She's just one wardsman and she has to persuade most of the other 5 to succeed, and as of Vanhooser's defeat, they've come to an epiphany about supporting fellow wardsmen who don't have much credibility with the voter base, aka the constituency of the remaining wardsmen. She might think that she can do whatever she wants, but other wardsmen facing future elections know that they can't presume to run unopposed like Janzen and Brownlee did the last election.  It's not enough to have gained power--what's just as important is how much of it there is to leverage anything.  It's the credibility index which is directly proportional to how much leverage power you get.