Justice Ginsburg and the talking yam

Maybe the Notorious RBG did speak out of turn when she expressed her opinion of Donald Trump, but it seems to me Justices get to have opinions just like the rest of us.

I used to agree with Glenn Greenwald a lot more than I have in the last few years, but when he says this it’s really easy to concur:

We watched an election recount be stopped in 2000 and the Presidency handed to a member of the same party as that of the majority of the Court, who then said “this decision is a one-off and shouldn’t be used as precedent for anything, you lower courts.” They obviously knew there was little merit to their argument that the recount should end, but they did it anyway.

People howling that Justice Ginsburg “crossed a line” by expressing an opinion should take note that unlike in Bush v. Gore she was speaking in a one-on-one interview, not in a majority opinion or dissent in a case before the Court.


From the 1946 movie of the same name, here’s Bing Crosby singing “Blue Skies.”

26 years later, here are The Allman Brothers performing “Blue Sky.”

Five years after that, Linda Ronstadt sang “Blue Bayou.”

Ten years earlier, Paul Mauriat recorded an orchestral version of a Eurovision 4th-place finisher called “Love is Blue.” It hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed #1 there for five weeks.

And finally, another instrumental. In the 1980s Mike Post composed the theme for the best cop show ever made for TV, “Hill Street Blues.”


Here’s a song from the 1970s. Firefall was formed out of the ashes of Gram Parsons’ Fallen Angels backing band and The Flying Burrito Brothers. They were yet another group with tight harmonies and good guitarists.

They couldn’t get along with each other for very long, mostly due to booze and drugs. The surprising thing to me is that some of them still tour together, although there have been many hiatuses along the way. This song is from their initial years when they toured with Fleetwood Mac.

Change the noun

I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I think we should stop calling non-cops “civilians.” It implies that law enforcement personnel are military; they are not. They are civilians just like those they’re supposed to protect.

I propose that when we discuss uniformed law enforcement personnel we call them “police” and we call everyone else in the story “citizens.” The cops are militaristic enough in their equipment and their uniforms without further enforcing the idea that they are an armed and occupying force in our towns and cities. It’s bad enough our fellow citizens who are members of minorities feel that way without the rest of us agreeing to it.

DVD trivia

I don’t have a large DVD collection, but somehow I managed to buy, at separate times, two used copies of Serenity. I have only one copy of Firefly, fortunately.

Got all the Star Wars movies including the newest one, all the LOTR ones including The Hobbit trilogy and all the Harry Potter films. Got a couple of concert films: Scorsese’s The Last Waltz and Loggins and Messina’s 2005 Sittin’ In Again at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Dr. Strangelove, the 2014 Criterion edition of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and a few more.

If only I could find time to sit and watch them!

Dallas shooting

This will be a great help in reconciling the cops and the civilians throughout the country.

Three Dallas police officers and one DART officer have been killed and several others were injured after shots were fired in downtown Dallas during a rally and march Thursday night.

Dallas police Chief David Brown said about 8:58 p.m., at least two snipers shot 11 officers and one civilian from elevated positions during the rally in downtown.

Two officers were in surgery earlier in the night and three were in critical condition, police said.

Three other DART officers were wounded but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART.

I don’t know enough to opine much about this except to mourn the loss of the officers.

Shooting cops is not going to improve relations between civilian minorities and law enforcement personnel, that’s pretty damned obvious to any sentient human beings except the snipers. Their goal was obviously something other than that.

Try try again

The State of Texas lost its Supreme Court case two weeks ago when the Court ruled 5-3 that the state’s rules requiring clinics’ doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital in the same area as the clinic was an undue burden on women, and requiring the clinics be outfitted as though they were “ambulatory surgical centers” was also too strict a rule.

Were the states’ politicians cowed? Hell no! They were angry! So what did they do? Well, they got their friends at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to write new rules to forbid abortion providers from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead requiring only cremation or interment of all remains, no matter how short a gestation period.

This is similar to the “ambulatory surgical centers” business — most clinics don’t have crematories attached. Nor do they own land they can use for burial grounds. It’s just another attempt to drive abortion clinics out of business by placing unreasonable restrictions on them.

Countdown to idiocy

3,2,1…“We must restore Americans’ faith in government and that starts with reauthorizing the independent counsel statute.”

Uh-huh. Somehow this seven-term Republican Congressman (Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10th District between Columbus and Cincinnati, including Dayton) has gotten it in his head that Hillary needs to be investigated yet again, this time by an independent counsel.

“The investigation by the FBI is steeped in political bias, especially considering that former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just days before the FBI announced its decision. The role of the independent counsel is to keep investigations honest and prosecutorial decisions independent of the political, personal, and financial conflicts of interest that undermine accountability in government. It is time for Secretary Clinton to be held accountable for her extremely careless actions.”

Um. May I remind Representative Turner that Kenneth Starr was universally acknowledged to be anything but honest and unbiased.

Dear God, we have to vote these people out of office. The country can’t bear up under them too much longer.

When in the course of human events

it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

And some of that happiness shall include the setting off of pyrotechnical devices which make great displays in the sky.

Musical Saturdays

Some very good singers have had things to say about Saturdays.

Starting the day off as The Sandpipers do would be pleasant:

And then you could go to the park, as Robert Lamm and Chicago do:

But then melancholy can creep in by nightfall, as The Chairman of the Board suggests:

And then you may even take on a snootful of liquor and start brawling. Sir Elton approves:

Finally you end up sad and miserable, as Sam Cooke says he is: