I post a weekly diary of the historical notes, arts & science items, foreign news (often receiving little notice in the US) and whimsical pieces from the outside world that I normally feature each past week in "Cheers & Jeers". Alas, yet another busy travel week for me - and thus this is an abbreviated effort. Expect to return to normal posting next week.
From the "STOPPED CLOCK FILE" - even someone like Jonah Goldberg sometimes observes the obvious, as he suggests that the GOP refrain from being a Club for Christians (as he is not one himself).
I HOPE HE WINS - A California man is testing the 2-person carpool (HOV lane) rule - not because he is opposed to it philosophically - but in order to tweak the principle of corporate personhood by carrying corporation papers in his car. "Corporations are people, too, my friend" indeed.
BRAIN TEASER - try this Weekly World News Quiz from the BBC.
I GOTTA ADMIT - it was awfully strange to watch the countdown to New Year's without Dick Clark on television to announce it.
ONE OF THE BETTER conservative pundits is Ramesh Ponnuru who in 2005 wrote this:
Republicans are calling on Howard Dean to apologize for saying that the GOP couldn't fill a hotel ballroom with "people of color" unless they brought in the hotel staff.Recently he gave another commentary that - while you're not going to agree with all of his viewpoints - is nonetheless the sort of thinking that would boost the conservative movement's popularity.
Dean is saying, hyperbolically, that there aren't many blacks or other nonwhites in the Republican party. He's right. I've been to many, many Republican dinners where most nonwhites present have been serving the food. (Or giving the keynote.) If Republicans are bothered when people make that observation, they should try to make it less true.
FRIDAY's CHILDREN are my picks for the Cats of 2012 from an MSNBC larger group:
Mr. Meow was a New Mexico kitteh whose aging owner fed him only treats & hot dogs before a shelter placed him on a diet ... before his heart gave out. Hank the Cat won an estimated 7,000 votes in the US Senate race in Virginia. And of course, Grumpy Cat (a/k/a Tardar Sauce) has become an Internet sensation.
......and finally, for a song of the week ............... no time for even a mini-profile this holiday week. So let me simply recommend (a) the new autobiography by the guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend of The Who .... I'm 2/3 of the way through a wonderful recounting of a life in rock n' roll ....
... and (b), what I consider the best song he wrote away from The Who (as a solo artist): The Sea Refuses No River from 1982. And below you can hear it.
I have seen a trace of strain
In others' eyes not spoken
I must admit that I enjoyed their pain
But this time it's me that's broken
I demand for you and His
This must be the time
When we decide what freedom is
Turn water into wine
For the sea refuses no river
We're polluted now but in our hearts still clean
The sea refuses no river
We tried not to age
But time had it's rage
We're washed over stones
From babes into clones of the mean
The sea refuses no river
And won't deny the sulfurous stream