Human Interest Inquiring Minds Photography, The Marine Detective


I have reblogged the work the Marine Detective before, but with every post I read, even if I don’t reblog it, I learn so much about the ocean, and about the wonders of life. Today’s post is no exception. To say it is about a distant relative of humanity you might think I am crazy. We are nothing even remotely similar to a zooplankton named Salpas Asperus, a planktonic tunicate, but apparently we are. We each have brains, nervous systems, and digestive systems — including a system to expell our wastes. Wait till you hear what a salp expells. It helps our environment at the same time as making life possible for uncountable lifeforms. But that does not describe but a bit of the amazing life and death of an incredibly fascinating ocean animal. I can’t do it justice. The Marine Detective can, asnd does…

From the About section of the Marine Detective’s website, I thought I would give you a bit more information about this amazing woman!

What ‘s the “Marine Detective”?

It’s me, Jackie Hildering, a biology teacher, cold-water diver, underwater photographer, and Humpback Whale researcher living and learning in the Territories of the Kwakwala-speaking Peoples, northeast Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA.

It’s my handle under which I work to raise awareness about life in the cold, dark NE Pacific Ocean and illuminate the fragility, beauty, and mystery there.  I hope the name suggests the correct humility. I want to share what I learn so that it may lead to greater knowledge, appreciation, and positive action for the Ocean to which we are all connected and upon which our health depends.

For those who don’t know (I didn’t) a tunicate is an oceanic animal built like a barrel. The name, “tunicate” comes from the firm, but flexible body covering, called a tunic. “Most” (but not all) tunicates live with the posterior, or lower end of the barrel attached firmly to a fixed object, and have two openings, or siphons, projecting from the other. Tunicates are plankton feeders.

Human Interest John Lennon Rock Music


Standing in the Shadow of Imagine

Fooled you! The name of today’s chosen song is GIMME SOME TRUTH. It was released on John’s 1971 IMAGINE album, and probably deserved a better fate, but nothing could compare with Imagine in this writer’s mind. At least one writer thought it was better than Imagine for its political content, but I disagree. Imagine took on more than politics, it questioned every facet of life. But that is for another day. Still, it is certainly a great song, and should be rated high up in any list of socially-concious music.

The lyrics of Gimme Some Truth contain what might be considered to be some obscure references for younger people, however one or two caught me off guard. But before I get into those, let’s give a listen to the song.

As impossible as it is, you might wonder if John foresaw the 45th President of the United States of America (Donald J. TRUMP, if you weren’t counting.) But he was not looking ahead, he was looking directly at political leaders of the time: people like Richard Nixon (USA), Sir Edward Heath (UK), Leonid Brezhnev (USSR), Chairman Mao (China), Willy Brandt (West Germany), Pierre Trudeau (Canada), Indira Gandhi (India), Georges Pompidou (France), and Golda Meir (Israel). They all had one thing in common — none of them liked telling their citizens the truth. So John demanded it. Instead of getting truth, he got himself investigated by the FBI. (A curious note, the FBI file on John Lennon weighed a whopping 216 lbs., a whale of a tale!)

On Wikipedia we learn “Gimme Some Truth” conveys Lennon’s frustration with deceptive politicians (“short-haired yellow-bellied sons of Tricky Dicky“), hypocrisy, and chauvinism (“tight-lipped condescending mommy’s little chauvinists”). The lyrics encapsulate some widely held feelings of the time, when many people were participating in protest rallies against their governments.

The song also uses a reference to the nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” (about a woman going to get her dog a bone, only to discover that her cupboard is empty) as a verb. The mention of “soft-soap” employs that slang verb in its classic sense − namely, insincere flattery that attempts to convince someone to do or to think something, as in the case of politicians who use specious or beguiling rhetoric to quell public unrest or to propagandise unfairly.

Lennon employs the recurring lyric “Money for dope/Money for rope”, the [latter] phrase being a variation of the British idiom “Money for old rope” (a profit obtained by little or no effort).

Gimme Some Truth, like Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple) which I played on Day Four, could easily be about 2023.

Human Interest John Lennon Music Socially Conscious Music


Working Class Hero

Today I return to John’s first solo album, The Plastic Ono Band, for my next selection.

Did you ever wonder why they chose the name Pastic Ono Band. I will let my mind wonder: To begin, the only two permanent members of the band were John LENNON and Yoko ONO. Lennon’s name was already famous worldwide, and it might be said that Ono’s name was also famous worldwide — but not for the right reasons. To the world, as I mentioned in a previous post, she was believed to be the woman who broke up the Beatles. This was not fame, but rather notoriety.

But she did not break up the Beatles. What she did was rescue John from being what had become a burden around his neck. So, adding her name to this album might have been hoped would have given her the right kind of fame.

I know, easy to say 54 years later, but the thing is, there are still people who hate her. They don’t realize Yoko gave John the room to grow as a person, and grow he did.

The word Plastic, though, in those days, colloquially meant fake or false, as in manufactured to replace something authentic. So, in one sense, they may have used the name Plastic to define a group or groups of people brought together to play music, but not a band in that they were not going to last. One record only, or sometimes one song only. The Plastic Ono Band, for what it was worth, was a fluid group of people, possibly whoever happened to be in the studio that day. But that very statement gives me a different idea about what they meant by Plastic — a band that could be moulded into many shapes and sizes, where artists and musicians could come and go at their leisure, yet where each person left their mark. (Just conjecture, but this may have been the inspiration for Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band many years later. Ringo would book theatre dates, and then collect people to join him on stage by their availability. And they came, sometimes having no idea who they would be sharing that stage with.)

When it comes down to the real nitty gritty, it really does not matter, especially now, 50 years after the fact, how the name came to be, but strange thoughts cross my mind, coming from places I cannot even imagine. Did John and Yoko have a particular idea in mind when they came up with the name? Spending as much time with John, Yoko, and the Plastic Ono Band as I have over the last few days, I really think they had intention when they named the band. And knowing John, even as little as I do, this name was not a throwaway name, but one that had its roots somewhere in the past.

John was born in 1940, into what was considered a middle class family. The Brits were all about classes: the Upper Class Lords and Ladies and, reluctantly, those upstart wealthy people who had earned their fortunes instead of being born to them; then came the middle classes, professionals and university-educated people who earned salaries rather than wages — upper and middle management types, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, business owners, etc.; and finally the lower classes, people with incomplete educations, physical labourers, dustmen, bus drivers, basically anyone who worked for an hourly wage, or less. Yes, John belonged to the middle class, but he was well aware it took all three classes to make the whole society work, even though he was not sure how necessary the Upper Class was. When he asked the Queen to rattle her diamonds instead of clapping, he was probably being sardonic.

And sardonic was how John, in an interview many years later, remembered his feelings when he wrote today’s song choice, Working Class Hero. He could have been being sardonic but John was a jokester, often saying exactly what he meant at times, but at other times being jokingly dishonest, trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes.

I myself find no sardony (is that even a word?) in this song. Rather, I find a certain pride in knowing that while he himself was not working class, he was at least sensitive to their suffering. And if he could have, he would have worked to overthrow the wealthy, even though he was now one of them. His musical talent had amassed a fortune for him, large enough that he would never have to work another day in his life except by choice. And since his work was his music, he chose to work as much as he could.

Following is John’s paean to the members of the working class. It was their very existence that made them heroes, for while they believed they were born to suffer, they bore their suffering with smiles on their faces, and love in their hearts…


So much for my ruminations about the origin of the band name. According to Yoko Ono, in a 2010 interview,

As I was asked to do a show in Berlin before John and I got together, I wanted to use four plastic stands with tape recorders in each one of them, as my band. I told that story to John, and he immediately coined the phrase PLASTIC ONO BAND.

– Yoko Ono, 2010


Over the years the band featured a rotating line-up of musicians including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Alan White,  Jim Keltner, Keith Moon, and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Also a band by the name of Elephant’s Memory.

The personnel line-up for the Plastic Ono Band album included: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Phil Spector, Alan White, and, according to the album sleeve, Mal Evans who provided tea and sympathy.

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Mind Games, and Another Bonus Track

Critics were not happy with John’s fourth solo album, titled Mind Games. I guess they expected his work to be perfect every time he made a record. That expectation would not be fair of anyone.

John’s life at the time was far from perfect in 1973. Marital problems lay heavy on his mind. Far worse was the constant harassing and spying by the FBI. John was a gentle man, singing about peace, and promoting love. What was their problem? Their problem was that they did not want peace, and they did not want love. They considered John Lennon to be a threat to their perfect way of life. The USA was still fighting the Vietnam War, Tricky Dicky was still in the White House, and paranoia was the order of the day. Capitalist America wanted John out of their country, and they were looking for any reason they could find to throw John out of the country.

The marital problems, on top of constant government surveillance, would put anyone on edge! John Lennon was not the Superman everyone wanted him to be! He was only human, after all.

The title track of the fourth album was Mind Games. It reflected the turmoil going on in John’s head, and heart:

On the same album was a quiet gem. It drew very little attention. Originally it was intended as an anti-war protest to the Vietnam War, which by this time had advanced far beyond the borders of Vietnam. Why it was never released as a single we can never know, but I would not doubt the uncertainty of the times played a big part in its relative silence.

I think, though, we need to look at this song in a new light. Why not use it as an anthem against gun violence and the huge numbers of gun deaths in the USA, and in particular a public protest against school shootings. In that vein I think it would work quite well. You can make up your own mind.

If you think it can work, call up your favourite radio station and request that they play it. Maybe we can make it a number 1 hit today!

Human Interest John Lennon Loki Love Marriage Music


(Just Like) Starting Over

All my relationship lives, and there were many of them, some singer or other would sing a song, or two, or five, that paralled my life. In October of 1980, that singer was John Lennon. He only sang one song to me and the woman I would marry, but only because a very short time later he was assassinated in front of his home. This post is not about that event.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in 1969, and a huge part of the world blamed Yoko for breaking up the Beatles. We, the many fans of the Beatles, had no idea the process had been happening for a while already, and that it was George Harrison who took the actual first step. He had moved beyond the Beatles, especially spiritually, and he was feeling hemmed in. This is not that story either. The Beatles recorded one more album together, and soon after went their separate ways. The rest is history.

Under Yoko’s tutelage, if I am allowed to put it that way, definitely under her influence, John Lennon began to mature, mentally and musically. He wrote and recorded some of the best music of his career in the years following the break-up of the Beatles, but he still had a long way to go. While having matured, he was not yet mature, even though he was in his later 30s. He had more growing up to do, and he and Yoko split up shortly after the birth of his son Sean. He spent a number of wild years apart from his new family, but in 1980 he felt the need to not only be part of a couple, but also to be part of his new family, a process he had never had a chance to fully learn during his first marriage or through the birth of his first son, Julian. He had been too busy being a Beatle.

Now it is 1980, he and Yoko and Sean are back together, and things are going good again. He goes into the recording studio, and he sings all about his new-found joy.

This is where his story nosedives with mine. I had been living with a woman for seven years, but in early 1980 we had split up — I cannot even remember why. We were both still very much in love with each other, but had somehow grown apart. We could not stand to be in the same room as the other person. All we did was fight. So I moved out, and lived on my own for awhile.

And this was where our cat, Loki, went into action. Loki was only one of usually about 5 cats, three of whom we had adopted as kittens, and two or more who were a series of strays who would move in with us and live a happy life for awhile before either moving away again, or dying. Too many of them died — they had led hard lives. But we were only too happy to let them stay with us until their time on Earth was up. In a way our home became a cat hospice. We loved each and every one of them, and did our best to help them live well and peacefully..

But as I was saying, Loki, the first cat we had adopted as a kitten took matters into his own paws. Our separate living spaces were about five blocks apart in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. To get from one home to the other he had to either to go through numerous yards, alleyways, and across 5 streets, or walk down the sidewalk of one of the busiest avenues in the City. How he got to my apartment building I will never know, but I came home from work one day to find him sitting on my front doorstep. I swept him up in my arms and carried him up the elevator to the fourth floor where my apartment was located. I spent a few hours with him, then took him outside and walked him to his home to make sure he arrived safely. I did not go in.

Next day he was right back at my apartnent, but not at the locked front door. When I got off the elevator I found him curled up in front of my apartment door. How he had gotten that far I had no idea, But there he was. And he was not leaving this time. When I tried to take him home he refused to leave. He sat on the bed and went to sleep. I had to scramble to find a litter box, and litter, and buy some cat food. He stayed on the bed all night, lying on my pillow, purring his heart out. I knew my ex would be upset if he didn’t come home so I called and left her a voicemail saying Loki was safe with me. She worked evening shift so I knew to phone when she would not be there. Cell phones had not been invented yet. Mobile phones had been by then, I think, but only special people had them. Regular people had only landlines.

I would love to tell you the whole story of how Loki manuevered my ex and I into getting back together, because without him it may never have happened. But he worked at it, and in early October of 1980 we bought a house together, and planned a marriage for Xmas day. We had never before even talked marriage, but now it became a done deal. And John put out his Double Fantasy album, and for us Double meant he and Yoko, and she and I.

We did not fly away, what we did was move into our new home, which seemed to us just like starting over.

Isms Toward a Better World SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ANTI-WAR PROTEST War Rock Music John Lennon


Give Peace a Chance — with a scene from the movie “The Strawberry Statement”

Yesterday I played for you the second John Lennon solo release from while he was still a Beatle. Today it is only fitting I give you his first.

Yesterday I gave you all kinds of background to the song Istant Karma. Today I will give you almost none. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE was recorded on May 31, 1969 in room 1472 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and a roomful of guests.

I will let the song speak for itself:

In 1970 a movie called The Strawberry Statement was filmed and released that made excellent, appropriate, and effective use of some of the words to this song in its final scene. The movie was about a takeover of a university campus by its students. Unfortunately this video clip stops just short of the violence that ended the campus takeover, but some of you will be able to imagine what happens next. A lot of you would probably rather not know…

The entire movie is worth watching, in my mind, if you can find it. The free version that was on YouTube seems to have disappeared.

Give Peace a Chance was used an the final encore song at John Lennon’s 1972 Concert in New York City. I am including the video here for the sheer number of people he had on stage with him as the video was being recorded. There are a lot of familiar faces on stage, most notably Stevie Wonder. Why the title of the video focuses on Melanie I am not sure.

As an added bonus here is a clip of the last few seconds of the action in The Strawberry Statement, with a reprise of the song that opens the movie, The Circle Game by Buffie Ste. MARIE.

KARMA Dreams Philosophy ANTI-WAR PROTEST Human Interest Rock Music John Lennon



Instant Karma, was the second release of the Plastic Ono Band, after Give Peace a Chance in 1969. It was the first time John Lennon worked with producer Phil Spector, even before Spector worked on the Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, later in 1970.

According to Songfacts, “John Lennon wrote and recorded this song in one day, which was either January 26 or 27, 1970, depending on the source. It was unusual in the Beatles era for a song to be written and put into tape the same day. Lennon told Rolling Stone in January 1971 about the recording of this song and its quick turnaround: “I wrote it in the morning on the piano. I went to the office and sang it many times. So I said ‘Hell, let’s do it,’ and we booked the studio, and Phil came in, and said, ‘How do you want it?’ I said, ‘You know, 1950’s.’ He said, ‘right,’ and boom, I did it in about three goes or something like that. I went in and he played it back and there it was. The only argument was that I said a bit more bass, that’s all; and off we went.”In this song, Lennon addresses critics who are not on board with his message of unity and hope (“You better get yourself together…”). But according to Yoko Ono, the song is really an invitation, not a condemnation. “It’s like, ‘Let’s all be together and anybody who’s out there who’s not in this game, why don’t you join us?'” she told Uncut in 1998. “And to say that ‘We all shine on,’ it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing, instead of saying some people are shining and some people are not. It’s a really uplifting song.”A good indication of Lennon’s mindset at the time and inspiration for this song can be seen in the statement he and Yoko released on December 31, 1969, declaring 1970 “Year 1 AP (After Peace).” The statement read: “We believe that the last decade was the end of the old machine crumbling to pieces. And we think we can get it together, with your help. We have great hopes for the new year.”George Harrison played guitar on this and Billy Preston played piano on this track. Preston helped out The Beatles with their Let It Be Album.” [Klaus Voorman played bass, and Alan White played drums. John played acoustic guitar.]

From Wikipedia: “In their book The Words and Music of John Lennon, Ben Urish and Kenneth Bielen write that in the first verse of “Instant Karma!”, Lennon employs sarcasm as he urges the listener to “Get yourself together / Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead” and emphasises “It’s up to you – yeah, you!”[27] Norman comments on the “hippie catchphrase of the moment” contained in this instruction to “Get yourself together”, and he says that the warning of imminent death is “obviously not to be taken literally.”[15] Author Mark Hertsgaard cites the lines “Why in the world are we here / Surely not to live in pain and fear?” as a further example of Lennon “asking what purpose his life on earth was to serve,” after his 1966 composition “Strawberry Fields Forever”.[28] According to Urish and Bielen, “Instant Karma!” conveys the need to recognise and act upon a shared responsibility for the wellbeing of humankind; the karmic rewards of this mindset are available to all, as implied in Lennon’s exhortation to “Come and get your share”.[27] The same authors pair the song with Lennon’s and Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” single from 1971, in terms of how the song “both prods and challenges listeners before providing reassurance.”[29]As with “Give Peace a Chance” and “Power to the People”[30] – Lennon singles from 1969 and 1971 – the chorus has an anthem-like quality, as he sings: “We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.”[27] Norman describes the chorus as Lennon restating his message of “peace campaigning and non-violent, optimistic togetherness.”[15] According to Lennon biographer John Blaney, the song is an appeal “for mankind to take responsibility for its fate” and represents “Lennon developing his own brand of egalitarianism.”[12]”

Also from Songfacts we learn “The Australian rock band Midnight Oil performed this [song] during their famous protest outside Exxon headquarters in New York City in 1990, a year after the Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Jim Moginie, the band’s guitarist/keyboardist, told Blurt Magazine: “We played ‘Instant Karma’ for the first time, which summed up matters pretty well about the oil spill. It felt good to make the point that needed to be made about Exxon.” “

This song was printed, pressed, delivered to music stores, and released to the public on Feb. 6, 1970, just 9 days after being recorded.

Instant Karma rose to #2 in Canada, #3 in the USA, #5 in the UK, and the top ten in most other countries where record ratings were kept.

I chose Instant Karma to kick off my John Lennon Week mainly because I wanted to get everyone’s attention, and re-introduce old fans to the genius of John Lennon. He earned fame and made his fortune as a member of arguably the best-ever band in rock history (once the ‘n roll part was dropped from the genre), but it was as a solo artist (solo as in he was in total charge of his own music) that he was able to shine as a human being! As a Beatle he displayed his talent, as John Lennon he displayed his commitment to life!

In the subtitle I alluded to a bonus. I would like to ask you to listen to a song that was probably never played on commercial radio, was never released as a single, yet was one of the most profound musical statements of John’s life.

This is John declaring his ultimate freedom. I hope you like it:

One last line I wish John had added to this song. If I may be so bold, I would like to add it for him: I don’t believe in Karma.



I would call this a “Can’t happen to me” story. People own guns for several reasons. Some people are collectors. Some are hunters. Some are target shooters. But one big reason is personal safety. Many people are convinced that their easy access to, and liberal carry of, guns makes them safer. They feel that if […]

Guns make you safer — #Monetary Sovereignty – Mitchell
America Climate Change DEMOCRACY Fascism Fear GOP Republican Party


In my last post I gave you the non-answer supplied by an Artificial Intelligence chatbot to the question, Why is the Republican Party good for the USA? Now I have the privilege to give to you a response from an American pundit. Truly, he or she does not answer the actual question, but rather gives me their opinion on the present Republican Party in America, and its erstwhile leader, one Donald J. (Trumpelstiltskin) Trump. (Just in case you don’t get the pun, Rumpelstiltskin was the conniving conman who held Rapunzel hostage in a fairy tale, forcing her to do his bidding. Trump, of course, is the racist, mysogenistic, chauvanistic, capitalistic conniving conman who has been holding the Republican Party AND the Democratic Party AND a big chunk of Americans hostage while he does his best to destroy the nation and people and government of the United States of America!) (My description, not the Pundit’s!)

Today’s Republicans are much different from yesteryears’.

Today’s are needy cult members, true believers, ultra-religious, loyal fans — all describing the same personality traits.

They are people who feel weak and fearful when alone. They need to be part of a clique to give them strength. They are the Nazi, pasty-faced pipsqueaks marching, the white supremacist militias dressed in brave camo. They are the gang that attacks Congress en masse, then once inside, postures and primps as though they had accomplished some great thing.

They desperately need to be told lies and told what to do. They desperately fear being revealed as frauds.

They need a wall or a gun or a rumor of a conspiracy to hide behind. They are cowards and bullies. They need scapegoats for their failures.

And they have found their leader, the man who never fails, but whose failures always are someone else’s fault, and the man whom they pray will save them from their terrors.

Deep in their hearts, they know he is a weak, cowardly loser, hate-monger, and cheat, and this knowledge forces them to cling to him even closer — like sheltering under a leaky umbrella – lest reality destroys them.

One day they will hate him for his lies and his losing, but they will search for another liar and another loser to lead them.

As I said above, a Trumpelstiltskin of a Trumpelstiltskinish party.

In other words, the Republican Party is doing nothing good for the USA! And yet, a huge chunk of Americans support them. How is that possible? Trump lies to them. He steals their money from them. And he cheats them of the freedoms they so willingly believe he is giving them — the freedom to tell everyone around them what to do and how to live! That is not freedom, that is bullying. The Republican Party bullies them, and they in turn think they are bullying the rest of America.

But the bullies have no idea of what they are truly doing, giving away their nation to people who would destroy the world as we all know it. They think they are winning, but they are losing — their way of life, their freedoms, and the right to life itself that they take for granted, because they do not realize just how precious their own lives actually are…

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Yesterday I had occasion to ask a blogging friend, whose name you can find in the “Tags” (if they work today) to ask his AI bot the question, “Why is the Republican Party good for the USA?” I thought, surely, if anyone could tell me, an AI bot could.

I did not ask this important question as a joke, as some might think, but as a serious investigatory tool. With all the knowledge available to the AI bot, and even more opinion, I really hoped it could give me an insight into the Republican mindset. I mean, surely there must be something good the GOP does for Americans: They keep getting voted into Congress with numbers of votes bordering on 49% or more. Interestingly, in 2016, they won the Presidency (again) with less than 49% of the popular vote. And then in 2020 their candidate swore he won the Presidency with far less than 49%. His Arithmetic teacher must have been very proud of his or her very stable genius student!

Already, though he has not even been nominated as I write this, he is preparing to have yet another election stolen from him. I wonder what he is planning to top the Jan. 6 response he organized and executed in response to his 2020 loss?

But I circumlocute! Let me tell you, in its own words, what the AI bot said in answer to my question:

As an AI language model, I don’t hold personal opinions or biases. It is not within my capabilities to declare whether a political party is good or bad for any country, including the Republican Party in the United States.

Views on the impact of political parties can vary significantly depending on individual perspectives and beliefs. Different people have different opinions on the policies, values, and goals of political parties, including the Republican Party.

Political parties can play a significant role in shaping public policy, representing specific ideologies, and fostering debate and discussion within a democratic system. Supporters of the Republican Party often highlight principles such as limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and traditional values as key tenets.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the Republican Party’s impact, it is recommended to explore a range of sources, engage in discussions with individuals from diverse perspectives, and critically evaluate different viewpoints.

If you have any specific policy-related questions or would like information on specific aspects of the Republican Party’s platform or history, feel free to ask, and I’ll provide the information to the best of my abilities.

Wow! Doesn’t that sound like an actual politician? (I noted this to my blogging friend.) It uses a whole lot of words to say absolutely nothing! It commits to nothing. It fails to answer the question in any way but to speechify, as it were. It certainly succeeds in being artificial, don’t you think?

Did I use the word circumlocute above? I am but an amateur!

America Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World


My new favourite writer on monetary issues within American government, Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, posted today about a UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME (UBI) in the United States of America, otherwise known (in Canada, at least) as a Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI). This is an idea I first came across in the 1980’s. I was in favour of it then, and I am in favour of it now.

The idea of a GMI is to help all people live above the poverty level. Poverty leads to many social ills, and costs society much more than it ever could cost to ensure no one goes without the basic needs of life, healthy food, safe shelter, and whatever healthcare is needed to give everyone a fair chance at succeeding in life despite their circumstances at birth.

The UBI as written about by Mr. Mitchell actually gives more than what a GMI provides for, though in the end it accomplishes the same thing — exterminating poverty. At the same time, though, it helps preventing everyone from falling into poverty should life give them a kick in the proverbial butt. In UBI, everyone gets a piece of the UBI pie except people incarcerated for being found guilty of a criminal act. The idea is that as long as you are living free in America, no matter who you are, you have the right to the same basic income as everyone else.

Of course, Mr. Mitchell goes into a lot more detail, including stating many pros and cons of a UBI. To give fair warning, this post is a long informative read, but well worth your time and effort if you would love to see society changed for the better — for everone!

The other thing you can do on Mr. Mitchell’s blogsite is tell him your feelings on the UBI, and whether or not you are in favour of or against something like it. I let him know I am in favour of it.


HOW MUCH IS A DEAD BODY WORTH? Is it White or Non-White?

In 2022 Winnipeg City Police declined to search a landfill site to look for the bodies of two women they reasonably believe are buried in the rubble. From the precision of their evidence, they can only know this if the killer told them. They say they know the place and date the bodies were picked up from a dumpster and transported to a landfill site (read garbage dump!) And they are willing to let those bodies remain there, as nothing but garbage!

Yes, the bodies are those of indigenous women. Does that give them less value than if the women were white? We have seen police forces across North America move mountains to recover the bodies of white people, no matter who they were as living people, or how they died. So why are the bodies of two murdered indigenous women not worth every effort to recover them.

The Canadian government spent $500,000 on commissioning a study to determine what it might cost to completely search the landfill. Now that Commission has released its study, and a decision will have to be made. Is it worth it? I will be very interested to know what their decision is going to be…

Study finds search for women’s remains at landfill could take years, cost up to $184M [Dated May 12, 2023]

A search for the remains of two First Nations women at a Winnipeg-area landfill could take up to three years and cost $184 million, says a study examining whether a successful search is possible.

The study, obtained by The Canadian Press, looked at the various scenarios and challenges that come with searching a landfill and concluded a canvass of the Prairie Green Landfill is feasible.

It warns there are “considerable risks” due to exposure to toxic chemicals and asbestos. But it says for[e]going a search could be more harmful for the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran.

“Not conducting the search could cause considerable distress to victim family members,” the report says. [Blogger’s Bold]

“The impact of not conducting a search and humanitarian recovery for remains of Morgan and Marcedes, when it is possible that they are in the Prairie Green Landfill, could have long-lasting repercussions on the families, friends, loved ones and First Nations and Indigenous communities in Manitoba and across Canada.”

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and representatives from Long Plain First Nation, to which Harris and Myran belonged, are to hold a news conference Friday about the study.

An Indigenous-led committee spearheaded by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs commissioned the study after Winnipeg police said in December that they believed the remains of Harris and Myran are in the landfill north of the city. But police said they would not be searching the site because of the passage of time and the large volume of material deposited there.

The committee included family members, First Nations leaders, forensic experts and representatives from the province and the city.

The study says it’s not guaranteed a search would locate the women’s remains.

It could take between one and three years and would cost $84 million to $184 million.

The report says police believe the women’s remains were left in a garbage bin three days apart in early May 2022. The contents of the dumpster were sent to the Prairie Green Landfill on May 16.

Read the rest of the story* at:

*[I will caution any readers that they may encounter a huge typo on this page, which no reputable media outlet should allow to exist. If it has not been corrected, beware of reading the words: “an identified women” which should read: an unidentified woman. My apologies on their behalf.]

One thing the report does not make clear, nor does the reporter allude much to, is that the monetary figures and time period are not written in stone. The bodies could be discovered at any time during the search. In my opinion the writer really should have emphasized that the search could take up to 3 years and $184,000,000. Chances are, if the bodies are there, it might take less time and cost less money!

Human Interest Philosophy Socially Conscious Music

SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS MUSIC #10 — He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother

Hi Friends,

I needed to post something in order to answer a question by a fellow blogger: How does one put a “REBLOG” button on their blog posts? I know I figured it out when I first started, because someone asked me why I had no Reblog button, but I cannot remember how I did it.

So, in case I can’t figure it out as I publish this post, please, help a brother out. I’m not that heavy, am I? (I only need one answer in Comments, though if you read what the first person writes and you know an easier way — I’m not saying the first person won’t know the easiest way, but, just in case…)

So, thank you in advance if you are the first to answer the question (Please make it as detailed as possible so an eighty year-old person can understand it — no, I’m not 80 yet, but I know an 8 year-old could do it in a few seconds, he or she was born knowing more than I will ever know about computers! But an 80 year-old, maybe not so much.), or thank you if you can offer an improvement.

Meanwhile, if you want, feel free to comment on my musical choice. I thought it fit my situation very well today.

Take care, and please sing along if you so desire. The words will be right in front of you.

America DEMOCRACY GOP Supreme Court

And the money keeps rolling in from Harlan Crow — Around the Block

rawgod’s intro: The pile of money surrounding Clarence Thomas and family keeps getting higher and higher, and the higher it grows the deeper the shit Clarence Thomas should be standing in! But nothing is happening. Thanks, Ted, for encapsulating all these misdeeds for us.

And, to add even more fodder to the fire of your outrage, please follow the link to Maureen Dowd’s column in the NY TIMES. Thomas is not the only Supreme Court Justice feeding at the trough of Republican largesse. Every decision made by the Supreme Court in the past 20 years needs to be reviewed! The legitimacy of this court must be called into question!

Commentary For Clarence Thomas, every day reveals another gift. There’s only one way for this to end. Are you listening Chief Justice Roberts? (Note: the image accompanying this story is from the Times’ Maureen Dowd’s column today, “Supremely Arrogant.” I don’t believe there can be a better image of the current status of the Supreme […]

And the money keeps rolling in from Harlan Crow — Around the Block
ANTI-WAR PROTEST Socially Conscious Music War


On this, the anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, I was reminded of this song by a line in the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute and anti-war anthem to the massacre, OHIO.

Since Jill at Filosofa’s Word already played Ohio today, I thought I would play this song, by The Original Caste. It was first released in 1969, a year before the Kent State tragedy.

ANTI-WAR PROTEST Fear Human Interest War


Today is May 4, 2023. It has been 53 years since the KENT STATE MASSACRE. (Thank you, Jill, at Filosofa’s Word, for reminding us.) From Jill’s blog I followed a series of “More to Read” prompts until I came to this post, entitled: Inquire Learn and Reflect: The May 4 Memorial of Kent State University. I knew I had to share this with you. (See end of post to read the comment I left on Jill’s post. This date is very significant in my life. It was the day the Hippie Movement unofficially died.)

In the spring of 1970, the United States was a country sharply divided over the ongoing Vietnam War – and the friction many times showed up dramatically on college campuses in the form of protests. In the majority of cases, the dispersal of college protestors occurred with numerous arrests and minimal harm – but on May 4, 1970 one such event erupted into perhaps the most tragic event of the era. The unpopularity of the war had grown to an even more agitated pitch when on April 30 President Richard Nixon announced the Cambodian Campaign, a military invasion of neighboring Cambodia for the purpose of routing the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (also known as the Viet Cong or “Charlie”), which were using the area as a staging ground for attacks on US troops in Vietnam. One reaction to the announcement came in the form of nationwide student strikes that occurred on both the high school and college level, building in intensity over the weekend of May 1st to 3rd. Such was the case at Kent State University in Ohio, where the mayor requested help from the National Guard to quell the unrest. On Monday, May 4, 1970, around 1000 students of that school converged on the University Commons to protest both the presence of the troops at their school and the recent “escalation” of the war.


A Display Remembers the Events of May 4, 1970
Photo credit: PapaDunes / / CC BY-NC-ND

In response to the raucous gathering of protestors, national guardsmen began to lob canisters of tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd – and faltering in that effort the troops at first appeared to be retreating. However, quite suddenly they wheeled, knelt and unleashed a volley of 67 rounds that killed four students and permanently paralyzed another. In response to the tragedy, high school and college strikes escalated, involving approximately 4 million students who were further motivated by the lyrics of a hit song released by the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – entitled OhioControversy continues to this day concerning the motivation of Companies A and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio National Guard (ARNG) for unleashing such a deadly volley of bullets, when most critics agree there was no ominous threat to their lives. Did the troops act on their own, or were there specific commander’s orders given to fire on the students? A civil suit filed on the behalf of the mother of Jeffrey Miller, one of the four students killed that day, led to a federal trial (1979) that eventually exonerated Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes, Kent State University President Robert I. White, and 27 National Guardsmen. When the judgment was later reversed through the process of appeal, the plaintiffs accepted $675,000 in damages. In response to another separate indictment (1974) by the federal government, eight of the guardsmen were eventually declared innocent of depriving the students of their constitutional rights.

The accused guardsmen testified that they fired on the students in self-defense, even mentioning that they heard gunfire that made them fear for their lives. However, recent research revealed in 2010 seems to contradict that claim, providing interesting audio evidence that the troops actually fired in response to an order given by the commanding officers. The same audio recording has revealed that a firearm, possibly a handgun, may have been discharged at a very crucial point prior to when the guardsmen opened fire. At the time of the shootings, the FBI examined the same recording, but came to no conclusion that a firearm had discharged or that the guardsmen had receive orders to fire at the protestors.  At the very most, the Scranton Commission organized to examine college unrest concluded that the “indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.” Despite the new evidence, it is very unlikely that the federal government will reopen the investigation, because a “double jeopardy” clause in the Constitution prohibits government authorities from re-trying the surviving soldiers involved in the tragedy.

There is more to read, if you care to:

Jill’s post can be found here:

This was my comment to Jill:

I was nowhere near Kent State that day, but when I heard about the tragedy I knew it would have far-reaching effects on society. But instead of waking America, and the world, up, it mostly had the opposite effect. Combined with the useless murder of a young man at Altamont, it scared many of the flower children of my generation into giving up on changing the society we had been “fighting” to make better.
The Man was too powerful, too willing to kill. Where we believed in peace and love, a lot of us just gave up, and went back home with our tails between our legs. This was the end of the hippie movement, though we did not know it at that time.
The response I was expecting never happened, our fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters did not join us, but silently faded into the shadows.
We failed ourselves that day, we failed the USA, and we failed all humanity.

And now we have almost daily mass shootings. The Ohio National Guard set an example that day, it was okay to shoot students where they went to learn.

Neil Young, a Canadian, took a real close look at American culture, unafraid to speak the truth that he saw. But even that did not help. The sheep did not look up!


The banking mess and the one solution*

A truth about bank failures in the USA? Maybe? Possibly? Likely! Roger Malcolm Mitchell seems to understand money, and how it works — or does not work! Here he talks about bank failures in a way few economic writers are willing to discuss.
This is my third reblog of an RMM post. I find his writing not only honest, but relatively easy to comprehend. You don’t need to be an expert to make sense of what he is saying. Let me know what you think.

#Monetary Sovereignty - Mitchell

Imagine you own a Las Vegas casino, but instead of running it yourself, you hire a management firm to run it.

After a while, you discover that the management firm was incompetent or crooked.

Their incompetence was costing you money, and their stealing was costing you even more money.

What would you do?How Pros Cheat Casinos - Can Gamblers Really Trick Casino Employees?

Would you fire the management firm and hire a new one?

Would you vow to create stricter rules and to supervise them more closely, only to discover the same thing happening again?

And again.

And again.

Woman hand picking red apple from a tree. In summer , #ad, #picking, #hand,  #Woman, #red, #summer #ad | Apple, Red apple, Fruit pickingEven Adam yielded to temptation.

At what point would you finally realize that the combination of incompetence and the powerfultemptation to steal simply are too great for you to supervise someone else running your casino?

At what point would you run the casino yourself?

That is the question the federal government again has before it. 

Federal regulators were racing on…

View original post 1,942 more words

America Climate Change Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World War


I have not written much personally lately, I haven’t felt much need to say anything wise or useful. The world is going to hell in many ways, while some people are doing great things to bring the world together. Who gets the most media attention. The loud obnoxious ones. You’d think people would be over Trump by now, he has already proved he is incapable of being a leader for a nation of people, but listening to today’s American media they still think he is the best thing since Wonder Bread. Wonder Bread sucks. So does Trump.

But that’s just one thing. While the Putin war on Ukraine is well into its second year, it is no longer headline news. All the political bullshit around and behind the war is still there, sort of, but it is no longer about people being killed every day. The media does not want us to think about the horrors of war anymore, so they have moved on. And no one is complaining.

Which brings us to gun violence, particularly in the USA who seem to be the darlings of the world. They are so darling they might be killing and wounding more people every day, on average, than are being killed or wounded in Ukraine, where there is actual war. Americans don’t need to be at war to kill each other. It’s just the cost of living in a Wild West society, I am told. The Wild West died in the early 1900s, if not earlier. This is 2023! Am I missing something?

Haiti is still being ruled/ruined by street gangs, and Sudan is being attacked from within by soldiers and para-military forces fighting each other in the streets of their cities. But that is oceans away from the USA, so who cares? Innocent people, those just trying to live their lives as best they can, are being slaughtered, but who cares? Life goes on for everyone else. We can ignore blood being shed in foreign nations. They can’t harm us. Can they?

It’s all just water flowing under the train trestle, isn’t it? Here today, gone tomorrow. The NBA playoffs are going on, as are the NHL playoffs, while MLB baseball is just getting started, as is the XFL. What the hell is the XFL? Do you even care?

I don’t care. I care about people getting along with nature, and with other people. I know there are other people in the world who care about similar things, to varying degrees of passion. Where are those voices? Why aren’t they being heard? There is a big Extinction Rebellion protest happening in London, England today, associated with Earth Day! I have not heard a thing about that. Why haven’t we heard about people trying to save this world, instead of the people trying to destroy it!

Earth Day! I guess it’s a start. But what we need is an Earth Year! An Earth Decade! Even better, an Earth Century! An Earth Millennium? Yeah, an Earth Millennium. That might help heal the world? One day is sure as hell not going to do much!

But at least I am glad some people are trying! This world is not going to save itself, not as long as humans live on it! Humans — the superor species. The best destroyers of the world!


Debt Ceiling


The “debt ceiling” in the USA is most misunderstood political football currently grabbing the attention of the citizens of the USA. Depending on who you talk to it is a major crisis, or it is just a cost of doing government business. Come on! The federal government holds a debt of over $30,000,000,000,000 (trillion) US. How the hell can that be trivial! And yet, according to Robert Malcolm Mitchell, it really is a non-starter, another Republican Party talking point used to confuse, scare, and divide the citizens of supposedly the wealthiest nation on Earth. (In this writer’s opinion, it is not the nation that is wealthy, but 1% of 1% of American citizens, and they sure as hell are not about to share that wealth with anyone. But that has nothing to do with today’s post!)

The useless, no harmful, battles over the Big Lie

 Rodger Malcolm Mitchell  Uncategorized  April 18, 2023 10 Minutes

Imagine witnessing an argument between two people. Person #1 says, “A stork delivers babies.” Person #2 says an angel delivers babies from heaven.”

What would you say about that argument? That it’s so ignorant as to be beyond words?

It’s pretty much what I say about arguments concerning the U.S. federal “debt.”

Dems, Republicans Far Apart On Soaring U.S. Debt: I&I/TIPP Poll, Terry Jones,
April 17, 2023

The perennial dance between the president and Congress over the budget and raising America’s debt ceiling is a widely reported but much-ignored, event. This time around, it shouldn’t be.

Even as our national debt soars, Americans are split over how serious the problem is, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows. Meanwhile, a government shutdown, or even possibly default, looms.

At the last official count, federal debt totaled about $31.5 trillion. Looked at from a different perspective, $31.5 trillion means each American household is now responsible for roughly $237,500 in U.S. debt.

There is the Big Lie in all its glory. As an American, you are responsible for exactly $0 of the so-called “debt” (that isn’t even a real debt).

Read the rest of his post at

America DEMOCRACY Fascism GOP Human Interest RACISM Republican Party


While surfing Word Press a few days ago I came across what I think is a very good discussion or essay on “Woke,” “Critical Race Theory,” “Cancel Culture,” and generally the state and motivations of the current Republican Party. It was written almost 6 months ago, so can seem a bit out-of-date, or behind-the-times in places. New things could easily be added to it, but I will not even try to update it. What Rodger Malcolm Mitchell has to say goes to the root of many of the ideas that are being pushed by Republicans, and Republican-led state governments.

Please have a read, and I hope you find it as well-written, rational, and dispassionate as I did. It was not written to rile up anyone, but rather to help concerned people understand what is going on in the USA today. And, hopefully, to help Republican voters to understand just what their political leaders are really saying to them! (All emphases are the work of the author.)

The “Woke” Controversy as the GOP Camouflage for Bigotry

Ask any Democrats what “woke” means, and they likely will say they don’t know. Ask any Republican the same question, and they will say, “I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

George Wallace stood in schoolhouse door 52 years ago today -

Part of American history; George Wallace blocked a schoolhouse door to prevent black children from entering. DeSantis doesn’t want your children to know.

Merriam-Webster added the word “woke” to its dictionary in 2017, defining it as “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice.”)

The Oxford dictionary adopted it the same year, defining it as “alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.”

Those definitions seem benign enough unless one is a bigot, in which case the words seem threatening and too close to home.

This brings us to the related concept, “Critical Race Theory.” Per Brittanica:

Critical race theory (CRT) was officially organized in 1989, at the first annual Workshop on Critical Race Theory, though its intellectual origins go back much farther, to the 1960s and ’70s.

Its immediate precursor was the critical legal studies (CLS) movement, which dedicated itself to examining how the law and legal institutions serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the poor and marginalized.

(CRT is) based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour.

Read the rest of the post at: