Thursday, April 21, 2016


Oh HELL Yes!

Every once in awhile, even bureaucrats gets something right (even if it takes a dose of public outrage to nudge them in the right direction). The way things have been going in this country lately, I'll take every victory for the cause of freedom I can find, no matter how seemingly trivial.

After stirring up a massive controversy by suggesting that Alexander Hamilton be replaced on the $10 bill by a woman, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced yesterday that Hamilton would remain on the $10 note, but that Andrew Jackson would be replaced on the $20 bill by the marvelous Harriet Tubman.

Given Tubman's historical contributions, an image of her emphasizing her willingness
to help others find freedom (and to defend it by force of arms, if need be) would be quite appropriate:

Of course, we'll probably just get some staid portrait-style image instead. An opportunity lost, in my opinion, but consistent with how other figures are portrayed on our money. Still, Tubman is an outstanding choice.

As one might expect, the historically illiterate (which of course includes most Donald Trump supporters) are squawking, because all they see is a white man being replaced by a black woman. Asshat Trump himself has already publicly denounced the change as "pure political correctness," which confirms my suspicion that he secretly admires the brutal racist Democrat Andrew Jackson and doesn't have the slightest idea who Harriet Tubman was or what she did in her life.

"How can people still say such dumb things in the Information Age?"

They're actually proud of their ignorance, old friend...they wear it like a badge of honor...

Speaking of Freedom Fighters...

The Surrender of Santa Anna, by William Henry Huddle

On April 21, 1836 the Texas Revolution ended in triumph when the Texian Army won the Battle of San Jacinto.

It would be another nine years before the Republic of Texas became the 28th state of the Union, but the events at San Jacinto set that development in motion.

Feast Day

Statue at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH
On April 21 we celebrate the feast day of St. Anselm of Canterbury,
the Benedictine monk who was one of the foremost philosophers and theologians of the medieval Church.

Anselm's best known book, Proslogion, is famous for making what came to be called the Ontological Argument for the existence of God. Anselm was not the only philosopher to argue for
a rational justification for God's existence, but his argument is probably the most famous of its type, and remains very influential.

Anselm's emphasis on reason
and philosophy led to his being considered one of the intellectual founders of Scholasticism.

He was canonized by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, and was named Doctor of the Church by Pope Clement XI in 1720.

Always Knock First, Kid

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.


Just one of my periodic reminders to click on at least some of the live links you find in these posts (like this one). You never know what sort of interesting stuff you might find if you do.

Also, a reminder that comments are always welcome, of course. Agree of disagree,
I would love to hear from you!

"Me too!"

Until Next Time...

One of the playlists in my iTunes is titled "Tearjerkers," and it includes nothing but songs that are guaranteed to bring tears to my eyes. The songs in that playlist run the gamut in terms of genres, styles, and artists. More often than not, the tears they evoke are due to their connection to various sad events in my life. Every once in awhile I'm just in the mood to wallow in sadness, to reach what Aristotle called catharsis, and listening to this playlist never fails to satisfy on that score.

Of all the songs in the collection, none has such an odd back-story as the 1990 hit "Nothing Compares 2 U." Written by pop/funk powerhouse Prince for one of his side projects in 1985, it wasn't released as a single and the album it appeared on received little attention. That should have been that, but Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor's mother died in an automobile accident that same year, and something in Prince's lyrics struck a chord with her. When she began recording her second album in 1989, she included the Prince song as a tribute to her late mother.

The song was an immediate hit, in no small part thanks to the iconic music video O'Connor made to support the single. It spent months in heavy rotation on MTV.

Prince was reportedly not thrilled with O'Connor's version of his song, and when they met to discuss it they nearly came to blows (according to O'Connor). The consensus is that this is one of those rare instances when a cover version of a song far exceeded the original.

Original 1990 45 rpm single

On April 21, 1990 "Nothing Compares 2 U" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart,
and would hold that position for four weeks.

It wound up as the third-best-selling single of the year, and made the Top 100 best-selling singles of the 1990s. It received a platinum certification in the U.S. from RIAA, and was a No. 1 hit in many other countries.

The single's success propelled O'Connor's album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
to the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart a week later, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks.

Today's send-off is the famous music video of the song, which won three awards at the MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. (O'Connor was the first female artist to win this honor.) No music video disclaimers are necessary in this case. And yes, when she cries in the video that's what sets me off too. Enjoy...

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