Over the years I have made a few You Tube videos honoring a couple of singers who made not only a large mark on country music, but also mean a great deal to me. Rainy afternoons, and cold nights are perfect for playing around with the possibilities on a computer. There are more projects underway in my files, and all I need are longer days to get everything accomplished. As of late I am playing around with video, so who knows!
But now to the heart of this posting.
Today marks two years since Charlie Louvin died from a most aggressive cancer. In 2011 I posted A Letter From Home about this singer, and one album in particular.
One singer out of Alabama with a desire to do more than pick cotton his whole life. A woman in Hancock, Wisconsin who liked music and picked up the singer’s album at Tempo or Woolworth’s on a Saturday shopping trip. A record player that was kept in pristine condition as it brought so much entertainment to the home. A kid who fell in love with the genre of music that speaks to the central components of life.
They say that singers never die as the music lives on forever.
At the time of Louvin’s death I posted about the chance to not only meet this country legend, but chat with him for several minutes. It happened in Wisconsin Dells , and he was most gracious.
Charlie Louvin took time to talk with me. He did not need to. The fact he did take the time made an impression that lingers.
Using my pen that I had brought along for him to sign my guitar and put “06″ (behind his name), he continued using it to provide autographs for others as they ambled along. As Louvin did so he continued our line of discussion. I had asked him about the formative days when he and his brother, Ira, traveled the country.
Charlie Louvin told me how many a week would end for the famous brothers as they made a mad dash from far-flung places to get back to “The Mother Church of Country Music”, the Ryman Auditorium, and their set for the Opry stage. To be a member of the Opry one had to perform 26 times a year, and was paid $15.00, a far cry from what could be made on the road. Charlie estimated that an act lost on average over $50,000 per year, but he was proud to be a part of the Opry and never complained.
The You Tube video of Louvin singing Where The Roses Never Fade has received more views than any other one I have uploaded. (21,157) In the world of videos that is a drop in the ocean, but I know when it comes to these older singers who are harder to locate on You Tube each video makes a difference.
Then there is Bill Anderson!
There are stories to be told about my impressions of him while I was a boy growing up in Hancock, Wisconsin. I think those should be held for the book, and yes there is one ‘a-coming’.
Meanwhile here is one of the songs that I loved to play on the old record player while growing up. In this video is a picture of both Anderson and his Hancock fan!
Sarah Palin is no longer under contract with FAUX News, and therefore never again will have a national TV audience . As such I think it best to recall why we all know Palin to be a total embarrassing nut.
Yes, Ms. Palin’s contract with Fox News has ended, and no, it is not being renewed. A Fox spokeswoman confirmed Friday that Fox had parted ways with the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee, effectively reducing her exposure to the channel’s millions of loyal viewers.
Sarah Palin will get smaller and recede into the back woods from whence she came.
I have been watching the process unfold in Washington concerning the filibuster rule in the United States Senate. While all are aware of the problem Republicans have created with the filibuster, I also must say a complete change to the rules of the body was never my first desire.
In November I posted the following.
I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to the process of government, and as such am not gleeful over the attempt Majority Leader Reid indicates he might use when it comes to filibuster reform. Using what is called the “constitutional option”, which states the Senate can, on the first day of a session, change its rules by a majority vote. But that very well can lead to mischief by the other side once they regain the majority.
I do not want the majority to control the rules of the body (regardless of which side has the majority), but I also know that the partisan plays from the Republicans have brought this nation to legislative gridlock through their abuse of the filibuster rule.
The news this week as to the final product after weeks of debate leaves me feeling less than pleased, and yet mindful that things could have been worse had the base desires been fulfilled.
Consider some of the changes that were voted on this week.
One thing the new rules will do is compress the amount of time it takes to get a bill through the Senate. Under the rules that have existed, when senators wanted to advance a bill to debate by filing what is known as a motion to proceed, they would often have to wait three days.
If Mr. Reid, for instance, made a motion to proceed on a Monday and Republicans objected — which they frequently did — he would have to wait until Wednesday before his motion could go forward.
Then on Wednesday, one hour after convening the Senate as stipulated by the rules, Mr. Reid would be able to call a vote. And if he could muster 60 supporters, the bill could then be delayed another 30 hours for debate, meaning that it was often Thursday before any meaningful legislative action could take place.
Under the new rules, if Mr. Reid agrees to give Republicans two amendments, he can call up a bill Monday morning, then four hours later vote to formally take it up, with only a majority of senators needed instead of 60.
What I had been following over the past days was a provision that made sense, but failed to pass in the senate. That was to have the minority to find 41 votes to sustain a filibuster. Failing that it is possible for senators to still not be required to actually talk or even be anywhere near the Capitol when they filibuster a bill.
That continues to be outrageous!
Not for the first time does North Korea, and their intentions fascinate CP.
American intelligence officials have also become concerned that the latest rocket test indicated that the country’s new leader might have decided that confrontation with the West could prove a more successful strategy to retaining power than a new attempt at difficult economic reforms.
There had been hopes that Mr. Kim — who is reported to have made modest economic changes and is portrayed as more affable than his father — might be willing to compromise with the West for economic aid. Thursday’s threat was the latest suggestion that he was more likely to follow the pattern that his father, Kim Jong-il, established when he ran the country: a cycle of a rocket launching, United Nations condemnation and nuclear testing.
“It’s a major test for Kim Jong-un,” said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea specialist at Dongguk University in Seoul. “Unlike the rocket launching in December, which the North has said was conducted because it was his father’s dying wish, a nuclear test will be Kim Jong-un’s decision, one for which he will be held responsible.”
The North appears to be making preparations for a possible nuclear test at the Punggye test site in northeastern North Korea, near the Chinese border. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told reporters on Thursday that the North Koreans “have the capability, frankly, to conduct these tests in a way that makes it very difficult to determine whether or not they are doing it.”
But deeper isolation does not appear to be the young Mr. Kim’s greatest fear. So far, China, which supplies the North’s energy and some of its food, has not cut off aid in response to North Korean actions even though its leaders have urged Mr. Kim and his father to refrain from provocations. Chinese officials have made clear in meetings with their American counterparts that they fear instability in North Korea more than they worry about the country advancing its longstanding nuclear and missile capabilities.
“If you look back over the past four years,” a former administration official said recently, “we haven’t moved the Chinese at all.”
It is hard to know what North Korea meant by the references in its statement that its next nuclear test would be of a different nature. It could indicate that the country will attempt to show that it can manufacture a warhead small enough to fit on a missile, though that technology of miniaturization is extremely difficult.
The filmmaker Roger Ross Williams reveals how money donated by American evangelicals helps to finance a violent antigay movement in Uganda.
Let us be clear about the matter.
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (often called the “Kill the Gays bill”) is a legislative proposal that would broaden the criminalization of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media, or non-governmental groups that know of gay people or support LGBT rights.
One of the first news stories I heard today was the retirement of Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Make no mistake about it he is a conservative, and on just about every issue takes a stand which differs from my views. But Chambliss did at times try to see beyond the narrow confines by attempting to find sound policy ideas. That work is what caught him up in the dreadful mess of Republican politics, and is the reason he will not seek another term in the senate.
If you wonder what is wrong in Washington, and why our government at times seems to be broken–then read the following.
Chambliss’ problematic political future is a very clear case study of the internecine challenges confronting the GOP establishment. He came to Congress as a House member in the Gingrich revolution, was propelled to the Senate with millions of dollars of conservatives’ money in one of the nastiest campaigns in the annals of modern politics — and, by objective measure, he remains a down-the-line party loyalist. Only three Republicans toed the line more often on Senate votes last year that fell mostly along party lines (he did so 93.8 percent of the time), and only 11 GOP senators voted against the wishes of the president more often (he did so 5.6 percent of the time.) And yet he faced the very real prospect that he would lose the GOP primary next year because of the area where he chose to break from party orthodoxy and seek compromise with the Democrats. He has infuriated conservatives back home by becoming the GOP leader of the bipartisan “Gang of Six” senators — who have been working for two years to come up with a grand bargain for reducing annual deficits and slowing the growth of the debt — because all their ideas have been premised on the notion that taxes will need to be raised significantly (along with making significant cuts in Medicare and other entitlements) if the nation’s long-term fiscal crisis is to be solved. He recently broke very publicly with anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, elevating his enmity among conservatives nationally.
If it becomes unacceptable to think about policy ideas outside the box of rigid party orthodoxy, or work with others to solve the vexing problems of our time then something is truly wrong!
I am no champion of Chambliss, but I do recognize the larger goal he was working on, and the light in which he was doing it. Replacing Chambliss with a pure fire-eater will not serve the nation, and will only make the Republican Party smaller and even more irrelevant.