“Shine On” original and March 2019 TCM song video

Star Sessions featured the Kansas City psych/soul/rock band Instant Karma on Monday, May 21, 2018, hosted by Chris Haghirian live at the Black Dolphin in the Crossroads Arts District. The musicians are Cole Bales on vocals and guitar, Cody Calhoun on guitar, Branden Moser on bass, Zach Harris on drums, and Caitlin Walker and Grace Griffin-Spain on vocals. This song is titled “Shine On.

TCM March 2019 featured the song on their trailer. Below are the trailer from TCM and the video of the band playing song live at Black Dolphin.

Live from the Black Dolphin. 3 minutes 27 seconds

TCM trailer for March 2019. 2 minutes

Trump judicial nominee can’t answer basic legal questions at hearing – video

US senator John Kennedy asked one of Trump’s district court judge nominees, Matthew Petersen, a series of questions on basic law, and he was unable to answer them. Concerns have been raised over the suitability of the five nominees for the role, including Matthew Petersen. The American Bar Association declared one of the nominees ‘unqualified’

Donald Trump’s big test in 2018 – The Economist video

The ninth in The Economist series of films previewing some of the big themes of 2018 considers America’s mid-term elections. A bad result for Donald Trump could lead to his impeachment. Can he unite and rally Republican voters?

Trump tries speaking with a Spanish accent – video

Trump tries pronouncing Puerto Rico with a Spanish accent.

What a moron. What a major moron. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the people of the United States. I’m beginnng to think Trumps’ speeches he reads off a teleprompter are written out for him phonetically.

Sally Yates gives Ted Cruz a lesson during exchange over Trump’s travel ban – video

From The Guardian:

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates has come out on top after Texas senator Ted Cruz attempted to corner her during a discussion about Donald Trump’s travel ban. Cruz cited a portion of US code that allows presidents to prevent immigrants from entering the country if their arrival would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States’. But Yates was unflustered, quickly replying with a quotation from another statute that says visas cannot be denied due to someone’s race, nationality or place of birth.

Hey Ted Cruz. Listen up. Never ask a question for which you don’t already know the answer.

Marbles and Magnets Video

I’ve always been fascinated with how things work and the work which goes into making things work. I suppose some of the curiosity comes from my dad who was a mechanical engineer by training and a businessman by nature.

When I was young one of my favorite toys was the Meccano set. I was fortunate to have had several and would create stuff all the time, often losing the little nuts in the bedroom carpet much to the consternation of my mother and her vacuum.

When I was emailed this video this morning I watched it intently, revelling in the fun it would have been to make Marbles and Magnets do what they do just for the sake of making it. The video has been around a while I understand, but it was new to me. And maybe new to you too.

The New Yorker’s David Remnick on the dangers of normalizing Donald Trump – video

David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, discusses the dangers of normalizing a Donald Trump presidency during a live chat hosted by the Columbia Journalism Review, in partnership with the Guardian and Reuters. The event, titled ‘Covering Trump: what happens when journalism, politics and fake news collide’, was held at the Columbia Journalism School in New York.

Source: The Guardian newspaper post.

Trump’s first month of lies – video

with narration by , Source: Guardian/Reuters/Getty Images/CNN/Fox News

In his first month as president, Donald Trump made numerous false statements on subjects that ranged from the extremely petty – such as crowd sizes – to those of national and international significance. The Guardian examines his most egregious falsehoods and considers what to do about a serial liar in the White House,

Source: The Guardian news web site.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up

You hear it everywhere, gobbledygook spewing forth from the frothing lips of fools. When the speaker knows the goobledygook is so completely unbelieveable but wants the audience to believe he or she actually knows what he or she is talking about, the speaker uses a catch phrase so you the listener should blindly accept what is spoken as true.

Using this catch phrase implies the speaker holds some magical knowledge or experience or wisdom only the speaker posseses, and the audience should be very grateful of such mendacity.

“Believe me” is a very popular catch phrase. “They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me”, “We will. Believe me”, “Believe me, I’ll win that case.”, “Believe me. Oh, believe me. And it’s a bad deal.” are a small sample of Donald Trump’s believe me’s.

“It’s almost like he’s trying to convince himself that he’s right,” said David B. Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Akron. “Believe me — that’s the phrase really of a used car salesman. ‘Believe me, this car is great. Just wait till you get this baby out on the highway.’ ”

Many politicians have their own verbal crutches. President Obama, in search of a way to crystallize muddy issues, often says, “Make no mistake,” “Let me be clear,” and “Here’s the deal.” Hillary Clinton, striking a more common note, often addresses her audience as “folks.”

But for Trump, “believe me” is uniquely his. In the 12 Republican debates, he used it some 30 times — at a rate 56 times greater than his opponents, who used it a combined three times. (Neither Clinton nor Bernie Sanders used the phrase during the Democratic debates.)

“What’s interesting about ‘believe me,’ is the stress is on me,” said George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It assumes that knowledge comes from direct experience,” he added. “Then it says, ‘I have direct experience of that thing. And you should believe someone who has that experience. You should believe me, because I know.’ ”

While it’s unclear when exactly the “believe me” phrase entered Trump’s regular lexicon, it apparently runs in the family.

When his son Eric appeared on Fox News during the Presidential election, he assured viewers, “Hillary’s got real problems. She’s got real, real problems on her resume and — believe me — we’ll talk about them.”

“Trust, but verify” was US president Ronald Reagan’s maxim, particularly when wrangling with Russians. Donald Trump just wants America to trust him.

The 45th president of the United States is indeed banking on Americans offering him massive credence – and not so much for Trumpian policies or doctrine as for Trump himself.

Trump has, after all, refused to reveal to a body politic that just endowed him with great power the more intimate details of his business interests, his foreign entanglements and even, at age 70, his health.

Take Trump’s federal tax returns — windows into his wealth, charity and potential conflicts of interest that go well beyond annual personal financial disclosures that politicians (including Trump) must by law file.

Trump, in departing from modern presidential precedent, says that Americans don’t care “at all” about them. The vast majority of Americans — Republicans included in the lot — have begged to differ, for months saying they’d love to see what Trump’s tax returns contain.

Then there’s the matter of Trump’s very ownership of dozens of businesses with operations in numerous nations — some friends, others frenemies at best, such as Saudi Arabia and China.

Lest we forget that Trump, despite railing against Iran in the most hawkish of terms, once earned $500,000 annually renting space to a state-owned Iranian bank that the US government later determined was funding terrorist organisations, including the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah. Or how, with dollar signs in his eyes, he courted former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

For those who dare question his pronouncements and motives, particularly members of the “fake news“-peddling “lying, disgusting media” Trump reserves a special brand of spite.

He’s blacklisted news organisations.

He temporarily ditched the “protective press pool” — a small group of reporters who chronicle a president’s every move, primarily as witnesses to historical events ranging from dignitary visits to assassination attempts and terrorist attacks.

Lately Donald has been bashing Nordstroms for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s losing line.

Yesterday Stephen Colbert talked about Nordstrom, senate confirmations and more…

Donald Trump is a man you just have to trust. Believe me.

Donny boy, your mouth is going to get you in trouble one of these days. Let’s hope you don’t take the rest of America or the world down with you.


Sand Wars Documentary Video

“Sand Wars” inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish a Global Environmental Alert in March 2014 titled “Sand, rarer than one thinks”.

By the end of the 21st century, due to beach theft, beaches will be a thing of the past. That is the alarming forecast of a growing number of scientists and environmental NGOs. Sand has become a vital commodity for our modern economies: we use it in our toothpaste, detergents, and cosmetics, and computers and mobile phones couldn’t exist without it. Our houses, skyscrapers, bridges and airports are all basically made with sand: it has become the most widely consumed natural resource on the planet after fresh water.

Sand Wars takes us around the world as it tracks the contractors, sand smugglers and unscrupulous property developers involved in the new gold rush, and meets the environmentalists and local populations struggling to reverse the threat to the future of this resource that we all take for granted.

Air Date:  Jan 07, 2017
Length: 52:00
Available Until: Mar 30, 2018

Click here to watch the video on TVO.Org

Surviving Chinese New Year With the Family

Below is a song performed by the Rainbow Chamber Singers in Shanghai. In Chinese, it’s titled “A Spring Festival Survival Guide.” (Chinese New Year is commonly called Spring Festival.)

In China, where an individual’s business is the family’s business, the questions are unremitting: “How much do you earn? Why don’t you have a better job? When will you marry? When will you have children? How did you get so fat?” Throughout the ordeal, the cornered victim must maintain at least the appearance of filial respect to his or her elders. (Hmmmm. Doesn’t sound that different from my family and relatives asking similar questions many years ago on Boxing Day get togethers.)

The video also carries the English title “What I Do Is For Your Own Good.” (Has anyone reading this not heard that line at least once?) The lyrics — English subtitles provided — and music are by Jin Chengzhi, who is also the choir’s conductor. The verve of its performance and its universal theme cry out for fuller treatment. How about a musical?

Watch, enjoy and Happy Year of the Rooster!