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Smoke It: The Pot

Let’s listen to Gene Marshall!

Smoke It: The Pot – Gene Marshall

This is one of the many ‘song-poem’ tunes he recorded. The song-poem scheme is basically a vanity-press operation that targets aspiring lyricists. People send their lyrics, along with a couple hundred dollars, to a music company. The lyrics get paired with original (but not great) music and the finished song is recorded and pressed – sometimes as a single, sometimes in a compilation with other song-poems. The compilation is more cost-efficient for the music company, and less satisfying to the lyricist – win/win! The aspiring lyricist eventually receives a stack of worthless records to deal with.

You’re welcome.


Slowly, steadily and almost imperceptibly, North America’s bird population is dwindling.

The sparrows and finches that visit backyard feeders number fewer each year. The flutelike song of the western meadowlark — the official bird of six U.S. states — is growing more rare. The continent has lost nearly 3 billion birds representing hundreds of species over the past five decades, in an enormous loss that signals an “overlooked biodiversity crisis,” according to a study from top ornithologists and government agencies.

This is not an extinction crisis — yet. It is a more insidious decline in abundance as humans dramatically alter the landscape: There are 29 percent fewer birds in the United States and Canada today than in 1970, the study concludes. Grassland species have been hardest hit, probably because of agricultural intensification that has engulfed habitats and spread pesticides that kill the insects many birds eat. But the victims include warblers, thrushes, swallows and other familiar birds.


Fuck it, I’m gonna gripe.

I’m not sure spending months debating the details of each other’s baroque health care proposals is such a great way to run for President. There’s a lot more to the job than crafting and proposing legislation, and a lot of it involves matters of character and temperament and general principles; and legislation is written in Congress. Sure, these elaborate health care plans can serve as ways that candidates can show those qualities, but after a while it starts to feel like these people are really running for seats in Congress. And half of them are already Senators…

It might be better if Presidential candidates spent more time running for the job of President and less time running for the job of MegaSenator. Tell us what you think what the role of President is and what it should be, what America’s role in the world should be, what kind of people you’d hire as advisors, what you’d like Congress to work on in general, what kinds of bills you’d veto, which Beatles album is the best, etc.. Don’t tell us you want to be President while showing us how you think as a legislator.

P.S., I am not a crank.

Blood For Oil

Trump is offering to sell US military involvement as a service to Saudi Arabia.

When pressed by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl whether he still thinks that it’s the Saudis responsibility to defend themselves, Trump suggested that if the U.S. were to intervene it would be under the condition that the Kingdom be prepared to pay up.

“This is something much different than other presidents would mention, Jon, but the fact is that the Saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something,” Trump said. “They’ll be very much involved. And that includes payment. And they understand that fully.”


Gripe Part 2

Speaking of being old and inflexible…

I’ve been a runner for at least 35 years – not a very good one, and not a hard-core dedicated lifestyle runner. But I run several times a week because I like it. But I recently sprained my ankle and now I can’t run because the stupid thing won’t heal. It feels fine and then I go run and it feels fine and then the next day it hurts again.

I didn’t sprain it running, though.

I sprained it sitting in front of the computer.

I have this habit, always have, of sitting on one ankle or the other (when I’m not wearing shoes). It’s never been a problem before, but one day I got up from my chair and my ankle hurt from it.

Is this how the rest of life’s going to go: one day, some trivial I’ve casually done all my life is going to cause a major injury ?


I would prefer that TV series writers reduce the amount of time spent doing backstory for every main character by about 50%. More going forwards, please: less time looping backwards to manufacture emotional importance for present-day actions. If the present you’re writing isn’t interesting enough on its own, why are you writing about it?


P.S. I am not crank.

MAGA, Bitches

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.

A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.

China found something bizarre on moon

No story that ever started like this ended well…

Chinese media is claiming that while investigating the far side of the moon, the country’s Yutu-2 lunar rover stumbled upon a unique “gel-like” substance of unknown origin sitting inside a small crater.

What we know so far: Yutu-2 made the discovery during its eighth lunar day on the moon as it zipped through an area riddled with small impact craters (a lunar day lasts 29.5 Earth days; this one was from late July into early August). A member of the rover’s team noticed a bizarre, colorful luster in one of the mission’s recent images, so the team directed the rover to study it more closely. The only real details China has released so far is that the material is “gel-like,” and that is exhibits an “unusual color.”