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.”


Can We…

Reduce the field of pundits by about 75%?

There’s an endless stream of breathless editorials whining that the Democratic field is too big and that it needs to get cut down really quickly or… the world will end.

Here’s one of today’s, from Donna Edwards:

It’s time for the Democratic field to start getting smaller

It’s after Labor Day and the race for the Democratic nomination is now well underway. Despite the fact that it’s a long road trip, the field seems determined to use the byways instead of the highways. Democrats know where they’re headed, but they aren’t so sure when they’ll get there. And at this point, they might be better off with fewer passengers along for the ride.

Whether by natural selection or volunteerism (and whether they know it or not), time is up for most of the field. Just because the rules allow you to continue to breathe shallow breaths into your campaign does not mean you should.

Are we there yet? It’s time to get on the interstate.

That’s all true; most of these candidates have no chance. And they should really just get out of the way and let those who do have a chance get more speaking time.

But you know what?

In 2008, there were eight Democrats going into the Iowa caucuses – January 3rd! Gasp! And the world didn’t end! By the end of January, five of them had dropped out, including Joe Biden. That left Clinton, Obama and not-a-chance-in-hell Mike Gravel (who changed parties in March).

Patience, pundits. I know this preliminary round stuff is boring, but that’s how the tournament works.

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 ?