Daily Archive: 04/20/2014

Apr 20 2014

After Chernobyl

Apr 20 2014

It was all a dream.

A bad one.

Apr 20 2014

Louis, Louis

Let them eat cake.

Apr 20 2014

On This Day In History April 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 20 is the 110th day of the year (111th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 255 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1939, Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit”.

“Strange Fruit” was written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it condemned American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States. He set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden.

The song has been covered by numerous artists, as well as inspiring novels, other poems and other creative works. In 1978 Holiday’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after having seen Lawrence Beitler‘s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. (Meeropol and his wife later adopted Robert and Michael, sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of espionage and executed by the United States.)

Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, New York’s first integrated nightclub, heard the song and introduced it to Billie Holiday. Other reports say that Robert Gordon, who was directing Billie Holiday’s show at Cafe Society, heard the song at Madison Square Garden and introduced it to her. Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation, but because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing it. She made the piece a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; second, the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore.

Holiday approached her recording label, Columbia, about the song, but the company feared reaction by record retailers in the South, as well as negative reaction from affiliates of its co-owned radio network, CBS. Even John Hammond, Holiday’s producer, refused. She turned to friend Milt Gabler, whose Commodore label produced alternative jazz. Holiday sang “Strange Fruit” for him a cappella, and moved him to tears. Columbia allowed Holiday a one-session release from her contract in order to record it. Frankie Newton’s eight-piece Cafe Society Band was used for the session. Because he was worried that the song was too short, Gabler asked pianist Sonny White to improvise an introduction. Consequently Holiday doesn’t start singing until after 70 seconds. Gabler worked out a special arrangement with Vocalion Records to record and distribute the song.

She recorded two major sessions at Commodore, one in 1939 and one in 1944. “Strange Fruit” was highly regarded. In time, it became Holiday’s biggest-selling record. Though the song became a staple of her live performances, Holiday’s accompanist Bobby Tucker recalled that Holiday would break down every time after she sang it

   Strange Fruit

   Southern trees bear strange fruit,

   Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

   Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,

   Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

   Pastoral scene of the gallant South,

   The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,

   Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,

   Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!

   Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,

   For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,

   For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,

   Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Apr 20 2014

The Breakfast Club 4/20/2014 (Easter)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

But like ek horbeck

I would never make fun of LaEscapee or blame PhilJD.  And I am highly organized.

Actually, I’m better organized. 😉

This Day in History

Apr 20 2014

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX);  former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly; and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

At the political roundtable are ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; CNN “Crossfire” co-host S.E. Cupp; Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol; and ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

At special roundtable for Easter the guests are Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA); and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

His panel guests are Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal; David Ignatius of The Washington Post; Michael Duffy of Time; and CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Guests on MTP are: Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine; Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)l Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Democratic National Committee Chair.

At the political roundtable are Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director & Chief White House Correspondent; David Brooks, New York Times Columnist; Radhika Jones, TIME Deputy Managing Editor; David Shribman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Executive Editor.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms Crowley’s guests are DNC’s Mo Elleithee; Sean Spicer from the RNC; political handicapper Stu Rothenberg; Kim Beazley, Australia’s Ambassador to the United States; Lukman Faily, the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States;  Sen. John Walsh (D-NE) and Tom Tarantino of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Apr 20 2014

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

More bodies recovered from S Korea ferry

 Divers find 13 more bodies from sunken South Korean ferry, bringing the death toll to 54, while 266 remain missing.

  Last updated: 20 Apr 2014 04:55

Divers have recovered 13 more bodies from inside the ferry that sank off South Korea nearly four days ago, bringing the confirmed death toll to 54.

Officials said on Sunday that the bodies were recovered after divers gained access to the inside of the ferry after three days of failed attempts due to strong currents. Three bodies were pulled out of the fully submerged ferry just before midnight.

Details of how they got inside the ship were not immediately clear, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The ferry, carrying 476 passengers, many of them schoolchildren, capsized on Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem find their path to the Via Dolorosa is an ever harder road

Who tried to kill the man who protects the Congo gorillas?

Prominent TV anchor shot in Pakistan

25 years later, western Germany is still pumping money to the east

Survivor recalls how ice tumbled down in Mount Everest avalanche

Apr 20 2014

Formula One 2014: Shanghai

Allow me to summarize the season so far- Mercedes dominance.  Nobody else has been able to put together a blown six that even comes close.  Renault is a poor second and Ricciardo’s penalty stands because Red Bull can’t even manage the fuel flow correctly.  Scuderia Marlboro sucks so bad the team manager has resigned to be replaced by the head of North American operations who’s only previous race experience is in LeMans style sports cars.

Speaking of, Haas Racing is putting together a team which makes me wonder where they’re going to come up with the half a Billion bucks a year it takes to be competitive.

On offer are Mediums (which last 10 to 20 laps longer) and Softs (which go like stink but are only good for 10 laps at best).  There is of course the possibility that the race will be run under the same torrential downpours that Qualifying was.

I reserve the right to revise and expand my remarks, but it will be in retrospect.  These 3 am races really disturb my wake sleep cycles (as if the seasonal change and moving to DST were not enough).