k.d. lang sings ‘Hallelujah’

Posted November 23, 2010 by bluebanshee
Categories: Leonard Cohen

Tags: , , ,

Something to be thankful for this holiday season — kd lang’s stirring rendition of the Leonard Cohen tune, “Hallelujah” at the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver B.C.

The Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation Came During the Civil War

Posted November 23, 2010 by bluebanshee
Categories: Abraham Lincoln

Tags: ,

Lest we forget that the depths of the Civil War brought us a day of National Thanksgiving … here in his own words is Abraham Lincoln.  Makes one wonder how a similar strong statement would be received by the media today…

Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Abraham Lincoln

New Pete Seeger Protest Song — BP Oil Spill

Posted July 30, 2010 by bluebanshee
Categories: "God's Counting on Me, BP Oil Spill protest song, God's Counting on You", Pete Seeger, political protest

Tags: , ,

Pete Seeger is one of my true heroes, a singer who can be relied on to give musical expression to  outrage about BP’s industrial homicide (11 humans dead) and ongoing eco-disaster in the Gulf (an entire ecosystem at risk!). At age 91, Pete may be losing his voice, but not the fire in his belly.

The chorus of Pete’s latest tune stresses that “God’s counting on me … God’s counting on you”.  But I will let the great protest singer’s music speak for itself.  It’s a toe-tapping song that will make you want to sing along ….

Will ‘Captain Kirk’ boldly go to a new job — in Canada?

Posted May 5, 2010 by bluebanshee
Categories: Canadian government, Governor General of Canada, Uncategorized, William Shatner

Tags: , ,

It has been suggested that the next career move for William Shatner (aka Captain James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek fame) should be  … drumroll please …. Governor General of Canada.

Most Americans will likely respond with a puzzled look caused by lack of understanding of the governmental structure of our northern neighbor.

The Governor General is the Head of State and representative of the Queen.  This is a mostly ceremonial position that has no policy role.

There is a Facebook  page set up to promote Shatner for Governor General which is quoted as saying:

“It’s time for Canada to boldly go where no country has gone before,” notes a nearly 10,000-strong Facebook fan page that supports the idea.

“Imagine Mr. Shatner reading the speech from the throne in that classic Captain Kirk style we have all come to know and love.” http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/celebrities/2010/04/21/13663616.html

Speculation about who will fill the shoes of Michaelle Jean has been intensifying across Canada since it was reported Prime Minister Stephen Harper would not be extending her term as governor general.  Viewers of the Vancouver BC Olympics might recall Jean’s ceremonial role in the opening and closing events.

While some insiders believe the new appointment might not happen until the fall, others believe a new governor general could be appointed as early as July 1. This would allow the Queen herself to swear in the new governor general during her nine-day tour of Canada, slated to start June 28.

What does Shatner himself have to say about this proposed career move?  Is he interested — or too busy being the “Price Line Negotiator”?

Shatner took to social-networking site Twitter on recently to address the idea.

“I’m being drafted by various groups to run for Governor General. Would they accept me if I campaign for salmons’ rights? My best, Bill,” he wrote to nearly 250,000 followers.

But only a year ago, Shatner dismissed the idea out of hand, arguing he never liked the idea of symbolic power, opting instead for the real thing: Shatner for prime minister.

In a February 2009 post on YouTube, Shatner said that while prime minister was an attractive position, he simply didn’t have the time.

“Governor general is a ceremonial role. I didn’t want to be ceremonial, I wanted to be active.” he says in the video. “I’m part of Canada.”

“But no time to be prime minister.”

However, Canadians polled about the possibility were definitely receptive to the idea.

Canadian news site TheMarkNews.com ran an unofficial poll gauging support for 13 would-be governors general.  Shatner led the race with a commanding 43% of the vote.  Rick Hansen trailed a distant second at 11%, with Leonard Cohen in third at 10%.

Mark Twain’s War Poem

Posted December 26, 2009 by bluebanshee
Categories: anti-war

Tags: ,

Mark Twain’s publisher refused to publish it until after his death.  Understandable because of the way it lays bare the hypocrisy of self-proclaimed pious patriots.

A taste of the Nutcracker …

Posted December 25, 2009 by bluebanshee
Categories: Christmas, Nutcracker ballet

Tags: , ,

What is more enjoyable during the holiday season than the annual presentation of the Nutcracker ballet?  Some samples below …

The Dance of the Snowflakes …

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy …

And some of the most lushly romantic music Tchaikovsky ever wrote ….

A new holiday definition of “freedom”?

Posted December 24, 2009 by bluebanshee
Categories: "War on Christmas", meaning of Christmas, Tea Party idiocy, U.S. Bill of Rights

Tags: , ,

Nothing says freedom to certain “tea partying” segments of the American public than forcing school children to sing or listen to the songs that these self-styled “patriots” want them to hear. And they want to make a law foisting their choice of music on public school students.

And just what would these songs be that are so…oooo very “important” that every student in the US of A should give voice or ear to?   Not what you would think. Read the rest of this post »