The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Make the World More Beautiful

Posted on | October 31, 2018 | Comments Off on Make the World More Beautiful





This afternoon was beautiful. The fall colors are so brilliant now, and I’m sorry that the pictures above (click to enlarge) don’t do justice to the intensity of the yellow-orange of the hickory trees and the nearly fluorescent red and yellow of the maples. On Facebook, I suggested:

People wondering what they can do to make the world a better place, all I can say is, PLANT MAPLE TREES. For a couple of weeks every fall, the world will be more beautiful.

There is so much ugliness in the world, and people waste too much time and money on things that do nothing to improve the quality of life.

Today, I was bragging on how cute my grandchildren are — I’ve got four of them now — and they, too, make the world more beautiful. Why do you think my wife and I had six kids, anyway? Well, we had the first one, and she was excellent in every way, so we decided to continue improving the overall quality of human life, and had five more excellent children. Given the obviously superior quality of our offspring, the future will be a better place as a result of our, uh, reproductive generosity.

Readers will have to excuse my philosophical and aesthetic mood. After watching CNN for two days, I felt a need to get out this afternoon and enjoy myself a little bit. Speaking of ugliness . . .

CNN isn’t commenting about Don Lemon’s statement that white men represent the biggest terrorist threat in the country. . . .
Lemon said that, “we have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”
A CNN spokeswoman said Wednesday neither Lemon nor the network would speak more about it.

Did I mention that CNN’s ratings are lower than Nickelodeon? Don Lemon works for what is unquestionably the worst cable new network, and he is personally a huge part of what’s wrong with CNN. So when the wheel turns — ratings matter in the TV business — and Don gets fired, and he’s spewing his opinions on some YouTube channel, whose fault will that be? Oh, he’ll probably blame it on racism. But I digress . . .

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon, sunny and warm, and I needed a new pair of dress shoes, since I’ve got a speaking gig this weekend. On the way, I stopped by McDonald’s and had a McDouble, small fries and a chocolate milkshake — $5.91 for lunch. Americans don’t appreciate McDonald’s as much as we should. Because our nation has so many great fast-food chains, we tend to take McDonald’s for granted, but it’s a huge success story, and the food is actually quite good. I mean, the McDouble goes for $1.79, and it’s a tasty burger in its own basic way. Pickles, ketchup, mustard and onions — nothing fancy, but a good burger, really.

After lunch, I went to the outlet mall, but the prices were crazy. Sorry, I’m not paying $80 for a pair of loafers. Also, I had a song stuck in my head, which I’d heard on the piped-in music while eating at McDonald’s. It was a newer song, but the chord progression was the same as Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” and I couldn’t make out the lyrics enough to figure out the title. It was driving me crazy, like this election campaign.

Same Media That Claims Trump Is
Responsible For Pittsburgh Shooting
Freaks Out Over Suggestion That Democrats’
Catch-and-Release Open Borders Policy Is
Responsible for Criminal Alien’s Cop-Killing

That’s a headline from Ace of Spades, and it goes to show why Americans hate the media so much. They’re so one-sided, so nakedly partisan in their allegiance to the Democrat Party, yet pretend to be objective, while condemning as “extremists” anyone who disgrees with them. How are we supposed to have a public-policy debate — about immigration or anything else — while the journalism establishment is constantly smearing anyone who opposes the Democrat agenda? And yet if you complain about the media’s bias, they’ll characterize your criticism as “harassment,” implying that this is evidence of why you’re a far-right neo-Nazi who wants to kill Jews, poison the environment and put black people back in slavery. (Remember, Joe Biden?) But I digress . . .

Having refused to pay $80 for those shoes, I headed over to the big mall and was happy to find a nice pair of tassel loafers for $24.99, which came to $26.49 with sales tax. Congratulating myself on finding this bargain, I decided to go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks and while I was there, I asked the barista, “Hey, there’s this song . . .”

No luck. She didn’t know which song I was talking about, and I felt silly for having asked, but I figured a young person might know.

Did I mention what a beautiful day it was? Despite the annoyances of politics, and this song driving me crazy, I was in a good mood. So I decided to swing by the Goodwill store, where I was able to score a nice gray herringbone tweed sports coat for five bucks. Since I don’t do as much on-the-road work as I used to, my wardrobe’s gotten kind of shabby — who cares what I look like while I’m blogging in the basement? — and a gray sports coat with gray slacks is a sharp look for a speaker. The topic of my speech will be the late Mel Bradford, and here’s a great article he wrote in 1984 for the American Spectator about the Simpson-Mazzoli Bill, the start of our present-day immigration problems.

“The first law of every society, even the condition of its gestures of generosity, is that it put the needs of its own members ahead of the needs of outsiders.”
Mel Bradford, April 1984

That would probably be considered “hate speech” by CNN. How dare you refer to that caravan from Honduras as “outsiders”? But of course, Professor Bradford was making a general observation about the principles of government, and this is what gets lost in the emotional noise that surrounds the issue of immigrations as it’s now delivered to us by the pious liberals preaching sermons on CNN. The very principles upon which our nation was founded — i.e., the right to self-governance, the protection of the citizen’s life, liberty and property — are ignored by liberals who claim that America, because we are a successful nation, has an obligation to admit anyone from a less-successful nation who wishes to come here. Their open-borders agenda negates not only the interests of Americans, but also their right to make their own laws and to see these laws enforced by the government they’ve elected. When the pious preachers of liberalism at CNN condemn the President for attempting to keep his promise to voters by cracking down on illegal immigration, it is the voters themselves who are the target of this condemnation. It is wrong for you — you lowly ignorant serf, unworthy to shine Don Lemon’s shoes — to wish to protect yourself and your family from the consequences of an open-borders policy. Or such is the underlying premise of the attacks on the President’s policy. But I digress . . .

What Americans want is “domestic tranquility,” one of the great objects of government that our Constitution aimed to secure. We want to be free to enjoy the beauty of our country, and all it has to offer, without being disturbed by angry mobs or being lectured about how “racist” we for wanting to be able to live in peace and safety — “to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.” Of course, I had no tranquility this afternoon, because that song kept burning a hole in my brain, and I didn’t know what it was called or who sang it. So I drove home and had pizza for dinner and tried to forget about it, just like I’d like to forget about this damned election. What I needed was a distraction, like some crime reports from Gwinnett County, Georgia:

Leonardo Ramos (left); Leo Escudero-Olivares (right).

Gwinnett County police are searching for a man accused of rape and other “serious sexual crimes.”
Warrants have been issued for Leo Escudero-Olivares on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy and aggravated sexual battery.
The charges are related to an incident involving a woman who told police Escudero-Olivares physically and sexually assaulted her in a Lawrenceville home.

Six men are wanted on outstanding warrants by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office on charges including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
The department regularly releases wanted posters featuring suspects with active warrants for their arrest. The latest poster was released Friday afternoon.
The suspects are:
• Leonardo Ramos, wanted on charges of kidnapping and battery
• Avery Ceasar, wanted on a charge of felony probation violation for aggravated battery
• Darius Devonne Parker, wanted on charges of felony probation violation for possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm during a crime “and more”
• Christopher Tamark Arnold, wanted on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer “and more”
• Antonio Tyrone McClure, wanted on charges of aggravated assault, theft by shoplifting “and more”
• Christopher Anthony Riley, wanted on charges of felony probation violation for aggravated assault, false imprisonment “and more”

Gosh, I wouldn’t want to demonize any of these guys, because Don Lemon assures me white men are the biggest threat to the country.

All I want is to make the world more beautiful. Is that wrong? And what is more beautiful than a great love song? Yes, I finally decided to Google it — “chord + progression + marvin + gaye + new + song” — and found that Marvin Gaye’s estate is suing Ed Sheeran over his 2014 Grammy-winning song “Thinking Out Loud”:


Ed Sheeran is facing a $100 million lawsuit accusing the singer-songwriter of copying Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On” on his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud,” TMZ reported.
The suit was filed by Structured Asset Sales, a company that owns one-third of the copyright to “Let’s Get It On.”
“According to the lawsuit, Sheeran’s song has the same melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bassline, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation, and looping as ‘Let’s Get it On,'” TMZ reported.
Sheeran was also sued over “Thinking Out Loud” in 2016. The family of Ed Townsend, a cowriter on Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” sued Sheeran, arguing that “Thinking Out Loud” lifted the melody, harmony, and other rhythmic components from Gaye’s track.
Sheeran responded to the 2016 suit in documents obtained by TMZ last week. He reportedly claimed that the chord progressions and drum patterns of the two songs were “extremely commonplace” and that similar elements in “Let’s Get It On” were in the public domain and unprotectable.

It is a fact that you can’t copyright a simple chord progression, otherwise everybody who ever wrote a 12-bar blues tune would be paying royalties to the estate of W.C. Handy or Robert Johnson. The melody of Ed Sheeran’s song is sufficiently different from “Let’s Get It On” that I think any copyright infringement suit would be difficult to win, but c’mon, Ed — fair is fair, and the inspiration is pretty damned obvious. A settlement, giving some percentage of the royalties and songwriting credit to Gaye and his co-writer would be fair. Maybe you give up 15% or 25% of what you’ve made from the song, but your conscience would be clear, and I might even forgive you for making me spend all afternoon wondering what the heck that song was, just six days before a crucial election.

October comes to an end, and soon the leaves will be gone and the chill winds of winter will be blowing. Meanwhile, however, I’ve got to finish writing my speech, and also it’s time to remind readers once again of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:





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