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Profile Information

Name: Tom Conroy
Gender: Male
Hometown: CT
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Mar 6, 2021, 07:56 PM
Number of posts: 3,637

About Me

65 years old. Lifelong democrat. Saw JFK in New Haven CT on election eve 1960. I was all of 5 years old. Cast my first vote for Jimmy Carter. Stayed up all night at the English Speaking Union I London to watch the returns. We celebrated the results about 9 AM London time. I cried the morning I learned Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I don't think I ever quite recovered, although President Obama's election helped a lot. These days I'm a moderate democrat and a cultural conservative. I miss the world of good manners, fancy dress and dancing cheek to cheek. Big TCM fan.

Journal Archives

It was weird and creepy reading about the Beach Boys.

After enjoying the Brian Wilson concert Friday I did a little background reading..I knew some of this but not a lot of it.
One day in 1968 Dennis Wilson picked up two female hitchhikers. He invited them back to his home, had sex with them and said they could stay with him. Both woman belonged to the Manson family. A little while later Dennis returned home and found that many members of the family, including Charles Manson, had moved in. They stayed a month and trashed the house. Dennis Wilson did drugs and had sex with the family. He finally left his own house and.let his manager evict the Mansons.
Dennis was impressed with Manson's talent as a musician. He learned to play the guitar while in prison. He was taught to play by Alvin Karpis, the former Public Enemy Number One and member of the Ma Barker bank robbery gang. Dennis Wilson paid for a studio recording session for Manson where Manson threatened a studio employee with a knife. Dennis Wilson bought a song from Manson, changed the title the arrangement and some of the lyrics. The Beach Boys recorded the song on an album. When Manson found out his lyrics had been changed he threatened Wilson.
Wilson arranged for Manson to record at his brother Brian's in home studio. Brian Wilson was unimpressed by Manson's talent. His wife thought the women who accompanied Manson had extremely poor hygiene. Presumably the tapes of Manson's recording session exist but have never been released. Manson was not signed by the Beach Boys management company.
Wilson introduced Manson to many other musicians including Frank Zappa, Mama Cass Elliot and Neil Young. Young in particular thought Manson was extremely talented.
Wilson also introduced Manson to Terry Melcher, a famous record producer who was the son of Doris Day. Melcher visited Manson twice at the ranch where the Manson family was living but ultimately declined to sign Manson to a contract.
Melcher decided to leave his rented house where he lived with his girlfriend and moved to a beach front house owned by his mother. The next tenants in Melcher's former home were Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. One day Manson came looking for Melcher at his old place and was thrown off the property by the owner. After the murders of Tate and her friends but before Manson's arrest, Melcher and his girlfriend returned to their new home and found a threatening note that had been left by Manson.
Melcher's girlfriend was the actress Candice Bergen. A few years before this Bergen had been a student at the University of Pennsylvania. One day out of the blue Bergen got a call from a complete stranger asking her out on a date. She agreed to go. The man arrived for the date in a stretch maroon limousine and wore a maroon three piece suit. The man was Donald Trump. The date did not go well. Candice Bergen was home by 9:00PM.
There is more but it's all pretty creepy and strange.

The Real Beach Boys Concert

So I went to my concert with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine last night. The attendees were mostly my age (60s) or above. The venue is a large one, maybe 4000 people. It wasn't sold out, but a decent turnout for people my age in a still Covid era: maybe 2/3 full. We had good seats in the 12th row.
The good news is that I had a great time! The music featured their hits from the 60s with a few excursions into some of the later stuff. Sarah and I got a bit hoarse singing along to all of the songs we know so well.
A word about Brian. He's in his late 70s now. He sat at the piano, which he didn't play much, for the entire show. His affect is pretty flat. He would introduce many of the songs and sing a bit in some. When he sang his voice was quite good I thought.A few of the songs he sang more of. Al Jardine was more active, playing guitar and acting some of the time as MC. There were about a dozen great musicians, among them Al's son Matt Jardine who did the vocal parts of Carl Wilson and the famous guitarist Blondie Chaplin who has over the years played with the Rolling Stones and The Band among many others. All the musicians did a great job.
For me the real thrill was just being in the same room with Brian Wilson as his music was being played. Brian is a genius of a composer who wrote much of the soundtrack of my youth. No one has ever better written the music of summer!
I think the people in the crowd felt much the same way. You could really feel the warmth of emotion that flowed through the room. I wasn't the only one who shouted out "We love you!" after a song.
The show lasted 90 minutes with no intermission. But I felt like I got my money's worth. For the last half dozen songs people were standing, dancing in place, and a bunch rushed to the front of the auditorium to show their appreciation.
Al and Brian and the band are only touring this month in the northeast and a couple of venues in the midwest. They have plans to tour europe in the spring. They don't need the money. As they said a couple of times, they are really happy to be performing live again after a couple of years. They are doing it for the love of the music.
I'm so happy I went! It is so good to hear live music again.

David Shor is telling Democrats what they don't want to hear.

President Biden’s agenda is in peril. Democrats hold a bare 50 seats in the Senate, which gives any member of their caucus the power to block anything he or she chooses, at least in the absence of Republican support. And Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are wielding that leverage ruthlessly.

But here’s the truly frightening thought for frustrated Democrats: This might be the high-water mark of power they’ll have for the next decade.

Democrats are on the precipice of an era without any hope of a governing majority. The coming year, while they still control the House, the Senate and the White House, is their last, best chance to alter course. To pass a package of democracy reforms that makes voting fairer and easier. To offer statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. To overhaul how the party talks and acts and thinks to win back the working-class voters — white and nonwhite — who have left them behind the electoral eight ball. If they fail, they will not get another chance. Not anytime soon.

[Get more from Ezra Klein by listening to his Opinion podcast, “The Ezra Klein Show.”]

That, at least, is what David Shor thinks. Shor started modeling elections in 2008, when he was a 16-year-old blogger, and he proved good at it. By 2012, he was deep inside President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, putting together the fabled “Golden Report,” which modeled the election daily. The forecast proved spookily accurate: It ultimately called the popular vote within one-tenth of a percentage point in every swing state but Ohio. Math-geek data analysts became a hot item for Democratic Party campaigns, and Shor was one of the field’s young stars, pioneering ways to survey huge numbers of Americans and experimentally test their reactions to messages and ads



I Just Wasn't Made For These Times - The Beach Boys


Dame Vera Lynn - 1990 Royal Variety Performance

New Report that Democrats are Losing Midwest Factory Towns

The New York Times
Democrats Lost the Most in Midwestern 'Factory Towns,' Report Says
Jonathan Martin
October 6, 2021, 7:46 am
Half of Michigan’s voting population lives in the type of midsize and small manufacturing communities that the report focused on. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The share of the Democratic presidential vote in the Midwest declined most precipitously between 2012 and 2020 in counties that experienced the steepest losses in manufacturing and union jobs and saw declines in health care, according to a new report to be released this month.

The party’s worsening performance in the region’s midsize communities — often overlooked places like Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Bay City, Michigan — poses a dire threat to Democrats, the report warns.

Nationally and in the Midwest, Democratic gains in large metropolitan areas have offset their losses in rural areas. And while the party’s struggles in the industrial Midwest have been well-chronicled, the 82-page report explicitly links Democratic decline in the region that elected Donald Trump in 2016 to the sort of deindustrialization that has weakened liberal parties around the world.


1/6 defendant Brandon Straka to plead guilty.

It's supposed to happen tomorrow. He's a bit up the food chain. He was the head of some organization of former liberals for Trump and visited Mar-A-Lago at least once
He spoke at a Jan 5 rally and possibly on Jan. 6. He had a felony dropped a month ago and recently posted on twitter to his followers that they make might hear negative news about him. Marcy Wheeler thinks his deal might have been made in return for cooperation that has already happened.
He's the first one to plead who would know about 1/6 planning. We should find out tomorrow about any cooperation.

A Second Giant Chinese Real Estate Developer Has Defaulted.

A second Chinese real estate developer Fantasia Properties has defaulted on its debts. The default follows that of Evergrande a week before. Fantasia missed a payment of $315 million dollars on Monday.
It's the second one. Many more will follow.


Jim Chanos: Your time has come!

The Birth of the Blues - Johnny Carson and Friends

The Charleston - James P. Johnson

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