Today’s highly interesting read (08/07/22): Another Look at Same-Sex Marriage

On this Sunday today’s read is from blogger Larry Craig. Here’s an excerpt:

If people think gay marriage is a right, then Congress can make a law saying as much.

But the issue should really be called same-sex marriage and not gay marriage. Nobody cares or asks whether a person is gay before they get married. The issue is whether two people of the same sex can have a relationship that can and should be called a marriage.

Why is the definition of marriage even important? Who cares? What difference does it make?

A healthy society needs to reproduce at least enough people to maintain its population. When reproductive levels fall too low, societies shrink. They get older, and that places financial stress on that society, because it has to take care of the elderly with relatively fewer people to pay for it. With the advances of modern medicine, we have a vastly increasing senior population, and we have a shrinking pool of workers able to support them. Our society has been below replacement value for a long time now.

That was the main point of marriage — the creation of biological families. And, of course, marriage was encouraged prior to having any children.

Read the entire column here.

Reasons I’m voting for Rebecca Kleefisch on August 9, #53: Mental health

POSTING A REASON DAILY UNTIL THE PRIMARY

Rebecca says:

Police are rightly labeled first responders; their job is to arrive first and secure, stabilize, and assess the situation. That is an incredibly important — and dangerous — role. But we talk too little about second re-sponders — the child welfare worker who comes to a domestic violence call; the foster parents who take in a traumatized child; the ER nurse asking a sexual assault victim to complete a rape kit; a healthcare worker dealing with a mentally unstable homeless man. Those are not easy jobs either. And just as liberals are crazy to say we can replace all the cops with social workers, conservatives are making a mistake if we ignore the call from cops to fully fund these support systems they need to succeed.

We need more mental health resources, and more people in various health and safety systems trained in mental health awareness. We also need more mental health professionals across the credential spectrum; not every mental health response requires a board-certified psychiatrist or psychologist.

If we can get more nurses trained in mental health, we can grow our overall mental health workforce far faster than a decades-long solution with scholarships for psychiatrists.

We pursued regionalized centers of excellence (“hubs and spokes”) in treating opioid addiction, and a similar strategy can help with mental health, and ease the burden of law enforcement trying to cope with transporting people in mental health crisis.

Finally, we need to ensure professionals across the service spectrum are trained to be mental health aware. Many of our first responders simply don’t know basic tools and strategies for effective crisis intervention because no one has ever taught them. All first responders should have basic mental-health training.

SEE ALL REASONS HERE

Week-ends (08/06/22)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of  This Just In…

HEROES OF THE WEEK

My old friend Gerard Randall and all those who made this possible

Jessica Willett

Eric Holcomb

VA governor Youngkin

Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely Petitt

This middle schooler

Two WI golfers


VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

Mary Daly

Anthony Fauci

And we could mention him every week…POTUS

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“I looked at what type of experience this would be for our delegates and our nominee and Milwaukee just hit it on every single level. They were so ready and prepared for this type of event that they just wowed our whole committee. What the people in Milwaukee should know is we’re going to have staff on the ground. We’re going to be running office space. We’re going to be meeting with local vendors and we’re going to work hand in hand with the community to make sure that this is a bipartisan event used to showcase the wonderful community and the people of Milwaukee.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel after Republicans made it official that they’re coming to Milwaukee for their 2024 national convention

“I suspect what happened with Brittney Griner is she became massively entitled in this country — ‘I’m black, I’m a lesbian and I’m a leftist, so I’m a superior person and basically above the law.’ Then she discovered, to her astonishment, that other countries don’t see it that way!”
Dinesh D’Souza

“It’s a tough time in history. And Joe and I see that. I think that’s the reason he was elected. He’s steady, he’s strong, he has wisdom, he knows politics, and he knows where he wants to take the country. Sometimes it feels like we’re pushing this boulder up the hill, but progress is being made. … I wish people could see more of what Joe has accomplished and how hard he’s working.”
Jill Biden


“The Biden administration’s ‘victory lap’ on gas prices is truly bizarre. They claim families are ‘saving’ money, but according to their own logic, a family with 2 cars is spending over $185 more per month on gas than when Biden took office.”

Tommy Pigott

“People are experiencing this. This is not abstraction for those folks. When they pull up to the gas pump, the grocery store, they’re experiencing their own personal depression or recession, no matter what the numbers are.”
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) said Democrats needed to stop arguing about whether the US economy was in recession and instead acknowledge Americans’ economic pain

“First, they say they won’t take your guns. Then they pass a bill to take your guns. Next, they say they’ll reduce inflation. Then they introduce a bill that will raise inflation. Finally, they promise they won’t raise taxes. And what are they doing? Raising taxes.”
Congressman Jim Jordan

“When the Supreme Court made this extreme decision to take away a constitutional right [abortion], it was an unconstitutional action by them.”
Karine Jean-Pierre

“Tell me you don’t understand what the Supreme Court does without saying you don’t understand what the Supreme Court does…”
Tim Young


“The FDA made a disturbing but not at all surprising announcement just a few days ago about children’s health. Now, if you haven’t heard about it or if you missed it, it’s because the mainstream media and the Biden-Harris administration have been completely silent on it. This warning that the FDA issued is basically saying that puberty blockers can cause serious health risks for our kids. Unfortunately, at almost the exact same time the FDA issued this warning, Biden-Harris administration officials were making public statements actively promoting the use of puberty blockers and irreversible surgeries for kids. Now let’s be clear: This administration is dangerously promoting child abuse.”
Democrat ex-Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

“Our nation will cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half by no later than 2030, and by no later than 2050 we will reach net zero emissions. Some say that is an ambitious goal. I say it is doable.”
Vice President Kamala Harris

“Some also say it would be suicide.”
David Harsanyi responding to Harris

“Heat waves pose a greater threat to people who don’t have air conditioning or who work in high-heat workplaces.”
Kamala Harris

“Here in Wisconsin and across the nation, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. However, survey data released today on World Lung Cancer Day by the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative show that only 40% of Americans are concerned that they might get lung cancer. The data also show only about one in five people have talked to their doctor about their risk for the disease.”
The American Lung Association

OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

An 80-year old woman who expressed extreme discomfort and fear about a male in the women’s shower area of a Washington state pool was permanently banned from using the facility. Read the details here.

MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

Classroom violence against teachers and students is rising

MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Recession deniers

MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

FCANCER

Idiots in politics; our political mess; homeless camps; Obama’s Julia; the Pope & the Latin Mass

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (08/04/22): Obama’s Julia All Grown Up

Today’s highly interesting read (08/02/22): Why Are There So Many Idiots in Politics?

Today’s highly interesting read and videos (08/01/22): Portland homeless camps have families afraid to leave the house

Today’s highly interesting read (07/31/22): The Pope Insists on Goose-Stepping on Sunday

Today’s highly interesting read (07/29/22): Who got America into this mess?

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (08/06/22)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High of 93. Too hot and very sticky.  “C-”

SUNDAY:  UPDATED: Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High of 82. Chance of rain 80%. Locally heavy rainfall possible.  “D”

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

ᐈ Dog reading newspaper stock images, Royalty Free dog reading newspaper  photos | download on Depositphotos®

Oh no! Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs.

Man accused of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker is recaptured months after mistaken release.

Milwaukee County’s largest off-leash dog park is closing for good in Oak Creek.

Runway Dog Park in Cudahy to close indefinitely this November.

Thousands of pet dogs are helping scientists to understand what happens to memory and cognition in old age.

Are playful dogs smarter? Study finds link between learning and romping.

Wearable fans help Japan’s hot dogs beat the heat.

Florida Dog Who Struggled with ‘Stranger Danger’ Finds Ideal Home After 8 Years in Shelter.

Feline Becomes Dog Friend’s Guide Cat After Canine Loses His Vision: ‘Most Beautiful Thing.’

Stray Dog Crashes Couple’s Wedding – and Becomes Part of Their New Family.

The Moving Story Behind Dog Sitting All Alone, Staring at the Sea: ‘It Broke My Heart’

BY Louise Chambers, The Epoch Times,AUGUST 2, 2022 

On a family outing to the beach near her home in Peru, a woman came across a little dog sitting all alone and watching the ocean. As it turned out, there was a sweet, sad story behind his sea-gazing.

Jolie Mejia, 23, of Lima, first saw the dog on the nearby sandy shores of Punta Negra on Feb. 27. He approached, and was friendly.

Mejía, a marketing student, told The Epoch Times that the dog didn’t seem to be abandoned because “his fur looked nice and he had a green ribbon around his neck.” She thought his owner must be elsewhere on the beach, or swimming in the sea.

Epoch Times Photo

“He was really calm and had a peaceful look in his eyes,” Mejía recalled. “At first, he laid down with us but kept his distance. After a few minutes, I started petting him … and taking photos, until a local man passed by and recognized the dog.”

The man told Mejía that the little dog’s name was Vaguito, meaning vagrant in English.

“I thought he was his owner,” she said. “I said something like, ‘Hey, don’t worry, I’m giving you back your dog!’ in a friendly way, but then he said Vaguito was not his dog. He said Vaguito was a really popular dog on the beach; every local neighbor knew him and loved him.”

Epoch Times Photo

It was then that Mejía learned the sad story behind the dog’s seaside vigil.

Vaguito’s owner, a fisherman, had passed away about a year before, and the loyal dog returned to the shore every day, waiting patiently for his boat to come in.

“He got excited every time he saw boats or other fishermen in the sea,” Mejía said. “I felt really moved by his story. He was such an angel, it broke my heart that he would never find his owner again, and at the same time, his love inspired me very much.”

Mejía asked the local resident she met at the shore if Vaguito needed a home, but he assured her that neighbors were taking good care of the dog, providing him with food, shelter, and medical care. The green ribbon around his neck had come from the local vet. Mejía had another idea; she would share Vaguito’s story on social media in hopes of encouraging her friends to visit the lonely dog.

Epoch Times Photo

“I thought that was the only way to help him, giving him as much love as possible,” she reasoned. “Taking Vaguito away from that beach would probably harm him more than helping him. His home and purpose was now there.”

Mejía took to Twitter to share the lonely pup’s tale.

“This beautiful baby impacted me on the beach. A man told us that this is his home now … his owner was a fisherman who passed away a while ago,” she wrote, as translated from Spanish. “Since then, he stares at the sea every day, and gets excited every time he sees boats.”

The tweet went viral. Thousands responded with love and empathy for the little dog and the human he lost.

Epoch Times Photo

Mejía has not returned to Punta Negra since meeting Vaguito and doesn’t know how he is doing. Nonetheless, she thinks it is important for all people to realize that a human companion means everything to a dog.

“Their love is infinite,” she told The Epoch Times. “I hope that this story inspires people to take care of their pets, and give them all the love they deserve.”

Having Trouble Flying With Your Dog? Charter a Private Jet for Princess

By Dustin Volz, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 4, 2022

LONDON—Hannah Crosby plans to move from Durham, N.C., to London in a few months. Flying there might cost her well over $10,000.

That’s because she also needs to relocate her two dogs, Tess, a 10-year-old German shepherd Plott hound mix, and Agatha, 2, whose lineage is less certain. Commercial air travel is so strained these days that Ms. Crosby, a 31-year-old nurse, plans to split the cost of a chartered flight with a group of strangers from the internet who also are desperate to bring their animal companions into the U.K.

As flying becomes more chaotic and expensive for humans, it is becoming positively beastly for their four-legged friends. A confluence of Covid-era factors, including canceled flights, staff shortages at airports and a pandemic pet boom, have made overseas pet transport more complicated and stress-inducing than ever.

Ms. Crosby first considered flying her dogs in cargo on a commercial flight, but the quotes she got were about $4,000 per pup. The only trans-Atlantic ocean cruise with kennel space was booked at least 18 months in advance. “Chartering seems the only way,” she says.

Last year, Amy Heath and her husband planned a move from Texas to the U.K. to be closer to his parents. Their predicament was their beloved boxer, Zoe.

Because pet arrival slots at the Animal Reception Centre at London’s Heathrow Airport were fully booked for months, their pet-relocation company paused services to the U.K. So Ms. Heath organized a charter flight from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to London Biggin Hill Airport for her family and some other frustrated pet owners. The cost worked out to $7,700 a seat.

Frustrated pet owners shared the cost of a charter flight from New Jersey to London .PHOTO: KIERAN SIBBALD

The best part was her dog didn’t have to fly in the cargo hold, where the lack of in-flight service is worth howling about. The charter crew provided toys, blankets and treats for all the dogs, and Chinese food and Champagne for the humans. “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t consider any other way of flying our little girl,” she says of her pup.

Two private Facebook groups, both formed during the pandemic and collectively boasting more than 16,000 members, allow pet owners to connect and divvy up the cost of chartered flights overseas.

One, Chartered Air Travel With Pets, advises pet parents to expect to spend between $7,000 and $10,000 for a “luxury human seat” and a spot for one large dog or up to two small or medium-size dogs on a flight for about a dozen people between New York and Lisbon. Longer flights cost more.

Katy Prochaska, 64, began the Facebook group in 2021 after retiring as a cardiac nurse and planning to move from California to Portugal, with her four dogs and two cats. She initially planned to move her menagerie Noah’s Ark style, on a pet-friendly trans-Atlantic cruise, but the cruises were canceled because of the pandemic.

The New York to Portugal flight’s final passenger list included 10 humans, 10 dogs and two cats. PHOTO: KATY PROCHASKA

Unwilling to allow her precious beasts to fly cargo, Ms. Prochaska found eight strangers online who were interested in splitting the cost of a private flight. They devised a system that allowed for payments down to a quarter of a seat. (A chihuahua probably doesn’t need much legroom.) They even hired a lawyer to draft a contract.

After months of planning, Ms. Prochaska and her son flew with their six pets and other travelers on a 14-seat chartered flight from New York to Lisbon. Her share came to $22,000.

The final manifest included 10 humans, 10 dogs and two cats. Ms. Prochaska says the only drama came during preboarding socializing at the airport, when a large dog spooked her cats by venturing too close. Once in the air, she says, the cats “howled at the indignation.” Doses of cat sedative, she says, proved “very helpful in reducing the kitty profanity.”

Other pet parents unable or unwilling to foot the bill for charter travel try to work around long backups at some airports by routing their furry family members through other cities, then hiring a courier drive them the rest of the way.

The author of this article just relocated from Washington to London. His 7-month-old bernedoodle puppy and blind 17-year-old cat had their first flight canceled at the last minute, then flew cargo 10 days later through Amsterdam to Manchester, where a courier picked them up and drove them four hours to London. Total travel time: about 46 hours.

A spokeswoman for the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre says the wait time for pet-arrival slots is currently about three weeks for afternoon and evening arrivals and eight weeks for morning ones.

The Paulley family hired a high-end pet courier to fly Oliver and Norman to Australia.
PHOTO: J.T .PAULLEY

When J.T. Paulley, a microbiologist, accepted a job last summer in Geelong, Australia, he and his wife, Susan, “told our kids we would not leave our dogs behind,” Mr. Paulley recalls.

The logistics to transport Oliver, a 9-year-old husky golden retriever mix, and Norman, a 2-year-old dachshund beagle, into Australia looked daunting.

They hired Starwood Animal Transport, a pet-moving company, part of a growing industry of high-end pet couriers who help to defang the Byzantine rules of international journeys.

It took nearly a year to pull off Oliver and Norman’s relocation, which included a six-month waiting period to get into Australia. The Paulleys had to move ahead of the dogs, who stayed behind in Tennessee with their human grandparents until they could be put on a plane.

Ms. Paulley says she leaned on Starwood’s pet concierge services for emotional support. “There were days when they had to talk me off the ledge,” she says.

Australia requires pets to be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival, at a facility in Melbourne. Oliver and Norman—longtime pals—had to be separated. The Paulleys were able to drop off roasted chickens for their dogs to eat, but the reunion didn’t come until the quarantine ended.

“They went crazy when we got them back,” Mr. Paulley recalls. “The little one was kind of screaming and yelling with excitement.”

A passenger enjoying the flight to Portugal arranged by Ms. Prochaska.PHOTO: KATY PROCHASKA

Starwood, which helps relocate pets to and from the U.S., most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, projects its international relocations to increase by about one-third this year. It attributes the surge to a pandemic spike in pet ownership, the lifting of international travel restrictions and airline-industry disruptions.

Ms. Prochaska, who launched the pet charter-flight Facebook group, says she hopes it will send a message to commercial airlines that they need to offer more pet-friendly travel options. She estimates that the two Facebook groups have brokered a couple of dozen flights.

“Airlines need to hear,” she says, “that people will pay big money to fly their pets.”

AND FINALLY, time to dig into the Barking Lot vault.

One has to go. Your dog or your mate. Jennifer wrote two blogs on the subject in 2009 and 2011 and excerpts from both are combined here.

I have a dear friend (“Katie”) who has been exclusively dating a guy (“Steve”) for almost a year.  Things are going very well for them and she cares for him quite a bit.  Not long ago, she asked him:  “Honey, am I marriage material?”  His response was, “Yeah, if you didn’t have that dog.”

Now don’t jump to conclusions that boyfriend is a dog hater.  He, in fact, owns a dog himself.  He just has a bit more control over his better-behaved dog than my friend has with hers.  Steve has taught Katie some tips on helping “Bennie” listen better and has worked on some behavior issues with the naughty dog.  All in all, it seems to be working out.

However, Katie has pointed out to me that Bennie has been in her life longer that Steve has.  While I know she wants to settle down with “Mr. Right” at some point, she has become very attached to her dog.  She has pretty much told me that if it came down to it, she would choose Bennie over any potential mate.

While the question of “would you choose your dog or your mate” is probably more in line with the “tastes great – less filling” argument than anything Plato pondered in The Apology, it can certainly spark a heated debate.

Truthfully for as long as I have known Katie and for how deeply I know she wants to find “The One” I think she is a little off in saying she would choose Bennie over a husband.  Oh, I don’t DOUBT her. I just think she might want to reconsider.

Again, Steve is NOT anti-dog.  He is anti- poor behaved dog, which Bennie often is, since Katie had always let him get away with murder like a spoiled child.  (I have witnessed first-hand how over indulged this pup is.)

Ever since Katie told me about their conversation I wondered what I would do in her situation.  It’s difficult to say.  I would of course want my significant other to “love me, love my dog.”  But if I fell head over heels for Tall, Dark and Handsome and he felt the same about me, sans dog, it could be a tough choice.  Like all philosophical questions there is no one right answer but it certainly makes for lively conversation

Another friend, “Sally” is married and I dare say she, too, would choose her dog over her husband.  I’m not sure how long & hard she would even have to think about it!

Both of my wonderful friends fall in to the 14% of respondents who would choose their pet over their mate.  A recent AP-Petside poll found that 25% of unmarried pet owners would pick Rover before Lover.  I find it a bit reassuring that the number drops to 8% of married pet owners answering the same way.

Kevin often teases me that on the list of Top Ten Things Jennifer Loves, he comes in somewhere around Number 12, after our microwave.  I would never say he’s Number 12 but I could be forced to admit it’s a tie between him and crème brulée.  But choose a pup over a partner?  Not me!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

The plan is to head this weekend to Das Fest in Elkhorn where they’ll have their annual Little Leg Races and a costume contest.

Goodnight everyone, and have a ‘life is a gift’ weekend

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

A long, long time ago, my mother, in a group of people that included my father, said with a big grin that a certain celebrity could place his shoes under her bed anytime. She was referring to Tony Bennett. Everyone was laughing. Dad looked like he swallowed a mouse.

On Wednesday of this week Bennett turned 96. If that sounds old it’s because it is. But in the world of entertainment it’s safe to say to everybody loves Tony Bennett. The legendary pop and jazz singer has fans of all ages. This week, a tribute.

Bennett grew up in a poor family of Italian immigrants, but his uncle was a vaudeville tap dancer, giving him an early window into show business, singing in restaurants for money at the age of 13.

Drafted by the U.S. Army in November 1944, Bennett served as an infantryman in Europe, moving across France, and later into Germany.

“The Germans were frightened,” said Bennett. “We were frightened. Nobody wanted to kill anybody when we were on the line, but the weapons were so strong that it overcame us and everybody else.”

Bennett credited the Army with allowing him to study singing under the GI Bill. He also admitted that his two years of service gave him enough time to witness the horrors of war.

“The first time I saw a dead German, that’s when I became a pacifist,” he said. The sight of death “was a nightmare that’s permanent. I just said, ‘This is not life. This is not life.’”

After leaving the service he worked on his vocal technique, signed with Columbia records, and had his first #1 record in 1951.

More hits followed like “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Rags to Riches,” and in 1962 his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” But Bennett’s commercial popularity and career would start to fade due to a crooner’s nightmare: rock and roll.

AARP.com reported:

By the late 1970s, Bennett’s career was ailing. He had no record label, no manager, and he was performing almost exclusively in Vegas. Living in Los Angeles, he had a drug habit, a disintegrating marriage, and mounting debts. When the IRS started proceedings to take away his home, he nearly overdosed, and had a near-death experience. “A golden light enveloped me in a warm glow,” he wrote in his autobiography. “I had the sense that I was about to embark on a very compelling journey. But suddenly I was jolted out of the vision…. I knew I had to make major changes in my life.”

He reached out to his sons, Danny and Daegal. Then living in New Jersey, they played in a rock band together. Danny managed the group, setting up rehearsals and booking shows. They recall flying in for an emergency meeting at their father’s art studio. “He said, ‘Look, I’m lost here,’ ” says Danny. ” ‘It seems like people don’t want to hear the music I make.’ “

Danny suggested that his father curb his spending and jump-start his career by appealing to a younger audience. Bennett hired Danny as his manager. The son put the father on a strict budget (Tony moved to a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan), took him out of Vegas (right money, wrong image), scheduled concerts at colleges and small theaters, and got him re-signed to Columbia Records in the mid-1980s. At the time, Bennett hadn’t recorded an album in 11 years. Danny also got him on hip shows like The Simpsons, and when Tony wanted to be on MTV, Danny made it happen. Bennett recorded one of the network’s Unplugged segments in 1994, and his Unplugged disk won a Grammy. “We didn’t make it cool to like Tony Bennett,” says Danny. “We just put him in places that were cool to be.”

Over the years Bennett has done duets with all kinds of singers, some you wouldn’t expect.

This next song was released for the first time in 1947 and means “Life in rosy hues.” French singer Edith Piaf made it her signature song, with joyful lyrics about finding true love.

A Wonderful World was an album recorded by Bennett and k.d. lang (36 years younger than Tony) released in 2002.

The album won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

Oh, this gentleman paints, too.

Tony Bennett with his artwork. Courtesy of Benedetto.
Image: In his New York art studio, Tony Bennett finishes a painting while sitting among several of his completed works.

He had been painting every day, even while touring internationally. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world and was chosen to be the official artist of the 2001 Kentucky Derby, creating two original paintings celebrating this historic event.

As previously mentioned the MTV generation first took Bennett to heart during his appearance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the 1993 MTV Video Awards ceremony.

“Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap,” pointed out The New York Times, “he has demolished it. He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises.”

In 2006 Bennett recorded his “Duets” album to coincide with his 80th birthday and so popular there had to be a “Duets II” that came five years later for another milestone Bennett birthday, #85, and featured Amy Winehouse’s last recording she made before her death. This pop and jazz standard was written in 1930.

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 making Bennett the oldest living artist to reach that top spot, as well as marking the first time he had reached it himself.

Following the deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston Bennett called for the legalization of all drugs.

“In Amsterdam they legalized drugs and it calmed everybody down. It stopped a lot of gangsters who sneak around and get people to take drugs. Everybody gets wounded that way. By legalizing it, you won’t have that problem. It’s called the elimination of ignorance. If you do something that makes things better, why not do it immediately, whatever it is.”

At the end of 2014 the 88-year old Bennett and 28-year old Lady Gaga kicked off their “Cheek to Cheek” tour that followed their album of the same name a few months earlier.

Bennett’s final album “Love For Sale,” again a collaboration with Lady Gaga, was released on September 30, 2021. From the album…

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Bennett, whose awards and accolades are simply much too numerous to mention, revealed this past February that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, but it’s been progressing slowly.

“Touring keeps him on his toes and also stimulates his brain in a significant way,” said his doctor.

But he’s now retired from performing.

This summer Bennett in a wheelchair was seen in a rare appearance in Central Park.

It sounds so simple, but if you just be yourself, you’re different than anyone else. To me, life is a gift, and it’s a blessing to just be alive. And each person should learn what a gift it is to be alive no matter how tough things get.
Tony Bennett

God bless him.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: We’re goin’ swingin,’ We’re gonna swing in the crowd

August 5, 1957. Sixty-five (65) years ago today.

American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomer” generation, which featured the songs, popular dances and fashions of the time, debuted on ABC-TV, beaming images of clean-cut, average teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.

The History Channel writes:

The show that evolved into American Bandstand began on Philadelphia’s WFIL-TV in 1952, a few years before the popular ascension of rock and roll. Hosted by local radio personality Bob Horn, the original Bandstand nevertheless established much of the basic format of its later incarnation. In the first year after Dick Clark took over as host in the summer of 1956, Bandstand remained a popular local hit, but it took Clark’s ambition to help it break out. When the ABC television network polled its affiliates in 1957 for suggestions to fill its 3:30 p.m. time slot, Clark pushed hard for Bandstand, which network executives picked up and scheduled for an August 5, 1957 premiere.

Renamed American Bandstand, the newly national program featured a number of new elements that became part of its trademark, including the high school gym-like bleachers and the famous segment in which teenage studio guests rated the newest records on a scale from 25 to 98 and offered such criticisms as “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.” But the heart of American Bandstand always remained the sound of the day’s most popular music combined with the sight of the show’s unpolished teen “regulars” dancing and showing off the latest fashions in clothing and hairstyles.

American Bandstand aired five days a week in live national broadcast until 1963, when the show moved west to Los Angeles and began a 24-year run as a taped weekly program with Dick Clark as host.