I spoke to Jennifer Angelle from the Company Hugs from Heaven makers of Jesus and Mary Plush Dolls at the 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Event in Lancaster PA:

Their site is here


Aug 21st Voices of CMN 2018 Jennifer Angelle Hugs from Heaven

Aug 20th Voices of CMN 2018 John and Claire Grabowski Authors of One Body

Aug 19th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Bill McCarthy Author: God Bless America

Aug 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Chris Alar Author: After Suicide

Aug 17th Voices of CMN 2018 Dr Hellen Hoffner Author Catholic Traditions and Treasures

Aug 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Chris Faddis Author: It is well Life in the Storm

Aug 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Bud McFarlane and Ginny Mooney on the Messiah mini series

Aug 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Pillars Author Broken Brain Fortified Faith

Aug 13th Voices of CMN 2018 David Tittle Musicians for Life new CD “It’s a Life”

Aug 12th Voices of CMN 2018 Novena for Our Nation Starting Aug 15th & Rosary Coast to Coast Oct 7th

Aug 11th Voices at the 2018 CMN Moria Noonan Co-Author: Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Lesliea Wahl Author: An Unexpected Role

Aug 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Gerard Hasenhuetti Compassionate Capitalism The Intersection of Economic Growth and Social Justice

Aug 8th
Voices at CMN 2018 Ruth Apollonia Author of Annabelle of Anchony

Voices at CMN 2018 Kimberly Cook My Hand in Yours Yours in Mine Catholic Authors

Aug 6th Voices at CMN 2018 August Turak Author: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life

Aug 5th Voices at CMN 2018 Fr. Edward Looney Author A Heart Like Mary’s

Aug 4th: Karina Fabian of the Catholic Writers Guild or A Preview of Blogging Attractions


My pay for this comes from the voluntary contributions of readers.  If you think this work is worth your while and wish to support it and my writers please subscribe to the site below.


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The media want people to think that Donald Trump’s attacks on the press have been responsible for reporters being injured while covering news events.

Simply put, that’s just fake news.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which is frequently referenced in media reports, details attacks against media types. See https://pressfreedomtracker.us/physical-attack

The press apparently didn’t look very closely at the data.

In 2018, the data show that 31 incidents have occurred—nearly all of which had nothing to do with Trump. More important, leftists attacked journalists quite frequently, but that inconvenient truth goes unreported.

The worst incident occurred in Annapolis, Maryland, where a man armed with a shotgun killed five people at the Capital Gazette. The murders had to do with a longstanding complaint the killer had with the news organization.

Here are some examples of the left harming reporters:

–In an Antifa rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, two journalists were accosted by demonstrators on August 12.

–In March, a San Diego reporter and her photographer were attacked during an anti-Trump rally. Neither was seriously injured.

–A Texas reporter got smacked in the ear during a pro-immigration rally in Texas.

Several incidents occurred when journalists got too close to the action during demonstrations from the right and the left when cops pushed the reporters out of the way. One guy got hit with a water bottle and got a superficial head wound.

These journalists apparently hadn’t gotten much training into how to prepare to cover a demonstration. Note: You usually need to protect your head! It’s a bit more dangerous than riding your bike.

I found three incidents that could be loosely tied back to the president. That would be less than 10 percent of what I would consider a relatively small number of attacks on the press in the United States.

Here is the most serious incident:

–On May 22, 2018, security guards at the Environmental Protection Agency prevented a number of journalists from entering a building where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was giving a speech. AP reporter Ellen Knickmeyer said that when she asked to speak with someone from the EPA’s press office about the denial of access, one of the security guards grabbed her shoulders and physically pushed her out of the building.

Seriously? That’s the most egregious example of Trump’s attacks on the press causing danger to reporters?

But there’s more.

On July 12, while sitting near the set of a pro-life movie filming in Washington, D.C., Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer had his notes stolen and then ripped apart.

“[A] man later identified by police as a member of the crew came over to where I was sitting in public space with a group of tourists and grabbed my notepad out of my hand by force,” Sommer wrote in an article about the incident.

Boo hoo!

I had to laugh at the third incident that could be loosely tied to the Trump administration.

Mediaite reporter Caleb Ecarma claimed he was shoved by former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka while attempting to interview him at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on February 22.

That would be a conservative shoving a representative from an even more conservative publication, Mediaite, which most journalists do not consider a news organization.

Nevertheless, nearly 300 “news” organizations recently published editorials condemning President Trump for creating a dangerous atmosphere for the media.

Let me say it one more time with feeling: Fake news!

Can someone explain to me why I’m hearing about this for the first time on Hotair?

Welch brought the flag to make a statement about the right not having ownership of it at protests. He says he didn’t have any problems until a couple of Antifa members approached him and demanded he relinquish the “fascist symbol.”

As he carried his flag, two antifascist activists, dressed in black and covering their faces, approached Welch and demanded he turn it over to them, calling it “a fascist symbol,” he said…

The armed counter-protester then uses the weapon to club Welch on the back of the head, causing him to collapse instantly. The demonstrator with the weapon wanders off.

“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” said Welch, who believes he was struck with a metal object affixed to the end of the weapon.

A crowd of onlookers watch as Welch lies on the ground in a fetal position. Another antifa activist, holding a shield, appears to stand above the injured man and jabs him with a makeshift weapon.

“I remember thinking there was a very good chance that I could be beaten to death,” Welch said.

Welch eventually made it to an urgent care clinic and received four staples in his scalp to close the wound. He also claims it took him 3 days to recover from a concussion.

Well violent thugs are going to violent thug and after seeing the Mob in action in Boston this doesn’t surprise me one little bit but I must admit that this line from the victim really struck me.

Reflecting on his experience being the target of violent Antifa goons, Welch told the Oregonian, “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponents’ hands when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”

In other words, yeah being almost beaten to death was bad, but giving the right a talking point, now that’s a tragedy.

He should have stopped worrying, it not as if the MSM or social media companies were going to report on this kind of thing, after all the violent ANTIFA thugs are their babies.

I spoke to Authors John and Claire Grabowski about their book One Body A Program of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment for the New Evangelization at the 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show.

You can buy their book here


Aug 20th Voices of CMN 2018 John and Claire Grabowski Authors of One Body

Aug 19th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Bill McCarthy Author: God Bless America

Aug 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Chris Alar Author: After Suicide

Aug 17th Voices of CMN 2018 Dr Hellen Hoffner Author Catholic Traditions and Treasures

Aug 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Chris Faddis Author: It is well Life in the Storm

Aug 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Bud McFarlane and Ginny Mooney on the Messiah mini series

Aug 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Pillars Author Broken Brain Fortified Faith

Aug 13th Voices of CMN 2018 David Tittle Musicians for Life new CD “It’s a Life”

Aug 12th Voices of CMN 2018 Novena for Our Nation Starting Aug 15th & Rosary Coast to Coast Oct 7th

Aug 11th Voices at the 2018 CMN Moria Noonan Co-Author: Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Lesliea Wahl Author: An Unexpected Role

Aug 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Gerard Hasenhuetti Compassionate Capitalism The Intersection of Economic Growth and Social Justice

Aug 8th
Voices at CMN 2018 Ruth Apollonia Author of Annabelle of Anchony

Voices at CMN 2018 Kimberly Cook My Hand in Yours Yours in Mine Catholic Authors

Aug 6th Voices at CMN 2018 August Turak Author: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life

Aug 5th Voices at CMN 2018 Fr. Edward Looney Author A Heart Like Mary’s

Aug 4th: Karina Fabian of the Catholic Writers Guild or A Preview of Blogging Attractions


My pay for this comes from the voluntary contributions of readers.  If you think this work is worth your while and wish to support it and my writers please subscribe to the site below.


Choose a Subscription level


Of course one time tip jar hits are welcome as well



Or buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer

Either way it’s most appreciated.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – My post here last week was one of random thoughts and musings and that’s what I have for you again this week, if you’ll indulge me.

On Blogging:  It’s been a few years now that Pete asked me to join his crew and contribute to this space and in all that time I don’t think I’d need two hands to count the comments my posts have received.  Is anyone out there?  Is anyone reading this?  I often try to bring you news from my part of the country, Louisiana, and goodness knows we have a raucous political climate down here, but my posts have become less and less about politics.  This has been true on my own blog as well.  There is a lot about my state that needs to be fixed but there is a lot to love also.  I’ve been trying to share that lately and I’ve written a lot about education lately because that’s my field.  Do you guys read any of this?  I’m just wondering.

On Reading:  What are you reading?  I’ve always been a reader and am always in a book, but since starting this Classroom Library Project I have been reading some of the books people have donated to our library.  I just finished 1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose which originally was a series of columns in the Times-Picayune following Hurricane Katrina.  It’s a haunting book and it took me right back to those terrible days after the storm.  Here in Shreveport, of course, we didn’t get the storm but we got plenty of fallout.  Our schools and communities, like so many across the country, took in refugees from the storm; my husband was still in law enforcement at the time and was part of two different excursions to the area following both Katrina and Rita to help out.   Chris Rose’s book is beautifully written and is accompanied by heartbreaking photos.  Check it out.

On Aretha Franklin:  Speaking of NOLA, the Times-Picayune has video of a Second Line through Treme following the announcement of the passing of Aretha Franklin.  Louisiana loved Aretha who was a staple at NOLA’s Jazzfest.

On the Times-Picayune:  And speaking of the Times-Picayune, The Hayride has a post about the decline of that iconic newspaper and its attempt to stay relevant in a challenging news acquisition environment.  I hate to see that paper go down because there is so much great history associated with it and there were so many really great writers that came out of that proving ground: William Faulkner, Hamilton Basso, Lyle Saxon, to name a few.  The 1920s were the true glory days there and if you’re at all interested in that you should pick up Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s by John Shelton Reed.

On Louisiana:  And finally, it’s almost fall in Louisiana which means festival season!  This past weekend was the Shrimp Festival in Delcambre.  In September we have The Sugar Cane festival in New Iberia to look forward to and the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival in Shreveport and the Red River Revel.  In Louisiana we have festivals for almost everything, including crawfish, mayhaws, seafood, corn, peaches, zydeco, meatpies, tamales, gumbo, andouille, pigs, cracklins, Christmas, and of course poke salad.  I’m not kidding.  Here’s a list.  Any excuse for a party.

Have a good work week, folks, and say something every now and then so I know you are there!

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.

These days it’s really reached a point where there isn’t really a whole lot of point reading what the MSM will write about the president as one can predict it with unerring accuracy, but this Yahoo story Trump warnings grow from forgotten Republicans   by Steve People is so hysteric in nature and so nonsensical in it’s conclusions that it deserves a good old fashioned blogger fisking.

It starts with the very first paragraph My fisking in red italic

Some were forced out, such as Tim Pawlenty, a former two-term Minnesota governor who lost this week’s bid for a political comeback IHe wasn’t “forced out” he lost an election.  By that definition Hillary Clinton was “forced out” of the White House” . Some, such as the retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chose to leave on their own. What he means to say is that he knew he would lose a primary election so he decided to retire rather than face the wrath of voters  Others still serve, but with a muted voice.  Oh there are a bunch of people in congress who think like this, trust me 

Whether members of Congress, governors or state party leaders, they are struggling to fit into President Donald Trump’s Republican Party.  There’s no bigger struggle for a GOP office holder than dealing with fitting in to a party that has brought the country unprecedented growth. 

The expanding list of marginalized GOP leaders underscores how thoroughly Trump has dominated — and changed — the Republican Party in the nearly two years since he seized the presidency.  Seized?  He won a crowded primary field winning the vast majority of states and then won in the electoral college winning in states that other GOP candidates have only dreamed of winning for decades.  When Barack Obama won an overwhelming victory in 2008 did the AP say he “seized the presidency”?    The overwhelming majority of elected officials, candidates and rank-and-file voters now follow the president with extraordinary loyalty,   If he commands extraordinary loyalty from the overwhelming majority of elected officials and voters that suggests he’s doing something right even if he strays far from the values and traditions many know and love.   Showing deference to the Democrats and not fighting back against a media that hate the GOP and their voters is a cherished tradition of the GOP ruling class

The Republicans left behind are warning their party with increasing urgency, though it’s unclear whether anyone’s listening.  Warning them about what winning is bad for you?

“I hope this is a very temporary place for the Republican Party,”  Yes victory brings responsibility and we can’t have that said Corker. “I hope that very soon we will return to our roots as a party that’s very different, especially in tone, from what we’ve seen coming out of the White House.”  Our roots as a party where leaders are fetters and accepted at all the right parties but rejects the concerns of the voters 

The forgotten Republicans — people like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and Ohio Gov. John Kasich  They’ve not been forgotten by the MSM — have been unwilling to sit quietly as Trump steers the GOP away from free trade, fiscal responsibility, consistent foreign policy and civility.  You mean from unfair trade, a  stagnant economy, a foreign policy of retreat and meekly accepting the barbs of the media and left.

Isolation and political exile have been their rewards.  And praise from the MSM which always celebrates any Republican willing to attack any GOP president particularly when he advances conservative causes.

Their diminished roles leave fewer Republican leaders willing to challenge Trump under any circumstances, even in his darkest moments.  Yeah how dare more GOP pols fail to complain about American success

Fact checkers have recorded an extraordinary level of false and misleading statements flowing out of the White House.  These would be the same fact checkers who never challenged “If you like your health plan you can keep your health plan and if you like your doctor who can keep your doctor.  And beyond dishonesty, some of the forgotten have decried a disturbing pattern of racially charged rhetoric on issues like immigration, Obeying the law is now “racially charged” NFL anthem protests Standing for the National anthem is now “racially charged” and Confederate monuments.  Put up by a lot of democrat pols (including Nancy Pelosi’s father with the blessing of the Democrat Party.

“White nationalism isn’t something I’m ever going to be comfortable with. But it is embraced by, or simply doesn’t bother, a lot of Republicans,” said former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges, once a Trump confidant who was forced from his leadership post after criticizing Trump in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.  Nothing guarantees you a quote in a AP story like calling Trump voters “white nationalists” even when many of those same voters pulled the lever for Obama twice.

After Trump’s victory, Borges returned to practicing law, while he continues to play a modest role in local politics.  He has to work for a living these days.

“To me, it became a matter of how much of your soul are you willing to sell. I would be the wrong person to be leading this party right now,” Borges said.  If you think your voters are a bunch of racists and advancing the pro-life cause and a strong economy is selling your soul then yes you don’t belong leading any state GOP party.

Trump remains popular among rank-and-file Republicans. And the vast majority of Republican candidates across the country this midterm season are pledging unconditional loyalty — and being rewarded with primary victories.  In other words the president is appealing to the actual voters and candidates who do the same get elected, how horrible!

Gallup found that 82 percent of Republicans approved of the president’s job performance earlier this month. That’s compared to just 34 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats.  Amazing the GOP likes it leader more than Democrats and despite our constant attacks a solid third of independents like him too, which incidentally matches his support among African Americans.

Kasich, who has not ruled out a primary bid against Trump in 2020,  HA AHH HAH AH HAH HA HA I’m glad I wasn’t drinking when I read that   said the president’s approval is misleading because the universe of people identifying as Republican is shrinking.

“We’re dealing with a remnant of the Republican Party. The party is not what it was,” Kasich said in an interview.  Nothing says the GOP is shrinking like holding all three branches of government and a majority of the state houses and governorship.

The term-limited governor said he’s content to focus quietly on addressing issues like the opioid epidemic and urban violence on a bipartisan basis while the Trump-led GOP focuses on partisan squabbling.  Urban violence you mean like in the Democrat controlled cities like Cleveland?  Great job you’re doing there pal.

“Let those in the Republican Party who want to be ideological and partisan, let them wallow in their own failures,” said Kasich.  A strong economy, the stock markets booming, unemployment particularly among blacks Hispanics and youth and and successes from North Korea to Syria?  This must be some new definition of “failures” that I haven’t heard of.

Other GOP leaders aren’t feeling quite so emboldened.  Other GOP leaders still have to face voters.

Pawlenty’s quest for a third term collapsed after Republican primary voters determined his experience — and his years-old description of Trump as “unfit and unhinged” — weren’t welcome.  Amazing a person who hits a popular party leader isn’t’ embraced by the party voters, what is the world coming to? 

Pawlenty politely declined to be interviewed, but a former aide, Alex Conant, said this week’s result, like those of other primary elections this year, sent a clear message about the modern GOP.

“There’s not a lot of room for dissent in the Republican Party right now,” Conant said. “Moderates don’t feel welcome. And if you’re not loyal to Trump, there’s not necessarily room for you.”  Or, if you don’t support policies that GOP votes actually like you won’t win a GOP primary.  What a concept!

The details may be different, but Pawlenty’s unexpected exit is reminiscent of that of other public officials who have struggled to find their footing in the Trump era.  You mean business as usual of paying lip service to voters while enabling the deep state isn’t paying off anymore?

Bush, another Trump critic, declined to comment for this story. He has been forced into silence, Forced?  The Bushes have been a lot less shy about hitting Trump than they were Obama at least in part, for fear of hurting his son’s political career. In June, Donald Trump Jr. withdrew from a fundraiser for Texas land commissioner George P. Bush after Jeb Bush criticized the president’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border.  How DARE Trump Jr. not raise money for Bush’s son just because dad hit him for obeying a law signed by George W. Bush and not repealed by Obama!

Another periodic Trump critic, former House Speaker John Boehner, is in the midst of a 20-stop bus tour to help raise money for vulnerable House Republicans.  I’m sure president Trump approves of that.

Just don’t ask whom he’s raising money for.  What districts he stops at might be a clue.  If only a reporter bothered to ask

Spokesman David Schnittger said it was up to each of the campaigns involved to disclose Boehner’s help. “I’m not sure anyone has exercised that option to date,” he said.  You mean to say the endorsement of a speaker who didn’t manage to get things done might not sit well with some GOP primary voters?  Well who wouda thunk it?

Boehner’s successor, Paul Ryan, has seen his once sky-high career prospects flounder in the Trump era.  Somehow I think he will land on his feet. The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee has occasionally criticized Trump, but he is retiring at the end of the year.  In fairness to Ryan he never wanted to be speaker anyways, he wanted to be…a LUMBERJACK

In South Carolina, Republican Rep. Mark Sanford narrowly lost his June primary hours after Trump tweeted he had been “very unhelpful” and highlighted the congressman’s extramarital affair.  You mean to say hitting Trump and running off with his mistress didn’t play well with votes?  Who wouda thunk it?

Days later, Sanford described Trumpism as “a cancerous growth.”  If this economy and prosperity is a cancer may America be afflicted with it. As he prepares to leave Congress, he’s warning the GOP the cancer is spreading.   We can only hope this prosperity continues to spread

“We have a president that will tell numerous dis-truths in the course of a day, yet that’s not challenged,”  In fact we had 300+ newspapers standing united taking a day off from challenging Trump to say with one voice that Trump isn’t challenged Sanford said in an interview. “What’s cancerous here is in an open political system, there has to be some measure of objective truth.”  Alas the MSM has never been a fan of objective truth..

“I’m baffled by the way so many people have looked the other way,” he said.  People aren’t looking the other way, they’re seeing the results of Trump’s presidency and applauding.

Asked whether he feels like he fits in today’s GOP, Sanford said simply, “No.”  I agree, entrenched deep state pols looking out for their own wealth don’t fit in at all anymore.

Back in Ohio, Borges vowed that his departure from politics was only temporary. Rephrased, I want back on the gravy train!

“The Trump phenomenon is going to end at some point in time.  Now there’s a bold prediction. That might be six years, that might be two years, that might be sooner. No one knows,” Well Trump is in his 70’s and time does march on so that’s a pretty safe guess the former Ohio GOP chairman said. “When it does end, it’s the job of a lot of us … to make sure that the party is still populated by good, honest, decent candidates and officeholders who we can continue to be proud of.”  It’s up to us to make sure that once Trump is gone it’s business as usual for all us insiders returns because they’re not pride in serving voters by giving them what they want.

The real interesting point is this.  Even if a different GOP candidate had won the presidency then this article would still be written but the people complaining about said candidate would just be more obscure.  There is never a time when the MSM is not running a story about how some in the GOP are upset with the leadership.  It’s what they do.


My pay for this comes from the voluntary contributions of readers.  If you think this work is worth your while and wish to support it and my writers please subscribe to the site below.


Choose a Subscription level


Of course one time tip jar hits are welcome as well



Or buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer

Either way it’s most appreciated.

I speak to Fr. Bill McCarthy Author of God Bless America and his friend David Tittle Musicians for Life and the 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in Lancaster PA

You can get his book here.


Aug 19th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Bill McCarthy Author: God Bless America

Aug 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Chris Alar Author: After Suicide

Aug 17th Voices of CMN 2018 Dr Hellen Hoffner Author Catholic Traditions and Treasures

Aug 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Chris Faddis Author: It is well Life in the Storm

Aug 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Bud McFarlane and Ginny Mooney on the Messiah mini series

Aug 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Pillars Author Broken Brain Fortified Faith

Aug 13th Voices of CMN 2018 David Tittle Musicians for Life new CD “It’s a Life”

Aug 12th Voices of CMN 2018 Novena for Our Nation Starting Aug 15th & Rosary Coast to Coast Oct 7th

Aug 11th Voices at the 2018 CMN Moria Noonan Co-Author: Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Lesliea Wahl Author: An Unexpected Role

Aug 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Gerard Hasenhuetti Compassionate Capitalism The Intersection of Economic Growth and Social Justice

Aug 8th
Voices at CMN 2018 Ruth Apollonia Author of Annabelle of Anchony

Voices at CMN 2018 Kimberly Cook My Hand in Yours Yours in Mine Catholic Authors

Aug 6th Voices at CMN 2018 August Turak Author: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life

Aug 5th Voices at CMN 2018 Fr. Edward Looney Author A Heart Like Mary’s

Aug 4th: Karina Fabian of the Catholic Writers Guild or A Preview of Blogging Attractions


My pay for this comes from the voluntary contributions of readers.  If you think this work is worth your while and wish to support it and my writers please subscribe to the site below.


Choose a Subscription level


Of course one time tip jar hits are welcome as well



Or buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer

Either way it’s most appreciated.

By John Ruberry

Next week the fiftieth anniversary arrives of the release of the groundbreaking Sweetheart of the Rodeo album by the Byrds..

At the time, however, the collection was a commercial flop and it received mixed reviews.

Byrds leader and lead guitarist Roger McGuinn envisioned the band’s sixth album as an overview of the history of American music. McGuinn was not originally a rocker, he began his preforming career after graduating from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. But a new member, who was soon to depart, Gram Parsons, urged the band to record a country album. The result was arguably the first country rock album, at least by a major artist, one that also served as an inspiration for the alt-country and Americana genres.

“Eleven trips to the country” is how a radio ad described the work. And Sweetheart’s eleven songs are dominated by banjo, country fiddle, and pedal steel guitar. This was not your older sibling’s Byrds.

The album begins typically for the Byrds, with a Bob Dylan cover, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.” Dylan’s primary career inspiration was Woody Guthrie and Sweetheart includes a version of his “Pretty Boy Floyd.”

Parsons’ two Sweetheart compositions–one was co-written by a former bandmate–“Hickory Wind” and “One Hundred Years from Now,” offer a contrast to listeners. The first is a traditional country tune. The second ironically is the Byrdsiest–sounding track on the album.

Sweetheart was recorded in the spring of 1968 in Nashville–after which things got interesting. The Byrds managed to score an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, where these hippies were booed by the straight-laced audience. A deejay covering their concert mocked the band, which inspired McGuinn and Parsons to write a song, “Drug Store Truck Driving Man,” that appeared on the Byrds’ next album.

By that summer Parsons, who some say was not actually full-fledged member of the band but a contract player, quit the act. There are two versions of his departure. One was that he preferred to hang out in London with the Rolling Stones, or that Parsons left to protest the Byrds’ decision to perform in South Africa.

Parsons’ lead vocals on “The Christian Life”, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and “One Hundred Years from Now,” were replaced by McGuinn’s on the first two and with Chris Hillman’s along with McGuinn on the latter.

Since 2003 the Parsons leads have been available, but on Spotify only the original release versions play first–you have to scroll down to find Parsons voice up front on those tracks. McGuinn’s take on “The Christian Life” is a sardonic take of this Louvin Brothers song, found on the now infamous, because of its outlandish album artwork, Satan Is Real collection.

Recently McGuinn had this to say about Parsons vocals on that cut. “I was doing almost a satire on it. I was not a Christian at the time,” he remarked. “Back then, it was kind of tongue-in-cheek. I know the Louvin Brothers meant it when they wrote it and sang it. And Gram meant it. He was a little Baptist boy.”

After Sweetheart Hillman bailed on the Byrds and with Parsons formed the highly-influential Flying Burrito Brothers. After two brilliant country rock albums that sold even worse than Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Parsons was booted from the band because of his excessive drug use and overall unreliability. Parsons’ two seminal solo works, also poor sellers, showcased the talents of the then-virtually unknown Emmylou Harris.

Parsons died in 1973 from a drug overdose. The theft of his body and the makeshift cremation of his remains at what is now Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most bizarre tales you will ever hear.

McGuinn and Hillman, two of the three surviving original Byrds members, David Crosby is the third, are currently on a 50th anniversary tour celebrating the release of Sweetheart, which has already included a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

As Aesop wrote in the Tortoise and the Hare, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.” As that is the case with Gram Parsons and Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I speak to Fr. Chris Alar about his new book After Suicide at the 2018 Catholic Marketing Network event in Lancaster PA.

His book is due for release later this year but you can find out more here.


Aug 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Chris Alar Author: After Suicide

Aug 17th Voices of CMN 2018 Dr Hellen Hoffner Author Catholic Traditions and Treasures

Aug 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Chris Faddis Author: It is well Life in the Storm

Aug 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Bud McFarlane and Ginny Mooney on the Messiah mini series

Aug 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Pillars Author Broken Brain Fortified Faith

Aug 13th Voices of CMN 2018 David Tittle Musicians for Life new CD “It’s a Life”

Aug 12th Voices of CMN 2018 Novena for Our Nation Starting Aug 15th & Rosary Coast to Coast Oct 7th

Aug 11th Voices at the 2018 CMN Moria Noonan Co-Author: Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Lesliea Wahl Author: An Unexpected Role

Aug 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Gerard Hasenhuetti Compassionate Capitalism The Intersection of Economic Growth and Social Justice

Aug 8th
Voices at CMN 2018 Ruth Apollonia Author of Annabelle of Anchony

Voices at CMN 2018 Kimberly Cook My Hand in Yours Yours in Mine Catholic Authors

Aug 6th Voices at CMN 2018 August Turak Author: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life

Aug 5th Voices at CMN 2018 Fr. Edward Looney Author A Heart Like Mary’s

Aug 4th: Karina Fabian of the Catholic Writers Guild or A Preview of Blogging Attractions


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Like the pigs they are.

by baldilocks

Normally, I try to offer something that few other bloggers are talking about, but not this time.

I remain fascinated by the very existence of John Brennan, former director of the CIA, and his sense of entitlement to this country’s national security secrets. Even more riveting that his predecessors and peers obviously share this attitude.

You all do remember what I used to do for a living, right? Well, when I stopped doing it — in 1994 — my security clearance and access to information was revoked. Naturally.

And the same has been so for countless others who were granted access to classified information due to their jobs, but left their job positions for whatever reason.

But we were just worker bees. The recent screaming fit thrown by Brennan after President Trump revoked his access exposed that there are two sets of rules in the intelligence community: one for the lords and another for us serfs.

I suppose that I shouldn’t be shocked by it — especially after Hillary Clinton skated away from legal consequences for doing something that would have put me in jail — but I am.

The great thing about it all, however, is that President Trump’s

actions exposed this elite layer in the intelligence community to the world. When he announced his intent to yank Brennan’s clearance, Brennan and friends responded like Pavlov’s Dogs.

The list of former senior intelligence

The infamous James Clapper.

officials who signed the letter includes James Clapper, a former Director of National Intelligence, and seven CIA Directors including Robert Gates, William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus.

There is more than one person on this list who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog.

“As former senior intelligence officials, we feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances,” they wrote.

“We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation,” the letter continued.

“Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless,” it added.

Some of the officials who signed the letter noted that they may not side with Brennan’s comments or choose to go public with any comments, but “We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances – and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.

Emphasis mine. As if Brennan will need a security clearance to throw his next tantrum.

I don’t think that these IC elite puppets get that they and their ilk have been outed to the world, but I get it. And the great thing about it is that they did it to themselves by falling in line behind a POS like Brennan. I guess I expected them to be more circumspect about their privilege, being spooks and all.

Brennan must have something on all of them …

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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