America in crisis lacks involved leadership
“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
George W. Bush was on the ground in the gulf coast region struck by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and his christening remark toward then-Federal Emergency Management Administration Director Michael Brown became a stigma on Bush as FEMA and Brown specifically, was criticized for their handling of the situation. That’s the political memory from Katrina that stands out, “Heck of a job, Brownie.”
Yet here in 2020, with the coronavirus unleashing hell on these United States and the world over, the focus on George W. Bush’s albatross changes for me. The 43rd President was on the frontline of hardships and witnessing things for himself. That Brown remark was an attempt at a morale boost (that ultimately failed; Brown resigned). Bush was involved.
Go further back to the attacks of 9/11. While a critic or a comedian (I was the former; I oft try to be the latter) focuses on Bush’s facial expression as he was told by an advisor that the nation was under attack, one of the more powerful images that were taken was of Bush on Air Force One, seeing the destruction upon Manhattan Island and the city of Nee York. Dubya would be on the ground time and time again in the days and weeks that followed. It was a first-hand experience in a city in recovery. That may or may not have influenced domestic choices and actions. Wall Street ane business relations also likely have influenced those visits hut that’s the cynic in me talking.
My point can likely be elaborated for Bush as well as added to with other Presidential direct-involvement with people and places who were suffering. These experiences also lead to changes or actions taken by the government to aid those in need in one fashion or another.
In short, they led.
Criticize an action, choice, or ideological differences, but Presidents – Barack Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and so on. – led, They learned first-hand as they socialized with the ailing, the stricken, the grieving, the mourning, the survivors. They took part in life and reacted with the voice and powers they controlled.
Have you seen that from Donald Trump in this situation or those prior? The man who demands the United States resume normal business and social operations in full by Easter is more renowned for spending time at his own resort facilities than visiting hospitals or speaking directly with doctors and nurses on the front-lines.
Donald Trump has a reputation of locking-in on a conclusion no matter what Pair this with the social-disconnect toward general Americans that he seems to flaunt all-too-often in his remarks and actions, then mix it with the intelligent perception that a President shouldn’t be put in a risky position. That’s not just a recipe for disaster, it’s been in the oven and baking the past three years!
“My way alone” is not leadership, not is concluding facts from you4 limited perspective.
This is a disaster that’s putting the United States collectively in disarray and turmoil and leadership is absent. The figure who is supposed to embody the role of leader turned away from the role as he was warned about such a threat. The threat Donald Trump focused squarely on at the times COVID-19 warning was told to him, was keeping the role of President.
Impeachment and self-esteem/self-image was more important than responsibility. This has played out over and over and over again. People are dying and it’s partly because of that me-first mentality.
Americans are dying, and the United States is operating in a twisted fashion or r like a chicken with its head cut off, take your pick. There is no leadership, there is a man in charge who demands loyalty and denies as much to the nation he is supposed to guide. His social concerns lay with the financial elite, not with Joe or Jane Average.
For the record, Trump was on the ground in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. He made his own “heck or a job, Brownie” statement through the action of tossing paper towels to citizens of the would-be 51st state.
NHL History: Vinny Lecavalier’s “Rough Translation” to Life With The White Bear
I’m happy to see the Tampa Bay Times has resurrected its old articles from its days at sptimes.com… That enables access to the past of online content in the history of %ampa Bay like news features in sports, such as the March 2005 feature by former Times writer Tom Jones.
2005 was par5 5wo or the roiled 2004-05 NHL season. While some players stayed idle an waited for labor resolution between the NHL and NHL Players Association, others went abroad to continue their play in the sport, such as Vincent Lecavelier of Tampa Bay Lightning fame.
I’m also happy to see my Boltsmag write-up about the piece is still alive in the Raw Charge archives. Below is my quoted piece with updated links where needed. I do encourage NHL fans to check out the piece of NHL history by Tom Jones. The following write-up was my personal introduction to the piece.
Life with the White Bear,
by John Fontana
I’ve sometimes wondered if me and Vincent Lecavalier woudl ever meet somewhere or somehow cross paths in life. He’s only a few months younger than I am and when he was drafted and the big hoopla was made about him, I had this premonition that Vinny and I could be friends, could get along, could hang out.
And yet with each day, every season, every interview that I’ve read (not many, because Tampa Bay is not Montréal or Toronto) that link… that kinship that I felt disappeared. Vincent is a big name star, he’s got it all and he’s got confidence… He dates models and he’s an icon in Canada.
And today in the St. Petersburg Times, that link was renewed… That sort of hopeful understanding.
Tom Jones traveled to Kazan and spent time with Vinny. This is all chronicled in a piece called Rough Translation and some of the things that Vincent has gone through in Ak Bars Kazan have made me feel… Well, like someone would understand some of the crap I go through daily being hard of hearing. That lack-of-understanding and such.
But to get off my personal points, this article by Jones chronicles some of the adversity that Vincent has faced in Kazan and how he’s kept a positive attitude. How trying it can be to understand his coach’s rants (Zinetula Bilyaletdinov speaks English but addresses his team in Russian), how not understanding what someone says makes you want to shrink away because you don’t know the translation, and the difficulty just to order a bowl of Oatmeal in Kazan.
And if you are interested in seeing the photos associated with the article (and there are a few), please check out this link.
For those looking for the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart archives
As someone who reflected on the Billboard Music chart archives to discover music as well as be reminded of classics from days-gone-by, I was a little taken aback gy the new paywall Gillghoard has put into place. Fees for access are growing common on the Interweb, but something like this?
Yike$!.Nice cost to reflect on history or find a reference to the past. Of course, the fee enables broader access than charts.,
There is a way to access the weekly charts compiled over the years by Billboard Music up until approximately September 2019. It comes with thanks to a URL and the Wayback Machine. Through the latter, you can access archived versions of web pages/articles. That comes off very hsndy when old articles are taken offline.
Though there’s a lot of content that is blocked now, in this article the access in the Billboard chart history is for specifically the Adult Contemporary charts. I’ve grown a habit of reflecting on those charts before posting content on Reddit, where I currently run the Adult Contemporary community.
The charts-via-archives won’t work right for every weekly listing Billboard has posted from the 58 years of the Adult Contemporary charts but you can get access to most Top 30 listings through these steps:
- In the table below, choose a year (1961 – 2019) and click on it. You will be taken to a week-by-week list for that year.
- Choose a week and click again, you will go to the latest archived listing for that week
- Look at the top of the web page and the Wayback Machine date listing on the top right of the page.
- If the listed page date is listed is on or after September 24, 2019 (which is when limits to the chart results began =) click on the left arrow next to the listed date.
Now here’s the archival web listing of the Adult Contemporary archives…
*archives of 2019 stop working as a full listing on charts listed in September. Working archive pages may not be indexed for weekly listings earlier in 2019.
Reflecting on the history and the Ice Palace that is Amalie Arena
I’ve got a phrase in my head. It’s a pretentious intro to a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. Something to be used repeatedly to give weight to the event and where it’s being played (as well as merit to the person saying it).
Weight comes to words with repetition. Sometimes it’s dubious, sometimes it’s forgettable, sometimes it goes down into the history books and is engraved in society (or, in this case, sports culture).
Along the banks of the Garrison Channel at the heart of Tampa, Florida. We welcome you to the hall of the venerable ice palace known as Amalie Arena for a night of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.
To see that turn of phrase might lead Joe Q. Average to wonder what the hell venerable means (here’s your answer). Others of the Tampa Bay area (specifically younger generations and transplants of recent years) may be curious (or scoff) at Amalie Arena being called an “ice palace”. That just happens to be the building’s original name. That fact isn’t news for long-time Lightning fans. This fall will be the building’s 23rd anniversary of its opening.
And yet we’re left to wonder about the story behind the name Ice Palace.Read More
An image from Tampa BayLightning history and the 1996 NHL Playoffs
Preceding this image with a history lesson of Tampa Bay sports would seem fitting, as the Buccaneers were a joke or oh-so-long and the fledgling Tampa Bay Lightning did not see their first competitions until 1995-96. It’s that latter point that this whole post and this image are based on.Read More
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.From the Declaration of Independence, Tendered on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
243 years later, I ask we stop justifying countering of the self-evident truths the United States was founded upon. We are the many, not the few.
Regarding “Missing piece of history — Jim Morrison in Clearwater”
In 2005, I penned a blog post that was inspired by the then-St. Petersburg Times had written an epic feature regarding the days of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, had spent living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Being a Morrison fan and living only a handful of miles away from locations mentioned in the piece, I was blown away. I had known about Morrison having been born in south Florida but I didn’t know about this.
Part of what inspired the blog post was the fact social media wasn’t then what it is today. Not that writing a blog post was going to necessarily draw eyeballs. Yet to this day, Missing piece of history – Jim Morrison in Clearwater still draws web traffic because of Morrison’s romantic interest (and song inspiration) Mary Werbelow.
At any rate, to get to the point, the now- Tampa Bay Times has basically failed with how they treat their archives online, which now hides the articles on a for-profit site (…unless the Times plans to fix their “Page Not Found” issues on archival articles). Between this and my old blog post failure in being more direct and obvious on the link to the feature section from September 25, 2005, finding the feature reading is next to impossible.
The Declaration of Procreation; A Different Take on July 4th
Maybe this is too much information but…
America wasn’t “born” today. It was conceived. Procreated if you will. There had been standing political tension in the colonies and during a hot (see what I did there) date in Philadelphia in 1776, the colonists finally consummated their political longings by signing the Declaration of Independence.
Want more proof? Why do you think we set off fireworks, people? In celebration, or in the simulation of the impregnation that led to the creation of the United States?
Warped, I know, but as a friend of mine pointed out to me as I joked to her about things, the first president wasn’t elected until 1789… Which seems like a more applicable formal birthday.
Potential tropical development and a touch on hurricane history
I’m a weather guy, just a bit. I get a lot of entertainment / comfort out of reviewing Doppler radar in the Tampa Bay area and Florida. I keep myself informed regarding the tropical weather situation because it’s a looming issue at play annually.
I’m a little flabbergasted this afternoon though as I reviewed the latest update on the Bay News 9 tropical update page that Tropical Depression #6 for the Atlantic hurricane season is out there. Read that again, people, Tropical Depression Number six…. No, I’m not trying to play up the total as if it set some record and illustrates this-and-that of environmental development. I’m surprised and shocked because of how few tropical systems have been out there as this is only the sixth weather system with the potential to develop in the summer of 2016.
There is the negative shocker to be worried about here too: Last time I can remember a tropical season starting so late (meaning developing a depression into a storm or hurricane) was 1992 when Hurricane Andrew started the process of development on August 16 (via Wikipedia). It was only the third depression of the season and the first one that developed. And man, did that thing develop…
If you’re in South Florida or on the Atlantic coast of the US, make sure you follow this system and in general keep an eye on the tropics now. We’re at the height of the hurricane season and that brings the most threats as well as the most potential catastrophe.
The history of Tropicana Field and Tampa Bay’s quest for MLB is one hell of a book
One of the hot topics around the Tampa Bay metro region right now is the Tampa Bay Rays proposed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’m not going to bother getting into the arguments but after reading a few knee-jerk reactions and misinformation about the plans… Well, I felt it was important that people actually familiarize themselves with why the Dome was built in St. Petersburg in the first place.
I read Stadium for Rent by local author Bob Andelman during high school and it showed the battle — political and logistical – to get Major League Baseball in town.
It’s out of print but there are copies for sale out there, also the entire thing is available at the above link. It’s very much worth a read for both pro and anti-stadium people. I oppose the stadium for economic issues (the timing sucks, Stu) as well as logistical reasons, but it’s important to be armed with the facts instead of making up hearsay or misconstruing what is really going on.
I plan on buying a used copy of Stadium For Rent for quick reference in the future. I’ve held it in high regard long enough….
Why is that stadium in St. Pete anyway? "Stadium fot Tent" shows why
One of the hot topics around the Tampa Bay metro region right now is the Tampa Bay Rays proposed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm not going to bother getting into the arguments but after reading a few knee-jerk reactions and misinformation about the plans... Well, I felt it was important that people actually familiarize themselves with why the Dome was built in St. Petersburg in the first place.
Missing Piece of History — Jim Morrison in Clearwater
I’ve read a couple of books on Jim Morrison and the Doors (favorites? Riders on the Storm by John Densmore and No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman, Jerry Hopkins) and I’ve been enamoured by Jim Morrison’s poetry and lyrical artistry. I’ve always been curious and captivated about his time in Clearwater, Florida after his parents sent him to live with his grandparents and go to St. Petersburg Junior College.
I’ve finally found more than any book would tell. I’ve found more than some books have speculated.
In all of these books, the writers have simply thrown a quick mention to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend for 3 years, Mary Werbelow, and then dismissed her as nothing much but a sideshow to Jim’s life of excess and glamour. The problem is that Mary held a bigger piece of Jim within her than many – including me – are able to comprehend. I’ve been taught that Pamela Courson was supposedly everything to Jim and this Mary girl was just a quick fix before the main course was served in Venice Beach (meaning the Doors formation).
That’s not the case.
Mary has refused interviews for 40 years up until now. His connections to Tampa Bay are further shown and his connections to Mary as well (The Crystal Ship was for her, The beginning and end of The End were talking about her). I’d also say The beginning of Stoned Immaculate is a reference to meeting Mary:
One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
The blonde one was called Freedom
The dark one, Enterprise
We talked and they told me this story
The article by the Times talks about how Jim met Mary at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach while she was with another friend (also named Mary).
At any rate, I’m just real excited about this for no other reason than more information being made clear. Much like Deep Throat finally coming out – some secrets aren’t left up to imagination….