After a remarkable string of hits through 1969, Three Dog Night released It Ain't Easy, its fourth album in less than 18 months. Once again, it was a hot seller, going to number eight. Once again, it consisted primarily of songs written by some of rock music's best, but as yet unheralded, composers. And this time, the group had its first number one hit, a memorable version of Randy Newman's fear-of-partying song 'Mama Told Me (Not to Come).' Although much more melodramatic than Newman's own understated take on his 12 Songs album, Three Dog Night's rendering was cleverly orchestrated and impossible to escape. It Ain't Easy also included another Newman composition, 'Cowboy,' the song he'd written for Midnight Cowboy, which was rejected by the filmmakers in favor of Fred Neil's 'Everybody's Talkin'.' The album also provided a taste of Free with 'Woman,' Paul Williams' attractive 'Out in the Country,' and a Cynthia Weil-Barry Mann composition, 'Good Time Living.' The Elton John classic 'Your Song' makes its first appearance on this album as well, predating his own recorded version by several months. Considering how dependent Three Dog Night was on outside songsmiths to provide them with the material they popularized, it is surprising that none of the album jackets of their first four albums contained printed writing credits. The curious listener had to look to the labels on the records in order to track down who had written these first-rate compositions.
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Michael Allsup / Jimmy Greenspoon / Danny Hutton / Chuck Negron / Joseph Schermetzeler / Floyd Sneed / Cory Wells
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Elton John / Bernie Taupin
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Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil
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Whatever It Is, It Ain’t Aliens written by Lawrence M. Krauss From my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence. The correct expression is that; 'the opera ain't over till the fat lady sings.' It is said that this expression was first used by a sports writer, Dan Cook, writing for the San Antonio News.
Befitting an age of masks, Joe Biden’s first prime-time address to the country last Thursday evening was pure kabuki theater. Reprising his campaign schtick of walking, talking to a teleprompter, and avoiding improv, it was dispiriting at best. Those who tuned in expecting an embarrassing soundbite, garbled pronunciation, off the cuff racial slur, or other faux pas, were not entertained by his mechanical timbre and strict adherence to the script. Still, the optics fell flat on a gloomy performance that would have drawn little more than polite applause from an audience uninterested in a curtain call.
For the West Wingers pulling for Joe, the past is apparently not prologue. To those just waking up from a year-long coma, it would appear that the pandemic had gotten underway on January 20, that the first six weeks of the Biden administration had put the country on a war footing, developed and distributed lifesaving vaccines out of thin air, and staffed up the means to inject them. Biden prides himself in blaming COVID deaths on former President Donald Trump, always anxious to produce and wave around a pocket cue card as proof.
When Trump first acted in late January 2020, shutting down flights from the Orient in order to slow the rate of infection, Biden took to the podium to accuse him of xenophobia and hysteria. The War Production Act was invoked to overcome shortages of ventilators, protective equipment, and sanitizers. Billions were invested to put several domestically manufactured vaccines on the market. Red tape was cut at the FDA and the cavalry was summoned with a battle plan for national distribution. Biden was all the while hunkered down in Wilmington, sticking his head up to take pot shots, cast Trump as a killer, and plagiarize economic and pandemic solutions.
The first Americans to be vaccinated received their immunization on December 14, 2020, a month before Biden took office. Biden and Harris, who foreswore her opposition to receive a Trump vaccine, received their inoculations before the inauguration. It was a well-publicized event Biden later denied or forgot during a February CNN town hall claiming there was no vaccine when he took office.
No part of the Biden speech was more ignoble and ill-informed than his fearmongering of twenty million Asian-Americans, for whom the streets of America have become a dangerous place. Biden’s game plan of igniting racial division and unrest by turning Asians against their own countrymen is a flagrant hat tip to the China Communist Party (CCP), who are playing a heavy hand in fabricating anti-Asian animus to pull a veneer over their irresponsible release and spread of the virus.
Most bias-related incidents against Asians have taken place in multiracial neighborhoods where, for decades, Chinese and Korean mom and pop businesses set up storefronts in low-rent neighborhoods. Some attacks are racially motivated and represent the longstanding trope of tense Black and Asian relations, while many others occur as crimes of opportunity -- street robberies, misdemeanor assaults, purse-snatchings, and the like. Progressive media outlets have now and then fueled tensions between Asian and Black neighbors in these communities, even poking the coals with an alternative woke reality that brands Asians as a model minority accorded honorary whiteness.
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The 2010 census reported that there are one million Asian Americans residing in New York City, a category that embraces the descendants of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. According to the bias incident dashboard published by the New York City Police Department, in 2019 there was just one police-reported bias incident against the Asian community, a homicide in Brooklyn. That number jumped to 27 incidents reported to police in 2020, roughly two complaints for every ten thousand Asian residents. Half of that increase was part of an anomalistic spike in the month of March that diminished rapidly over the rest of the year and involved misdemeanor aggressions occurring in lower Manhattan’s densely populated Chinatown.
A couple of dozen incidents against Asians are a far cry from the much greater number of hate crimes logged last year against a similar city population of Jews that account for half of all bias incidents in the NYPD database. In second place are bias crimes against Black residents, which nearly doubled in 2020. The NYPD is a stickler over its reporting protocols and only includes events that fit the definition of a crime, resisting efforts to exaggerate their numbers with constitutionally protected hate speech.
Because of their disciplined reporting, NYPD data makes a weak case upon which Biden and a bootlicking media can rest their pro-China agitprop. Only by turning hate speech into crime can the Oval Office field a phantom army of street marauders and white supremacists driving Asian Americans indoors and off the front lines of the pandemic.
Incident data gathered from the reporting website Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate was launched in March 2020 by three California-based Asian organizations, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of the San Francisco State University. Stop AAPI Hate offers online, anecdotal reporting for Asian Americans who believe themselves the victims of pandemic-related hate speech called a “microaggression.'
The People’s Republic is heavily vested at San Francisco State, until recently among the first of fifty-five college campuses in the United States to host a Confucius Institute. Confucius institutes are partnerships with China established to advance Sino-cultural interests but were identified by the Trump administration as domestic Trojan horses cloaking espionage, sexploitation, and intellectual theft missions. Colleges were ordered to disclose their connections to the institutes and to other Chinese student organizations funded directly from China or suffer the loss of federal support. Without consulting Congress and in defiance of hard intelligence from the FBI, Biden has quietly withdrawn the Trump orders, apparently preferring cozy China-academic partnerships over risks to national security.
The CAA reportedly has connections to Maoist-leaning organizations in the Bay Area that parrot CCP propaganda. It is the former workplace of Russell Lowe, an identified Chinese spy and former driver for California Senator Diane Feinstein.
Stop AAPI Hate tracks name-calling and relies upon stigma, rather than crime. While insulting to the recipient, even hate speech is constitutionally-protected and not tracked in traditional police bias incident databases unless there is an established nexus to a criminal act. To build the case promoted in Biden’s national address, liberal media outlets, and White House stringers have made hate speech against Asians tantamount to a crime.
Stop AAPI Hate reporting standards are anecdotal. They reported almost 3800 hate incidents against Asians in their first annual report, more than 95 percent of which consisted of noncriminal name-calling and shunning in public places or online. With hundreds of volunteers, they canvas neighborhoods for victims and flood communities with handouts. In so doing, they generate inflated and distorted tallies of racial bias in order to create sympathies that toe a pro-China line. Liberal media outlets now routinely use their statistics to promote Biden’s Asian hate shaming in his speechmaking and executive actions.
Before closing his remarks, Biden threw a bone to Anthony Fauci, the nation’s pandemic Svengali, whose reputation in the past year has suffered much at his own hands. Fauci’s noblesse oblige continues to foment confusion and fear in the citizenry. In asking Americans to pledge allegiance to Fauci, Biden has ennobled one of the few medical scientists who has flip-flopped on every aspect of the pandemic, contagiousness, masks, social distancing, medical therapies, and lockdowns. In his newfangled position as chief medical advisor to the White House, Fauci will have to bend science to politics as a fulltime job, putting him at odds with his sworn oath as a physician, primum non nocere -- first do no harm.
With the CDC pronouncing that most Americans will be immunized by July, Biden’s presidium address to the nation sowed racial division and harkened back to darker days, offering little more than a childish endorsement of small-group summer picnics and a veiled threat of more lockdowns for those who cannot be brought to heel.
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Image: Gage Skidmore