All posts by ecthompsonmd

Obama’s failure? Syria

In 2013, Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people. President Obama had to figure out what to do with Syria. He could have bombed Syria. He could have tried to do some sort of joint military action with western allies. There was lots of hand wringing as there should have been. We are talking about life and death. Instead of making a decision to bomb Syria, Obama threw the decision to Congress which did not give him authorization to strike Syria. I’m not sure that he was all that whipped up to strike Syria. So, he turned to Russia who helped (Russian help is kind of an oxymoron) broker a deal for Syria to destroy all of their chemical weapons. Well, we know that this “deal” wasn’t what anyone would have hoped since al-Assad just gassed his own people again. It is completely unclear if al-Assad has more chemical weapons. We have to assume that he has.

Many Americans have applauded Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria. I’m not so sure. I think that Donald Trump did the only option that was open to him. He can’t make another deal. That’s out. There is no coalition of “the willing.” No one wants to invade Syria. So that’s out. What’s left? Bomb them. That’s the only other option.

I just don’t know how bombing Syria will help the problem. As far as we know there were no significant military leaders killed. I think that we know we did not kill or even injure al-Assad. So I’m not sure that we have changed any behavior.

Al Jarreau – Roof Garden

Artist: Al Jarreau
Tune: Roof Garden

For the last several weeks, I have been celebrating the life of Al Jarreau.

So, I have been slowly counting down (in the wrong order) my favorite Al Jarreau tunes.

  1. Since I fell for you
  2. Wee B DoinIt
  3. Better Than Anything
  4. Spain

At #5 I put Roof Garden. Al Jarreau had an amazing voice that was meant for Jazz. He or his people really, really wanted Al to be top 10 hitmaster. Al had several minor hits but nothing that busted the charts.  Breakin’ Away was his most commercial/crossover album. It was released in 1981. We’re in This Love Together was his monster hit but Roof Garden was his attempt at a dance/boogie tune.  It is a fun tune. I love Al’s vocals in this tune.

Continue reading Al Jarreau – Roof Garden

Chuck Berry – Dead at age 90

Artist: Chuck Berry
Tune: Johnny B Goode

From WaPo:

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.

St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him No. 6 on its list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Mr. Berry so embodied the American rock tradition that his recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on a disc launched into space on the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977. (More at WaPo)