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Friday, March 1, 2013

HOW DUMB CAN YOU GET?

We are into the month of March, and, while many of you read your daily newspaper, some don't.  I thought it was interesting that several of my recent postings nicely provided the background of the news in the Honolulu Star Advertiser this morning:

1.  How Dumb Can You Get, Part 1:  Well, looks like sequestration is happening.  This not necessary, as explained a week ago.  I predict that packaged into the debt ceiling agreement at the end of  this month will be some re-adjustment of sequestration as such.  The House has already said that the continuing resolution to keep our government solvent will be extended to the end of this fiscal year in September, but with some consideration for saving our defense budget.  Why?  We have no enemy and can bring our troops home from Europe.  World War II ended 68 years ago.  Oh, cuts by law need to be across the board, that's why, save for things like social security and a bunch of entitlements that are protected.  Interesting that Congress went home, President Obama used his bully pulpit to blame the Republicans on CNN, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had dropped more than 100 this morning, turned green by the end of his press conference, and for a while looked like the all time high of 14,165 would be reached.  Wall Street must know something we don't.  In any case, Obama is feeling pretty confident these days and the Republicans are falling into a trap for the 2014 elections.

2.  How Dumb Can You Get, Part II:  The most popular fish for sashimi and sushi in Japan is hon-maguro, or blue fin tuna.  They consume 80% of this specie and  the Pacific version has declined 96.7%, but fishermen the world over continue to decimate this variety.  90% of these caught are juveniles before they reach reproductive maturity.  Part of this craziness is that one 488 pound blue fin tuna (photo above) sold a couple of months ago in Tokyo for $1.76 million, which converts to $3606/pound.  Now, this was just for bragging rights, but I've bought a pound for $32, which is more than I've paid for any steak.  In any case,  what kind of thinking goes into continuing this insanity, and, yikes, why am I contributing to the decline by buying this product?

Well, this is Friday, so let me end on two happy notes:

3.  Richard Brill indicated that rainbows are both beautiful and rare, but Hawaii is special.  On 20February2013 I posted on Magic Rainbows.  Here is one:


4.  Happy birthday to Harry Belafonte (86) and Justin Bieber (19).  Can you believe he is still a teenager?  Belafonte recorded "Banana Boat Song" 57 years ago, you know, the "DAY-O" one.  He introduced this song on season 3 of the Muppets Show.  But there is more, for DAY-O first came out in 1952 by the Caribbeans of Trinidad as "Day De Lite."  

But it was the Tarriers in 1956 that first made this song popular, reaching #4 for the week.  Noteworthy that Alan Arkin (yes, the one who on Sunday was a nominee for Best Supporting Actor--kind of looks like the guy on the right) was a member of this group.  1956 into '57 was an astonishing period for this song, as the Fontane Sisters (#13), Steve Lawrence (#18), Sarah Vaughan (#19) and Stan Freberg also recorded this song.  Remember Shirley Bassey who at the age of 76 I reported sang "Goldfinger" at the  recent Oscars?  Here she is, at 20, with her first top ten song, which was "Banana Boat Song."   In this onslaught, Freberg's was probably my favorite.  Belafonte's album "Calypso," with DAY-O, supposedly was the first to reach a million sales, and thus began the"modern" calypso era, which actually began in 1914.

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