Ignorant legislators score cheap publicity victory — by making at least a million citizens suffer!

Dear Legislator:

My wife was in a traffic accident in 2003 and has lived with terrible pain every day.  She is on painkillers and she is careful to just take as few as possible to get through the day.  I have often seen her hold back tears because the painkillers are not strong enough.  She is strong-willed and she is very careful to not take as much as she could, because she fears becoming dependent on the painkillers.

  • In your haste to save a few dozen drug abusers, you have inflicted needless pain and suffering on many thousands Illinoisans.

She has been taking synthetic codeine at a relatively high dose for eleven years now, and has managed to not fall prey to overuse.  She has terrible leg pain, and the doctors know her case well, and her use of the painkillers is well monitored by her doctors.  It is very difficult to get her and the wheelchair out of the house.  We try to schedule medical and dental visits to minimize the number of times we have to get her into the car to go out.

In posturing as anti-drug, you have passed a bill preventing our family physicians from prescribing her medicine.

Now, she has to go see a doctor far away so he can validate her need for her medicine.  This is painful and very inconvenient.  I do not understand why legitimate patients like my wife are being punished for the behavior of others.

Yes, we understand that the Legislature is trying to save the kids who abuse medicine.  I get that you want to minimize the deaths of the few hundred people who overdose each year in our state.

  • In saving a few dozen drug abusers, you have punished hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens who live with serious pain. 

Please rewrite the law so that innocent people who need their medicine are not punished in your attempt to modify the behavior of the fools who abuse drugs.

The measure that was passed that went into effect this month is simplistic and will never achieve your goal of ridding our state of drug users.  What you have done is make my wife more depressed by making her suffer more pain.

I fear there are at least a hundred thousand more like her, who are crying in pain every morning, every night.  Every time you vote on medicine restrictions, please remember the many thousands of innocent people who are crying for pain, at that very moment, who count on you to, if not ease their suffering, to at least not make it worse?

The measure probably looked good for you legislators, so you can posture that you are hard on crime and drug use.  How could you raise the bar for the most critically ill among us?  Despite your good intent, you have imposed a painful sentence on the people who elected you to protect them.

  • Please use your power to ease the pain of your constituents, not increase it.  Please fix this law. 

My wife, and the thousands of others who depend on opioid-based pain killers deserve better from our public servants.

Civic Planning = Civic Transportation = Civic Profitability

Why are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago the biggest cities in America?

Local investment in transit infrastructure.

World-class cities have buses, rail and local service, and the cities that will be the most wealthy in the future are those who invest in big transit projects now, while costs are cheaper then they ever will be again.

Superior transportation is a wealth multiplier for the whole region.

Get educated, your support can make Chicago America’s biggest city in less than a hundred years!


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American Fossils

Avoid Extinction! Fossil Fuels, Just Say No!

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God is Alive

God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot

Leonard Cohen & Buffy Sainte-Marie

 I love this song.  If you have never heard it, look it up.  I am republishing my interpretation so as to help preserve interest in this great, timeless song.


words: Leonard Cohen  music: Buffy Sainte-Marie © Stranger Music, Inc./Caleb Music-ASCAP

Tablature for guitar from the author’s web site:




Quote from Buffy interview:

Leonard Cohen’s book “Beautiful Losers” stole my heart in 1963 and so did the idea of electronic processing on a vocal record.

I had a recording session scheduled and Leonard was in town. I propped two pages of his book up on a music stand and I just sang it out, ad libbing the melody and guitar music together as I went along. I’ve always wanted to re-record it, as I love the way the power of the words obviously commands the music and drives it beyond any consideration of time signature.



God is alive; Magic is afoot

God is alive; Magic is afoot

God is afoot; Magic is alive

Alive is afoot…..  Magic never died.


God never sickened;  

many poor men lied

many sick men lied

Magic never weakened

Magic never hid

Magic always ruled

God is afoot

God never died.


God was ruler

though his funeral lengthened

Though his mourners thickened

Magic never fled

Though his shrouds were hoisted

the naked God did live

Though his words were twisted

the naked Magic thrived

Though his death was published

round and round the world

the heart did not believe


Many hurt men wondered

many struck men bled

Magic never faltered

Magic always led.

Many stones were rolled

but God would not lie down

Many wild men lied

many fat men listened

Though they offered stones

Magic still was fed

Though they locked their coffers

God was always served.



Magic is afoot.

God rules.

Alive is afoot.

Alive is in command.

Many weak men hungered

Many strong men thrived

Though they boasted solitude

God was at their side

Nor the dreamer in his cell

nor the captain on the hill


Magic is alive

Though his death was pardoned

round and round the world

the heart did not believe.


Though laws were carved in marble

they could not shelter men

Though altars built in parliaments

they could not order men

Police arrested Magic

and Magic went with them,

for Magic loves the hungry.


But Magic would not tarry

it moves from arm to arm

it would not stay with them

Magic is afoot

it cannot come to harm

it rests in an empty palm

it spawns in an empty mind

but Magic is no instrument

Magic is the end.


Many men drove Magic

but Magic stayed behind

Many strong men lied

they only passed through Magic

and out the other side

Many weak men lied

they came to God in secret

and though they left him nourished

they would not say who healed

Though mountains danced before them

they said that God was dead

Though his shrouds were hoisted

the naked God did live



This I mean to whisper to my mind

This I mean to laugh with in my mind

This I mean my mind to serve

’til  service is but Magic

moving through the world

and mind itself is Magic

coursing through the flesh

and flesh itself is Magic

dancing on a clock

and time itself the magic length of God.

To pluck wild mountain thyme


F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?


C   F       C

Oh, the summertime is coming

F                 Em

And the trees are sweetly blooming

F      C      Am

And the wild mountain thyme

F         Dm        F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C        F      C

I will build my love a bower

F             Em

Near yon pure crystal fountain

F    C       Am

And on it I will pile

F      Dm      F

All the flowers of the mountain

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C         F        C

If my true love she were gone

F          Em

I would surely find another

F     C        Am

Where wild mountain thyme

F          Dm       F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C    F         C

Oh, the summertime is coming

F                Em

And the trees are sweetly blooming

F     C       Am

And the wild mountain thyme

F          Dm      F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F      C     F     C


Too High We Die

Too High We Die

Philip S. Hoffman

Philip S. Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman got high. Portraying Icarus, he fell from the sky. Another artist junky had to die. But Why, But Why, But Why?

chorus Another junky died today. A needle in his arm, life gone away. He flew too close to the sun. Like Icarus, he was undone. Heart broken, heart broken, heart broken.

He went down in flames, Heroin couldn’t ease his pain. He flew with the angels on high. Too high, Too high, Too high!

We all have our aches and pains, We hope to forget but we remember again. Some drown their troubles in alcohol. How far we fall, we fall, we fall.

Too easy to slip a needle in, Hide behind white heroin. Narcotic night embraces me again Numb my pain, my pain, my pain.

But I want to live, I want to see it all end. Surviving, after all, Is the best revenge.    Revenge, revenge, revenge.

February 10, 2014 John Rosengarten Copyright 2014

Words BeeGees


Barry Gibb/Maurice Gibb/Robin Gibb

Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me. Don’t ever let me find you down, cause that would bring a tear to me. This world has lost its glory, let’s start a brand new story now, my love. Right now, there’ll be no other time and I can show you how, my love.

Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to me. And I will give you all my life, I’m here if you should call to me. You think that I don’t even mean a single word I say. It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.

Angels And Devils The Following Day by Dory Previn

Angels And Devils The Following Day by Dory Previn

Loved I two men equally well Though they were different as heaven and hell One was an artist One drove a truck One would make love The other would fuck

Each treated me the way he knew best One held me lightly One bruised my breast And I responded on two different levels Like children reacting to angels And devils

One was a poet who sang and read verse One was a peasant who drank and who cursed Before you decide who’s cruel and who’s kind Let me explain what I felt in my heart and my mind

The artist was tender but suffered from guilt Making him sorry the following day And he made me feel guilty the very same way In his bed on the following day

The other would take me and feel no remorse He’d wake with a smile in the bed where we lay And he made me smile in the very same way In his bed the following day

The blow to my soul by fear and taboos Cut deeper far than a bodily bruise And the one who was gentle hurt me much more Than the one who was rough and made love on the floor

Relative Major / Relative Minor

What is the Relative Major / Relative Minor?

Sheet Music

Understanding this relationship can help improve your soloing, and lead to new sounds


In western tonality, we use the system of “Keys.” Each key has a number of associated sharps or flats that comprise the overall 7-note structure of the key. The exception is C-Major, which has no sharps or flats. An easy way to visualize C-Major is to imagine playing only the white keys on a piano. All of these white keys are in the key of C-Major. Every other key utilizes at least one of the black keys, meaning that they have at least one sharp or flat note.

In the same manner, every minor key uses one or more sharps or flats. The exception is A-Minor, which like C-Major, has no sharps or flats. If you imagine that same piano, and play only the white keys, you are playing in A-Minor. The logical question is: “Well, if I play only the white keys on a piano, am I playing in C-Major or A-Minor?” The answer is: You are playing in both keys.

Short Answer

Every major key has a “Relative Minor” key that uses the exact same 7 notes. Conversely, every minor key has a “Relative Major” key that uses the exact same 7 notes.

So, the next question might be: “Should I even care about this?”

The answer is: “Definitely”

Digging Deeper

Don’t worry, I have good news, and better news. First the good news: It is insanely easy to determine the relative major or minor key on a guitar. Can you count to “Three”? If so, great. If you need to know the relative minor key of a major key, just pick a note on the fretboard that represents the root note of your major key. I always envision the low-E string as it is simplest to view in your mind. Ok, so if you are in the key of A-Major, picture the “A” note on the 5th fret of the low-E string.  Now count down three frets. Three frets down from the 5th fret is the 2nd fret. The 2nd fret on the low-E string is “F#”. So, “F#-Minor” is the “Relative Minor Key” of A-Major. This means that if your band is playing in F#-Minor, you can play any note in A-Major. Conversely, if your band is playing in A-Major, you can play any note in F#-Minor.


New Sounds

The better news is that once you internalize this relationship, you have a tool that really allows you to broaden your palate a bit. For example, in my mind, when a band is playing in a major key and I ahve to solo, I always feel that it is a bit boring to solo in a major scale against the same major key. So I immediately think “relative minor” and solo in F#-Minor. Not every single note sounds perfect all the time, but with a little practice, you can really develop a libraby scales and patterns based on a relative-minor key. In my opinion, when you use the relative minor scale to solo against a major groove, it immediatey takes on a bit more of a “modal” sound. Once you can really switch back and forth between the major scale and the relative minor scale when you solo, you will really notice a difference in many different “moods” you can create using this approach.

Improved Chord Vocabulary

Even better news: This technique can really open up doors with regards to your chord work. Imagine again that the band is playing a goove in A-Major. If they are grooving on a A-Major chord, they are gooving on “The One” or “The Tonic”. This can get very boring very fast is you are only playing an A-Major chord over the groove. So, play the relative minor chord! Against that A-Major groove, an F# minor can sound very cool when voiced right. Imagine that you are playing an A-Major root-position cord as follows: D-string: 7th fret, -D-string: 6th fret, B-string: 5th fret. Add the G# on the high E-string (4th fret). You now have an F#-m9 chord. Tell me that does not sound much much cooler than just playing an A-Major chord. The best voicing for this chord would be to eliminate the A note (D-string, 7th fret). So, now you are playing only C#, E, G#. This is not only the top portion of an F#-m9 chord, but it is also a root position C#-Monor chord.



What I hope is becoming apparent at this point, is that when you start to examine the relationship between the relative major and relative minor keys, you will realize that there are all kinds of relationships between different chords that enables to you quickly develop alternate chord voicings that will not only help to liven up a boring groove, but also allow to you develop a broad range of sounds that you can use in solos or chords that become your tool-set.

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