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Monday, February 4, 2019

In The Beginning.....

There are questions for which simple folk (like me) cannot hope to find the answer. Some scientific types try to, and even the most humble of intelligences (mine is not that humble) look at the difficult ideas that they come up with. The Origins of Life is one of those big questions. The Tavern's Supplier has given us an answer which most people find all too easy to dismiss while they look for something they can grasp and claim some credit for themselves.

We do like to keep busy. Human beans have, we are to understand from the clever types, a long history of development, and while early folk grasped 'Art' and even a bit of technology - think of flint tools and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon -  it has nonetheless taken until only very recently for Science to arrive and find the tools to look more deeply and rigorously. And some answers were devised. 

So, having established to the satisfaction of very few thinking folk, in the era when we moved on a little from sailing ships,  that the entire Universe shebang came into existence with a very loud noise (that no-one could hear as there was no one around) from nothing and nowhere, by accident, randomly, we have arrived at the point where the question has changed to 'Where did Life come from'.  It is thought by some to be an easier question. Hah !

And here we start to look at the attempts to answer. So, very briefly, as an introduction, we have...... a drum roll......
There. Simplified for you. Except.......the panspermia bizzo is just a TATWD guess - Turtles All The Way Down. Where and how did that life, floating about originate?

The life in a bottle bizzo didn't sail either as 'Science' demands repeats and it never has been. It was very probably a soiled sample, despite some saying that it is a viable hypothosis. 

Let's look deeper.  Deeper in the sea.  The deep-sea vent theory suggests that life may have begun at submarine hydrothermal vents spewing key hydrogen-rich molecules. Their rocky nooks could then have concentrated these molecules together and provided mineral catalysts for critical reactions. Even now, these vents, rich in chemical and thermal energy, sustain vibrant ecosystems. A few too many 'mays' and 'coulds' though.
A probable future for deep sea divers and bathosphere drivers, but not an answer that is likely repeatable. As yet there is no evidence that life originated there, but heck, I am a simple man. How do I know.

Other 'hypothoses' have been considered. On the shoulders of Giants and the backs of turtles, the chemical scientists keep plodding on, cooking up recipes. The probability of an answer coming up soon is, well.... 

So far the recipe eludes us, so what about that Probability bizzo?

What is the liklihood of life arising all on it's todd? Given the 'right' conditions, that is. Is it possible? Or Probable?

That would be a place to start and it can bring in the carpenters and plumbers and electricians of the Science world.... The Mathematicians.  These are the guys that provide the basements and walls, the pipes and circuits for the architects of the sciences. And the tasty meals while they 'think'.

Now we are cooking !!

For the meaty main course below, I rely heavily on a good chef.

Today, origin of life research continues under the assumptions of materialism. Researchers believe that if they can explain the formation of a building block or a possible energy source, they are making progress toward solving one of the most baffling mysteries of science. 


The major factor they consistently fail to address is the source of the information that is the hallmark of life. 

It’s not enough to get the building blocks of a cell any more than it is to get iron ore for a skyscraper. 

The building blocks need to be assembled and arranged in a purposeful way. That’s the sequencing problem for RNA, DNA and proteins.

Since protein machines do most of the work in living cells (both modern and primordial), their existence merits explanation.

Proteins are constructed from precisely sequenced chains of amino acids. Most proteins in the simplest life forms (Achaea) range from 156 to 283 amino acids in length. Some shorter proteins exist (more accurately called “polypeptides”), but most of them have simpler roles in the cell, acting as signaling molecules or cofactors. Some proteins contain many hundreds or thousands of amino acids. 

We chose a smaller-than-average protein of 150 amino acids to illustrate the difficulty of sequencing any protein by chance—including those required in the first living cell.


We consider the PROBABILITY

The estimated probability for a 150-amino-acid protein comes from the work of Douglas Axe and Stephen Meyer. Axe published a paper in 2004 that calculated the fraction of useful proteins in random chains of amino acids. A “useful” protein must be able to fold into a stable structure to perform any function. Compared to the huge number of random chains that would not fold, the number of proteins with this ability is miniscule.

After carefully measuring the tolerance to change in particular enzymes, Axe estimated that only one in 1074 chains of 150 amino acids would fold and be functional. This implies that you would have to search through 1074 chains of that length to find a single useful protein. So we start by looking for one protein (any chain of 150 amino acids) that could be useful in a primitive cell by spontaneously folding into a stable shape.

In his book, Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer recognized two additional constraints for the chance origin of a protein. 

First, amino acids need to be “one-handed.” In nature, amino acids (except the simplest, glycine) come in two forms: left-handed and right-handed. All living things use only the left-handed form. 

This is what gives proteins the ability to fold. 

Experiments show that random chains using both hands become useless lumps of molecules. Indeed, living cells cannot tolerate wrong-handed amino acids, and employ quality controls to ensure their amino acids are left-handed. The earliest imaginable life form could have used either left-handed or right-handed building blocks, but would have to select one or the other--and stick with it. 

With that constraint, Meyer assumes an additional 1-out-of-2 chance the correct form would be selected at each point in the chain (after the positioning of the first building block). For 150 amino acids, that becomes 0.5-149 or one chance in 1045.

Let's look at that in an easier-to grasp-manner.

The second constraint concerns the type of bond that must form between amino acids. Proteins use peptide bonds in which the H atom on one end joins with the OH atoms on the other end, releasing H20—a water molecule. 


(This, incidentally, is why proteins cannot be expected to form spontaneously in water, because peptide bond formation would go against chemistry’s law of mass action; such bonds would be far more likely to break than join.)

Puts the moccas on the undersea vents idea.  

Other bonds between amino acids, however, are possible. They result in clumps of useless “tar” as biochemists call it. Meyer assumed another 1-out-of-2 chance that each bond would be a peptide bond (a generous assumption). That decreases the probability by another 1045.


Putting the probabilities together means adding the exponents. The probability of getting a properly folded chain of one-handed amino acids, joined by peptide bonds, is one chance in 10^74+45+45, or 


one in 10^164 .  

This means that, on average, you would need to construct 10^164 chains of amino acids 150 units long to expect to find one that is useful.

So, now we have one.

Or not.

Given time, maybe. 

Well more time than we have had it seems.


So far, we have advanced so far as to be confronted with the extreme UNliklihood of Life arising by itself at all.


Personally, being a simple fellow, and having exchanged pleasantries many a time with my Supplier's angelic barrel hauler, I am content with not knowing the exact means by which the 


Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life...

......managed it. 

I am simply in awe that He did.

Can we get further? Well, I, for one, cannot. I am busy with the here and now. I have pints to pull, tables to wipe and even more interesting customers to engage with. And you, of course.

Enjoy your drinks.

Pax.






Beyond the Pale

The Tavern Pale is the large hedge that surrounds the property, keeping the riff-raff out. That is what a 'Pale' does. Pale is also the hue of white folk, especially old white folk, and specifically men, old white folk who constitute at least half of our customers. The riff-raff think that we are beyond the Pale, being as we are happily on the opposite side of the hedge, drinking our pints.

Where does the term come from, someone asked.  The phrase "beyond the pale" dates back to the 14th century, when the part of Ireland that was under English rule was delineated by a boundary made of such stakes or fences, and known as the English Pale. To travel outside of that boundary, beyond the pale, was to leave behind all the rules and institutions of English society, which the English modestly considered synonymous with civilization itself. 

Of course.

Actually it goes back further. Beyond the Pale is a phrase derived from the Latin 'palus' or stake, a series of which were used to demarcate a boundary, usually for defense. The phrase means "beyond the boundary", or "outside the limits of acceptable behaviour"
Early era white devils.

But we were reminded of the other pale: we white folk seem to be getting very short shrift these days and from all quarters. Well, maybe not all: the lefty, nonebrity quarters and all other hues. And even some of the same hue. !

It has not been this bad since we were called 'white devils' an era ago.

It is time we named some names of these blaggards. Walter Williams started us off with some American ne'er-do-wells who could do with a sound thrashing. You can add more in the comments.
The Demonizing of White Men
Rush Limbaugh’s December 2018 “Limbaugh Letter” has an article titled “Demonizing White Men.” It highlights—with actual quotations from people in the media, academia, and the political and entertainment arenas—the attack on white men as a class.
You can decide whether these statements are decent, moral, or even sensible. Should we support their visions?
Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”
Melodrama Rules, KO?

Yep. I am not making that up. No-one can make this stuff up. He could at least have changed that obviously biased hue of his by using lemon juice make-up.
Steven Clifford, former King Broadcasting CEO, said, “I will be leading a great movement to prohibit straight white males, who I believe supported Donald Trump by about 85 percent, from exercising the franchise [to vote], and I think that will save our democracy.”
Teen Vogue, a magazine targeting teenage girls, wrote, “Not only is white male terrorism as dangerous as Islamic extremism, but our collective safety rests in rooting out the source of their radicalization.”
Not that one has seen quite as many white Pentacostals blowing themselves up in shopping centres. It ain't vogue. I shall pull some pints while we wait. 
Economist Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, wrote a column titled “The Angry White Male Caucus,” in which he explained, “Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege.”
There have been similar despicable statements made by academics.
James Livingston, a Rutgers history professor: “OK, officially, I now hate white people. … I hereby resign from my race. F— these people.”
Stacey Patton, a Morgan State University professor: “There is nothing more dangerous in the United States than a white man who has expected to succeed and finds himself falling behind.”
I would hope he takes a hike in the Yellowstone Park and see how he fares with the wolves. 
Stony Brook University sociology professor Michael Kimmel explained, “White men’s anger comes from the potent fusion of two sentiments: entitlement and a sense of victimization.”
Then there’s the political arena.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “There’s no question that in Georgia and in Florida racism has reared its ugly head. And you have candidates who ran against [Andrew] Gillum and ran against Stacey Abrams who were racist. … And that is an outrage.”
Michael Avenatti, criticizing the GOP senators during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: “These old white men still don’t understand that assault victims and women deserve respect and to be heard.”
“What troubles me is … they’re all white men,” commented former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm regarding GOP senators questioning Christine Blasey Ford at the Kavanaugh hearings.
William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week, said, “There’s something odd about the overwhelming white maleness of Washington’s current leadership.”
Not to be outdone, entertainers have hopped on the demonizing-white-men bandwagon.
Joy Behar, talking on ABC’s “The View” about senators supporting Kavanaugh, said: “These white men—old, by the way—are not protecting women. They’re protecting a man who is probably guilty.”
Actress Gabourey Sidibe, also on “The View,” said: “Older white men are a problem, y’all, for everyone. We’re all at risk.”
Who? 

Does she sing?

Will it all be over soon?
Moira Donegan wrote an article for The Guardian titled “Half of White Women Continue to Vote Republican. What’s Wrong With Them?”
Renee Graham wrote a column in The Boston Globe that counseled, “Memo to black men: Stop voting Republican.”
Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Just a friendly reminder for the weekend: No white after Labor Day, and no old, white racist men after the midterms. Get out and vote.”
That is just a partial list of statements that would be viewed and condemned as racist simply by replacing “white men” with “black men,” “Mexican men,” or “Asian men.” You can bet the rent money that university presidents and media executives would sanction any of their employees for making similar broad, sweeping statements about non-white men.
It is also a partial list of nonebrities. Who are these people? Some appear to be white, yet demeaning being white. Are they mentally 'challenged'. I read their comments and laugh. 
Suppose a white anchorman said, “Black people are the greatest murder threat in this country.” I guarantee you that he’d be shown the door.
There are only two ways to explain the silence by people who should know better. Either they agree with the sentiments expressed or they are out-and-out cowards.
Decent American people ought to soundly reject and condemn this brazen attack on white men. 
I think that the attack is on masculinity itself and that white men are a convenient scapegoat —for now.
Indeed. The new 'virtues'  that we are supposed to signal are 'diversity' and 'tolerance'. Oh and 'inclusivity'. These folk just don't get it. They don't even practice them themselves.


Derision and the wallet are the ways to tackle them. Laugh at them and drive them out of business the easy way. No boycotts of buildings, just don't buy what they sell.

It seems that some commercial enterprises have to feel the pain and the heat. Ben Shapiro pointed to an example.
Marvel VP: 'Diversity' In Our Characters Is KILLING Our Sales
On Monday, Marvel Comics admitted what those who actually read comics have known all along: the emphasis on leftist messaging in comic books is killing the appeal. 
David Gabriel, the vice president of sales at Marvel, said that comic book retailers were reporting a drop-off in interest in the new, diversity-oriented comics: 
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales…Any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up.”
It’s not racism driving people away from Marvel, though. It’s a feeling of irritation that classic characters are being redrawn and recast in order to assuage the feelings of social justice warriors
Iron Man is Tony Stark, not Riri Williams. Captain America is Steve Rogers, not Sam Wilson. Thor is Thor, not female Thor. Spider Man is Peter Parker, not Miles Morales.
This isn’t to say that the comics with Miles Morales aren’t good (they're actually really good, although the Iron Man series with Riri Williams isn’t any good at all). It’s to say that nobody wants to see iconic superheroes recast as completely different people to appease quotas on race and sex. Superheroes are brands. You can't twist those brands without hurting them.
When it comes to new superheroes, people are always skeptical, so this poses something of a challenge: how do you better reflect diversity in comics without tanking sales? 
The answer: make new characters terrific, then worry about whether they’re diverse – or use a historic diverse character to infuse new life. Marvel did the latter with Black Panther, hiring Ta-Nehisi Coates to write the comic, which immediately became a bestseller (the comic is actually unreadably bad, but at least Marvel tried doing diversity the right way here). 
In the DC universe, Harley Quinn, who was a marginal character twenty years ago, is now a major bestseller because she’s interesting, not because Batman had to become a woman.
But the comic book industry keeps attempting to slam its constituents over the head with social justice messaging – 
and that’s killing the quality of comics (see Batman, advocate for Trayvon Martin, or Captain America, illegal immigration defender). 
Turning iconic characters into avatars of social justice kills sales, too. It’s throwback comics doing most of the heavy lifting at this point – and Marvel and DC should take note that it’s not American racism driving that choice. 
It’s Americans’ discontent with the left’s willingness to sacrifice quality and legacy for politics.
And discontent is growing with the sacrificing of white men who have already sacrificed far too much for an ungrateful  nonebrity'sville.

I shall keep 'em outside the hedge while you construct a few pales for yourselves.

I have lately taken a comparative shine to that awful marxist lesbian creature who dominated the feminists a while back, who claimed "All men are Rapists".  And of course our very own Oz-babe Clammy Ford who demands that we "Kill all men". At least they weren't Wayyyyyycists !

Hahahaha.

I shall pull some pints.

Pax

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Cost of Education

In the western world, education is seen as a 'fundemental' and funding is prioritised. The amount of funding can send the average parent mental. That is not to discount the eastern parent in China or Japan, however, but the conversation in the Tavern today was on the west, or rather this bit of it here in Oz which is possibly better described location-wise as in the east.  We were shown some figures for the education of our kiddies. Thank goodness I am no longer burdened.

In Oz the various States generally has the requirement to pay for and provide for the education of children in their State. The Federal Govmunt often sticks a finger in the pot. People pay taxes: the Federal Govmunt doles it out, giving the States some to pay for the schools. Of course, one could make a sound case that it should pay for the children but that would put power in parental hands and that would never do !  Their job is just to pay tax.

One could also make a case for reducing tax by the amount dedicated to the per capita funding and let the parents pay for themselves. But that would not do either. Same reason. The parents' job is to pay tax. 

Tax clerks need employment.

One would expect in any rational, equitable system that all taxpayers would be treated the same, but then the tax system would have to and it doesn't.  So neither are the schools. Nor the parents. 

Frankly it is a mess.

The mess is made more colourful by having at least three major systems running alongside one another. These, too, are treated very differently. We have the 'Public' system, the 'Private' or 'Independent' system and the 'Catholic' system. 

The children who attend these types of school attract different amounts of tax support.

Over 40% of Oz children attend Catholic and Independent schools.

And the different systems attract different amounts of 'passion' too. The Catholics do not trust the secular education with its lack of values and lack of personal discipline (similarlyinclined non-Catholics too attend Catholic schools) and are prepared to pay extra, over and above their tax: and the Independants' parents who pay really high fees get incensed at the scurrilous animosty of the left who consider them 'Rich'. Those fee-payers pay tax of course, and the wealthier ones pay vastly and proportionately more. The State school parents want more money and get really annoyed that some other people actually pay more from their own after-tax pocket.

Envy, animosity and ideological bastardry are all encouraged by Government.

But let us see what Chanel Kinniburgh had to say.
The huge cost of sending your child through 13 years of school... 
....has been revealed, with a surprising city as the most expensive.
The average median cost of a government education over a 13-year period in metropolitan Australia is $68,727, the latest ASG Planning for Education Index has revealed.
Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in metropolitan Australia are expected to spend $127,027, while the average median cost of an independent education in Australia’s capital cities is a whopping $298,689.
OK. That is on an annual basis (albeit changing over time)
$5286 per capita child in the Public system. 
$9771 for the Catholics:
$23727 for Independants.

Mind you, just what we can make of the 'average median'.... a la mode maths?

It should be noted that the Catholic and Independent schools do not receive State funding equal to the State schools. The Federal Guvmunt 'may' provide some additional funding, but even that does not close the gap.
ASG, the largest provider of education scholarship plans in Australia, found Brisbane was the most expensive national city for a government education, with the bill coming in at $75,601 — 10 per cent higher than the national average of $68,727.
Startlingly, school fees made up just a small fraction of the estimated total cost of a government education each year, with external tuition and devices both costing more.
The ASG research discovered Adelaide was the country’s most expensive city for a Catholic education, with the median total cost exceeding $131,000.
Whereas, Sydney was Australia’s most expensive city for an independent education, with parents expected to spend $461,999 over a 13-year period — 54.7 per cent above the national average of $276,338.
School fees were easily the most expensive component of an independent education in metropolitan Australia, costing parents approximately $14,116 per child per year.
Mother, Sarah Charge, whose youngest daughter is about to start Year 9 at a Catholic school in Sydney, described the total cost of an education as “scary” when seen as a lump sum.
“The estimated total cost is a lot more than I thought it would be, however we’ve been fortunate to source second hand uniforms and texts books which helps keep costs down,” Ms Charge said.
“I’m also really surprised the estimated total cost of a Catholic education in Sydney is below the national average. It must be the only thing that is, especially when you compare it to accommodation and house prices.”
The ASG Planning for Education Index also showed the average median cost of a government education in regional Australia was $57,994.
Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in regional Australia are expected to spend $109,877, while the average median cost of an independent education in regional Australians $201,210.
The Index discovered regional New South Wales was Australia’s most expensive state for a government education ($73,808), regional Queensland the most expensive for a Catholic education ($113,211) and regional Victoria the most expensive state for an independent education ($248,543).
ASG CEO Ross Higgins said the cost of education had risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past decade.
“Education costs, including tuition costs, uniforms, transport and devices are demanding a far greater share of the family budget than in the past,” Mr Higgins said.
“More than ever, the costs associated with education are placing more of a burden on Australian families, who are already challenged by the rising cost of living.
“With less discretionary money to spend, it’s going to be very hard to pay for education, which means parents who have saved will be in a better position in the long run.”
Mr Higgins encouraged parents to put in place a dedicated savings plan, so they can financially afford to meet their children’s educational goals and aspirations.
ASG has also developed a Cost Calculator tool which may assist looking at this data as it applies to your circumstances.
The Index was based on data sourced from a survey of 2300 ASG members on ancillary costs and public information on school fees from the Good Schools Guide and My School website.
The data was then consolidated and analysed by Monash University.
I do not know what they do for funding in other countries. I am aware that America does not provide tax funds to some schools in some States. I know of parents who pay for and run their own schools. 

Personally I put two children through Independent Schools. I say independent, not Catholic: one was Baptist and the other Church of England. It cost a fortune. And not a small one. I also put one wife through College to Batchelors and another through Batchelors, MEd and PhD. That was not a small fortune too. There was a struggle to get my degrees, I can tell you. The 'provider' is always last in line.

No wonder I am poor.

I would welcome comments from around the world. 

Meanwhile, I shall line up the pints.

Pax











Friday, February 1, 2019

The Music Didn't Die

I heard that it had, back in the 60's when Buddy Holly and his mates died in a plane crash in a storm. But it was found alive and well a decade or two later in Cleveland, Ohio. Like many 'older' folk I had an appreciation of 'yoof' music way back when, and despair of ever having what passes for today's efforts moving my heart, head or soul. The relatively sound people of an era long gone, with songs and tunes that actually said something to young people, were replaced with crass, screeching divas and  filthy-mouthed rappers.  But one chap and his mates stand out. And it was in Cleveland that he found his metier.

Hugh Anthony Cregg III, born in that era on July 5, 1950 and known professionally as Huey Lewis, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor.


Lewis sings lead and plays harmonica for his band, Huey Lewis and the News, in addition to writing or co-writing many of the band's songs. The band is known for their third, and best-selling, album Sports, and their contribution to the soundtrack of the 1985 feature film Back to the Future. Lewis previously played with the band Clover from 1972 to 1979. In 1985, Lewis sued Ray Parker, Jr. over similarities between Parker's theme for the 1984 movie Ghostbusters and Lewis' "I Want a New Drug". It was, to all intents, the same tune; the same  beat.
Huey and his lads, all pretty old now, are currently bringing the music back from the dead and rehearsing for a gig in the Tavern's Music Rooms, which spill out onto the patio and lawns.

Huey Lewis was born in New York City. His father, Hugh Anthony Cregg Jr., was an Irish-American from Boston, Massachusetts, and his mother, Maria Magdalena Barcinski, was Polish, from Warsaw.

Lewis was raised in Marin County, California, living in Tam Valley and Strawberry, and attending Strawberry Point Elementary School (where he skipped second grade) and Edna Maguire Junior High School in Mill Valley. When he was 13, his parents divorced. It presaged big changes in his life.

He attended and graduated from the Lawrenceville School, an all-male prep school in New Jersey, in 1967, and he achieved a perfect score of 800 on the math portion of the SAT.

Young Gregg was a nice young man who grew to be a fine man. His later fame did not drag him down.

He was also an all-state baseball player. Lewis attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His mother had an extramarital affair with Beat Generation poet Lew Welch who became his step father. Lewis' credits Welch with inspiring him in his early teenage years.

In an interview with David Letterman, Lewis talked about hitchhiking across the country back to New York City and how he learned to play the harmonica while waiting for rides. He talked about hanging out at the airport for three days until he stowed away on a plane to Europe. In later interviews, Lewis would reveal other encounters he had traveling around Europe. (See video at the end).

While visiting Aberdeen, Scotland, with no money and nowhere to sleep, he claimed that the locals were very hospitable by offering him somewhere to stay. In Madrid, Spain, he became an accomplished blues player as he hitchhiked and supported himself by busking with his harmonica. He gave his first concerts in Madrid, earning enough money to buy a plane ticket back to the US.

Upon his return, Lewis entered the engineering program at Cornell University. While there he made friends with Lance and Larry Hoppen who later played with Orleans and Eddie Tuleja of King Harvest. Initially an active student and a member of the fraternity Eta Lambda Nu, Lewis soon lost interest in college. He signed up with a band called Slippery Elm, and in December 1969 during his junior year, he dropped out of Cornell and moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. His aim was to continue playing music, though along the way he also tried other fields of work including landscaping, carpentry, wedding, and event planning, as well as delivering and selling natural foods.

In 1971 Lewis joined the Bay Area band Clover. Around this time he took the stage name "Hughie Louis", the spelling of which he would tinker with for some years after. Other members of the band (at various points) included John McFee, Alex Call. Lewis played harmonica and sang lead vocals on a few tunes.

Let me digress from the timeline a little. Huey's sensitivity to the 'ordinary' man included the main movements of his day, especially the Vietnam War. 

"Walking on a Thin Line" was recorded by Huey Lewis and the News and is the fifth song on their 1984 release...Sports. The song is about both Vietnam soldiers and veterans...how the war weighed on their mind during combat...and the demons they would unknowingly confront upon their return home to the United States. Vietnam soldiers were treated with such disrespect and not awarded the honour they should have been given for participating in a war that a majority of America objected to. Examples of this outcasting can be seen in the lines "Don't you know me I'm the boy next door...The one you find so easy to ignore" as well as "Straight off the front line...Labeled as freaks loose on the streets of the city". 

In reality, these were just boys who simply enlisted in the armed services or were called to duty as part of the Draft Lottery of 1969. For the most part, they "Taught me how to shoot to kill" and became "A specialist with a deadly skill"...and all along this was merely "A skill I needed to have to be a survivor". These guys didn't start or ask to be in a war the public would never accept...and never deserved to be treated as criminals come the wars end.

"Walking on a Thin Line" peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 100 of 1984 (the only single from the album not to reach the top ten) and was received with mixed thoughts by the public...drawing a strong parallel to the war in which it is about.
To this old Warrior Tavern Keeper, 
it was one of his best and most poignant.

In 1976, after playing in the Bay Area with limited success, Clover went to Los Angeles. They had their big break in a club there when their act was caught by Nick Lowe who convinced Clover to travel to Great Britain with him. However, Clover arrived in Britain just as their folk-rock sound, known as pub rock in Britain, was being replaced by punk rock.
The two Clover albums produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange for Phonogram were not successful. By this point the spelling of Cregg's stage name had changed to "Huey Louis"; it is under this spelling that he is billed on both of Clover's albums for Phonogram, although for songwriting credits he is billed as "H. Cregg". In 1978 the band returned to California, McFee joined the Doobie Brothers, and Clover disbanded.

Under the name "Bluesy Huey Lewis", Lewis played harmonica on Thin Lizzy's 1978 landmark album Live and Dangerous. That same year, he was playing at Uncle Charlie's, a club in Corte Madera, California, doing the "Monday Night Live" spot along with future members of the News. At this point, he had adopted the "Huey Lewis" spelling, and the band was billed as Huey Lewis and the American Express. After recording the song "Exodisco" (a disco version of the theme from the film Exodus) simply as American Express, Lewis landed a singles contract from Phonogram and Bob Brown became his manager.

The band played a few gigs (including an opening for Van Morrison), before adding new guitarist Chris Hayes to the line-up. On Brown's advice, they changed their name again to Huey Lewis and The News. After a failed self-titled debut in 1980, the band finally broke through to Top 40 success with the gold album Picture This (1982). It rose to No. 13 on the albums chart thanks to the Mutt Lange-penned "Do You Believe in Love", the band's first hit.

It was around this time, travelling to small-town gigs, to even smaller crowds that he found an unexpected welcome in Cleveland. That initiated a song.


The band's third LP, Sports (1983), is one of the best-selling pop releases of all time. It became a No. 1 hit in 1984 and had multi-platinum success in 1985. Four singles from the album reached the top-10 of the Billboard Hot 100: "Heart and Soul" reached No. 8, while "I Want a New Drug," "The Heart of Rock & Roll," and "If This Is It" all reached No. 6.

Lewis knew Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds from having played harmonica on their 1979 albums ("Labour of Lust" and "Repeat When Necessary") and produced Lowe's 1985 version of "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)". He later produced several songs (including one where he sang backup and played harmonica) on Bruce Hornsby & The Range's debut album, The Way It Is. Hornsby thanked him by writing the song "Jacob's Ladder", a No. 1 single from the News' next album.

His song "The Power of Love" was a No. 1 U.S. hit and was featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future, for which they also recorded the song, "Back in Time". 

Lewis has a cameo appearance in the film as a faculty member who rejects Marty McFly's band's audition for the school's "Battle of the Bands" contest. As an inside joke, the piece the band plays is an instrumental heavy metal version of "The Power of Love". (Lewis plays the audition committee leader, who, after glancing at the other, equally unimpressed fellow faculty members, picks up the megaphone and says, "Hold it, fellas ... I'm afraid you're just too darn loud".) A poster for the album Sports is hanging on Marty's wall when he awakes at the end of the movie. "The Power of Love" was nominated for an Academy Award.

Following the success of "The Power of Love" and Back to the Future, Huey Lewis and the News released their fourth studio album, Fore! in 1986. Fore! followed the success of Sports and reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the No. 1 singles, "Stuck with You" and "Jacob's Ladder" as well as the mainstream rock hit "Hip to Be Square". In all, the album had five top-10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum.

The remainder of the 1980s and early 1990s were mostly spent touring and recording fourteen top-20 Billboard Hot 100 hits and releasing two more hit albums: Small World (1988) No. 11 and Hard at Play (1991) No. 27. Lewis had a planned solo album titled Back in Blue that was canceled in the mid-90s due to living arrangement issues on the part of Lewis. One of the songs from that cancelled project, "100 Years From Now" was later used for the compilation album Time Flies... The Best Of.

Huey Lewis has sung with Umphrey's McGee at several shows beginning with the 2005 Jammy Awards and is featured on two tracks of their album Safety in Numbers.

On February 13, 2007, Lewis was interviewed on the podcast series Stuck in the '80s. During the interview, he revealed that the band has written several new songs that they planned to record in 2008. He also stated that, given how much the industry has changed since their last album, he was unsure how they would sell the new material.

During a show at the California State Fair on August 21, 2007, Lewis was named Sacramento's Musician of the Year by the fair's general manager and presented with a gold statue of the California state bear.

Lewis recorded a duet version of "Workin' for a Livin'" with Garth Brooks, which was included on Brooks' three-disc set The Ultimate Hits, in late 2007.

On July 4, 2008, the eve of his 58th birthday, Huey Lewis and the News were the opening act for the annual A Capitol Fourth celebration on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. More than a half million people attended and was broadcast live on PBS. The band performed "The Heart of Rock & Roll", "The Power of Love" and "Workin' for a Livin'".

On May 29, 2011, Lewis played the annual Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, along with Chicago-based progressive jam band Umphrey's Mcgee. They were billed as Huey Lewis and The Rumors. Together they played covers as well as songs from both their respective catalogs.


On April 2, 2013, Lewis appeared on the ABC television series Dancing with the Stars, where he performed "The Heart of Rock & Roll" in celebration of the 30th anniversary release of Sports and a concert tour with the News.

Now, for those with time on their hands who would like a far more detailed and entertaining 'history', here is a sneak backstage.
I am not an old rocker. I am not a bit musical. My beloved son in whom I am well pleased is though. Not old, you understand, but musical.

It was he who introduced Huey.

Drinks for all involved. 

Rock to a good beat, and Pax.