Song of the Day: Phil Ochs on travel bans

Phil Ochs’ song “The Ballad of William Worthy” was originally written about an American reporter who had his passport revoked for violating US travel regulations by travelling from the US to China and Cuba.

But some of the lines are extremely applicable to Trump’s present-day travel ban (which, according to an anonymous source, is likely to be extended to more countries) – especially the situation of all the immigrants who have permanent, legal US residency, but are now unable to leave the country because they then will be denied re-entry.

So, come all you good travelers and fellow-travelers, too
Yes, and travel all around the world, see every country through
I’d surely like to come along and see what may be new
But my passport’s disappearing as I sing these words to you.

Well, there really is no need to travel to these evil lands
Yes, and though the list grows larger you must try to understand
Try hard not to be worry if someday you should hear
That the whole world is off limits, visit Disneyland this year.

But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say:
– You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay.

Conceding the Trump battle to win the war?

As the Donald Trump juggernaut remains on course for winning the Republican nomination, a repeated refrain has been to blame the Republicans for not having acted early enough to stop Trump’s rise. If prominent politicians, Super-PACs, and other members of the “GOP Elite” (so the argument goes) had launched concerted attacks om Trump at an early stage, they could have prevented him from ever achieving front-runner status. Failing that, they should at least close ranks behind a single unified anti-Trump candidate – or make plans for selecting a completely different compromise candidate, if the process ends in a brokered convention where no candidate holds a majority.

Others, such as Vox’ Ezra Klein, have argued that the party elites have in fact done everything they can in this respect – and that to the extent that they’ve held back, it’s been because of a genuine and rational fear that their efforts might end up boosting Trump instead.
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