99 Word Blog #003 The Dense Red GOP Fog

Be you a liberal in need of validation or a Trump addict in need of an intervention, composer Casey J. Chapman’s video… her updated version of Woody Guthrie’s classic, This Land Is Your Land, should bring peace of mind.

She cuts through the dense, red fog, which had occluded Cleveland, Ohio (The 2016 Republican National Convention’s ground zero)… douses their inflammatory rubble… deodorizes their pervasive archconservative stench… trumps Donald Trump’s acceptance speech… bristling with his fear mongering, saber rattling and delusional appraisal of America.

With Trump’s speech, now committed to the history books, he, too, needs to be committed.

 

09/21/2016 ADDENDUM: Regrettably, Casey J. Chapman’s YouTube video is no longer available. I do hope that this was not due to rightwing backlash / censorship.

I now present these covers of This Land Is Your Land to fill the musical void.

Las Cafeteras / Gloria Estrada

Anna Robinson

Bruce Springsteen

99 Word Blog #002

re Donald Trump’s acceptance speech…

“I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.”

Trump humble? Really?

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

Trump’s own violence inciting stump speeches are a “yuge” part of this crisis and threaten our very way of life. He does not grasp this danger and is not fit to lead our country.

47 Years Ago This Night…

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, had fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s May 25, 1961 commitment to land men on the Moon by decade’s end. Armstrong, descending the Lunar Excursion Module’s ladder, had become the first human being to ever set foot and walk upon an alien world.

Over the decades, since, there have been naysayers, who’ve always been quick to remind us that the tax dollars could’ve and should’ve been spent more wisely. But, I’d also be quick to remind everyone that this bold adventure did unite humanity. And the value of that is as vast as the immensity of the universe, itself.

Nearly four years ago, Armstrong’s mortality caught up with him. While his spirit did merge with the universe, in the lunar vacuum his footprints will endure until our Sun dies billions of years from now.

Not a bad way for anyone to leave one’s mark upon our world… upon two worlds.

Tonight’s Moon will be in a nearly full phase… so, weather permitting, I urge you to set aside your worldly concerns… to step outside to take an upward glance… to think about Neil and Buzz’s uplifting accomplishment and try to recapture that spirit of unity.

99 Word Blog #001

While it’s highly unlikely that Donald Trump is actually a closeted liberal, if he were ever to be outed as such, this would certainly drive the GOP totally berserk. Even now, they must be frantically asking themselves…

If Trump really loathes foreigners, how come he married Melania, a woman of Slovenian extraction? How come in his hate speeches he never promises to deport her… erect a ten-foot tall wall around her homeland to keep her out of America’s homeland? Since he’s so narcissistic he’s practically married to himself, might this mean he’s actually cool with same sex marriage, too?

Coventry & Cleveland Un-Covered

As the legend goes, early in the 11th century, Godiva, Countess of Mercia, rode on horseback through the streets of Coventry to make a political, anti-taxation statement… this noblewoman’s long tresses acting as her one and only fashion statement.

Fast forwarding one millennium to our 21st century, as the legend in the making goes, on Sunday, July 17, 2016, 100 women, latter-day Ladies Godiva, participated in Spencer Tunick’s “Everything She Says Means Everything” photo shoot… peacefully protested, au naturel, outside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena (which, btw, is this week’s “scene of the crime”, HQ of the Republican National Convention).

Tunick’s goal was to toss the photographic equivalent of sabots into the mindless Republican machinery… to sabotage their business-as-usual, paint by the numbers, just phone it in, presidential nomination process… to try to teach a lesson to the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump that he must never presume anything… i.e. never take for granted the millions of people he has offended… i.e., never underestimate the power of women.

In spite of public nudity being illegal in Ohio, 1,800 women (Democrats, Republicans and Indies, alike) had signed up to appear before Tunick’s camera. A small sampling of their rationale for doing so became known via interviews with the Huffington Post, where one Lady Godiva (a.k.a. Republican Jennifer Dienes), who is disgusted with Trump’s bigotry and hostility, had this to say…

“I don’t support the Republican party with Trump at the forefront. There were a few people trying to scare me out of it [posing nude]. A lot of people were saying, ‘My mom is going to kill me!’ But it was presented in a classy, peaceful way. Sometimes you just have to stand up for what’s right. I’m proud of what I did.”

Another Lady Godiva (a.k.a. Deanna Bergdorf), concerned that any gains women and minorities have made could easily be stripped away during a Trump régime, had this to say…

“I fought to hold in my tears as [Tunick] explained that we were gathered together to make a statement against the rhetoric of hatred that’s being spewed out from the Republican party; against the misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, anti-LGBTQ, ableist platform that has defined hating others as an acceptable American lifestyle.”

One cannot help but admire these women who are peacefully fighting back… attempting to weather the tsunami proportioned tidal wave… a.k.a. that Republican / Trump oppression, which Bergdorf so spot on, eloquently outlined above.

Folks, at this point, the easiest thing for me to do would be to link my blog to the Huffington Post in order to more fully flesh out the details to this story… titled…

100 Sheroes Just Posed Nude At The Republican National Convention

However my rationale for not doing so follows…

Firstly… while I, personally, wholeheartedly believe that the human body is neither offensive nor obscene… I still wish to maintain a family friendly blogging website… i.e., one that flies below the MPAA PG-13 rating (no easy task considering the offensive and obscene Trump and his toadies… a.k.a. the win back the Oval Office at all costs, totally unscrupulous GOP hardliners).

Secondly… as the thousand-year-old legend goes, a man named Tom (a.k.a. Peeping Tom) could not resist the temptation of sneaking a peek during Lady Godiva’s ride and, as a consequence (depending on who the storyteller is), was either struck blind or dead. My being named Tom… well… were I to make Tunick’s photos available, I believe I’d be, at the very least, doubly at risk of losing my eyesight.

Ergo… I’ll leave it up to you to rev up those search engines to (at your own risk) sneak a peak at Tunick’s portfolio… to check out the (un)coverage of this anti-Trump protest in Cleveland… a.k.a. New Coventry.

 

The “Feds” Wanted To Give Me $9,000!

Late this afternoon my landline phone rang. A woman announced that I was eligible to receive $9,000 from the U.S. Treasury.

I didn’t respond, immediately, because my gut told me she was a fake Fed. To get real here… since when would Uncle Sam ever cough up even one red cent… let alone $9,000?

Well, I could not help but hear the distant voices of the dozens of other operators crammed into their “boiler room” and just knowing that some of them were succeeding got me to weighing the pros and cons of my playing mind games with this woman.

You see… by my way of thinking… every minute of hers I could waste would be one minute less that she’d have to phone other (regrettably gullible) folks. The lure of easy money can and does tend to cloud over common sense.

Now, getting back to the conversation with my scammer… she asked if I was still there and if I could hear her. I then asked her to repeat what she had said. She did so and then asked if I was interested in receiving this money?

I told her that the U.S. Treasury should keep the $9000 and suggested they use it towards paying off the $19 Trillion U.S. debt. At that point, she hung up on me.

Going online, afterwards, my Google search filled in the rest of this blatant scam’s particulars… how they trick folks into divulging their bank account / credit card numbers as well as other sensitive personal info. Oh, and here’s the real kicker… they also expect all who they sucker in to buy them $200 gift cards.

Well, it turns out my decision not to antagonize her was wise. That Google search also reported how some potential victims… when they tell these scammers that they are on to them… well… that’s when things get downright ugly / scary. You see, these crooks can and do go nuts… oft yelling and uttering threats, such as…

“We know who you are and where you live and I’d be careful if I were you.”

Needless to say, it’s usually best not to engage them in any war of the words. The way I had handled this matter proved to be appropriate… I did emphatically say “NO” and proved I wasn’t a sucker… all this accomplished without excessively pissing her off.

But what really pissed me off was that my phone would not immediately disconnect from their phone system… I could not get a dial tone back for about three minutes. Which made me wonder…

What if someone else they had tried to scam, at that crucial moment, had desperately needed to call 911. Those three minutes could be the difference between life and death.

Four-Play (Week #4)

My blog experiment to feature a four track long musical set per week per post continues… this being the 4th installment of my projected 13-week run. If you’ve missed any of my past posts, they’re archived in my “music” category.

As for my latest musical selections, I’ve segued tracks showcasing sitar players.

Back in the Sixties, the Beatles, primarily, were responsible for introducing me to Eastern / Indian influenced rock and I’m providing some linked bonus tracks… Norwegian Wood and Within Without You… to demonstrate how well the Fab Four incorporated this amazing stringed instrument into their band’s musical repertoire. Other Sixties recording artists were also experimenting with this East / West fusion, namely Canned Heat’s On The Road Again (featuring the tambura drone) and Pop Singer B.J. Thomas’ Hooked On A Feeling (featuring the electric sitar).

Aside from what you’ve just read above, don’t expect any further in depth musical analysis because I present the selections you hear, here, purely for the enjoyment of great music.

I do realize that tapping into our world’s vast musical spectrum can oft involve genres, which cannot possibly please all the people all the time. Even so… I’d encourage folks to be musically adventurous. That said… if these selections still are not your “cup of tea”… do click back again… you never can tell what you’ll be listening to next week.

Blog response will act as my Arbitron / Nielsen “radio ratings”… so… if you’ve enjoyed my “show”, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments are always welcome, too!

 

Anushka Shankar ~ Ragas (by Ravi Shankar)

Magic Sitar Hindi ~ Nothing But Spirit

Sitar Gaze (Reprise) Chillout Forever (Niladri Kumar)

Ashwin Batish ~ Bombay Boogie

 

 

10 Tough Questions With 0 Easy Answers

Considering how Nice, France has just been added to the ever-growing list of terrorist attack sites, worldwide, and factoring in how unless the world, itself, comes to an end, there’s absolutely no end in sight re future attacks, elsewhere… here are my…

10 Tough Questions With 0 Easy Answers

1. Are we, the sitting ducks, the potential future victims, starting to experience the early stages of terrorism fatigue?

2. Have we already grown weary of EXISTING in this post 9/11 world? (NOTE: I didn’t say LIVING)

3. Are terrorist attacks starting to lose their shock value?

4. Are we even capable of still experiencing the level of fear that the terrorists expect from us?

5. If we were to ever come face to face with terrorists, would our last words be, “Be sure to do a good job so we don’t survive”?

6. If we were to become fatally wounded victims would each of us find dying to be a liberating experience?

7. If the terrorist attack method would permit such a “luxury”, would our final inhalations result in our exhaled sighs of relief?

8. Would we die with “free at last” smiles on our faces?

9. Is death the one and only way of extricating ourselves from of our Godforsaken, terrorist infested, hellhole of a world?

10. Or… are we secretly beginning to wish our Maker would put an end to this piecemeal slaughter, grow a set and simply blow up the Sun… and then be done with us once and for all?

 

ADDENDUM: My apologies for my above cynicism are only exceeded by my heartfelt condolences to families and friends of the Nice, France fallen and my wishes for the fullest recovery possible for all who survived this attack.

 

The Founding Fathers Had Foreseen ‘16

America’s Founding Fathers (FFs) wrote the concepts of representative government and majority rules into the Constitution. Most of these guys had presumed that this majority would consist of predominantly decent, levelheaded voters, who could be entrusted with electing respectable, sane leaders.

However… there had been a few skeptics amongst them, who could foresee the worrisome possibility of a dumbed down, gullible electorate being totally inept at choosing their presidents wisely.

To allay the naysayers’ fears, the FFs established the  Electoral College, which permitted state legislators the option of choosing electors who, ultimately, could even render the final presidential popular vote tally null and void.

That would act as a buffer / guard against both political buffoons and wicked bastards, alike… indeed thwart the plot of some “charismatic” tyrant, who might, someday, manipulate public opinion to rise to power… and then usurp even more of it later. Of course, with words like “usurp”, that usually means absolute power, which… as most of us already know… corrupts absolutely.

Well, folks, it would appear that the framers of the U.S. Constitution were prescient re this presidential matter… all the way up to America’s present-day election cycle.

Indeed… that “someday” has arrived. We’re seeing some misguided Americans, who are using their brains too sparingly / too conservatively. In that state of mindlessness, they’ve become politically intoxicated / enamored by a manipulative, narcissistic tyrant, who’s lusting for the Oval Office.

By now, I’m certain there’s little doubt whom I’m talking about… but let’s let the Huffington Post tell who he is, anyway… describe what that manipulative, narcissistic tyrant stands for.

Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims…1.6 billion members of an entire religion… from entering the U.S.

Folks, our differences are exactly what Donald Trump exploits solely for political gain. He vilifies anyone who is not waspy enough for him. He first strips the basic accoutrements of humaneness from the souls of his gullible, sycophantic, ignorant disciples. Next he executes a fashion makeover… re-outfitting these automatons in the white sheeted, white hooded “dress for regress” outfits of discrimination and hatred.

All of this severely clashes with everything, which decent, tolerance minded people still believe in, namely…

We celebrate our differences. We fully accept that human civilization consists of two major genders and a multitude of sexual identities in between… totally welcome all regardless of the level of skin melanin content… warmly embrace the wealth of spiritual, cultural and linguistic diversity.

We understand that the only legitimate way to evaluate a human being is whether that person is good or bad.

We, of sound mind, can only hope that the GOP can and will come to its senses to dump Trump at their upcoming, July 18th National Convention and, instead, select an as yet to be named candidate… ideally, someone who’s the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln (if such a woman or man even exists amidst their rank ranks).

If not… the Electoral College could wind up being our one last chance in preventing a Trump presidency. And if they don’t dump Trump, either… well… I don’t think America could ever survive even one minute… let alone four years… of this manipulative, narcissistic tyrant.

And how odd, indeed, it does feel knowing I must now alert my more sensitive readers to the following video’s graphic language… all the profanity being publicly uttered by a national level politician, no less.

Nevertheless, I now present to you an extremely un-presidential presidential wannabe… a buffoonish, boorish, bigoted bastard…

WARNING: THE FOUL DONALD TRUMP AND HIS FOUL LANGUAGE!

 

Rapidly Rabidly Changing Times

Nearly one decade ago, I had put in a marathon, 16-hour shift at work… only becoming aware of my exhaustion after I had clocked out and was heading for the parking lot.

It being late December and well past nightfall, my car had accumulated quite a bit of snow and ice. While warming up the engine, I switched on my dashboard and exterior lighting (minus the headlights) and proceeded to clear the windows.

About fifteen minutes later, I was pulling out of my parking space and heading for home… erroneously believing all was well. You see, owing to the brightness of an endless array of urban streetlights… the type fully capable of turning night into day… I had neglected to engage my headlights.

As it turned out… someone parked, nearby, in a SUV was deeply concerned re this potentially hazardous situation… to the point of alternately flashing their vehicle’s high and low beam headlights several times… but I had failed to make the connection that this “lightshow” had all been directed, specifically, at me… had not even realized the signaler had been a police officer. After all, I had grown up in an era where the cops only patrolled in regular cars (a.k.a. cruisers).

Since I had failed to respond, the officer had one remaining viable option… to make a traffic stop. Undoubtedly, her goal was to issue a citation for (perhaps) burned out headlights and/or maybe even to (literally) sniff out an inattentive, DUIL driver.

Well, the cop soon realized that both car and driver were in fully working order. Ergo, upon presenting my driver’s license, registration and proof of no-fault auto insurance paperwork, she quickly returned to her vehicle.

About a minute later I felt my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. I realized I had made a blunder that could’ve even been grounds for getting my car towed and impounded. This traffic stop going down mere days after my (renewed every six months) auto insurance policy had expired… I had supplied the no longer valid form.

Fortunately, I did have the updated paperwork on me so I got out of my car and walked back to present it to the officer. Having never been a bad guy, it had never even occurred to me that she had no idea, at that point, what my actual intent had been. Hell, my totally innocent act could’ve gotten me shot.

It would not take too vivid an imagination to consider what could’ve happened to me had this event taken place in today’s world… in our society seething with anger and violence.

Folks, traffic stops, just like the one I had experienced, are going down today… perhaps even while I type this out… while you are reading these words.

Depending on how threatened the police officers are feeling, these situations can and oft do escalate to the point where… to protect both themselves and the rest of society… they’ll resort to using deadly force.

Then, once the 20-20 perfect hindsight kicks in to reveal they had never actually been in any danger, at all, the public opinion, rapidly, rabidly, escalates to public outrage.

The understandably upset people then take to the streets… some to demonstrate peaceably… others exploiting the situation due to their flat out insanity. The latter group then opens fire and cops and civilians, alike, get wounded and killed.

Understandably, the cops, now feeling even more threatened than ever before, can and do resort to even more drastic measures in the future. More people get shot and more outrage ensues… and… scenes like the one seen below… are becoming nearly everyday occurrences. [WARNING: PROFANE LANGUAGE]