The looney birds have come home

This is fun.

So Roger Ailes has ginned up the rabble for many years now.   Anti-intellectualism runs rampant in the Republican party, on his TV network (FOX News) and among the followers of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter (among others).  They’ve never had to pay for all of their outrageous claims and constant blaming of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and President Obama.

But with the rise of Donald Trump, the chickens have come home to roost and the Republican dimwit brigade has begun to eat its own.

Trump hesitated to commit to the next FOX news debate because he was wary of Megyn Kelly, who, in their last go round acted like a journalist and challenged him personally on some of his personal insults toward women.

Today, after Mr Trump suggested that he might not join the upcoming debate, on FOX, because he had been “treated unfairly”, a taunt came out on Twitter, ascribed to Roger Ailes, and reported on CNN.

“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

And now Mr Trump says he will hold his own event somewhere else,  at the time of the FOX debate this Thursday, and give the money to Wounded Warrior Project.

Reportedly the last “debate” was mostly a name calling session among the Republican candidates.  The moderates, so called, in the party cannot break through because of the effect of all the sensationalism and name calling from Donald Trump.

The National Review came out with a cover “AGAINST TRUMP”.   But they were fine with the “know nuthin'” (sic) people when they were using them to sell advertising and books about the evils of liberalism.

Now they “the real Americans” (sic) have turned on their creators and they’ve started eating their own.  Trump and his minions oppose FOX News.

It will be fun to watch this, unless their machinations of poll closings and voter restrictions along with the ginned up passions of the right wing reactionary oppressed and offended turn out in huge numbers, and in so doing select a lunatic president to sit atop our already lunatic Congress and Supreme Court.

Then the fun stops.

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One more fan’s notes on Bowie

As for the loss of David Bowie, I wish I could say I was hip to how cool he was when my friends already knew it, but I wasn’t.
I remember browsing through the albums in our local record store and finding the Ziggy Stardust and wondering which gender he was and why she was attached to a dog body.  It took a long while to understand that Ziggy and David were the same and that his/her gender was supposed to be in doubt.
I remember being 13 and listening to my transistor radio in my bed in the dark and hearing Space Oddity for the first time and being a little weirded out and excited at the same time.  I knew that this song was different from all the other songs on WENE 1430.  But I still kinda think that Rebel Rebel was probably his best.
Today I remember an opportunity to go see Bowie.  As I remember it my friends walked into Canada to see Bowie from someplace near the border.  I didn’t go.  (I can’t recall why we were near the Canadian border).  I think maybe we had three tickets and there were four of us.  And it was a long walk.
They said it was a great concert. I think I knew at the time I would wish I had gone at some point in the future.  Now is that time and I wish I had that memory.
But I didn’t go.
Still I became a fan.   And I still think Rebel Rebel is his best song, and I know, there’s no reason to pick a best song.
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Interesting post from ESPN for Yankee fans

Poking through the ESPN web site I found this about the NY Yankees.  I’m not going to comment at length, but I have to say that I was glad to see Roy White in the list and while I wouldn’t have thought Munson and Mattingly would be as far back as 12 and 11, I wouldn’t have included Alex at all.  He doesn’t seem like a Yankee to me, and he gave the fans and the club grief … well you know the drill.

Overall I liked it.  All of my favorite’s from the 1970’s and my Dad’s favorites from the 40’s and the fifties were there.

I know.  I’d add Chris Chambliss and take out Alex.  Chambliss did us proud!

ESPN’s 50 Greatest Yankees

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A young friend of mine was telling me about the section in Spotify where Paul Simon is talking about the making of the song Graceland.  What interested me (besides the literal story) was the layers of it.  Textures and styles built up and contributed by people of different skills and musical histories.

I’m fascinated.  I think he’s a genius, but if not he’s at least a master of music. I think sometimes the uninitiated can “get” an artist in a real way, even though they don’t know why.  I always admired Paul Simon.  No more than on Graceland which I consider a masterpiece, though I can’t defend it.

The song, Graceland, lyrically I always looked at it as a double entendre. Literally going to Elvis’ home, but I saw Africa as all of our home, and therefore the place from where we get our grace. Great art allows different people to see different things. And since Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. when my first grade nun made us put our heads down on the desks (nap time) while she played that album, I’ve thought Paul Simon was great.


Now listening to him explain, Graceland, how he put that song together, I’m only further convinced.

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Crazy People, Religion, and guns

Its hard for a sane man, and indeed I don’t often call myself a sane man, nevertheless, I’m wondering about these people who murder in the name of religion.

They had a skit on SNL tonight – something like “Should I weigh in on this”.   It makes one think.  Still I feel the need to note that a little over a week ago a small band of Muslim religious fanatics hit 6 locations in Paris murdering hundreds of people almost exclusively by automatic weapons.  Cold.  Personal.  Random.  Murder.

They were inspired by their religion.  Many others of their religion say “This is not us”.  “Our religion is peace.”

The religion I was raised in calls itself a religion of peace.  They went to these middle east countries and murdered muslims in the name of peace.  Hundreds of years ago.  But people don’t forget the insult.

The muslims call the “west” Crusaders.  Its something they say with great disdain.   Still, recently we (the west.  the British and the Americans) exploited their “backwardness” for our oil that they had under their sand.

I don’t know how many cold blooded murders in the name of Allah the god of peace it takes to change it from a religion of peace to one of war.

Bill Maher says Muslims are having their age of religious wars right now.  The one group is making people recite dogma correctly or murdering them.

Their killings are intentional.  Brutal.  Personal and random as well as directed.

My country has been dropping bombs since the last attack on America.  From the sky. Kkilling from a distance.  By remote control, and accepting random innocent deaths in the deal.

The arms dealers are profiting like mad.

Like madness.

Sunni Muslims took over planes 14 years ago from our ally in Saudi Arabia and attacked us.

Apparently they have schools over there where they teach  children how to murder.  Apparently rape, is a tool of war.

I used to debate cultural relativism with an old college roommate.  I used to say murder is always wrong.  I used to say female genital mutilation is wrong.  Now I’m not sure if there is a space between self defense, war, and murder, categorically.  Always.  I can see nothing but fear, subjugation, and cruelty in female genital mutilation.

I used to say some wars can be righteous.

I wonder if death from the sky for 14 years would have fit under the rubric of justice for me then.

I know these murderers in Paris were Muslim.  Were directed by leaders of a faction calling itself the true Islam.  They were evil.  Is Islam evil?

I know drone death from the sky in the middle east comes from America.  Are we evil?

I know its too simple to say they hate our freedom.  And I think I know the Saudis are supporting these mass murderers and getting military aide from the U.S.  Which seems to say we are paying them to kill us and protecting our enemies.  They are our friends?  I believe they are playing both sides against the middle.

I know our “enemies” the Shiite Iranians are helping us fight Daesh (also called ISIS, ISIL and the evil ones).

I don’t believe in Good and Evil.  However I do believe in right and wrong.

And I believe that many many people in Iran like the US, are educated and middle class and want rapprochement with the US.  As do the Syrian refugees, who are fleeing Daesh by the millions from Syria.  And these people overran our embassy 35 years ago and kidnapped and tortured our people for 444 days.   Of course we were sheltering their brutal dictator that we put into power.   They are also fighting against our enemies alongside our enemies (the Russians).

And Republican American politicians are saying keep the Syrian refugees out.   But then they say keep everyone out who doesn’t have a computer science degree.  These people from our right call Muslims evil.  My hero Bill Maher, a leftie calls Islam evil.  The religion itself.  The teachings.  Most Muslims in the world live in peace, yet a small percent applaud the evil of terrorism.

What I don’t know is if we are evil too.

I think war itself is changing.  I don’t like Islam, but huge majorities of Muslims are peaceful.  Some Americans claim to be followers of the King of Peace, and they want war.

I’m not sure about much.  However I know those 130 people murdered in Paris last week were innocent.

This I like:  Liberté, égalité, fraternité


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Music in the 1970s

Years ago I saw a commercial for the 70’s Restoration Society and I laughed.  I thought it was the middle of an SNL type show and this was a skit.   People loved the 70’s music it seemed.

Well I grew up in the 1970’s and here’s what I have to say about 1970’s Rock and Roll.

Crosby Stills and Nash

The Eagles

Fleetwood Mac


Now I consider the 1960’s to have ended about 1972.  Its also my time, for me, ya know.  And its the best music, of ever.

I may add to this list, right now I don’t feel the need to, and in any event it will never contain the names Neil Sadaka, or The Captain and Tennille.

Ok, well, Warren Zevon, and Steely Dan (really more jazz fusion).

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Dana Carvey is Huge

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David Brooks’ comment expresses what I’ve been feeling

Speaking about what they themselves call the “Freedom Caucus” but what others have termed the “Hell No!” caucus, David Brooks, self described Conservative, had this to say:

These insurgents can’t even acknowledge democracy’s legitimacy — if you can’t persuade a majority of your colleagues, maybe you should accept their position. You might be wrong! – David Brooks

Here’s the whole article

In his underrated and fundamental non-fiction Eat The Rich, Conservative commentator PJ O’Rourke argues that the thing that keeps us from destroying ourselves is a fundamental faith in institutions. Buy Eat The Rich .   PJ suggests that once we can’t rely on our institutions we have anarchy.

I believe David Brooks is saying that these so-called Conservatives aren’t conservative, aren’t revolutionary, but rather nihilistic.

They act like temperamental children who want to take their ball and go home.

They aren’t governing.

They should behave like grown ups, or be sent home to make room for grown ups.

Unfortunately it is difficult to dislodge them since they have already corrupted the institution of the House Of Representatives by gerrymandering districts so radically that they have ensconced themselves in office.  They need only to listen to the most intransigent, irrational members of their constituencies to retain their position within the institution.

They are like termites.  They have burrowed so deeply into the wood, they may destroy their own house.

I hope David Brooks has sent at least a working number of these children into quiet thoughtful reflection.

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Thanks Teddy

Today is national Poetry Day in national Haiku Month – here goes

Catskills, Adirondacks

red, orange,  blue Finger Lakes

don’t tell anyone


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Bye Yogi

Today they announced culmination of an extraordinary life.  I can’t add any laudits not already heaped upon Yogi Berra.   I can’t dig up a new Yogi-ism most people haven’t already heard, though, if you haven’t, yourself, dug up all of Yogi’s great sayings, do that.

So I’ll hereby salute a great life humbly lived.

Bye Yogi

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