Archive for April, 2017

Too Much Unfunky Business

April 25th, 2017

I feel like I should write something here.

 

There’s a lot going on. Technology Vs. Horse is playing its final show on Saturday. Kentucky Prophet will be playing Lebowski Fest in July. Everything that was old is new again.

 

And yet there is so much more new to talk about. So much that I haven’t had time to think or talk. I have put a lot more than I have ever gotten back from life. But that is the story of me ever since I can remember.

 

Forget that for now. Here is a pickup line I would like to use in the future: “I would really like to eat sandwiches with you in the near-future.” What do you think?

 

My granny has been living with me for nearly five weeks. We are both annoyed with this arrangement.

Technology Vs. Horse Farewell Show

April 17th, 2017

Greetings, sports fans.

 

My band, Technology Vs. Horse, formed in 2004. In that time, we played many shows. We released six of our own albums (and you can still get them). We tried our best. And on April 29th, we’re playing our final show.

 

There’s a lot to say, right? You may wonder why we are breaking up. The five of us are still friends, so that’s not it. We’re all bogged down by middle-age concerns like families, careers, and responsibilities. That makes it hard for us to get together on a regular basis. The band actually broke up last summer but we didn’t say anything.

 

 

We started practicing for the April 29th show a few weeks ago and that was the first time we’d all been in the room together since last June. The people at Revolution 91.7 who are putting together Mayhem 2017 have played our songs on their station for years and asked us to be on this upcoming show. We felt it would be a great way to say goodbye, seeing as how we’d played numerous Revolution events over the years. A nice free show on a late Saturday afternoon in the park on Center Street in Bowling Green.

 

 

Is This The End Of The World?

April 14th, 2017

If you have been paying any attention to the situation between the United States and North Korea, you would know that tension is high, and leaders from both countries seem too eager to START with a nuclear bomb.

 

I am going to note some of my thoughts and feelings at this strange time in the world. I don’t even feel like I’m writing for anyone in 2017. If the nukes get dropped and a lot of us die, I want to talk about what I was dealing with at the point it happened. I’m writing this for some survivor years from now, or the next generation or later.

 

I am a thirty-nine year-old man from Kentucky. I have things I want to do before I die. I have goals and dreams and aspirations. I live in a small apartment. Right now, my grandmother is staying with me until she gets approved for her new apartment. She hopes to get into a building complex for elderly people. It may take up to two more weeks, she has been with me for three weeks already. Although she doesn’t mean to, sometimes she gets on my nerves. She means well and she worries a lot. We don’t worry about the same things.

 

I wish I could be with a girl I care very much for but she has a boyfriend. Maybe its for the best, especially for her. Maybe my life is a labyrinth that people should be warned against nearing. Even killer whales mate, don’t they?

 

I hated the circumstances that led us to this moment in time. It seems so preventable now that I type about it. Somebody should have done something to stop all this from happening. Eventually, all of us end up in the meat grinder of the industrial complex. Some people don’t know and some don’t mind so much. Some people do know and mind very much and they fight back.

 

I truly hope that Trump is taken out of power before he gets us into a nuclear war. He has been in office less than 100 days. He doesn’t know how to de-escalate a problem. No one in North Korea is going to put a check on their dictator. It’s up to us in the US. Two idiots at a standstill willing to blow up the world over a pissing contest. It would be funny if it weren’t so depressing and plausible.

 

I don’t want to write anymore today. It hurts to think about this too long.

Where Are You, Brett Guthrie?

April 12th, 2017

Kentucky’s second district is represented by Brett Guthrie, a Republican who has served since 2009. He is regarded as a “rank-and-file Republican” by Ballotpedia.com based on his voting record. Guthrie is my congressman.

 

James Comer, a Republican representing Kentucky’s first district, is the congressman in what used to be my district. He will be having a town hall meeting tomorrow afternoon in Hartford, Kentucky. That’s in Ohio County, which used to be my home county until I moved to Whitesville last fall. I appreciate that Rep. Comer is having town hall meetings throughout the first district during the April recess.

 

Of course, I can’t help but wonder when Rep. Guthrie will start having some of his own. I’ve called his office and been referred to his website’s events page, which still has last summer’s meetings listed and nothing for 2017. Perhaps he will hold some meetings during a recess this summer. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

But I am also aware of last night’s Kansas congressional runoff. In November, Mike Pompeo won re-election for his Kansas seat by thirty-one percent. When Trump took over in January, he appointed Pompeo to be the CIA director, which opened up the Kansas seat for a runoff. Which was won by. . . another Republican. Kansas state treasurer Ron Estes. Alas, Estes only defeated his Democratic opponent James Thompson by about six percentage points. James Thompson is a civil rights attorney with no political experience, while Estes had endorsements, appearances and robocalls from Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Trump himself. And yet Estes only won by six points. Trump won that district in November by twenty-seven points.

 

In relative terms to conservative Kansan politics, that race was a squeaker. Imagine a twenty-four point swing within seven months. This should embolden the Democrats, who have more special elections in 2017 to pick up momentum before running a full-court press to take back the house in 2018.

 

Can Rep. Guthrie afford to lose twenty-four percentage points in a political campaign? If he’s biding his time until the summer to have town halls, then fair play to him. But if he’s hiding then it is a cowardly strategy. Make no headlines, make no public appearances. Don’t give the rabble a chance to yell at you. It’s sneakier than Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who blew off four town halls to go to Disneyland.

 

It would be smart for him to let his constituents know if and when he’s going to meet with the public, or at least if he plans on doing so and approximately when in the future he aims to do so. Thus far, his appearances have been limited and on his terms.

 

Guthrie will have some things to answer for: voting along party lines to allow ISP to sell consumer info, voting to deregulate coal emission legislation, and voting against opening up access to Trump’s tax returns among other things. Not to mention that word that will haunt all the Republicans. . . Obamacare.

Default Position

April 10th, 2017

I didn’t realize fascism was the default fallback position for so many. That was very naive on my part. Trump bombs a Syrian airstrip and the media which has been so quick to criticize him and investigate his potential ties to the Russian government practically lather themselves into a collective orgasm over it. He gained a few points in an approval poll, now sitting at 40% and all he had to do was drop $100 million worth of bombs.

 

Did you know it would cost a little over $50 million to fix the water situation in Flint, Michigan? Did you know that the Syrians used that airstrip the day after the bombing? Did you know that the Russians (who are Syrian allies) were warned in advance about the bombing? Would you believe that the Russians in turn tipped off the Syrians?

 

The mainstream media went out of its way to fellate Trump for his impulsive, ineffective and potentially illegal bombing. Trump finally became President (again), we were told.

 

The main takeaway of fascism is to pray that you won’t be singled out by authority. Pray you won’t be singled out by police looking to work out on someone. Pray you won’t be asked to de-board an oversold plane and forced off by armed security. It’s the armed security state, and the security is not for you. They do not serve and protect us. There is an establishment committed to maintaining its hold on everybody. Fear is a man’s best friend (c) J. Cale

 

Even if you #resist, fear can lurk inside you. We value our own safety and security over justice, which makes sense in a certain twisted way. There is no fun in being a martyr, especially when you’re still alive and wondering why if people knew what was happening to you. . . why didn’t they stop and help you?

 

You are now living in a world that is a paradise for the wealthy and incredibly difficult for everybody else. But now you are aware of it. The question is: when do you snap?

Analysis Caps On: Bombing Syria

April 7th, 2017

Yesterday morning, I ranked the five known Presidents. Donald Trump, or “Dolt 45”, as at least one Twitter wag named him, came in third behind Presidents Kushner and Pence.

 

Last night, the third-ranked Dolt 45 sent a flurry of nearly 60 tomahawk missiles to be dropped on a Syrian airstrip.

 

We need some context here.

 

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad authorized sarin gas attacks on some of his own people. Over 70 people were killed. After the bombing commenced, Trump gave a brief statement from the ad-hoc press room at his estate in Florida. He read from a teleprompter and occasionally ad-libbed. MSNBC’s Brian Williams couldn’t contain his excitement as he looked at file footage of Tomahawk missiles. He even quoted a Leonard Cohen lyric.

 

We need even more context here.

 

Last week, depending on which poll you look at, Trump’s approval rating sat anywhere from 35 to 40 percent. That’s historically low for someone in the first 100 days of a new administration. Earlier in the day, Senate Republicans (and a few Democrats) voted to change the rules on approving a Supreme Court Justice from sixty votes to a mere majority of fifty-one. The Republicans eliminated the filibuster and employed the nuclear option in order to ensure the induction of Neil Gorsuch into the Supreme Court. . . a vacancy that had been unfulfilled since the death of Antonin Scalia nearly fourteen months ago during the Obama administration. Even as many of them said it would be a dark day for the Senate, Republicans like John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Rand Paul voted in favor of changing the rules permanently. They could have dumped Gorsuch and made a deal on a more mainstream candidate, perhaps, but. . . rules are rules unless they need to be changed, especially in Mitch McConnell’s eyes.

 

Both the Senate and House Ethics Committees are looking into potential ties between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russian government, going back several years. Many of the claims made in the infamous Buzzfeed “Pissgate” dossier have turned out to be verified (not the actual piss-related claims, though), which seemed impossible at the time. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, offered to testify in exchange for immunity and was rejected.  Steve Bannon, Trump chief strategist, was removed from the National Security Council. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, had to recuse himself from the Russian investigation after he perjured himself during testimony before a Senate subcommittee.

 

We now know that Trump did not solicit Congressional approval for the bombing and has received mixed reviews for his actions from both sides of the aisle. Rand Paul, who spent the previous weekend golfing with him, criticized him for not bringing this to Congress to deliberate.

 

In 2013, Obama wanted to attack Syria and asked for Congress approval. He did not get it. Trump attacked Syria without seeking approval first. This may have been a violation of the Constitution.

 

Will this mean anything? Doubtful. al-Assad will likely continue slaughtering his own people, never mind the many warring factions in Syria trying to upend and oust him. The middle east is a delicate situation and our actions don’t seem to help much. If we act tentatively, we accomplish nothing. If we go all-in like 2003 Iraq, we make things actively worse. Trump, for his part, never thought Obama should go into Syria. So much so that he tweeted about it at least a dozen times.

 

Obama, for all his mistakes, tried to be careful. Trump is the kind of guy who treats everything like a nail and he’s got the hammer for it. If a Muslim came to him with a case of dandruff, Trump would cure it by having him guillotined. Subtlety and modesty is not his forte.

 

Last night, the TV news media said Trump finally became Presidential. I’ve heard that one before. It was the night he gave the speech in front of a joint session of Congress. Within a day, the Russia deal inflammed and grew worse and any goodwill Trump gained in his reserved Congress speech evaporated. This Syrian action may likely result in a short-term gain for him and his approval rating.

 

And all he had to do was drop some bombs?

 

The non-Trumpers (like me) will never like him and never approve of him and his illegitimate actions. That leaves the diehards and the indifferent and he was steadfastly losing them. Maybe he’ll get them back for a few weeks but not for long. I still don’t think he will be President by the end of the year. There are at least three ongoing investigations on this adminstration. We are looking at a potential Summer of Impeachment.

 

It’s gonna be a hot one.

 

 

Another Frustrating Democracy Non-Interaction

April 6th, 2017

If you are a keen reader, and you are probably not, you’ll remember some time ago I tried to participate in a MoveOn meeting with a representative of Senator Rand Paul at his Owensboro office. That went absolutely nowhere as the representative was not there, and neither was anyone from MoveOn dot com. To this day, I gnash my teeth at the thought of MoveOn and silently scream at the thought of Rand Paul.
Today, my state representative Matt Castlen was scheduled to appear at the Fordsville community room. I saw it on the sign in front while driving by on the way to Bowling Green. Thursday the 6th, 6:30 pm. I got it, I’ll be there.

I get there, there’s some people gathering. So I think I’ve got it. I really want to talk to Rep. Castlen. I mostly want to talk to him to make sure he doesn’t enable Gov. Bevin’s crazy agenda. In fairness, he voted against right-to-work but for the most part he has voted along with his Republican cohorts in the State House. I wanted to talk to him, hear him out.

 

Everybody there looked at me wondering who I was and what I was doing there. I explained what I was there for. They looked at me again very confused. I looked at them confused.

They had reserved the room for a Lions Club meeting.

 

One of them mentions that someone earlier had been by wondering the same thing I asked about. Another guy came in as well after me looking to meet with Rep. Castlen. He saw the same sign that I saw. It wasn’t up today. I don’t know what’s going on. 6:30 pm came and I felt foolish and went right back home.

 

One of these days I am going to meet somebody who has a role in our government and I will scream like a teenage girl seeing the Beatles from fifty yards away in 1964.

Ranking The Various Presidents

April 6th, 2017

Current Presidents Power Ranking

 

  1. President Kushner: Son-in-law of official POTUS. No government experience. Married to and presumably banging Ivanka, making Donald Trump incredibly jealous. Has been giving an incredibly overwhelming amount of responsibility for a rich kid who is shitty at real estate. Sometimes he just leaves and goes to Aspen. Aspiring plutocrat. GRADE: F
  2. President Pence: Vice President of the United States. Some government experience, but terrible at it. Extremist against women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ protections. Probably handles day-to-day White House stuff, attends briefings that POTUS should actually be attending. GRADE: F
  3. Trump. Actual President of the United States (still pending multiple investigations). Fails upward. No experience of any sort. Bitterly jealous of President Kushner. Wouldn’t be able to put on his pants each day without assistance from at least three helpers. GRADE: Incomplete
  4. President McConnell. Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky. Thinks he has some sort of power behind the throne. Married to the Secretary of Transportation. Currently transforming Republican Party into the Whigs. Resembles a cartoon turtle. GRADE: X
  5. President Bannon. Chief Strategist to POTUS. Former magazine editor. Terribly incompetent. Miserable drunk. Total bigot. Disruptive. Probably shits his pants twice a month. GRADE: (exploding bomb emoji)

 

 

The Creep Inside

April 3rd, 2017

There’s a little Bill O’Reilly inside me. There’s a little Donald Trump inside me. There’s a little loathsome creep inside me who wants to glom onto women I’m attracted to.

 

Fox News has paid $13 million to women who have filed sexual harassment and assault lawsuits against O’Reilly. These were employees of Fox News at some point, working on O’Reilly’s show. Subjected to no small amount of repeated harassment by their boss, the star of a successful network, the scummy jewel of basic cable.

 

Women are subject to sexual harassment regularly. It takes some pretty egregious harassment and repeated amounts of it for women to come out and file against a media figure as powerful as O’Reilly. It takes a lot of courage to do it, knowing the potential to be maligned by O’Reilly, Fox News, and any other media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch (now including the Wall Street Journal).

 

Rupert Murdoch must really value Bill O’Reilly to pay five women $13 million over the last fifteen years. That’s five different lawsuits. What’s that quote from Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger: “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”

 

How would we extrapolate that quote to Bill O’Reilly? “Once it might have been a misunderstanding. Twice he really should have learned by now. Three times he’s just being flagrant about it. Four times he’s not even trying. Five times he’s being emboldened by his employers.” Which he is and was, especially when Roger Ailes was still in charge of Fox News.

 

There’s a small piece of me that wants to be like that, and it’s not a part of me that I admire. What is this insatiable creep want? Do I really want to be able to catcall women and harass them and just tell them about how I could bring them to orgasm if only they would let me? Is that what I really want? Do I really want the power to crush the spirit of a young woman who wouldn’t engage in a Costa Rican threesome with me and her best friend in the shower while I soap them down with a loofah or falafel? Do I want to masturbate on the phone and talk about sex with someone who is totally uncomfortable about it?

 

No no no. Stop it. No you keep that in check. Because you’re a person. And so are the women you’d like to objectify. And debase. And stub out your precum-covered cock on their hopes and dreams like a dying cigar.

 

I hate the little maniac inside me. The little tyrant. The little authoritarian. The hateful opportunist who seeks power in order to flex and exploit. If I ruled the world, I would be a madman. I would be a slightly nicer Kim Jong-un and it is that piece of me that I see in the Donald Trumps and Bill O’Reillys of the world. They’ve gotten away with everything they did wrong and ooze privilege. We hate the things in others we recognize in ourselves.

 

That’s not all they ooze.