Politics: Don't Tread on Me

Gianforte clobbers reporter isn’t the story

If I don’t catch heat for this one, I don’t know why. And I’m not even trolling here. I’ve been thinking about this throughout the day, and I’m not easily led to the conclusions I’m supposed to accept. Eventually, maybe, with caveats, but not easily.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Gianforte clobbered a reporter from The Guardian. If you haven’t, it’s a thing. There’s the link. Knock yourself out. Thinking people everywhere know that it’s a bad thing. It shouldn’t even be a question.

On the other hand, Laura Ingraham, professional political goblin, apparently has an online trash site purporting to be “media” with the not even a little arrogant slogan “Life. Explained.” Said site, which I won’t even link to or name, runs a bullshit headline making something sound like wayyyyy more than it is, and manages to somehow create the impression of defending Gianforte. Continue reading

Twin Peaks: The Return and the Red Room: a collaborative reverse spoken word

David Lynch inspired a generation of genius TV. And a moment of unfettered silliness.

The Red Room

The Red Room

Yesterday blindsided me with a moment of sublime creative synchronicity. Twin Peaks fans … walk with me.

First my friend Anders Thyr, the talented Swedish artist, posted this to his Facebook feed:

Twin Peaks… Jäklar vad bra. Har kommit igenom halva andra avsnittet. Måste suga lite på karamellen. Och stanna till ibland bara för att mysa och rysa. Och ta en kopp kaffe. Åh, en riktigt god kopp kaffe 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

My Swedish is about as good as my Martian, so I clicked on the translate link to see what he was saying (generally – these translators will get you into the neighborhood, but it’s up to you to find the right house):

Twin Peaks… dang what good. Have gotten through half of the second section. Must suck a little delayed gratification. And stay to sometimes just to cuddle and creeps. And have a cup of coffee. Oh, a really good cup of coffee 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

Continue reading

Music and Popular Culture

Chris Cornell dead: the ghosts of Grunge welcome another genius into the fellowship

Nothing speaks to Grunge’s legacy of hopelessness more than the growing body count.

Chris Cornell: 1964-2017

I heard the news today, oh boy: Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is dead at 52. According to the BBC it’s being investigated as a suicide.

I won’t bother trying to explain his legacy beyond stating the obvious: Cornell was a brilliant talent whose creative vision was central to defining the sound of a generation.

What I will do, though, is offer a lament for the doomed soul of Grunge.

I admit, up front, that I was never a huge fan of the genre. Continue reading

Donald’s long history of doing things just because he can

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should do that thing.

Trump meets Comey at an Oval Office reception (Image Credit: Andrew Harrer / POOL / EPA)

In case you missed it, the Washington Post broke a story about Donald revealing classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. In response, Donald tweeted that he has the “absolute right” to share classified information with anyone he likes.

Donald is right. The President is the ultimate authority when it comes to deciding what to share or not. If the President wants to burn an intelligence source (resulting in the imprisonment or death of that source), the President has the authority to do so. If the President wants to publish detailed notes describing exactly how an intelligence agency does gathers their intelligence, the President can do so. There are only two checks on the President’s ability to do this. The first is the President’s advisors convincing the President not to share sensitive information. The second is the Congress’ Constitutional authority to impeach, find the President guilty of treason or other crimes, and remove him from office.

Ultimately, though, this is an issue of what a President can do, vs. what a President should do. And that’s the problem with Donald – so far as I can tell, he’s never bothered asking himself whether he should do something. If Donald could, Donald did. Continue reading

John Oliver’s beatdown of DaVita reminds us: Richard Nixon was an American liberal icon

Noam Chomsky, of all people, has called Tricky Dick “America’s last liberal president.” Sadly, he couldn’t have been more right.

Way back in 2008 I said this:

If he were a candidate in the 2008 presidential election, Richard M. Nixon would be more progressive than either the Republican or Democratic nominees.

What a ludicrous thing to say, right? I mean, Nixon was as twisted and corrupt as any president in US history. Hunter Thompson said “Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.” He got caught with said pants down in l’affaire Watergate and had to resign. He’s the reason anything remotely scandalous has to have a name ending in “-gate.”

Worst. President. Ever. A fixer of the first order. All of which attached, by association, to the Republican Party, making his name synonymous with the rank evil of the American conservative polity.

That he was congenitally shady is unarguable, but the conservative part probably isn’t fair at all. Continue reading

The End…is all about the love….

St. Paul and Sir Paul were trying to tell me pretty much the same thing as I said goodbye to someone I loved very much and will miss for the rest of my life.

“And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make…” – Paul McCartney

And in the end… (image courtesy Wikimedia)

My favorite uncle died a few days ago.

Rational, objective description sometimes is inadequate to explain people. Any such description of my Uncle Carl would use terms such as hard-working, plain-spoken, no-nonsense, tough-minded, straight-ahead.

Such a guy would not seem to be one who would inspire an outpouring of love and affection from large numbers of people. But Uncle Carl did. His visitation was packed and went on well past its scheduled two hour period. His funeral, a rite held in the Friends (Quaker) church he attended (his decision to join the Friends late in his life probably also seems anomalous given the above description) was a love fest of expressions of love and affection for a hard-working, plain-speaking, no-nonsense guy. Continue reading