Category Archives: Sounding off

Father’s Day…

My dad died so long ago I don’t remember much. I guess Fathers Day is the genesis of this post.

I don’t think about him much anymore. I wore a mustache in his honor for thirty years, hating it. One day I decided it had to go. It was a freeing moment. Maybe my first day of freedom since the day he died in 1965.

I stopped using drugs and booze around the time the mustache left. His was this cool, thin Boston Blackie mustache. Mine was a farce. It was big and bushy and itched all the time.

I’m twenty years older than he was when he died. If we met today I would be the elder and allegedly wiser from the years. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that, especially me being the wiser of the two. Yeah, I don’t see that.

Looking back at his ancient photos are looking back in time. Like a grainy black and white 4 by 4-inch portal – with a wavy white border. Not unlike viewing the world through a 12” black and white TV, with an array of vacuum tubes. Continue reading Father’s Day…

Boyhood Lost…

The truth is all of the front teeth are held together in an elaborate array of metal spikes and wires. A few in the back are missing too, and an odd assortment of rods and screws hold together flesh and bone.

Up by the bridge of the nose are two deep scars and the countless broken bones now ache and scream for rest.

I feel the need to apologize to the boy on the lake’s shore, pole in hand, coffee can full of worms. This was never the plan. The plan was to fly in space.

Somehow, between that day when they drained the lake and Dougie and me waded out in the waist-deep muck and caught the six-pound bass, and exhausted from the wars of being eight years old we laid down in the cattail reeds, and tried to figure out the sun; between that day and today, this life happened. Boyhood was lost.

Fastest Cyclist in the World

If you are a cyclist and you don’t know who this guy is, you should.

Some of his records stood for 40 years. Even the name “major” was an insult. A reference to the circus uniform he was forced to wear by his handlers.

Revered as a star athlete in Europe and reviled in America as a sideshow freak…

I often wondered if those genetically superior white boys, who couldn’t hang on his wheel felt superior to the lightning fast colored boy…

When he died he was first buried in a pauper’s grave. Thanks to Frank Schwinn and others he was moved to a place of honor, on the south side of Chicago.

There is a velodrome in Indianapolis, his hometown, built in his honor.

I’ve ridden a few times with the New Jersey Major Taylor team. I was the white guy at the back of the pack trying to hang on. They honor the man and his name and his natural talent.

Marshall Walter Taylor, the fastest cyclist in the world.

We gave it away to the grifters…

They all fall right? The Roman Empire fell, The British Empire fell. Why not this dodgy little empire.

I always figured it would in time. Maybe when my grandkids – kids were grown. The glue of the great American Experiment would have dried and cracked and the structure holding it up would collapse to the ground.

I didn’t think it would happen so soon.

75 years after the greatest generation kicked Hitler and Hideki Tojo’s ass

50 years after we went to the moon

Lawless and cowardly men are elected and appointed to protect and enforce the laws of this land.

Con men and grifters with no relationship whatsoever with the truth are given truly profound power and it’s used for personal gain.

A marginalized and increasingly angry population who calls themselves Christians support the most un-Christlike causes and turn a blind eye because these con men and grifters give them a voice. And these people swarm to the voting booth while the good and thoughtful liberals stay home and watch the results in disbelief.

There was a sense, a very real and palpable sense, not that long ago where the future held greatness. We were moving forward. The Great Society of the ‘60’s, set out to eliminate racial injustice. Christian Barnard replaced a human heart. Men walked on the moon and we looked toward Mars and beyond.

We were ablaze!

Somewhere, I lived through it, I sensed it, it was subtle, but I felt it, that greatness was lost. A facade was put up. Men, far from great, far from strong, far from morally sound rose up and took claim to the greatness and twisted it and prostituted it and ruined it.

They ruined it to the point where what was once beautiful shining diamond of civilization and awe-inspiring; a fountain of ever growing pride took on the airs and graces of cheap costume jewelry.

Don’t look too closely behind the curtain now. All you will see is the rubble and chaff. The crisp and clean and shining colors have turned an ugly gray. Damp and molded, perhaps from the flood used to put out the fire.

We lost it, or worse we gave it away.

We entrusted it to the grifters.

This is not a drill…

I fear, really fear, after the Sinclair revelations this week that this fight we are in is deeper and much more layered than I’d ever imagined.

This isn’t about some uneducated and exploited jerks in their MAGA baseball caps, this isn’t a handful of Russian hackers. This isn’t a fascist president and his, complicit family and friends. This is large-scale brainwashing. Mind control.

Like it or not we consume news. Whether you are a 24/7 cable news junkie or you say you don’t pay attention, you consume news.

Maybe all your news comes from your buddies over coffee or in a bar, but someone you are talking to is parroting “news.”

Trump said he loved simple uneducated people for a reason. It’s worse than that. If you are fed the same narrative 24/7 I don’t care who you are or how smart you are you’ll be impacted.

I remember a day recently where I spent a day in an office with Fox News blaring the entire time I was there. It was in every room. It was an indoctrination. I started out laughing, but after three hours it got in my head. I started pondering points the pseudo commentators presented. I left seeing how a mind even slightly open to this noise could be changed, controlled.

Imagine if the doctrine presented wasn’t from something as bombastic and laughable as Fox, but your trusted morning newscasters. Your local news. The people many of us have our coffee with each morning before we head out to work.

Imagine…

I hope the Democrats and moderates and indies get off their asses in November en masse. This is all hands on deck. This is not a drill. The only way to defeat this danger is large numbers of sane people voting for the future of this country. If we fail in November, I really feel all hope may actually be lost. Trump will win in 2020, Congress will be even more complicit. Bubba, down there in the double-wide; no health insurance, debt up past his nipples, will sit there watching Fox News, swearing and sweating waiting for ISIS at his front door.

The reason these smug assholes can be so smug and do their deeds in the light of day is they know full well what they have behind them. They know many of us, perhaps most of us are already owned.

Don’t misunderstand me. The left, the people “across the aisle,” in Congress are no better. We are currently inundated with Koch brothers and Roger Stone and Mercer line. If it wasn’t them it would be some other agenda.

CNN is selling its agenda too. They are as guilty and full of shit as Fox.

As with anything else, somewhere in the middle is the truth.

The terrifying point is we lost the “Fairness Doctrine” under Reagan. The world we see today, the America we see today, the perception of that world today is the result of that loss.

We don’t need Boris and Natasha. We have Hannity and Ingrahm and Maddow and Samatha Bee.

Say it again… Just follow the money. This is all about money. Money is power. Power is money. We no longer seek the truth.

#MAGA

#MAGA – Treason pisses Americans off. It should piss you off too. People, a lot of good people, fought and died for your right to support this fascist. Sadly, it appears they died in vain.

If you are ok with money laundering and corruption and Cambridge Analytica and emoluments and porn stars and pussy grabbing and endless lying and alternate facts and “fake news,” – everything that’s not on Fox News is “fake news” –

more collusion and blackmail and Russian tampering with our elections and the KKK and White Supremacy – then he’s your guy.

His own Secretary of State called him “a fucking moron.”

Obama was a politician, that’s what they do. I’m not excusing, it’s just a fact.

So was Bush II and Clinton and Bush 1 and Reagan and Carter and Ford and Nixon and LBJ and JFK and IKE and Truman and FDR and on and on.

This fascist pig is not in any way presidential. He is a threat to everything we have held dear for longer than I’ve been alive.

You have every right – no thanks to people like trump – to support anyone you like. I hope you also enjoy the shit storm headed our way if this pig and his entire regime stay in office.

I never understood the money…

I’ve never understood the money…

The vast amounts of money that things like Google or Facebook can generate. I remember talking to another IT guy, from West Point, in the late 90’s about Yahoo and Excite – years before Google.

He saw things from a more military perspective than I, more of a global reach to these things, but neither of us could understand how giving people free e-mail and free search services could make them any money.

Fast forward twenty years and you have Google and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and a dozen others.

Vast oceans of money from “free” stuff.

Then I hear a story like Cambridge Analytica and it starts to make sense.

My daughter was getting married in 2009 we were emailing back and forth about cake bakers and photographers near her. I noticed then ads popping up in Gmail and Google for wedding related stuff, gowns, limo services, cake bakers…

At the time I was mildly amused. Possibly a bit concerned about my privacy, but not overly concerned with either wedding cakes, tuxedos or my personal information. I was, after all using a free email service. I did not expect real privacy and security.

A couple of years ago I noticed that if I’d google certain bicycle parts or Mustang car parts that similar parts would show up on Facebook ads and google ads and even emails. Maybe I was a bit more concerned.

Ok, so Google and Facebook and Twitter are mass marketing machines. I had to decide if I could accept that. I long ago realized – I don’t know who first said this – don’t put anything on the internet that you’d not want to see on the zipper in Times Square – If you want to sell me Mustang high-flow fuel pumps while I’m bitching on Facebook that doesn’t bother me that much.

But…

Being a powerful and ubiquitous advertising mechanism still didn’t add to the billions and billions and billions…

It seemed to me that advertising generated more money than the goods sold. It didn’t add up.

Guys like Zuckerberg who were multi-billionaires long before their companies ever turned a profit. Google and Yahoo and Amazon as well.

Then yesterday, I learned about Cambridge Analitica and Facebook and political campaigns and Russians and it all suddenly made sense.

They cull our personal information from us and use it to create a twisted personal reality, profiting from our fears and insecurities and feeding us lies. We act on these lies and make some incredibly bad decisions. Decisions that work to our detriment.

It’s actually creepier and more terrifying than even George Orwell warned us about.

VOTE

If you think your vote doesn’t count. If you are too busy or too tired or just too damn lazy – remember #PA18.

We get the government we decide to accept. You don’t need to march or protest or write or scream – you need to vote.

Connor Lamb erased a TWENTY POINT trump lead in 2016. He did it one vote at a time.

If you want trump gone, the Russians out of our government, sanity back, these congressmen who are owned and operated by Big Pharma and the NRA gone – before we forever lose the chance – when your opportunity arises you need to go vote.

The system may be skewed against us, we may all be played, but we can beat these scumbags with numbers. #PA18 proves that.

Don’t call yourself a patriot and sit on your ass and complain. VOTE

Tan Suit

‪Forget all of the indecipherable layers of bullshit of the past 1 year and 45 days.

Forget all that…

If Obama had done ONE of these things, just one – one – The House would have had impeachment proceedings in a day.

Jesus, they raised Hell when he wore a tan suit. ‬

trump tells Russia top military secrets.

He refuses to issue sanctions when even he admits that nation tampered with our election process. A process often called “our most sacred right.”

He has porn stars with information held over his head.

He is reckless – at best – with the economy.

Thinks nuclear war is winnable.

He has, and is daily, systematically allowing the protections to citizens, and lands – irreplaceable national treasures – to be taken down.

trump is so owned by and scared of the NRA it is laughable, almost a caricature.

So owned by foreign investors, by big pharma, again, he’s a caricature standing up there wagging his mouth.

trump has already increased the national debt to the point it is equal to the GDP.

But Obama wore a tan suit and that outraged Fox News.

I need one of 45’s supporters – just one – to explain to me how one – just one – of the above mentioned articles is ok. Not even presidential, just ok…

I’m going to go way,way out on a limb here and suggest it has more to do with the skin color of the guy in the tan suit than anyone’s politics or policies..

When I watch the news…

I watch the unrelenting deluge of crisscrossed news articles – hourly it seems now. Some jerk is defiant and an hour later it’s suggested he may be drunk an hour later he says he’ll cooperate.

Russian sex coaches…

Sarah Huckabee looks exhausted and denies in a tone that tells me she just wants to go home.

“Dad, get me outta this – Warren Zevon, Lawyers Guns, and Money.”

Payments to porn stars and flagged bank accounts…

I think it’s the droning tone that I find the most annoying now.

No collusion…

Fake news…

I’ve been with guys as they waited to be arrested. I recognize the behavior.

I’ve seen guys put tape on leaking water pipes too. It may hold for a few minutes, but everyone knows you are wasting your time. It’s only a few minutes before it blows apart.