Thursday, December 24, 2020

CRUM's Official 2020 Seasonal Salutation

I have never been a big fan of the Christmas season.  As a child, I learned to dread it's coming.  My father, who struggled with depression and alcoholism, ramped up his pain at this time of the year.  I inherited his tendency for both the demon rum and the depression. I tried to break the chain, but was only able to rein in the alcoholic overloading. Depression is part of me year round, but worse in December.

So here we are in a year tailor made for me to wallow in more depression than ever before in my life. Covid sucks, Trump sucks, and I discovered that what I suspected is actually true.  The planet has been allowed to be run by self serving jerkwads proving that the average slob, peon, serf, or drooling minion is getting what they deserve.  So yeah, I should be in depression heaven here.

Oddly, I feel more upbeat than Christmases from my recent past.  For all the lousy and hateful things we have done to ourselves this past year, there has been a tidal wave of care sharing, as average folks coast to coast rose up to meet the various challenges of 2020.  Against many odds and nattering idiots, millions of good people put nose to grindstone and carried our load. 

Their existence has re-confirmed my faith in Humanity and I see lights at the ends of our tunnels.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020


For years I have had various ideas, observations and considerations float in and around the smoldering wreckage in my mind. Most often I don't really notice them other than a quick acknowledgement and then let them die in the swamp out back. But have enough "what if's", "what about's", and "only if's" pass by, eventually I was bound to stop everything and go, "Yeah, What about that?"

In the last four years, the notion of Fear and its pervasive, insidious grip on our national psyche has consistently been up front and in my face. America and yes, even a large charge of the World's population live every day in fear of something catastrophic ruining their day, their lives, their existence. Irrational fear that often cripples them and makes them prone to grasping any slim chance to escape the unknown and non-existent tragedy coming at them at warp speed. That makes for fertile ground where liars, scammers, and purveyors of Righteous Indignation ply their evil trades. Humans love to be afraid.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was right when he said "All we have to fear is fear itself." Yet we have conveniently forgotten this basic truth. Meeting a challenge head on is certainly better than meeting one with doubts swirling around and poisoning our resolve.

I am not immune to fear. I have my favorites I pull up on occasion to fill that void when despair seems lacking. And while I wallow in my fears, I know it is a useless and destructive endeavor that is bound to not bring me closure, satisfaction or even gratification of any kind. Simply put, fear is a colossal waste of my time, as it is for most folks unless they are chained to wall with a greasy one eyed prison guard approaching them as he rubs his hands and declares, "We gonna have some fun tonight."

After reading my above scrawling on fear, my quiver of fear is again empty for the moment. I sit here a rational and clear headed man who knows that beating fear is more than half the battle. Yet part of me is already jonesing for more fear to replace that fear I just purged. I feel like an MC Escher painting looks. I keep climbing those steps and never leave the basement.

Keep it tween the 'ditches .......................................

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Democracy is Cracking Apart

I have had it with lies from the Right, especially the lies from election fraud idiots, Covid deniers, Evangelical wackos and their brain dead idol, D. Trump. We will be years getting over the damage Trump and the spineless leadership of the Right has done to our country.

Hoping that a new year with Joe Biden leading an often clueless and fractured Liberal Cavalry will somehow fix it is using an overly optimistic dose of wishful thinking. The light at the end of the tunnel is but a fading glimmer.  Like the McCarthyism of the 1950's, the Trumpism of the 2020's will most likely have to burn itself out over time.  How much time is anyone's guess.

A sizable chunk of our dumb ass population has allowed itself to be sucked in by baseless conspiracy theories and lies fomented by morally corrupt mouthpieces operating with the support by authoritarian leaning One Percenter's.  These insensitive money grubbing mercenaries have no ethics and care little what form of government we have as long as their coffers and interests are in front of everyone else's. But they do seem to find the Representative Democracy we supposedly exist in now particularly problematic and loathsome as it actually relies on the very people they want to exploit. To them its like herding cats.  Doable, but it would be so much easier if we all were brain dead drones. Sadly, because the Right has lost its mind, their goal seems to be in site.

In short, the USA appears to be headed for Banana Republic status and I do not see any way out of it unless the Right blows itself up.

Later .........................................

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Big Hole in My Life

So there is a big hole in my life now.  A hole that I oddly seem to miss.  As much as I pissed and moaned, I had become used to and if truth be told, looked forward to it every day.  A day without Trump tweeting, waving his tiny hands and moving his ass like lips somehow now felt empty after 4 years of his daily dosage. The new normal that Trump introduced in 2016 had become customary, SSDD ordinary, not unique and different.  How sad is that?

I am actually very happy, some would say, ecstatic that our sad excuse for a President was trounced by a guy he called "Sleepy Joe".  I am thrilled especially that he is really showing who he is with his 2 weeks of tantrums and holding his breath til he turns blue.

But with only Trump Flu to hold my attention now, I am beginning to jones for my daily dollop of Trump, the man.  The two of them sort of canceled each other out by keeping my brain busy multitasking the fear and loathing I had for both.  By keeping me busy, the two kept me from dwelling on one alone.  And now, all I have to be worried about is Don's flu. And its not enough.

But then I am heartened by the knowledge that from now on, our new normal will be throwing all of us new curves that may end up fucking us royally, but it will be an interesting ride.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ....................................

Friday, November 13, 2020

CMA Snubs Again

Country music has a special place in my heart.  It was the first music I remember hearing as a toddler in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Roy Acuff, and countless other hay seed crooners and twangers filled my early years with the music of white trash America.  Smitten, I never looked back until it became nothing but Top 40 garbage in the 1970s. 

As I grew up, other music genres turned my head.  Folk, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Metal, and even Classical all have their place in my heart.  None however had the impact of that first kiss, Country Music.

I turned my back on the twangy Pop music that passes for Country music today.  It had become more about the flamboyant factor than the talent factor.  It all sounded the same. How big your belt was or how long your tassels were seemed to override the actual musical ability of the performer. Sure there were talented people performing, but they had caved to the POP music mentality that mediocrity sells. Their efforts became homogenized, pasteurized, no edge crap.  With the exception of the Outlaw movement in the mid 1970s, Country music became dead to me. And it has only gotten worse.  Style over substance.

For awhile the Outlaws realigned Country music with its roots.  But then it too became a sad reflection of itself when all the up and comers claimed that they too were outlaws.  Sorry but they weren't.  Wannabes who failed to carve their own unique niche.  Posers, the lot of them.

So here we are in 2020, post CMA awards show.  I don't like awards shows.  I figure already huge egos need no stroking from me by watching them prance in front of a camera.  Anyway, so what do I read today?  They did not even mention 3 country performers who passed in 2020 who represented Country Music more honestly than they ever have.  John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver were snubbed.  What a bunch of thankless, self important assholes those CMA honchos are.  Not even a mention.  WOW!

Some current Country stars took notice.  Two claim they will return their CMA membership cards. And I love Sturgill Simpson's reaction on Instagram;

“Don’t get it twisted…wouldn’t be caught dead at this tacky ass glitter and botox cake & cock pony show even if my chair had a morphine drip,” 

But America loves mediocrity and this snub will pass under the bridge without notice.  

Keep it 'tween the ditches .............................................

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The "I Don't Give a Shit Cult"

I started out Life as an Episcopalian.  Once confirmed, I spent time as an acolyte and briefly considered traveling the road to priesthood.  I changed direction that day at Hot Shoppes in Bethesda when I watched my priest snuggling against and kissing a woman not his wife. I quit playing the religious game. Ever since I have only stepped foot in a church when customs warranted it; Weddings, funerals,etc.

No longer being a believer does not mean I am an Atheist or an Agnostic.  No, there is one place to settle that will drive the extremist advocates of the other 3 choices bonkers. I now belong to the Cult of the "I don't give a shit people".

We just do not care if there is a supreme being in charge of it all.  Believing or not believing does not alter our path from the cradle to the grave.  Shit will happen and has happened to us.  Worrying about fixing blame or credit is an exercise in futility.  Worrying about after life nightmares inflicted by mythical beings is just crazy.

What I do worry about though are all the abuses, billions of deaths, and cultural separations that have been part and parcel of almost every religion since their creation in Holier than Thou twisted minds before recorded Time began. It has nothing to do with silly fables thought up to scare children.  

Religion is about control and power in the here and now. Anything positive that happens through religion is only allowed as long as it helps in the continued dominance of the targeted population.  

That is not to say the emotional crutch Religion offers should be banned.  Believe. Don't believe.  I just do not care. But I will care deeply and will resist should religion ever become mandatory.  

Keep it 'tween the ditches .................................

Monday, November 09, 2020

The Voice of a President

For the first time in over 4 years, I heard the voice of a President. I had forgotten what a President sounds like.  Today I was reminded.  It was a confident, calming voice asking us to be united, not divided.   

I had left the TV news on and used it for background noise as I stumbled through my morning.  The voice of a President stopped me in my tracks.  The voice of a president was not coming out of a president.  He's not one yet.  We will have to wait until January 20, 2021 for the Voice to become official.  But I know the voice of a President when I hear one.

President-Elect Joe Biden did not whine, accuse, or spew lies.  There was no hate in his tone or his words.  His voice was all about a future he insists he will try to return to us.  His voice was promising that wounds will heal if we can stop pissing on each other's shoes.  And what I found most encouraging was, he did not promise nor claim credit for things he said he would do nor in things he had no part in.  He promised to go to work and asked that all Americans join him in regaining the heart and soul of what our nation used to represent.  Its not about us against them, rather it's about all of us together working to right our ship.

I won't hold my breath.  I am still harboring buckets full of hard feelings for anyone on the Right.  It is obvious the Wingers are feeling pissy also.  But then they always have been pissy.  Its part and parcel of the Winger soul.  If you ain't pissy about some dunderheaded move from those limp wristed black lives lovin rainbow losers of the evil Left, then you should not call yourself a Republican.

But today I again heard the voice of a President.  And when I did, I could almost see some light at the end of my self inflicted tunnel and my shoulders felt lighter than they have in 4 years.  Maybe there are better times coming our way after all.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................

Saturday, November 07, 2020

A Much Needed Reset

Well it appears here in the States we are about to enjoy a much needed reset.  I know I need one.  The last four years of the hate and discontent fomented by Donald Trump was workin my last nerve hard.  No kidding and serious shit.

I have dumped life long friends.  That sounds awful, but I had to do it to alleviate the complete disgust I had for them and their enabling support of someone so awful and damaging to our country. The evil they helped to flow over our grand land in wave after wave finally drove any hint of kinship to them out into the dreary climate that had all of us by the short hairs.

Do I regret losing friends over someone so loathsome as Trump?  Hmm.  Some days, yeah I do. 

But then I find Maggie and stroke her hard.

Later ................

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A New Level of Stupid

I never anticipated the level of Stupid some of my fellow citizens could attain.  It seems the 2 thousand people who make up a Facebook Group called "Loaded Guns Pointed at Benis" have reached new heights or maybe depths of moronic behavior never before in existence.

Using some obscure and at this point, unfathomable Right Winger Logic, taking a picture of  themselves pointing their handgun at their crotch somehow "owns the Libtards".  Regardless, it appears that finally someone ruined the fun and shot their sack.  Fear not though, these rugged individuals gave the hero a big "atta boy".  That'll show them dirty Liberals who is serious and who is not.

The madness gripping my country at the moment is really beginning to do more than just worry me.  Each new day with Trump in charge of the tensions between us makes sure we hate each other as much as possible.  The animosity is so thick it cannot be cut with a knife.  The only way I see our anger with each other dissipating is by wearing it out until both sides are just too exhausted to carry their cause's torch another inch.  And given the entrenchment tenacity in play at the moment, it will be years before we see any serious bipartisan cooperation like it used to be.

The new normal is beginning to take shape.  Fight it wherever you can.

The Originating Article from BroBible

Later ................................................

Monday, August 10, 2020


With a new school year pending, one of the many irrational gaslighting notions coming from the Right is back near the top of the Winger Fears of the Week.  The 1619 Project.  Mention it in the wrong place and eye balls don't just roll, they may even fall out as the afflicted grab their heads in mortal fear of the new Libtard attack on their mindless Father Knows Best, Life is a White Paradise state of mind.

It seems the 1619 Project  aims to change the Nation's historical narratives proud White people consider sacrosanct.  Anything challenging the popular but inaccurate rendering of how the USA became and is still becoming rattles their many cages which are now comfortably numb to truth , facts, and what the American Way should have been and should be today.  Throwing Black folks into the mix is like adding fuel to an already blazing fire.  You can almost hear those proud White sphincters nationwide pucker up hard.

I became suspicious of historical accounts after I experienced 12 different school systems before I graduated high school.  Each state had their own twist on their regional history that may or may not have jibed with a state somewhere else.  In Virginia, I learned that Virginia had always been the Center of the Universe, not just during the Revolution and later, the Civil War.  In Florida I learned that the most important thing to happen was some Spanish dude looking around like a moron for a fountain of youth.

I realized that history is not only written by the victors, it is being constantly re-written by those in charge.  Historical accounts are always in a state of flux because of new facts and more importantly new perspectives that come from viewing the past through different lenses than the lenses of those who wrote the first, second, or even third version.

Fear of the 1619 Project is nothing but another Right Wing tempest in a tea pot.  Calm the fuck down.  Any new version of History taught in schools has to first make it into print.  And to make it into print, it has to be approved by the school systems in the various regions and states.  So no matter how radical the 1619 Project seems, we can count on a mostly watered down version at best.

That said, it is well past time to re-write our history to include a more honest narrative regarding Native Americans and African Americans.  The popular vision of stalwart heroic figures fighting the oppressive Red Coats is over stated.  The saga of a noble war being fought over "States Rights" that left over 600,000 soldiers dead from both sides needs to be updated.  And possibly the most egregious of them all, persuading ourselves that robbing and killing an indigenous people carried with it some level of  moral superiority.

So many of the truths and facts of our past have been conveniently ignored, denied and re-framed for a G audience that we have no real clue about what and why things panned out as they did.

A healthy Historical rendering is one that is constantly looking for more of the truth and less of the fluff buried in those events that made us what we are today. 

White history is only a partial history.

Later ..........................................

Friday, August 07, 2020

The Asian Century

I hear folks whining about the poor choices we have for President this time around.  I agree. Neither one of the top contenders are ideal.  But we need to step back from the disaster we created for ourselves in 2016 when we allowed a complete idiot take over the White House.  The damage he has done will take years to clean up.

Right now, we need a responsible gatekeeper, a practical man who will work to restore sanity to the national insanity that currently has our nation in its grip.  Joe Biden does that for us.  He is our check valve, our pausing moment while we figure out just how much damage Trump and the Right have done to our country.  Once Trump is gone, we can begin bickering over the details of putting us back on track.  

Regardless, the US is no longer the power that it was through the last half of the 20th century.  Trump and Covid19 have made sure of that.  As part of our healing process Americans will need to own this reality and do it quickly.  We keep floundering and thrashing around wasting time pissing on each other's feet while the rest of the World is already months ahead of us in what is now the Asian Century.

Stop wasting time worrying about what we once were and focus on what we want to become.  Because the days of being the only big dog in the dog park are over.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................................

Drunk & Disorderly

Turning a deaf ear to the obnoxious noises coming from south of here down there inside the DC Beltway where the empty suits reign, I have decided that tonight I would sip Evan Williams whiskey from my 100th anniversary Stainless Steel Stanley Flask.  And to fill those empty moments between swigs, I'll slow scroll through my FB feed and listen to music turned up to Wow.  I will know I have reached full on, in your face inebriation when the music is no longer heard but rather felt through the hairs standing up straight on the back of my neck.

More than a few swigs later, I realize I just don't care anymore.  The alcohol has done its job.  Tomorrow, I'll pick up where I left off, restack the worry, the fret, pack up my anger, and fall back into line like the rest of the citizens who don't dare to guess but still worry what tomorrow might bring.

My new normal is starting to fit me now.  I am coming to grips with a different Reality packing different rules than the ones that ran things not even a year ago.

I think we have finally arrived in the 21st century.

Buckle up ..................

And BTW - the image has nothing to do with the post.  I just liked it.  It's a close up of a personal custom build I put together over a decade ago now.  I loved that bike.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Arguing With Myself

Earlier today I was mousing my way down Facebook Lane and not paying much attention to the meme's that passed by.  I must  have been distracted or just deep into my FB Daze earlier than usual.  Suddenly I stopped my scrolling.  It dawned on me that it was nothing but muscle memory that had me wandering aimlessly around Facebook at 5:30 in the morning.

I began to internalize and an argument with myself broke out about me always being sucked into useless endeavors that had no real importance in the scheme that was my life.  Yeah, I began to give myself Hell. Then, totally out of character for me, I stopped arguing with myself.  I realized, not only was I deep into another round of useless mental masturbation, now I wanted to argue with myself the merits of said useless endeavor.

"Screw this, I'm taking Maggie over to Mary's Woods, sparkin up a doob while I stretch our legs and forget Facebook even exists, if only for a brief moment or two."

Smart choice.  Wake n Bake to the rescue again.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Wish Us Luck

This morning on TV news, a supposed expert on crime said he and the rest of the experts had no idea the why violent crime stats have risen.  What came to my mind was it was not a Libtard conspiracy to turn us all into Comrades, not the stupid number of guns in the US, nor was it illegal immigration or pedophilia clubs run by Hilliary .

What came to my mind when I heard this guy say he had no idea was, "Damn dude, people are scared, angry, and oh so fuckin tired of being cooped up."  I went on to shout at the TV, "The current leadership and its insistence on fanning the flames of fear, hate and discontent is not helping either you asshole."  As usual, the TV ignored me, cheerfully continuing on its merry way spreading the latest serving of said hate and discontent.

Call it a perfect storm where three plus years of divisive and fearful rhetoric from Donald Trump ramped up to breakneck speed and was swallowed by a catastrophe that should have been foreseen and planned for, but was not.  And then everything really went to Hell in a hand basket because our leader couldn't think himself out of a wet T-shirt, let alone deal with a worldwide pandemic.  Mass ignorance and stupidity on the grandest of scale now has us by our short hairs.

Hang in there and wish us luck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

He Walked the Walk

As part of my coming to grips with the racism in my past, I remember when Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army.

I was just a kid of 14 or 15 who echoed the hateful admonishments of the White people in my small circle. We called him a traitor. We said he was just another uppity N****. We hurled all sorts of insults at a man who had more balls than the whole American White Race combined. He stood against the Vietnam war and stood tall for his race. And we punished him for it. I am so sad I had any part in that.

Years later, I came to admire Ali. I came to look past his bluster and tried to understand where he was coming from. Ali, Malcolm X, and the Rev. King became my trusted teachers of how to treat all men, not just a chosen few.

A Facebook posting about his arrest for refusing to be drafted inspired the above BoZone post.  

Ali is quoted in the post:

“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home". 

Word !

A man worthy of admiration by all of us.

Later Gator ................................................................

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Farmington Drive In

Dave Gutter looked out into the audience last night, squinted and said,  " Not used to seeing cars in the audience."

And that about covers the oddest and one of the best concert experiences I have ever had.

Rustic Overtones played in front of a capacity crowd of cars last night at the Farmington Drive In, located just off the main drag in Farmington, Maine.  Farmington is a smallish rural college town, where the men are manly and the sheep are nervous.

The band was on, Dave was on, it was one of the best Rustic concerts ever.  And once I got used to sitting in a nice lawn chair sipping hard cider as the Sun dropped off the edge, it dawned on me how this may be our future.

Life is now officially in the BoZone.

I was impressed with how folks honored the rules last night.  Social distancing was awesome and there was no obnoxious bullshit based on the political stupidity we are currently trapped in.  Folks wanted to be out.  Folks wanted an attempt at normalcy.  Folks wanted to have a good time.  And I think they did have a good time. I know I did.

My daughter Lis arranged this expedition up country.  Her and Mr.Man could have gone alone or asked friends closer to their age.  Instead, they asked BA and I to come.  After all these years, my daughter is and will always be my best friend.  Thank you.  BA and I needed last night.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Brainwashed Culture

The following  is a post I placed on my Facebook page.  A Facebook bud from Texas decided to ignore its thrust and attempt to criticize me for criticizing my own race.  Not sure he meant it, but he completely lost my point when he posted a silly image in the comment section.

My post ran like this....

"The years under my belt have turned me into a cynic. The trend of White Exceptionalism has taken many hits over the years and yet it is still with us, buried even deeper within the systems White Folks created to mask its existence.

Every decade or so minority anger has flared up. White platitudes and empty promises of reform only amounted to the echoes of those promises blowing out to sea.

When I am wearing my cynic's jacket I often wonder why we should consider this time any different. Promises spewed from the lips of our leaders have never lived up to their hype.

But then my anger at leadership's inability to bring about real change diminishes and I become hopeful once more that maybe this time it will be different.

Hope does indeed spring eternal. I am proof of that."

I was saddened to realize that not only did he not get my point, his focus on race pride was even more disturbing.  My message being lost as he knee jerked himself to defend the "White Race" told me many of us White Folks are being deliberately and willfully ignorant.

Unless someone reminds me, accuses me, or I look in a mirror, I rarely think of myself as a member of any race.  My racial curse or my racial blessing means less than nothing to me.  And until it means nothing to everyone else on the planet, no matter their race, religion or ethnic ancestry, this country, this world will continue on its way as a crippled species that cannot get out of its own way.

Hate the haters, don't hate the victims ................................. Later Gators.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Remembering Bob

I had intended on a vehemently critical diatribe regarding our President and his total failure as President......  Instead, while perusing images buried deep in the gulliwots of my 'puter, I ran across Bob.  Seeing Bob made me crack a smile and diverted my bad impression of Life at this moment to a trip down the lanes where memories reside.

Problem with memories is I never know what lane I will end up on.  Keg party or pity party.  Never know going in.  Cheers or tears, memories keep me connected to the here and now by reminding me of where I came from and who I ran into along the way.

And Bob sits in the forefront today.  Remembering his yowl he called a meow made my smile turn on the tears for a second or so.  Our often indifferent co-existence broken when he needed us.  He knew where home was and he checked in often.  But much of his life he spent out in the pucker eating what he killed.

His head butts were not gentle.  His idea of petting was more of a beat down.  No, Bob was no Nancy Cat.  And he sure let me know when he had had enough.

Bob was a bad ass.  Bob took no shit.  He was indeed a warrior.  If you were included in his circle, you had a friend for life.  But don't piss him off.

To this day I miss him terribly.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..................................

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

John Prine

There are no words I can convey
There is no more sadness I can share
There were no more songs that touched me
As deeply as his did. RIP.


I only caught John Prine once.  It was in a Dallas Honky Tonk and I was between driving tours for SHOWCO in 1977 I think.  Good whiskey and his music was a night I remember to this day.

This is how I remember him then.  

A couple of favorites - Enjoy


Flag Decal

Monday, April 06, 2020

Screaming Fire in a Crowded Theater

I am in a quandary as to why some Trump official idiot decided to add fuel to the panic fire of Covid-19 by warning us that this week will be "our Pearl Harbor Moment"?

Okay, I get it that this week could be some kind of peak and that we should acknowledge the possibility of a worse week than last week.  But if the absolute lack of real knowledge shown so far is any indication, the so called experts are working with incomplete data and best guesses based on previous situations that do not cleanly dove tail with Covid-19.

Use of common sense seems the only accurate advice we have.  Stay the fuck home.  Keep people away and sit tight.

What really bothers me is the use of the term, "Pearl Harbor Moment".  Covid-19 was not a sneak attack.  The Trump administration saw it coming and did next to nothing to address it in the absolute crucial early stages. They even called it a hoax.  But, if we have any faith in our outrageously expensive and massive intelligence industry, someone in government had to know about Covid-19 at least by mid to late December of 2019.   Some analyst nerd buried deep in the bowels of Fort Meade or Langley, VA was watching this and writing reports back then.  If they weren't, we should shit can the whole intelligence network.

To assign a term like "Pearl Harbor Moment" in my opinion is trying to subliminally place in our minds that they, the Trump administration,  were caught with their pants down.  They weren't, but the citizens were.

The term "Pearl Harbor Moment" should have never left the lips of the Trump lackey who used it.  The Media should not have latched onto it as a "sky is falling" moment.  What I like to see from our leaders, including the press, is factual transparency and deliberate calm without hyperbole that amounts to screaming "Fire" in a crowded theater.

Maintaining calm wherever possible is almost more important than the pandemic itself.  We will live through this.  But how we act while it is here is what will determine much of what we end up with in our future.

Later ...........................................................

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Killing in the Name of Crosses

So yesterday I wiled away my day puttering here and puttering there.  Then I took a break from the drudgery of doing nothing in particular and focused my attention on my Facebook feed.  I came across 2 music video's posted by a fellow who obviously had a bone to pick with Christianity, America, and everything in between.

One of the videos was "The Revolution Will Not be Televised", by Gil Scott-Heron.  It is an angry slam poem from the Black Panther days in the early 1970's.  I had not heard it in years.  It caused the few remaining counter culture hairs on my body to stand up straight.  Like some Dr Strangelove parody, I had to resist throwing my fist in the air.  Blast from my past for sure.

The tune is as relevant today as it was in 1971.  The World stage may have shifted and the actors may have changed, but the message is the same.  America is not, nor has it ever been, the perfect sanctum of Democratic ideals.  We are all equal, only some of us are more equal then others.  (My apologies to Orwell and Animal Farm)

The other music video posted was "Killing in the Name....", by Rage Against the Machine.  It is a very political in your face "Fuck You" aimed at contemporary White America.  They pound their point home with a sledge hammer.  Great tune if you like head bangin.  If you do, turn it up to WOW before you punch it up.

And though both tunes are really racial in tone and aimed at White America, I had to twist their meaning to fit my own chosen narrative and a favorite go to target, Evangelical Christianity.

The softer kinder face Christianity likes to portray in recent times is the same Christianity that was responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition and the KKK.  The edge hugging edition, Evangelical Christianity, is the modern throwback version.  Call it Old Testament, version 1.2.  Evangelical Christianity is not a gentle religion.  It is not a kind religion.  It is unforgiving and vengeful to those who are seen as threats, no matter whether they are or not.  There is no give in their doctrine.  It's their way or the highway.

The militant Evangelical branch recently crawled out into the light, invited by Donald Trump in his quest to find as many adoring fans as possible.  The hypocrisy and stupidity of the Evangelical extremists is now in full view for everyone to see.  Problem is, will anyone really care?

We should care, for the Evangelical Fundies have declared war on anyone not within their prayer circle.  We are their enemies now if we do not look through the same lenses as they do.  We are their enemies if we are not the same color as they.  And in a ridiculous show of extreme intolerance, we are their enemies based on who we sleep with. 

Though their inflexibility is their weakness, that does not make them less dangerous.  They are focused and armed with the incontrovertible proof of the Old Testament.  We best be watchful.

Later ...................................................

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Mr Moderator

Okay.  Awhile back I agreed to become a moderator for a local Facebook page named "What's Up in Acton".  It is a closed group whose price of admission is having some connection, however nebulous, to the town of Acton, Maine.  The owner (administrator) of the site has a vision of a local site that does not feed the fires of hate and discontent.  His site is for publishing all things local - schedules, information, congratulations, and lovely images of pets and sunsets taken by local folk.  He wants the mood to be pleasant and civil.  I like the site and like his vision of it.

I did not appreciate at the time I took the job, that I would have to deal with a**holes like myself.  "Clockwork Orange" plays in my head every time I delete a post or shut down commenting.  I replay the movie and the scenes where "Alex", freshly out of detention, is accosted by two of his old partners in crime.  Only now, they are cops.  As it turns out, criminals do make better sheriffs it seems.

Confrontation and bad blood have their place out here in the weird world that is the Internet.  Everything has its place in the Internet.  There's plenty of room for hate and discontent.  I can find all I want.  I don't want to, nor should I, put that hate and discontent on a page that does not embrace it.

It's the polite thing to do and that's why I'm a speech cop of sorts.  It seems to me, especially given the times we are living in, Freedom of Speech is best exercised with common sense for the common good.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................................................

Friday, March 27, 2020

Another Covid-19 Diary - Nothing to Say

Many people are using their FB page  and/or their blogs to keep a "Corona Virus Log".  Titles like "Covid Log- Day 12" or "Quarantine Diary - 2020" fill us in on all the boredom someone else wants to share with us via the InterWebs.  When we had no virus, many, if not most of us, skipped the boring existences of others and chased down cat and dog videos, cute as pie baby vlogs, and righteous indignation meme's that disrespected their views on current affairs.  Are these virus histories really just a way to show others they are more bored than anyone else?

I wonder if I should start one and write down all the excitement that is now my life living in the southwestern pucker of Maine.  Okay.

So here goes.  Hmm .......................................................  Hold on.  I burned my hand on a pan handle two days ago and it hurt like Hell.  What's next?

Hmm ......................................................Uh,  My wife and I have begun making up Covid Gift bags with toilet paper and Kleenex in them.   ..................................................  Oh yeah, began some limited yard clean up.  Not because of the physical distancing thing, more because I am coming off some health issues and my stamina is, well, nonexistent.

Gas prices have plummeted.  A local Mom and Pop, Boonies, has gas at 1.49 /gal.  In Sanford, its $1.99 to 2.49.

Try as I might, I really have nothing to say. Yet, I still found a way to put nothing into words.

Ya'll stay safe, keep your distances, and stop believing any news that comes from the Administration or any Republican for that matter.  They are all full of shit.

Later ...................................................

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Panic in the Pucker

I was confident I had not gotten sucked into the over the top panic that has our country and the World by the short hairs. I was sure I was being cool and aloof, totally resistant to the out of control anxiety sweeping the land.  Then I saw a Facebook post from a local creamery that offered five pounds of butter for $20. That's all it took for me to become " that guy ", the guy who throws common sense out the window and drive miles to score something he may not now need, but will surely need in his not too distant future.

The offer was simple enough.  Drive 30 miles to the creamery on Sunday noonish and between the hours of 1:00 and 2:00 PM , the nice folks there will give me a five pound bucket of lightly salted butter for $20, cash only, thank you very much.

A no brainer, right?  What could go wrong?  Polite civilized folks coagulating under the bright afternoon Sun would be surely be a pleasant encounter.  And who knows, new friends might be found.  The problem, as it turned out, was the creamery and myself did not consider that panicked folks are not prone to being sensible or pleasant at any given moment.

So happy as if I had a brain, I gathered up Maggie and we headed to Arundel, Maine.  All the way there I congratulated myself on getting over on the system.  Yeah, I was full of myself until I rounded the last sweeping curve on Rte. 111 before the creamery and was stopped dead in my tracks.  300 yards up at the creamery entrance, east and westbound traffic was at a standstill. Bumper to Bumper as far as the eye could see.   Rte 111, a crucial east-west artery in our parts, was clogged hard.  All in the name of butter.

I immediately came out of my panic driven haze and said, "To Hell with this.  I want no part of it."  And I performed the perfect 3 point turn around and headed the 30 miles back from whence I came.

Oddly I did not berate myself.  Usual stupidity on my part is followed by several moments of self flagellation and colorful recriminations.  Instead, as I was on the road, I parked self abuse for future fun and games.  I decided to stop off at Hannaford's, a regional supermarket chain, on my way home.  Just a short detour. I wanted to verify that the empty shelves I saw on Saturday were still empty on Sunday.

Imagine my delight when I walked into a store that had seriously re-stocked.  There was still no toilet paper, Kleenex, or disinfectant wipes, but I picked up bread, canned beans, lots of fresh chicken, and last but not least, 4 pounds of butter in a cold case that on Saturday was barren.  As it turned out, I found 90% of what was on the shopping list.  It dawned on me as I put butter in my cart, my panic driven 60 mile quest for butter was a fool's errand that emphasized the need to remain calm when all others have lost their shit.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ...........................................

Friday, March 06, 2020

1955 or Thereabouts

I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1952.  At the time the town was busy riding the economic wave of defense contract money being thrown at establishing an Air Force Academy there and efforts to defend against the Soviet nuclear threat which at the time was the DEW Line, a series of radar installations in the Arctic that would warn of Soviet Bombers encroaching into ours and Canada's airspace.  My father had much to do with spending that defense money as he was chief budget officer for the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).  He was especially proud of his work on the DEW Line.

My memories of Colorado Springs are mostly bits and pieces, hints and allegations passed down to me when I was older.  We left Colorado when I was four and settled in Japan for a brief period before moving to Hickam AFB in Hawaii when I was six.

Of the pleasant memories I can muster up as my own and not retold tales I heard around the dinner table, the most striking ones were the Rocky Mountains that loomed large outside my bedroom window just to the west of town. The Rockies' massive presence made anything else in the picture just incidental objects to give perspective to just how large and in charge the mountain chain was.

I remember being glued to the window late at night and watching lines of thunder storms breech the peaks to the west.  My horizon was completely inundated with countless lightning strikes that seemed to go on forever.  And I remember not being scared, just completely entranced by the awesome display.  To this day, even after having later felt a lightning strike up close enough to hurt some, I am not afraid of lightning.

My other memory I remember is the entertainment we could get over the airwaves which originated in Denver, 75 miles away.  The one radio station available played non stop Country.  So the first music I remember is Hank Williams and Bill Monroe who became lifetime favorites.  Television memories were all about Pinky Lee and Howdy Doody on a round black and white TV that only worked when we found the best position for the antenna complex that resided on top of the TV.

Then there are the second hand tales told to me by parents, brothers, uncles and aunts.  Most are funny, but I never have felt they were my memories.  They were someone else's interpretations of me as a child.  Tales constructed outside of my personal experience about my personal experience.  I am sure they were the true renditions of interested observers.

Some of the memories I have of this time were not so pleasant.  I remember going into panics when I knew we were headed to the base for another round of inoculations forced on me in the run up to us leaving for Japan.  I remember my dog Dooley and the night he ran out into the road and was hit by a car.

Some memories I buried for years. One was the notion that I never felt like a part of my family.  Kids pick up vibes and as soon as I had a clue, I never felt I was accepted completely and without reservation.  My brothers seemed distant and treated me like a stranger.  It was not until I found my parents marriage certificate after Dad died that the cold shoulder I felt my whole life made some sense.  I was conceived out of wedlock between husbands.  And even though officially I was not a bastard, I think now that I was treated as one by my brothers and my mother's family.  Oddly my father's sister, my puritanical Aunt Helen, accepted me into her heart without reservation and became my defacto grand parent.

Don't get me wrong.  I was never mistreated in the classical sense.  It was more a feeling of being ignored, or being a tiring responsibility one dealt with.  To this day, I still  harbor some latent resentment.

So there you are, some memories dating back as far as I can remember.  Hope you enjoyed them as I certainly have writing them down.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................................

Thursday, March 05, 2020

SSDD - Big Money Wins Again

Well Maine did its best to keep a wannabe Republican from winning the Democratic Primary here in Maine.  Bernie won my town Acton, 109 to Biden's 85.  Yes, Status Quo Joe had a good day.  Super Tuesday has to be a disappointment to Bernie and crew.  In the long run it matters not as long as the Democrats can pull everyone together to drop Trump like a bad habit come November 3rd.

And so it goes.  The corporate establishment running the Democratic Party finally pulled their heads out of their asses and fell back on the time honored "smoke filled back room dealing" that worked so well in the past.  I am not sure what was promised to whom, but the sudden departure from the race of Mayor Pete and Klobuchar just before Super Tuesday smelled of that kind of dealing.  If Biden wins the nomination, something tells me one of them will be his running mate.  Though I think Warren would be better controlled if she was his VP and not running around loose in the Senate.

And then Biden rewarded Beto for his support with a promise he will be in charge of Biden's Gun Control efforts.  The old dog tricks at work.  Almost makes me tear up.  The smoke is really starting to billow out of those back rooms.

Of course I cannot prove, nor do I wish to prove these old school political machinations.  It is what politics are based on.  Deals behind closed doors that will placate the real power behind politics, Big Money.

There used to be some balance between those who ran the Capitalist/ Business side of things and those who ran the country from the various seats of power scattered hither and yon.  Sensible Capitalists had been taught the hard way back in the early part of the 20th century that unbridled Capitalism ends up being counter productive to not only the people whose labor they depended on but in the long run, their own bottom line as well.

The progress this country made starting with Teddy Roosevelt and his campaign to break the strangle hold of monopolies to his cousin FDR's success in establishing social programs convinced the Capitalists of the 50's, 60's and 70's that a Progressive agenda and money grubbing could coexist nicely.  The uncomfortable alliance held right up until the Reagan dynasty.  That is when unfettered greed took over.  It has been downhill ever since.

Blinded by their avarice and bulging pockets, the money grubbers will pay a price.  They always do.  At some point serfs will show up at their front gates and they won't be asking anymore, they will take what they feel is owed. 

Later .....................................

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

It is Humble Perfection

I was pretty sure my Metal days were over.  I used to bang my head with the best of them for awhile.  Metal, like Pop music, all started sounding the same.  It was the 80s, nobody but Metallica did it for me.  I moved on I guess.  Then a year ago, a good friend turned me onto "The Sound of Silence" cover by Disturbed, a Metal band I had never gotten to know.  Just like that, Metal was back in my life.

Cool.  There's always room to welcome back an old friend.

As I watched one of the video's, I perused the comments looking for the one comment that encapsulated this song as I perceive Simon and Garfunkel , and now Disturbed, meant it to .

Jessica from who knows where wrote, "This song gives me another heart beat.  It is humble perfection."


Tuesday, March 03, 2020

GOP Light

So its Super Tuesday.  I'm currently parked in front of the 'puter, sipping day old coffee, and deciding when I want to head down to the Town Hall to cast my vote. And now that the field has narrowed from a mob to just a crowd, the choices I have will be easier to sort out.  Or not.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the choices are clear to me.  It is either vote for Bernie in an effort to return the Democratic Party to the Left side of the aisle, or vote for one of the Right Wing cookie cutter Democrats still standing.

If Biden wins the nomination and the presidency, the Right will still be in control.  But at least we will be rid of Trump.

Over the last 40 years, mainstream Democrats have been herded and cajoled away from their progressive roots on the Left to a position on the other side of the aisle and are now nothing but a sub group of the Right I call "GOP Light".

No real Democrat would be afraid of Bernie and his Democratic Socialism.  And no real Democratic leader would be working so hard to defeat him.  The party I joined so many years ago is but a bad joke as they toss us nothing but Left leaning lip service, while actually supporting the money grubbers of Wall Street and Big Business by their actions.

Yes, I am angry at the Right for trying to push this country into a Fascist style existence.  But I am angrier at the Democrats for helping them row the boat.

Regardless folks, go out and vote.  It is the least you can do as a citizen.

Later .........................................................................

Monday, March 02, 2020

No Roaches Monday - Smokin or Otherwise

I looked in the basement, the garage, and my office. There were no roaches to be found.  This is Monday ferchrisakes.  How am I to make it through the day without at least one roach to smoke?  That's what happens when a lifelong habit becomes just another SSDD activity that has no thought invested or planning laid out because I have taken said activity for granted all these years.

Habits, good and bad, need nourishing environments for them to prosper into habits we can depend on.  A habit has to first, be recognized, then nurtured from passing fancy into the life support tool we want them to become.  Their negative or positive effects on us only important as the importance we assign them.

If I think a habit has gotten out of control, I will most likely choose to stop said habit.  If I have no problem with it, I go on my merry way, happy as if I had a brain.  And yes, sometimes a habit can become so onerous as to raise concerns of those around me.  I would be lying if I said none of my habits irritated others.  

My childhood tendency to always ask "why" about anything caused my parents no end of frustration.  Their frustration only fed my new habit of how to irritate parents because they deserve it.  I found I could punish them to the third or fourth "Because I said so" before I had to duck and cover.  Wonderful game that lost its luster when I learned around age eight, there are too many answers to the question "why".  If I wanted an answer, I more often than not, had to find it for myself.

But I digress, and I did it right out of the blocks.

A post that  has a designated time and place in my communiques to the World should be experienced as the rules I have written demand.  No roaches around?  Guess I will have to roll up a couple joints and smoke em just so I can smoke a roach or two on Smokin Roaches Monday.

Damn.  Two joints may be too tough to take just to make two roaches.  .... Hmm     Oh well, its more about the effort than the result.  Right?

Keep it 'tween the ditches ............................................

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Hard Train to Stop

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the US has given them $142.3 Billion dollars ( Non inflation adjusted).  Far and away, the most foreign aid in dollars to any country we did not occupy.  In 2016, the US signed off on a new 10 year, $38 Billion dollar deal.  That is $10.4 Million dollars a day to prop up the 20th richest (GDP) country in the World. 

People contend that Israel and the US share mutual interests.  Don't kid yourself.  On the surface our support may seem altruistic, a help the poor underdog tear jerker.  Our support is nothing more than propping up an authoritarian chief of state, Netanyahu, who we hope by proxy, will help enforce our version of empire on the Mideast.  Apparently it is fine for some here in the US, but count me out.  I have had it with Zionism and all that it entails.

Israel has always had my attention since I was smitten by the 1960 movie "Exodus" that starred Paul Newman.  It was a tale of rag tag Jewish Holocaust refugees of WWll who emigrated to Palestine and wrested control of a chunk of sand away from the Palestinians who were currently living there.

An epic of over 3 hours long, Exodus covered the period leading up to the founding of Israel in 1948.  It is now credited as a major contributor in the rise of Zionism in this country.  As an eight year old, I only saw a great movie that made me feel sorry for those poor Holocaust survivors.  I was swept away by it and became a fan of Israel for years.  They were the good guys.

I had Israel's back for years.  I ignored the propaganda of those folks who found fault with the manner in which Israel carried itself in the Mideast.  They were just a small country doing what was needed to survive while being surrounded by countries who wanted them destroyed. Classic Old Testament David and Goliath stuff.

Israel, with our financing, not only held their own, they actually increased their square footage through trumped up wars as they took more land away from those evil Muslims.  And everyone in the US cheered.  After all, according to some, the Israeli's were just taking back what was theirs to begin with so long ago before the time of Christ.  And though the words were not spoken, the sentiment was Muslims bad, White People good. The Crusades were back with a vengeance.  Only now, Christianity had proxies to fight their war for them.

I eventually became disenchanted with Israel's underdog story and began to view them as the bully, not the oppressed.  For the last 30 years or so, I have wished the US would cut the financial cord.  But once a thing has begun and gathers historical momentum, it is a hard train to stop. 

The US keeps feeding the beast without any real attention being paid to what that beast is up to.  We have done this time after time and continue to do it.  It is time to cut off Israel's bank account.  They can take care of themselves.

Later ......................................
Source for Stats for aid

Source for Richest countries in the World

Monday, February 17, 2020

She Deserves a Safe White Nation - Smokin Roaches Monday

Not sure why this image bothers me so much.  Is it a specific button it punches?  Or is it just the overall disgust I feel when I view it.  So many flash points here, it is tough for me to sort them out.  Regardless, as a white man living in this country, I feel ashamed that idiots of my race insist on restricting their lives and their children's lives to an existence defined by a black or white code.  I guess my main takeaway is that this image hardly helps in making our nation safer.  If anything, it adds to the instability, insecurity, and ingrained prejudices that have always divided us.

 My early military brat years were spent in the protective bubble of a desegregated military world.  I am sure there was racism, but nothing a child of 5 or 6 would notice.  At that age, our experiences come from the Big Picture, not the underlying subtleties of the Real World.

It was in the early 1960's after my father retired from the Air Force and we moved to Tallahassee, Florida that I was rudely brought into the Real World.  I learned Life has a dark ugly side to offset the bright sunny side folks hold near and dear to their hearts.

1963 Tallahassee was a typical segregated southern city of whites and blacks kept apart wherever possible.  I witnessed White on Black violence behind the turned backs of White cops during civil rights marches.  I felt the intense hatred from a crowd in a Black only movie theater I mistakenly walked into.  It was a serious coming of age period.  My education only continued as I grew up in other areas while watching my country transition from Jim Crow to something else.

That "Something Else" was no longer the overt world of Jim Crow and weekly Klan meetings advertised in local gazettes.  Racism had dropped below the Sunny Side's radar where it has been festering for 45-50 years now.  It took Trump to kick the hidden racism into brighter lights with his program of enabling hateful tweets, speeches and rallies.  I guess we should be grateful to Trump for slapping our country with this dose of Reality.  There are Evils out there that will never be conquered.  They will only be beaten back.  And to fall back into a satisfied complacency that the Evil is defeated is just giving  it time to lick its wounds so it can come back stronger and uglier the next time.

Later ....................................................

Image from "From Open White Supremacy to Stealth"