Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Mr. Abbott Answers the Phone

Mr. Abbott answered the phone. This was an unusual occurrence. The man seldom answered his phone and never, not once, had his wife seen him ever return a call. He long ago decided listening to other lips flap that were not his was a waste of time. But this evening in the middle of dinner, the phone rang and he answered it.

His wife's mouth stopped in mid chew as she watched him get up, walk across the kitchen and pick up the receiver. She tried to remember the last time she witnessed her husband using the phone, never mind answering it.


"Uh, Mr. Abbott?"


"Umm, well, .... Are you the Mr. Abbott on Sam Page Road in Acton, Maine?"


"Well Mr Abbott, my name is Henry. I work for Rasmussen Reports, a polling company. I would like to ask you a question or two. Would that be okay Mr. Abbott?"


Great. Now this is just a poll; an effort to get a handle how Americans feel about one of the many burning issues of the day. We have no leaning one way or the other, though some folks on the Left feel we do. Believe me sir, we are searching for how people truly believe. Our questions are never loaded, okay? ........... Uh, Mr. Abbott? ,,,,,,,, Do you understand? ....... Are you still there?"


"So let's get started, okay?"

"Yeah, okay." 

Abbott's wife's eyebrows lifted. She stopped chewing again and leaned forward.

"Well sir, just three questions. Ready?'


His wife relaxed, sat back and began chewing her bite of pork chop again.

"Question one is: Do you agree or disagree with this statement - 

"It's okay to be White?"

Nothing. Mr. Abbott looked up at the ceiling.Time passed, still nothing.

"Uh, Mr. Abbott, did you hear the question?"


"Well? Is it okay to be white?"

"Yeah, I guess." 

The wife again paused her repast and watched Mr Abbott closely. 

"Mr Abbott, saying you guess it's okay is not the answer we are looking for. It either is okay or it isn't okay to be White. Understand?"


Silence again and time passed.

"Well Mr Abbott, what is your answer? Is it okay to be White?"


More silence followed by an exasperated sigh from Henry, the poll taker.

"Mr Abbott, I am going to mark you down as agreeing it is okay to be White, okay?"


By now, Abbott's wife was getting antsy. She had no clue who her husband was talking to or what they were talking about. She stopped eating and focused on her husband.

"Okay now Mr. Abbott, here is the next question. Ready?"

"Yeah, shoot."

"Right. Next question: Do you agree or disagree with this statement-

 Black people can be racist too.

"Sure, why not?"

Look here Mr Abbott, I uh ........... I will mark that down as an affirmative. You agree Black people can be racist. Okay?


"Well wonderful Mr. Abbott. We are down to the last question. Okay?"


Mrs Abbott now has her head on her hands, watching Mr. Abbott intently and trying to figure out if he is playing or having a serious conversation.

"Mr Abbott, so that we can assign your answers to the appropriate racial identity, we would like to ask you what race you identify as your race, okay?"

"What Race I identify with? ...... That is what you want to know?"

Mrs. Abbott's eye grew wide. "Uh oh," she thought, "Here we go."

"Uh, well yes Mr. Abbott, what race are you?"

Mr Abbott pulled the receiver from his ear and looked at it  for a moment.

A weak voice came out of the phone. " Mr Abbott, are you still..... Mr Abbott brought the phone back to his ear and screamed into it, " The Human Race, you asshole! I belong and identify with the Human Race."

He then gently and without further comment, hung the phone up, taking the time to make sure there were no tangles in the cord.


And there you have it......... What was on my mind this morning. I fucking hate the stupidity of the poorly contrived efforts to drive a narrative to a foregone conclusion by biased polling outfits. Rasmussen does it all the time. This is a Rasmussen poll from Feb. 12-15, this year.

Rather than blow a gasket, I decided to have fun with it and tried to imagine a man who has had it with the stupidity swirling around him everywhere he looks.

Anyway, it was fun to write it. Hope some of you enjoyed it.

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


First I Googled, "Songs about using the phone". Then I tried, "Songs about surveys and polls". Back to songs about phones. 

The band Poison was never, ever on my hit list. But in the 1980s someone liked them. Anyway while I was Googling, their tune, "Talk Dirty to Me", popped up. After I played it once, which was more than enough, I decided that the title alone warranted an inclusion with this post. And then there was the added benefit of reminding me of what I did not miss back in the 1980s, the decade of the Hair Band.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

It's Like Hearing an Ambulance Now

Yesterday, while hoeing out the kitchen after two days of walking around the building mess, I had the tube tuned in on Velshi of MSNBC while I toiled. His whole Saturday show was a tribute to the year long war Ukraine has been fighting against Russia. 

Putin is attempting to take that which he has no right to take under some perverted rationale that seems to change whenever he changes his panties. It started out as a conflict to save the Ukrainians from themselves. The excuses Putin used and still uses make no sense to anyone with a brain. He wants Ukraine because he wants the legacy of a conquering hero and secretly I think he is under the impression it will make his package more intimidating. The boys down at the local butik love a big package.

A young Ukrainian woman, who had been displaced last year in the initial Russian invasion was in Poland I think when she was first interviewed by Velshi. She was distraught but defiant like so many Ukrainians were. Her main concern was for her father who served as a priest with the Ukrainian Army. 

A year has gone by and she is still concerned and even more defiant. She has been back in her country for awhile now. Her father still serves at the front with the Ukrainian troops, only now he is on a  Russian list of locals they would like to ... I am guessing they want to kill him. So she is still, maybe even more concerned for his safety than ever before.

Velshi interviewed her again for his war anniversary piece. He asked her how safe she felt back in country now. She told him that Ukrainians who still are in Ukraine have become more comfortable with the war swirling around them.The air raid sirens now don't create the same panic of the beginning of the war. Life has become more of live your life, but watch out. I paraphrase here:

"It's (air raid sirens) like hearing an ambulance in the distance now. People still go about their lives." 

I was struck by her comparison. It said a lot about the Ukrainians and their ability to compartmentalize their lives in a way that allowed them to live as close to some kind of normality as they can. 

Her statement also struck me as being what the war over there has become for Americans. It is now part of our day to day backdrop, an ongoing event that we are a part of kinda, but removed enough to be able to forget that people are dying daily because brutes and thugs want to take their land, their beings, their souls.

Her words reminded me that I had also become complacent and comfortable ignoring or only half listening at times of reports from the fronts. Well today my heart is with them and I again hope for an end to the madness sooner than later.

Supporting Ukraine in their struggle against the war criminal Putin is not only vital for Ukraine, it is vital for us. Stopping Russian aggression here and now will most likely save the planet a world of hurt in the future.

Now is exactly the wrong time to become complacent. 


 I Googled "songs about holding your ground". The first one I spun seemed to fit fine. Here is "Hold Your Ground" from Cavo, a band I have never heard of. Of course I have become used to not having heard of an infinite number of bands. I'm just an old dog struggling with new tricks.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Fungus Among Us

I don't often understand where I find the dreams that entertain my sleep. Last night would be the exception. The other exception is it is a rare night I am able to return to sleep and pick up the same dream almost where I left off.

I had stopped watching the HBO Max series, "The Last of Us", a few weeks ago. I decided I was now used to binge watching a series and did not want to suffer the "wait a week" madness for the next episode. I stopped watching and was happy to wait for this first season to end and then go on a video bender.

Based on a video game,"The Last of Us" is a classic apocalyptic, cannibal zombie tale that is very well produced and acted. The one twist I had not seen or read in any other doomsday "Life on Earth is Over " story was the cause of said disaster. In this tale, it is a fungal pandemic that turns almost everyone into a Zombie or food for the Zombies. It doesn't look good for the Human Race.

Of course my dreams never put me in exactly the same situation I may have read about, seen on the big screen or small. No, my dreams are always different. I certainly draw from the recent series, but also I think from a book I read many years ago; "The Andromeda Strain", by Michael Crichton.

My dream plays out in a comfortable and familiar scenario I seem to like to fit my night visions into. There's me with a group. We are neither good nor bad. Another group, neither good nor bad, is chasing us. It takes place in woods with twisting roads and awesome overlooks that provide one of my favorite all time go to escapes, jumping off a cliff to avoid capture.

The fungal twist comes from "Andromeda Strain" I think. The fungus attacks only inorganic substances, in other words , most man made anything. Steel, anything made from oil, etc. Any metallic substance that is in its natural state is safe; copper tubing is big in this dream for some reason. Now I am not an expert on inorganic or organic anything when it comes to chemistry. It's a dream that I made up. Any reliance on actual science is accidental.

The first thing I can remember is the planet has fallen upon hard times. Me and my droogs are ripping out copper pipe and wire from the decomposing hulk of a McMansion in suburbia, USA. Another group shows up and as it is our group's policy to run first and fight last, we boot. 

We realize after many twisting corners, hiding in crevices and behind trees, these guys are not after our copper. They have a different agenda. We don't know what that agenda is, but while we take a moment to catch our breath, we discuss the possibilities. Being a dream, we settle on the craziest solution we can. We decide the other group is hungry and wants us for dinner. ........ I actually woke up at this point laughing. Went to the bathroom, came back, fell asleep and picked up the dream like I had never left.

Some more chasing and then I was alone. Not sure why I was, but I was now a solo act with the other group hot on my ass. I was able to keep my lead. Every so often I would turn and laugh at them, flip them off and actually wait for them to almost catch up. The last thing I can clearly remember was my escape over a wall and there was no ground to land on. The wall had been at the edge of a cliff face. I fell for a distance, hit the ground, rolled and stood up. Looking up to the wall a hundred feet or so above me, the crew who were chasing me were looking down at me with ugly faces. 

I smiled and went on my way, but I had lost the copper somewhere along the way.

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


Who knew there is quite a variety of songs about fungus. Most created by well meaning, but marginally talented teachers or nerds who I gather they hope the fascination they have for all things fungal can be conveyed in song and dance. I might have paid more attention in school if I had fools dressed as mushrooms dancing up in the front of class.

Here is what I consider the best of the bunch I checked out. It is creatively named, "Rap Song About Fungus", by an outfit known only as Science Songs.

The video actually worked for me. I learned the largest organism found to date on our planet is a fungus growing underground in Oregon. It is 2,200 acres big. Another factoid was Fungus combined with certain bacterias can create spontaneous combustion. I wonder if this is part of the cause of siloes in Indiana blowing up.

Regardless every day is a learning day if I know where to look.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Death Glare

Back around 1965, Snake's mother June once told me I should tell my mom that I could probably use some Adderall to rein in the ADHD symptoms I seemed to share with her son. Because of me, she felt the prescription was not doing what it should be doing to control his inattentive manic pubescent behavior. She was sure my presence in his life was the problem and the reason he wasn't responding to his new prescription.  I said nothing, while behind her back, Snake started a silent snicker as he disappeared into their kitchen.

June did not have a clue that most days, both Snake and I were taking Adderall, not for the good it might do, but for the buzz it gave us. That summer we sneaked out quite often and rode the rear bumper of the Washington Post delivery truck as it delivered bundles of newspapers in and around Bethesda, Maryland.. Adderall helped us stay awake and keep what wits we had at age14, sharp and aware. Adderall, aka, amphetamines, laughing gas and alcohol were my gateway drugs. 

On the off chance that I might score my own supply of Adderall, one night at the dinner table I mentioned June's concerns about me possibly having ADHD. Well, .............. I created a shit storm that became quite ugly as the two mothers exchanged harsh words and heated vitriol on several phone calls over the next week or so. 

Mom made me sit with her through that first call before the dinner plates had been cleared. Each time my mother spoke, the death glare she used when really pissed, intensified .... I had to avert my eyes when she turned it on me. Sparks did not fly out of her eyes, but it hurt nonetheless.

Who knew she would fly off the handle like this? Even my father was surprised. After the initial feather ruffling, he chuckled. Mom immediately turned that death glare on him. He quickly found a reason to disappear. Not his fight, not his battle; he retired to the kitchen for a shot of whiskey. It seemed the prudent thing to do.

Who was June to interfere with the raising of her son? She was no doctor. And besides, why is it always her sons who were singled out as the bad influences? She was fed up with the false accusations disguised as the "good intentions"of neighbors and strangers. Her son..... and then another death glare shot in my direction .... I was not the problem. Jim (Snake) was a juvenile delinquent loser who would never be anything but a loser.   Loud heated words erupted from the phone receiver. Mom slammed the phone down and shot another death glare over my bow ........... Snake and I were now banned from hanging with each other. ....... Forever.

The ban did not last. The Montgomery County school system requested I not return for my sophomore year, so I ended up at Charlotte Hall Military School. Snake had already been there for a year.

I never did get that Adderall script nor did I ever see a doctor about what I know now was ADHD. Mom did not believe in many of the new-fangled notions swirling around in the Psychiatry vats at the time that insinuated boys were not to blame for their behavior. Yeah, I could be crazed, but so had my brothers been crazed. They grew out of it. She was sure so would I.

I had one reason for telling this story. Now, more than a few paragraphs in, the single reason has been misplaced and in its stead are several tangents I just cannot get a grip on. 

Hmm. ......... I wonder now if I ever did outgrow my ADHD. 

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


I first googled "songs about amphetamines". Lo and behold, I found one that is not great by any stretch of the imagination. It was the band name, "The Vibrators",  that sucked me in and then their heavy punk beat combined with simpleton lyrics that made "Amphetamine Blue" the perfect pick. Had this song been out when I was in high school, it might just have been one of our anthems.

Rock on!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Peanut Farmer From Plains

Jimmy Carter continues to be the stand up guy example for all of us no matter at what stage of Life he is in. Even going into Hospice Care at home, the 98 year old shows the class, humility and grace he has always had his whole life. If there was one man I would advise any youngster to look up to and emulate, it would be this peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia.

I found out today that he met Rosalynn, his future life companion, on the day she was born. Wow. If I had read this as part of a fiction story, I would roll my eyes and laugh. Too unreal to be believable. Yet, that is how long those two have been acquainted.

I have often wondered how he was able to follow so rigorously a path that always focused him on improving the world around him. People often claim it was his Christianity. 

I say bullshit. 

He definitely relied on his faith, call it one of his many tools. What made Jimmy Carter what he was goes way deeper than that. Personally, I think the biggest impact on his life and how he turned out can be blamed on two women in his life, his mother, Lillian and his wife, Rosalynn.  In the picture to the right, they are fussing over him and keeping him straight at his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. I particularly admire Jimmy for making sure folks know of the impact those two women had on him.

President Carter is an amazing human being who followed his heart. Whoever or whatever he put his mind to, they ended up the better for it. He is now winding down an exemplary life that from the street level looks like it had no gaps or cracks along the way. 

The World has definitely been a better place with him in it.


When Jimmy and Rosalynn took over the White House, I thought it would be very cool if they planted a few rows of peanuts. I used to dance to this when I was a youngster. It is Burl Ives' version of a Civil War song we sang in school, "Goober Peas"

Yep, every time I think of Jimmy Carter, I think of this song.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Enthusiastically Useless

Ok. ....... I had a busy morning yesterday and now this morning I don't. Good thing too. Yesterday I wore myself out. Certainly happens faster now days than it used to. Of course, whenever I become Enthusiastically Useless, on the next day there are always prices to pay. ..... Always. 

Sometimes the cost comes in pounds of flesh, sometimes losses of memory I will never be able to recover. No matter the cost, the next day is a guaranteed wash as Enthusiastic Uselessness is almost always a two day event. 

It's all my darling wife's fault. She ran out of brownies which have become a mainstay in her life now that she is post cancer.

I did not appreciate how totally life changing even a drive by hit of cancer can be until I witnessed my before cancer wife become my post cancer wife. I considered the brownies I baked up for her during her treatment as a temporary aid to help her sleep and ease pain and potential nausea. The cancer however changed her biorhythms so drastically and permanently,  the brownies are here to stay. 

Well. ..... I knew I was probably in for it once the pot brownies hit the oven and I had licked up all that excess batter that had conveniently seemed too hard to get out of the mixing bowl. Most times, there's more than enough batter to make whatever hours left in my day waste away in wonderful uselessness. It matters little whether I am in an animated state with my eyes open or my peeps are slits and I have collapsed into a THC infused couch lock while streaming 50 year old "McHale's Navy" re-runs.  Useless is useless whether dead or alive.

Once the brownies have gone into the oven and the bowls and spoons have been licked,  there is a small window of time, say an hour, in which to remain somewhat unstoned. How high I get is directly related to how much batter was left to consume. I got a little heavy handed yesterday and well, I became over the top Enthusiastically Useless; but not so useless that I was comatose. 

I got shit done yesterday. There was no rhyme or reason for the scattered bits of honey do stuff I did, but  when I collapsed last night, I knew I had been productive contrary to the current tendencies I now champion. 

Yeah, yesterday was a good day. Muscles hurt and my brain feels like an empty old barn looks. Cobwebs floating gently in the dust  lighting up as it passes the grimy windows in the early morning Sun.

Keep it "tween the ditches ....................................


Now we come to the music. I googled "useless music" and it appears the idea of useless is on many musicians's minds. There are countless tunes about useless. I considered going with my first choice, Lovin Spoonful's, "Day Dream". Then I spotted "Gorillaz", a virtual band that has been making music for twenty years at the least. 

Discovering new music has been one of the perks of retirement I did not consider. All this extra time on my hands has been filled with what I used to consider most days a waste of time. Now no day is wasted, just experienced without any considerable tolls, like earning a living. Now I can flow wherever the butterfly floats and not feel too guilty.

To that end, finding new music has become a top shelf interest.So I am including the old favorite, Lovin Spoonful's "Daydream" along with a two-fer from Gorillaz;  "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc."


Thursday, February 09, 2023

Looking for the Feel of Truth

I am just back from another hike into the Internet jungle where news medias coagulate. I had become convinced there was nothing new to find. Every new effort at disseminating the news has been the same pig's ear gussied up to look like another silk purse.

I was looking to round out, or is it fatten up, my selection of news feeds so I can confuse myself more by adding even more sources  for the news I consume. 

I feel I should because , well, we are now trapped in a new world of alternate facts, lying truths, and fabrications taken as word from above by so many people now days. Just the sheer weight of the numbers of idiots who believe the new truths may just replace what actually were the facts going in and been what we should have paid attention to in the first place.

So, I am on the look out for media outlets I can trust to slant the news the least. Sadly, I will never be able to trust the news like I did back in the Walter Cronkite / Edward R. Murrow days. But then I probably should not have trusted them either. As it turns out, Objectivity was hit or miss even back in the day.

Over the last week, I have discovered one source I knew about, but never gave the time of day to. 

Vox has been around for a long time in Internet time. It was started by a respected news guy who existed for years in mainstream media. The Vox platform is extensive and of particular interest for me, and the reason I even checked them out; they are big supporters of crossword puzzles. I have become an addict who shamelessly will get my crossword fix wherever I can; even the back of children's menus down to the local bistro 10 miles away. After some crossword puzzles, I checked out their news wing. Like so many newer news site, the hooks they use are simple and plain written stories that tell the story in the first paragraph or so. Hit the icons and you can delve deeper, but a five minute or less read will drop the important highlights. And yes, if I was to assign a political leaning to Vox, I would say they seem to land just Left of center most of the time. But  often, time is given to opposing views. 

Vox Media's Mission statement:

"Our mission is to empower you with the insight needed to understand and shape our world. We take you on a journey from curiosity to understanding, adding context and clarity to the events and issues swirling around you, so that you can truly understand the problems we face, potential solutions, and what you can do."

For more  About Vox media and links to their offerings

The other site was a surprise from last night while trying to find a brief story on the lying hypocrite, Sen, Mike Lee (R-UT) and how he self owned himself after Biden's SOTU speech.  

"Opoyi" is a digital news dissemination service based in India. It is fairly new and is the result of the collaborations of two very tech successful native Indians, Rajiv and Nilanjana. They decided news needed a whole new digital make over that would meet the shorter attention span and changing demands of today's news consumers. Opoyi does not want to add their twist to the news, they want to fine tune how it is delivered. To that end, they want to break it down into edible and understandable bites without a lot of useless baggage or over the top verbiage..

"Through" Opoyi", ( the founders )Rajiv and Nilanjana aim to offer a single destination to consumers for all their content needs across languagesand  — irrespective of whether they are literate or illiterate — or whether they want text, audio or video."

Read more at: https://yourstory.com/2020/06/silicon-valley-techie-media-veteran-startup-opoyi

I am not advocating for eitther site. I am just informing folks who are as clueless as I am of the newer gyrations in the digital news world that are alternatives to the stale , outdated, poorly produced news we have had to deal with until now. Opoyi Is definitely different and apparently still so new, the final product has not come out into the light yet. Vox is a known to me, only now I know they do crosswood puzzles.

These are my first impressions. If I remember to, I will try to comeback with some follow up. Don't hold your breath.

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


* The image at the top is by an Argentinian illustrator who goes by the pseudonym, "Al Margen". His cartoons / illustrations are awesome. You can find more here.


The only song I could think of today was "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles. I was slow to warm to the Beatles as a kid. My music tended to be more in the country, blues and hard rock genres. But by the time this album,"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band" came out I was a fully and unequivocally a converted Beatles fan. 

Sunday, February 05, 2023

The Grand American Experiment

Forty years after the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960's and 70s I had become comfortable thinking that even though pockets of racist bullshit still existed, they were the exceptions and not the rule as they were during Jim Crow before desegregation. The heavy lifting had been successful and in a few more decades, people of color or people of different ethnicity would be happily assimilated into the Grand American Experiment. Apparently our nation's racist roots run deeper and are more intractably entrenched than I thought.

My mistake in assuming we would all be each other's brother by this time was on me and my White Naivety. 

By the beginning of the 1980s,  I was confident I had shed the racist attitudes I had gathered growing up. I thought most white people had also. The problem is I did not appreciate the unstated advantages I still enjoyed as a white man. It was maybe 20 years ago I broadened my racial awareness by admitting to myself that just being white gave me a big head start over people of color and recent emigres, legal and illegal. 

Then, 14 years ago, the nation elected a black man President of the United States. Not only was he black, he turned out to be a very good president, one of the greats by my estimation.

The ugly racial undertones that had been simmering under our nation's surface again found the light of day. Frankly, I was shocked and totally caught off guard. I did not think this explosion of such widespread racial hatred was still so well entrenched everywhere I looked. 

The Blacks had for years insisted the job of bringing them into the fold was far from complete. Some even insisted race relations were worse than they had been 30, even 50 years ago. At least back then, the racism was in your face and not the insidious racism that saturates almost everything lurking in the dark corners of our culture and not out in the light of day. It's as ugly as it ever was.

My daughter's experience as a passenger in a car stopped for "driving while black"  10 years ago or so smacked the white apathy right out of me. The obvious racist and confrontational tonality of the stop by a state cop immediately became a non-confrontational every day white person stop once the cop spotted Lis. It reminded me of the time as a child when I watched White guys beat on Black protest marchers in Tallahassee, Florida. 

It was a revelation relived.  

Many Whites are still hating and resenting blacks. And the Whites in charge of most everything were at the least, unconsciously pushing White Privilege even if they did not know it. Now they feel accused unjustly without recognizing the insidious nature of the new style racism. Ever since my epiphany I have used different criteria for trying to understand any news worthy event where people of color, other religions, or ethnicity are involved. Now, instead of assuming prejudice of any kind was not involved, I try to assume nothing and allow the facts as I receive them paint the final picture for me. Call it a positive adjustment of the filter I use to observe the world around me.

The Founding Fathers wrote one Helluva a political document when they produced the U.S. Constitution. The first document that consolidated many of the popular political ideas that were currently floating around as alternatives to the monarchical systems that ruled supreme at that time. It established a constitutional government made up of three separate branches of government that was formed by a democratic process. Individual rights were spelled out and protected by law. Or so the rank and file were fooled into believing.

Problem was, White property owners made up the majority of the people who came to together to form a government.  The poor slobs, or call them the serf class, who did the actual hard work of taming our wild country were bamboozled into believing the Constitution was for them, "the people". It was to a degree, and to be fair, the Constitution placed conditions on the ruling classes and endowed everyone with a minimum of freedoms and protections. 

However, built into the great document that set our rules was legal language that gave the deep pockets the last say. In the beginning only White Male property owners could vote. When determining representation by counting populations,  Blacks were only counted as 3/5ths of a person. Women could not vote. Maybe the most egregious mistake right out of the gate, was the formation of the Electoral College and allowing the individual states to define how their elections were run and how they divided the state into voting districts. 

And though some efforts were made to expand the real democratic power to the people, in the end, real power was, and still is, safely in the hands of the White power network. The plantation and factory owners wanted last say and they got it. Everything the Founders did in the area of elections insured the White Rich Minority maintained control. 

The White Nationalist Racism we deal with today is really no different than the racist policies of America since its inception. The Merchant Class along with their mercantile class who are in charge of day to day operations, are an apolitical group whose main focus is profit; first and foremost. Capitalism runs this nation, ideologies are but window dressing.

Skin color, religion, sexual identity are nothing but current flash points to exploit and use to keep the serfs off their game and worrying about each other rather than the assholes who own and run everything. Until we realize it is economics that separate us and not the color of our skin, we will always be locked in their yokes. 

It is called Capitalism and in the wrong hands can be every bit as oppressive as any other "ism". I do think it is possible to have Capitalism and still enjoy our fair share of the pie. Just right now, the deck is so stacked against all of us. They have us pissing on each other's worn shoes instead of pissing on the Wingtips of the Prince's of Wall Street.

So anyway, a random indignation that crossed my mind this morning has turned into something not so random and more indignant than I intended. And while I have been trying to remember to post positive bull shit, well............ old habits do indeed die hard.

Enjoy your Sunday .............................................


I did not look far and wide for a tune to attach to the post. I thought of Tracy Chapman right away. Here is her song, "America". The lyrics are excellent. I have always liked Tracy's voice and well, enjoy.

A few lyrics from the song:

There was land to take
And people to kill
While you were conquering America
You served yourself
Did God's will
While you were conquering America

The ghost of Columbus haunts this world
'Cause you're still conquering America
The meek won't survive
Or inherit the earth
Cause you're still conquering America

You found bodies to serve
Submit and degrade
While you were conquering America
Made us soldiers and junkies
Prisoners and slaves
While you were conquering America

Thursday, February 02, 2023

My First Snowman

I decided to check into some of the Kodak moments my father captured on the Nikon he got for Christmas in the early 1950's. He was always taking pictures. Before the great basement flood of 1965 at our house at 5616 Roosevelt St.,  Bethesda, Maryland, he claimed he had over 10,000 B&W and color slides of his life in the late 1930s up to the flood. The flood destroyed 3/4 of his collection at least.

Too bad., my father was a good photographer. And he snapped pics in many parts of the World over that time. I think his heart took a hit when he had to toss so many in the trash. 

So this afternoon I dug out one of the metal bins that contained some remaining loose slides and began to check them out. Of all the ones I looked at, this one caught my attention. I do not remember building that snowman. According to the caption written in pencil on the border of the slide, I was only five years old at the time. I assume also that I had some help, given the quality of work and detail. But then I could have been a snowman building prodigy. Who knows?

This slide had some damage. I messed with it awhile and came up with it in a black and white version. Black and white seems appropriate given this was taken in the mid 1950's. I do remember the backyard we had in Japan. Bare, nothing in it but grass surrounded by a fence.

Overall, memories of my time in Japan are flashes of disconnected moments that come with no regularity, no context or continuity. They come and they go. I remember dirt roads, air strips and a small school on base. 

The other odd thing that sticks in my mind is we had servants then. My dad explained it later to me as having gopher's, etc was a byproduct of his rank and that we were in post war Japan. Their economy was toast. It was the US and its Marshall plan that dragged them back to the world economically. To that end, the occupying military put as many Japanese to work as possible. So we had a house maid, a house man / gardener, and a chauffeur who was a US Airman. 

The one memory I have that is always the same is of our house maid. First of all, she insisted on helping me dress and bathe. I didn't mind the bath so much, but when she insisted on tucking my shirts inside my underwear, we came to blows. Apparently she was ready to quit because I would pull my shirt out as soon as she left the room. To this day, I think stuffing a shirt into underwear is well, stupid and damn uncomfortable.

Funny what a blast from the past will dredge up.

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


Music for this post came down to a choice between a Metal version of "Frosty the Snowman" and "Snowman" by Mind Underminers. I chose "Snowman". The video dovetails better with the image. Good tune.