Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Quote Of Note - Albert Einstein

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, February 28, 2016

My Thoughts On The Oscars

John Fahey Was Born On February 28, 1939

John Fahey:
John Aloysius Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who played the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been greatly influential and has been described as the foundation of American Primitive Guitar, a term borrowed from painting and referring mainly to the self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist style. Fahey borrowed from the folk and blues traditions in American roots music, having compiled many forgotten early recordings in these genres. He would later incorporate classical, Portuguese, Brazilian, and Indian music into his œuvre. He spent many of his later years in poverty and poor health, but enjoyed a minor career resurgence with a turn towards the more explicitly avant-garde, and created a series of abstract paintings during the last years of his life. He died in 2001 from complications from heart surgery. In 2003, he was ranked 35th in the Rolling Stone "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Quote Of Note - Katherine Krueger

"Trump went on a tear during the debate, hurling a laundry list of insults at his opponents. There was no word on whether they were spelled correctly in his head." - Katherine Krueger

You Have To Hear This

Jesus Christ

Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk who was jailed for her Christian faith and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, received the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President's Award for her faithful commitment to Christian values despite political and media opposition. Last year this award went to the wife of a pastor, jailed in Iran for his Christian faith.

Tomorrow Kim Davis will receive the Heroine of the Faith award for her courage from Bott Radio Network, a Christian radio network with more than 100 stations nationwide that reaches more than 50 million people.

Our client, Kim Davis, has been an encouragement to us and to everyone she meets, showing how completely God can transform a life and use it incredibly beyond what you can imagine, ask, or think. We are thankful to Jesus Christ for transforming lives. What you see in Kim is a woman whose life was transformed by Jesus, and she will not be unfaithful to our Lord, and that's why she was there.

The Truth About Donald Trump

Donald Trump wasn't born in the United States. He was manufactured in Mexico by Mexicans. He's glad there wasn't a wall back then.

The Mexicans paid for it too.

Donald John Trump

It's not Donald Trump. It's Donald John Trump.

Since his middle name is John, he must be an assassin, just like John Wilkes Booth.

Donald Trump Was Born In Kenya

What if someone started a rumor that Donald Trump was born in Kenya? Would his supporters believe it, and say that he was ineligible to run for President?

Is Warren Buffett Right?

Buffett rails against presidential candidates who talk down economy:
Warren Buffett bemoaned the "negative drumbeat" on the U.S. economy from presidential candidates in his annual Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholder letter on Saturday, saying they are misleading Americans into believing their children will be worse off than they are.

"It's an election year, and candidates can't stop speaking about our country's problems (which, of course, only they can solve)," Buffett wrote, italicizing "they" for emphasis.

As a result of their dour outlook on the U.S. economy, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as prosperously as they themselves do, the 85-year-old Buffett said.

"That view is dead wrong: The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history," Buffett said.

Buffett did not single out any presidential candidates by name. The billionaire in December officially threw his backing behind Hillary Clinton, a Democrat.
One billionaire implies that America is not great, another claims otherwise.

Not that anybody cares, but I'm with Mr. Buffett, although I prefer Bernie Sanders.

Weirdness With Water

The correct title for this video should be "Donald Trump tries to mock Marco Rubio and fails miserably."

Why, why, why, this guy for president???

Race For The White House

If You Were A Jazz Tune Running For President, What Would You Sound Like?:

Presidential campaigns may inspire people to vote, but they rarely inspire people to compose music. Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts takes up the challenge on a new EP called Race for the White House, which explores the personas of four different candidates from this year's election cycle.

One of those candidates is Donald Trump; you can hear the song Roberts wrote to represent him below. It features a whistle, which he says is meant to express a particular vision of Trump.

"That symbolizes Donald just looking over his vast estate and just chilling and just having a great time," Roberts says. "And then the trumpet interrupts him just to make a bold statement of, 'I'm going to make America great again, all by myself.'"

Roger McGuinn Is Being Honored

As a founding member of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn helped shape the sound of the sixties with lysergic guitar solos, bewitching harmonies, and the meshing of country and rock into a lasting hybrid. For that, he holds an esteemed place in the firmament of rock and membership in its Hall of Fame, too.

And on March 1, the seventy-three-year-old rocker will be honored by UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Sciences with its first-ever Digital Preservation Under the Radar Award—for pioneering work that does not involve a compressed 12-string Rickenbacker but rather archivist and curatorial work in the area of folk music.

While he’s best known for his unmistakable electric jangle, McGuinn began as a folk player. His fascination with the music, learned at the Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music and played in coffeehouses, caught up with him later in life. In November 1995, he transposed the lyrics, chords, tablature, and history of the traditional cowboy song “Old Paint” and posted it online to share with others. He decided to keep doing this, once per month, and called his project The Folk Den.

He has now amassed 250 songs, organized by categories like “Seafaring,” “Cowboy,” and “Love.” The most popular category is “Mountain/Southern U.S.” which includes seventy-four songs, spanning everything from “Nine Pound Hammer” to child ballads to “Cold Rain and Snow.” McGuinn is methodical; he hasn’t missed a post in twenty years.

Dexter Gordon Was Born On February 27, 1923

Dexter Gordon Quartet
Dexter Gordon - Tenor Sax. George Cables - piano, Rufus Reid - bass, Eddie Gladden -drums

Dexter Gordon:
Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He was among the earliest tenor players to adapt the bebop musical language of people such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell to the instrument. Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), so he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant". His studio and live performance career spanned over 40 years.

Gordon's sound was commonly characterized as being "large" and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was famous for humorously inserting musical quotes into his solos. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane, in turn, influenced Gordon's playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s.
"Laura" is a 1945 popular song. The music was composed by David Raksin for the 1944 movie Laura starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews, and is heard frequently in the movie. The lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer after the film had made the tune popular. According to Mercer, he had not yet seen the movie when he wrote the lyrics, but was aware that it was a romantic, somewhat haunting story.

The song has become a jazz standard, with more than 400 known recordings. Some of the best-known versions are by Woody Herman, Johnny Johnston, Emil Newman, David Rose, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker, J. J. Johnson, Frank Sinatra and Julie London (included on her 1955 debut album Julie Is Her Name, Vol. 1). The first 10 notes of the song are sometimes "quoted" during jazz solos, especially since Dizzy Gillespie did it during his "Perdido" solo at the famous Massey Hall concert in 1953.

Friday, February 26, 2016


What Diversity Looks Like:

A mob of halfwit savages expressed their unwillingness to let Ben Shapiro be heard at California State University, Los Angeles by chanting, “This is what diversity looks like”:

If you define “diversity” as the thuggish repression of people not in favor with the radical left, the mob is right; this is what diversity looks like.

The Black Lives Matter moonbats also pulled a fire alarm and blocked the exits. A female reporter was berated and shoved for attempting to film them.

Here’s what a countermoonbat has to deal with in a country increasingly dominated by angry mobs:

I don't know why the same video is posted twice.

Dave Blount is the author of the above racism. I wonder if he had a face to face discussion with any of the people in the videos if he would use words like "halfwit savages" and "moonbats"?

Benjamin Aaron "Ben" Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and attorney.

A native of Los Angeles, California, Shapiro graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Law School. He has written six books, the first of which was 2004's Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth, written when he was 17 years old. He currently writes a column for Creators Syndicate and is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and editor-at-large for Breitbart News Network. He is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of the media watchdog group TruthRevolt.

Recurring Daymare

I have this recurring nightmare where I dream that Donald Trump is running for President and that he is the leading GOP candidate. I wake up screaming, in a cold sweat, but relieved that it was only a dream.

But, it's not a dream...

Can you hear my scream?

Quote Of Note - Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Not that anybody asked, but I object to religion in science classrooms not because it's religion but because it's not science." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Rubio Sounds Like Me

Rubio also prepared notes on Trump’s now defunct Trump University, for which the mogul may end up appearing as a witness in court to defend in the middle of the campaign season.

“A fake university!” Rubio, almost surprised at his own success, exclaimed. “There are people who borrow $36,000 to go to Trump university and they’re suing him now. $36,000 to go to a university.”

As Trump tried to respond, Rubio kept riffing on this same theme.

“That’s a fake school,” Rubio said. “And you know what they got, they got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump. That’s what they got for $36,000.”

Trump - The Failure, Trump - The Huckster, Trump - The Weasel:
Failure Number Three, Trump University:

Trump University, a school offering his insights into getting rich in real estate at three-day seminars, was different from the vitamin company. Trump was a founder and an owner, and he portrayed himself as taking an active role, shaping the curriculum and vetting the instructors.

"My father did it, I did it," went one ad, referring to the fortunes they made in real estate, "and now I'm ready to teach you how to do it."

The closest most students got to the mogul was a life-sized cardboard cutout. A 2013 lawsuit from the New York attorney general and two class actions in California claim the three days of instructions were largely useless, and that students paying $1,495 to attend were misled. Worse, students at the seminars were told to max out their credit cards to pay tens of thousands dollars more for additional "Elite" training that, the lawsuits claim, was also largely unhelpful.

"I wasted my entire life savings on Trump," said former Trump University student Nelly Cunningham in an affidavit for the New York case. She added, "I feel like such a fool."
Next, I would like to see Rubio 'turn Terminator' on himself, because I don't like him either:

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Marco Rubio

If I Could Amend Marco Rubio

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Donald Trump

"I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair. I don’t know whether it’s maybe because of religion or because of something else, maybe because I’m doing this. Well maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian and I feel strongly about it, so maybe there’s a bias." - Donald Trump

Because Jesus was a strong billionaire who felt strongly about it too.

Would Donald Trump Hire Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is running for President. He has no government experience at all.

Would Donald Trump the CEO hire someone who has no experience and no qualifications at all to work for him?

Would Donald Trump the CEO hire an accountant with no accounting experience?

A Contrast In Public Speaking Styles

Donald Trump As Orator?

Remember when the "Dean Scream" was considered to be not presidential? How I long for the good old days.

Barack Obama As Orator:


War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing. Literally.:
It may be hard to believe now, but in 1970 the protest song “War,” sung by Edwin Starr, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That was at the height of the Vietnam antiwar movement and the song, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, became something of a sensation. Even so many years later, who could forget its famed chorus? “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” Not me. And yet heartfelt as the song was then — “War, it ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker. War, it’s got one friend, that’s the undertaker…” — it has little resonance in America today.

But here’s the strange thing: in a way its authors and singer could hardly have imagined, in a way we still can’t quite absorb, that chorus has proven eerily prophetic — in fact, accurate beyond measure in the most literal possible sense. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. You could think of American war in the twenty-first century as an ongoing experiment in proving just that point.

Looking back on almost 15 years in which the United States has been engaged in something like permanent war in the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, one thing couldn’t be clearer: the planet’s sole superpower with a military funded and armed like none other and a “defense” budget larger than the next seven countries combined (three times as large as the number two spender, China) has managed to accomplish — again, quite literally — absolutely nothing, or perhaps (if a slight rewrite of that classic song were allowed) less than nothing.

Unless, of course, you consider an expanding series of failed states, spreading terror movements, wrecked cities, countries hemorrhaging refugees and the like as accomplishments...

Quote Of Note - Ian Welsh

"I know there are options available in the American election that don’t sell the tattered remains of America’s soul." - Ian Welsh

Anger And Hate As A Political Platform


For every suburban Republican who loves tax cuts and the National Review there are a half-dozen of the people you see at a Trump rally. No matter how many times Republican elected officials and opinion leaders have tried to convince themselves otherwise, these people do not give one shit about Conservative Values or the principle of small government. They're angry and they've been convinced that government is to blame. That is about the extent to which they have opinions that could be called "political." The rest is simply nativism, the politics of blood. They just hate everyone different. It sounds like I'm oversimplifying that to insult them, but unfortunately that's all there is to it. They hate the gays, the liberals, the environmentalists and their "science", the Pope, the Jews, the blacks, the Mexicans, the Mormons, the young, the poor, and anything remotely "foreign" or unfamiliar (including, from the looks of his crowds, fruit and occasional exercise)...
Anger and hate do not provide rational and reasoned solutions. Usually, anger and hate simply produce more anger and hate.

America deserves better than this.

Johnny Cash Was Born On February 26, 1932

Johnny Cash:
Johnny "J.R." Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Much of Cash's music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their marriage); and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter" and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th century rock artists, most notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quote Of Note - Wendell Pierce

"The head of casting said, 'I couldn’t put you in a Shakespeare movie, because they didn’t have black people then.'"  - Wendell Pierce

George Harrison Was Born On February 25, 1943

It's been a long, long, long time
How could I ever have lost you
When I loved you?

It took a long, long, long time
Now I'm so happy I found you
How I love you

So many tears I was searching
So many tears I was wasting, oh oh

Now I can see you be you
How can I ever misplace you?
How I want you
Oh, I love you
You know that I need you
Oh, I love you

George Harrison

Published by

George Harrison:
George Harrison, (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian mysticism and helped broaden the horizons of his fellow Beatles as well as their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music. Although the majority of the Beatles' songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something", the last of which became the Beatles' second-most covered song.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Quote Of Note - Gryphen

"As you all well know I don't exactly believe in God. But if I did and I thought that he chose fucking Ted Cruz to be the Commander-in-Chief, I 'm pretty sure that would destroy my faith right there." - Gryphen

Whatever Happened To The Tea Party?

Is the tea party losing steam? Is it no longer hot? Will they be serving cold tea from now on?

The presidential "race" is all over the news right now. I see reports on television and read about it all over the place. There is much coverage of the GOP, of Donald Trump, of Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. What seems to be missing is any mention of The Tea Party. I wonder why this is so? Why is there no mention of The Tea Party when people speak of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio?

Marco Rubio:

In his campaign, Rubio received the support of members of the Tea Party, many of whom were dissatisfied with Crist's policies as governor.
Rubio initially won his U.S. Senate seat with strong Tea Party backing, but his 2013 support for comprehensive immigration reform legislation led to a decline in that support. Rubio's stance on military, foreign policy and national security issues—such as his support for arming the Syrian rebels and for the NSA—alienated some libertarian-oriented Tea Party activists.
Marco Rubio, Tea Party pretty boy:
It's possible the Glenn Beck-inspired masses who propelled Rubio to become the "First Senator from the Tea Party" — as the New York Times famously dubbed him in January...
Ted Cruz:
In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and then by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, former editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; the FreedomWorks for America super PAC; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express...
Cruz also called fellow Republicans out as "squishes" on gun-control issues during a Tea Party rally.
Why did Sarah Palin abandon Ted Cruz? What is a squish?

A Republican Voice With Tea Party Mantle and Intellectual Heft:
But few may have imagined Mr. Cruz, 41, in his newest role, as the Tea Party favorite and Republican candidate for the United States Senate, trading verbal orchids with the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
Tea Party activists have expressed support for Republican politicians Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. In July 2010, Bachmann formed the Tea Party Congressional Caucus; however, the caucus has been defunct since July 2012.
Is The Tea Party just for children? Has everyone outgrown it now? If so, why replace it with the Republican Party, where everyone still believes in make-believe?

Quote Of Note - Warren Buffett

"When a problem exists, whether in personnel or in business operations, the time to act is now. … The time to have considered -- and improved -- the reliability of New Orleans’ levees was before Katrina." - Warren Buffett

$445 Billion

A report out by the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Risks Report states crimes in cyberspace will cost the global economy $445 billion this year.

Crazy Christian Conservatives Are Clearly Different From Hillary And Bernie

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pledged Tuesday to tackle long-standing racial divisions in the United States during their final joint event before Saturday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina, where 60 percent of likely voters are African Americans.

Sanders accused Republicans, including GOP front-runner Donald Trump, of leading a racist effort to try to de-legitimize the nation’s first black president by questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace. Sanders noted his father came from Poland, but that "nobody has asked for my birth certificate. Maybe it’s the color of my skin."

“Do I think that, at least in some parts of that Republican base, there is race involved in that? Absolutely.” he said.
There is proof of climate change and there is proof of racism in America. Republicans deny both. There is no proof of God or that America was founded as a Christian nation, yet Republicans believe both. Crazy, isn't it?

Quote Of Note - John Cole

"I am unburdened by the blinders of good will, and have an easy formula for how I decide why and what the GOP is going to do in every situation. Merely imagine the dumbest, most venal, and most cynical self-serving immediate choice, add in a heap of racism and a little bit of Jesus, and you have whatever the Republicans will propose." - John Cole

David "Fathead" Newman Was Born On February 24, 1933

In honor of the late David "Fathead" Newman, his sensuous version of Duke Pearson's "Cristo Redentor" from his 2002 'Davey Blue' CD. Recorded in New York City May 31, 2001. Newman (alto saxophone), Bryan Carrott (vibraphone), Cedar Walton (piano), David Williams (bass), Kenny Washington (drums).

David "Fathead" Newman:
David "Fathead" Newman (February 24, 1933 – January 20, 2009) was an American jazz and rhythm-and-blues saxophonist who made numerous recordings as a session musician and leader, but is best known for his work as a sideman on seminal 1950s and early 1960s recordings by singer-pianist Ray Charles.

The All Music Guide to Jazz wrote that “there have not been many saxophonists and flutists more naturally soulful than David “Fathead” Newman,” and that “one of jazz’s and popular music’s great pleasures is to hear, during a vocalist’s break, the gorgeous, huge Newman tones filling the space . . . ." Newman is sometimes cited as a leading exponent of the so-called “Texas Tenor” saxophone style, which refers to the many big-toned, bluesy jazz tenor players from that state.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Meanies Everywhere

Mean people suck, yeah I mean you Donald Trump... and all of your supporters...

The Culture of Meanness:

One of the most striking things about much of American culture is the simple meanness of it. The cruelty.
There is also a culture of punching down, as commenter Lisa has observed. America has a high-violence, high-bullying society. As Lisa noted you can have a high-violence society in which it is considered unacceptable to attack the weak (doing so is viewed as cowardice), but that’s not the case in America.

In American culture, the weak are the preferred target. Failure is punishable by homelessness, suffering, and death.  Sick people sure don’t deserve proper pain medication. Poor people are poor because they “don’t add value.” If you’re poor, you definitely shouldn’t have good healthcare, because if you don’t have money, you don’t deserve money, and that’s because you’re a waste of space.
...But it’s hard to change something that people have taken and turned into a moral imperative: Be mean to the weak and poor, who deserve their fates. Kick down, kiss up, because a failure to pucker up can have you thrown out of the charmed circle, and obviously higher-ups want to see you acting like them, imitation being the most sincere form of flattery.

It’s all very depressing, all very unnecessary, and all very much in the interests of the people who run your society.  Meanness in the chattel means they can rarely get together to challenge the masters, because they hate each other more than they hate the masters.

Kindness is a revolutionary act.
Good Christian meanness is in the Bible, just read the old testament. Oh hell, read the new testament, it has a wonderful story of how a father should treat his son.

Something I Was Wondering About

Are credit card rewards considered taxable income by the IRS?:

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), credit card rewards may be taxable as income. The types of rewards and the way in which you receive them determine whether they are considered taxable. In many cases, the rewards are viewed by the IRS as a discount, not as income. For example, a cash-back program for using your credit card is treated as if it were actually a post-purchase discount. There are some credit card reward programs that offer large sign-up bonuses, however, which the IRS may end up counting as taxable income.

Business purchases are completely different than personal purchases, however. If you have a business credit card, a good general rule of thumb is that any rebates on those business purchases are subtracted from the costs of your purchases, reducing the amount that you can deduct from your taxes. This is not technically taxable income, but the net result does increase your tax burden.

Types of common credit card rewards that are not counted as income include cash-back programs, travel miles bonuses, accumulated points towards future purchases and credit card sign-up bonuses that require a financial transaction to be realized.

If, however, the sign-up bonus for your credit card does not require that you make any purchases or charge any amount to your card, then you are likely to receive a 1099-MISC tax form in the mail in conjunction with the bonus. Since the IRS requires that these benefits be treated as income, you must document your rewards on the 1099 form. In some circumstances, the issuing credit card company reports the rewards as income to the IRS and state authorities, but this is usually only the case when state law requires such reports.

You do not necessarily have to receive money in order for the sign-up bonus to be considered taxable. Anything that is provided without being attached to the use of your card – such as airline miles, gifts that are tangible goods or other valuable rewards – are normally taxable income. If you have questions about your credit card reward programs and their tax implications, it is best to consult an actual tax expert and not the issuing credit card company.

If you receive a 1099-MISC form in the mail as part of a rewards program, do not ignore it.
But wait, there's more...

Paul Ryan States The Obvious

Quote Of Note - Jerry Coyne

"Why would one be motivated to do good by the supposed existence of a being about whom you have no evidence and know nothing? What if such a god was not good, but malicious? How would you know?" - Jerry Coyne

There Are Fake Books And There Are Fake Books

A fake book is a collection of musical lead sheets intended to help a performer quickly learn new songs. Each song in a fake book contains the melody line, basic chords and sometimes lyrics - the minimal information needed by a musician to make an impromptu arrangement of a song, or "fake it". The fake book is a central part of the culture of playing music in public, especially in jazz, where improvisation is particularly valued. Fake books are not intended for novices: the reader must follow and interpret the scant notation, and generally needs to have thorough familiarity with chords and sheet music.
Fake book:

For the record, I have a collection of fake books, but I don't own any fake books. I also don't know if there are any fake books of fake books.

Man Falsely Accused Of Insulting Bible

For his part, Cruz spent significant time Monday seeking to explain the ouster of his spokesman for tweeting a story that falsely accused White House hopeful Marco Rubio of insulting the Bible.
Is it even possible to insult an inanimate object? And, if it is possible, why would that be a negative thing to do?

Also, could someone be arrested for assaulting a Bible with sticks and stones?

What Really Scares Me About Donald Trump

What really scares me about Donald Trump is the fact that so many Americans want him to be president. Whether Trump wins or loses, these people remain. They are our neighbors and fellow citizens, and they are angry, and, in my opinion, absolutely bonkers.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Donald Trump

"I'd like to punch him in the face." - Donald Trump

Johnny Winter Was Born On February 23, 1944

Johnny Winter from Danish TV in 1970 with Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on Drums

Johnny Winter:
John Dawson Winter III (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014), known as Johnny Winter, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Knights Templar Drug Cartel

Yes, there really is an organization called The Knights Templar Drug Cartel. I first heard of it when the devil caught my eye in Devil wants church resigned to violence; resist him, pope says:

The devil loves Christians – especially priests and nuns – who are resigned to the violence and corruption around them, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating Mass Feb. 16 at a stadium in Morelia, Pope Francis repeated his frequent call to priests, religious and seminarians to get out of their churches and convents and take God’s mercy and offer of salvation to the world.

But in Morelia, the geographic center of Mexico and capital of Michoacan state – a stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel – the pope was not talking just about traditional evangelization.
I thought it was God that loves Christians. Now it's the devil? Thank God we have a pope to keep us up to speed on these things.

One of the first things that turned me away from the Catholic Church is how boring it is. Once again, we have the pope telling "good" Catholics that the devil is out to getcha.

Back to the Knights Templar Cartel:
Knights Templar—Guard of Michoacán (Spanish: Los Caballeros Templarios Guardia Michoacana) commonly known as the Knights Templar Cartel (Spanish: Los Caballeros Templarios) is a Mexican criminal organization composed of remnants of the defunct La Familia Michoacana drug cartel based in the Mexican State of Michoacán.
They have an "ethical code":
The Knights Templar cartel was founded on a strict ethical code developed by La Tuta. The code is contained in a small book that is handed out to all members of the cartel and even to the public. The book is decorated with knights on horseback with lances and crosses. The 22 page book is titled "The Code of the Knights Templar of Michoacan" and contains the rules and regulations of the gang. The gang has based its rules on those of the European Knights Templar. Members swear to help the poor and helpless, fight against materialism, respect women and children, not kill for money, and not use drugs. The Knights even go as far as drug testing all members. While the cartel has moved more towards accepting criminal acts prohibited by the ethical code, breaking the code can still incur punishment by death.
My brain is starting to hurt.

The original Knights Templar were active around 1119–1312 and pledged allegiance to the pope. The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades.

Knights Templar:
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of Solomon's Temple (French: Ordre du Temple or Templiers) or simply as Templars, were among the wealthiest and most powerful of the Western Christian military orders and were prominent actors in Christian finance. The organisation existed for nearly two centuries during the Middle Ages.
Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129, the Order became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, innovating financial techniques that were an early form of banking, and building fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
Life is much simpler not being a Catholic.


I did not know that SarahPAC existed. Did you?

Control If You Do, Control If You Don't

The chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, in a Washington Post op-ed, wrote: “The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.

“I agree with him,” he wrote.
Koch writes that Sanders often sounds as though he’s running as much against him as actual presidential candidates. He says he opposes Sanders’ desire to expand the federal government’s “control over people’s lives.”

But Koch writes policies that pick winners and losers have perpetuated a “cycle of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty” in the U.S. That impedes progress and moves the country away from a “society of mutual benefit,” he wrote.

Koch also says he shares Sanders’ views on the need for criminal justice reform.
Which is it: "control over people's lives" or a "cycle of control"?

I Think That Sarah Gave Donald Speech Lessons

When the lights suddenly went out during a Donald Trump rally in Atlanta on Sunday, the Republican frontrunner gave us a glimpse of what the race for the GOP nomination may look like if no one catches up to him.
The real estate mogul tried to turn the situation with the lights into a teachable moment.

“We save on electricity, right? And because the lights don’t work, I won’t pay the rent — so, better lighting, and we don’t pay the rent. That’s the way we have to negotiate for our country … the lights go off, it’s better. We say we want the lights. Oh, it’s terrible, we take a big deduction off the rent because the lights are off, but it’s actually better. It’s the kind of sick thinking we really need for our country.
The lights go off, and it's better?

GOP Lawmakers Accept Bribes

House Republicans urging a steep increase in the Pentagon's budget have received $10 million in campaign contributions over the course of their congressional careers from defense contractors that would benefit from higher levels of military spending.
"Republicans claim that throwing more money at the Education Department won't make our kids smarter," said David Williams, president of the nonprofit Taxpayers Protection Alliance. "If that's the case, then just throwing more money at the Pentagon won't make us any safer."

Is Climate Change A Hoax Or Reality?

Election 2016: Where does each candidate stand on climate change?:

Climate change and concerns over regulations on greenhouse gas emissions are some of the most controversial political issues facing the 2016 presidential candidates.

While some strongly deny the mainstream scientific consensus that the Earth is experiencing a period of global warming, many of the candidates in the running have different views on how to address the issue in a way that will protect the American economy, while still ensuring a brighter future for the planet and future generations.
Find out more here.

Of course, the hoax candidate thinks that climate change is a hoax.

Citizens Not United

Keen observers of the political landscape may have discerned this bit of information: The Republican establishment sort of hates its presidential front-runner Donald Trump. But very few of the party's moneyed elite have had the gumption to openly fund a mission to destroy the billionaire's chances of winning the nomination.

Until now.

New campaign-finance reports show that Marlene Ricketts, the wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts, contributed $3 million to Our Principles PAC, a super PAC that blistered Trump with negative ads, voter guides and mailers ahead of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Katie Packer, who helped manage Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, runs the group.

Virtually all the money the committee raised in January came from Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs.
The billionaires are at war with one another. Isn't it fun to watch?

I'd bet that the founders of Citizens United did not foresee this. Perhaps Citizens United will implode when billionaires realize that all the money they spend is being canceled out by all the money that some other group of billionaires is spending.

Hopefully, "divided they fall" will apply eventually.

These people have way too much money.

John Mayall

Legendary “Godfather of British Blues” John Mayall’s name was called when The Blues Foundation announced today (2/17) its list of performers, music, literature and individuals who will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis on May 4. Other performers joining John Mayall in the 2016 Class of Inductees include Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson and The Memphis Jug Band.

Ernie_K-Doe Was Born On February 22, 1936

Ernie K-Doe:
Ernest Kador, Jr. (February 22, 1936 – July 5, 2001), known by the stage name Ernie K-Doe, was an African American R&B singer best known for his 1961 hit single "Mother-in-Law" which went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart in the U.S.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Freedom Of Choice

Compassion and Choices is a nonprofit organization in the United States working to improve patient rights and individual choice at the end of life, including access to medical aid in dying. Its primary function is advocating for and ensuring access to end-of-life options, including medical aid in dying.

With over 65,000 supporters and campaigns in nine states, it is the largest organization of its kind in the United States.
Compassion and Choices helps people plan for and achieve a good death. We work to change attitudes, practices and policies so that everyone can access the information and options they need to have more control and comfort at the end of life.

Let's Make America Great Again

Let's go back to when gambling was illegal everywhere except Nevada.

Nina Simone Was Born On February 21, 1933

Nina Simone:
Nina Simone (born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist who worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Every Day Brings More Insanity

Idaho Republicans are pushing a bill that would allow teachers to cite the Bible as a reference book in science classes.

The Senate Education Committee has given preliminary approval to a measure introduced by state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood) that would permit teachers to use the religious document “for reference purposes” in classes such as astronomy, biology and geology.

A Democratic senator questioned why the bill was necessary, because teachers are already permitted to highlight biblical allusions in history and literature, but Nuxoll said a statute was needed to highlight the Bible’s importance.

“It’s to clarify and make sure teachers know their rights,” Nuxoll said. “A lot of teachers are scared to use the Bible.”
I propose a bill that would deny the use of Bibles in churches.

Two Mississippi Democrats propose making Bible the state book:
There's a state bird, a state nut, a state shell and more, but what about a book? A couple of Mississippi lawmakers are hoping to make the Bible the official book of the state.

Rep. Tom Miles of Forest and fellow Democratic Rep. Michael Evans of Preston are spearheading the bill which was proposed last week, according to Evans.

Evans told that the idea came about while he was speaking with constituents.

"Me and my constituents, we were talking about it and one of them made a comment that people ought to start reading the Bible," said Evans.

He said that they discussed "all the things going wrong in the world" and someone suggested making the Bible the state book.
Let me guess who the state nuts are.

What If Donald Trump Was Running For President As A Black Panther?

Imagine Donald Trump as a black man, not a white man. Imagine Donald Trump running for president as a Black Panther, not as a Republican. Imagine that this imaginary Donald Trump spouted the same rhetoric as the real Donald Trump. Now imagine Donald Trump as dead, because if he were a black man running for president as a Black Panther he would be dead by now, especially if he carried a gun.

Killing of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark:

In Chicago, on December 4, 1969, two Panthers were killed when the Chicago Police raided the home of Panther leader Fred Hampton. The raid had been orchestrated by the police in conjunction with the FBI. Hampton was shot and killed, as was Panther guard Mark Clark. A federal investigation reported that only one shot was fired by the Panthers, and police fired at least 80 shots. Hampton was subsequently shot twice in the head at point blank range while unconscious. He was 21 years old and unarmed at the time of his death. Coroner reports show that Hampton was drugged with a powerful barbiturate that night and all indicators point toward FBI infiltrator William O'Neal as the source of the drugging. Former FBI agent Wesley Swearingen asserts that the Bureau was guilty of a "plot to murder" the Panthers. Cook County State's Attorney Edward Hanrahan, his assistant and eight Chicago police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury over the raid, but the charges were later dismissed. In 1979 civil action, Hampton's family won $1.85 million from the city of Chicago in a wrongful death settlement.
Trump's closing SC argument: kill 'em all:
I have been writing Trump's torture and summary execution endorsements constantly since he first said it last fall. He is crazed on the subject. The mainstream press noted it in passing but didn't seem to see it as anything unusual.

They are taking note of it more lately since he is getting increasingly bloodthirsty and outrageous when he discusses it. But it's nothing new. This is about his last rally in South Carolina:

Trump repeated – favorably – an apparent myth about how General John Pershing summarily executed dozens of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines with tainted ammunition during a guerilla war against the occupying United States.

“He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said. “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?”

The story appears to be a hoax spread via e-mail forwards, according to rumor tracker, with no evidence it occurred.

The moral of the tale, according to Trump: “We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.”

Trump was unimpressed with waterboarding, a banned interrogation tactic that he has pledged to bring back against suspected terrorists, and supplement with far worse forms of abuse.

“Is it torture or not? It’s so borderline,” he said. “It’s like minimal, minimal, minimal torture.”

In a previous speech, Trump called his opponent Senator Ted Cruz, whose father was tortured as a young man in Cuba, a “pu**y” for not sharing his zeal for the practice.

Trump went on to boast how fears of terrorism had boosted him politically, including in South Carolina where he leads a number of polls by double-digit margins.

“When Paris happened, everyone started saying, ‘We want Trump!’” he said. “The polls came in, 60 percent, 70 percent, 72 percent. This is 72 percent with 17 people running. Now we’re down to 6, we got rid of all these people. It’s so great. It’s so great.”
Trump’s speech was a hit with the audience, which cheered throughout.

Trump supporter Eleanor Crume, 72, told MSNBC afterwards that she agreed with Trump’s stance on waterboarding because terrorists should not be “pampered.”

“We need someone who can lead the country because people are scared to death,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time before terrorists come and start chopping Christian heads off in the United States.”

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster, Trump’s most prominent endorser in the state, set the tone for the event before Trump came on.

“How many of you feel real safe right now?”

“Nooooooooo!” the audience droned in response.

“We’re gonna change that,” he replied.
In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence...
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law".
Scalia explicated the fighting words exception as follows: “The reason why fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment is not that their content communicates any particular idea, but that their content embodies a particularly intolerable (and socially unnecessary) mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey”. Because the hate speech ordinance was not concerned with the mode of expression, but with the content of expression, it was a violation of the freedom of speech. Thus, the Supreme Court embraced the idea that hate speech is permissible unless it will lead to imminent hate violence.
Is Donald Trump guilty of inciting imminent hate violence?

Now imagine Barack Obama as a white man...

Quote Of Note - Peter Kadushin

"The mayor and I talked, and agreed that America could use more pastrami sandwiches and less firearms." - Peter Kadushin

Why Revisiting The Black Panther Revolution Resonates Today

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." - Wayne LaPierre

The Black Panthers were ahead of their time. They armed themselves against the bad guys. (The police and the FBI.) They also scared the shit out of many white people.

The problem with the thinking of people like Wayne LaPierre is one of definition. Who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys? Who gets to decide? The Black Panthers made that decision when LaPierre was about seventeen years old.

I don't claim to understand the Black Panthers, but their claim of self-defense as a reason to arm themselves seems like a strong one.

Personally, I support non-violent civil disobedience.

I wonder if Wayne LaPierre was inspired by the Panthers? Somehow I doubt it.

J. Geils Was Born On February 20, 1946

J. Geils:
John Warren Geils Jr. (born February 20, 1946), popularly known as J. Geils, is an American musician.

Born in New York City, Geils grew up in Far Hills, New Jersey, where he graduated from Bernards High School. He moved to Massachusetts in 1964 and studied engineering at Northeastern University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Geils is primarily known as a blues-rock and jazz guitarist. He was the lead guitarist and founder of a rock band, J. Geils Band. He has also recorded with several jazz musicians.

Friday, February 19, 2016

David Harsanyi Wants To Bring Back Dueling

Bring Back Dueling!:
In a recent debate, Donald Trump accused fellow candidate Ted Cruz of being “the single biggest liar” in the Republican race. He didn’t stop there, punctuating the insult by adding that the Texas senator was “probably worse than Jeb Bush.” This ugly dig — leveled by a billionaire in front of tens of millions of television viewers — was nothing less than character assassination.

These days, though, there’s really no way to fight back against attacks on your honor. You can whine about them, or you can respond with your jabs, but little else. (And Cruz is no amateur on either count.) We’ve spent centuries tempering our Darwinian instinct to swing our clubs at the heads of men who threaten or insult us. This has, in the aggregate, served society quite well. And yet, I can’t help but wonder if the lack of consequence associated with our words and deeds has fed another kind of detrimental vulgarism.

People typically adjust their behavior to the level of risk they face — or so the theory goes. Would Harry Reid falsely accuse Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes if the latter could challenge the Nevada senator to a duel to regain his good standing? Would a politician question an opponent’s Christian faith if that opponent could prove his piousness by shooting the accuser dead? Probably not.
This is like saying that the solution to gun violence is more guns. No, it's dumber than that, since Harsanyi is saying that the solution to speech that someone does not like is gun violence. Is he even aware of the 1st Amendment?

Duel: Enlightenment-era opposition:
By the late 18th century, Enlightenment era values began to influence society with new self-conscious ideas about politeness, civil behaviour and new attitudes towards violence. The cultivated art of politeness demanded that there should be no outward displays of anger or violence, and the concept of honour became more personalized.

By the 1770s the practice of dueling was increasingly coming under attack from many sections of enlightened society, as a violent relic of Europe's medieval past unsuited for modern life. As England began to industrialize and benefit from urban planning and more effective police forces, the culture of street violence in general began to slowly wane. The growing middle class maintained their reputation with recourse to either bringing charges of libel, or to the fast-growing print media of the early nineteenth century, where they could defend their honour and resolve conflicts through correspondence in newspapers.

Influential new intellectual trends at the turn of the nineteenth century bolstered the anti-duelling campaign; the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham stressed that praiseworthy actions were exclusively restricted to those that maximize human welfare and happiness, and the Evangelical notion of the "Christian conscience" began to actively promote social activism. Individuals in the Clapham Sect and similar societies, who had successfully campaigned for the abolition of slavery, condemned dueling as ungodly violence and as an egocentric culture of honour. describes "progressive" as forward-looking, and gives one antonym as "conservative".

Conservatives in The United States must want to drag us back to the Stone Age. They continue to become more regressive and backward-looking. No wonder they hate liberals and progressives so much.

Since I am being critical of David Harsanyi I will assume that he probably thinks that a "civil" response to my criticism would be to challenge me to a duel.

Quote Of Note - Chuck Easttom

"Young earth creationism is essentially the position that all of modern science, 90% of living scientists and 98% of living biologists, all major university biology departments, every major science journal, the American Academy of Sciences, and every major science organization in the world, are all wrong regarding the origins and development of life….but one particular tribe of uneducated, bronze aged, goat herders got it exactly right." - Chuck Easttom

The Evergreen Cooperative

Transforming Lives and Neighborhoods Through Community Wealth-Building:

Neighborhood by neighborhood, Evergreen Cooperatives Corporation is creating economic breakthroughs in Cleveland–and through its Business Services consulting arm, well beyond. Evergreen catalyzes local, sustainable companies that offer their employee-owners opportunities for personal, financial and career success. This strategic community wealth-building creates meaningful jobs, keeps precious financial resources within the Greater University Circle neighborhood and sows the seeds for rebuilding the local economy. Sustainable companies and meaningful jobs – together they can stabilize, revitalize and transform communities and individuals.
A Nationally Watched Initiative in Grassroots Economic Development:
Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions (including the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government), the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is working to create living-wage jobs in six low-income neighborhoods, with a median household income below $18,500, in an area known as Greater University Circle.

The initiative was designed to create an economic breakthrough in Cleveland. Rather than a trickle-down strategy, it focuses on economic inclusion and building a local economy from the ground up. Rather than offering public subsidy to induce corporations to bring what are often low-wage jobs into the city, the Evergreen strategy calls for catalyzing new businesses, owned by their employees. Rather than concentrate on workforce training for employment opportunities that are largely unavailable to low-skill and low-income workers, the Evergreen Initiative first creates the jobs, and then recruits and trains local residents to fill them.