Retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd. north of SCPower's sub-station.
After seven years of steadfast opposition to the Affordable Care Act by the GOP they finally get almost total control of the US Government and can’t get the job done. The Republicans have a 44 seat majority in the House, a 4 seat majority in the Senate, and they own the White House. All this unity of purpose, dogged determination, and new-found political power and, they still couldn’t get the job done. The best they could do is withdraw their American Health Care Act, let Obamacare stand, and blame the failure on Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the Congressional Democrats.
Now let me take a couple of minutes to explain what and why the GOP and Trump failed. It failed because the Republicans are not divided into factions based on ideology. Like the Democrats there are common or core beliefs but not everyone believes the same things. Unlike the Democrats, who have a relatively small and docile far-left faction, the GOP has a large and powerful far-right wing. They’ve got this bunch of well-financed (Koch brother money) and dogmatic conservatives running around the House calling themselves the Freedom Caucus.
I was digging around the Internet and came across an article from Rolling Stone Magazine about some of the various collaborations Chuck Berry performed with other personalities. I found them historically interesting and thought some of you might also enjoy them. Click on the button to be linked to the RS story and videos.
Justin Johnson has been in Nashville for several months working at Cash Cabin on a new double album, Drivin’ it Down. This one is different in that he’s using a whole band along with vocalists. Among the songs recorded was Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode but they had no plans to video and release it until Chuck Berry suddenly passed away.
Drivin’ it Down will be released on April 1, 2017 and may be ordered from Justin’s website.
Album credits include:
•Filmed and Recorded at Cash Cabin Studio, Nashville TN
•3x GRAMMY Award Winning Artist Bill Miller on Vocals
•Justin Johnson on Lead Guitar
•Executive Producer of “Drivin’ It Down,” Ian McDonald, on Rhythm Guitar
FALSE WIDOW SPIDERS: By weight, earth’s deadliest hunter is the noble spider, which kills and subsequently consumes 400 million to 800 million tons of prey per year, mainly insects. Now read those numbers again and think about how much they eat! Now say, “Holy shit!”
A lot of laid off coal miners voted for Trump because he got them to believe in the lie that coal was coming back to Eastern Kentucky and Trump would be driving the lead truck. Well that’s just not going to happen if you believe in reality. There is not a single indicator lending evidence that coal is in out future.
While coal consumption has been dying in America the same has occurred in other nations. China just cancelled the construction of 103 coal-fired generating plants in favor of natural gas. China has stopped importing coal and has laid off tens of thousands of their own miners due to lack of demand.
During the years I taught government another teacher and myself would invite state politicians to discuss our classes about the realities of being a politician. We had both a Democrat and a Republican and they always did a wonderful job.
One question always asked by students was some form of, “How’s come you guys don’t do thus and thus?” The standard answer was always, “OK, I’ll do that, just give me the money.” People want to believe government functions on air and politicians can just wave their hands and things happen. Of course, the reality is that everything takes money and the most common source of money for government is taxes.
CONFLICT WARNING: The Chinese government has preliminarily approved 38 Trump trademarks, which cover hotels, golf clubs and concierge services. While a director at a Hong Kong intellectual property outfit told the Associated Press that he’d never seen so many trademark applications approved so quickly, any special treatment in trademark rights received by President Trump would violate the U.S. Constitution, experts said.
The news reported recently that the Trump family was the first to occupy the White House and not own a dog. While I think that is a win-win for dogs I do have a story about presidential dogs. This was originally published on an earlier version of my website but I think it’s time to bring it back for a second reading.
“Feller, a beautiful blond Cocker Spaniel, was an unsolicited 1947 Christmas gift to President Truman. The Trumans elected to give the puppy to the White House physician, Brigadier General Wallace Graham. Dog lovers around the country attacked the President as being anti-canine. Dr. Graham, soon tiring of the press and publicity, decided to get rid of the dog. He had Truman’s Naval Aide, Adm. James K. Foskett, take Feller to Shangri-La (Camp David). As the camp was not open to the press this seemed to end the Feller story, until now. The Admiral left Feller with the chief-in-charge, Quartermaster Chief George A. Poplin. When Poplin was transferred, Charles G. Ross, President Truman’s secretary, came to camp and told Poplin to leave the dog there. Poplin was relieved as chief-in-charge by Damage Control Chief Ralph O. Loften, who in turn was relieved by Chief Boatswain Robert W. Lyle. In 1953, while Chief Lyle was being transferred to Italy, he sought permission from Naval Aide Admiral Robert L. Dennison to take Feller. Permission was granted, provided that no mention be made that the dog once belonged to Truman. Robert gave Feller to his father, Archie Otis Lyle, who owned a farm just outside Greenfield, Ohio. There Feller lived for many happy years until he died of old age.
As a note of interest, when it became known by the camp crew that a member of the Truman family was to visit Shangri-La, Feller would be taken to a pet groomer in Thurmont just to be looking good in case the Trumans wanted to see him. They never did ask about the dog.”
Trump is the first occupant of the White House who has been given carte blanche to make shit up while providing zero evidence.
It’s been said that Trump Tweets while sitting on the toilet each morning. I’m thinking his most angry, ridiculous, and outrageous Tweets come from those times when he is the most constipated.
If Obama did tap Trump’s phones it suggest a federal judge saw sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to justify a warrant.
In one February Ohio week we had the highest temperature ever recorded, followed by plummeting temperatures and spitting snow, and finishing up with a tornado that left a 7-mile track through Highland County.
Old Chinese proverb, “Be wary of autocratic rulers with goofy fucking haircuts.”
Fifty-two years ago today John Lewis, Martin Luther King, and a number of other civil rights leaders and marchers set out to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge into Selma, AL. On arrival they were violently set upon by city police, state troopers, police dogs, water cannons, tear gas, and nightsticks. Unfortunately there were those, then and now, who argue that the wrong side, Lewis’, won.
I don’t know when I first heard Bolero but my best guess would be in the late 1960s while in college. I just remember being smitten by it, totally consumed. In the late 70s I bought a high-end stereo system and a new vinyl of Bolero. I was between marriages and building a new house. Living alone I would put Bolero on the turntable, turn on the repeat button, and listen to this magnificent crescendo while working on the home. I remember stopping occasionally and pretending like I was conducting the LA Philharmonic using my hammer as a baton.
The only other musical piece that had such an effect on me was the musical score from Les Miserable. I’m soon to be seventy-five years old and my hearing is shot to hell. Some great degree of the loss is probably a result of traveling with Bolero and Les Mis’ blasting from my car’s stereo system. At least I can say I lost my ear hairs to a class act!
I hate it when any politician lays claim to knowing how Americans feel about something. They love to say things like, “We all know that Americans don’t approve of such ‘n such.” Well no, they don’t know that. We can take polls and try to make educated guesses but we don’t really know. Hillary Clinton losing the election proves that, everybody knew she was going to win. How’d that turn out?
Vice President Mike Pence stood before a crowd this past week and emphatically stated that all Americans knew that Obamacare was a total disaster and wanted it repealed. Pence has no greater insight into what American’s want than I do. You can turn to the polls and the only truth to his claim is that most Republicans feel that way while most Democrats feel just the opposite. The polls also say that the ACA is more popular than ever with about half the population being okay with it.
Being a political junkie and having Trump in the White House makes it almost impossible to have a random thought that is not political. Consider this a warning.
I just spent four hours shredding documents in what is supposed to be a paperless society.
I’m becoming paranoid about Trump being paranoid.
Since January 20, 2017 I’ve had a solid reason to get out of bed and turn on the TV. Unfortunately I’m getting to be a historical eyewitness to the Trump directed meltdown of America.
The older you get the less you are aware of popular culture. Driving past a multiplex I didn’t recognize a single movie title on their bill board.
I’ve often wondered what should be the measure of having too much money. Possibly it’s being able to afford to rent a rocket to take you beyond the moon and back.
All presidents should stop using war widows and victims of violence as political props in their speeches.
Politicians need to immediately stop putting party before people. They should begin and end any legislative thought by asking if the consequences honestly serve the betterment of the general population.
SINFUL: The king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz is taking a nine-day trip to Indonesia. Just to make sure he’s got all the bases covered he’s taking along 506 tons of luggage. Consider this, including my house, my vehicles, and everything I own, it all wouldn’t weigh anything close to 506 tons.
Jerome Graille is a French cigar box guitarist and if you have any doubts about the range of music that can come from a simple box, a stick, and four wires, check out this video. You can also find more of Graille’s work at his website. You might consider supporting him by becoming a patron.