Sunday, August 30, 2020
So posting is going to be even more infrequent than it has been. Not only does it seem like I will continue to be working a lot of overtime for the foreseeable future, I have started taking guitar lessons, something I have been promising myself I would do for years now, but my anti-depressants were never working well enough for me to actually follow through. Until now. (thank you, Abilify!) Anyway, I took guitar lessons briefly when I was around 12 years old but I never krpt up with them, and I'm trying to re-start from scratch (the Carter Scratch that is. Ha! See what I did there?)Anyway, I signed up with the Frank Hamilton School of Folk Music right here in Decatur, GA. (If you're not familiar with Frank Hamilton - and I wasn't until recently - He is a guy who has lived a pretty interesting life. He traveled the country with Pete Seeger, taught Roger McGuinn how to play guitar and toured with Rambli' Jack Elliot among other notable acheivements. You can check out his bio here: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/frank-hamilton-mn0000794028/biography
Anyway, on that note, I thought I would present a brief collection of some of my favorite guitar pickers and folks I would like to emulate. Here in no particular order.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Ooh, Ooh, I know! Is it "that they have no morals, principles or human decency?"
Last week I found myself reading “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” the new book by Stuart Stevens, the longtime Republican operative
Oh, man I could've saved you some time there. The Republican Party has always been Trump. It was just waiting for him to ascend the throne. If you need a book to show you the through-line from
then I don't think any book is going to really give you a lot of insight.
Stevens belongs to one of the notable sects in the church of NeverTrump, consisting of figures who once held prominent posts in Republican campaigns — Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson, most notably — and now have reinvented themselves as the Trump-era party’s would-be scourges.
Yeah , that's the only "sect" of "Never-Trumpers." The people known as "never-Trumpers" are Republican operatives and pundits who mis-read the room. They assumed, as did most of us, that if Trump were the nominee, he would go down in flames and take the party with him. Then he won the nomination. Once that happened, they had two choices, either grovel back to Trump on their hands and knees and try to attach themselves to him like a Remora (also known as "going full Lindsey) and hope he won't be too petty and spiteful (ha!) or stay the course hoping to be proven right in the general election. Once Trump won the general, they were pretty much in permanent exile from the party (or at least until 2024) so their next move was to wave the "never-Trump banner and try to sucker centrist Democrats into welcoming them into the Dem's oversized tent. Hence the Lincoln Project.
I turned to Stevens’s book because I thought it might supply an answer, since it’s billed as an examination of conscience, in which the author takes responsibility for various moral compromises that led to Trump’s rise. But the book only deepens the mystery, because “It Was All a Lie” doesn’t give you any sense of why its author spent his entire adult life (Stevens is in his 60s) in the service of a party whose supporters he mostly depicts as rotten frauds and hypocrites and racists, just as bad as liberals always suspected, if not worse.
Stevens would probably reply that he was led astray by the fact that the Republicans he tried to get elected, from Tom Ridge to George W. Bush to Mitt Romney, were good and decent public servants who tried to rescue conservatism from its own worst impulses.
And one could imagine a more interesting version of this book that leaned into this narrative, portraying an American right torn between its better angels and its devils, and Trump’s rise as a defeat in a battle that could have easily gone another away.
But Stevens is so determined to emphasize his party’s total depravity that his only answer to the hard question of why Republicans swung from Romney’s technocratic decency to Trump’s know-nothing flamboyance is that Trumpism was the beating heart of conservatism all along
“What does a center-right party in America stand for?” Stevens asks, in the closest thing to an ideological statement his book contains. “Once this was easy to answer: fiscal sanity, free trade, being strong on Russia, personal responsibility, the Constitution.”
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
I thought this was a joke when I saw it referenced on Twitter this morning.
Lmfaooooooo this is a real book 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/sB2mwI1alC— Brother Maad 👑🏁 (@MaadyNYC) August 10, 2020
But here it is on Amazon:
Setting aside, for the moment how offensive this already seems, I can't help but wonder - who is the target market for this book?
I assume that there ate plenty of white men who want to date and/or marry a particular black woman. And if there was a book entitled "how to get Sheena from accounts payable to go out with you," I would think that at least one white guy would buy that book. But are there a lot of white men out there thinking "I would like to meet a nice gal and settle down and maybe raise a family, but not if she's fuckin' white! I am only interested in black women!" Again, it is perfectly meet, right and salutary to be attracted to black women. It is perfectly normal and natural for a white man to fall in love with a black woman. It's just the idea that there are white men out there who are thinking "I know how to get white women to love me, but what kind of special tricks are there to attract a black woman?" that feels a bit far-fetched.
That being said, who the FUCK does this guy think he is that he's going to explain what the "right" kind of black woman is? Like he's some kind of 18th Century anthropologist just returned from a research trip to Borneo here to explain the cultural and ethnic peculiarities of some tribe he just "discovered."
You may be thinking, at this point, that there is actually no such thing as the "right" or "wrong" kind of black woman, just as there is no "right" or "wrong" sort of white woman, or white man, or whatever. But that is because you are what doctors refer to as "normal" and "not a weirdo."
The same can not be said, however, of Jeff Brandon.
This is the title page of his book:
"For those who can see beyond the surface." And he somehow doesn't grasp that "I want to date a black woman" is pretty much the most surface-level statement one could make. Skin color is the definition of a "surface" quality. I don't know how no one explained this to him.
So I'm certainly not foing to pay to download this dullard's dumb and distasteful disquisition, so I went to his website to see what I could learn about this guy. Like is this guy for real, and seriously, is this guy for real?
Oh, God I'm already regretting my decision.
[Ron Howard voice] "He hadn't."
As a white man, ironically, many of my most enjoyable dating experiences were the times I spent dating black women. There was something different about it—for some reason it was more fun and intriguing to me. Once acknowledging my dating preference, I focused my attention solely on interracial dating, and have spent the majority of the last 10 years dating mainly black women.
Yeahhhhh, I wouldn't count on that continuing. Not if any of them read this. I am not a black woman, but I feel fairly confident that if I were, I would not be real comfortable dating a white guy who only dates black women because he finds them "fun and intriguing." I mean, that's like one step away from "exotic and mysterious."
With the help of online dating, I was given the opportunity to date black women from different parts of America, and from different parts of the world.
Ohhh, different parts of the world. That makes sense. Listen, Jeff, that's not "dating." That's "mail-order brides." That's women who want so badly to come to America that they are willing to suffer the attentions of a creepy little wormweasel like you.
These experiences introduced me to unique personalities, ideas and cultures—it gave me the chance to explore dating habits and behaviors of black women from many different walks of life.
Oh my God. Dating is not supposed to be an anthropological survey. You're not supposed to be cataloging the various cultural idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of the various ethnicities of the women you're dating. Do these women know that you're looking at them the way Charles Darwin looked at finches?
These experiences quickly showed me the positive things that a relationship with the right type of black woman could bring. The experiences also showed me the turmoil that dating the wrong type of black woman could bring.
Oh for the love of. . . That is not something that is unique to black women. If anyone, of any race and any gender, dates the wrong person, they're going to experience "turmoil." Conversely, if anyone, of any race and any gender, dates the right person, they will experience, as you say "positive things." (you sure you're a professional writer?)
As Ry Cooder taught us years ago:
So how are you supposed to know if she's the "right kind" of black woman? Well, Jeff has a handy and not at all demeaning checklist!
Lucky for us, we don't need to buy the book to mock it, because has posted some excerpts.
Here are some gems from the book 🥴 pic.twitter.com/koJDR9NnDY— FulaniTruthTeller (@TruthPill0) August 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Our local bird-cage liner, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, had this very odd headline on its front page yesterday:
Bill That Protects Police Is Now Law
Which makes sense because if there's anyone who needs protection, it's the guys wearing body armor and carrying firearms, billy clubs and pepper spray.
So fragile, so vulnerable.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a proposal into law Wednesday that Republicans pushed to grant police new protections despite stiff opposition from critics who said it creates a messy tangle of legal problems.
In a statement, Kemp said he took action because he has attended the funerals of too many law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and he called the measure a “step forward as we work to protect those who are risking their lives to protect us.”
Yeah. . . I don't know how to tell you this, governor, but killing police officers was already illegal.
As part of a compromise to win approval of the hate-crimes bill, Senate Republicans demanded the passage of a separate proposal that would create the new offense of “bias motivated intimidation” of a police officer or other first responder.
Because, you know, guy like these
are so easily intimidated.
This does raise an interesting question, though. If I intimidate a police officer, as one does, but my intimidation of that officer is based on something other than my bias against law enforcement officers - say I just don't like anyone who shoots unarmed black men whether they're cops or not - am I in the clear? Does my intimidation of this cop not violate the rule because it was based on something other than anti-cop bigotry?
What if I'm just walking down the street, and I strike up a conversation with a local constable and he feels intimidated by my mighty brawn through no fault of my own? Even though I had no intention of doing so, I have, by dint of my powerful physique and raw untamed masculinity, intimidated the unfortunate officer. Then what? Should I expect to be cuffed and read my rights? And by whom? Certainly not the policeman cowering before me, all intimidated and whatnot.
Woah, woah, slow down there a minute.
Are you telling me that someone could literally murder a cop, get caught and if that murderer says "I killed him because he's a cop and I hate cops," he would be looking at ONE TO FIVE YEARS? And a fine? How is this not an invitation to kill cops? This is insane.Normally, murdering a cop would get you life in prison or the death penalty, but under the "Police Protection Act," it gets you five years and a fine?
So, let's say someone is robbing a liquor store, the police show up and the robber shoots and kills the cop. If he can say "I didn't kill him to avoid being arrested, I shot him because he was a cop," he could seriously get five years in prison and have to pay a fine?
It's almost as if Georgia Republicans didn't think this thing through clearly before they passed it.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
In an abject show of selfishness and political bias, teachers unions are trying to hold the country hostage over baseless COVID-19 fears.
Oh, those bastards are selfishly refusing to expose themselves to a deadly disease? And they selfishly are refusing to send your children home to you with that virus? Oh, yeah. Let's fire them all!
It’s not enough that public school teachers and the college professors who train them are increasingly prone to teaching leftist absurdities like “2+2=5” or . . .
. . . or presenting the mendacious 1619 Project as legitimate American history.
Teachers unions are now trying to blackmail the entire country into meeting a set of leftist political demands for reopening the schools this fall, using COVID-19 as their excuse.
Of course, the pandemic certainly presents challenges for re-opening schools, but other sectors of society have managed to rise to the occasion over the past several months to keep the country running. Grocery stores clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and of course police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses—all have kept working, sometimes under tough conditions and sometimes at great personal risk.
Look at 'em! Soft, weak little freeloaders! In my day, half of these kids would have already succumbed to polio!
On Monday, an alliance of teachers unions and leftist groups in dozens of states staged a “National Day of Resistance,” issuing a series of demands that they say must be met before their members will return to the classroom. What do they want? Rents and mortgages canceled, a “massive infusion of federal money” from “taxing billionaires and Wall Street,” moratoriums on new charter schools and voucher programs and standardized tests, and of course “police-free schools,” among other things.
- No reopening until the scientific data supports it
- Police-free schools
- Safe conditions including lower class sizes, PPE, cleaning, testing, and other key protocols Equitable access to online learning
Some teachers unions have gone a step further. In New York City, one group is demanding teachers not be required to return to school until a minimum of 14 days have passed after any new COVID-19 cases, claiming their lives are at risk if schools open (despite evidence to the contrary in Europe and Asia).
School Name: Corinth High School
COVID-19 Cases: 3
Details: 3 students tested positive within a week or so of school reopening despite extensive precautions.
School Name: Gwinnett County Public Schools
COVID-19 Cases: 260 teachers positive or potentially exposed
Details: The teachers were preparing for the start of the school year.
School Response: Two days later, the school district announced it would start classes online and phase into in-person instruction
School Name: Alcoa City Schools
COVID-19 Cases: 5
Details: 3 people tested positive at Alcoa High School, 1 at Alcoa Middle School, and 1 at Alcoa Elementary School.
All this amounts to political blackmail. The teachers unions know that millions of parents can’t afford to stay home from work to educate their kids, nor can many afford private school or private tutors. They think they have leverage—and in many places they do, if only because city and state elected officials are unwilling to stand up to them.