Saturday, March 2, 2019

Indict the POS POTUS

The Michael Cohen hearings, coupled with the numerous investigations and discoveries about the criminality and suspicious activity of Donald Trump and his family, are astounding. 

I lived through the Watergate scandal and remember the turmoil both before and afterwards. However, Nixon's transgressions pale in comparison to the alleged tax fraud, bank fraud, double-dealing, etc which Trump has been accused of and for which strong supporting evidence and documentation exist. 

It has come time for the Congress to honor their oath of office - to serve and protect the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Senate is being strangled into silence and feckless complicity by the GOP majority. That means that any move to impeach will be stymied by that majority in the Senate. 

The House leadership must be ready to act to forestall the damage to our institutions of our Republic and our reputation amongst the community of nations. 

There is no law that prohibits the indictment of a sitting president. (A memo from the 1970's carries little importance. It is time to challenge that memo.) POTUS is a citizen of the USA and is subject to its laws and judicial processes. That is clear. His duties as POTUS are important but not as important as the Rule of Law. 

Mr Trump's nefarious actions as candidate and as president are reprehensible. We must not limited to simply clucking our tongues over his indiscretions and his disregard for due process. 

We must act. 

Call for the indictment of Mr Trump on any of the numerous substantiated charges made against him and the various Trump organizations. Challenge the applicability of the Justice Department memo. Force it to the SCOTUS for a definitive decision. 

No one is above the law. No one. 

Indict Mr Trump. Let the courts sort it out. 

Then move to impeach.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Feeling Fifteen Again

Okay.. for once this blog is NOT about Drumpfen-putz or his minions.
It's about my first solo album of original songs, 'Feeling Fifteen Again'.

After Woodstock, (yes, I went to Woodstock.) I left home in 1969 and went to Nashville to be a songwriter and make an album. Fifty years later and half a world away, I made my solo album in Taipei, Taiwan.
Here's how it happened...

In mid-September, 2018, I approached my friend, Andrew Page, about being my producer. He had worked as co-producer on Joanna Wang's album the year before in Los Angeles. They had used my home studio as a their rehearsal apace for about a month prior to recording. Andrew and I had had long talks about the enterprise and the pit-falls of the music industry. He and I had worked together on a number of music projects as pianist and as trumpet player.

His first question regarding this new project was a poignant one; 'Why do you want to do this?' A reasonable query as I was rather older, at 68, than your average aspiring pop star. I told him that I knew I had it in me to record an album of original songs and as a convenient short-hand, I told him that it was on my 'bucket list'. His second question was more practical; 'When do you want to do this?'
'As soon as possible.'

I gave him a thumb-drive of about two dozen songs I'd written over the past few years.
After some thoughtful consideration and further conversations, he agreed to produce the album and act as music director and play both keyboards and trumpet.
We began almost immediately to arrange the songs. 

It was a most productive time; I wrote several new songs and re-wrote several others as we mapped out the untitled album. After about two weeks, we had fifteen songs to concentrate on perfecting. In the meantime, Andrew found and hired the players and booked the rehearsal rooms and the studio time.

We determined that the album would be 'old school'; recorded 'Live' for the most part, eschewing modern electronic sounds in favor of 'real' instruments. There would be no synth pads to simulate horns or strings. No electronic drums. No pitch correct. No auto-tune. 

Andrew hired some of best players in Taiwan and we went into full-band rehearsal with Chuck Payne on drums, Cody Byassee on percussion, G.E. Anderson on bass guitar, Jacob Liang on guitar, lead by Andrew on his customized Fender Rhodes. A five-piece horn section, lead by Andrew on trumpet, consisted of Matthew Richey (tenor and alto sax) Josh Shaffer (tenor sax) with Alan Wang on first trumpet and me on bari sax and flute. 
Additionally, we had two female back-up singers, Queenie Huang and Green Yang, complemented by G.E., Jacob and me on male back-up vocals. Mark Howe (guitar) rounded out the band; a large ensemble of twelve players. 

Andrew chose YuCheng Cinema Studios, in Nankang, for the recording. Andy Baker, an American, designed and runs the place. We scheduled five full 12-hour days to record thirteen songs for the album, 'Feeling Fifteen Again'.   

The results surpasses all of my expectations. 'Feeling Fifteen Again' is an album of American music which spans several genres; country, rock, pop, swing, gospel. There's even a touch or two of jazz to be found.   

It is a very personal album of songs; all written from life experiences - sweet, sad, bittersweet and joyous. In many ways, it is the story of my life written in short-hand and in outline form with editorial foot-notes and asides. 

My music influences include the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Randy Newman, Willie Dixon, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and a host of other music giants.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Drumpf Seen from Across the Pond

Someone on Quora asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"
Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote this magnificent response.

'A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
'My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.'

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism; the game!

Here's a cute little parlor game which I just now invented after stumbling upon the following at Wikipedia: (see below... )
But before we wade into that heavy current, here's the game!

'The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism'!

Items needed for the game are 1. at least a single copy of the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism' (one for each player if possible), 2. a large bottle of vodka. and 3. writing implements (paper and pen, pencil, i-phone/pad, gadget, etc) for each player.

1. The game can be played alone or with trusted friends. Very important.

2. Each player reads the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism'.

3. After reading each of the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism', the player will write down an instance of that sin as committed by Donald J. Trump (hereafter referred to as Drumpfen-plotz). Only one case need be cited; more are allowed, remember,
however, that 'brevity is the soul of wit'.

4. The large bottle of vodka is drunk by the players upon completion of all writing. 

5. The players exchange their responses and comment on what a POS Drumpfen-plotz truly is.

Fun for the whole family!   Let's begin! 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
The US psychiatrists Sandy Hotchkiss and James F. Masterson identified what they called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:

    Shamelessness: Narcissists are often proudly and openly shameless; they are not bound by the needs and wishes of others. Narcissists hate shame, and consider it "toxic", as shame implies they are not perfect and need to change. Narcissists prefer guilt over shame, as guilt allows them to dissociate their actions from themselves - it's only their actions that are wrong, while they themselves remain perfect.
    Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to "dump" shame onto others.
    Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may "reinflate" their sense of self-importance by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
    Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person or their achievements.
    Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
    Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other person is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
    Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

Impeach the

Thursday, December 27, 2018

General Deferment meets Cadet Bonespurs

So, the Drumpfen-dunce finally went to a war zone.
Iraq... and set about dispiriting the troops by telling them that the USA was being unfairly abused and used to police the world.

"America shouldn't be doing the fighting... for every nation on earth." Quoth the Drumpfen-douche.

And then, to pour salt into the wound he'd just inflicted on their fighting spirit, he whined that the USA wasn't getting reimbursed in many cases.
 Yes! He reduced the service of the Seals to a monetary transaction.

This is clear evidence that the man, Donald J. Trump, has no soul. Drumpfen-yutz, the Orange Autocrat, the Mango Mussolini wanna-be, the Amber Caligula considers that service to country is only respectable, valuable duty if the US is getting paid for it.
He has no soul.
He shed it long ago; traded for the insulating delusion that the world is here to serve his needs and for which he owes nothing in return but the simple benediction of his presence, the god-king.

Indict and impeach this POS.