Archive for September, 2015

27
Sep
15

Trump; Facing the Inevitable

trump-1 A vision of the 2016 Presidential race hit my mind last night around 2am while staggering back to my place. I needed a good evening out and went to my favorite haunt, where I ingested a huge amount of mezcal. That and some other substances had me wandering in the wee hours evaluating the most recent events in the campaign race to the White House. The race moves fast at this point and you never know when some update will teeter the playing field, however I’m pretty sure the last few days have led me to the conclusion that Donald Trump will take the selected position as the GOP’s candidate.

I suppose some eleventh hour fiasco could force him to run with a third party moniker but everyone’s vote appears to want him in the final showdown. Some of the more recent reports on Trump have him dropping the jabs at Jeb Bush and moving over to attack Marco Rubio. In a speech at the Values Voter Summit he took one of his double attacks; a verbal slap to the opponent, then pull back and bemoan some subjective statement for pity
“You have this clown, Marco Rubio,” Mr. Trump began, “-and I’ve been so nice to him.”
Shouldn’t we all be treated so nice, Donald? The guy never ceases to entertain me. A few of the talk show interviews I’ve seen Trump on have him appear to hold his own-at the very least, he is not experiencing a hostile reaction from crowds, as if he were the bad guy on a Jerry Springer episode.He spoke a little more humbled when late night host Steven Colbert had him appear. Legendary comedian/writer Mel Brooks insists Trump be kept in the race.
Brooks stated “Even if he’s dead, I would stuff him. I would have taxidermists stuff him. He’s that important to comedy. “We would keep the myth that he was alive, move his arms a little bit, open and close his eyes. He’s too important to comedy to die.”

Voters on both sides of the political spectrum may have different reasons for wanting it, but both sides seem to favor (by numbers) keeping Donald Trump in. Liberal voters deem him an easy candidate to take out of the race once Bernie Sanders grabs the seat for Democrats and Independents. Conservatives admire his brash approach and stern verbal attacks. He’s admired for saying what’s on his mind and not pulling any punches. Whether you favor the man or feel he’s a lunatic, the poll numbers have him looking like the favored. Carly Fiorina has closed the gap and the last Republican debate showed her holding her own against him, but the good old boys who still associate with the clan of the Elephant have a hard time putting a woman in charge. Sarah Palin was the litmus test for having a woman close to the White House seat but she went rogue on McCain and the vote divided.

Democrats and Republicans have been fed too many broken promises over the last few decades and it’s not surprising that they want to break free of the political norm. Democrats show more favor toward Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s race for Presidency is faltering. Her desperation is reflected in the numerous emails she distributes to people pleading for money to fund her campaign. The email campaign has more and more intensity, urgency; whatever hidden off-shore funds some people feel she has waiting for her in a rinky-tink bank in the Azores are tapped out. No other Democratic candidates get a national mention so it came down to Hillary and Bernie. As fond of Mrs. Clinton as some die-hard progressive voters may be, I think everyone may have started listening to the content of what a candidate is saying rather than basing their vote it on appearance. Sure, had Clinton won the Presidency they could feel all warm and fuzzy about electing America’s first female President but not at the cost presented. She stays shrouded in controversy over secretive emails which would mean a four year stretch of investigating that issue rather than fixing the country. Ironic that both Dems and Republicans marched out some diverse candidates yet both crawled back to old white men-but not so much because they were old white men, but because their actions show the nature of how they would handle the office of the President…and that, to me, is the true nature of what Dr. Martin Luther King tried to convey…judge on the character of their content, not whether they are racially or sexually diverse. Accept all people, but use the right tool for the right job.

22
Sep
15

Cirque du Nefario; the Bully Pulls a Hamstring

trump-bully

The second heat of the debate for the Republican Presidential nomination took off and those who really get into studying the race were poised for entertainment. The play card was altered slightly, allowing Carly Fiorina to take the spot Bobby Jindal last held. Bobby was not pulling in the numbers so they axed his ass and threw the lady in. This is what I was really waiting for. I wanted to see the bloodbath between Fiorina and Trump kick off. All the other candidates are either too formal or too big a pussy to take her on. They may have been putting hope behind the ex CEO for Lucent Technologies ( a company I worked via contract with….oh the money they threw down the drain) to anchor Trump’s lead; I feel she did just that.

Donald Trump seems to be playing this bully routine pretty fast and hard. He came right off the introduction of the panel and landed into Rand Paul (Sen. KY) with some verbal shoves. “He shouldn’t even be on the stage-he’s number 11!”, referring to poll numbers for Paul, which have been decreasing to that point where Paul should just hang it up. Notice had been given by CNN, the presenter of this 2nd debate, that time would be more evenly distributed among all candidates present. I knew that would last about 30 seconds because everyone watching was there to see the Vegas show; everyone wanted to watch Donald Trump go thug bully on the other candidates. His M.O. for attacking the other candidates seems pretty consistent-a barrage of Junior High insults, then boasting himself up like some tall tale. His on stage persona reminds me so much of the Bronx attitude I’ve heard from a few New York businessmen I’ve had to do business with. This pompous, better-than-fucking-sliced-bread approach will scare the weak and gain them a position above others…I have seen it and it is a distasteful tactic. One that has been known to work.

Trump’s attacks continued on the candidates. Whoever got the microphone would work in Donald’s name and according to the rules of the evening, if a candidate’s name got mentioned-and only if mentioned-by a candidate, that mentioned candidate had the option of reply. Some managed to avoid saying Trump’s name and tried to get serious about their issue stances, but that carried such a small percent of this heat in the race. The crowds were there to see some action. Fuck logic, they wanted Trump to bite the head off a chicken.

Even if he had prepared, Trump’s method of attack would not stun Fiorina. Can you imagine how many high level board room meetings she’s been in where men tried to grind her spirit to nothing? The lady has callouses on her ego the size of a yak so Trump is not about to scare her. Trump attacks like a shark, a quick feeding frenzy snapping out and grabbing onto anything close. Fiorina attacks slow and methodical…I give the woman credit there. The commentator threw out the live bait question that everyone wanted to hear a reply on; a recent Rolling Stone interview quoted Trump as saying (referring to Carly Fiorina) “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” He backpedaled later and iterated that he meant her persona, not her physical appearance. Carly peered with that slow, viscous glare she can get and said “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said”.

Creeping Jesus…I wasn’t even prepared for that line. What a great shot at Trump that left him trenching out a polite response.
“I think she’s got a beautiful face and I think she’s a beautiful woman.” No one was buying that Donald but you managed to bow out without getting nasty and calling her a cunt or something equally insulting.

The shot Fiorina took at Trump quieted him for a bit but soon he was right back at it. The thing I find most disturbing about this means of insulting and belittling other people is how this reflects to others. He is opening the door once again to prejudiced based on appearance, grade school insults and name calling. His strength is mashed in with an inability to shut his mouth when he should, which has created some interesting video but at what cost? He has thrown some backhanded insults at other world powers, like China and Russia. Granted we should be a strong nation in times of need but I just get the feeling he would unleash a dose of ‘hey you dumb fuck’ at Vladimir Putin…not the best way to be forceful or diplomatic.

So much to witness from this second set of debates. The whittling begins on the candidate list and this looked like the first real injury to Donald during these debates. He pulled a hamstring and let Fiorina get some points on him. Poll numbers days after the debate show Fiorina closing the gap on Trump and his strategy is shifting to make her priority one. Claims you can only listen to her so long before she gives you a headache. How lethal will these two get in the next heat of this race? The others seem to fade back on the track as Donald and Carly breath blood out their noses and race for position.

17
Sep
15

Her Name Was Joanne pt. 2

joanne-2  I began snapping pictures right away of the meager group of protesters here to shake their fists at ‘the man’ in rebellion against war. The comical display of defiance was familiar to me, as I had witnessed this same pathetic display years ago on in Denver, Colorado. Many a night at the corner of Broadway and Colfax showed a struggle to keep the cause alive, numbers down to single digits waving their fists….you could see the look of defeat and humility in their eye. So was the case here in downtown Indianapolis. One old curmudgeon wearing sandals and socks began pointing a finger at me and walking my way as I snapped of more shots.
“I did not release that!”
I asked him to repeat himself.
“I did not release that photo!” Clearly the man was showing a chip on his shoulder.
“That’s okay,” I grinned. “I didn’t ask you to.”
He seemed a little stymied by my response. “If I see my image posted on the internet, I will hunt you down and find you.”
“Yeah, well, good luck with that.”
He clearly had no idea what do do about my lack of concern. I kept popping off pictures and listened to the others gathered try to small talk with passers by. The local tv news crew packed it up and left, pissed off at having wasted their time here when they could have been doing something-anything better. I could have left right then but since I was already down there I thought perhaps I’d stay and hunt up some locals smoking pot, hang out with the beautiful people. One of the eight from the protest group, a gentle looking white haired woman approach me with a serene smile.

 “Hello. My name is Joanne.” With that polite introduction we began a conversation about who we were, the failed protest, cabbages and kings.This meek looking woman had quite a history behind her. She had been arrested in various protests throughout the U.S.-you wouldn’t imagine a sweet looking lady like this with a rap sheet. She could walk circles around me as far as experience with rebellious movements and I decided to use her opinion to guide me in my beliefs about the common day problem with organizing movements against our government. We both agreed on a number of points; today’s society is so consumed with digital/social media that they can barely lift their heads up off their phone screens. Trying to grab the attention of enough individuals to stand in protest is becoming more and more difficult. We’ve lost ourselves in our technology and technology has pampered our spirits with yellow journalism. We’ve forgotten how to rally together on the streets; but it is never too late. If the people in Egypt can coordinate with cell phones and bring about a mass revolution, so can we. We just have to get people scared enough to go out and do something other than stare at their screens. This is where Joanne and I were also in agreement.
“You know,” I said to her. “If we ever want to get masses of people involved, there will have to be some blood shed.”
She agreed. She recounted to me how people back in the 30’s had rallied together in the southern states to protest conditions against textile workers. This was not to say she was there but she had grown up in Georgia as a child and had watched archive footage of when the southern states had coordinated together-with no cell phones-and mass marched for their cause…and how they were gunned down in the streets. This wasn’t the only time our citizens were gunned down in the streets for their desire to retain a healthy society. Our nation’s founding independence dripped with blood. Vietnam was hammered with protests and a little University called Kent State. Civil rights marches were peppered with dog attacks and beatings, fire hoses and tear gas. Episodes throughout our country’s history are smeared in buckets of blood and tragedy but they were the catalyst that got the rest of society off their asses and into action. This time the favor of vote kept us (America) from possibly enacting war against Iran, but what about the next time? Our governing politicians have had a free ride with personal agendas and have managed to become a most ineffective and heinous group of leaders, but who do they have standing up against them? A few thousand people on Facebook ranting about how unhappy they are? On a national level we have come to deal with racial issues again, as well as public feelings toward abortion and religious differences but the only one of those three that actually seemed to enact some form (albeit very little) action form our legislators or city officials was in response to investigating law enforcement’s recent rash of racial injustice….and why did that get a kick start? Blood in the street. Black people being killed right in front of us. Police being shot on the beat. This is an ongoing issue but it is on the forefront because action spoke louder than any smart phone. People on both sides of the aisle want the violence to stop and the way to make it stop is to take action, which leaders in places like Ferguson and Baltimore feel the need to do something.

 This post has gone on too long and I need to go have some scotch, smoke some weed, but I will not forget my talk with Joanne and what it reminded me. It reminded me that our country grows older and more experienced each day….let’s hope we grow wiser.

12
Sep
15

Her Name Was Joanne pt. 1

joanne-1

I suppose Mick Jagger was right when he told us you can’t always get what you want, but if you try some times, you get what you need.

While sifting through the dozens of unsolicited emails I receive on a daily basis, I noticed one from that irritating group known as Move On; typically, I trash their emails immediately because they’re asking for a signature on some moot petition or money donations to support their email campaigns. The organization’s past success at being an obstacle to the conservative electorates of this world drove them to become the monster they worked so hard to defeat. The ills they saw in the conservative agenda crept into their own bedroom, which leaves me to (typically) ignore them now days. This email caught my eye though. Huge splashing banners in the message announcing a rally, right here in Sleepytown. A vigil for Peace and Diplomacy on the steps of the Circle Monument in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. According to the email, Congress was set to vote on diplomacy, or war, with Iran. Move On was rallying boots on the ground to protest in favor of diplomacy. This seemed like an opportunity to see a local protest, a visceral observation of local anarchy in action.

It had been a few years since I had partaken and observed a modern day protest. The last time was back in the infancy of the Church blog, when I followed the Occupy Denver movement in Denver, Colorado; a failed revolution for the twenty first century. After a year’s worth of following the political zombies there, I was left with remorse and apathy for the strength of revolution in today’s society. I needed to put this to the test though; here I was, hundreds of miles away from the Rocky Mountain state, a totally different flavor of U.S. citizens, and my curiosity had me wondering if Hoosiers could make this protest work. Sleepytown is, after all, the birthplace of my own indoctrination to the protesting side of society. In my teens I had attended a few protest movements in Indy, caught in the middle of the police clubs and gas, so I knew that Indianapolites did have a legacy of mixing it up when the caused called. In fact, Hoosiers can be downright nasty about it, like a bunch of fucking hillbilly berserkers…but that was then and this is now. I needed to see what the current state standing of the local occupants was-and I didn’t have a lot of faith in them. Denver had left a bad taste in my mouth in that regard.

I had a ride arranged to get to the rally and everything was set in motion. Then, in the eleventh hour, I started scanning the most recent U.S. news headline stories and saw that the vote to option going to war with Iran had been defeated. The diplomacy option had won so now, the entire protest was unnecessary. My heart sank a bit, even though I did find it good news to know our country would not get involved in another killing melee across the ocean. I felt there may still be some remnants of political fodder down there. I just happened to stumble on the story not more than 3 hours prior to the arranged time of protest so, perhaps a group of protestors might still show up. I had nothing better to do so I kept to my original plan and headed downtown.

I got to the Circle and slowly paced the perimeter to see if I could spy out any gathering of sign shakers, any fevered soul running around in a Guy Fawkes mask. My first inclination that I was getting close was when I spied out a local tv news van parked on the curb, the on site reporter coordinating with the cameraman to synch everything, electronically. Then I turned my head and….there it was. The power and strength of protest, in all it’s glory; a total of eight old fucks standing on the Monument steps holding signs and talking among themselves. Eight people. This was hardly what I would call a rally. No one there was under the age of sixty-perhaps one lady-and the whole thing screamed with a sobering realism that had me wondering, what had become of our country? Even taking into consideration that possibly most people opted out (if they had been contacted by Move On to say the revolution had been cancelled), I would imagine there would have been a few more political enthusiasts hanging around, but all that I could see was the eight senior citizens on the steps with their tired faces and sagging signs.

Jesus wept.




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