Archive for February, 2016

28
Feb
16

The 11th Hour Sanders Rally pt. 1

sanders-2

America is sneaking up on Super Tuesday; it’s late in the game but a nationwide push went out to rally Bernie Sander’s (I-Vt) supporters one last time before primaries in 11 states on March 1. Indiana is not one of those states participating in handing over their delegates on the first, but a nationwide coordination of Bernie supporters decided Saturday to be the day everyone bring out a force of unity and march in the streets all over the U.S.. Their hope and intention is to get Bernie his place on the election ballot this November. I packed up a few items (drugs, weapons…the usual) and made my way to the state Capitol building in downtown Sleepytown to record and witness what size support Hoosier voters were giving to the man. I can’t say if you didn’t show up that Saturday, you didn’t support Sanders; many of the tired and huddled masses in America are not of the ‘let’s go to a rally’ breed. Perhaps society has scared them indoors, hiding behind a lock and key with a gun in their hand. We’ve become a nation shut off from being around one another, swallowed into the face of our phones. Most have forgotten the feelings connected with a live performance, be it a play, a music concert or a political rally, but not this guy. I had to witness, firsthand, Indiana political enthusiasts and what kind of a tribe they looked like. Off I went.

Now that I reside in a state that frowns upon using cannabis, I once again, had to be careful and rely on those skills I perfected back in Colorado when it was going through it’s infancy of accepting marijuana usage in their town(s). To smoke while hiding in plain sight is a skill and if you pull it off, I feel most law enforcement officers don’t want to fuck with you. They have bigger fish to fry and if you’re not causing any upheaval on the streets, why bother? I always manage to ferret out good sites in the city to pipe some weed and not bother anyone and found just such a location near the Capitol building. Prior to ducking in the shadows and smoking I saw the first person going to the rally. A gray haired, pony tailed man toting some Sanders signs that decades ago, may have participated in marches against the war in Vietnam, fought for getting Nixon out of the White House…but that was a different time, a different century. The political scene these days still seems too full of nothing but aging antagonists. Millennials only make up a small percent of protesters and political activists and don’t seem to be interested in getting involved. It’s sad to think that they might realize too late in the game that getting out there and changing things with a vote or actively supporting a cause by being boots on the ground at a march has made a difference. The problem is, it takes big numbers and a metal attitude to get things accomplished. Is the youth of today going to rely on their parents to go out there and march for their rights? Those pussies better pick up a rock and get wild in the streets if they want good change to happen…then again, perhaps they have grown to become apathetic and want to see Clinton take the White House….or Trump….or perhaps they just don’t care who the fuck sits on the throne. I let the pony-tailed guy slide by while I grabbed my pipe.

The rally/march for Sanders was to start at 1PM and last until 3. By one o’clock there were perhaps sixty people and by quarter after, it grew to a few hundred. Representatives from the Democratic Socialists of America were handing out flyers, hoping to get more people to join their group. That term ‘socialist’ can be a big turnoff though so they didn’t get many takers. There were people crowding the state Capitol steps with various versions of the insane white hair Bernie mask/caricature on poster board, multiple “Feel the Bern” signs, obscure tirades scrawled in marker. Old hippies and vegans with their grandchildren stood and listened to speakers pump the crowd up with optimism. The fervor of those attending was about what I expected and the numbers were not too embarrassing-considering this is not a Super Tuesday state. There was talk about a march being scheduled after the speakers finished but I imagined that  wouldn’t take place until the second hour so while the crowd cheered and listened, I decided to wander off downtown and find a bar for some Wild Turkey before a march did start. The nearest one I could think of was in the Hyatt Regency so off I sauntered as the sounds of the crowd echoed down the street.

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26
Feb
16

Bloodsport: Trump Takes the Tenth Round

bloodsport-10th

For the majority of the 2016 debates, both Democrat and Republican, I have ended up stumbling across them online rather than planning the event. All it takes is a whiff of this bloodsport – presidential campaigning and debates – to interest the true politics junkie and when the fight gets heated up, when the hopefuls in the race go at each other in a last ditch effort to gain poll numbers, that’s when the true delight and horror come out.

The tenth Republican debate hit the waves and ended with Donald Trump clearly taking the show. I wait to see the numbers after this one but from my estimation he showed to be the victor in the hall Thursday evening in Houston, Texas. Trump’s new strategy, a more talk about policies and appear constructive, (as opposed to his early campaign attack the other candidates approach) added with CNN’s guerrilla approach at grabbing ratings gave Donald a boost. His exit interview with CNN showed a Donald Trump who was confident in himself and boasted this swagger that reminded me of the taunting gesture Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) gave to Sonny Liston after he smacked his ass to the canvas. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tried their best to pepper him with accusations and taunts but Trump would not go down.

All along the 2106 campaign trail people expected Donald to falter and drop and here it is in the election year and he continues to take top spot. The other presidential potentials on stage are the ones who seem to be losing steam. At one point Ben Carson became so frustrated that he asked someone to attack him on stage…to get more stage time as per the rules of the debate. Get your name mentioned and you get time on air to promote, but the CNN moderators clearly leaned toward Trump to pull on those rating numbers. Carson fought for more time, Cruz as well. Ted Cruz turned into this little political troll up there, nipping at Trump’s heels, aggravating any situation. If he wasn’t attacking Trump, Cruz would launch into President Obama, or Hillary Clinton. You could see the little mutant Texan shaking with furor, telling us how he would crush North Korea and eliminate the IRS. That man has to be an alien life form.

The end of the debate sealed any concerns Trump may have felt for his opposition. His strategy changed a few weeks back and the evening’s back and forth with the other Republican candidates seemed almost moot to him; he’s in this mode of collecting more votes, softening up the crazy and trying to be more goal focus on issues he would confront as the President. There are lots of voters’ opinions to sway. As bizarre as that seems, I believe this is the new strategy out of the Trump camp. Someone has definitely got to Don and coached him a bit. He bit back on questions regarding his stance on foreign policy issues with Israel and stopped short of calling out other factions in the Middle East. He made reference to Israel’s ‘neighbors’, but are we to think he was addressing Palestinians? Perhaps he meant the UAE as well-hard to say because he wasn’t going to blurt something out like the old Donald would do. He didn’t want another live air ethnic slur…he would leave that jabbering xenophobic stuff to Cruz and Rubio.

An underlying current keeps rising in my gut. I get the feeling this tycoon from New York is playing the election game like a seasoned grifter would. Nothing has slowed down his campaign and the others are faltering. People are starting to imagine a world where that guy is the President, wondering if it could really happen…and yes, it could really happen. Democrats will depend on their champion to stomp the election and come out a clear winner by sheer intelligence alone, but that could be their undoing. With the verdict still out on a clear cut nominee from the Democrat’s side, the flood of support for Trump may wait to see whether Hillary or Bernie gets thrown in their face. Perhaps more Republican voters feel confident in Trump only if Clinton takes the bid.

The races staggers into it’s final run of the track.

15
Feb
16

Our Environment Shouldn’t Be Killing Us

pollution

I was talking to a doctor recently about this seasonal film of viscous crap in my throat. She gave an apologetic smile (as if she had to apologize for this mass effect condition) and said “yeah, we’ve had a lot of that going around recently”.
“Those bastards are killing us with our own environment” I cursed. She smiled and gave a slight chuckle, but it made me wonder; for a split second I could detect this look in her eye that was as if she were questioning herself. She may, in fact, kind of believe it. Images thrown on the web show towns choked with car exhaust, oceans harboring growing patches of plastic refuse and other trash, skies crisscrossed with jet trails.  The toxic debris grows every day as thousands of people debate over who or what brought these worldwide environmental conditions on. We should stop the finger pointing and just clean up our fucking mess…easier said than done  suppose.

The first good example I saw that contributed to the fight for nature and our environment came as the results of a book titled The Silent Spring. Rachel Carson wrote this book in 1962, which became the catalyst that led to the nation wide ban on the pesticide DDT, and helped to lead the movement that created the Environmental Protection Agency. As much as I hate to sound like the old fart who keeps pointing back to the Hippy era when shit got done, this act was monumental in thwarting the poisoning of our Earth. Carson put up with a lot of threats and petty shit, but she persevered and we all gained the benefits of not having that mutant agent, DDT, in our grown foods.

We buzz ahead to 2016 and it doesn’t appear as if anyone is taking the environment issue serious. The debate over whether chem trails actually exist is fought to this day. Chem trails are considered a bogus conspiracy theory and experts insist all those jets we’ve been running up there in the sky, since the conception of jets, are dumping nothing more than water vapor in our atmosphere. I want to see the chemistry on that one. Jet fuel consists of things like a naptha/kerosene blend. I just can’t believe you can burn tons of that shit in the sky and have no adverse effects to the world below. Our water is no better. Flint, Michigan has a horror story situation going on with their water, something no one would have dreamed possible in a first world country like America, yet here it is, faucets in Flint oozing putrid waters, poisoning their citizens. The lands are being strip mined for fossil fuels and even though wind and solar power have shown great potential, coal burning continues to weigh in heavy across the globe. We are sucking the life out of this rock.

I hear arguments from all sorts of sources that point to a variety of things attributing to the downfall of our environment but so few geared toward serious cleanup efforts. Even if we didn’t start any future environment crushing projects out there, we have a lot of catch up to do in hazardous sites throughout the world. The slow process of leaching from plastics tossed about and an overabundance of crud being pumped in our air has caught up to us. We need to get rid of this shit that just keeps compiling….and how do we do that, you ask? I leave that to the scientists and great thinkers out there who have dreamed up ideas to recycle and change the environment back to safer levels to live in. What you and I, the non-scientist person can do, is utilize the power of the internet to pass along positive stories and video clips showing these genius developers who have created environment cleaning machines. For something like that to go viral is much easier to look and and feel proud than some numb nut video of fat bottomed girls twerking…..not that the fat butt twerking girls are so evil, but we can do a lot better. If you want to see a girl with a big ass twerk, go to the real world and get off the internet…it’s much more of a show in person. If we could pummel the airwaves with images of us pouring ice buckets of water on our heads to bring awareness to ALS, Why can’t we have a viral campaign where people are picking up a piece of loose debris off the street-how fucking hard would it be to pick up an old plastic bottle out of the street and video that?-and that’s just how primitive our viewing habits can become online.

We should not live in a world where the environment is killing us, yet it’s the world we deserve right now. Until we can prove ourselves worthy of living alongside nature and stop trashing out the joint, this is the world we created; we reap what we sow.

10
Feb
16

The Voice of Trump; Berning Down the House

the-bern

Time now closes on the New Hampshire Primary and I sit in wonder and astonishment at the (expected for me) results…not from numbers ending like they did with Sanders and Trump being the victors, but at the way a shift began in the last bend of the race. Donald has, for the most part of his 2016 campaign jaunt, been more of a blathering showman on stage. His speeches have been peppered with misdirection-or no direction- but tonight as he addressed his people I witnessed a twist in his strategy. No longer was he just ranting about some ethnic group; he mixed that xenophobic attitude in a more focused, less caustic attack. Bernie Sanders rose to rally a war-cry from his supporters, as couldn’t be helped, to show he was going all the way to the White House. The last stretch of the race begins.

I’m sitting here with a buzzed mind and an endless line of possible strategies both men could use. I was caught totally off guard from the Bronx contender. Trump announced Bernie’s win for the Democrats in New Hampshire, then worked to quell any boos and catcalls from his crowd. He put out a more sportsmanlike, more calm appearance to the cameras. He started spewing out specifics on what he would do in the White House. He cut back all the chatter he usually brings out, name-calling or imitating physically challenged writers weren’t part of his acceptance speech. If he keeps this approach up he will still be a huge target for Bernie Sanders to sink in to, but I have to admire him for taking this campaign thing serious. Trump now looks more like the human shark I expected him to be all along rather than the comical loudmouth he has been at the debates.

The momentum for Sanders has nowhere to go but up from here. Bernie supporters see the real potential for him to take this thing and they will push this fever on to the next Primary. Hillary is given a polite farewell nod from Democrats voters as they head off to get behind the old man. I enjoy sitting here watching the defeated candidates give their campaign swan song performances. The style and approach they take is diverse, and as a connoisseur of political bile, I wallow in their speeches and grin. It’s so enriching-this is the fucking part of politics people should enjoy-the support dance, the emotional performances in life and law. Man and woman beasts at their most powerful, their most vulnerable.

A word out to Bernie Sanders supporters; keep your numbers strong. The unsinkable path Donald Trump follows hasn’t knocked him out yet even though he should have been derailed a couple times by now. Weaker episodes of bad camera exposure have taken out White House hopefuls a number of times, but not this guy. Trump has made a point to be brash during this campaign; he built a persona loved by many, hated and incomprehensible by the opposition. Now the Trump character I came familiar with toned it back and sidestepped what was expected from him. Is he actually planning to win this thing? Yeah Sanders voters, get your numbers strong because if Trump keeps this up it could be a closer match than anticipated.  If you don’t get enough people to the polls, your candidate may not win. Don’t rely on the secure thought that you feel Sanders has more intellectually, morally-doesn’t matter. This is American politics and the popularity contest can decide the leader of the Free World, if enough sheep fall in line….and that’s true Democracy.

02
Feb
16

Whore’s Bath: A Muse and Memory

whores-bath

Two years ago I spent some time on 10th Street watching hookers as they worked their rounds to make a living. I became a friend to a few of these girls (and boys…and trans) which helped me obtain a better perspective on what type a cold existence they lived. We’ve all seen dozens of movies or read books about the troubled life of a street walker, but I wanted to get my own take on the whole scene. I wanted to see them bait in strangers, hear their tales of being robbed or beaten or arrested. I suppose I’m not one to sit idle with hearsay and need to find out on my own terms. They were living people who got out of bed, took a shit and faced the world, but their daily chores were a bit more noxious than the rest of us. They sell their bodies for a living.

Street prostitution’s a horrid lifestyle and so many want to leave it, but can’t seem to break away from their troubles or addictions. I met various girls out there who were hooked on heroin, or meth, withering away while they sold their ass to a public that didn’t care at all for them. Well…the paying customers cared for them but all those man-Johns want is the pussy. They will pay for it, put a knife to you for it, anything to ejaculate and bounce. There had to be some solace here, I thought, and intended to find some good in all this hell to balance optimism with reality. Certainly someone could, if they tried, escape that madness.
I found someone who did.

This morning I was standing at the bus stop waiting to get on and hustle another Monday morning work frenzy. I was already running late and I still had about 8 minutes before the bus was supposed to arrive. While I stood there waiting, a horn blows and I see a truck go by. A thin female hand waved at me from a black pickup truck and backed up to where I stood.
“Want a ride, stranger?” she said, smiling at me. I was wondering what kind of ruse this was when it hit me. I remembered her now. One of the street girls who talked with me. One who I kept tabs on with encouraging pep talks to let her know I believed in her getting off the street. She could make it, but it was hard. The girl was selling herself on the street, started taking pills, smoking meth….smack….she got caught by the law and hauled in; that helped her. She spent some time locked up which forced her clean. After being released, the city set her up on a methadone program to help her keep off the junk. She set herself up in a halfway house and got on a work release program. I would ride the bus with her in the mornings as we both went to work and we talked during the later months of her pregnancy – the pregnancy was another pile thrown on the heap for her to deal with.

To think that two years ago, I believe it was her and me sitting on an outside brick wall where the girls use to pause and patrol for clients and cops. It started raining and she laughed and told me we were taking a whore’s bath. We just sat in the rain and talked on. Now here she was in a truck with a little baby in a car seat, all healthy looking and on her way to visit her mother. She told me she had a good job in another town now and was the happiest she had ever been. My optimism has risen. I feel a bit more faith in the human spirit.

That’s not to say the entire world is now a rose garden, because I have seen the sad cases as well. One girl I know just melted away from using meth; I hadn’t seen her in a while and when she did pop up on the street last fall, she looked clean and healthy. She did time in lock-up which gave her reprieve from drugs and food to eat every day. It didn’t take long for her to tumble off into her drug habit again and I haven’t seen her since the beginning of winter. The last time I saw her I was riding by her on the bus. She looked like she came from Dachau during the Holocaust.

My good news for the day was in seeing an old familiar face who fought hard to slay her demons, and did it. She may have to fight other foes along her path in life, but she got over that huge obstacle and for that, I applaud her. Seek out and find lost souls in your neighborhood who need encouragement…don’t force anything on them or try to ram Jesus down their fucking throat. Just be a listening, caring person because you never know who may help keep you from putting a pistol in your own mouth.




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