Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Beyond the realm of what
* Ted Nugent plays the magnificent lead guitar solos. He claims he wasn't aware this song alluded to a psychedelic drug experience. No reason to doubt Ted's drug-free lifestyle (he gets high on bloodlust), but it does seem a tad naive for that legendary late-Sixties era in the Detroit rock scene. The Amboy Dukes were a terrific band. Note The Nuge's conservative attire & undemonstrative movements, yet he still draws our attention. He didn't let the band pass this opportunity off with a sloppy lip-synch job.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Chikin served with a side of hate & bigotry
The owners of Chick-fil-A oppose more than marriage equality; they're against every extension of rights to LGBT. Every single one. Rights to family status in hospital visitation by gay & lesbian partners? Yep, that one too. Cruelty. They would if they could refuse to hire LGBT & non-Christians. I'm not exaggerating. Geezer founder S. Truett Cathy & his sons Dan & Donald “Bubba” back up their beliefs with their fortunes.
It's unfortunate that a few individual Chick-fil-A franchisees here & there support LGBT rights & place signs to that effect in their stores. But they are "operators" not "owners," sending a lion's share of their profits to the home office. Chick-fil-A owns the restaurant & pays the rent. Sorry, folks, you don't get a bye.
The Chick-fil-A slogan is "Eat mor chikin," a plea made by anxious cows. Chick-fil-A unleashes its corporate lawyers on anyone, any business using the two words "Eat more" for promotion. Doesn't have to be "Eat mor." Does seem a stretch for trademark infringment. Common sense tells us "mor" & "chikin" are the trademark words. Even Hershey won't fight Chick-fil-A to offer the "Eat-More" bar now sold only by Hershey Canada, I've had one, it's a very good candy bar, would sell well in the United States.
One guy is standing up to Chick-fil-A, a small time Vermont entrepreneur named Bo Muller-Moore. Bo home manufactures an "Eat more kale" tee shirt, which he sells online & at flea markets. Hardly anyone outside of Vermont had heard of him until he received a cease-&-desist letter from Chick-fil-A. Bo refused to cease & desist. The international exposure of Chick-fil-A's owners as homobigots also brought Bo's battle into the spotlight.
Government has no right to deny Chick-fil-A the right to open & operate restaurants. It can make certain the restaurants are up to codes & obeying legal hiring practices. But where Chick-fil-A operates restaurants inside private colleges & other institutions, it certainly can be shown the exit when the current contract ends. I doubt the one at New York University in Greenwich Village will survive.
If you're "Christian" like Sarah & Todd Palin, be aware that enthusiastically supporting Chick-fil-A because of the owners' anti-LGBT activism goes well beyond what your literal reading of scripture requires. If you think LGBT ought to be stripped of all their civil rights & driven back into the closet, then "Eat mor chikin" served with a side of hate & bigotry.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Shark River NJ
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Aurora Theater Massacre
Gun culture is scary. You could easily find videos on You Tube of American children wearing camouflage fatigues & firing sophisticated weapons, including machine guns, urged on by their parents. Nicholas Krisfof wrote today:
If it's politically impossible to curb even assault rifles, then maybe at least we can adopt a public health approach to guns, to minimize the harm. That could include limiting gun purchases to 1/month, making serial numbers harder to erase, banning oversize magazines, more thorough safety checks, a mechanism to show whether bullet is in chamber, etc. This public safety approach has been very successful in reducing both auto fatalities and drunken driving deaths. Isn't it worth trying with guns as well?This would seem logical. It would do something - not enough - to curb traffic in illegal guns into cities, the most serious gun control problem in America. It isn't the crazy mass murderers nobody can predict but the criminals, gang bangers, drug dealers, violent repeat offenders the police do know. The bad guys outgun the cops. We need ways of tracking guns from the sale point, which include open air gun markets in the South & unethical, greedy gun dealers. Advocate these common sense steps & the gun rights people scream. Remember, they chafe under existing motor vehicle laws; can't drive their dirt bikes & lawn tractors on public highways. There's a pro-gun mindset that believes any weapon should be legal. Many you might think aren't legal, are, in some states, although they may require special, difficult federal licensing.
Doesn't seem to bother pro-gun folks that government records cell phone conversations, tracks personal internet use & searches blogs & chat rooms for key words that might indicate anti-American feelings; the massive increase in video camera survelliance, government & private, not to mention what hundreds of satellites above us see & hear. Regarding those aspects of Homeland Security they say, "Nothing to worry about if you're a patriotic American."
As I've written before, the National Security State doesn't care about their stinkin' guns. No threat. Go ahead, believe all that "well-armed militia" bullshit, like you're the Minutemen & you're gonna defend your liberty shooting at the enemy from behind trees & rocks, we don't care. We want you, we got you. You gave us the power. Only local law enforcement, local government, good people under siege in their own neighborhoods care.
* Holmes had a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 .223 semi-automatic rifle, described as a "tactical" firearm.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Mitt's Georgia O'Keefe
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
It's not just political. I flat out detest Mitt Romney. He's a compulsive liar. He appears to have zilch interest in the arts. The contrast with his father George is stark & troubling. I even think he betrays some good Mormon values rooted in 19th Century American idealism.
I wrote, "In my high school Mitt couldn't have gotten himself elected president of anything except the Jerk Club."
My step-brother, good & intelligent man I respect, commented, "you don't know that. In real life he might have been your best friend."
I commented back, "That's an impossible statement. Most of my friends wanted to get into my parents' liquor cabinet."
In reality, Mitt never would have attended our high school (my step-brother, who wasn't that at the time, was a year behind me). Mitt was too rich even to attend Pingry, the nearby expensive private prep school. My step-brother may also not remember home basketball games against Pingry, which I recall as screaming exercises in adolescent class warfare, not only by the hooting crowd, a significant portion with fathers working on auto assembly lines (earning a good buck too in those salad days for the UAW), but also by our basketball team, using jabbing elbows & insults. It would've been crazier if Pingry had a wrestling team, our school's speciality. There wasn't a whole lot of empathy for RICH FUCKING BOSSES.
I did have one fairly affluent preppy friend I'd known since kindergarten. Being an only child pushed him up a few economic steps. Large families were more the norm in our town in that era.. But one night he jumped into our backyard circular pool fully-clothed while singing "Kicks" by Paul Revere & the Raiders at the top of his lungs. Now he's a successful beer distributor in the midwest.
My step-brother at age 20 rode a big motorcycle & looked like an outlaw Abe Lincoln.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Kitty Wells, The Original Honky Tonk Angel
She managed to transform those old cheating and heart songs into soul music by resisting the overplay of emotion; her drama remains all pent up in that voice, painfully curtailed, both sentimental and stoic like the country folks who were her rural audience.Both Kitty & Laura were born & raised in Nashville, city girls. Which meant Kitty, like country comedian Minnie Pearl (who attended a Nashville finishing school for women), probably had to push some urban sophistication into the background. With Laura, it's enough that you know you're in the presence of a Tennessee woman, with all it implies musically. A quality of Laura's singing that makes you lean toward the bandstand rather than away from it certainly derives from Kitty Wells. In fact, Laura does a wonderful version of this very song.
Monday, July 16, 2012
How I became good friends with a 21 year old lesbian
I've become less fond of summer as I've gotten older. I didn't like the heat as a kid, especially at night in bed trying to fall asleep, the ineffective swiveling fan wafting three seconds of warm breeze every pass in my direction. Summers improved when we got a four foot deep circular pool.
In my forties, I started spending more time near open bodies of water, Arthur Kill Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook, or sitting in bars, or just staying in my air-conditioned apt - although the built-in 220V unit was probably more expensive to run per hour than driving an air-conditioned car.
My options became very limited without a car. The problems there began whenever I had to get to my job at Pearl Arts Supply store when my car was in the shop, which it was too often. My work hours did not correspond with a limited schedule of shuttle buses from the Metropark train station, a six minute trip from my station in Rahway, a short walk from my apt. So I had to take a long, wandering local bus, which ran on the hour, to Woodbridge Mall. That trip took 45 minutes. My car commute was 10-15. Then I had to walk from one end of the mall to the other, through a dept store, out the door, across acres of parking lot, over a hill, & across U.S. Route at a notoriously dangerous intersection where no driver really looked out for pedestrians, then across another lot to the Pearl store. This walk was another 15-20 minutes. This trip was pure wasted misery on hot summer day. Sometimes the bus a/c was broken. In no way was it a character builder, like the elaborate bus trips & long walks I had to take sometimes at age 20 to get to my job in a great record store when my lousy car then was busted. What I learned there later qualified me for a radio show at WFMU. After work at Pearl, at either 6:30 or 9 pm, I could usually get a co-worker to drop me off at the Mall, or better the Metropark Station, or best of all, at 9, occasionally one of a couple of college student part-timers who really liked me would drive me all the way home & we'd pick up a pizza & six pack on the way. That's how I became good friends with a 21 year old lesbian when I was 46.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
When I was kid, before the interstates & when most numbered highways in rural & vacation regions of Jersey were two laners, there were lots of places like this. Instead of a bar many had ice cream stands or gift shops. But they might as well have been mirages. My dad was not the kind of guy who would stop, pull a wad of singles out of his pocket & say, "Since we're stuck in this traffic jam, go get yourself some ice cream, kids."
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Anyway, this young guy whizzed by me earlier on a small electric motor scooter. It was pretty nice, quiet, sit down model, about 15 mph, even had a tail light. Functional. Looked sturdy enough. But it was totally illegal. There's no way it could be brought up to legal standard. The scooter & moped laws here are very strict: You need a legal moped, you need registration, you need insurance, you need a helmet, you have to pass a written test & road test if you don't have a driver license. No electric skateboards or razor scooters. Even those slow electric toy cars you see children driving on the sidewalk as their parents walk behind are technically illegal. A legal scooter without pedals requires a motorcycle license.
The guy didn't reason through why there aren't hundreds of electric scooters like his on the streets here. Maybe he's stupid enough to think it was his original idea. Or the dealer sold him lies. One of three things will happen to him soon. He'll be in an accident. The scooter will break & either no one can repair it or repairs will cost as much as he paid for it. Most likely the police will just stop him & confiscate it. They could cite him for a half-dozen violations, if not more, some quite serious, but probably won't. They'll insinuate they will nail him if he tries to retrieve it from police custody. The police have a large garage somewhere filled with various illegal motorized vehicles, from electric skateboards to funky homemade gasoline engine mopeds like a guy in my building had for about a week. Unlike unclaimed bicycles they can't auction them off to the general public.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I would vote for anyone that I think could better the USA in a way that doesn't violate the constitutional rights of others. They have to have a healthy respect for American business cause that's where most of us make our livingI doubt the person who posted this comment on my FB page has ever voted for a Democrat. Putting Nixon aside as the uniquely demonic personality he was, the first time I seriously thought about "constitutional rights" in comparing candidates at any level was 2000, & not so much on account of George W. Bush as for the evil troika of Cheney, Rumsfeld & Rove standing behind him.
Yo, Justice John Roberts doesn't believe the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
A lot of people on the right seem to believe the Constitution is wonderfully, simply self-explanatory. If that were the case, we could dispense with a system of Federal courts, not require lawyers to study the Constitution, bring our disputes to Madam Marie's Temple of Knowledge, & "stand your ground" with a surface to surface missile. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton & John Jay would not have considered it necessary to write the expository Federalist Papers.
Having a Constitutional right to believe what one wants about Constitutional rights doesn't mean those beliefs are true or that one has the right to act on them. Simpletons think it's 1789 & their puny weapons can protect them from the government. In 1789, when the government had pretty much the same weapons as the people, those weapons were no protection. The National Security State loves gun rights - they distract us from the really effective weapons - high tech surveillance, government agencies hidden within agencies, secret American funded prisons outside the reach of American jurisprudence.
President Obama - the so-called "leftist" in this election - inherited the Cheney / Rumsfeld Homeland Security construction (which is like an iceberg - we can't see 80% of it), decided it would come in handy, & didn't do anything to dismantle it as he had promised he would. We're supposed to believe Mitt Romney is even more concerned with the integrity of our privacy? As far as he's concerned, the great assault on our freedom is the individual health insurance mandate he himself endorsed in Massachusetts.
The Constitution was a huge annoyance to my two favorite presidents, Lincoln & Franklin Roosevelt, & both were always looking for ways to circumvent it. Lincoln was faced with an entire treasonous region of the USA claiming the Constitution wasn't an enforceable contract. Roosevelt understood that economic hopelessness was fueling antidemocratic far left & far right radical movements capable of installing themselves through democratic processes. No such threat to the existence of the United States was shown to exist after the 9/11 attacks. I must admit to being a bit embarrassed by our fearful reaction, given what Great Britain had endured in WWII, & through decades of I.R.A. terrorist bombings. But it was an opportunity to place the United States in a state of permanent undeclared war against various enemies - as many as possible - the National Security State, which we came so close to having in the 1950's. We had a president then who had faced down the armies of Hitler as a commander of our armed forces & was innately suspicious of ideological fervor & overreaction, so the Cheneys & Rumsfelds of his time couldn't get him entirely with the program.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A few words from Mitt O'Hara
"I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president."He spent the entire primary campaign disassociating himself from the one really good, innovative thing he tried to do as Governor of Massachusetts; get everyone in his state on to a health insurance plan & eliminate certain unjust policies by health insurance providers. He was in too big a hurry to run for president in 2008 to stick around for a second term & work out the kinks. O.K., so he has some second thoughts about what he did. But this doesn't lead him to suggest an improved path to providing health care for all.
Mitt Romney in speech to the NAACP
It's difficult enough to know what is in the heart of someone we love, someone who shows constancy in opinions & actions. Romney has tried to appeal (without a whole lotta success) to the worst factions in the Repug party base. They still don't like or trust him. Getting them out to vote on Election Day is a job Mitt is assigning to superpacs funded by ultraright billionaires & not directly connected to his campaign while he plays the aggrieved, misunderstood rich white guy for the NAACP, for a start. Of course they aren't buying it. He's hardly the first rich white guy to play the role for them. They've been hearing this shit from the man in the Big House since slavery days. Change the wording around a bit it could be something spoken by Scarlet O'Hara's father.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Michel Magne - Amapola
From the album "Tropical Fantasy" (1962).
The arrangements on this wonderfully strange album alternate between bird crazy & rhythmic hysteria. Magne became a prominent French film composer.
Monday, July 09, 2012
The National Security State
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Budd Lake NJ
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Mitt Romney in France
Friday, July 06, 2012
Great Irish Short Stories, edited by Vivien Mercier
Out of sight Leonard, Elmore, =
Betrayers : a "nameless detective" mystery Pronzini, Bill.
My New York, Pete Hamill
The last king of Texas Riordan, Rick.
Thereby hangs a tail : a Chet and Bernie mystery Quinn, Spencer.
The dog who knew too much Quinn, Spencer.
The astounding, the amazing, and the unknown Malmont, Paul.
Fun House : A John Ceepak Mystery Grabenstein, Chris
The gods of Gotham Faye, Lyndsay.
All I Did Was Shoot My Man : A Leonid Mcgill Mystery Mosley, Walter
Raylan Leonard, Elmore,
Taken Crais, Robert.
Trail of the Spellmans : document #5 Lutz, Lisa.
LaBrava Leonard, Elmore,
Explosive Eighteen, Evanovich
The Drop, Michael Connelly (Bosch 2011)
Boca Mournings Forman, Steven M.
God doesn't shoot craps : a divine comedy of dice, Armstrong, Richard,
Beat the reaper : a novel Bazell, Josh.
J.D. Salinger: A Life, Kenneth Slawenski
Boca Daze. Steven M Forman 2010
Crazybone, Bill Pronzini 2000
Wild Thing, Josh Bazell 2011
The ragtime fool Karp, Larry.
Outwitting Trolls : A Brady Coyne Novel Tapply, William G.
Cop out Dunlap, Susan.
Shimmer, Norman, Hilary.
The risk of infidelity index : a Vincent Calvino novel, Moore, Christopher G
The flaming luau of death : a Madeline Bean novel. Farmer, Jerrilyn.
City of whispers Muller, Marcia.
You suck : a love story Moore, Christopher, =
Jersey law Liebman, Ronald S.
Pronto Leonard, Elmore,
Dog on it : a Chet and Bernie mystery Quinn, Spencer.
Pale kings and princes : a Spenser novel Parker, Robert B., =
Life: Keith Richards
Wanna get lucky? Coonts, Deborah.
L. A. mental : a thriller McMahon, Neil.
A few minutes past midnight Kaminsky, Stuart M.
Indemnity only : a novel Paretsky, Sara.
Lucky stiff Coonts, Deborah.
A whisper to the living Kaminsky, Stuart M.
A fatal glass of beer Kaminsky, Stuart M.
Minor in Possession Jance, J.A.
True grit; a novel Portis, Charles.
A trouble of fools Barnes, Linda.
Shakey : Neil Young's biography McDonough, Jimmy.
Indemnity only : a novel Paretsky, Sara.
The Big Bounce Leonard, Elmore
Feelers Wiprud, Brian M.
Labels: what I'm reading
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Good riddance, Firefox
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
The 4th of July
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Andy Griffith Show straddled my puberty,.
I'll have more to say about this,
but the Ambien is kicking in,
Monday, July 02, 2012
The sign with the Official Seal of the City of Elizabeth. Excuse me, but since when does the city officially designate ethnic districts? Is there a sign over by the Jewish Education Center complex saying "Welcome to the Jewish District"? That Jewish community has roots going back to 1880. I appreciate living near them. Wish someone would open a falafel stand. Our famous Italian neighborhood, "Peterstown," known locally as "The Burg," doesn't to my knowledge have signs; it's a neighborhood, not a district. It doesn't even have a predominantly Italian population anymore, just a lot of Italian restaurants, cafes & meat markets. Ethnic neighborhoods are organic, they change. Elizabeth no longer has an Irish, a Polish, a German neighborhood. In the 1950's, 60's, 70's there were enough Russian Orthodox to build a beautiful new church around the corner & pay for it. Where are they now? What in this city constitutes an "African-American District"? The Colombians are welcome to promote their three blocks of Morris Ave. businesses through their merchant associations. Go ahead, put up signs on your properties. Have parades & festivals. But I'll tell you this; I don't live in a "Colombian District" authorized by city hall. Where are the borders? Where's your churches, your social clubs? Most of the Colombian businesses here are less than a decade old, many less than five. The new school on Morris. Ave. is named for a great Puerto Rican educational reformer. That clock tower in the photo is attached to a restored train station housing a fine Italian food establishment, Michelino's.