Friday, November 9, 2012

In my time...

I've seen quite a bit of dirty politics in my time. Being from Chicago gives me somewhat of a head start in sorting out the misfits, power brokers and hardball tacticians from the earnest individuals who want real change...but in my time, I've not witnessed an attempt to defame a politician as viscious as the documentary that seeped onto the internet this election year.

It was called 'Dreams from my Real Father'. It was yet another despicable attempt to attach ugliness, fear and hatred to the character of the president. It first came to my attention while viewing the Drudge Report website. Drudge is basically a news aggregate, mixed with what appeared to be an effort to show the president as inept. Almost every news story seemed as though to be a headline written with the intent to place the Obama administration in a negative light. An example of this was found on the day when the largest paper in Utah endorsed the president, Drudge never mentioned it. Nor did he mention Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama. At any rate, the documentary was being advertised on the header of the website.

This documentary implied and in many instances came out and stated that the president was raised by relatives who were CIA spies,  and leaders of an underworld organization out to overthrow america. Why was this done? Because the tactic of convincing the world Barack Obama was not born in america failed. So this time, they took the approach that, contrary to the previous conspiracy theory, he was indeed born here. Born into communism. Three days ago, we received the verdict on what america thinks about this documentary, Drudge, FOX News and the pathetic reminder of what can be allowed to pass for 'entertainment' on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon.

And while I might be inclined to call for action against those that perpetrated this fraudulent smear campaign, I'll settle for something much more satisfying...making them watch the president successfully lead america to prosperity during the next four years.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well, the blog is pretty much a therapy for the pain of daily news and one's reaction to it. Just to express things without going too far off the deep end. Bottom line, we're all affected by this shit that seems to have a life of it's own, unfolding before our eyes. The 60's was partially about getting off the sidelines and into the mix...that enough people could matter. That the music could matter, that the opinions could matter.That the 'collective we' could be more than the intent written on some sacred scroll. Perhaps, the blog is a remnant of what my family tried to teach me way back then: be involved and don't get caught watching from the safety of the couch...

Yeah, Obama is all things to a country in turmoil. The savior, scapegoat, imbecile, brilliant mind, in-over-his-head stooge...he's whatever all three hundred million of us want him to be each and every day our car doesn't start, wife walks out, dog up and dies. What can you do? The country is not the same, nobody wants to jump in and help, just point give the finger. There may be big trouble ahead on the economic front. But hey, he did say way back when that we are in the shit for years...he said it! Guess that just got lost in our mind's eye of Inaugural Ball highlights and Kennedy expectations...

I would love to open a magazine, newspaper or blog and read about just one of Obama's cabinet members coming to his defense. This was standard procedure in past administrations. Even the worst of the lot, G. Gordon Liddy, was outspoken. But Arne Duncan? Where is he? Haven't seen hide nor hair of him defending his teammate. The general consensus is that the best hope for America is a revitalized education system. This makes him more important than Tim 'The Great Gazoo' Geithner. Where's Duncan's plan? And what of Bill Daley? Last time I saw him was in the President's emergency operations center gazing at Bin Laden's demise. Isn't he supposed to be walking point for his boss? 

No, the only one out there defending the President is someone who knows the pain first hand, Bill Clinton. Interesting that the guy everyone wanted placed in the town square stocks for criticizing then candidate Obama, is the only one who's got his back now. It's also sad. For the President has given us much to be grateful for. The only expectation I had for President-Elect Obama was that he save America's financial system from collapse. I remember thoughts usually reserved for the foxhole: 'If I can just get though this with my (financial) life and limbs intact. I'LL NEVER ASK THE PRESIDENT FOR A THING! PLEASE! Just this once'...

BROKER: "Hey are you OK? It's over. It's going to be alright"...

BLOGGER: "Yes, of course. BTW, when is that liberal-ass pansy in the White House going to do something about Bin Laden? My international portfolio is killing me!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Amusing Ourselves to Death...

One look at the headlines news sums up the future of the United States. No crystal ball, tarot cards, or stanzas from dead men are required. Just the headlines, indiscriminately culled from my home page, Google News today…

US pay cut for bailed-out bosses
Paps Smash Into Jackson Kids Caravan
Google’s new music service: Speculation deepens
Sailing Away with Balloon Boy
This Weeks 10 Best iPhone Apps
Michelle Obama Hula-Hooping our way to health

I thought that this might be a bit harsh on the US side, based upon one moment in time. Therefore, I decided to go back three hours later, and update the headlines…

The Mistake in Michael Jackson's Will
'Balloon boy' parents heard crying in 911 call
Report: Ex-Colleague of 'Balloon Boy' Father Says Incident Was Not An Accident
Google croons a tune with song sales
Microsoft, Google Seal Twitter Search Deals
Microsoft hoping that Hollywood touch makes Windows 7 a hit
Breaking News - Madoff's workplace was rife with cocaine, sex

Again, these were the Google headlines, not TMZ. The United States of America is amusing itself to death. The interesting thing is, we are almost at the point where pretending it isn't is pointless. My next post will outline the only possible way the US can climb out of it’s current descent into the abyss. And it will challenge everything you believe in.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: The green gambit...

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson made an appearance on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ some years ago. ‘Late Night’ was broadcasting from a New York hotel room that evening, and Hunter was nestled on a couch next to Carly Simon. Doc was fidgeting with his jacket and shirtsleeves, while Dave was trying to ask him questions. Letterman, half-annoyingly confronted the good doctor “Hunter, what on earth are you doing!” Thompson looked up, took a sip of his Chivas, and stated “Well, you’ve got the hot lights in front of me and the cold air blowing in the window behind. I am not sure which will prevail.”

The above and the four seasons I experienced growing up in Chicago comprise my knowledge on climate change. I haven’t seen the Gore movie, followed Leonardo’s (the little guy) call to arms or sent checks to Greenpeace. I am pretty much like the rest of the overworked zombies that make-up the world’s workforce. We spend most of our day preparing for, getting to, sloshing through paperwork and people, and go back to our nests. We are bombarded the rest of the time with sensory over-load. Therefore, when something of substance is placed before us, we look to the talking heads of the world to explain it and tell us what to do.

Historically, the good have taken on the bad and prevented the ugly. World War II is the best example of that. And polio was confronted and for the most part, eradicated.  It is a bit early yet, but a vaccine for HIV looks promising. These were threats to humanity that were deemed unacceptable. They were confronted head on, ans our collective focus was sure. Our world would be afforded more time to smooth the imperfections that drive us onward.

With the new millennium came the wake-up call to confront something they called ‘Global Warming’. The ominous tone signaled impending disaster if the world did not change its energy habits. It seems reasonable to think that even for overworked zombies, we could have responded in the all-for-one, one-for-all mode. After all, this time nobody would have to take up arms, nobody would be killed and bombs would not be dropped.

Yet, a strange thing has occurred. Skeptics who believe climate change is a myth have gone into overdrive to hasten down the winds of change. The plans had been drawn, and the world was listening. The momentum appears to have been sidelined in favor of reviving a war on shadows, and replenishing squandered riches. Will we wait and try to catch the prevailing wind?

-Today, Thursday, 15 October, 2009 is Blog Action Day. A concept that finds bloggers around the world posting about the topic at hand, climate change. To read more posts check out

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Out of Print...

The newspaper industry may be the last sign of an era that is phasing out. Papers are ubiquitous. They occupy a place on every corner of every major city in the world, and in the hearts of their citizens. This will soon end. Taking its place is an industry with little use for paper, ink, or cigar chomping reporters. The new information industry will provide updates before the ink on newsprint has had the time to dry.

Time-honored institutions that carry monikers like Daily, Globe, Herald, Tribune, and Times, cannot compete with the electronic devices that time sensitive youth have come to rely upon for their information. They have neither the patience for nor the understanding of attaching sentimentality to their information.

The names Royko, Landers, Bradlee, Bombeck, Jarrett, Payne, Fuller and Lovejoy – will their snarling, inquisitive, straight shot, humorous, and courageous styles of journalism live on? Will the Billy Goat be shuttered in favor of an Internet cafĂ©? Will the sacred, crown jewel of the industry – investigative integrity - be passed along to the next era of media? The ‘State of the Union’ could very well depend on it.

No longer will colorful rows of metal boxes line the streets. No longer will the old-timers emerge from the dark to deliver magazines, papers, and tomorrows Racing Form to anonymous drivers lurching into pockets for change. No longer will they disappear back into their cavernous shacks to stare distantly into the past until another vehicle approaches. In the future, zero dark thirty in America will find the nighthawks scampering to find a trace of the past. A refuge from the cleanly swept memories of ‘open all night’.

I believe it when they say this new age of information is vastly superior to the eras of the past. Much like when Gutenberg revealed what his new invention was capable of. I am sure they will replace silly putty and copy Dick Tracy’s Sunday strip in some electronic way that brings wonder to the eyes of a child. Or cover the bottom of a birdcage with yesterday’s newsprint, and the kitchen floor when Dad brings home a new puppy. Or spending Sunday morning nestled in a cozy bed with the various sections of the paper strewn about the covers - the crossword puzzle half-finished. Yes, they will all be replaced somehow, I just can’t figure out by what.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thoughts for an upcoming holiday...

Troll the waters of any cable TV, filler content, the uglier the better, sledgehammer of the month 'television news journalist', and you'll find President Barack Obama's head firmly situated on the chopping block. Never mind that he has done little more than save the economy, stock market, auto industry, soon to be health care industry and beyond that, with some leftover mojo, maybe, just maybe - Afghanistan.

November is coming and one of our oldest and most sacred holidays requires millions of farmers to sharpen the axes. The gobblers haven't done anything wrong and neither has Obama, but the fact remains that millions need to be fed, and as much as we love Grandma's gravy, political blood is much tastier when football alone will not take the edge off of the realities of national recovery.

We are an impatient society. We have been given much. It came from back breaking labor of our grandparents, and theirs as well. Their patience and sacrifice have allowed millions to taste the fruits of education and the promise that comes with it. The results have enabled us to move further ahead, and faster than any other time in our brief history.

Now that we are on the brink of unbelievable breakthroughs in medicine, technology, and global partnership, are we willing to trample the gains and spirits of our ancestors in a rush to misjudgement? Consider the story of the Fox and the grapes. Factor this in, Americans are being intimidated, and frightened by the same big, bad, bully who picked on you at school, he was and still is seeking attention.

It's funny, but as Americans accept the holiday time off from work, prepare their feasts and fill their plates high, increasing numbers will dig in before giving thanks for the blessings that have filled their tables. And this year, will we forget the dire predicament this nation was in one year ago, with many whispering 'end of America', and those same television news journalist's shouting 'utter collapse'. Will the man who held the nation together be remembered on the this sacred day? Our day of Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Copying is stealing...

Something caught my eye the other day. A blurb regarding 'copying, music & theft' as if they were gateway drugs, with the big house in one's near future. 'Copying is stealing'. No it isn't.

Millions have made a career from copying. Your parents and grandparents PAID to see people copy. Every rock 'n' roll band in the world copied structure, chords and vocal styling from delta blues musicians. Most died penniless . Keith Richards smirks and crows "Aw, everyone steals from each other, that's music". His reps over at Polydor have a different take on that. Jagger copied Tina Turners moves, gestures and strut. Rich Little copied every famous personality of the past millennium. I copied my friends albums, they copied mine, ad infinitum.

Most of this would be a mute point save for the fact that music lovers around the globe have been accused, prosecuted, jailed, and had their parents jailed and fined in the name of 'justice'. Lives have been altered because a kid was doing what his friends do. As all this occurred, fraud and theft on the largest scale ever seen bankrupted or destroyed everything from your new mortgage, to the kids college fund to your grandparents retirement funds. Consider that facts and figures were provided to the SEC and NOTHING was done. Perhaps, the feds were preoccupied over at your local ISP, serving warrants.

So where does it all end? Thank god we have progressed to the point (almost) that will finally see the physical ownership/storage of music come to an end. Technology will dictate that every bit of data be ubiquitous. More readily available than your own autograph.

BTW, they won't confiscate your old vinyl. You'll get to keep it. After all, they have bigger fish to fry, right?