Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Iowa uber alles


Iowa's crackpot congressman, Steve King, always has marched to the beat of a right-wing drummer.

He now apparently is goosestepping to an Anschluss beat, hobnobbing with a far-right leader of a political party founded by ex-Nazis in old Österreich. The candidate of the ironically named Freedom Party lost Austria's presidential runoff, but apparently its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, still ist Nummer Eins in the heart of the Hawkeye State's korncob kommandant.

Strache, you see, will be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump as the guest of King. Let that sink in for a moment.
Rep. Steve King
Various media had reported that Hofer and Strache had been invited by Washington's conservative republican deputy, Steve King. King, who had already supported Trump in the election campaign, visited Vienna last October, where he met the then-Presidential candidate, Hofer. Now the confirmation.
Facebook knows about Strache:
"I was invited to Washington this week. As usual, I am accompanied by a Freedom Delegation on this trip.
On the margins of the US presidential election, a series of talks with interesting US political representatives is on our tight schedule."
(Translation by Google)
A STORY on an English-language Austrian news site is here.

Of course, this isn't the 4th District representative's first flirtation with the outrageous.

In 2010, King said he could "empathize" with a domestic terrorist who flew his small plane into an Internal Revenue Service field office in Austin, Texas, killing himself as well as an IRS manager and injuring 13 others.

That same year, during the final House battle to enact Obamacare, The New York Times quoted him as saying this:

“Let’s beat the other side to a pulp!” Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, shouted to the last stand of Tea Partiers on Sunday night. “Let’s chase them down! There’s going to be a reckoning.”
In 2016, King attracted attention when a television report showed a small Confederate flag on his desk in Washington. Earlier, he had defended the Rebel flag as a "symbol" of Southern pride and decried efforts to ban the banner from official display:
“A huge price has been paid. It’s been paid primarily by Caucasian Christians. There are many who stepped up because they profoundly believed they needed to put an end to slavery,” said King. “This country has put this behind us.”
And less than a week later, on TV at the Republican National Convention, der Kongressabgeordnete went all master race on an MSNBC panel when someone mentioned the last gasp of "old white people" in the GOP.
This 'old white people' business does get a little tired, Charlie," King said. "I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

"Than white people?" Hayes asked, clearly amazed.

"Than, than Western civilization itself," King replied. "It's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That's all of Western civilization."

The other panelists objected, with Hayes trying to keep the peace. Panelist April Ryan, who is black, asked, "What about Asia? What about Africa?"

"We're not going to argue the history of Western civilization," Hayes said. "Let me note for the record that if you're looking at the ledger of Western civilization, for every flourishing democracy, you have Hitler and Stalin as well."
WHEN IT comes to Steve King, I haven't even scratched the surface of the lowlights here. Believe me.

And now this.

Let me summarize "this": A congressman who can do nothing outrageous enough to alienate his constituents in Bumf***, Iowa, happens to be an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump, who could do nothing outrageous enough not to become the 45th president of the United States.

Then, the outrageous right-wing congressman invites an outrageous right-wing politico of a Nazi-birthed Austrian party (who late last year signed a cooperation pact with Vladimir Putin's United Russia party) to the swearing in of Trump, who has his own thing going with the Russians, whose geopolitical aim is to blow the Western alliance to hell and achieve complete Eurasian dominance.

No, nothing to see here. Move along to the showers for delousing.


IT WOULD SEEM to this schlub sitting at his computer in Omaha, by God, Nebraska, that the problem isn't that Steve King and Donald Trump are going to turn America fascist. It seems to me instead that the reason we have public disgraces like Steve King and Donald Trump at the forefront of American public life is because large swaths of our land already have gone fascist.

Folks hereabouts would deny that till the cows come home, and they'd probably want to sock me "in the goddamn face" for saying it. Of course, the other plausible explanation is that an electoral majority in Iowa's 4th and a winning electoral-college coalition nationally elected these two little Hitlers because they were too effing stupid and racist to manage otherwise.

If I were an King voter in western Iowa or a Trump enthusiast nationwide, I'd just cop to fascist.

For the rest of us, the Resistance begins Friday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In the original German


Coming, no doubt, to the Trump inaugural gala.

Please, God, let them be booked to play this at the Trump inaugural gala.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: The inauguration edition


Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor Russian jammers and hackers stays this program from the musical completion of its appointed time slot.

And the Big Show has a special inauguration edition for you this week -- a song-filled celebration of the 45th and last president of these formerly United States. It wasn't easy bringing the music to you.

Malevolent forces tried to make that not occur.

They failed.

OUR NEW administration will be commemorated during this momentous week. Good and hard.

I think you'll enjoy the spectacle.

I think others . . . not so much.

So sit back and relax with a stiff drink for the next 95 minutes, and let the 3 Chords & the Truth music mix surround you like a wall. A big, beautiful wall. The best wall . . . of sound.

Who knows who'll pay for it? Who cares? It won't be you, that's the important thing.

SEE MY beautiful sentences here? They're the best sentences, epic sentences. Believe me, they're great. Almost as great as my music this week. So listen up, and listen good . . . to the Big Show.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Friday, January 13, 2017

'I, for one, welcome our new Kremlin overlords'


Donald Trump’s national security adviser has been in regular contact with Russia’s ambassador to the US, it emerged on Friday, as the controversy around Trump’s ties to Russia showed no signs of abating. 
The White House is aware of phone calls between retired lieutenant-general Michael Flynn and ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a senior US official told the Associated Press. 
It is not clear how the current administration learned of the contacts, although the AP noted that US monitoring of Russian officials’ communication within America is known to be common. 
The disclosure came after a week dominated by the release of a dossier, prepared by a former British intelligence officer, alleging that Russia collected compromising information about Trump and that there had been secret communications between them. The president-elect fired off a fresh round of tweets about the Russian connection that continues to overshadow the buildup to his inauguration a week from now. 
Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak reportedly included several calls on 29 December, the day on which Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials, as well as other measures in retaliation for Russian interference in the election. The official said Flynn and Kislyak have also been in contact at other times, according to the AP. 
Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Trump transition, said Flynn and Kislyak spoke on the phone around the time of the sanctions announcement, although he claimed the conversation happened a day earlier, on 28 December. 
“The call centred around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call,” Spicer told reporters on Friday. “That was it, plain and simple.” 
The call followed text message exchanges initiated by Flynn on Christmas Day, in which he wished the ambassador a merry Christmas and said he looked forward to “touching base with you and working with you”, Spicer added. 
Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak, who has served as Russia’s ambassador since 2008, were first reported by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the US sanctions?” he wrote.
-- The Guardian

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's not that he's a Cheeto horndog . . .


. . . it's that he's a f***ing moron.

When in Russia, you have only one job. Don't grab anybody's pu**y.

And Donald Trump couldn't do it. Allegedly. According to a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence operative who specialized in Russian affairs. From information provided by Russian sources.

Americans, including the media, haven't nailed down the information yet, but U.S. intelligence takes it seriously enough to brief the president -- and the president-elect -- on it.

ACCORDING to the man who will lead this country and literally hold your life in his pu**y-grabbing mitts (cough, nuclear codes, cough), the media reports on this are "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!" But in your heart, you know it's probably true, right?

Because that's who Donald Trump really is, right?

Donald Trump, it seems to me, is something else, too -- the purest expression today of American popular culture and its core values. He was a "reality-TV" star, a best-selling "author," the subject of constant attention, fascination and emulation.


Then we elected him president because he's Donald F***ing Trump, who Tells It Like It Is and will Make America Great Again.

The only thing Trump will make America is Amerika.

In doing so, he and our new Russian overlords will have hung us with out own immoral, dysfunctional rope.

Friday, January 06, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Casting our fate


The Big Show is back, and we're casting our fate to the wind.

That's not nothing -- the wind has been pretty damned ill lately. And so has your Mighty Favog.

I call it the Crud, and it seems everybody around Omaha, by God, Nebraska has had it this winter. It would seem that I may have gotten it worse than most -- about a month of varying degrees of sickness, 10 days of antibiotics and the worst laryngitis I've ever encountered.

Even now, my voice probably is only 80 percent, but that's good enough, I reckon, for 3 Chords & the Truth to be back on the Internets. So here it is.

Thank God.

I do believe we're picking up where we left off in the good -- and eclectic -- music department. On the other hand, the proof is in the listening, and the Big Show is ripe for listening after all this time away from the microphone.

Here's hoping that you're as eager to see what 3 Chords & the Truth is up to in the new year as I was eager to be up to something podcast-y in 2017.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 1962 . . . in full-fidelity FM stereo


Here, the tree stays up until Epiphany. We do things in the proper manner.

In that spirit, Revolution 21 presents Yuletide as it was heard in 1962 -- an hour and 19 minutes of Christmas Day programming in "full-fidelity FM stereo" on KQAL radio in Omaha. If you don't remember the 1960s, particularly FM radio in the early '60s, this will be a revelation to you.

Click for full-size version
This is not today's FM radio. This is . . . how shall we put it . . . laid back. Radio by grown-ups, you could say.

It's not all that slick. Technology was more difficult then. Records skipped, and there wasn't much money in FM in 1962. The money was over on AM, back when AM radio mattered. Really mattered.

In 1962 (in 1972, for that matter), FM was for dentist offices, your mom and dad and grandma and grandpa with their "elevator music" (look it up), and frequency modulation was for the "longhairs." No, not hippies. There weren't any yet -- "beatniks" were as counterculture as you got back then. The longhairs listened to classical music, and they were a lot more cultured than you and me.


HERE, KQAL was for the longhairs and elevator-music lovers from its inception April 19, 1959. And in 1962, it was the only station in these parts broadcasting in that newfangled "FM multiplex stereo," which became a thing in June 1961 after its approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

But you'll hear from this recording that FM receivers (or multiplex adapters, which also used to be a thing) weren't as good as they would be . . . and a 54-year-old reel-to-reel tape probably doesn't sound quite as bright as it once did. And you'll hear that stations like KQAL, at 94.1 on your FM stereo dial, still were figuring out what to do with that extra channel of audio when the records weren't playing.

Sometimes it could get weird. Listen, and you'll hear what I mean. No, I will not spoil it for you.

Some day soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow

BUT THAT'S NOT what's important.

What's important is that this is the sound of Christmas in my 55-year-old head and my 55-year-old heart. It's the sound of the holidays when adults ran the world, and I was far from being one.

When I think of Christmas in our two-bedroom, one-bath house on Darryl Drive in Baton Rouge, La., this station from long ago in Omaha, where I now have lived far longer than I did in Louisiana, is pretty much what I hear. For the record, I also smell fruitcake, pecans and walnuts, fresh oranges, strong coffee, a huge spruce tree in the living room . . . and Bruce floor wax.


I hear and smell these things that are no more. The older I get, the more it happens.

With each passing year, there also are more and more "no mores." At Christmas, I see the loved ones who once filled my house and my life but are no more. I hear the voices long silent.

I remember a Christmas Day soundtrack that sounded kind of like this. As it turns out, my memories are in full-fidelity FM stereo, too.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

1964 Personal Role Radio, new

 









If you suffer from geek allergies, now is your opportunity to move farther along the Internet Trail.

This post, however, will get us much closer to the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

What you see here is a brand-new Army "morale radio," right out of the box -- an R-1289 PRR receiver. Vendor: General Electric Company, Radio Receiver Department, Utica, New York, USA. Date of manufacture: September 1964.

The first wave of American troops in Vietnam would have gotten this from the quartermaster. I just got mine from eBay -- I was a little young to be sent to 'Nam in late 1964, being just 3½ years old at the time.

It's a strange thing, getting something that's 52 years old basically new out of the box. Call it a time capsule, which it is.

A TIME CAPSULE complete with an instruction manual, a schematic and an eight transistor radio in a moisture-proof canvas pouch. 

Moisture-proof is good for things being shipped to the jungle.

From what the Internet (and the eBay seller) tells me, this little GE model -- the P925 back in The World -- was the last of the military "morale radios," or "Personal Role Radio (PRR)" in Army speak. By 1964, after all, what young American didn't already have a transistor radio?

T.B. Player certainly did when he shipped out in '64.

This has been your Geek Minute on Revolution 21. We now return you to your modern, digitized programming.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Trumpiana


Alas, alas . . . whither my poor alma mater, Louisiana State University? Yet another semester, yet another budget cut, in all likelihood.

Bigly.

With cuts right around the corner, the president of LSU warned Louisiana lawmakers Wednesday that his university cannot handle many more budget reductions.

“Another cut to higher education furthers the dire straits that we're in. I don't know how much more efficient we can become,” President F. King Alexander told the House Appropriations Committee.

For the 16th time in nine years, LSU is once again preparing for the legislative knife.

“It's endless, it's like Ground Hog Day,” said Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall.
In order to fix the state’s $313 million shortfall left over from last year, higher education will like have to endure another multi-million dollar cut. Back in November, the governor proposed about $18 million in cuts to higher education overall, with more than $8.5 million from LSU. Those could be enacted through executive order. Any changes to that plan could be announced Thursday, at which time legislators could also vote to increase cuts to education.

Over the last decade, LSU has cut back on courses while freezing faculty salaries time and time again, according to Alexander. Meanwhile, competing universities have lured away their LSU faculty by offering them better pay. Overall, Alexander said budget cuts have led to a net loss of 500 faculty members over ten years.

“We would take notice if we were losing football coaches,” Alexander told the committee.

With regards to how much the university spends per student, LSU currently ranks near the bottom. The school is 46th out of the 50 flagship schools across the country and 12th out of the 14 SEC schools, according to Alexander.

“This day is the worst day of hearings every year because we talk about what should be the hope of the future of our state, and then we talk about how dramatically we've dis-invested in it over the last nine years,” said Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans.

Added to that, the shortfall is holding up maintenance projects. The LSU system current has a backlog of $750 million in upkeep projects that cannot be completed under current budget restrictions. About $500 million of those projects are on the main campus.

When it comes to TOPS, which is only partially funded in the spring, Alexander said it is unclear how it will impact enrollment. His bigger concern, he said, is next fall and beyond.

“The uncertainty of all this has the potential to drive the best and brightest out of the state,” Alexander said.
THERE REALLY isn't much to be said about this ongoing tragedy any longer. It all has been said, and we're all getting tired of repeating ourselves.

Here, though, is one thing I don't think has been repeated to the point of ineffectiveness.

You want to know the best way to describe my woebegone home state? This way.

Louisiana is just like its favorite politician, president-elect Donald Trump: It spends its life acting like a stupid asshole, then it goes bankrupt.

Trumpiana, for short.

That is all. That's enough.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Rick Santorum and his shit-eating smirk


What can you can about an allegedly "Catholic" former senator, perpetual presidential candidate and full-time self-righteous chickenshit whose advise to a "DREAMer" pondering her uncertain future under Donald Trump was this: Go back where you came from?

Trouble is,  this 27-year-old mechanical engineer was brought to the United States when she was 7. Where she "comes from" is here.

Really, what can you say about such a man as Rick Santorum?

OK, what can you say that I'd feel comfortable repeating?

WELL, that's all right. I'm pretty much at a loss, too. Everything that immediately comes to mind is unprintable . . . and note that I'm reasonably comfortable with "shit-eating smirk" and "self-righteous chickenshit."

OK, what about calling him a "vile, crypto-Nazi, cafeteria-Catholic mother. . . ." No, I'd have to confess that one to Father.

I guess we're at loggerheads on l'affaire Santorum. I'll just leave my comment at this: What we need is a name for the particular species of culture-war "cafeteria Catholic" that Rick Santorum exemplifies. I propose "Kultur Krieg Katholiken." Just call 'em KKKs for short.

Everything is better in the original German, ja?

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Godspeed, John Glenn


John Glenn is dead.

And with the great astronaut's passing at age 95, so dies a part of every star-struck child of the 1960s. There's not much more a man can say -- the life of an American hero speaks for itself. And what a life Glenn had.

In an age so devoid of greatness -- in an America now so impoverished -- this is what greatness looks like. And below, as broadcast Feb. 20, 1962 on KFAB radio in Omaha, is what greatness sounded like.

Sit back and enjoy this NBC Radio special report reviewing the flight of Friendship 7.

Godspeed, John Glenn.


Friday, December 02, 2016

This is for all the stupid people. . . .


If you're on Facebook, and you probably are, stuff like this no doubt clogs your timeline.

It's like this: America is full of stupid people, clueless that sense has passed them by. It's enough to make you give up, because there's no silver cup. And when you ride that highway in the sky . . . you'll probably meet this guy:



Before social media, lies and craziness already had a big advantage on the truth and good sense. Back in 1855, British clergyman Charles Spurgeon had this to say in a sermon:
"If you want the truth to go 'round the world, you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go 'round the world, it will fly: it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old proverb, 'A lie will go 'round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.'"
I THINK that pretty much covers it.

Now that we have covered our society-threatening problem with social media, let's look at all the ways the Facebook meme at the top of this post offends.

First off, if ours is "one nation under God," it most certainly is one nation under Allah. "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God," nothing more, nothing less. Muslims worship Allah. Arabic-speaking Christians worship Allah, too.

I have been to Byzantine Catholic services -- Divine Liturgies, which is the same as "Mass" for Latin-rite Catholics. And here's a news flash: We prayed to "Allah" during one liturgy that was largely in Arabic.

Do I need to pack my bags and leave this allegedly "Christian nation"?

By the stars and stripes of social media's loudest "Christian" voices, would the problem be that I am not Christian enough or, perhaps, that I'm not effing stupid enough to live in today's infantilized and lobotomized republic?

SECOND, I have had it with the conflation of the gospel of Jesus Christ -- or maybe I should just say Issa to piss off all the right people -- and the United States.

Issa loves Americans no more (and no less) than he does North Koreans, Russians or Syrian refugees. Issa is not on America's side -- in fact, America is generally far from being on Issa's side. Issa finds nothing about America that makes it more or less a "Christian nation" than any other country with large numbers of observant Christians.

And when you wrap Old Glory around the wood of the cross, not only will your flag decal not get you into Heaven anymore, it just may send you to hell as an idolater. God is not mocked, and that breathtakingly stupid meme mocks God.

THIRD, "Islamic" and "Muslim" are the same thing, dumbass. "America is not a Muslim nation" and "America is not an Islamic nation" is just more cant from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Kind of like calling the genius behind this meme a stupid idiot.

Oh . . . one final thing. America is not a "Christian nation." It is a constitutional republic, and it is open to people of all faiths (or, at least it used to be before Nov. 8), as well as those of no faith at all. The only thing required is the freedom to live out one's faith, and to exhibit tolerance for those not exercising yours.


If you have a problem with anything I've said, you may be a pretty piss-poor Christian. It's a damned solid bet that you absolutely are a piss-poor American.