Friday, July 21, 2017

Love purple. See red.

Middleton Library, LSU / Bob Mann

“This is a huge upgrade to that facility that will have an immediate impact for our fans,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in the release. “It’s a perfect match for the excitement we can expect in that arena with volleyball, women’s basketball, and of course our top-ranked gymnastics program and our men’s basketball team under new head coach Will Wade."
Middleton Library, Louisiana State University / Bob Mann

There's exciting LSU news in the paper!

Oh, Em Gee!

I'm too verklempt to write anymore. I may even be shpritzing.

Oy veh! Here is the story from the Baton Rouge daily, The Advocate.

Middleton Library / Bob Mann
The Will Wade era for LSU basketball will begin with a huge dose of high definition at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU plans to complete installation of new videoboards later this month, and they will be the largest "center hung" installation in the nation, according to a school news release.

The four screens — two facing the sidelines at 42 feet long and 21 feet high, as well as two facing the baselines at 24 feet by 20.5 feet — were priced at over $3 million. The project was fully funded by the Tiger Athletic Foundation, according to the release.
Middleton Library / Bob Mann
“This is a huge upgrade to that facility that will have an immediate impact for our fans,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in the release. “It’s a perfect match for the excitement we can expect in that arena with volleyball, women’s basketball, and of course our top-ranked gymnastics program and our men’s basketball team under new head coach Will Wade."
The board, which would rank 11th compared to NBA arenas, will be used during games and for some special events. The boards will feature a dedicated area for game-in-progress information like score and time on the clock, as well as individual and team statistics.

“I know our fans will be excited about the videoboard. ... It will be an outstanding addition to the fan experience that we will be trying to incorporate into our basketball games to give our team a great home-court advantage,” said Wade, who begins his first season at LSU this year after two years coaching VCU.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Only the Big Show has it!

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Expert music curation is standard; some episodes may contain trenchant commentary. This week's edition may contain themes not fit for stupid people or the clueless. No offense intended but may be taken.

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

Saturday, July 08, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Don't Elvis the television

After watching the news the other day, I was gonna Elvis the television.

But my wife insisted that I calm down, instead. Wheel of Fortune was coming on.

So . . . we have the relaxing, chilled-out version of 3 Chords & the Truth. Listen to that, and don't be like Elvis Presley. You're not made out of money, and TV sets are expensive.

Or you could just stop watching the news. You'll still want to listen to the chill version of the Big Show, though.

Your television will thank you. So will Pat Sajak.

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

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Amerika uber alles

Civil war once again will come to this land. It's looking like it will be sooner rather than later.

That's the good news.

To watch this National Rifle Association recruitment video, which is quite literally Hitlerian in its language and in its demonizing, is to realize that civil war is the preferred option to the genocidal call to action which lies between every hissed line of the ad. Civil war at least presumes that one has a fighting chance.

WHAT DOES NOT have a fighting chance is the United States of America. As we approach the 241st anniversary of its birth, the former land of the free and home of the brave lies in hospice care. The attending physician, no doubt, is a descendant of Josef Mengele.

*   *   *

MORE: An earlier NRA effort also was decidedly Nazilike.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: The spirit of '76

There's no percentage in the present, so let's try the past.

Does 1976 sound good? Sounds good to me -- '76 was a very good year to be young and in love with music.

So it's settled . . . and the spirit of '76 it is! And it's all goin' down on the Big Show.

Now fasten your seat belt for a journey to the center of the Seventies. Stay tuned for complimentary 8-track tapes and some really cool tunes.

Right on, man!

Next stop: Recaptured youth and another crack at high school.

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

You can't fix stupid, and you can't argue with wicked

Cast your line into the deep, dumb sea.

Reel in a red herring.

Make a YouTube video that every stupid, racist redneck from Pearl River to Sabine Pass will slurp up like a heaping plate of David Duke. Go up there to Franklinton, get up on your front porch, take off your shoes, wash your feet, look at the moon and get close to God.

State Sen. Beth Mizell must be a hero in Washington Parish, Louisiana . . . where the Ku Klux Klan still is very much a thing.

Mizell's video must be seen to be believed. Here's the Cliff's Notes version:
Huey Long, Louisiana State Capitol
If New Orleans can take down Jim Crow era Confederate monuments, well, what are they going to come for next? The statue over Huey Long's grave at the state capitol?

After all, Huey Long was a socialist. Huey Long was like Bernie Sanders. You know, a socialist! God knows socialism is just as controversial and offensive as slavery . . . and treason . . . and starting the Civil War in defense of keeping blacks in bondage.

Did we mention socialist?

Well . . . the senator ain't for taking down Huey Long's statue! Because history. Why, we bet you didn't even know he was a socialist. And what we don't know makes us love him and be proud. He wrote the LSU fight song! GEAUX TIGERS!
We bet you didn't even know the Confederates were for slavery! Not that that's what the War of Northern Aggression was about! And nothing says New Orleans, Mardi Gras and seafood gumbo like Robert E. Lee. Because history. The white . . . er . . . right version of it. Not Yankee fake history.
And if you were one of those people with all the fake outrage over white-supremacist monuments, well, you ain't even a real citizen. You're a fake citizen.
Bogalusa, La., 1965 -- Sen. Mizell's district
CAN WE just build the wall at Texarkana and make Louisiana pay for it?

In Louisiana, as in much of the South, we no longer can deny that we're dealing with a white population just as brainwashed, by and large, as your average North Korean political functionary. Maybe more. And you just can't argue with brainwashed.

Martin Luther King Jr. is dead, but the cult of the Lost Cause still lives. If Jesus Christ -- the real Jesus and not the Trumpian fake Jesus -- elicited the same kind of fanatical devotion as a long-defeated insurrection of slave masters, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. We'd be talking about the Beatitudes and not P.G.T. Beauregard.

We'd be talking about feeding the poor and healing the sick, not serving up socialist straw men to knock down with the battering ram of fake patriotism.

Beth Mizell would be sitting in a double-wide, not at a desk in the Louisiana State Capitol.

You can't contradict the Beth Mizells of the world, who spread lies like a hog slurps slop. You can't convince the brainwashed hordes who love the liars because their lies play to inbred prejudice. If the rise and rule of Donald Trump has taught us anything, it's taught us that.

THE ONLY THING left is to fight the liars and their lies. The only thing left is to defeat the liars and their lies. The only thing left is to isolate the liars -- and their lies -- until . . . until. . . .
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.
I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
"As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, "
Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching on.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: An amazing audio value!

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The sonic adventure will thrill you with its unexpected twists, turns and flights of fancy! The mind-expanding properties of 3 Chords & the Truth  will make you feel smarter with each new episode! Never could you have thought expanding your mind and your musical horizons would be such fun!

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Give us your attention, and 3 Chords & the Truth will give you a world . . . of music! FREE!

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Want to know why the Democrats can't win? This.

If we're honest, many of us who fear for our country under a reckless and unstable president who's bucking to become a reckless and unstable dictator have had our fleeting "Will no one rid us of this nut with the nuclear codes?" moments.

That always is followed by a mental checklist of all the ways that would be really, really bad. "It'd spark a civil war" is on there somewhere. The last item is "Congratulations. You will have just become what you abhor."

That last thing is rather the point of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar . . . that play the Republicans so love to hate, now that theater companies are staging it with a Caesar who looks like Donald Trump and not one who looks like Barack Obama. That last thing is the acknowledgement that empowering one's darkest impulses  is to cast off even the veneer of civilization; it is to become a murderer to stop a despoiler, to destroy this democracy in order to save it.

You feel bad thinking it. You feel ashamed to admit to thinking it. You resolve that surely there is another way, even in the face of an unprecedented threat to American democracy and civil society.

That, I would think, is the reaction of normal, self-aware Americans. That is not the reaction, obviously, of many in the Democratic base. Enter Phil Montag, a now-former official of the Nebraska Democratic Party.
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb removed a party official from his post today after a recording surfaced of him making offensive remarks about the shooting of U.S. Rep Steve Scalise. 
Kleeb removed Phil Montag on Thursday morning as co-chair of the state party’s technology committee after The World-Herald sent her a link to the recording on a black advocacy website. 
In the recording, Montag said he wished Scalise was dead, and he called the Louisiana Republican obscene names. The conversation took place in a private home in Omaha between Montag, Nebraska Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair Chelsey Gentry-Tipton and a friend of hers. In an interview Thursday, Montag said that he was “horrified” by the shooting of Scalise and all gun violence, that he “absolutely” did not wish Scalise was dead and that the recording had been edited to take his words out of context. 
“I did not call for the congressman’s death,” Montag said. 
Scalise, the House majority whip, and four other people were shot June 14 at a Washington, D.C., area baseball field as Republicans practiced for a congressional baseball game. The gunman was shot and later died. Scalise’s injuries were life-threatening; he is still hospitalized and listed in fair condition. 
On Thursday, Kleeb acted immediately upon hearing the recording. 
“This is the first I am hearing this,” Kleeb said by email Thursday morning. “As soon as I heard it, I sent it to the (party) officers and then sent an email to Phil Montag informing him I am removing him from his appointed position as Co-Chair of the Technology Committee. ... Wishing a Member of Congress or any individual dead is disgusting and has no place in our party.”
IF THIS IS how a Democratic activist is talking in Omaha, Neb., I'm not sure I want to know what the activist Democratic base is saying in San Francisco. Again, from the Omaha World-Herald:
Motherf***er (R-La.)
In the recording, Montag, referring to Scalise, says “this (obscenity), his whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to (obscenity) kick people off of (obscenity) health care. ... I’m glad he got shot. I’m not gonna (obscenity) say that publicly.”

“Well then what are you saying it to us for?” a friend of Gentry-Tipton, Destin Madison, asks in the recording.

“I wish he was (obscenity) dead,” Montag says as the recording continues.

“Why are you telling us but not telling anyone else?” Madison asks.

“Because I’m trying to figure this (obscenity) out,” Montag replied.
I DON'T KNOW about you, but if I know so little about Steve Scalise that I'm referring to him as "that Scaife guy," I certainly don't know enough about the man to have any idea whatsoever whether or not he's a "motherf***er." "Motherf***er" is the first (obscenity) in the newspaper account.

I mean, I usually try to know what someone's name is before calling him a motherf***er. That's just me.

And even when I feel I do know enough about someone to drop the mother of all curse words on him and his from 5,000 feet, it's my practice -- and again, I don't know about you -- not to do it in front of people I don't know well enough to know they're not recording it for the benefit of YouTube.

Obviously, wishing a fellow human being dead is, shall we say, morally fraught. The propensity to do so is not a quality one looks to emulate. Neither is being happy others have been shot and grievously wounded.

But then we get to the part where we're wondering just how stupid does a party official have to be to talk like this, no matter whether it's in public, in private or in one's sleep. Is the political party of Phil Montag one in which you'd place your confidence?

From the Google cache of Montag's now-deleted Medium blog

I UNDERSTAND why Montag is furious at the congressional Republican motherf . . . the congressional Republicans. I understand. I passed furious and entered into heartsick months, if not years, ago.

It's clear that, to Montag, ripping health insurance away from millions will cause untold scores of people, devoid of means and of coverage, to avoid seeking help. And many -- like Montag's friend Devon -- will die because of that.

My wife and I have buried all of our parents. Three of them died in nursing homes or in assisted living. One was on Medicaid at the end. You think we're not abjectly terrified of what our future holds in Trump's America? In Republican America?

But the thing is this: Why should we have any confidence that Democrats would wield power any less intemperately than the Republican Party of Donald Trump, Steve King, Mitch McConnell and Steve Scalise?

How can you lead a county or a state, much less a country, when you hate half of it so much that it's permissible to wish those people "f***ing dead"? After all, a lot of Americans out there think Scalise is doing a heck of a job.

Right now, it's clear than Montag has done a "heck of a job" for Nebraska Democrats . . . in the "Brownie" sense of the phrase. I wonder what he thinks of all those Trumpkin Republicans who wish all the "libtards" were "f***ing dead"?

If they weren't before, they might be now. They know, just as I know, that Montag is far from alone in the Democratic Party. If the Democrats really want to know why they just can't win -- even with the specter of Mad King Donald hanging over us all like an orange-hued Sword of Damocles -- that just might be why.

Listen, I am no Republican. You know those ubiquitous "tests" you find on Facebook? I took the political version of one of those; it said that, economically, I'm 75 percent socialist and that in most other areas, I'm centrist. The test said I should, in reality, be a European-style Christian Democrat.

On the other hand, I am no Democrat. I used to be one, but I also am a Catholic. The Democrats have spent years trying to convince people like me that we're no longer welcome in the party. Finally, with their unyielding attitude about the "contraception mandate" under Obamacare, the Democrats finally persuaded me.

So I left.

NOW, with the national uproar over the Omaha mayoral election -- yes, the national uproar over the Omaha mayoral election -- the party's national committee chair made it clear that pro-lifers no longer are welcome in the party. Let's see how that works out for them.

So far, we have established that prominent Democrats want pro-lifers out of the party. We have established that a local party insider, Montag, would like some Republicans "f***ing dead." And I, as a Catholic who believes what his church proclaims, have a pretty good idea that when exposed to exactly what the Catholic Church proclaims, a lot of Democrat true believers might want me "f***ing dead," too.

Of course, believing what the Catholic Church proclaims puts me pretty substantially to the left of many Democrats on a lot of things, but that's not important now. Because the problem with Democrats is, like Republicans, it never was about people -- and it sure is hell never was about "diversity" or "tolerance" or being able to "coexist."

It's about ideology. It's about the "ism." It, just like with the Republicans, ultimately is about radical autonomy and individualism. Some might call that "alienation." I would.

What it's not about is the common good. What it's not about is authentic freedom.

"Do what thou wilt," yes. Freedom, no. Those who object will be dealt with, right Mr. Montag?

THEY WILL be dealt with, just like biology professor Bret Weinstein at Washington's Evergreen State College.

"That's unfair!" Democratic activists and officials would say right about now. Maybe it is, but it really doesn't matter. That is how Democrats' social-issue monomania and their ideological intolerance have allowed the entire party to be defined across the great heartland of the United States -- to the point that it's barely even a viable political party across wide expanses of the South and Great Plains.

You know, like Nebraska. I wonder why.

A lot of Americans don't wonder at all. Thanks to Democrats like Phil Montag, they know exactly why . . . which is why they keep voting Republican.

You have to be pretty bad off as a political party to make your opposition, which has gone full neofascist, seem reasonable by comparison.

Looking across the dystopian landscape of America's dysfunctional politics, one wonders whether we're just plain finished as a country. It seems unpatriotic to think it, but you fear that we may have lived to see the end of "us" and the beginning of "me and all those other motherf***ers."

If that's the case, we're all going to end up "f***ing dead."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Is this heaven?

Is this heaven?

Well, it's the College World Series on a hot summer evening
in Omaha . . . so we're in the neighborhood, at least.

Geaux, Tigers!

Click for full size version

Thursday, June 15, 2017

'Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace. . . .'

Click for full-size screenshot

This obviously isn't akin to laying eyes upon the Christ child in the temple but somebody, somewhere, is feeling rather like Simeon in the Gospel of Luke -- he can die in peace now, having seen this home page of the Jonesboro Sun.

It is a triumph on every level -- including, note well, story placement.

I am not sure we want to live in a world where there is not an Arkansas. I'm not saying we want to live in Arkansas, mind you. . . .

Monday, June 12, 2017

This was the city: Omaha, Nebraska

It was a Saturday — July 3. It was hot and muggy in Omaha, Nebraska.

We got up at the usual time that morning, 7:45. About 8:30, we started to open every window, turn on every fan.

We started to draw the blinds to block the hot sun come afternoon. It was supposed to be almost 90.

While we were doing that, we turned on the radio. My brother’s Winthrop. We call him Stinky. The boss was Dad. My name’s Favog.

GREAT. Mom left the thing on KFAB, not KOWH. Must have been listening to her soap operas. I always preferred Sandy Jackson.

Eight forty-five. What was "Big Mike" selling now? He was talking to the salad dressing guy -- Louis Albert. It seemed strangely interesting.

We sat down to listen. . . .

Saturday, June 10, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Hot planet, cool music

Welcome to 3 Chords & the Truth: The "Climate change? What climate change? Why have my Chuck Taylors melted onto the sidewalk?" edition.
Did I mention that it's going to be about 100 degrees in Omaha today?

Damn Chinese and their insidious global warming hoaxes!

Must think cool musical thoughts. Must. Think. Cool. Musical. Thoughts.

It's the Big Show, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

With friends like the United States . . . .

Buckingham Palace
Sept. 12, 2001
It is a military ceremony that has been performed countless times at Buckingham Palace but rarely has the Changing of the Guard evoked so much emotion for American ex-patriates in London and transatlantic visitors alike. 
Usually, several hundred onlookers, mostly foreign tourists, line the pavement in front of the palace to see the centuries-old tradition, which dates back to 1660. 
But yesterday, in the absence of few other focal points in the capital for the American community to gather, thousands of Americans stood in front of the palace to mourn their fellow countrymen and women who died in the terrorist attack on their homeland. 
For the first time, the Queen allowed her troops to play The Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the United States, during the ceremony in tribute to the many who died.
Standing beyond the palace railings, many of the 5,000 Americans broke down in tears and held their right hands over their heart in salute.
At first, the anthem, played by the band of the Coldstream Guards, was heard in a hushed silence and then slowly, one by one, many started singing until the words of The Star Spangled Banner echoed across Green Park.
As the final notes of the anthem faded away, the musical tribute from the British armed forces, so warmly welcomed by those present, was greeted by a round of applause before a two-minute silence was observed.
Traffic on The Mall, one of central London's busiest thoroughfares, came to a halt during the tribute.

* * *

White House
Washington, D.C.
June 3-5, 2017

It's been 16 years almost, and Britain's heartfelt and dignified tribute to the United States on Sept, 12, 2001, still makes me cry.

In this latest hour of heartbreak for our old friend -- and after our president's hard-hearted, classless and deeply stupid "tweetstorms" -- all Americans should be hanging their heads in shame right now.

Being that he was elected, and being that 37 percent of the people think this stupid orange lout can do no wrong, I fear Donald Trump does represent who we are as a country right now.

With "friends" like us, the Free World scarcely needs enemies. Never have I been so ashamed to be an American.

Much to remember

Pardon me if I'm a little bit offended by the traitor-in-chief invoking the memory of D-Day to seem vaguely "presidential."