Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Oh sweet Jesus, just effing launch already, Kim!


Like every deadly white riot, there are two sides to our morally illegitimate president, Donald Trump.

Bad and worse.

Petulant man-child and uncontrollable fascist madman.

Today is Tuesday, so it must be Uncontrollable Fascist Madman day. That's kind of like Taco Tuesdays, except instead of heartburn and a bit of gas, you get a national implosion. If the world is lucky, perhaps someone relatively sane, like North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, will grab control of our nukes.

A small price to pay for the president to make the day of noted white-supremacist, and former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard, David Duke.

I can't go on. Read it in The New York Times:
President Trump reverted Tuesday to blaming both sides for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., and at one point questioned whether the movement to pull down Confederate statues would lead to the desecration of memorials to George Washington.

In a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president repeatedly rejected bipartisan criticism for waiting two days before naming the right-wing groups and for placing blame on both the right and the left for the bloodshed on Saturday that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.

He said that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”

And he criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the white nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” he said, noting that the first American president had owned slaves.

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the Charlottesville park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

Mr. Trump unleashed a torrent of frustration at the news media, saying they were being “fake” because they did not acknowledge that his initial statement about the Charlottesville protest was “very nice.”

Again and again, Mr. Trump said that not all of the protesters defending the Lee statue were neo-Nazis or white supremacists, and he said it was unfair to suggest that they were.

The president added that blame for the violence in the city – which also took the lives of two Virginia state troopers when their helicopter crashed – should also be on people from “the left” who came to oppose the nationalist protesters.

“You had a group on one side and the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious and horrible. It was a horrible thing to watch,” the president said. “There is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You can say what you want. That’s the way it is.”

He also called the alleged driver of the car that crashed into the crowd, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, “a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want.”

Mr. Fields is being held without bail on charges of murder and malicious wounding in the death of Heather D. Heyer. His first court appearance was on Monday.

The president’s breathtaking statements inflamed and stunned people.

“White supremacy is repulsive,” wrote Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. “This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”


IN OTHER NEWS, the "fake media" has noted today that the North Korea crisis has calmed down since the weekend, coinciding with Trump's shifting focus to his latest fresh hell. That is unsurprising.

Even a pudgy northeast-Asian tyrant -- one more accustomed to actively offing his enemies -- quickly learns to get the hell out of the way, grab some kimchi and watch the show when the bat-shit crazy Yankee president starts dropping bombs on his own country.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Land of the sucker, home of the coward


You know about Charlottesville. You know what President Trump said (or, rather, didn't say) about Charlottesville.

You probably have heard some Trump-addled right-wing ditwad blame the neo-Nazi riot in the Virginia college town on former President Barack Obama, or Black Lives Matter . . . or on any damned thing apart from the neo-Nazis and their chief enabler and encourager, Donald Trump.


You even might have heard some Trump-loving American fascists -- and make no mistake, to love Donald Trump and his agenda is to be an American fascist -- blame Heather Heyer, 32, for her own death in an act of neo-Nazi domestic terrorism. I have heard just that. Then again, I am originally from the fascist stronghold of Baton Rouge, La., and sometimes read the comments on local news stories there.  (I need to quit doing that.)

Heather Heyer
As the demented Nazi-apologist argument (such as it is) goes, Heyer is to blame for her own demise . . . because she was there. And for being a hateful "libtard" who had the gall to protest against white-supremacists who, after all, were exercising their First Amendment rights.

In the words of the American troll's favorite American antihero, "BAD!" Or was it "SAD!" ? I forget.


THIS BRINGS me to something Al Jazeera English dug from the depths of YouTube. I hesitate to bring Al Jazeera into this, because someone sees "Al Jazeera," thinks "MUSLIN TERRORISS!!!" and what's left of their brain freezes up. Anyway. . . .

What the cable-news outlet found and posted to social media was a clip from the 1947 reissue of Don't Be a Sucker, a 1943 anti-fascist propaganda film produced by the U.S. War Department. Cliff's Notes version: The film opens with a montage of all the ways one can be suckered, segues into a fascist stump speaker on the courthouse square in Anytown, U.S.A., then outlines the rise and fall (and toll) of Nazi rule in Germany.

The clip going around Facebook, et al, was supposed to be a history-based argument on the evils of fascism and white supremacy. And that it indeed is. But if you hunt down Don't Be a Sucker on the Internet -- a high-quality version is downloadable from the Internet Archive -- and watch the whole thing, much more becomes clear. Clear as someone caught in the high-wattage beam of a concentration-camp spotlight.


Cleaned-up a bit for 21st-century consumption, the fascist agitator's spiel in the public square is a remarkable facsimile of a Donald Trump campaign speech. The National Socialists' tactics to divide and conquer German society resemble something as contemporary, and Trumpian, as today's headlines. And our divided, faltering American society today is ripe for the conquering.



DONALD TRUMP knew that two years ago. American Nazis and other assorted white supremacists know it today. It is no accident that many of the racist rabble on parade in Virginia were chanting "Heil, Trump!" as they gave their stiff-armed Nazi salutes.

What the government of the United States warned its citizens about more than 70 years ago now is running the United States government. American voters who damn well ought to have known better -- been better -- put fascism in that high position.


Think about that, if you can stomach it.

Then think about what the hell you're going to do about it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Why Jesus invented bishops


The biggest problem with the megachurch lord of Dallas' First Baptist Church -- who, by the way, says God is OK with Donald Trump preemptively nuking North Korea -- is that the Southern Baptist Convention has no bishops.

The Southern Baptists have no way whatsoever to immediately and decisively kick pastor Robert Jeffress to the curb and anathematize his evil rantings.

Yes, evil. I do not know how else to describe baptizing a preventive nuclear strike against North Korea -- which is pretty much the only way to interpret this statement by President Donald Trump:




TO SUMMARIZE: Shut up, Kim Jong Un, or we'll nuke you till you glow.

That is the end to which this Southern Baptist pastor of a Southern Baptist megachurch (and prominent apologist for Trump) says God has handed over legitimate authority to the president of the United States to make a radioactive reality.

From The Dallas Morning News:
 "When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary - including war - to stop evil," Jeffress said. "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un."

Jeffress, who leads downtown's First Baptist Dallas, said in a phone interview that he was prompted to make the statement after Trump said that if North Korea's threats to the United States continue, Pyongyang will be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress said. "That gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it's assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un," he said.


He said that many pacifist Christians will cite Romans 12, which says, "Do not repay evil for evil," but Jeffress says that that passage is referring to Christians, not to the government.

"A Christian writer asked me, 'Don't you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?'" he said, referring to Jesus' famous sermon. "I said absolutely not."
IN THAT CASE, one wonders whether the Almighty also has granted authority unto Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to obliterate a country that's such an existential threat that it actually would launch a nuclear first strike.

Or does preacher Jeffress find that notion absurd on grounds that Jesus Christ is a loyal American patriot?


Or . . . maybe Jeffress is, like a good jihadist, trying to make "kingdom come" right now. And I mean right now.

For the love of God -- and I literally mean for the love of God -- there is only one thing any Christian should be saying to this vile character hiding behind a cross.

That would be "Get behind me, Satan!" Because this Trump-worshipping lunatic is more than a stumbling block; he is an antichrist.

The Southern Baptist Convention, however, will not be throwing this particular Satan behind it. Because it can't.


Perhaps we Babylonian cultists (i.e., Roman Catholics) got something right after all.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: The Electrical Process


This week on the Big Show, I guess we could talk and play into a big horn in the studio here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska . . . but I'm betting it'd sound bad and you wouldn't hear anything very well.

So we're using the electrical process, instead.

That means we're enunciating into a professional RCA broadcast microphone and using the best in audio and phonographic technology to bring to you the finest in musical entertainment on 3 Chords & the Truth. On the other hand, a fair amount of the music you will hear on this week's edition of the program predates the best in audio and phonographic technology.

Yes, some of these folks in the mid-1920s were speaking and singing into large horns in the studio which, in turn, wiggled a little stylus into a wax master recording. If you wanted microphonic amplification, you would have to go -- wait for it -- on the radio.

In 1925, the record industry had some catching up to do. It would begin, on some recordings, on some of the largest labels, late that year. Behold electrical recordings. Some were even Viva-tonal.

NO, I don't know what that was supposed to mean. Uh . . . it's viva but it is also tonal.

All I know is I want a little drink. Oh. . . .

1925. Damn.

But I digress. The point to this week's edition of the Big Show is that we're getting as far away from 2017, musically and zeitgeist-wise, as we possibly can without hiring a colonial band of fiddlers to drop in at your residence to play some Virginia reels for you.

That's the deal. And we're going back, in some cases, to 1925 and big recording horns in recording studios to do it.

Coincidentally, that's also an era when record companies thought the way to compete with that newfangled radio thing was to have popular radio announcers introduce the records. On the record.

WE'LL HEAR one of those, and we'll tell you what the record radio announcer went on to do not long after he was announcing records . . . on the actual record.

And as crazy a notion as this is, it's no match for modern times. So there's that.

So, vo vo oh de oh do and twenty-three skidoo, everything's jake on the Big Show. But don't get zozzled. That would be against the law.

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


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

It's Viva-tonal!


This might be the cleanest-sounding 1928 record you've ever heard.
 

One quick takeaway from that happy accident -- 1928 recording technology was a lot better than you'd think it was, particularly the quality of the microphones.

It's a strange experience to come across a batch of 80- and 90-something-year-old 78s, as I did last Friday at an estate sale,  and have them play almost as they did in the 1920s and early 1930s -- only on modern equipment and not wind-up acoustic gramophones.

THIS IS one of those records, Lee Morse and Her Blue Grass Boys with "Shadows on the Wall." It's one of the earliest Columbia electrical recordings, which the label branded "Viva-tonal."

Simply put, an electrical recording is just that: It is recorded using microphones and amplifiers feeding an electrical signal to a cutting head. Earlier "acoustical" recordings were all-mechanical -- performers played into a large horn, which moved a cutting stylus with sheer air pressure from the sound waves.


That was the reverse of the playback on an old phonograph with a large horn that amplified the vibrations from the needle moving through the record grooves.

In other words, it was . . . Viva-tonal. Indeed.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

'Muslim!' is the new 'Squirrel!'


Dear Rep. Bacon:


Meanwhile, as the Trump Administration prepares to deport Iraqi Christians back to almost certain death in a country they've not seen in decades . . . crickets from Republicans seeking to distract attention from our very own "What fresh hell?" regime.

For God's sake, man! Every damn time an alert sounds on my laptop or iPhone, I wonder what fresh hell is breaking loose now from Mad King Donald or our dysfunctional, pathological government. Every damn time. It's usually a doozy, and it's usually happening SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.

Yet you're outraged about what the g**damned Palestinian Authority is doing as you don Ray Charles sunglasses and stick your fingers in your ears and hum the "Star-Spangled Banner" while contractors measure the Oval Office for padded rubber wallpaper? Really?

How damned stupid do you think we are? (Obviously, stupid enough to have elected Donald Trump and yourself.)

Yeah, I am just so zip-a-dee-doo-dah, orgasmically THRILLED that you intend to kick some Palestinian Authority ass as you inexplicably exhibit ZERO concern that your own House leadership is considering Flat Eartherism so it could have a shot at sailing the ship of state off the g**damned edge.

And I can't even begin to express how grateful this woebegone nation is that you're devoting precious minutes and hours to some *obviously* existentially important Palestinian baiting while North Korea fires off ICBM after ICBM, and President Donald J. Trump may be the most unequipped person on planet Earth to deal with a REAL Korean crisis, as opposed to your ordinary, everyday Korean crises.

Good grief, don't you people even LISTEN to yourselves anymore? Is it possible that y'all are really that non-self aware?

Nah, can't be. I think you're just that flippin' cynical.

God help us, because we sure as hell aren't capable of helping ourselves anymore.

Sincerely yours,

Hoping We Don't Get Nuked Before
I Can Vote for Your Opponent

The neon beacon of Underwood Street

Shining over Underwood Street, July 28, 2017
April 1957
Like the rest of radio today, especially AM radio, the carrot shavings have become pretty shrived and the lettuce gone pretty brown since KFAB's salad days.

Omaha's onetime purveyor of Jerry Vale, Bert Kaempfert, Dean Martin and the most relied-upon school closing reports in the Great White North -- the News Beacon of the Great Midwest -- now trades in right-wing talk radio, gutted by an iHeartMedia filet knife called economies of scale. Or something that sounds better than "gutted."

Nevertheless, the neon KFAB sign that shines over Underwood Street in the Dundee neighborhood is as big and bright as always.

Shine on.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Staying on track

It don't come easy         
You know it don't come easy
It don't come easy         
You know it don't come easy
Ringo got it right. Love of music, like peace, is how we make it.

And I think I like how, back in my olden day, music didn't come easy. Well, at least as easily as today.

There's something to be said for stumbling across your musical passions the old-fashioned way -- happenstance, listening to the radio, a friend's record collection . . . something catching your eye at the record store. One in a building, not online.


Much also is to be said for having alien, uncool stuff imposed upon you via real Top-40 radio stations, as well as your parents' iron grip on the television . . . and the living-room console stereo . . . and the car radio, then being shocked, shocked when your youthful prejudice begins to waver.

THERE'S something to be said for having an 8 track instead of an iPod or iPhone to keep you in (CLUNK) tune. There's especially something to be said for music as a loudspeaker-based communal experience instead of an earbud-based solitary one.

What does any of this rumination have to do with this week's 3 Chords & the Truth? Beats me. I guess this -- the Not Easy way -- is where the show comes from.

We worked for it. And we're passionate about the music.

Modern times. Alas. . . .
THE BIG SHOW is music as a social exercise. And your Mighty Favog hopes you're playing it loudly on your stereo . . . sound system . . . whatever you call it today . . . and that your windows are open.

After all, it's so good it'd be a crime to keep it all to yourself.

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


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!


Now . . . add a new dimension of musiphonic enjoyment to any home or personal music system -- entertainment center, hi-fi setup, smartphone, boombox or Internet-enabled television.

Any sound or video system you have can sing out with the thrilling sounds of the world's finest music podcast, 3 Chords & the Truth. Now, our psychoacoustic thermistor keeps the music flowing at a steady rate and a comfortable volume -- easy to hear over the yapping dog, the whining kids, the nagging spouse or the constant negative press covfefe.

It even plays over the exciting new product of 1969 . . . the compact-sized clock radio / color television (adapters not included). Everything you need to amaze family and friends is now at your fingertips, and a wi-fi dance party can be organized in a snap!

THE BIG SHOW is the surprise revolutionary music product of the season, and you can have it all for the low, low price of . . . nothing.

Plays instantly at the finger-touch of a button or a touchscreen link. Comes in all colors of the rainbow.

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.