Thursday, June 21, 2018

There's no arguing with the hate-filled heart


I'm just going to leave this here, just so you can see that you don't have to leave the United States to find all the "shithole" you can stand.

As it turns out, "shithole" is a state of mind. "Shithole" is cultural. 

"Shithole" is directly proportional to one's -- to a culture's, to a political entity's -- willingness to tolerate the shitty thoughts and shitty words and shitty actions of shitty people.

From all appearances these days, it's getting a little ripe around here, "from sea to shining sea."

Our present political crisis is not Donald Trump and his stupid, malevolent and -- ultimately -- deeply counterproductive policies. Trump and what Trump hath wrought merely are symptoms of America's ongoing political, cultural and -- indeed -- spiritual crisis.

THE CRISIS is not difficult to understand.  Roughly a third, maybe a little more, of the American population is completely and demonstrably . . . fascist. Extremism in defense of cruelty, racist scapegoating and authoritarianism is no vice for a large subsection of our fellow countrymen.
 

And tolerance, ordinary human compassion and liberty is one. "Socialist," even.

What can we say about ordinary "'Merkuns" who look at a traumatized, crying Latino child and have their first instinct be "Well, if her parents weren't criminals. . . ."? Lots. Little of it would be safe for work or fit for mixed company, however.

Furthermore, by the time one's mind is so warped and one's heart is so hard as the average member of the Trump base, there are no arguments to be made -- because the intended audience isn't listening. At all.


If Adolf Hitler were alive today, and American -- you can call him Al -- and if he were running on some variant of his 1933 platform, you can bet he'd be President Hitler. Because to a significant degree, he is.

Thus is our land . . . let's call it Amerika. Thus always have been various regions of our land at various points in our history. I know. I grew up in one during the waning days of Jim Crow and in its aftermath. And from this right here, being that WAFB is the leading news station in Baton Rouge, I see that Louisiana hasn't much changed.

Left alone, it's not apt to, either.


The fascist political tradition, like the hardened human heart, does not crack absent extreme pressure and a workable, moral alternative. The fight for the soul, and the very idea, of America is not going to be easy. It may well be as bloody, ultimately, as it was from 1861 to 1865. We can't know these things.

What we do know is we must fight . . . for our country as well as for our souls, too. God help us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

'Well, just shoot up here amongst us --
one of us has got to have some relief'


Don't look at Boris and Natasha, who stole the 2016 presidential election for the biggest, vilest buffoon and existential threat to ever soil 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

No, look at the Mexicans! The Central Americans! They're overrunning our southern border! Raping our women! Sucking at the taxpayer teat! Talking funny! Montezuma's revenge! AAAIIEEEE!

And don't look at all-American concentration camps! They're . . . they're . . . essentially summer camps! Yeah, that's the ticket! Summer camps! Ex-cel-lent. . . .
If you thought Kirstjen Nielsen’s defense of the Trump’s administration’s policy that separates immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border was disturbing, wait until you see what Laura Ingraham had in store for her Fox News viewers on Monday night.

“Consistent with American law, when a party is arrested, your children are either sent to relatives or they become wards of the state,” Ingraham said. “So since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents, and are temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps.”

The host did not show any images of children being held in cages, nor did she play audio of them screaming for their parents in agony as border agents callously joked, “We have an orchestra here.”

Instead, Ingraham channeled Ann Coulter when she used air quotes around the words “separated children” and attacked Democrats for supposedly feigning outrage in an attempt to “emotionally manipulate” the public for political gain.

SUMMER CAMPS populated by . . . "child actors"! Ooooooooh! That's good!

Just two days into this week, I got nothing left except despair and smartassery. And a Jerry Clower story tailor-made for a nation sick unto death of Donald Trump and his sycophants (pronounced something like "sicko fans").

To wit:


YEAH, ol' Jerry pretty much summed up our predicament with his tale of the coon hunt, John and the bobcat he tangled with way up a sweet gum tree. Most sane, nonauthoritarian and unbigoted Americans, I think, can identify with John.
"What's the matter with John?"
"HOOOOOOOOO! Shoot this thing! Have mercy! This thing's killin' me! Shoot this thing!"

"Johnnnnnn! I can't shoot up in there. I might hit you!"

"Well, just shoot up here amongst us -- one of us has got to have some relief."
SO . . . until somebody gets some relief, here's some smartassery which, I fear, comes way too close to the truth.



Monday, June 18, 2018

White God never has to deal with this. Real God always does.

Dr. Seuss (1940)

A Miami Herald columnist is just askin'.

"What if God were one of us?" Leonard Pitts wants to know.

"Singer Joan Osborne famously asked that question in 1995," he went on. "In her Grammy-nominated hit, 'One Of Us,' she envisions the author of all creation as 'a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home.'"



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article213298284.html#storylink=cpy
Hmmm . . . well, um. . . .
The idea of eternity contained in mortality was controversial. But it turns out that envisioning God as “one of us” is not at all uncommon. Indeed, our conceptions of God tend to be colored, perhaps inevitably, by our social affiliations. So says a new study in which University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers tested 511 American Christians to see how they envision God.

The one thing respondents agreed on was that God does not resemble Michelangelo’s stern old white man with a flowing beard. Other than that, there was no consensus. African Americans saw a God with African-American features. Young people saw a younger God. Liberals saw a loving God with younger, more feminine features. Conservatives saw a God who was white, older and who radiated power.

In other words, when we see God, we see ourselves and our values. But we may want to look again.
NO, we have gazed at our pseudo-spiritual navels quite enough, thank you very much.

We should look for all the ways God has come to us throughout creation -- how He comes to us still. Perhaps, just perhaps, we should for once consider what the hell has happened to heaven whenever it has come to earth.

It should not be necessary to point out, as much as I love the Joan Osborne song, that "One of Us"  merely restates what Christians have known for millennia -- God was one of us. He was . . . is . . . a Palestinian Jew, name of Jesus.

By contemporary American standards (and particularly those of the combed-over troll we call our president), Jesus Christ -- second Person of the Holy Trinity, son of Mary and one with the Father -- was a loser. He had neither a pot to piss in nor a window to piss out.

If the Border Patrol caught Him on the Mexican border . . . "Oh, Jesus. Another damn Honduran" . . . God incarnate would not find His predicament an unfamiliar one.

Children in detention facility, McAllen, Texas

WAIT. We were talking about how God is like us, remember?

Shut up.

When Jesus was an infant . . . His parents had to flee with their firstborn son across the Egyptian border as undocumented aliens. King Herod, of the MS-13 Herods, had put a price on His head.

Years after the family returned from exile, folks in God's hometown tried to throw Him off a precipice. Something about crazy talk and blasphemy.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, the Roman centurions tortured and lashed Him until His back was divinely raw hamburger, then they jammed a crown woven of 2-inch-long thorns down onto His head. They mocked Him, and then the local man from Rome, Pontius "What is truth?" Pilate sentenced Him to death at the unruly urging of a first-century conservative political base.

Then the authorities made Him carry the heavy, assembled wooden beams he would hang from to the site of His execution. Then the guards nailed his wrists and ankles to the cross and raised it up, so He would hang there and eventually suffocate.

While His mother watched.

Pitts again:
Consider that, then consider this: On the same day the study was reported, CNN.com ran a story about an undocumented immigrant from Honduras who says federal authorities grabbed her infant daughter from her as the baby was being breastfed When the mother complained, she was handcuffed.

It was just the latest outrage of the government’s so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy, i.e., its decision to criminally prosecute every person who attempts to illegally cross the U.S. border. Until that decision last month, detainees primarily faced civil deportation hearings.

Since that decision, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents. Some detainees say U.S. officials told them their children were being taken for baths, then stole them away. They say no one will tell them where their kids are. Toddlers are being left in an unknown land with strangers, crying for parents they cannot find. The emotional trauma America is inflicting on these kids is incalculable. . . . 
No, this is evil — a just-following-orders, look-the-other-way, not-my-fault species of moral putrefaction brought to you by the most ostentatiously Christian political party in one of the most noisily Christian nations on Earth. The hypocrisy of it reeks to, well … high heaven.
Wikipedia
CHRISTENDOM HAS been giving varying degrees of that treatment to random individuals and groups for nearly 2,000 years now. Usually, we find some way to claim the God Seal of Approval when we do.

Ask me how -- I'm a Southerner, and we specialize in that shit.

What Trump is doing isn't new, it's just that he's so brazen about it, media technology is better now . . . and this administration adds a whack je ne sais quoi to every single thing it touches.

Furthermore, the only point to this Hitlerian spectacle on the Mexican border is sheer terrorism. It's that simple. You terrorize anyone thinking of illegally crossing the border -- or legally seeking asylum -- into not doing it.

Please. The administration has admitted as much any number of times. Don't even argue the point.

Al-Qaida flew jetliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon to terrorize Americans right out of the Middle East. That terrorism worked about as well as this Trumpian terrorism will.

We Americans are the biggest hypocrites in the world, and the stupidest. Laura Bush correctly compared the aesthetic and means of this terrorism to the Japanese internment camps we built during World War II, but the spirit and tactics of what's being done in the name of the American people today is pure 9/11.

About which I'm sure Jesus Christ was giving Osama bin Laden a big thumbs up. Yeah, that's the ticket. Right, Jeff Sessions?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: We're red hot! (No, really.)


It's a #đ›ș*@”%$! blast furnace out there.

If it's okey dokey with you, me am gonna stay in the semi-air conditioned 3 Chords & the Truth studio here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska and just play some music for you. S'alright?

S'alright.

That's about it. Too hot to think clearly. Run n i n g   o u t   o f    s  t   e   a    m.   (Thud.)

But we do have a nifty 1971 set and a long-distance dedication from way on the other side of the world this week. So stay tuned for that.

All in all, despite the horrible heat, a pretty dang good week on the Big Show.

So, as we always say . . . .

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


Thursday, June 14, 2018

It depends on WHICH law, now, doesn't it?


Just when you think the Trump Administration surely can sink no lower, some kakistocrat in the executive branch looks at you, smirks and says "Hold my Zyklon B."

Today in Berlin-am-Potomac, there was the daily White House press briefing with ObergruppenlĂŒgner Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the subject of children being forcibly wrested from their asylum-seeking parents at the Mexican border came up.

It went something like this.



During one exchange, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said to CNN reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent sparring partner, “I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences.”

Acosta had asked Sanders about Attorney General Jeff Sessions's attempt, earlier in the day, to use the Bible to justify the Trump administration's immigration policies, which include splitting up families that arrive at U.S. borders seeking asylum.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Other biblical passages, including some written by Paul, have been cited by advocates of softer immigration policies. In Romans 12, for example, Paul wrote: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. ... Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
“Where in the Bible does it say that it's moral to take children away from their mothers?” Acosta asked.

“I'm not aware of the attorney general's comments or what he would be referencing,” Sanders replied. “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law.”

Sanders and Acosta went back and forth until Sanders insulted Acosta's comprehension skills. On a telecast of the briefing, another reporter could be heard scolding Sanders for a “cheap shot.”

Sanders then falsely asserted that the Trump administration is separating children from their parents “because it's the law, and that's what the law states.” In fact, separation is not required by law but is a Trump administration practice that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly calls a “tough deterrent.”

Sanders gave the next question to CBS's Paula Reid, who performed an on-the-spot fact-check.

Unmoved, Sanders continued to insist, falsely, that the Trump administration is simply doing what the law mandates. When Reid asked whether the administration will “take responsibility for its policy change,” Sanders replied, “It's not a policy change to enforce the law.”
OH . . . and this is what the United States' Catholic bishops think of the Trump Administration's "biblical" immigration policies:


Leading U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday escalated their criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling new asylum-limiting rules “immoral” and rhetorically comparing the crackdown to abortion by saying it is a “a right-to-life” issue.

One bishop from the U.S.-Mexico border region reportedly suggested “canonical penalties” — which could refer to withholding the sacrament of Communion — for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump policies.

The comments came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — the organizing body of bishops — gathered for a biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The topics of migration and asylum have long been a focus for the U.S. church; more than 50 percent of U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Latinos.

The statements, including by the conference’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, came two days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that fear of domestic violence or gang violence aren’t clear grounds for seeking asylum in the United States. Sessions said asylum claims have expanded too broadly.

But the bishops said the ruling this week came on top of other Trump White House moves that they oppose. Those include ending a program that protected from deportation the “dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, and reducing significantly the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence,” said a statement Wednesday by DiNardo in his capacity as USCCB president.
 
(snip)

According to the Religion News Service, Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger raised the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics “who are involved in this,” referring to children being separated from their families at the border. Canonical penalties can range from denial of sacraments to excommunication, though Weisenburger did not specify what he intended beyond referring to sanctions that already exist for “life issues,” RNS reported.

“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal,” Weisenburger said. “And therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”


Efforts to reach Weisenburger for details were not immediately successful late Wednesday.

Some activists noted that it was rare for bishops to even talk about spiritual penalties in a political context, aside from warnings from some bishops to politicians who support abortion rights. John Gehring, a former USCCB staffer who is now a progressive faith advocate at Faith in Public Life, tweeted that “it’s hard to overstate” the significance of Weisenburger’s remarks.

'Top of the world, Ma!' Or . . . spare us your white bleat

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/13/17459908/steve-king-neo-nazi-tweet-retweet
Steve King, the Nazi-lovin’ Iowa congressman. Again.


Donald Trump’s Amerika. Still.

Identity politics, culture warriors and vilification of those unlike ourselves. Always.
 

Much has been said over the last year and a half about the need to understand the beleaguered, alienated Americans demeaned by arrogant progressives, poor souls who have lashed out electorally, using the only weapon available to them. Thus, President Donald Trump.

Blow up a skyscraper with a jetliner, you’re the most notorious terrorist in history. Blow up a country with a fascistic orange imbecile, and we’re supposed to understand your goddamned pain. Gotcha.

 
Listen. I have pain. Oftentimes, I feel beleaguered, alienated and demeaned by arrogant virtue signalers who think I’m a “hater” by mere virtue of my religion. Identity politics is not just a knuckle-dragging, right-wing phenomenon mostly experienced in trailer parks, King's congressional district in Iowa and at Nuremberg for Dummies events featuring the president of the United States of Amerika . . . er, America.


Despite my beleaguered, alienated distress, I made the conscious choice not to take it out on the rest of the country. Neither did I take it out on minorities, refugees, gays, the poor or undocumented immigrants. That would have been profoundly wrong.

By November 2016, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knew exactly who and what Donald Trump was. He wasn’t shy about letting us know, and the press wasn’t exactly, shall we say . . . reticent.


We knew. We knew.


We knew that Trump acted like a nut and talked like a fascist. We knew he was reckless in word and in deed. We knew he was a liar. We knew he was a cheat. We knew he was a cad, a philanderer, a vulgarian and a misogynist. We knew he was a raging narcissist.




We knew he didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

We also knew that, for all her myriad faults as a public servant and a politician, Hillary Clinton wasn’t an idiot, wasn’t a racist, wasn’t a fascist, wasn’t certifiable — and wasn’t in Vladimir Putin’s hip pocket.




A majority of voters held their noses and voted for Not the Fascist Buffoon, a.k.a., Hillary Clinton. They voted for not blowing up the United States, despite everything. They voted for not making things worse. They eschewed the hissy fit.



I was among that popular-vote majority. I don’t know a lot of things, but I knew President Donald John Trump would be an existential threat. Events thus far are proving me right.

Others, however, wanted to “shake things up.” Consider them shook.


Trump gets owned by Little Rocket Man

THOSE ENABLERS of that unfortunate electoral-vote majority shook up the lives of people who could just use a little affordable health care right now.

They shook up the lives of desperate migrants fleeing to a Trump-addled Amerika . . . er, America . . . because almost anything was better than being killed by Salvadoran or Honduran gangs, or being staggeringly poor for one day more, or looking at the future of one’s children and seeing nothing.


Now many get to look on as la Migra tear the little ones out of their arms at a detention center, and they get a glimpse of hell.


The Trumpkins shook up their own manufacturing jobs, too. Full-scale trade war with the entire world ought to work wonders for their economic prospects.




And, hey! Amazing how a just 80,000 or so proud “deplorables” in just the right spots on the electoral map could — Dare we dream? — shake up the entire global order. Well, it’s all shook up.

The Iranians perhaps are going to build the Bomb now, Little Rocket Man in North Korea is our best buddy (Yeah, right) just a few months after Trump was threatening to nuke him and his . . . and, oh, by the way, the Western alliance is in tatters, Canada is our enemy, and pretty much the whole rest of the world hates our guts. This all happened in the past month or so.


Cue Jerry Lee Lewis. There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.


Yeah, you have a shitty job, the pencil-neck geeks are makin’ fun of you, and Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal establishment have capped your ass a couple of times with a long gun.




What to do . . . what to do?



“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”


 
FASCIST AUTHORITARIANISM and racist identity politics: They’re the gifts that keep on taking. Taking your freedom, taking your dignity, taking a country’s prosperity, taking your idealism, taking your hope . . . taking your soul. And all you got was that stupid Make America Great Again trucker cap.




Well, Trump voter, if you had any sense right now, you’d be feeling like a Trump Organization contractor after the bankruptcy hearing.

So, let’s talk about “identity politics” for a second.


What’s your “identity”? White? Christian? Conservative? ‘Merkun?

 
Not “one of them”?


None of us, you know, are just any one thing. For me, being American is somewhere down the line of my identities -- somewhere behind human, child of God, husband, Catholic and smartass. "My country, right or wrong" doesn't cut it with me.


Just like "Mein reich, richtig oder falsch" was less than persuasive among the Allies when Germans used it as a justification for doing Adolf Hitler's bidding. There are consequences when your country is wrong, and you are not immune when you acquiesce to evil — because "my country.


Do not, Brother Trumpkin, ask me to understand you or sympathize with your plight as you stand proudly with your evil boy in the White House, telling me it’s all good and justified just because you were pissed off at the world. America’s prisons are filled with misunderstood, pissed-off souls who got psychic relief by robbing a Quickie Mart or blowing somebody’s brains out.


I’m with Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce — I don’t effing want to hear it. Because two wrongs, etc., and so on.


It might be important to understand why half of Americans initially supported Donald Trump, but we have no need to understand why people support this administration now, as it inflicts evil upon evil both here and abroad, upon both nations and vulnerable individuals.


We didn't need, in the heat of battle, to understand the Nazis' desire to be Nazi. We needed to understand how best to stop the damned Nazis.


We didn't need to understand the complex dynamics of racism and white supremacy to unleash all legal and societal hell against Jim Crow.


In the 1940s, denazification could begin only after we kicked the Nazis' asses and turned Germany into ruins.


The only thing Trumpkins need to hear from the world now, as the horrors of their boy Trump mount, is "You must have had your reasons for voting abject evil into the White House, and we can talk about that. Later. But there is no justification in heaven or on earth for supporting what Trump is turning America into. None. And you will be stopped."


Some 'very fine people' in Charlottesville, Va.
 
LIKE I SAID, I’m a Catholic. Not a liberal Catholic, not a conservative Catholic . . . a Catholic. Period. Paragraph.


As a Catholic, I believe in the concept of divine judgment. For that matter, so did non-Catholic Abraham Lincoln, who thought the Civil War was God’s divine judgment against slavery and the country that tolerated it for so long.




Me, I think we have it coming today for any number of reasons. The continuing scourge of racial injustice would be just one. My particular concept of divine judgment, however, is that God gives sinful people, countries and societies just enough rope to hang themselves.

I figure about now, America is swinging like the pendulum on a cuckoo clock. It won’t get better from here. Not for a good while.


We, in our blind arrogance, just can’t see that yet. But we will soon enough, and “the least of these” whom we abuse — in the name of Trump and “Well, we were pissed off” — will be avenged. Alas, Trump will not save our sorry selves.


Place not your faith in golden calves . . . or orange asses. For "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

6/5/68


Bobby Kennedy died 50 years ago. It still hurts.

Actually, the assassinations of 1968 -- first Martin Luther King and then, two months later, Robert Kennedy -- hurt all the more as time goes by. Why is that? Why are these the wounds that never heal?

Some say it's because what we lost in that terrible spring of '68 was hope itself. Maybe some did -- I can't say for sure; I was just 7 at the time. But I remember the sadness, and I remember some of the fear. Still, 7-year-olds don't lose hope . . . not really. It takes longer for a body to really and truly lose hope.

I wasn't there yet.

Now, a half century on? I still don't know. My hope is battered and bruised -- besieged, actually, in this hateful and diseased Age of Trump -- but it's not lost. Not entirely, anyway.

But every insult to it -- every body blow, every instance when the unthinkable becomes not only thinkable, but reality -- adds, for me, to the grief over something that happened when I was but a child.



THE PAIN grows exponentially as Americans see what we've become, as we grow ever more acutely aware of what we lost that awful early Wednesday morning as gunshots rang out in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. As hope drained away along with the life of the senator from New York over the next 26 hours.

You know what I think about? I think about how different we might have turned out had we gotten a president who endeavored to heal a divided America, sought to end a deeply stupid and wasteful war, and reminded us that The Other was our brother.

I wonder what the story of the last half century would have read like without Richard Nixon's race-baiting "Southern strategy," the fulfillment of which sits today in a soiled Oval Office . . . and in every act of racial or ethnic hatred across this still-divided land . . . and on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria . . . and in the detention facilities filled with Mexican and Central American children torn away from their undocumented parents somewhere along our southern border.

I wonder about that. And then I grieve -- still -- over a murder from when I was just out of first grade in Baton Rouge.







We're off on the Road to Caracas


This is frickin' Haiti. If only someone had thrown a chair -- maybe shot a hole in the ceiling -- for the full effect.

Where this all is heading is frickin' Venezuela, which as I type is completely emptying out because it, like Louisiana, is completely incapable of self-governance. It's amazing all the existential, quite-fatal flaws $100-a-barrel oil can cover up.

Until it's $50-a-barrel oil.


http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_8d106952-6827-11e8-8806-939d9a9c853f.html

IF I WERE Gov. John Bel Edwards, I'd make sure Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) discovered -- by Wednesday morning, at the latest -- that state health inspectors had documented severe rat-and-cockroach infestations at every single one of his convenience stores up there in Bumf*ckistan. Out of an abundance of caution, Harris' nasty, filthy stores then would have to be shut down.

In the name of public safety. And good government.

Especially good government.

When you're gub'na of a banana republic, you damn well better act like you're the top banana.

Monday, June 04, 2018

It's dangerous to have courage in an age of cowards

Click to enlarge
 
Trumpism is an apocalypse, an unveiling and a revelation in the original Greek sense of the word.

What previously was hidden from many now is visible to all -- and the choice we face as Americans is crystal clear.

"Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?"

One of the vanishingly few pluses to this apocalypse is the revelation of true backbone, conviction and integrity among some Republicans and conservatives who previously were just seen as partisan warriors in the right-wing tribe. Michael Gerson is among this number.
 

'When the king is a liar, truth becomes treason.'
HE'S BEEN anti-Trump from the start, has been clear about why he's opposed Donald Trump and has, on principled grounds, cast himself out of his tribe because his tribe has shown itself to be massively intellectually and morally corrupt. And in this age where tribalism is all -- and you don't have to look far to see this; you're on social media, after all -- it is no small thing to stand alone, reviled to some extent by all sides.

If this all goes even more sideways than it already has, folks like Gerson will be among the first to be rounded up and thrown into the gulag. Remember that as you read this.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Chillin' in the city


Ever have one of those days where, let us say, your get-up-and-go got up and went?

Sure you have.

Well, that's about how it's been going around the 3 Chords & the Truth studios here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska. So on this episode of the program, we're just chillin' the hell out.

Oh, the music's as good as always . . . but we're all just listening and, well, you know.

It's also been a stormy day around these parts, so there's that. And that's all I have to say about that.

Or much of anything at this juncture.

Just listen to the Big Show. You will be so glad you did. Peace . . . out.

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


Thursday, May 31, 2018

No, there is no bottom for right-wingers to hit


Let's just call this staggeringly odious and misleading Internet ad what it is.

It's the right-wing crazy machine's "Where the white women at!?" moment. There's no other explanation for using that artwork of Barack Obama, and using it in the manner of Cleavon Little meets Snidely Whiplash.

Particularly when Obama hasn't been president for a year and a half now.


Boris Badenov . . . president's FSB handler
It's something worthy of Boris Badenov . . .  or a Washington dark-money advocacy group with ties to the Koch brothers.

The spectacle of Republicans resorting to Obama-baiting -- still -- to thwart an effort to continue regulating a utility like, well, a utility just beggars belief. Or it would have beggared belief a decade ago. You know, before the Great "The President's a What???" Freakout.

And now that Donald Trump is president, I'll believe anything. Except, of course, a single word that comes out of his mouth.

IN AN AMERICA lost somewhere on the wrong side of a pee-colored looking glass, the old Jim Crow political tactic of n***** baiting has become the postmodern coin of the realm for Republicans. That's fair enough. After all, they've been looking more like Klansmen every God-forsaken day in this deviant and dysfunctional Age of Trump.

Thus, we have the right resorting to this "Where the white women at!?" demonizing of a man who's no longer running things -- all in the name of letting Corporate America screw consumers and potential economic rivals as much as possible.

No doubt, this is another GOP "freedom" moment.


And, as Janis Joplin told us all 47 years ago, "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Bing bong bing-bing bong . . . hold on!



Government by tweet.

Elections brought to you by . . . Russia.

Four words: Conspiracy theorist-in-Chief.

Rampant, resurgent racism and xenophobia. A large part of the American population who'd ask "Zee-no-what???"

And our president was filmed saying "bing bong bing-bing bong" in public. With accompanying gestures.

If you, like we at 3 Chords & the Truth, find this state of affairs to be some weird sh*t . . . you probably have had your patriotism and morality questioned by someone who actually is allowed to vote in this country. Well, friend, this edition of the Big Show has a message for you amid this dumpster fire of a country (and decade): Hold on.

Just hold on.

GRIT YOUR teeth, steel your nerves, take one minute at a time . . . and hold on. You can get through this.

We can get through this. Crazy can't endure forever if the sane hold on -- stubbornly hold on. It's not you who's nuts.

Consider this edition of the program, and the music within, your daily affirmation this week -- I'm OK; you're OK; the rest of the world is cray-cray.

Got it? Good. You're gonna get through this. We're gonna get through this together.


That is all.


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


Saturday, May 19, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Whatever gets you through the news


Timeless chic, eh?

Well, throw in a liberal dash of jamming, dancing, groovin' and just plain bizarre flapdoodlery . . . and we may just have a recipe for getting ourselves through the news. Which we accidentally happened to read online and watch on the TV.

It's enough to tempt you to major depression and bedsheet cocoonery.

This week on 3 Chords & the Truth, drastic action was called for. Primarily by me.

After all, one has to look out for Numero Uno first.

AMID THE drastic action on this week's program, there is one unifying theme -- the Big Show will limit itself to a tasteful and satisfying mixture of only four kinds of music. Those tuneful types are as follows:

◼︎ Music on 7 inch.

◼︎ Music on 10 inch.

◼︎ Music on 12 inch.

◼︎ Music on silvery CD thingies.

Sounds timelessly chic to me, Skipper. Sanity preserving, too. I find it helpful, and I'm betting you will also.

If not, I'll see you in the Happy Hotel. Where life, no doubt, is beautiful all the time.

Hell, it's got to be better than the evening news.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.