Thursday, April 28, 2016

Back to Political Nonsense

A quote from Joseph Heller's Catch-22 captures the Donald Trump campaign very well: “It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.” Seems about right. That Donald Trump now claims he was only pretending to be a jerk-face a-hole all those months pretty much confirms that he is a jerk-face a-hole. And Donald Trump's new approach to persuading delegates seems to be: Vote for me or my people will kill you.* * * * * * * Donald Trump made a foreign policy speech this week and while Trump supporters applauded and cheered loudly, Foreign Affairs experts reacted this way: "Huh?" "WTF?" "Gibberish and nonsense woven together in an incomprehensible patchwork of crazy...." "Ludicrous combination of testosterone nonsense and just plain weird." "My third grade daughter knows where Tanzania is...." "Unbelievable." "Are you kidding me?" "Garbled idiocy." "Contradictory, radical, will destabilize the entire world, nutty." And attempting to mend fences with women unhappy with his remarks about women in general and Hillary Clinton in particular, Donald Trump said, "At least she's not on the rag anymore, as old as she is." * * * * * * * * * Now, Ted Cruz. John Boehner this week said Ted Cruz is "Lucifer" and a "miserable son of a bitch." Nice. John Boehner said that. And in the clearest sign yet that he knows his campaign is doomed, Ted Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate. She later burst into song when announcing her status as his prospective running mate. It was really, really weird. On the plus side, however, her first action as a prospective Veep running mate was to issue a layoff notice to Ted Cruz. "Dear Mr. Cruz - We regret to inform you that your services are no longer necessary and we are shipping your job to Canada where you came from." * * * * * * * * * * News from North Carolina includes arrests made in restrooms. One was of a lesbian who police said dressed too much like a guy. Another one was a woman who was wrongly suspected of being transgender and got pulled out of a stall by police with her pants down. Way to go North Carolina. Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House, Republican "family values" Denny Hastert was sentenced to 15 months for sexual predation on young boys. * * * * * * * * * * * * Democratic Senators are introducing another bill to allow weapons at the Republican National Convention this summer. "Hey, if the Republicans can vote to repeal Obamacare 75 times, we can keep introducing bills to arm the Republican convention. The Republicans seem to want guns in churches, bars, elementary schools and college why not at their convention?" * * * * * * * * * ** Target Inc. responded today to Texas Congressional Representative Louis Gohmert's threat to boycott their stores over their LGBTQ restroom policy: "We are pleased to hear that Louis Gohmert may no longer use our restroom facilities. He would leave the seat down and make a tinkle mess every time. He seemed afraid to use the urinals -- not even the low-mounted ones designed for boys and short people. We are tired of cleaning up after him." In the Holy Crap Department, a Koch brother says Hillary Clinton might be a better president than the Republican. He also said Donald Trump's anti-Muslim ideas sounded like Hitler's. Whoa, * * * * * * * * * And finally, an open letter to Republican candidates for President: Just a reminder - you put your hand on the Bible and swear allegiance to the Constitution, not the other way around. Sincerely, Bud Cassiday

Friday, April 22, 2016

Things I Know Nothing About: Dominoes

I am compiling a list of things I know nothing about. And dominoes is on that list. I don't understand dominoes. Never have. I have a set of dominoes somewhere. They are likely made from some kind of resin and are an ivory white with black dots. Dominoes were originally made of bone or ivory - which is why they were sometimes called "bones" or "ivories." I've played dominoes with my son when he was young. It killed time, but made no sense. We lined up numbers with each other and made patterns on the table or floor. I have found that there are rules and strategies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different domino games. * * * * * * * * * If you google search "Old Men Play Dominoes" you get lots and lots of photos of old men playing dominoes, including many Cubans. Lots of Cubans. Dominoes is the Official Game of Cuba and there are special Cuban domino varieties of games. My search also included a picture of The Dominoes - a musical group from 1951. There was the rock band Derek and the Dominoes, there was Fats Domino. And you can order a Dominoes pizza. * * * * * * * * * There was the Domino Theory. President Dwight D. Eisenhower espoused the Domino Theory during the Cold War. Countries would fall to Communism like a row of dominoes. If one toppled, then the others would necessarily topple. We spent a lot of money and lives fighting those dominoes. (One must note that two main varieties of dominoes are Chinese and Cuban -- both communist countries, two of the few remaining communist countries). There are numerous world records for another dominoes game: knocking them down. Most in a pyramid - 60,000 Most in a wall. Most ever anything - 500,000. And every year, enterprising young people set up more and more and more to knock down in a kind of Sisyphean quest up that domino mountain. * * * * * * * * * There is a mathematics of dominoes. "The number of tiles in a set of [n-n] dominoes is given by the formula ((n2 + 3n + 2)/ 2)....and they come in sets of 28, 55, 91, 136,and 190 all of which P presume comply with the formula. " Dominoes have an uncertain origin although the first written reference came from China's Yuan Dynasty (1271-1248). They appeared in Italy during the 18th century. Please note, however, that Chinese dominoes are different from European dominoes or Cuban dominoes. Chinese dominoes have very cool tile names: heaven, harmony, plum flower,and goose. * * * * * * * * For me, dominoes are a metaphor for all the things in the world/universe I don't know or understand ---- the amount of which is vast. From the simple to the complex, there are many unknowns for me. Chemistry is a mystery, how things fly is a mystery, computers are a mystery. So dominoes are just one more thing I can add to my list of things I know nothing about. In researching dominoes I listened to Fats Domino and Derek and the Dominoes. And that was fun. Some lyrics form Van Morrison's "Oh Domino" say it this way: "Oh Domino (all right)/Roll me over Romeo/There you go/Lord have mercy." I like the song, but don't understand those lyrics. And I still don't understand Dominoes.

Friday, April 15, 2016

No More Porn for North Carolina, An Eye for An Eye, Ted Cruz' Masturbatory Habits

Donald Trump has now revealed an actual Bible verse as his favorite Bible verse - “And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” — Exodus 21:23~25. His actual words were less King Jamesian: “Well, I think many. I mean, when we get into the Bible, I think many, so many. And some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us. And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.” I'm thinking there's a whole lot more Donald Trump could learn from the Bible, that I can tell you. * * * * * * * * * * The depth and breadth of his Biblical illiteracy ought to give Presbyterians everywhere the heebee jeebies. His theology seems more in line with the most extreme mullahs in Iran than with modern mainstream Presbyterianism. Or mainstream Christianity for that matter. Or mainstream Judiaism or Islam or Zoroastrianism or Hinduism or Buddhism or Paganism or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. * * * * * * * * * Turns out Ted Cruz once argued to the US Supreme Court that there was no constitutional right to sell dildos or for personal masturbatory pleasure. His college roommate revealed that this must have been a newly acquired opinion for Cruz. So far, I have successfully managed to not give this any more thought whatsoever.
* * * * * * * * * * * Because of North Carolina's anti LGBTQ legislation, Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have cancelled concerts, dozens of major corporations have either stopped plans to expand or withdrawn entirely from the state, major league sports events are being moved to friendlier environments, but the one that may actually cause change is that a major porn site is now blocking North Carolinians access to pornography. Ouch. That's hitting below the belt, so to speak. * * * * * * * * On a serious note, I was so sorry to read about former Senator Dave Newell's serious illness today in the WH. He was such a good Senator. I remember meeting with him and organizing yard sign deliveries in Omaha for Helen Boosalis during the Helen Boosalis v. Kay Orr gubernatorial race way back when.......1986 or so. I organized a crew of a dozen or so for several weekends delivering those signs. * * * * * * * * * * * Finally, here's a link to a youtube video of The Kanesville Symphony playing a medley from The Wizard of Oz. (if it is not a live link you can copy and paste I assume). * * * * Happy Together, btw, will by playing at the Lauritzen Gardens Tuesday night music series on Aug. 30!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Kanesville Symphony and other stuff

The Kanesville Symphony I play in will have our Movie Music Magic concert this Thursday evening at 7:30 pm at The Center, 714 So. Main in Council Bluffs. We're playing selections and medleys from Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, The Pink Panther, Peter Gunn, Fiddler on the Roof, Lawrence of Arabia, and others. My other band, Happy Together, is getting back together for another season! I think we've been playing for ten years! We've got gigs lined up for several private parties, an antique car show, something at Baxter's car dealership, and an Aug. 30 gig at Lauritzen Gardens! We'll be doing our rock and roll covers as usual.
* * * * * * * * * * In the political world, Donald Trump is accusing Ted Cruz campaign of using Gestapo tactics, - the fascist is calling the messianic sociopath a nazi. But he was quite right when he said Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker was a disaster. Donald Trump issued a concession speech after Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary: "You losers. Governor Walker's a brain dead doofus and an idiot. Ted's a moron. And a liar. You're all stooooopid. You're all fired, assholes. I'll sue your asses." Donald Trump is predicting a terrible recession in the next eight years. "And if I'm elected and Congress passes my economic package," he says, "I'll guarantee it!" * * * * * * * * * * That Governor Rick Scott of Florida took out an ad attacking the woman who called him an asshole pretty much proves her point. * * * * * * * * The Best Description of the Republican Party Award this week goes to Bill Maher: a pee-stained house full of dead cats. * * * * * * * * I'm watching the Masters on tv right now and I rather enjoy watching a golf course chew up and spit out the world's best golfers. It's what I and my golfing buddies go through every week on the local public links.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

A Little Bird Told Me

In the same week, Nebraska declined to expand Medicaid, again denying improved health care for thousands of Nebraskans and turning down what might be $1 billion in economic development. And Governor Ricketts introduced with great fanfare a license plate plagiarized from Michigan which many thought looked like a guy holding his really large wanger. I read yesterday that it was pulled from production and alternatives are being sought. * * * * * * * In the Presidential race, a small bird landed on Bernie Sanders' podium as he was giving a speech. Bernie was surprised and then had such a wonderful smile on his face. There's a humanity there lacking from most of the other candidates. A Hillary cartoon I saw had this caption: "I don't care what you have to do --- get a motherfucking dove to land on my podium." I'd vote for Hillary if she's the nominee, but this caption seems to capture her personality for me. * * * * * * * * Tens of thousands of Republicans signed petitions to allow guns at this summer's Republican convention. President Obama signed it. * * * * * * * * * * Donald Trump had a very bad week. His campaign manager was charged with battery for grabbing a woman reporter who was asking Trump a question. Donald said women should be punished for having an abortion. And he wouldn't rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe. What the f***? He's going to bomb Belgium? France? Abortion clinics? His misstatements reinforced what one pundit said about Trump: most people put more thought into buying a sofa than he has in running for President. He appears to be about to lose Wisconsin in next weeks primary. That would be so sweet except for the fact that Ted Cruz will likely win. Trump may be a narcissist arrogant ignorant pompous ass****, but Ted Cruz is a messianic psychopath. * * * * * * * * I'm hoping it's Cruz who will be outed as having been a client of the New York Madam that Rachel Maddow reported this week. The Madam's lawyer says he will release the client list of the infamous Madam of New York. In my life I've noticed that the more self-righteous a politician is, the less righteous they really are. So my money is on Cruz. * * * * * * * * Republicans were celebrating the rise in the unemployment rate from 4.9% to 5% this week. One Republican said this was the best economic news they'd gotten in seven "very long years."