Election 2020

Election 2020
Gaseous Little Baby Man Dirigible Implodes!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 - Death-Haunted!

Death-haunted. 2016 was that kind of year. I mean, you could probably say that about every year, right? All of us, haunted by death to one degree or another.

It is the great subject that is always floating around us. Or as the mystics tell us: Death is always on our left shoulder. Our constant companion.

And death has no mercy.  So final. Complete. It's a hard nut to crack. No way around it. The losses mount up. Life rolls on. That's the story.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Coordinated Disinformation Campaign!

Another political writer that I have been turning to, is David Frum, Senior Editor at the Atlantic. I suppose it is fair to say that he is right of center, but seems to me to be a very principled conservative. A thinker. Open to evidence. A perceptive and eloquent thinker and writer.

And the evidence (as Kevin Drum reminds us) tells us that yes, Russia did hack the 2016 Election.

But it's the next step of this operation (as detailed by David Frum), that is most important: "How Trump Made Russia's Hacking More Effective." It wasn't just that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee's computers, but that Trump lied about what the DNC emails said during the campaign.

It's almost like the whole thing was a coordinated disinformation campaign! Done in plain sight. We watched it happen. Some of us were so stunned by Trump's buffoonery, that we didn't take his malicious actions seriously. 

Alternatively, Josh Marshall suggests that maybe indeed, it was all buffoonery, that Trump just blundered into supporting the Russian disinformation campaign. Trump's stupidity, and/or indifference to the truth, led him to concoct false tales on the campaign trail, using anything he could to throw mud at Hillary Clinton. And since we know that Trump doesn't know what he doesn't know, and it out-weighs by tons anything he does know, maybe his campaign actually was mixed up with the Russians, but he either didn't care, or just didn't want to know, or just did his best not to see it. And he denies it even now, even after U.S. Intelligence tells us it's so.

Anyway, is all this treason? A candidate wittingly or unwittingly coordinating with a foreign government to interfere with a U.S. Election? I do think Congress should thoroughly investigate. We all need to know. What did Trump know, when did he know it, and was he working with Putin and the Russians? And, oh yeah, just what exactly is Trump hiding on his tax returns? Is he partners with Russia? Does he owe money to Russian Oligarchs? Does Putin have anything on this man? Is he being black-mailed by a foreign power?

Questions! Many questions for the new year in politics!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stream of Consciousness Gibberish in Action!

Yes, still mulling over that great article and interview I posted about yesterday (see previous post).

There's this from Stuart Jeffries: 

"If you listen to Trump speak, it's all stream-of-consciousness gibberish. There's no real thought, no real intellectual process, no historical memory. It's a rhetorical sham, but a kind of brilliant one when you think about it. He's a projection of his supporters, and he knows it. He won by capturing attention, and he captured attention by folding pop entertainment into politics, which is something the critical theorists anticipated."

And then, there's this from Kevin Drum this morning: "Donald Trump Holds a Micro Press Conference, Comes Off as Idiot."

So, yes, "stream-of-consciousness gibberish" in action! It does help when you have a few "neo-marxists," or "lefty all-stars" to consult!

And it's kind of head-opening to be reminded that my beloved Pop Culture actually promotes an insidious Capitalistic Totalitarianism!  Manufacturing Distraction!

"Manufacturing distraction is exactly what it is. If you read Herbert Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man, you see him struggling with this problem. He sees in 1964 that everyone is getting too comfortable to revolt against oppression of any kind. People are distracted by the sexual revolution, by popular music, by virtually every aspect of mass culture."

By the way, here's another interesting piece of the puzzle: there's this little "brain study" that tells us it's really, really hard to change someone's political opinions. Seems those opinions are buried deep in the brain, in something brain scientists call the "default mode network," so an attack on our political opinions is perceived as a personal attack on our identities.

An "inconvenient truth," is like a threat to our being. So we evade, and dissemble, and double-down on our initial belief despite the evidence. Sounds familiar?!

So yes, we are seduced, and lied to, and it's okay, just let us buy stuff and let us believe what we want to believe, when we want to believe it. That's so damn human of us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"The way he speaks and lies and bombards voters..."

What makes Sunny sunny? Sometimes? Finding out interesting, thoughtful things. Ideas! Things to roll around in my over-charged little brain. For instance, this article from Vox: "If You Want to Understand the Age of Trump, Read the Frankfort School."

I just love the idea that there is a school of thought to draw upon. And to find out that it's a school made up of an "all-star crew of lefty theorists," well, it makes me think that some of my time spent nosing about in philosophical texts in college wasn't a total waste. I realize I actually did read some Walter Benjamin!

"Neo-Marxists hoping for a socialist revolution..." Oh those were the days... this is the gist of their critical theory, it seems totally unassailable today:

"A guiding belief of the Frankfurt School, notably among Adorno and Horkheimer, was that mass culture, in all its forms, was a prop for totalitarian capitalism. The idea was that art, in late-capitalist society, had been reduced to a cultural commodity. Critical theory sought to expose this by rigorously examining the products of popular culture. In particular, they tried to show how culture became a stealth vehicle for the inculcation of capitalist values."

Pop Culture has won the day! It is oh so shiny, oh so seductive. It permeates everything. And we willingly surrender ourselves, and submit to the apotheosis of Pop! And yes, it's a consumerist, capitalistic paradise. We willingly give up all of our freedoms and privacy in order to shop more efficiently!

Okay so right, so far... and then there's this, which, right about now, seems prophetic and profound:

"Adorno warned of an American “culture industry” that stunted critical inquiry and, over time, blurred the distinction between truth and fiction, between the commercial and the political."

Bingo! We are definitely in the time and place where fiction beats truth, and commercial beats political every time! Trump!

Anyway, I recommend the article and the interview with Stuart Jefferies.  It seems so smart and of the moment, and sort of helps you get your head around what's been happening. Here's Jefferies on Trump:

"From the perspective of critical theory, Trump is clearly a product of a mass media age. The way he speaks and lies and bombards voters — this is a way of controlling people, especially people who don't have a sense of history. I saw the same thing in the months leading up the Brexit vote earlier this year: the lying, the fear-mongering, the hysteria. Mass media allows for a kind of collective hypnosis, and to some extent that is what we’re seeing."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Let's See the Damn Video!

There has been a "rumor" floating around for a few months. I've heard about it from friends in the neighborhood, and read it online in a few places. Supposedly, there is a video - outtakes from Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Show, spliced together, showing Trump saying terrible, terrible, nasty things. Sort of a highlight reel of the worst of the worst of Trump's fever swamp brain.

People associated with the show have seen it. It may even have been passed around for entertainment purposes. "Hey watch this funny video of the ridiculous Little Baby-Man saying terrible nasty things about people!"

One of the people who has supposedly seen it is Tom Arnold. Who is Tom Arnold? Wikipedia tells us he is "an American Actor and Comedian." Yes, he was on Roseanne Barr's TV show. He married and divorced her. He used to appear on the David Letterman Show - hyper, sweaty, sort of funny in a  self-deprecating way. You always thought he was on something. You laughed at him or with him, but sort of felt sorry for him too. And then well, he went to rehab, you got the idea he cleaned up and he was on some sports cable talk show, and well, he entered that quasi-celebrity zone - ex-sitcom guy who turns up every once in awhile on Howard Stern or other lame talk show to tell stories about the days when he did crazy stuff. 

I've actually sort of kind of always liked the guy. Especially, probably because it seemed Letterman liked him. And that was some sort of stamp of approval. But he now does exist in this sort of subterranean cable TV/bad sitcom/stupid game show universe where lots of semi-celebrities, disreputable people of all stripes hang out. People famous from porn tapes, or drug crackups, or really degrading sitcoms, child-stars who later went off the deep end and lived to tell the tale. You know the  place where Trump ruled as the Big Daddy Boss Man.

Anyway, there were people who were hoping that this ugly video would have been released to the public BEFORE the 2016 election. But it didn't happen. But now Tom Arnold has recently been tweeting that he is one of the folks who think it's time that little video should be seen and that "Watergate Level Journalists" are on the case.

Tantalizing! Do we want to see the video? You wonder if it will just be more noise. The people who despise Trump will probably despise him more. The people who love Trump will love him more, and those who love him will just spin and rationalize his behavior. Maybe it's worth it just to watch his supporters/enablers continue to defend the indefensible?!

I suppose I'm in the camp with Kevin Drum - "Let's get it out there!"  I mean, sure it might be ugly, degrading, and unedifying, and it probably won't change one damn mind, but hell, why not? It's the new Little Big Baby Man Era.  Let's see the damn video!

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 - Ambiguous Key Center?

Looking for a different narrative this morning... not the same old story...

Maybe cosmological? Ecological? Geological? Anthropological? Social? Political? Musical?

I stumbled across a Vox article this morning: "The Music Theory Principle that unifies 2016's Radio Hits." Funny. I have not heard any of these songs. Not on my radar at all. 

My musical tastes point in another direction. We do own one Adele record in our vast collection of music (doesn't everyone on the planet own at least one Adele record?), and although I don't often listen to it, that woman really does have a powerhouse voice, don't you think?

Anyway, what about this grand musical theory? Well, Owen Pallet from Arcade Fire (Yes, we do own a bunch of Arcade Fire records, they are one of our favorite bands, please see Funeral, The Suburbs & Neon Bible, for instance), tells us that 2016 features a bunch of songs with "ambiguous key centers." Which is damn interesting.

Songs are usually in a particular key. G-Major would be a sunny, uplifting kind of feel, A-Minor, sort of sad, introspective. Seems these "hits" kind of waver between key chords, no definitive choice, or in some cases, the chord is just suggested.

And many of the hits of 2016 were these kinds of songs. Now of course, music is sort of like fashion, and one thing influences another, and one hit will inspire other hits. It's sort of like the idea of a viral infection - one germ of an idea, spawns many others. Copies.

Now, as a musician and songwriter myself, most of this is interesting, but not useful. I find it best to "not know what I am doing" when I'm writing a song. Tune everything out. Of course, I am steeped in all the music I do listen to, influenced, by the things I love, but my process is much more intuitive. "Dancing in the dark." Which is probably why I have never written a hit. Kind of working in another field entirely.

It's not exactly incompetence, but maybe, sort of...

And that's cool. But it is also kind of cool when you look at the clutter of the world and sometimes see or imagine some over-arching pattern or theory which seems to fit a certain phenomena. I mean it's interesting for entertainment purposes only. But sometimes entertaining ourselves is essential!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"He will be one of the boys..."

Yes. Merry Christmas 2016. What's on my mind this morning? How journalists covered the rise of Mussolini & Hitler. I wonder why?

Entering uncharted waters. 

I have a tremendous sense of foreboding. This is where the dark, scary music starts playing, right? The Christmas tree is blinking. The presents have been ripped open. There's a loud rapping on the door. Bare knuckles or a solid gun-stock? There's the sound of boots in the street. And heavy machinery.

That Jagger/Richards song kicks in: "Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy..."

The Smithsonian“No people ever recognize their dictator in advance,” she reflected in 1935. “He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will.” Applying the lesson to the U.S., she wrote, “When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.”

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Bumpy Ride with Little Baby-Man!

Yes, as they say, "The Emperor has no clothes." Let Politico explain: "On Election Day, just 38 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to 60 percent who viewed him unfavorably — unheard of for a presidential-election victor. (Still, Trump won about 15 percent of the vote among those who had an unfavorable opinion of him.)"

You do have to wonder about those 15 percenters. They had an unfavorable opinion about the man, but voted for him anyway. Kind of a "fuck off" to the rest of us. Aye?

How sad for the Little Baby-Man (see previous post). No respect. Low opinion. People just generally dislike the man. Oh, yeah, Putin is giddy.  But as one  Pro-Kremlin Russian Analyst says: “Putin is a macho, Trump is also a macho. Maybe it could be a problem.” Ted Nugent is probably firing off a shotgun in celebration right now, the Little Baby-Man does have his fans, but they are a pretty grim, motley group. 

How do we work around this "Accidental President?" That's gonna be the trick for the next few years.  Work around! The Emperor has no clothes. Not pretty! Still, we can't close our eyes. We must pay attention. Little Baby-Man is so desperate and needy. I predict no matter what he does, it's not gonna turn out well. For him, or for us.

Buckle up. It's gonna be a bumpy ride with Little Baby-Man!

Friday, December 23, 2016

No Respect for The Little Baby Man! He is Just Too Uncool!

Thursdays I usually turn to the Style Section of the NYTimes. You'd be surprised how entertaining and enlightening the world of fashion can be. Anthropological.  

Yesterday, a profile of Andre Leon Talley. Quite good. "Monsieur Vogue is Leaving Trumpland." Seems Andre has "dressed Melania Trump," and said some nice things about her in the past, and this has created a stir in the fashion world. A fashion world kerfuffle! There's this great quote from Andre:

“You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland. I’ve made my choice not to be part of Trumpland.”

Way to go Andre! I also read somewhere that the Trump team is frantically trying to secure "A-List" entertainment for the big inauguration in January, and is coming up empty. Already turned down by Celine Dion and Elton John (A-List?!), and I think to myself, yes, "Who in their right mind would want to play any part in that horrible spectacle? Well, looks like pretty much no one... although, you'd think maybe Kid Rock, Ted Nugent and those Duck Dynasty Dudes might show up?

Much of Hollywood, and the Fashion world and Silicon Valley and the Music World cast their votes for the progressive woman candidate. I don't expect many of them to now join the horror of Trumpland.

The man, and what he represents (Maybe Fascism in America?) is horrifying, and frightening. More importantly, basically, fundamentally, Trump is NOT COOL! Never was, never will be. He just isn't. Coolness is a land Trump can never enter.

Trump will never be cool. And he doesn't know it. Which even makes him more uncool. He is not only uncool, but he is laughable, a constant figure of ridicule, satire (Alec Baldwin!!!). A big, bloated buffoon. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. He likes to tell everyone how "smart" he is - a sure sign of complete stupidity. And insecurity.

The man is a Narcissistic little Baby-Man. And he thinks that with wealth and power, he will earn respect. He is sadly mistaken. No respect for Little Baby-Man. It's probably what drives him. He doesn't understand why people don't look up to him. Don't envy him. Don't show him the respect he thinks he deserves. 

He never will earn that respect. People laugh at this man.  They will always laugh at this man. Always. Forever. He can occupy the White House, he will have the power to send soldiers into combat, he will be able to "drone" people, and still, he will be a figure of comedy. We will laugh at him. He is so uncool with his big, overdone hotels, his ridiculous Stepford Wife, his strange Stepford-like children, his frantic and absurd tweeting, his Celebrity Apprentice history.

The Little Baby Man is a fool. There may be tragedy around the corner. We may all suffer for his foolishness, but still, if the world ends under the rule of Trump, the last word, won't actually be a word. It will be a laugh. A small little snigger. Hah! "What has that Uncool Little Baby Man done now?"


And as George Carlin the great comic once said, every little boy's last prayer before they went to bed, was always: "Please God, make me a cool guy." Everything else is just showbiz.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Certain Darkness!

Then, here in the Midwest, we enter that time where we basically go from dark to dark. And if it's a cloudy day, we go from dark to less dark to dark.

And we do get the message. We are in the dark. Most of the time. And we move, we walk, and talk, and do things, but everything is framed by a certain darkness.

Our lives are permeated with a certain darkness. Deal with that!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Be On Guard. On The Watch. Always.

Words float up from the bottom of the well of my consciousness...

Vigilance. Resistance. Opposition. Protest. 

And also...

Truth. Facts. Data.

As my father used to say, "No one promised you a rose garden."  

So. Right. We need to grow and cultivate our own roses. Tend to our own gardens. 

Be aware. Awake. Hold people accountable for their words and actions. It is not just the Lying Strongman, but his henchmen, his followers, his enablers, his toadies, his lackeys, his boot-lickers, who must be held accountable for all they do and do not do.

Be on guard. On the watch. Always.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Everything is More Complicated!

People do stupid shit. All the time. And sometimes they suffer for it. Which is life, right? The way it's supposed to be? You do something stupid and you suffer the consequences. Short and sweet.

But sometimes people do stupid shit, and other people, bystanders, innocents ones, suffer. AND sometimes the people who do stupid shit, don't seem to suffer, instead it looks like they succeed, they win, they prevail, they carry on like the world is all peachy keen and just right for them. Their stupid shit is somehow rewarded, they seem to not be any the worse for wear, and instead, other people suffer in their place!

That feels like injustice. Doesn't seem right. One stupid person's stupidity multiplies and distributes suffering amongst the herd. Look around, paraphrasing Henry Rollins, it looks like "injustice happens all the time..."

Anyway, that's how election 2016 seems to some of us. Lots of people did a really stupid thing. And it looks like they are being rewarded for their stupid thing. But for the others, the bystanders, the innocents, the people who didn't do the stupid thing, suffering will be multiplied and distributed all around. AND we are gonna have to clean up after the stupid ones!

How to deal? What lessons to be learned? 

I recommend turning to smart people. People smarter than you. Open your eyes. Open your head. Make this a time of learning. And healing. I have been doing lots of reading and soul-searching. I am reminded that progress is not inevitable. Time is a wheel. And every action is met with reaction.

Chaos rules. It's always in the mix. Uncertainty is embedded in every moment. If you are feeling certain, reexamine. Take a breath. Be humble. History is a grand narrative, but that's not how reality rolls out. It's all much more complicated than that. Everything is more complicated than that.

If you always "go high, when they go low," you will sometimes lose. You will fail. Failure is encoded in our beings. A successful life is not one without failure, but a life where failure is encoded in the experience. We endure and carry on. Life is experience. Only experience.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Here's Hoping for Unlikely!

Robbie Robertson of The Band once wrote a great song called "Unfaithful Servant." Some of the lines include: "You don't have to say you're sorry, if you done it just for the spite, or just for the glory..."

Today I am sending out a psychic message to the Faithless Electors, those Electors who could change the course of history with their vote today in the Electoral College. My psychic message? "Please change your vote! Do not vote for Trump. Choose Hillary Clinton instead."

As I understand it, 37 Electors need to switch their votes from Trump to Clinton so we can move on from a "Certain Stupidity" (see previous post), to an Uncertain Future. I am not saying this will happen, I am saying that I think it should happen. Even if I really don't know what then what will happen.

Why should they "do the right thing" and vote Clinton?

1. The Popular Vote, the popular will. Clinton won the Popular Vote by 2,864,978 votes. She truly is the candidate of the people.
2. Trump is in violation of the Emolument's Clause of the Constitution. The minute he takes the oath of office, he rightly should be Impeached. He has not released his tax returns, he is a walking, talking conflict of interest which will lead to a certain corruption.
3. Trump won by a quirk in the system. The Electoral College is an anachronism, designed to induce the old Slave-Holding States to enter the Union of States. 
4. Trump's election was supported by Putin's Russia. Hillary Clinton's campaign was undermined by a foreign government. AND the Right Wing elements in the FBI also unleashed a campaign of disinformation at a critical juncture.
5. Come on. Trump is an Idiot of the Highest Nature. He immediately demeans the office of the Presidency just by taking the oath.

Ok. Anyway, like I said, this is unlikely to happen today. But here's hoping for unlikely!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Voting for a Certain Stupidity!

Nate Silver & Michael Lewis in conversation. Two really smart guys finally get to one really, really dumb guy. And what's funny, according Lewis, and the folks he's writing about in his new book, "The Undoing Project," the dumb guy's dumbness, his belief in his own infallibility, was a big drawing card for the folks who ended up voting for him. People voted for a Certain Stupidity!

"To have someone running for president who essentially insists he’s infallible is such a sign of stupidity. I mean, that kind of attitude to your mind and your gut instinct is idiocy. It’s stupidity. It’s not intelligence. It’s not a strategy. I mean, it is a strategy by default, but it’s not good. So, they would look at Trump and be appalled, but then a lot of people do that. They’d be appalled just intellectually, never mind [his] groping and whatever he’s done with his taxes and all the rest.

People are drawn, people want to make the world a more certain place than it is. They’re very uncomfortable thinking probabilistically. And they’re very uncomfortable turning to someone for advice or leadership and having that person be at all diffident, at all unsure. They want that person to seem totally certain. So, they want, in a weird way, idiocy from the people who give them advice. Stupidity."

Saturday, December 17, 2016

More Musings, it's that Kind of Morning...

*Yes, a persona. Pretty much smoke & mirrors. Held together by baling wire & chewing gum.

*When in doubt, I check in with my President Obama. I do it unfiltered. I refuse to be satisfied with sound-bites, short clips. I watch and listen to his press conferences in total. It's always refreshing, inspiring. He is the eye of the hurricane. The last rational, level-headed, calm, cool, intelligent, graceful, funny, brilliant politician left in Washington D.C. It's kind of amazing that as our politics totally spins out of control Obama has held the prime position of power for the last 8 years. He holds it together. And shows how it's done. Take a breath. Think before you speak. Be restrained. Measured. Don't do or say stupid shit. "When they go low, we go high." He always, always takes the high road, looks at the bigger picture. A truly amazing & gifted man. Inspiring!

*When did the GOP go totally bat-shit crazy? Was it during the Bill Clinton years? Or when George W. stole the election from Gore? Or after 9/11 on Bush's watch? Or the Iraq War? Or torture, Guantanamo, Abu Graib? Or Hurricane Katrina? Or "no child left behind?" Or the election of Obama? Twice? Maybe all that rolled up together? The GOP has totally lost it. They are no longer a mainstream political party, but a twisted, radical, irrational, force. Delusional. 

*Blind Partisanship! We learn that Putin/Russia hacked our election and how do folks in the GOP react? They suddenly like Putin/Russia! Now that is madness. Pure. Blind. Partisan. It's that kind of irrationality that will, and is, destroying our Democracy. We have entered an Orwellian nightmare. Facts don't seem to matter. Can't agree on facts. Reason and rationality seem useless. Logic? Who needs it? 

*Myself, instead of getting more radical or extreme, I seem to be heading to the middle. I want to join Obama in the eye of the hurricane. The calm center. You know where cooler heads reside? Give me facts. Let's search out the truth. Let's think. And find things on which we can agree. A place of love, honesty, forgiveness, value, integrity. Oh yes, work & purpose too!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Promise of a Glimmer!

Ok. Never mind. Having a "sunny disposition," is not a superpower. Or if it is, the "kryptonite" to be used against it is anything bad happening, and anything bad happening happens all the time.

So this (now in quotes & italicized) "superpower" can easily be played with, toyed with, and defeated. Let's just say there is nothing quite as bitter and spiteful, and vengeful, than a disappointed idealist. Those are the folks who prop up other folks against the wall to be shot down like dirty dogs.

So maybe a sunny disposition is just a front. A false front. Not bone-deep, not in the DNA, but just a thin veneer, a wrapper, like cellophane, or cheap wood-paneling; push hard enough and it tears, cracks and crumbles into a million tiny pieces.

You can always look on the sunny side. But it takes effort. And energy. And some times it's hard to conjure up. Then the darkness does come knocking. And the light and dark does their little yin/yang dance together. And neither the light, nor the dark win. They just dance. Eternally.

So, let's not get cocky, or overstate the case. Lean to the light. That's really all we have. A lean. A tendency. A glimmer. Nothing super about it, not so powerful either. A tiny thing. A spark. A flame. An inclination. That's it!

They say "It's always darkest before the dawn." So, if we believe them, there is the promise of light. Sometimes that is all we have, a promise of a glimmer. Hah! Run with that!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Chaos Rules Baby... Please Pass the Condiments..." - Sunny Jimmy

The land of the Spooks. Intelligence. Counter-Intelligence. Lies. Deceptions. False-Flags. Information. Disinformation. Bizarro-World.

Word is, that yes, not only did the Russians hack us, and undermine Election 2016, but they specifically did it with the long-shot, wild-ass intention of making Trump President, AND now we learn that there is "proof" (Will we ever hear or see the evidence?) that "Vladimir Putin Personally Directed the Anti-Clinton Hacking!"


That was a good one Vladimir! Obviously when the hack started, no one seriously thought Trump was gonna win. And even thru most of the campaign, it was assumed by pretty much anyone who paid any attention (especially me!) that Hillary Clinton was the solid favorite, some even said she couldn't lose.

Only Nate Silver over at 538 seemed to tell us that counter to pretty much all the other pollsters and prognosticators that his model showed that there was a 10% chance of Trump squeaking by with a Popular Vote Loss and an Electoral College Win.

But of course, 10% is pretty damn unlikely. I mean, lots of really stupid shit would have to happen. Once in a lifetime fuck-ups would have to accumulate for Trump to snag enough votes to tip key battleground states.  Nate runs his model millions of times, he can tweak parameters and test how they change outcomes. But reality only runs the freaking model ONE TIME! Oops! This one time and we get the "Accidental President." But the accident turns out to be a World-Wide Car Crash! And we, the bystanders are actually the victims.

Putin must be so happy, his long-shot bet came thru. And he wins on all counts: he undermines the U.S. Democracy, sows doubt about free and fair elections throughout democracies around the world, elevates a Putin-Wanna-Be and Colossal Dip-Shit in Trump, and shows Putin to be some kind of grand master political mischief-maker.  And now it looks like Republican Voters are such brain-dead sheep, that now they have decided they kind of like Putin's Russia! Wow.

"Chaos rules baby... please pass the condiments..." - Sunny Jimmy

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Psychological Conflict, Incongruous Beliefs!

Hey Trump might not believe that Russia hacked America, that they passed information onto Wikileaks and tried to damage the Democrats, Hillary Clinton and destabilize our Democracy, but the New York Times has the facts. And it's a fascinating read. A blow by blow account, (How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.), of how the hack happened, why it's undoubtably Russian Intelligence, and how they have tainted our election process, and our new President-Elect.

And Kevin Drum tells us how the Republicans used the hacked info in Congressional races around the country. Yes, Republicans gleefully carried out the Russians mission. "The basic story here is simple: the Russians hacked, the media gave the revelations big play, and Republicans gleefully made use of the Russian agitprop."   Yes there was a chain, and even my favorite newspapers the New York Times and the Washington Post ended up spreading the news leaked by the Russians and Wikileaks. Perfect hack of our Democracy. Use the tools of a free Democracy to undermine it. Bad news. Bad blood.

So yes. Let's see if Trump continues to paint himself in a corner, continues to side with Putin & Russia vs. our own Free Press, Congress and CIA. That doesn't seem like a winning strategy to "make America Great again!" And will the Republicans come to account for benefiting and promoting the Russian hack of an American Election?

Lately I have been experiencing incredible cognitive dissonance - "psychological conflict as the result of incongruous beliefs and attitudes simultaneously..."

I remember the dreaded Russians. I remember hiding under my school desk, practicing the drill, just in case the nuclear holocaust was winging on it's way to us. I remember Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan building their images as the harshest of Russian Hawks. I remember Reagan telling Gorbachev to "take down this wall." I remember we always hated Russia and their leaders and their Gulags, and torture, and anti-democratic ways. 

Now, to think that our new President-Elect was the favored candidate of Russia, no longer Communist, but still not really free or fair, an Autocracy of the first order, and they actually helped the man, and they actually succeeded in their mischief.

Well, it just boggles the mind... for sure...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Black Swan to Black Swan...

It is sort of heartbreaking to think that Hillary Clinton won't be taking the oath of office on January 20, 2017 because of the FBI's and the Russian's meddling in our election process. It's pretty clear that the "Comey Letter" to congress in late October, really was the "surprise" that robbed Clinton of about 2% of the Popular Vote. And the Russian hack certainly added to the uncertainty and flood of disinformation that swirled around the Clinton campaign. And it's pretty clear and obvious that Putin wanted to help elect Trump. A perfect "two-fer:" Install a friendly puppet at the same time as you weaken the U.S. Democratic system. Putin scores! Why did Putin do it? Zack Beauchamp of Vox games it out for us.


Clinton's Popular Vote Win now stands @ 2,843,860 votes = 2.1% That's close, but a pretty solid win. Without the "Comey Effect," hell, it might have been a more robust 4% win...

Instead. We face a Trump Presidency. Which is already totally spinning out of control. Check out this great article by Kurt Eichenwald from Newsweek. Kurt has emerged as one of my go-to writers about politics. Trump already has so many foreign conflicts of interest in Turkey, Taiwan, China, etc. We are already talking about foreign countries influencing and bribing the President-Elect. Can we Impeach him before he takes the oath?!

You have to love it when journalists start quoting the Founding Fathers...

"This unyielding principle that foreign powers cannot be allowed to hold sway over a president dates back to the Founding Fathers. In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote of the dangers of such a scenario. 'Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption,' he wrote in reference to the powers bestowed in the Constitution. “These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.'"

I am rooting for something surprising and drastic to happen between now and Inauguration Day. If Trump's "win" was a Black Swan event, why not follow it with another Black Swan?

Maybe the Electoral College refuses to vote for Trump? That would be sweet. Maybe they instead vote for Clinton? That would be sweeter. Even if they decide to pick a third candidate or throw it back to the Congress to decide, that would be cool too.

At this point I am rooting for the Black Swan to be followed by another Black Swan!

Monday, December 12, 2016

That Would Be Treason!

I do think news that the CIA has evidence that the Russians hacked our election to help elect Trump is bombshell news. And I do think that Senators (2 Republicans & 2 Democrats) calling for a Senate investigation is a blockbuster story. And it's very weird, strange, and unprecedented for the President-Elect to be siding with Russia & Putin vs his own Congress & his own Country's Intelligence Service.

We always knew that Trump had a Putin Man-Crush. But many of us were so focused on all his other primeval views - misogynist, racist, anti-immigrant, etc. that his authoritarianism and blatant anti-democratic nature, kind of faded to the background. No more.

It's all very much front and center now. And let me just say, all of this is very much Not Normal! And if there is any evidence that Trump and his team in any way was in touch or colluded with the Russians... well, that would be treason, wouldn't it?!

We have been known to execute traitors... just saying...

Now, I was all riled up again yesterday, thinking that this is the story of our time! And if the Electors of the Electoral College were ever intended to "save Democracy," this would be a good time to make a play. But then in the back of mind mind I was wondering if this will really galvanize people? Are we so numb and flooded with information and disinformation that people just tune out?

I'm not sure.  But I do think that there are still Institutional Forces at work: a Free Press, Senators, Congress-People, Intelligence Services, and Engaged Citizens who know that something terribly, terribly wrong is happening right now.

Maybe I am naive. But I do think some folks are still committed to a free and fair Democratic America. Trump is the one guy who was able to appeal to the KGB, the KKK and Right-Wingers in the FBI. Not the real America! It is time to stand up and be counted! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

"It Does Not Have To Be Like This."

I do love aspects of the internet. And despise others. Everything is pretty much a keystroke away. So much information & disinformation. I do think we are totally swamped with information. And our little brains can only process so much info at one time. Things get jumbled, confusing.

I think it is important to search out the good, real, & true. Search for reliable sources and voices of reason & justice. Anyway, once in awhile I come across something fantastically good essential, true, inspiring.

For instance this "Cultural Comment" from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the New Yorker. Read the whole thing. Beautifully written. And essential to the health of our bodies, minds and souls.

"It does not have to be like this..."

"America has always been aspirational to me. Even when I chafed at its hypocrisies, it somehow always seemed sure, a nation that knew what it was doing, refreshingly free of that anything-can-happen existential uncertainty so familiar to developing nations. But no longer. The election of Donald Trump has flattened the poetry in America’s founding philosophy: the country born from an idea of freedom is to be governed by an unstable, stubbornly uninformed, authoritarian demagogue. And in response to this there are people living in visceral fear, people anxiously trying to discern policy from bluster, and people kowtowing as though to a new king. Things that were recently pushed to the corners of America’s political space—overt racism, glaring misogyny, anti-intellectualism—are once again creeping to the center.

Now is the time to counter lies with facts, repeatedly and unflaggingly, while also proclaiming the greater truths: of our equal humanity, of decency, of compassion. Every precious ideal must be reiterated, every obvious argument made, because an ugly idea left unchallenged begins to turn the color of normal. It does not have to be like this." - CNA

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Yes, Sorry, a Total Dip-Shit! No Doubt! Oh Yes, and a Russian Stooge. The New Question of the Day: Was Trump a Knowing, or Unknowing Stooge of Russia?

Is it a "Tragedy with Comedic Undertones?" Or A "Comedy with Tragic Overtones?" 

You decide.

Yesterday I was all riled up when I heard that Trump wants to stay on as Executive Producer of the Celebrity Apprentice at the same time as he serves as President of the United States. My first, immediate, unfiltered thought: "What a total Dip-shit!"

Me thinks, that he thinks, that both jobs are pretty comparable! You know, the same kind of gig?!

Then, this morning I find (in the Washington Post), that the CIA has concluded that the Russians did indeed hack the 2016 election, AND, they did it with the express intention of helping elect Trump!

So, not only did Trump lose the Popular Vote to Hillary Clinton by a substantial margin, and barely squeak by in an Electoral College quirk of the system, BUT the freaking Russians helped him win! Talk about UnAmerican, and Anti-Democratic!

I would think Trump's "mandate" to run the country, is about as valid as a diploma from Trump University! I mean you know, non-existent, worthless, total jet-trash!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Various Thoughts and Musings...

*You look for the secret code to understanding your fellow human beings, and the Economics Professor and Opinion Writer tells you, "It's all about race and class." And you think to yourself, "I already knew that, but I always forget."

*You think maybe everyone has one Superpower, and one Fatal Flaw. And you think, "My Superpower is my sunny disposition. And my fatal flaw is being way too sensitive."

*My Generation, if I was thinking of it like that, is the Drug Generation. We grew up thinking there were two kinds of people - The Heads and the Straights. A Leading Head, for example, would be John Lennon, A Leading Straight, for example, would be Richard Nixon. All the cool people were Heads. This led us down the path to major drug abuse, early death, wrecked lives & rehab. We all just thought the carnage of taking drugs were the "wages of sin." And sin was hipper!

*There are the Miracle Drugs that help save and extend lives. And then there are all the rest of the drugs that destroy our minds and bodies. 

*Abstention. Abstinence. Complete. It's the only thing that really works. "Say no!" Or since we all lack any kind of willpower at all, say yes, to the drugs that do the least damage, for instance, my favorites: caffeine & chocolate!

*The worst of the drugs amongst us are those most socially accepted (nearly required!), prevalent and legal - alcohol & nicotine. Especially alcohol. Go to any bar, any party, any college campus, any sporting event. The mind-numbing, soul-crushing reality of alcohol abuse is stunning. Opting out of it is a radical, necessary move. The life you save may be your own!

*It's now the pharmaceuticals, prescribed by doctors, that are the new scourge. Better living thru chemistry. Big Pharma clouding our brains and bodies. Living for the next dose!

*It's easy to diagnose and suggest solutions to problems of other folks. Much harder to do for yourself.

*As I get older, I can really "see" time passing. Everything seems to go by so quickly nowadays. History just gets longer and farther away. The future is tiny, just a glimmer. The present is like a blur, gone before I can even blink an eye.

*You learn things. But you realize that maybe the greatest lesson is that you can also unlearn things. What you "always knew," isn't always right. There's humility in that, and humility is a good thing to know.

*You just try to live. With grace & love & humor. That is the best of it...

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Day to Day Battle!

This morning I stumble across Brain Pickings writing about Timothy Ferriss' new book "Tools of the Titans." Seems like essential reading...

One chapter is about Ferriss' own struggle with deep depression, and suicidal thoughts. Brings up the key questions: How not to commit suicide? How to live? How to fight off crippling depression?

Those are some of the deepest, most fundamental questions we ask ourselves. Some of us ask those questions pretty much every day!

And the tools or answers are pretty plain, simple & and easy to do...

1. Get out of your own head and think of others... those you know and love.
2. Focus on your body - move, walk, work-out. Eat well. Sleep well.
3. Do something nice for someone else.
4. If you can't make yourself happy, try to make other people happy. Buy them a cup of coffee. Smile. Make a positive comment.

I do my best to follow these rules myself. Habits. Simple. Not simple-minded. Good hygiene to keep the dark thoughts away. It's a daily thing. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Life & Death Journey!

We just revamped our band website and went live with it yesterday. You can check it out here: whitewolfsonicprincess. It's all a bit more up to date, easier to navigate, and it's all more functional.

You can listen to tracks, stream our Records click over to iTunes or Bandcamp to purchase downloads or order T-Shirts. There's a Sound Cloud section that features kitchen demos, band rehearsals, live tracks from shows.

There's our on-going and frequently updated R&R Diary, where we write about latest happenings  with the band. Plus band Bio, Reviews, Upcoming Shows, & Booking Info.  

Very happy with how it all came together. Another collaboration with my favorite creative partner. We have a very intimate and productive working method. In some ways we are very different, and those differences really emerge when we delve into a project together. 

We are both committed to the creative work, the "good work," and it means everything to us. Nothing is taken for granted. Everything counts. We pour our hearts and souls into everything we do. So yes, even working on a website can become an interesting, life & death journey. That's the way we do it.

It was fun going thru photos over the last few years to decide what to put on the website Photo page. Love this action photo from one of our Bucktown Garden Walk shows a few summers ago...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Is it Over Yet?!

"Is it over yet? You know the Trump Era? Can we finally put it in the history books and move on? It's been so horrifying, for so long. So many people have been maimed. Oops. Never mind. I mean, shit, it hasn't even officially started yet, right? Obama is still President. Trump isn't sworn in until January 19, 2017... holy crap..."

Besides the terrible havoc and destruction this man will wreak on us domestically and internationally, (I mean, it could get really bad, and stupid. I mean, like, stupidly bad) what's especially disheartening, is that we actually have to, sort of, kind of, pay attention to the Idiot. 

It's kind of like that Crazy Uncle you like to keep away from the kids and the dogs, but in this case, not only can't we hide him away in the attic or basement, he will actually be strutting around on the world stage for all to see and gape at. Yikes! And in order to stay somewhat engaged, we may actually have to follow along once in awhile. What a terrible waste of our precious time!

At least, can someone please wrestle his smartphone from him? And bury it deep in the bottom of the ocean? And please god, someone please, delete his freaking Twitter account? 

If we can't get rid of his Twitter feed, how about we get the major newspapers and news sites, to set up a special section, that will appear daily, a column devoted especially to his tweets, maybe they bury it in the back next to the Obituaries. The Heading of the special section will read: The Bat-Shit Crazy Shit that Nasty, Stupid Dude Tweeted Last Night at 3:00! a.m

Keep it contained. Sequestered. You know treat those tweets like they are an especially toxic virus detrimental to all thinking humans. Not for polite company!

Monday, December 05, 2016

It is Only R&R and Love!

"What do you have this morning Sunny Jimmy?" 

I don't know. It's sort of gloomy this morning. Cold. Snow on the ground. We had a great rock & roll show over the weekend, but it's the day after the day after.

"How do you make a great r&r show?" 

Beats me. There are so many factors. The time & place, the weather, the vibe of the night, the vibe of people, the competence of the sound guy, the luck of the draw, the lineup, the order, the fates, the benevolent r&r gods looking down upon our sorry souls and taking pity on us.

Once in awhile everything converges. And then it's like magic. And of course, nothing is ever perfect.  So part of the whole thing is realizing that nothing is perfect, and still giving it everything. Being totally there in the moment.

So it can be great, but not perfect. And that's rock & roll. There are way too many factors that come into play. A universe of variables. Can't account for them all. And well, isn't that how it goes?

It is only r&r. And love.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Weird. Nauseating. Strange.

So yes, I live in a little progressive/liberal bubble. No doubt. And most of the people I know live in that same bubble. And our bubble has been popped. Big time. I mean our world has crashed. People are in deep mourning for their vision of a better day, a better USA.

It's a sad, doom-ridden new reality. One day, events conspire, and suddenly, "everything we know is wrong!"  Are we over-reacting?! I think, probably not. We all know that things can go horribly wrong, horribly quickly.  And we can come up with a multitude of dire scenarios fairly easily. The new man to be at the head of the government is a very sick, incompetent, and repulsive man. Not normal!

If you have a good imagination, and well, most of my friends are artists and creatives, they all have powerful, vivid imaginations, you can think of million ways we are now totally fucked. How to stay positive and engaged? Still working on that one.

I do think we need to reformulate as a force of opposition. And demand clarity. And truth. And refuse to succumb to a numb cynicism. But it is hard. Especially when you realize that there are many, many of our fellow citizens who see a completely different reality.

One day you find yourself a "stranger in a strange land." You are in the same place you were yesterday, except now, everything is totally different. Weird. Nauseating. Strange.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

You Do Not Want this Man on the Phone to Taiwan, Pissing Off the Chinese Dragon. Not in this Reality!

Is it just me? No, probably not. For sure not the 65,250,336 people who voted for the sane, progressive Woman. BTW - just to remind myself and the world, that's 2,561,274 more votes (and still counting) than the Creep.

Anyway, so, no, probably, it's not just me who thinks that if the USA is going to "get tough with China," the effort probably shouldn't be led by a guy who has failed repeatedly at his business, who has declared bankruptcy many times, who owes lots of money to lots of people (we don't know the details, he still won't share his tax returns with the world), a guy with a very loose relationship with the facts, a guy with loose lips, who says lots of really stupid things often, about people of all sexes, races, religions.

I mean, maybe Reality TV works in the good old USA, but I do think finally Reality TV will bump up against the real Reality. And the shit will fly!

Yes. I mean, No. You do not want this guy on the phone to Taiwan, basically pissing off the Chinese Dragon...

Not a good idea in any Universe. And when it comes to negotiating, I don't think Trump can negotiate himself out of a paper bag.  The Chinese? Really? Hah!

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Death Rattle of Western Civilization

I was gonna write about something else besides politics this morning, so maybe Pop culture? 

Maybe I should write about Kanye West? I mean what's up with Kanye? How come our rich, beautiful, talented, pampered Pop celebrities can't keep their head's together? I mean, actually, I guess my question is, "How do any of us keep our heads together?" It's freaking hard out there!

Or maybe Sports?

I turned hungrily to the Sports Section of the NYT yesterday. I used to kind of kid my father about immediately turning to Sports first thing in the morning, I used to think that he was missing the bigger picture, but now I understand, and usually do the same. Who wants to delve into the bigger picture first thing in the morning? The bigger picture seems so fractured, ugly.

So I came across this wonderful profile of the oldest Defensive Cornerback in the NFL. Terence Newman is my new hero. He 38 years old, which doesn't sound very old at all to me, but for the job he holds that's pretty much ancient. And he's a wizard. I loved reading this article. How does he do it? He studies obsessively. He works out. He eats well. He sleeps. He keeps a sane, regular schedule. Oh yeah, and he studies some more. What a cool guy. Keeping his head together, splendidly.

So anyway, worrying my little head, back to politics...

Kevin Drum points out that in our new Trumpian Universe there really are no facts anymore. And this is truly how our little experiment in Democracy will die. If the people are so divided, if they are so willing to suspend their rational faculties and make up shit and believe made up shit, we are truly sunk. How can we possibly work together? How can we reach consensus? How can the better ideas win out, if facts are fungible, pliable, and anything we want them to be? We are deep into George Orwell territory, probably time to break out my rumpled copy of 1984. It sounds so old world, but, really I think it's so of the moment.

Trump is a master of this post-truth, post-fact era. He lies with impunity, with enthusiasm, with no shame. It's the apotheosis of the death rattle of Western Civilization. And Pop Culture or Sports Culture aren't gonna save us if the bigger picture is so fractured.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

But, You Know, There it is... Revenge of the Walking Dead...

It's probably not very enlightened of me to think that anyone who disagrees with me is an IDIOT...

You know, for instance, those folks who thought Hillary was no different than Trump. You know those folks who thought her "emails" were an important issue. You know those folks who thought Trump was gonna "shake things up in Washington." You know those folks who thought, "At least, he's not a politician." You know those folks who thought he'd "Make America Great Again."

It's probably not such a good thing to think that many of my fellow Americans are total freaking IDIOTS...

You know the ones who ignored all the stupid shit that came of out Trump's mouth during the campaign. You know the ones who are cheering him on now. You know the ones sitting back watching as he fills his administration with Asshole-Billionaires, and Neanderthal-Right Wingers. 

It's not very nice of me to think that half the freaking country is totally, freaking, Brain-Dead...

But, you know, there it is... Revenge of the Walking Dead...

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