The GOP is a Crime Family

How did we get here, with foreign government interests intimately involved with at least one 2016 national candidate that we know about, now seemingly influencing or even controlling policy and that so-called public servant n the Executive Office? Since 2016, it’s been one link to Trump and associates, followed by one indictment and one plea deal after another, and all, so far, connected to Republicans who, in their usual, unison message, are defending it all. This political crisis in which we find ourselves is overwhelming, even to those of us who marinate in it. It’s stunning, the amount of treason right out in the open! And former FBI agent (and expert on Russia) Andrew McCabe, who Trump fired, said Trump openly touts his trust and faith in Russian President Vladimir Putin over our Intelligence Community. The Vietnam draft dodger just went on his second “Me and Kim” ego tour in Vietnam and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov joined him. It’s like a James Bond movie only just with villains!

But I am going to set aside the fact that we have a traitor pledging allegiance to a foreign government over our own for now. I want to peel away why we have one of our two primary political parties protecting this guy. How is it we have one party, albeit imperfect, that consists of public servants and another that behaves like crime family, defending and shielding corruption in its extreme? Because that is, unequivocally, what we have. And that didn’t just happen in 2016. The Republican Party is wholly owned by the top .1%. Their only function is to enrich that heavy cream on the top of the country’s milk can and to keep themselves in power. No wonder Russia (and possibly others) went for the weak spots in our democracy, like how easily Republicans can be bought. FYI. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell took $2.4 million from Russia in 2016, which was an off year of his re-election. Thank you, Citizens United.

Let’s be honest, greed is as old as the Old Testament. It’s not going away and neither is wine, women and song or sex, drugs and rock and roll, Netflix and chill, or other things that feel really good. And the Republican brand of crooks are hooked on their feel good greed. It goes back much farther than Nixon but Nixon’s impeachment hearings and subsequent resignation turned their cabal of crimes to eleven. And a big part of it was fueled by what is now known as the Powell Memo or how corporations became people in our modern times. Republicans have never been shy about aligning with the rich but that memo triggered the forming of right-wing think tanks, media control and pretty much every Republican move since. Their message is framed by folks like Chuck and Dave Koch, ALEC, the Heritage Foundation, Fox so-called News and the like. Republicans are not representing any Americans except the very wealthiest, while punking single-issue folk like gun and fetus nuts. 

You have to hand it to them, Republicans stay on message, like any other crime organization or cult. They vote in lockstep most of the time. After all, there’s money to be had everywhere for everyone who plays along. And it’s all coming together in an infuriating, existential democratic crisis with Trump. We have fraudulently “elected” a clown who is dismantling our brand of democracy, openly taking cues from Vladimir Putin and, more than likely, other adversaries to our nation, so long as they stroke his ego and enrich him personally, and the GOP and Trump’s poorly educated cult are fine with it. As Michael Cohen said in his public testimony this week before Congress, Trump saw running for POTUS nothing more than the greatest infomercial of all time. (Remember the look on Trump’s face when Obama invited him to the White House for the first time and he had that “oh sh*t” look on his face? Ya poodle, presidenting is super hard and the real ish.) But on January 20, 2017, this was no longer a joke.

Make no mistake, powers like Putin know our weak spots, which is why they likely convinced their debtor but lifetime Democrat Trump to run as a Republican, why they targeted at least three states with Republican governors (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) who were and are doing their own election fraud practices and would easily look the other way if foreign entities messed with counts in their favor. (I don’t have any proof of that but a year ago we didn’t have proof Russia was micro-targeting folks in those states through social media, either.)

Republicans set themselves and us up. Ever since Nixon tarnished their brand, they’ve attempted to dilute the seriousness of impeachment by trying to impeach every Democratic president or lead candidate since. Through normalizing investigations and impeachment by making it routine, it shields and dilutes the seriousness of what their criminals have done when Dems hold impeachment hearings, which hasn’t happened yet but will any day now, now that Dems are finally back in power in the House. (Voting has consequences, people.) Or sure, maybe Reagan (or those around him because he was sundowning big time after being shot) traded arms for hostages in the Iran Contra scandal and George H. W. Bush pardoned everyone involved, and sure, President Cheney and George W. Bush made war profiting cool again, but Benghazi!!! Yes, four people died at a consulate but how often do we hear it was the GOP Congress who wouldn’t fund making the consulate a more secure embassy? And Kevin McCarthy (R) of California openly admitted to Sean Hannity on Fox News the real reason they held hearings was to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. This is what they do, intentionally. It’s petty and childish and crooked.

If you’ve bought the story that Bill and Hillary Clinton are some deep state, one world government, baby eating Satan worshiping monsters, then you are one of the Republicans’ cult members. A great documentary to catch how far back this insanity goes and why is The Hunting of the President or the 1996 piece in The New Yorker called Hating Hillary. The other day a Republican relative of mine said, “They’re trying to impeach him.” No, that’s what Republicans do to every Dem for no reason. Special Counsel Bob Mueller and SDNY are not “trying.” These crooks are making it pretty easy to convict Trump associates faster than Lucy can wrap chocolates at a chocolate factory. But that relie was only speaking the way Fox News has framed the 24/7 propaganda for the low information citizens or Republican voters who aren’t in the .1% of the wealthiest, or those “poorly educated” Trump loves. Besides begging the media to never normalize (#NeverNormalize) Trump, my other routine mantra is that propaganda is democracy’s greatest threat. Fox News is Republican media and now, because Trump is so stupid, they drive him! 

Republicans play the long game because their game is to shift power, dismantle social safety for the 99.9% of us and turn the country into a going-out-of-democracy sale to the uberist of the uber rich. The proof is in the open in their legislation and now with a cartoon villain grifter. And every GOP member has gotten in line and, I suspect, long before November 8, 2016. (Let’s see why Mitch McConnell so confidently denied a hearing for Merrick Garland or threatened President Obama about holding a bipartisan hearing into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 presidential campaign the fall before the “election.” That’s the same McConnell whose wife is a Trump Cabinet member.)

Trump isn’t doing anything the Republicans haven’t done at least since Nixon and that is blame Democrats for the very thing they are guilty of doing. Dems hold impeachment hearings on Nixon for breaking into Democrats’ headquarters and covering it up? Then impeach for sloppy consensual canoodling a president wants to keep from his wife. Bloody hell, Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump surrounded themselves with underage girls privately and in the open for decades but Hillary Clinton is behind some dark, international child sex trade. Like some skeevy pimp, Trump paraded the same women exploited by right-wing Charlatans and Ken Starr who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct before a presidential debate. How galling is it that Ken Starr is Epstein’s attorney and Bret Kavanaugh was one of his Clinton investigation elves? To bastardize Woodward and Bernstein’s line, “Follow the really, really creepy dudes.”

It’s utterly terrifying when you count how many things Republicans have done and were found guilty to have done that they accuse the Democrats of doing with no merit at all. It’s almost quaint now to look back to the thrice married, serve wife divorce papers after her cancer surgery Newt Gingrich and convicted pedophile Denny Hastert days of Bill Clinton tarnishing. And it’s another example of accuse the Dems of that which you are guilty times a billion.

The Steele Dossier was the primer in this Trump era or horrors. It is why my sleep and concentration have been in the panic, pause, panic mode for about 27 months! We are in extreme peril. Even Michael Cohen ended his public testimony this week with the chilling remark that should Trump lose in 2020 (I echo your prayer he’s long gone to the hoosegow by then), he won’t give up power civilly. Bloody hell! And you know it!

I don’t think most members of the GOP knew all they were getting with Trump. I know I, the Democrats and certainly the flat-footed media certainly did not. I mean, I knew something was fishy when he won, I knew he was wholly unfit (morally, intellectually, psychologically) but I thought the win had more to do with red state cheating like Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, but even I had no clue the depth of foreign meddling. I pleaded with the Electoral College to do what it was intended, prevent the unruly rabble from electing a dingbat. And January 13, 2017, a week before the “Inauguration,” I knew there was more to it when I saw Congressional members exit a closed-door meeting and Maxine Waters, John Lewis and others claimed the election was fraudulent and they would not be attending the “Inauguration,” and where now Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would pray for Trump. I knew there was something rotten in D.C. on that so-call Inauguration day when almost no one showed! But, honestly, who could have predicted all this?

For those of you who have turned off the Mueller and SDNY investigations and all the stories connecting others parties, here are some threads for you off the top of my head: The NRA, Deutsche Bank and Trump family loans, Deutsche Bank and retired Justice Kennedy’s son, Ken Starr’s minion Bret Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh’s debt that disappeared just before his nomination to SCOTUS, Facebook, Twitter, Cambridge Analytica, I work in my basement and ran Trump’s social media from my basement Brad Parscale,  WikiLeaks, Nixon’s boys Manafort and Stone, Falwell’s Evangelical mouthpiece Liberty University paying for fake polls and paying off a pool boy and even the National Enquirer. And these aren’t conspiracy theories like pizza porn. These are criminal investigations, charges and findings! If you want another good wormhole of possible things to come, check out Greg Olear (@gregolear) on Twitter. He gives a great thread to many of these connections that also include Russia and 9-11, Rudy Giuliani and the anthrax threats and the infamous National Enquirer safe. And if you want to feel sane but never sleep again, follow Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior), who knows all thing Russia. Stay tuned. No, I beg you, stay tuned. Being overwhelmed and tuning out is what they want!

And what keeps me up at night and distracted from more important matters of my daily life is the GOP is going along with all this. Trump’s a dangerous, unhinged figurehead. (What in history would ever give us the idea that an unstable leader with a cult following could have dangerous global consequences, after all?) So long as they get to stay in office, even if a hostile adversary (the enemy of my enemy is my friend) and their wealthy owners get what they want, democracy be damned. And now that most of the media is controlled by the same GOP owners, this cancer of greed and power can grow even in the bright sunlight.

The late Fredd Wayne as Ben Franklin on Bewitched, 1966.

At times, when thoughts of what may come overwhelm me, I will fantasize an episode of Bewitched where the Founding Fathers are conjured back and Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson open a can of whoopass on Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. Then Endora turns them into newts or two Hillary pantsuits!

Remember Me? The Return of My Blogging Self

This site has been blogless since the so-called election on November 8, 2016. Any submission seemed redundant to the ocean of writing covering the destruction of the country’s reputation and every single government department. Then there’s the nauseating aspect of Republican complicity, coupled with their indignation toward the Mueller and SDNY investigations, particularly in contrast with the mounting criminal indictments and more sides to this conspiracy than a myriagon (that’s a polygon with 10,000 sides). So I have been paying attention. It’s all just so terribly depressing. But I feel strength and renewed hope since the Democrats took back the House January 3rd. So I’m back, that one of you who wondered.

I got my start writing in journalism so, in as much as I want to avoid writing about a facet of the Russian coup that’s been done to death, I also like to be concise. So for that one of you out there, I submit this separate and brief explanation for my absence, in keeping with my journalism roots, rather than putting this personal prologue to the first post with legitimate content. I want to avoid resembling this guy I once had in a speech class who could not deliver one speech without first explaining in excruciating detail – like he was in his shrink’s office – his thought process for choosing his topic, what inspired him, what didn’t, his breakfast, his sock choice, route to class, and always punctuating these narcissistic prologues with failed stifles to laugh at something only he found amusing. (He’s so vain, he probably thinks this description’s about him.) One of his classmates always looked like there was a thought bubble containing a groan and eye roll overhead. OK, that was me. 

A lot has happened over the past two years, for me personally and professionally and in this world. Two years ago, who would have thought the Steele dossier would be mere Cliff Notes to the depth and breadth of the Drumpf (the original German) criminal corruption? Two years ago, who would have imagined the Mueller investigation would be ongoing, growing in indictments by the week almost and, so far, reaping tens of millions of dollars from the Manafort seizures alone? Two years ago, I would have sounded like a conspiracy nut if I said then what I believed and still do, like Hillary won, Drumpf is working against the nation’s interests or that he’s a global danger, due to his malignant narcissism and growing cognitive diminishment. Had I blogged about it then, I might have seemed prescient today. But I’ve been in a constant state of shock and outrage, like many of you. So I’ll try to offer something different and some historical framing with my blogs that may entertain, provoke or terrify. Or so I hope. I might even write about other stuff. So thanks for sticking around, that one of you!

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Police State”

Pussy Riot‘s new release, “Police State” is a good Sunday Interlude, after the one-sided bromance visit between Putin and Trump last week, in which Trump stated that he believed Putin when he said Russia did not interfere in last year’s election, contradicting our country’s Intelligence. (“I swear, baby, I never touched the voter rolls!”) That, and the song is about Trump as much as Putin.

Pussy Riot released a statement on Facebook about the song:

“We’d be able to achieve fantastic results if we were not trapped by the idea that nothing can be changed. […] There’s a lot that can be done and should be done. Putin will not disappear tomorrow, but we can show our fellow Russians how corrupted, damaging and ineffective his rule is. If everybody who denounced Trump on social media showed up on the streets and refuse to leave until he’s gone, he’d be out of office in a week. What it takes is just to abandon our learned helplessness.”

Since day one of this coup, I’ve said, “Never normalize!” Every time I hear the news reporting with any normalcy about this dangerous, criminal Administration, I cringe. I understand the importance of reporting only facts. But that facts are we now have an avalanche of information that Russia and Trump and his circle conspired to install him. The election tampering we feared and suspected is coming to light as another fact. Indictments are rolling in and, based upon those indictments, Trump is guilty of obstructing justice by firing FBI DIrector Comey and dictating a fabricated story about the meeting between a Russian attorney and Manafort, Trump Jr., et al. I’ve no doubt this goes far deeper into laundering dirty, Russian, mob and other dirty money and Trump’s outstanding debt to Putin, not to mention Trump’s insatiable ego needing to crush Obama for mocking him and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which was the perfect ploy for Putin to exploit.

Who knows how long we will be under this regime? Maybe this is the beginning of the end, thanks to Mueller’s investigations, and maybe it’s only the first year of this slog into fascism. The Constitution and we the people are being tested, perhaps never moreso since the Civil War. So far, I feel confident in both. But our future stands on the point of a sword at this moment. Or a nuclear test missile. Or a 3 a.m. twitchy toilet tweet – or twoop .

Here’s Pussy Riot and their new single “Police State:”

This week also marks a year since the stolen election. Do not get complacent. We are the boss in this country! Never normalize! Get out there, get active, get in the streets!

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding”

Last week might have been the best we’ve had in almost a year. Mueller’s indicting and already got George Papadopoulos to flip. We feel less crazy that this really was a coup. It’s far from over. Still, I finally felt, after 51 weeks, like I might not physically explode, after all. Time for a reset.

That spirit called for Elvis Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding,” because this song always helps the mind, body and spirit reset.

The song was written by English singer-songwriter, musician, and producer. Nick Lowe in 1974. Peace, love and understanding are strong and enduring truths. And they will conquer any wrong or evil. Resist.

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.
‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me want to cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “People Have the Power”

I admire the French. They have national protests. They shut down to demand their rights. Of course, they get paid vacations, health care, basic human needs without having to work three jobs or take a bus hours a day just to be slightly less in debt. I get it. Folks strike and get fired, get beaten, get shot or mutilated by a deranged nut using a car as a weapon. But it’s time.

We are watching our democracy pulverize before our eyes. Nothing short of a full nationwide shutdown will wake up the bastards who forgot they work for us!

Damn it! Trump must go! He’s a traitor. And everyone he carried on the tails of his overly long tie must go, too, from Pence to Gorsuch to Sessions to every vile Cabinet member whose purpose is to destroy their departments.

Patti Smith (and Fred “Sonic Smith) wrote “People Have the Power.” She performs this iconic protest song:

 

The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it’s decreed the people rule
it’s decreed the people rule
LISTEN
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth’s revolution
we have the power
People have the power …

Now, Mueller’s first indictment is expected Monday. We have a lot of hope for this process. But it is still within our power alone to take back our government.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Fortunate Son”

We made it through another week in Crazytown. Who knows what awaits us this week? It could be anything from a full, 25th Amendment-worthy, public meltdown from Captain Cuckoo Bananas or his giving in to the urge to press the nuclear button. And now that we’ve seen General Kelly’s true colors by finding it necessary to besmirch the word of a military widow in order to protect and defend his profoundly sick boss, we know longer can trust he’d tackle him away from any deranged impulse.

The party claiming to be the bloody reddest, defiantly whitest, with the bluest, well, let’s say golf balls, certainly has redefined itself. The rise of individuals and groups entirely brainwashed in white supremacy is real, dangerous and not going away without the majority and those on top to rally to extinguish it. But that isn’t happening while the GOP holds any power. They own it. They’ve corrupted, not just the minds of people through decades of right-wing hate media, but they make it harder to vote and harder to tell how we voted. They play to long game, folks. Fascism has slowly permeated the GOP like the smoke of a small fire slowly cuts off oxygen as it envelopes and engulfs and, left unattended, leaves scorched earth.

A five-time draft dodging sissy who has bullied, or has an ally in, a four-star general who publically trashed a pregnant military widow, brings “Fortunate Son” to mind. It could be “W” or Trump but senators’ sons didn’t have to fight in VIetnam when there was a draft. Different rules. Now we live in a time when different rules mean a president not showing his or her taxes, profiting while in office, bilking contractors, violating settled law, appointing antithetical Cabinet members to dismantle agencies, feeling entitled to assault women, complimenting bigots and Nazis and treating whom he perceives less fortunate as filthy inconveniences. Daddy Trump made this inept disgrace believe he is a fortunate son living without consequences. This is the Republican Party’s new normal. DIfferent rules.

In a week where the GOP wants to drastically cut Federal programs in order to further enrich the 1% and when retired military have been called back to serve, “Fortunate Son” comes to mind. It was written by Creedance Clearwater Revival member John Fogerty during the Vietnam War era.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
To borrow from Brad Friedman’s closing line of his BradCast, good luck world!

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Almost Like Praying”

The comparison of Bush’s Katrina to Trump’s Puerto Rico is flawed. Puerto Rico is Trump’s genocide. If he could get away with doing nothing, he would. And he almost has. We’ve lost so much of our goodness in nine months under an Administration who, through its disregard and profound incompetence, is annoyed that we keep harping about Puerto Rico.

His cult following contends Puerto Rico’s government is deliberately letting their citizens suffer to make Trump look bad. Such ilk is lost and dragging our country down to an immoral, failed state. What Puerto Ricans are enduring is unfathomable. They are clinging to survival and trying to keep their weak and sick alive! What kind of monster in power to help walks away after tossing paper towels, after his handlers had to convince him tossing cans of soup was not a good idea?

He spoke to them as if someone from his first-floor housekeeping staff broke a valuable vase and he had to interrupt his schedule to assure them he wouldn’t fire anyone. “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. But that’s fine.” Of course, it was a staged event with well-groomed people in a gated community who didn’t suffer great damage, yet still a bit “unwashed” for his comfort.

“…but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina…and you look at what happened here… 16 people [dead] versus in the thousands .You can be very proud.” Translation into human being: “Quit whining. You should be thanking me for the handout, considering you are of little value to me.” He’s a gargoyle,  I never thought Barbara Bush’s cold and detached (redundant when describing Babs) remark about the New Orleans’ Katrina refugees packed into the Houston Astrodome would sound benign. “Most of these people are underprivileged anyway,” with a chuckle in her voice, ” so this is working very well for them.” But she just seems like an innocent, chuckling Mrs. Claus compared to this laboratory monster constructed by mating Veruca Salt and Bernie Madoff, tossing in Young Frankenstein’s abby normal brain and the Grinch’s heart before it grew ten sizes one day. You don’t need Stevie Wonder’s vision, Jesus’ words or even belief in a soul to see he lacks a soul.

By the way, Donny Trump, I saw Ricky Martin on “Ellen” twice the last couple weeks. He’s sending help and showed a video, much of which couldn’t be broadcast, due to the horrific, graphic nature. He said people are simply burying their dead in their backyards because there is no infrastructure for burials. We have no idea how many are dead. But the lives lost is only a fraction of their plight.

I ache for how many will continue to suffer or die. These are our fellow countrymen. And even if they weren’t, they are human beings in need.

Lin-Manuel Miranda recorded, along with many others, “Almost Like Praying,” to benefit Puerto Rico. The lyrics are simply every town in Puerto Rico. I leave you with your interlude:

“@realdonaldtrump, You’re going straight to Hell.” Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Puerto Rico, you are not alone. You are never forgotten. To contribute to the help needed in Puerto Rico, please visit HispanicFederation.org.

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Yer So Bad”

…I’ve got you to save me
Oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
In a world gone mad, yer so bad

There is nothing better in a world of madness than being pulled from the darkness by a loved one who shares your perspective, gives Hell a proper can of whoopass, then escapes with you to a place distilled to the essence of what really matters in this life by sharing a damned, good time. You’re not denying all that is wrong; you’re just having a healthy suspension with the perfect partner. Call it crazy sanity, the good kind of bad.

Tom Petty‘s “Yer So Bad” speaks to pulling the veneer off hypocrites and others who want to appear like they have it together but are worse off underneath. Petty has a way of finding just the right words to tell off those who need telling. Conversely, he sure did nail the beauty and value of that loyal, imperfect and bit naughty person in one’s life.

I think “Full Moon Fever” is my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ album. “Yer So Bad” is on it, as is “Feel a Whole Lot Better.” About a year ago, “Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude” was “Feel a Whole Lot Better.” It was my mantra trying to cleanse us from Trump. Petty’s lyrics are always distilled, and pointed, like Rock and Roll lyrics should. Here are just a few of Petty’s words I relish:

“Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
Who knows maybe you were kidnapped tied up,
Taken away and held for ransom
Honey, it don’t make no difference to me, baby
Everybody has to fight to be free, you see                                                You don’t have to live like a refugee”

“Good love is hard to find
Good love is hard to find
You got lucky, babe
You got lucky, babe
When i found you”

“”Cause somewhere deep down inside
Someone is saying, Love doesn’t last that long
I got this feelin’ inside night and day
And now I can’t take it no more

Listen honey, can you see?
Baby, you would bury me
If you were in the public eye
Givin’ someone else a try
And you know you better watch your step
Or you’re gonna get hurt yourself
Someone’s gonna tell you lies
Cut you down to size

“Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied”

“Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down”

“Baby even the losers get lucky sometimes.”

Truth, no bull and joy for life. Tom Petty passed this week. He left us so many gems. I miss him. At a time when troubadours and satirists are keeping us sane, it’s even harder not to be able to enjoy what he might still offer. But “I’m satisfied.”

Tom Petty with two of his fellow “Traveling Wilburys,” Roy Orbison and George Harrison. Perhaps they’re playing together again, beyond this place.

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Gran Vals”

Is anyone else shifting their ways to find peace in this era of the coup? The destruction of our country is unbearable. I feel helpless at times, angry and sad at all times and tired. We’re going to keep mobilizing and fighting but we need pockets of sanity. I have my go-to shows and series to escape and, of course, friends are vital. These weekly, Sunday interludes that began while I did my second April Blog a Day Challenge as a filler for the off day of posts in 2015, but they’ve evolved as another way to reboot for another mud storm from the Nutter and Creep.

There’s just nothing funny about last week. Puerto Rico is a catastrophe. The Administrative response is nothing short of willful neglect. And this, on top of the usual crippling bills crafted by Congress, promoted by that grifting lunatic. So I went to a place in my mind that has been a constant since I was a child. The Como Park Conservatory is a wonderful structure built in 1873 in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s part of Como Park yet stands alone as a place of constant beauty and bliss, that offers a colorful, warm, humid escape any time of year but especially on a dreary Minnesota winter day. I grew up in St. Paul so Mom and Dad and I spent countless days there. And it remains much the same. Additions to it always compliment the original.

Another constant of the Conservatory is the Spanish guitar music that plays in the background. It’s the same music played since I was a kid. I fell in love with the Spanish guitar there. I am no expert on this music style, but I know how it calms me, lowers my blood pressure. If you linger long enough you just may hear Francisco Tarrega playing “Gran Va;s.”

 

 

Let there be comfort to you and everyone today. My heart sends peace to all creatures suffering. Love will win.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

“What the World Needs Now Is Love,” an eternally relevant song, was written in 1965 by Hal David (lyrics) and Burt Bacharach (music). It’s a plea to the creator.

Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

With all the unprecedented hurricanes of Biblical magnitude, earthquakes and fires, combined with threats of nuclear war. I found myself searching online about the book of “Revelations” and end times this week. (Note: I didn’t find anything helpful. The self-described Christians think end times is a wonderful future and some believe the orange oaf is a positive player in ending life on Earth.) We don’t have a friendly ally in the Administration in Washington. I have never lived at a time so out of control and perilous. It’s hard to focus, let alone make decisions pertaining to the future. It’s all so horrifying and exhausting that end times might be a welcome relief!

Just last week, that ridiculous oompa loompa provoked nuclear war while addressing the United Nations and we have the remainder of the month to fight to keep health care – again! It’s a moment to moment battle with the Republicans and their clan leader. We must remember a universal truth that good always triumphs over bad. However, goodness has to get into the dirty fight to win. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” reminds us that in this epic battle for our democracy, what we strive to achieve is a greater good for all. All those who denounce cruelty on every level are in this together.

There are so many versions of today’s interlude, from Dionne Warwick to the earlier pop version by Jackie DeShannon and a solo recording by Burt Bacharach, as well as versions he did with Tom Jones and Elvis Costello. You will find many artists’ versions of the song. One was recorded last year by a host of  Broadway artists following the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings. And it accompanied scenes from Austin Powers and 1969’s Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. I searched for an unplugged version by Burt Bacharach because surely one exists from some old TV show but the only one I could find was a shortened version he performed at the White House with the Obamas. I just wanted his craggy voice and piano. It had to be simple and live and Burt! I settled for two out of three:

 

Jackie DeShannon gives such a pure and simple delivery.

These past few weeks, I’ve felt so weary from our country’s condition. That’s why the chaos. It’s intentional. We must not give up. Vigilance is vital. There’s a reason why this song is still relevant and so many artists have recorded it. Love will trump hate. Let this song remind us all