LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT’S LIKE…(Memory Lane: 1979–1989 and now)

The latest immigration “humanitarian crisis” probably came to a head today, with Peter Fonda tweeting that Baron Trump should be put in a cage and gang raped (I won’t link…you can find it easily enough if you’re interested) and Donald Trump promising to end the wailing and gnashing of teeth and sign an executive order overturning the laws passed by Bill Clinton with the understanding, previously adhered to by Bush the Younger and Barack Obama, that they would be selectively, rather than faithfully, enforced.

I was going to let it all go, but Fonda’s additional insistence that mobs target the children of Border Patrol agents by “scaring” them (which I assume need not stop at caging and raping them), put me in mind of what it’s really like to be anywhere near the front lines of human suffering.

My parents were appointed home missionaries for the Florida Panhandle by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979. My mother was 60 at the time, already in terrible health. She passed away in 1987. My father was 59. He retired in 1989.

Perhaps things have changed since (I doubt it but I haven’t checked), but, in those days, the Panhandle was the dumping ground for Florida’s refuse population, home to most of the major state and federal prisons, the state mental hospital and the state’s largest and most notorious reform school.

The latter is where my father began his road to mission work by volunteering while he was still attending the nearby bible school. He was led to volunteer by a good friend of ours, a minister in training, like my father, who was already witnessing there.

His name was Joe.

What Joe and my father and, health permitting, my mother (whose biography convinced the Mission Board to take a chance on an oddball fifty-nine-year-old man and his ailing wife) did was minister to the lost: prisoners, inmates, mental patients, people abandoned in jails or nursing homes (often by their families), kids in reform school for rapes and murders.

My father once asked a twelve-year-old why he had killed his brother–Because he beat me up. How often? Every day. Was there no one to stop it? I did.

It’s a hard school, helping the forgotten.

Encountering, in the abstract, a tiny fraction of what Joe and my parents, and thousands like them who dedicate their entire lives to missions or social work, see in the flesh every day, broke Peter Fonda’s admittedly feeble mind. And made him feel good about himself.

Those who do the hard work never get to feel good.

They enter each day knowing that they will minister to a thousand in hopes of saving one. That they’ll be mocked or ignored or patted on the head when they fail and get “certificates of achievement” when they succeed. (A dear friend’s mother volunteered at a battered women’s shelter for three years, got such a certificate and a handshake from the Governor of Florida…and promptly split for California to run a pot farm. Did I mention it’s a hard school?)

One of my father’s best achievements was getting local tomato farmers to allow anyone who wished to come on designated days and claim the “culls” (perfectly edible tomatoes with small imperfections which are left to rot because they don’t look pretty on grocery store shelves). The chief beneficiaries were the migrants who picked the best tomatoes in the first place. That such an action has to be fought and bargained for tells you a lot about the world–and a lot of what you have to deal with if, by chance, you don’t get to sit in a Hollywood mansion and cherry pick your fights because you don’t like the guy in the White House.

When it’s your life, you don’t get to ignore sex trafficking and slave labor–as nearly every sobbing Hollywood celebrity managed to do for decades when the office they now deem responsible was held by people they voted for.

When it’s your life, you don’t get to ignore any of it–because it’s your life, the one you chose.

Your work is never done, or even ameliorated, and the “help” offered by those who are fueled by the grievance of the moment is worse than useless.

But one thing you (and those you live with) learn in such work, is that fighting fire with fire is never an option.

You are not permitted to hate. You are not permitted to scream back: Not at the people who swear in your face for trying to help them; not at the endless stream of bureaucrats (be they religious, corporate or government) who threaten your pension if you fail to sign a requisition for funds in triplicate; not at the likes of Peter Fonda, who ride in when there’s a movie to promote, a headline to be made, an emotion to be fed, and disappear whenever there’s real trouble. No one. No hatred. Ever.

Only forbearance.

And what do you get?

My father–healthy as a forty-year-old and uniquely suited by both temperament and experience to weather the emotional maelstrom–was forced into retirement at sixty-nine (he only made ten years because the people at the top of the chain, who remembered my mother’s biography–and her sacrifice–insisted that he be allowed to work until he could qualify for his hundred-and-twenty-a-month pension). The nonprofit clothes closet and food bank he had operated for years, so successfully that the honchos who had laughed at such an idea would have been forced to call it a miracle if they had believed in such things, closed in a matter of months. These days, such centers–many run by religious organizations, including my fellow Southern Baptists, specialize in “helping” immigrants. For profit, of course.

My mother spent the last three years of her life breaking down into uncontrollable, wailing sobs when an abused child appeared on a television screen or was even mentioned in a conversation.

Our friend Joe blew his brains out.

That’s what’s waiting for you when you decide to care in the manner that does not allow you to escape or forget or pretend your righteous anger has solved anything.

That and forever wondering if enough of you, who are trained to stand against the wind, will be left to make a difference when Peter Fonda and the like, who call for gang-raping children in the name of righteousness today with perfect confidence that the wind is at their backs, are running for the hills, wondering when the weather vane turned, and why the mob in which they placed so much misbegotten faith wants to set them on fire.

AND IT’S DEEP, TOO….

Although my favorite comment on the IG report is likely to remain Scott Adams’ “When I saw the report was 500 pages I knew everyone would be able to read anything into it they wanted,” the best of the numerous actual summaries I scanned/read was from Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist.

Hemingway still has a far more sanguine view of the FBI than I do…she seems to think all this is somehow abnormal. I say things like “massive leaking” and taking bribes are police state features, not bugs.

The real news is that the exposure of the FBI’s massive corruption and incompetence have left Team Trump with a strong hand. Unless Team Mueller pulls the sort of rabbit out of its hat that creates a massive backlash at the polls come November (its already clear Trump’s policies won’t provide the impetus–rather the opposite), then, come the end of the year, that strong hand will be a whip hand.

That’ll be fun.

And, oh yeah, James Comey? He’s what I said he was. No great insight. They all are. Including Mueller.

Welcome to my world.

THE ONLY NEWS THAT MATTERS…

Barrack Obama’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz (retained by the Trump Administration), is releasing a mammoth report today. It’s been anticipated for months and culminates a year-and-a-half long investigation of something or other (I think it was originally supposed to be about Hilary Clinton’s emails but I wouldn’t swear that’s still the case).

Whatever else it says, here’s the first tidbit from the initial news reports–and it’s all that matters.

From the Page-Strzock Files:

Lisa Page: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Peter Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

By “we” Strzok meant the FBI, where both he and Page were high-ranking officials during the 2016 election cycle. You can Google their names if you haven’t been following along and want to know more.

Meanwhile, at least we know who was really trying to rig the 2016 election.

Perhaps we can take cold comfort in discovering, at last, their startling degree of incompetence.

And don’t worry. Page (resigned) and Strzok (demoted) are gone. But the people who took their place (think Team Mueller) are no brighter and no more principled.

The message, as always, is that Donald Trump is opposed by a Clown Show: They clown. He laughs.

Though, I admit, this is almost as funny as it is frightening in a banality-of-evil sort of way:

There, I just saved ya’ll the trouble of attending that endless IG report everybody’s been breathlessly awaiting for a year….or, worse, having to listen to the news.

So take it Eddie….Please, God, take it:

AND THE FIRST RULE OF CONSPIRACIES IS…..

…No matter where it begins, in the end, it’s all about the Jews coming to get us.

Follow the link to get a shorthand rundown on something that’s been bubbling in the fringes (of both Far Right and Far Left, where such things always find common ground) for a while–namely that Trump/Russia collusion is about to morph into Trump/Israel collusion.

Pick to click:

As the conspiracy theorists struggle to explain or reconcile contradictions in their accounts, the pull towards the deus ex machina of all conspiracy theories—the powerful, wealthy, rootless, cosmopolitan wanderers of the earth—only gets stronger.

But by all means read the whole thing. In the coming months, nothing will be off the table. I won’t be surprised if, by the time the leaves turn, we are hearing less about Trump the Anti-Semite and more about Trump the Jew Lover (whose two oldest children married Jews, after all, and whose daughter converted doncha’ know?).

As always, details change: Narratives remain.

SPINNING, SPINNING, SPINNING LIKE A SPINNING TOP (Found in the Connection: Rattling Loose End #136)

Talk about obscure connections. Even the blogs I follow (forget the paid media, who are mostly paid to look the other way and, contra popular opinion, are very good…at what they are paid for), haven’t picked up on this:

Immediately prior to his death, Hastings had published a strong critique of the Obama administration titled “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans,” which exposed the party’s hypocrisy regarding some of the civil liberty overreaches they had criticized under Bush but embraced under Obama.San Diego 6 News reported that Hastings had been investigating CIA Director John Brennan for an upcoming exposé prior to the crash. (You can read the whole thing here but the quote I pulled is the story.)

(MintPressNews 3/10/2017)

Remember that Republicans and Democrats alike could have avoided Donald Trump if they had been willing to conduct a full investigation into Hastings’ suspicious death and follow it to to its logical conclusion.

Also, you can keep this one in your memory banks during the months to come as Brennan–just hired by MSNBC/NBC to provide cover for the Security State and, of course, keep their “news” operation in order–is hailed as a champion of Liberty.

I paid a little tribute to Hastings here. There are no more of his kind around, but you’ll know the CIA is back on top when they knock off some reporter who’s been as openly critical of Trump as Hastings purportedly was of Obama in the shadows and blame it on the current administration.

Bet CNN won’t turn their back on that one.

Take it Gene….

and Eddie…

STUPID FINALLY GOES ALL THE WAY TO ELEVEN (Occasional Sports Moment #33)

I don’t think you have to follow tennis to read this story and wonder if we shouldn’t just all run wild in the streets, killing and looting. Civilization had its good points and all, but what has it really brought us?

For the record I think Serena (who probably assumed she had heard every possible moronic question that could ever be asked a thousand times over before today) should have deadpanned it and said: “Yes, Trump nailed it. I’ve been frequently intimidated by my opponents throughout my struggling career. It defines me, really.”

Here’s to the free press:

WHAT I FREE ASSOCIATE ABOUT WHEN I’M LISTENING TO MUSIC THAT WAS MEANT FOR DANCING

Since this is, among other things, an homage to the dancers who lit up the Hollywood Rock and Roll shows in the sixties (especially Hollywood A Go-Go), I’ll let this lovely photo of Roberta Tennes stand in for all of them. She passed away in 2015. Time is merciless. R.I.P.

I don’t know how many mix tapes/discs I’ve made in my life. Probably less than a hundred. Definitely more than fifty.

A modest number then. The point of a mix for me is to approximate the surprise juxtapositions you run into on radio or, these days, YouTube.

Of course, if you listen to a disc too often, the surprise element goes away. The sequence can become as ingrained and automatic as your favorite Beatles album…until you let it sit on the shelf long enough to forget.

And when you come back (in this case, after maybe seven or eight years, to a disc I originally put together as a tape in a series I called Cavern Classics, all based around music I could picture the Hollywood A Go-Go dancers dancing to at the Sock Hope at the end of the Universe), sometimes it makes you smile….

Here’s Volume 20 of the Cavern Classics…with stray thoughts attached:

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976): A sneaky good side-starter. Don’t go breaking my heart the guy says. I couldn’t if I tried, the girl answers. Wait….what? Next thing you know, feet start tapping. Somebody had been listening to a lot of Philly Soul.

“Jingling Baby” LL Cool J (1990): I still haven’t figured out quite what’s jingling. But I’ll always listen for the poetry of Taking out suckers while the ladies pucker/And rolling over punks like a redneck trucker. Oh, wait. He says its earrings that are jingling. Yeah, that’s probably it.

“Hawaii Five-O” The Ventures (1969): Of course it all has to make sonic sense. “Jingling Baby” to this: One of my top five transitions all time. Dance, girls, dance!

“The Boys are Back in Town” Thin Lizzy (1976): And here’s a song about somebody escaping the club and going downtown and driving all the old men crazy. I’m betting the late, great Phil Lynott–the second greatest Irish rock and roller after Van Morrison–had seen Hollywood A Go-Go some time or other.

“Ffun” Con-Funk-Shun (1977): Mystic chords of memory. They played Disney World the night of my senior Class Trip. I was elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom when they took the stage. Elvis wasn’t the only one who knew how to be lonely in the middle of a crowd. I don’t want to talk about it.

“It’s So Easy” Linda Ronstadt (1977): Dave Marsh once said he would prefer having records to masturbate to on his Desert Island to enduring Linda Ronstadt’s company in person. Back when this was on the radio, we used to have a word for guys like Dave: Afflicted. I think we should bring this word back.

“Mickey’s Monkey” The Miracles (1963): Okay, this is literally about spreading a new dance all around. The Cavern is not unaffected. From now on, girls, no matter what plays, everybody will be doing Mickey’s Monkey. (Warning: the video link is to the actual Cavern….this is where I learned that Rock and Roll America’s basic dances could be performed to almost anything with a beat.)

“Pay Bo Diddley” Mike Henderson & the Bluebloods (1996): No, you don’t get permission to stop! Not even for “Pay Bo Diddley.” Keep doing Mickey’s Monkey. Okay….maybe you can do a little hand jive, too. Yeah, and maybe a little of that other thing. Just keep those feet moving. What? No, you absolutely cannot do that! Not until Mike gets Bo paid. Speaking of poetry–is rhyming IRS and Leonard Chess Rock and Roll America’s funniest line? Now, I’m not gonna help you with the answer….

“Radar Love” Golden Earring (1973): The intro always damn near brings a mix to a halt. I’ve stuck it in a few, though. Because soon enough the shuffle starts (dance, girls dance!) And somewhere in there the singer’s gonna insist the radio is playing some forgotten song/Brenda Lee…coming on strong. It’s the absence of “is” that makes it.

“We Gotta Get Out of this Place,” “It’s My Life,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” The Animals (1965): Once in a while on these things, I do suites. Call this The Animals Suite. If “punk” really meant what the crit-illuminati like to pretend it means, it would mean the sound of Eric Burdon shouting “Don’t push me!” right smack dab in the middle of this suite.

Program Break (Note: Because I started with tapes, my mixes always ran about forty-five minutes. Feel free to go to the bathroom!)

“Summer of ’69” Bryan Adams (1985): Bryan Adams has tried to explain this song more than once. Shut up and sing Bryan. Play your guitar maybe. Lead your band. Count your money. Any damn thing. There are a few people who can get away with explaining perfection. You’re not one of them.

“Be-Bop-A-Lula” Gene Vincent (1956): Take Gene for instance. Gene’s not trying to explain. And he’s talking about a girl in her red blue jeans who’s the Queen of the Teens! Get it?

“Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll,” “Cool it Down” The Velvet Underground (1970): This is the Velvet Underground Suite or, if you like The Loaded Suite. Now I’m not saying these things are meant to define any band as great as the Animals or the Velvets. But by the time they hit the chorus of “Cool it Down” here, and all the girls are dancing like spinning tops in the Cavern, you might  be forgiven for thinking so. Singing along is permitted by the way. Did I forget to mention that?

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” The Rolling Stones (1968): When it was recently revealed that the FBI called its operation to “help” Donald Trump “Crossfire Hurricane,” there were many hilarious attempts to explain that “this is a reference to the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ which was also the name of a Whoopi Goldberg movie.” And you wonder why Trump is rolling over these punks like a redneck trucker?

“Tear Stained Letter” Patty Loveless (1996): Sprightly. (This is supposed to let the people dance, remember? Look, they’re back to doing Mickey’s Monkey!) Putting this together in the late nineties might have been the first time I realized Loveless and the Stones had some sort of weird connection. It wasn’t the last. Now let me list all the other country singers I ever thought of sticking between the Rolling Stones and War on a mix disc….

Still thinking.

“Cinco De Mayo” War (1981): Did I mention War was coming up. Dance, girls, dance!

“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” (12″ version) Santa Esmeralda (1977);  The twelve-inch version of Santa Esmeralda’s cover of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” runs ten-and-a-half minutes. I don’t know how many minutes of that Quentin Tarantino (coming along years after I got all those girls dancing in the Cavern, mind you) used in Kill Bill. It felt like seventy-five or eighty. All I know is, until I saw Kill Bill, I believed Leroy Gomez and company could make a sprayed roach lying flat on its back get up and dance. I still believe that. I just know even they couldn’t make me think I was watching anything but a sprayed roach lying flat on it’s back while Kill Bill was playing.

“Gloria” Santa Esmeralda (1977): “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” can never be part of a suite. It is its own thing (heck it’s even called that officially–“The Esmeralda Suite”). But nothing else can follow it to close out a mix. I like when the Latin guy makes the Irish guy’s “i-yi-yi-yi” sound like “ay-ay-ay-ay.” There might be a revolution starting in there somewhere. Have to think it over.

Okay girls, you can stop doing Mickey’s Monkey now.

Girls….I say there….Girls?

Wait, what do you call that now?

Don’t you make me….

GIT YER CLOTHES BACK ON!

The mind is a funny thing. I’m sure glad I didn’t waste mine.

I think I’m gonna dedicate a song to Roberta’s memory…

TO THE LOSERS (Late Night Dedication)

In hopes that, whoever they are (Team Trump or Team Mueller), someone will be fitted for orange jump suits before the leaves turn…

And there’s no need to worry folks. We’ll still proceed straight to Tyranny (be it Mueller who triumphs) or Chaos….and then Tyranny (be it otherwise).

The prophet has foretold it…Not so much the Singer as the Guitar Player…

YOU KNOW WHEN WE’LL BE MAKING REAL PROGRESS?

Here’s a quote from an opinion piece provided by one of the major news outlets today (doesn’t matter which one…or even that it’s from today):

There is nothing more dangerous to the welfare of our republic than operatives from our three-letter agencies taking sides for ideological or personal reasons and then using the vast resources at their disposal to damage and delegitimize those they oppose.

We’ll be making progress when opinion makers at major mews outlets learn to cut that sentence off after “agencies.”

Meanwhile the Fun Fact of the Week:

I tried to tickle a few funny bones and chill a few spines by pointing out the savvy ways Donald Trump used (or, if you like, misused) the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” as his campaign rally theme (and I left off after the election, but he didn’t–he still does rallies and still closes with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”–and it’s still hilarious and still chilling).

Now it comes out that the operation the FBI (with possible assistance from the CIA and/or the DNC and/or British and/or Russian Intelligence and/or Sir Mick Jagger) ran on the /Trump Campaign was called Crossfire Hurricane.

Of course it was.

And right wing radio used “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” for bumper music all day today.

Of course they did.

This makes it convenient for those of us trying to spot theme songs for the future but aren’t sure whether Team Trump (who seem to hold the high cards this week) or Team Mueller (who may still have an ace or two hidden up a Brooks’ Brothers sleeve) will emerge victorious before the leaves turn this fall.

At least now we know what the loser–who will now lose everything–will be singing:

I still say Mick and Keith will play Trump’s Second Inaugural. But the set list does keep changing…

WATCH OUT NOW…HISTORY IS ABOUT TO START COMIN’ AT YA’ FAST….

I don’t think I’ve ever tagged anything a must read on here, but this, from Glenn Greenwald,  comes pretty close. Turns out the Security State not only saw Donald Trump as the biggest threat to their hegemony since Jimmy Carter, and thereby resorted to operational tactics from the (long forgotten–by the media and the public at least) 1980 playbook–they even used some of the same people. If you don’t care to read the whole thing, the last paragraph will do.

It’s over folks. It matters not that Carter was a somewhat decent man and Trump a thoroughly indecent one. Nor that Carter was an Evangelical Democrat and Trump a Pagan Republican.

Because life’s just a Warren Zevon song now. Take your pick: