Thoughts and apologies

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about in my life (see this post), I finally got covid after years of avoiding it, getting vaccinated and boostered. So I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while. Please forgive me, especially since there is so much to discuss these days.

So here’s some random thoughts I’ve posted recently on Facebook and Twitter.

The FBI director was appointed by Trump, and the search warrant was approved by a judge appointed by Trump and was based on a law signed by Trump.

Yep, it’s all a vast left-wing conspiracy.

All I know is that when I have perfectly innocent documents that do not incriminate me in the slightest, I rip them up and try to flush them down the toilet.

“Support the police! Unless they’re trying to stop us from hanging the Vice President or carrying out search warrants against us.” — Republicans

“If I’m leaving a job and I steal office supplies that don’t belong to me, I can get arrested, right?”

“Of course.”

“What if I steal nuclear documents that could jeopardize national security?”

“Oh, that’s perfectly fine, no problem!”

(Republican logic)

….

I am absolutely convinced that no evidence will be enough to change the minds of the cultists. As Trump once said, he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his people would still love him.

One of human history’s main problems is that the people who tend to be the leaders in politics and business are usually sociopathic — they don’t care who they hurt as they gain power for themselves, and that’s how they can climb so fast, over the backs of those they abuse on their way up.

And those are the worst people to put in charge of things.

Fictional changes to fictional characters

“We’re going to update this Shakespeare play to modern times!”

“Good, artistic license allows for re-interpretations of previously done work.”

“We’re taking the story of Alexander Hamilton and reinterpreting it by using people of color as the main characters.”

“Sounds interesting, and certainly within the rights of the artist.”

“We’re redoing the fantasy make-believe story of ‘The Little Mermaid’, changing nothing to the plotline, and we’ve cast this black girl as the main character.”

“WHAT? Look, I’m no racist, but there is no need whatsoever for your politically correct bullshit. I protest strongly!”

Only in America

“I’d like to buy this beer, please.”

“Are you crazy? You’re only 18! Alcohol is dangerous! I’m not allowed to sell that to you!”

“Ok then, I’ll just get this military assault rifle.”

“Cash or charge?”

Jackson confirmed for Supreme Court

“We have a candidate who graduated from Harvard Law School, clerked for a Supreme Court Justice, became a judge, wrote opinions that were cited and upheld by higher courts, and is highly recommended for skill and ethics by the American Bar Association.”

“Very qualified indeed.”

“She’s a black woman.”

“What? We can’t have that! We have to vote against her for, um, reasons!” — most of the GOP

“Besides, we don’t even know if she likes beer!”

Mugging Judge Jackson

There’s a meme based on the Skyrim game where a bunch of thugs see the main character and say “See that guy who just killed a dragon and sucked its soul? Let’s mug him!”

I’m reminded of that as I watch white, male Republicans question Judge Jackson. “See that woman who graduated from Harvard Law School and has written numerous intelligent opinions? Let’s get her!”

Yeah, I think she can handle you guys just fine.

(I mentioned “white, male” in my description of Republicans because these guys are always the ones who think if you’re not white and male, you can’t possibly be qualified for anything.)

To those who say Putin wouldn’t have attacked if Trump was still President

Those who say “Putin wouldn’t have invaded if Trump was still President” are either liars or deluded idiots. Trump helped pave the way for this to happen. (I mean, geez, he was impeached for one of them, when he tried to keep arms from getting to Ukraine unless they dug up dirt on Biden).

Here’s a CNN article listing 37 times Trump was soft on Russia — and it’s from a while ago, so doesn’t include the recent examples.

Putin was hoping Trump would be re-elected because then the invasion would have been even easier.

And all the Republicans who let Trump do this and voted against his impeachment bear the responsibility as well.

After all, Trump just recently praised Putin for the attack, calling it “genius.” If Trump was still President, he’d be helping Putin, not standing up to him like Biden is doing.

National Security journalist Ed Luce said this about the claim: “The reason Putin didn’t invade Ukraine while Trump was president was because he was getting everything he wanted without firing a shot, or risking [losing] an oligarch. War is the last resort. Trump was a gift to Putin that kept on giving.”

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, Americans who supported them were called “useful idiots.” Putin clearly is relying on today’s versions of the useful idiots.

15 Albums That Changed Your Life

OK here is the challenge I just received:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wasu, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean.

(Disclaimer: I tried to limit this to one album per group, otherwise the Beatles would be here more than once)

In no particular order:

1. The Beatles: Abbey Road. Once of the first albums I ever had, made from a copy of a cassette someone made for me. The only problem was that the cassette was 45 minutes long and the album is 47 minutes long, so for years I never heard anything past the drum solo in “The End”

2. The Monkees: Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones Ltd. OK, I was just a kid, but watching the Monkees on TV and listening to this album convinced me that I wanted to be in a band too! I started learning how to play guitar after this.

3. The Ramones. What a kick in the teeth. Didn’t like it at first and then grew to love it. It was just so different at the time! Although later albums were better (Rocket to Russia especially) this one had the most influence on me.

4. Elvis Costello: This Years Model. The first album wasn’t released in America until just before this one (the second). I liked the first but when the second came out I played it over and over and then went back and saw the genius in the first. And the addition of the new band made all the difference; Steve Nieve especially who I later found played on many other albums I love.

5. Sparks: Kimono My House. What a revelation! Loud and fast before the Ramones, high and quirky before Queen, clever lyrics and complicated and catchy melodies. My music writing was definitely influenced by these guys.

6. XTC: Oranges and Lemons. OK, I was an XTC fan from early on, but their quirky music was always important to me. This album is my favorite — and one of the best mixed albums ever. Very complicated, but you can hear each instrument perfectly. I just love to wear the headphones for this one.

7. Warren Zevon: Genius. This is a collection of his greatest hits that I got after he died and although I always knew I liked him, this just blew me away at how much of, well, a genius he was.

8. Frank Zappa: Shiek Yerbouti. I remember when this first came out and a friend said “You have to hear this!” and we listened to the whole double album while reading the lyrics. My favorite Zappa album (except I usually skip the long guitar solos he likes to do)

9. Panic at the Disco: Pretty Odd. I fell over backwards when they released it. It was a departure from their original sound, and it caused the band to split in half afterwards because of it, but it’s my favorite. I’ve always loved the psychedelic creative mid 60s sound, and this recreates it better than anyone other than XTC’s “Dukes of Stratosphear” album.

10. Kate Bush: The Kick Inside. Although I hardly ever listen to this now, when it was released I fell in love with it. Such a unique voice and such clever songs. In retrospect it’s a bit pretentious, but hey, I was in college and was pretty pretentious myself then.

11. Split Enz: Mental Notes. Their first American album was one of the weirdest I had ever heard, and I still love it. Songs that have no verses or choruses, but just wander all over the place yet it all works!

12. Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic. I was working in a record store when one of the other employees stuck this on the system and I immediately fell in love with the fun, the silliness, and the funk! Saw them in concert but I don’t remember too much because of all the strange sweet smoke that filled the place…

13. The Clash: London Calling. One of the few perfect albums ever made. Not a bad song in the lot. Impossible for them to top and they never did, it was all downhill from there.

14. Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food. I actually won this and a bunch of other albums in a record store contest and along with all the top hits, I said “What is this weird group?” I eventually gave away all the other albums and played this over and over. My band Big House did a cover of “Found a Job” too.

15. Ack, only one left! OK, well, Bruce Springsteen: The Essential. A 3 CD set of all his greatest hits. No wait! They Might Be Giants: John Henry — the first album with a real band instead of a drum machine. No! Joe Jackson’s “Volume 4!” No! Say Anything! Weezer! Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Argh!!!

Justice Thomas at home

Chris Britt

Nobody is mad at you for saying “Merry Christmas”

To those people sharing memes that say things like “I don’t care what people say, I’m going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ even if it makes people upset!” Have you ever met one person who was upset when you said “Merry Christmas”? Even one?

You’ve been suckered by Fox News, which has managed to convince people that if you say “Happy holidays” then you’re against anyone else saying “Merry Christmas” if they want to. As if the two are opposed to each other in some way.

Don’t be so gullible, angry, and ridiculous. Getting angry if someone says “Happy holidays” to you is the most anti-Christian and anti-Christmas attitude you could have at a time where you’re supposed to be loving each other and promoting good will.

Nobody is stopping you from saying “Merry Christmas” and no one is upset at you if you do say it. The only people I’ve ever seen get mad are the so-called Christians who froth at the mouth when someone says “Happy holidays.”

Don’t be stupid for the holidays.

Accessories to Murder