Friday, July 13, 2018

Why Best Buds?

Perhaps you’ve been trying to cipher out why Mr. Trump appears to be so smitten with Mr. Putin.  I have.

So, what’s the deal?

Writer Neil Baron of Salon turns a spotlight on a reasonable answer in his recent article.

“It has nothing to do with politics.”

"Since Trump’s nomination, 70 percent of Trump sales were to limited liability companies frequently used by Russians to hide their identity, stow cash and, most likely, violate U.S. sanctions. Hundreds of millions of dollars from unidentified sources funded Trump’s unprofitable golf courses in Ireland and Scotland. Testimony before Congress suggests they were used to launder money for the Russian mafia. Steve Bannon told Michael Wolff, in speaking of White House corruption: “This is about money laundering … the path to …Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Junior and Jared Kushner.”

"The blackmail potential in all these financial shenanigans is abundant. Implicating Trump in almost any of these schemes could expose him to charges of money laundering and bank fraud."

Money Makes the World Go Round - Liza Minnelli & Joel Gray - Cabaret - 1972

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jive Talkin' Pres.

Mr. Trump’s off and on and off again declarations of love / hate for our NATO allies have left me feeling even more confused, dizzy and nauseous than his comment usually do.

Taking the cake for blatant, kindergarten-level-BS-jive-talk-fantasy, was his claim that NATO members had acceded to his demands to increase defense spending. They gave in to make him happy, he said, and would soon be spending 2% of their GNP on “defense”.

Mr. Trump’s “jive talkin.” did sparked a thought, though. Was there ever a time when the 99.9% of us didn’t put up with “leaders” and "rulers"?

Astonishingly the answer is, yes. If only we could do it again... the world would be much better off.

“There is a remarkable discovery that has not yet emerged from our renewed interest in ancient civilization. Yet few remark upon this glaring omission from the relics and records we dig up and discover. I first recognized its absence at a visit to the British Museum, and made a point of going back a few years later for another check. Their Mesopotamian rooms begin at 6500 BC, and as you wander through the exhibits and look at the artifacts and depictions of their culture there are none depicting warriors or warfare, chariots or combat, clubs or swords – for nearly four thousand years. As for kings and rulers, there was a single image thought to be a king because it looks like he’s wearing a crown. And what is this king doing? He is feeding flowers to sheep.”

Jive Talkin' - BeeGees - 1975

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Diversity, Assimilation - Both

Except for those of us of Native American heritage, either we or our ancestors came from somewhere else.

Have you maintained your diversity or are you fully assimilated into the USA? Or, both?
Are we a country of immigrants? Are we stronger by both embracing the diversity of our cultures and feeling we belong to one nation?

Elon Musk on American Melting Pot

OME - Prof.Dr. Magala: Salad Bowl (mosaic) or Melting Pot

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We Know What Works

Diversity works... Mrs. Watson’s Kindergarten Class, Beverly Woods Elementary School,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 1984. Back row, third student from left is Amy Hawn Nelson.
We know what works: doin' what's best for you, your children, your community - diversity - challenge your own biases... try Fox News and MSNBC... learning... the other person's side,,, have a coffee with someone who voted for the other guy... learning how to work with someone that's different.

We Know What Works, So Why Aren't We Doing It?: Amy Hawn Nelson at TEDxCharlotteED

TEDx Talks
Published on Mar 15, 2013
When it comes to transforming our schools, we're not lacking for solutions. We actually know what works and what we should be doing. To be successful, however, we need to overcome some non-obvious barriers to how we gather data and insights that inform our policy decisions.

We know what doesn't work, Why do we keep doing it?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Can We Agree on the Basics?

What do you want for your grandkids?
Drinkable water?
A good job – paying enough to live comfortably and build savings?
Home ownership?
Good health?
Nutritious food?

Do only wealthy white people of European descent want these things and more for their grandkids?

Do only wealthy white people deserve to have these things for their grandkids?

As human beings – regardless of our nationality – we all know the answer is: all of us want and deserve these things for our grandkids, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious and political beliefs.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Can't we agree on that?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Where is Our FDR?

FDR - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sr.  - 1944
The Democrats must bring in the young people and the Progressives or all will be lost to the Trump-Republican-Fascists.

Frankly, I expect them to fail because they will be unable to overcome the .01% who control the party. Those are the same .01% who control the Republican Party. They present themselves through the big money donors and corporate elite – the .01% mega-wealthy.

Because the Democrats can't get it together, the USA of our high school text books will become overtly Fascist within our lifetime.

I am deeply concerned that we are heading for a civil war - Trump people vs. everyone else. Clearly the “everyone else” group does not yet know they are a “group” and are therefore non-aligned, pursuing different goals and utilizing differing tactics to reach their goals. Nor, do they know they are all targets of the Conservative-Republican disinformation apparatus.

Sadly, Democrats have not changed since Will Rogers' time… that brings to mind two of my favorite quotes:

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” 
“Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.” - Will Rogers

Nothing has changed for them. What has changed is that the Republicans have once again descended into Fascism, only this time there appears to be no FDR* on the scene to save the nation from them.

Why have I come to this conclusion about the Republicans? I have attached below some text describing a “conservative” pamphlet, The Left’s Racist War Against Trump & America, by David Horowitz.

In my mind this is scary rhetoric conflating charges of racist, collectivist and totalitarian with the humanistic rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, or religious belief.

The Left’s Racist War Against Trump & America
“This information in this booklet is so powerful that it completely discredits the Left both intellectually and morally. Get the political ammo you need to expose the liberal agenda against our nation and our president. In these pages, you'll find proof that:

“The Democratic Party is a racist party – now, still, as it always has been. And it is increasingly collectivist and totalitarian. It also aids and abets the advance of militant Islam, which is supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic, savagely cruel and  murderous – and totally intolerant of all ideas that are not part of its primitive ideology."

“Black Lives Matter is an overly racist and violent group that is led by avowed communists and has allied itself with Hamas terrorists. It is an organization officially endorsed by the Democratic Party and lavishly funded by tens of millions of dollars contributed by Democratic donors like George Soros."

“An American patriotism – which is precisely not about blood and soil, [and] which is the antithesis of racism and collectivism – is what drives Trump and his presidency. … Patriotism – a specifically American patriotism – is the loyalty that unites us and makes us equal. It is this patriotism with which the political left is at war, and the reason they hate this president and are determined to destroy him."

* Why FDR? Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sr.  overcame the 1933 right wing attempted coup d'etat, otherwise known as The Wall Street Putsch. FDR saved our nation from the last attempted Republican-Fascist takeover. Please see:

Monday, July 2, 2018

Miraculous Enlightenment

Will the Democratic Party leadership blow it this November and lose our American experiment completely to Trump-Republican-neo-fascism?

My guess is that they will - unless they are blessed with a miraculous enlightenment.

During the past election the Democratic leadership bungled a “sure win” by managing to not expand their base, screwed-up building local organizations, failed to motivate and turn out traditional core Democrats and worked tirelessly to exclude Progressives from the party.

Meanwhile, the Trump-Republicans amassed a formidable machine, in no small way, the result of yeoman-like work gerrymandering, excluding voters of color, restricting registration and voting rights, disenfranchising Democrat-leaning voters, artfully sculpting “alternative” media, and reshaping social media via Big Data manipulation.

The result?

Former Secretary of Labor, Dr. Robert Reich describes itthis way, “Trump controls the Republican Party, the Republican Party controls the House and Senate, and the Senate and Trump will soon control the Supreme Court.” Reich continues, “Republicans also control both chambers in 32 states (33 if you count Nebraska) and 33 governorships. And in many of these states they are entrenching their power by gerrymandering and arranging to suppress votes.”

I’m not trying to second guess the “divine parameters” of God’s epiphany, but, I’ll bet the Boss Leaders will need to adopt some radical moves, among them actively bringing Progressives into the party and supporting candidates that will address the “pocketbook” issues we all care about – housing, education, wages, healthcare – plus, repair all the immense damage done by the Trumpsters.

When it comes to the epiphany business I know things happen in strange and beautiful ways. I hope it happens soon.

O, Canada - Capitol Steps

Capitol Steps

Published on Mar 27, 2016
After Super Tuesday, the most Googled search term was "how to move to Canada."

Musical satire and parody from the Capitol Steps.  We perform every Friday & Saturday at the Reagan Building in Washington, DC.  Visit us at

[From our latest album, "What to Expect When You're Electing,"  available at, iTunes, and Amazon -- plus albums from our first 30+ years!]