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Trump Probably Doesn’t Actually ‘Sleep’

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There’s this theory I have. It’s not that crazy. It’s got the benefit of holding up to some analysis. I think Trump is perpetually sleep deprived. He’s got that reservoir of anger, he seems easily confused and makes mistakes in basic knowledge that 5th graders know. Like that the Moon isn’t part of Mars.

I don’t believe Trump really thinks the moon is part of Mars, I think it’s a Tell. It’s the lazy mistake of a fatigued mind that’s just not at 100 percent, ever. Screenshot 2019-06-09 at 10.53.44 PM

What the president was possibly alluding to is some ideas for a Mars mission involve slingshotting around the moon to build momentum. In some harder to fathom plans the moon would possibly be the launch point so the rocket wouldn’t have to use any fuel escaping the Earth’s gravity. NASA probably told him about this but he was half awake when he heard it. So we get a mangled tweet about the moon and Mars being the same thing.

Lots of easily google-able tests have universally shown if you just don’t sleep at all you’ll have some kind of medical emergency within a few weeks and die. It’s common knowledge, it doesn’t need citation.

So clearly Trump ‘rests’ in some way. I’m not suggesting that he hangs upside down from the rafters with his wings folded, but its not quite ‘sleep’ either.

Here’s the Theory –

It’s Not Quite Sleep

It’s not that Trump doesn’t have times when he’s not really awake, it’s more that he’s only sort of sleeping. It’s always in small amounts after being awake for too long.

Trump doesn’t fall asleep and wake up like a normal person. In fact I think he’s like 2 days of sleep behind all the time. This would explain his constant confusion and brittle disposition. He can’t ‘sleep’, he only passes out from being awake too long for say 4 hours about every 20 to 30 hours.  12 Diet Cokes a day will do that to you.    70bca94666aebfd358b86ba94315e04b

So in a nutshell; my theory is he passes out from sheer exhaustion (and a caffeine crash) after 20 to 30 hours of ‘wakefulness.” Of course the TV is on the whole time.

Less than 5 hours later he snaps to consciousness (as opposed to waking up) in a cold sweat screaming the moment his body has been in stasis long enough for his mind to start to panic again.  Then he ‘Get’s Up’ and starts the cycle again. He’s never anything but overtired, grumpy and scared. By most accounts he rarely eats breakfast. Only the most important meal. So mental acuity is all sorts of in question from this lifestyle.

Much of the time he’s not really awake, just in a torpor half out of it half watching Fox News Opinion shows that tell him he’s great. This is so his ego never has to stop grazing. That’s “Executive Time”. The president half snoring from being so heavy. His eyelids are mere slits, drooling with the TV remote in one hand, cellphone in the other. At least its some form of rest.

Throw in the fact he’s pretty old, pretty fat and those things affect your sleep and sleep patterns. Sleep apnea may figure in too. Its a sure thing there’s more than one or two contributing factors as to why the guy has sleep problems.

For one thing, he knows he’s a horrible person and the guilt and shame must show up sometime. It part of why he famously wont read. Reading involves quieting your mind, something a horrible person just cant do.

What Happens When People Are Overtired?

From experience I can say you sometimes get a rush of creativity in that second wind you get right before the wind gets knocked out of your sails for good. I think it’s probably safe to say that it only last just so long and you don’t know when it’s gonna happen. It would however, explain why Trump occasionally is sort of able to crack a joke and be glib and pith-y. It also explains some of the times he’s been creatively very mean in interviews or on the stump.

So outside my personal experience I of course checked Wikipedia and looked at the results of being overtired and bounced them off what we see of Trump.

Here’s some stuff I found interesting. It’s from the second paragraph of the wikipedia entry on sleep deprivation

A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and increased appetite leading to weight gain.[1] It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.[2] However, in a subset of cases sleep deprivation can, paradoxically, lead to increased energy and alertness and enhanced mood; although its long-term consequences have never been evaluated, it has even been used as a treatment for depression

Well let’s see. We have clumsiness pretty well documented and increased appetite seems a sure thing for a man that big. As I mentioned in my own experiences there’s that weird little high you get where you end up with an elevated mood for a while. 3219It’s akin to smoking pot. And the last sentence, about it dubious use to treat depression, would seem to indicate you get manic. Sounds pretty Trump-like!

Adverse brain and cognitive functions? Always on full display. Trump’s a text book case. Don’t believe me? Look at the time stamps on some of these tweets going back as far as you like. He’ll blast something out at 4am.

Other Effects include “Selective Attention”. We can just leave that right there. Theres so many accounts of the president only hearing what he wants to hear.

Executive Function? This one takes some explaining, but once you get it a lot of things start to make sense about Trump, again, from wikipedia –

Researchers believe that three of the most ‘basic’ executive functions are: shifting, updating, and inhibition.[17] Shifting back and forth between different tasks is considered a very important mental behavior involved in executive functioning as it involves active disengagement from the present task and engaging in a new task.[18] Updating is believed to be involved in working memory (closely associated with the function of the prefrontal cortex[19]), where the information that is active needs to be updated by replacing old, now irrelevant information with new, relevant information based on the objective.[20] Inhibition involves controlled and deliberate impedance of automatic, predominant responses.[21]

The anterior cingulate cortex has been implemented in the process of inhibiting a habitual response or detecting possible conflicts in responses;[22] this is shown by the Stroop test.[23] Studies have found that as little as 36 hours of sleep deprivation cause a performance reduction in tasks requiring these executive functions.[24]

Well, thats a lot to take in but essentially the sleep deprived person becomes less and less able to do 2 things at once or to do one thing and then something different immediately after.  Examples would range from not being able to pick anything off a menu (so only having burnt steak with ketchup or McDonalds) to greeting more than a couple of people. No wonder Trump is always inappropriate. The guys just trying to remember if you eat salad with a spoon or a fork and can’t discern the president of China from the president of Japan! If he mets them too close together or at once it will overwhelm him. His cognitive abilities just aren’t up to it.

Lastly, just from these excerpts, the science says he’s also inhibited in “Conflict Avoidance”. Easy to believe. Pick any of the poorly chosen battles the presidents engaged in and there’s proof that’s going on too.

There’s so much more but this post has made enough points. Besides, others have wondered and written about it as well.      5c19073056cdcf5f644ec871-1920-960

In February Business Insider looked at the presidents sleep schedule and found cause for concern, writing – It’s not clear whether or not Trump is part of the 1% of the population that appears to actually need less sleep, scientifically speaking. If he is not, Trump is severely sleep deprived, according to health professionals that generally recommend seven to eight hours of sleep.

So there it is. The president is a stranger to Circadian Rhythm and is cognitively impaired from it. And he has control of the worlds largest nuclear arsenal.

The only good news is if you hate the guy he’s on the threshold of all sorts of  health problems. Like maybe a heart attack or stroke, especially with a famously horrible diet and being way overweight.

Sweet Dreams!

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How Trump Avoids Doing Any Work

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One thing we can be sure of in the 4 awful years since Trump announced his candidacy –  the guy hates work.

It’s beyond obvious he’s delegated (through inaction) all responsibilities to the least qualified and most inept people to handle any given thing. That’s how you get so many failed ideas on things like the Southern Border and the infamous, repeated ‘INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK’ Meltdowns.

During the campaign he was able to show up for a lot of rallies and puff out a lot of anger and it sort of looked like he was able to work. But it turns out boasting in front of an all white crowd of angry, intolerant people is actually Trump’s preferred form of recreation.  So let’s not call campaigning “Work”.lazy_trump

He came prepared with a host of methods to avoid doing his job. Essentially, he’s faking it. It’s not like he’s all that good at it, but Trump doesn’t really care how it plays. Laziness is at the core of his “Leadership Style”, if you can call it that.

Let’s look at a few of his “Go-To” ways to dodge things; like reading (CAN he read?) or working in any way.

A Major Announcement is Coming…

There’s a MAJOR policy announcement coming on whatever he’s been asked about; and really any and all topics. When? In about 2 weeks. It never ends up happening.

As the president has stonewalled off all transparency and minimized his exposure to the press there’s been no way to really follow this up.

 Busy Looking Meetings

The president likes to look like a work-a-holic who also has the time to develop and keep a very deep tan. These two at odds traits make it hard to look all  that busy, but he goes through the motions anyway.

The meetings traditionally have gone one of two ways. Either the president will sit back and drink in praise from whoever he’s invited to a meeting, and it could be anyone from Mitch McConnell to Kanye. It looks so Banana Republic because it is.

The other track these meetings and brief press availabilities go is that Trump will take exception to a question and have a tantrum.

Either way the meeting gets on TV and the Dear Leader looks busy

Create A Crisis 

Instead of getting down to the brass tacks of Trade or Infrastructure the president will start tweeting something crazy and draconian that he may or may not do.  Insulting a world leader, screaming about a perceived Trade Injustice or just attacking some random person are all possible when he goes this route.

‘Solving’ the Created Crisis

When a tweet goes sour or an idea goes viral in the wrong way the president will use the aforementioned “A Major Announcement is coming very soon” stall.

Then, a day or so later, an aide or cabinet member will say on the record the president wasn’t serious about the crisis he created or the horrible things he was ‘forced to say’.

Sometimes we find out that he’s simply bitching about something that was settled months ago. It’s just done for it to be on TV anyway.  Again, he could care less how it plays. He considers it a win.

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We just saw this in the Mexico Tariff Shell Game. At the last minute he pretended he had issues with Mexico and would impose tariffs. Then nothing happened and BLOTUS tweets he’s made a major deal. The Mexicans, for their part, were rightly confused and a little annoyed that an issue from a deal previously signed and settled is coming up again.

The media usually notes the deal is weeks or months old and there was never much chance Trump was going to do any of the things he threatened. It doesn’t matter, he looked busy. Mission Accomplished.

The Kremlin loves this too, by the way.

Wrong Time

The president will make threats and spitball policy ideas on Twitter at 4:56 am and then not show up anywhere until like 1 pm. When the rest of America wakes up hes passed back out but it looks like he was working.

This is part of a deeper theory I have. It’s that Trump doesn’t fall asleep and wake up like a normal person. In fact I think he’s like 2 days of sleep behind all the time. This would explain his constant confusion and brittle disposition. He can’t ‘sleep’, he only passes out from being awake too long for say 4 hours about every 20 to 30 hours.  12 Diet Cokes a day will do that to you.

So in a nutshell; my theory is he passes out from sheer exhaustion (and a caffeine crash) after 20 to 30 hours of ‘wakefulness.” Less than 5 hours later he wakes up in a cold sweat screaming the moment his body has been in stasis long enough for his mind to start to panic again.  Then he ‘wakes up’ and starts the cycle again. He’s never anything but overtired, grumpy and scared.

Most of the time in he’s just in a torpor half out of it half watching Fox News Opinion shows that tell him he’s great. This is so his ego never has to stop grazing.

 Wrong Place

This is maybe the Kremlin’s very favorite thing Trump reliably does.

The ‘president’ will just go somewhere and be completely inappropriate. Time and again we’ve seen him showing absolute contempt for his surroundings. He hates to work at all but has to make it look like he must be doing his job. Whether he looks like he’s doing it badly just doesn’t matter to him.

Be it standing in front of the CIA Wall of the Fallen while just lying about the size of the crowd and weather at his inauguration, saluting a murderous North Korean General, accepting Putin’s offer to investigate the 2016 Election, or sitting in front of the graves of 9,300 Americans who were killed storming the beach at Normandy; he says and does the wrong thing every time.

Remember when he shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way? Or scared the shit out of thousands of Boy Scouts and angered their adult leaders with a crazy militaristic speech? That last disgraceful move has the president BANNED from any Boy Scout function. There’s a presidential first! The guy’s plain old inappropriate and he doesn’t care.

The president will act badly, provably lie and say completely inappropriate things in places you would consider sacred or at High Stakes Summits.

He has no idea about protocol and disgracefully supplicates himself to Putin and other nefarious figures regularly. He just wants the Photo Op to make it seem like he’s working.

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He then dominates the news cycle with whatever disgraceful move he made, every crazy lie he told and/or bizarre threat he made.

Since getting on TV and getting things accomplished are pretty much the same thing to Trump, he considers it a win. At least no one’s talking about his terrible poll numbers or the multiple failed dictator moves like the Travel Ban, right?

Some people seem to buy it.

Fighting With Dead People

Death isn’t the end of Trump having a nonstop problem with you. No one is dead enough to escape his perma-rage.

One thing this president has shown is a boiler-plate pattern of being highly inappropriate and crude, especially about things that scare him. For instance – Military Heroes and the whole concept of death.

Usually it’s a beloved or revered Military hero that he focuses on. It’s the sheer insecurity of a Draft Dodger who didn’t even have the courage to say he was against the War. He just invented a disability and when the war ended he was magically cured. I’m sure most of the people with Incurable Bone Spurs would love him to share how he made them go away. No such luck.

Since dead people cant really fight back and he could care less how his words affect their families, he does it all the time. Be it refusing to lower the White House flag when John McCain died or mocking the parents of a soldier whose made the ultimate sacrifice, Trump feels like this makes him look on task and in charge.

Again, some people buy it.

Showing Off His Toys

Informal and insane statements while walking to his helicopter, with engine roaring, are a great way to look busy. So this is how we usually see Trump. The fact he usually yells when he talks anyway is slightly less out of place, but he makes up for it by being extra caustic in these moments.

So what if he’s flying to his own club to play golf or to one of his “Show-Rallies”? Any guy getting into helicopters that much must be working. Same thing with Air Force 1. He makes a few scathing comments in front of the plane, engines warming up, and he’s off.

Way to go, he just looked like he was working!

WHY?

Why would anyone act so stupidly? The short answer is “Donald Trump is LAZY and BAD AT EVERYTHING.” This extends to, well,  everything. Be it what he tweets or who he hires and even to what information he takes in. He’s not an able Chief Executive.

In fact, were Articles of Impeachment built around an inability to fulfill his Oath of Office as such it would be hard for anyone to argue it wasn’t valid and would probably pass the House of Representatives.

Ever since his unexpected win Trump’s shown he’s unable to fulfill the Oath of Office. Nonetheless, he’s the president. Could it be that the Russians were punking all of us AND Trump too ? Like maybe he never thought he was going to win? It’s pretty easy to make the case he wasn’t trying to win with insane ad hoc policies and actions we saw on the trail. He was on the Low Road the whole time.
He’s never spent 10 seconds considering the importance of his job or shown any reverence to the office he holds.

And those are some of the ways Trump avoids doing any work.

 

Trump UK Visit – Was George Washington Simply Wrong?

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President Trump is so bad and so hard to take that he’s a one man case that we should fire our entire government and return to British Empire. If given our own parliament and a several party system maybe this fascist craze will just blow over?

After an apparently sleepless trip across the pond where Air Force 1 sadly didn’t crash into the sea Trump blew out a bunch of insults and went to go visit the Brit Royals.

While the entire idea of having Royalty is completely stupid, the two princes seem to sort of be painfully aware of this. They do what they have to do with some humility. Quiet, gracious and compassionate, they couldn’t be more opposite Trump. Seeming to be always trying to earn the high degree of admiration they were born into, there’s no not liking them. And some of the Royals are really easy to not like. I was born into it from my Irish heritage. I had some relatives who HATED the Royal family. Those were different royals though and a much different time.

Prince Chuck, The Queen, crazy old Prince Philip? Take your pick. You could go to town on them, but then again they are all possessed of a great deal more dignity than Trump.

I guess I just think of my old Uncle Paddy who fought in Easter Rising bashing the Royals and it’s a little hard for me to admit they’re titular heads of a better government than ours. But it’s a mental hurdle I’ve now jumped.

Mostly because of the Princes. They’re simply nice guys. They were even nice to Trump.  The princes are polar opposites from the scamming lowlife Trump clan; whose patriarch bashed prince Ginger’s wife, Meaghan Markle for no real reason and then just lied about it.

Watching Trump around the Queen is way too close to watching ‘The Naked Gun; from the Files of Police Squad’! Always inappropriate, dressed like shit in an off the rack suit, the president looks bad all the time and is an un-funny Frank Drebin.

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He’s been there 3 hours, lets see what happens when they stop praising him and he opens his blowhole.

Why Not?

Meanwhile, would you not trade congress for an immediate parliamentary election with direct representation on all levels? Then they can do things like just remove Kavanaugh from the Bench.

The people have proven they can be lied to and there’s been a few presidents, like Trump, Reagan and Nixon, who colluded with Enemy Powers to win their bids. Maybe the people here in America are just like the people of Westeros and deserve self determination? Make the president a figurehead and super-ambassador with no power and no pardon power, and no nuclear football! It’s not like Cocaine Mitch McConnell isn’t calling most of the plays anyway.

Why NOT a Prime Minister who could quickly be removed? The Trump nightmare would have been a six week footnote rather than a protracted time of intolerance and bad governance.  Plus we get all the screaming and yelling of a parliament, which also makes lots of sense for America. Imagine 4 parties. Maybe more, but there’s a mandate to cooperate. Like we wouldn’t benefit from more cooperation?

I could easily foresee the GOP and Democratic party enduring, and maybe a moderate party from the right and the left in the mix may better represent us. The more moderates would have a greater ability to influence more policy. Maybe the other two parties would be the Progressives and the Libertarians? It probably wouldn’t be worse.

Maybe, just maybe, George Washington was wrong. Or perhap just took it too far. The Chief Executive Office has by all definitions grown beyond its original mandate and is prone to tampering. There’s a whole bunch of arguments about why congress is a mess. Why not a bicameral parliament?

Then there the Electoral College Choke-Point leftover from making room in the Constitution for slavery. It didn’t come out of anything good and lead to the Civil War and so many bad chief executives its can only be called bad. It’s purpose is long past. When it’s been successfully tampered with we usually get a terrible president. It needs to go.

The wave of protests against trump will surely be BFD when we see them eclipse him accepting accolades in the coverage of this humiliating trip.

Perhaps New York could petition to renew it’s Royal Charter and just join Canada?

 

Here’s What Robert Mueller Said

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Well it was only 10 minutes and delivered without emotion, but we finally heard directly from Robert Mueller. The full video is at the end of the post.

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It’s hard to sum up how he really feels, he did provide some cover for Barr and say he wasn’t going to speak to congress. Here’s what went down

Mueller walked on and said he wasn’t taking questions and hoped to never speak in public about this again.

Then he basically disgorged his opinion of his legal mandate and goals. He cleared up who he was responsible to (mostly the Acting Deputy Attorney General) and what his mandate was. He stressed he could ONLY investigate. In other words – Mueller’s opinion of his mandate could be summed up as – He had investigative authority, but no legal teeth. The president is un-Indictable, at least by him, merely because he’s president and that’s all there is to that.

So after again thanking his team Mueller sort of underscored what he thought was the most important things in his report. It would seem to have a disregard for the present circumstance.  At best it could be called forward looking.

We’re Under Attack

He stressed that there was a coordinated and elaborate attack on our 2016 Election by Russia. Both the Kremlin and some kind of private entities were involved. Wikileaks was used to launder the information and get the Russians some deniability.

He said it was done with the aim of ‘influencing” opinions and ‘to damage a candidate.’ That candidate can only have been Hillary Clinton. He didn’t speak her name, but really, who else could it have been? He repeated the interference was ‘extensive’. It seems pretty clear we saw Putin’s hand here.

Then he went to his report and specified Volume 1, which is about the Russian efforts and whether Trump coordinated with them. It was inconclusive as to direct conspiracy, but maybe not because he didn’t think Trump had tried something. He would refer to the limits of his mandate, that you can’t charge a sitting president, was the governing philosophy of why no charges were filed.

Then he specified Volume 2, which dealt with Presidential Obstruction and obstruction of the Investigation. Again he referred to his mandate and said there was no Indicting the president under seal either. So Mueller’s view is hands were tied.

With confidence he said in so many words “It’s UnConstitutional” for the Special Counsel to Indict a sitting president. He alluded to Justice Department policy as the reason that he could do nothing about Obstruction as far as charges and Indictments. He again alluded to his limited mandate as the big reason there was no charging Trump.

More than anything else he spoke of how very limited his legal mandate really was.

Over and over Mueller deferred to his mandate about not being able to Indict rather than cleared the president. He said plainly he had ‘no confidence’ the president had NOT committed a crime.

Mueller made it very clear he could not clear the president. This is about the strongest thing he could say under his interpretation of his mandate. He seemed to be saying that anyone else would be looking at getting arrested over this and confirming the broken nature of our Justice System.  He seemed more concerned about the coming election than anything President Trump may have done to this point, despite saying he was prosecutable outside of Office.

It seems Mueller really wanted us to be aware he NEVER had authority to indict the president.  He stated policy and law as to why HE COULD NOT INDICT OR CHARGE THE PRESIDENT, NO MATTER WHAT HE FOUND.

One curious thing he said was that since there was no method to try the president legally while he was in office he had decided he simply couldn’t charge him based on that. The decision notably was NOT because he didn’t think Trump was guilty. In fact, he seemed to be saying he thought the law shielded the president from the consequences of illegal behavior more than anything else aside from the deep concern over the next election.

He then again thanked his staff and categorized his staff and investigation were ethical and professional.

He repeated that he wasn’t taking questions.

Mueller- He’s Not a Player; He’s The Official      signal_personal_foul

In essence Mueller didn’t so much punt to congress. That’s because PLAYERS punt. Mueller has cast himself (or felt locked to the role) more as the referee or some other official.  So like an NFL official what he did was turn on his mic, address the crowd, explain the penalty and handed the ball to congress.  signal_grounding

Could you say that when he hands the congress the ball on Impeachment it’s on the GOP’s own 20 yard line. Mueller’s message between the lines seems to be “You’ll easily score a field goal if not a touchdown if you pursue these charges I laid out because if he wasn’t president he’d be a criminal. He may just leave the White House for the Big House.”

Mueller may be right on about the biggest issue now that all is said and done being keeping the next election clean of Russian (and all other) interference.

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And that’s what Robert Mueller said.

Here’s the whole statement

 

 

 

Mueller Speaks Out

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Well if today had started out quietly at the White House you can throw that right out the window. A tweet storm is brewing over the word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will speak to the media from inside the Justice Department.

Gathering Storm of Unknown Nature

Rep Gerry Connolly of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was quick to suggest the location, from within the Barr Justice Department, casts a shadow all it’s own over what’s going to happen in just about 2 hours.

Will Mueller show himself as the “Man of Conscience” his reputation suggests, or will we get a Barr-like series of equivocations? Or is he just trying to get out what congress would ask him without having to actually appear? It’s unclear.  The good news?  We don’t have long to wait to find out. At 11 or so this morning, Mueller will either drop a major WMD of a Truth Bomb or throw in with Barr. There’s signs pointing to both possibilities.

The revelation the White House was given a ‘Heads Up’ on this is not a reassuring sign though. What the president thinks about what we’ll all hear will, almost surely, be revealed through a childish tweet storm no matter what Mueller says. mueller

 

Cap’n Kirk Douglas Reacts to Black Sabbath Comparison and Review of Hundred Watt Heart Record Release Show

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One of the most successful (and nicest) people I know personally has got to be Cap’n Kirk Douglas. He was one of the many gifted musicians I met from the eclectic original players of Long Island’s East end when I went to Stony Brook University.

In my experience Kirk was always friendly and approachable, hes was welcoming of a newcomer and impressed me even then with his amazing guitar abilities. I was lucky enough to even jam with him a bunch of times. Obviously, I had my work cut out for me just keeping up. You could tell then there was something about him that set him apart musically from others. To me it seemed amazing competence and chameleon-like ability to play the right way for whatever role he took in any project.

Because at that time there were probably a dozen decent original acts from a pool of like 30 super talented people. I fooled them into thinking I was good enough to play with them and it was pretty great. It was a great time of expansion in my own musical life. Getting away from Queens for a while paid off creatively.

These days, as guitar player for The Roots he’s in many Americans living rooms weeknights laying it down with a variety of beautiful guitars. Last night I saw the first Hundred Watt Heart show. It was as at times as heavy as the single I had downloaded on the way. Guitar Driven is one way to put it.

Having only the Roots to go on I decided to do some preparation. I downloaded “I Used to be in a Circus”, the only available track as the record, Turbulent Times,  only dropped today.

The song was great and honestly not what I had expected. You can hear it for yourself, but what caught my eye was what Google Music showed as the “related Artist”; Black Sabbath.  The tile next to it was from Black Sabbath Volume 4, so its the older Sabbath that seems focus of the comparison

After seeing the show I sort of concur.

Some things that back up the Sabbath allusion would possibly be Kirk’s riff driven and solid. He has some Sabbath-like traits in his song writing. His vocal delivery was right on and full voiced. He delivered as hard as Ozzy in his prime (on a good night).

There’s a whole lot more to it than just that, but its not a bad thing to be compared to by any long shot.  So I’m not the only one who sees something in this record.

Now, having now listened to the whole album I can see where the reviewer came up with the comparison Some of the songs have a Sabbath-like vibe and similar tone and heaviness, but Hundred Watt Heart, by intent, covers a lot more musical ground. For one thing, they don’t seem to have set out to sound like Black Sabbath at all. The similarity is Organic and stems from Kirk’s influences having some overlap with Tony Iommi’s is my guess. And while its easy and fun to compare bands, Hundred Watt Heart is actually unique. With the quality of pop music seeming to be trending down, here’s a listenable and sincere album that starts with an admission – These are in fact Turbulent Times. Why pretend things are great?

Its a solid and interesting guitar album and the songs are catch-y as Hell. While appealing and beautifully melodic, it’s confident and solid all the way around. I love the single ‘I Used to Be in a Circus” and ‘Uma’, with it’s blistering solo and brooding lyrics, might just be my favorite. It may just sound a bit like original Black Sabbath as well, but in the best possible way.  To take it a step further, as a Black Sabbath fan myself, I found myself taking to this album in a big way.

The Gig

Back to the show;

An hour and 3 el presidente beers after hitting Billyburg I was immersed in what Kirk accurately described as a sonic bath. I was pumped for the whole high energy performance. It’s hard believe 3 guys made all that noise. Mark Kelley (bassist for The Roots) and Ricc Sheridan (drummer for Earl Greyhound) join him on the record and this show.

First off – SEE THIS BAND! I hate everything and I even enjoyed it.

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While I would not go so far as to say he sounds like Black Sabbath and the lyrical topics seem quite different from what I’ve heard so far, I can see how the critic who made the comparison came up with it. Unassuming and powerful would how I would describe the show. No punches pulled, mostly non stop music, though he did generously acknowledge the audience a few times. The club was packed and the energy was great. The band didn’t disappoint.

Hundred Watt Heart is a live show well worth seeing. Kirk’s vocals are right on as is his playing. Not to mention, he’s still a man of the people, the price of the show was completely affordable. Music came before money and I for one appreciated it. His A-List supporting cast on bass and drums was amazing. And lets talk about New York here for a second – Having an affordable but high quality evening out in a city that EATS money is not an everyday thing.

Considering there wasn’t a bad place to watch in Williamsburg’s interesting “Baby’s All Right” it was even that much more intimate. It also featured a super cool stage. You can only hope this show comes to your town. Hundred Watt Heart was amazing live.

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I’m sure when more critics hear and review it we’ll get different comparisons, but I was lucky enough to get Kirk to agree to give me a clean reaction about the Sabbath comparison on audio and he was kind enough to agree. So I didn’t tell him what the comparison was, just that it sort of surprised me.

Still, I have to thank Kirk for being completely cool about this request for a reaction. No one respects Bloggers anymore, there’s been too many bad, biased and dishonest ones. Hey, I swim with sharks, right?  He could’ve just said no and that would have been just fine; but he’s always been an open and friendly guy so I was comfortable asking him to give his reaction. It was a lot easier in fact than getting the audio on youtube. The video is what it is. Its about what he said.

So here’s Cap’n Kirk Douglas, leader of Hundred Watt Heart, reacting to being compared to Black Sabbath. Its rough,  but you can clearly hear us. Not a youtube expert yet.

So there you have it, Kirk’s reaction and a great little Ozzy story you wont find elsewhere.

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Left to Right – The Real McTeag, Michael Grace jr (of My FavoriteMy Favorite) and Cap’n Kirk Douglas

Here’s a longer interview with the band from Relix –

Read more: https://relix.com/blogs/detail/premiere-the-roots-captain-kirk-douglas-shares-song-from-forthcoming-hundred-watt-heart-project/#ixzz5osSwOXps

Trump’s Sick Joke – Early Release for ‘American Taliban’ John Walker-Lindh

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Its been a long time since the early days of the War of Necessity in Afghanistan. In New York City the smell of the destroyed towers still blew in toxic clouds to every corner of Manhattan at some point every day that dreary, angry fall.  It’s a time no one really wants to be reminded of. We mark it solemnly and move on because it’s still painful. Sadly this president trades in pain. Especially when he co-opts the pain of 9-11, an incident he made money off and lied about from day one.

As an insulting and offensive reminder of 9-11 President Trump allowed early release for a hated Traitor whose name is forever tied to that day.

Thanks to Donald Trump, John Walker Lindh is a Free Man. The president didn’t stop it for reasons all his own.

It looks to many like he just wants to minimize Treason and insult the CIA.

The Tale of Johnny Taliban

Very soon after the 9-11 Attacks, we got  real sickening surprise. Among the evil Taliban we found an American from California who just loved shooting at American soldiers with an AK-47. Somehow we took him alive. Maybe heroin had led him down a bad trail, you can see for yourself in the pictures he could have been drugged up, but it doesn’t really matter WHY he was shooting at Americans.

John Walker-Lindh was and is dangerous. He was then and he is now. Looking back to 2001 he was way too involved with the people who attacked America. He may have offered them some tips on how to fit in for all we know. As far as I’m concerned he may as well have been flying one of those planes

He took up arms against his country in very proactive way. Like shooting at people proactive, which is obviously really violent and extreme. We don’t know he didn’t manage to kill one of the Americans he was, lets face it, trying to kill!

Lindh was right there in it, he was captured on the 25th of November, 2001 just weeks into the war. To dispel any romance about him, he was on the run from US Forces for weeks and he surrendered when the rest of his unit gave up. So calling him a real follower seems fair.

He was down with al Qaeda. He MET Osama bin Laden! He was an enemy combatant. At just 20 years old he couldn’t even buy a beer. He was rightfully hated by Americans for his actions. And he’s still the same guy. Unrepentant and evil to the core.

People reacted emotionally to Lindh. Hatefully called “The American Taliban” or mockingly derided as “Johnny Taliban” he was scorned and would have been ripped apart by an angry mob anywhere in America.

A lot of people thought he should be shot on the pitcher’s mound of Yankee Stadium by an NYPD firing squad; and I would have bought a ticket. They would probably have been hard to get. He bought peoples anger right to the surface. I think it’s because he looked like any one of us if he cleaned himself up and could have done something sinister anywhere easily.

For better or worse, George W Bush’s Justice Department’s preferred image was that of  a ‘kinder, gentler’ Department, maybe even just a little more for white people. So in the end they gave him just 20 years. It was an unpopular outcome.  I considered it too light at the time. I still think it deserved no less than 25 to life. Or, hey, Death.

Trump;s Sick Johe-Now Lindh Walks Among Us

Thanks to President Trump, Now he walks among us. The 38 year old is a real threat to the American People and early parole just isn’t for people like him. I know I don’t sound too progressive here, but the Boston Bomber is going to die, why is Lindh walking free? Probably only cause he’s white.  I’m a strict Constitutionalist on Treason. If it’s really treason you should really die.

But he’s walking around Free and I think he’s looking for a way to hurt people. Obviously, he needed all of that extra jail time of that too short sentence and more.

Enter the Commander-in-Cheat blowing off an easy call – asking he remain locked up. If Lindh were an of Arab descent would he have been silent? because to Trump this wasnt worth so much as a tweet. Its like he lacks all connection and sentiment for his the his home town of New York Lindh helped attack.

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Trump Endorsing White Privilege

Let’s be honest; John Walker-Lindh owes his light sentence and his life to what amounts to White Privilege pure and simple. Does anyone think a fourth generation Pakistani-American would have gotten the same sentence? Or anyone but a white rich guy? White Privilege makes this release even more appealing to Trump.

Make no mistake the early release of John Walker-Lindh is tantamount to letting an aspiring Oklahoma City Bomber (at least) loose on the streets of America. He’s not ready for or deserving of freedom. He’s still a young man and he’s clearly had time to think up awful things to do to people he hates. I doubt he was reading the classics in prison. This guy’s a threat and should have gotten life. Or Death.

But John Walker-Lindh is a white guy whose family had some money. His more than decent lawyers got him charged with Providing comfort to the enemy and 20 years instead of Treason and Death. At the time it was seen to be a very brilliantly litigated legal coup by the defense. The sentence was considered by most extremely light in face of the facts we knew. Sold to the court as sort of an OCD Idiot who happened onto Islam, his lawyers did well. He’d walk free still a young man. I hated it.

It happened the way it did because there was an eagerness then to just want him to be misguided and maybe crazy rather than a guy who wanted with all his heart to kill Americans. It was done to make people feel like no sane American could ever do this willingly. It was saying that there wasn’t a terrorist lurking inside everyone waiting to come out. The guy was just another asshole. It made everyone a little less nervous.

We were wrong about all of that. Seems the only person who didn’t figure this out was ‘President’ Trump.

Nothing more than a letter to the parole would have been needed. Trump chose not to act.

Now President Trump is releasing Lindh early despite the charges of “Providing Support to the Taliban” being the sort of thing a self proclaimed ‘Law and Order’ president would rightly be expected to go hard on. But instead this accomplice to the murder of a CIA Agent will go free.

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A recently captured in Lindh in 2001

He looked like a Chechen rebel and maybe had powder burns on his face. If captured with the Nazis doing the same thing in 1944 he would have been tried and hung.

 

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Now and Then

After he was in jail in Afghanistan he still got into trouble again in a prison riot that cost the life of the very first American to die in Afghanistan, CIA agent ‘Johnny” Michael Spann. His daugter Alison Spann advocated strongly to his early release and I am inclined to agree.

Some prison recent prison documents in the form of his writings and a few statements show Lindh’s no more than an unrepentant fan of ISIS and a real jerk who might try something again. He probably should have served his time at GITMO considering these results. He’s learned nothing.

He’s as dumb as Trump and is now also his pawn.

Minimizing Teason and Insulting the CIA

So WHY the early parole? I see President Trump’s hand. He sees a chnce to both downplay Treason AND slap the intelligence Community in the face. Lindh was, after all, paty to  the killing of a CIA Agent.

It’s wrong and it’s UnAmerican that he serves one minute less than the 20 years. I saw what he helped do in New York, I don’t like the guy. Still, hows hating America and admiring ISIS ‘Good Behavior” for a guy who is supposedly getting out early for being ‘rehabilitated?

Trump’s wrong as always to allow this to happen. He loves that its happening and maybe he’ll mention it. Walker IS white though, so maybe not.

The only people who had a ‘Good Day’ on 9-11 were soulless Rudy Ghouliani who kust loved being on TV,  Lindh and Osama bin Laden for obvious reasons, and, no longer surprisingly, a lying, gloating Donald Trump. who spent the day lying and gloating and has amassed a heap of 9-11  lies since.

If you look at the people this president has pardoned or freed its a sad list of mostly true criminals, creeps and lately, military murderers (with the odd Kardashian-aided exception)

Its all to denigrate the office of president. I still believe thats his witting or unwitting Kremlin mission

 

I Survived The Attack of the Bed Bugs and You Can Too! NYC Edition

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Well it was over 5 weeks ago that I awoke covered with bed bug bites and discovered a nice sized colony of a few dozen in the folds of my bed.  A Useless (but quite normal) panic attack ensued.

So here’s how I got through it; in short- I used “The All of the Above” Approach

Moment to moment escape tips are at the end if that’s all you need. 

Oh No, It’s For Real! 

How did this happen? I’m really clean! Was it the subway? The movies? The library? That time I accidentally put a hat on my bed? (Probably)It no longer matters, the problems right here.

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If you have anti-anxiety meds, now’s the time. Ignoring this will be appealing, but only make it worse. Smoke something, have a drink or whatever, cancel plans and after a little while coming to terms with this horror story and get to work ending it.

So youre gonna want some rubbing alcohol, lots of it. For one thing it takes the sting out of the bites real well, for another it kills bed bugs on contact, so get some atomizer bottles too. Or an old cleanser bottle, more on this later when we get to the Bed Bug Phazer

After I got up off the floor I realized my bed and box spring were shot. Out they went with the bed frame. Fast as possible. Then, being a cautious kind of guy I tossed my bedbugs1area rug. You’re supposed to encase these things in plastic trash them before you throw them out so no one else takes them in.

Clear shower liners and duct tape work, or thicker disposable plastic painters drop clothes. You might want some of these for sorting your stuff since its all possibly infested (and you have to act like it is or you wont get rid of them). This is overkill, because you’ll still need to clean the floor, but it wont hurt. So the stuff went outside looking like Chernobyl waste.

This didn’t stop some idiot from taking both, in just the time it took me to retrieve the spray paint to mark them “Bed Bugs”.  So, as blood smeared as they were, encased in clear plastic and clearly sketchy, they were snatched up.  Honestly, it looked like someone was murdered on them; but some people just see garbage as gold. So, too bad for them.

Back to me. I started running all my clothes and drapes through the drier at the laundromat. Budget like 75 bucks for this and only wash what you must. Drying for over a half hour will kill the bugs in its own, but youre gonna wanna keep washing what you always wash. You might get away with washing at regular temperature, its a long hot stint in the drier that’s the killer of bed bugs. The washing machine WILL probably kill most anyway, but they cant survive a half hour in a drier on high. ALWAYS DRY ON HIGH FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES FOREVER MORE!!!

You’re about to spend a fortune. Keep receipts. Some may come back to you depending on local laws.

Right as I’m going through this science discovers they’re even tougher than we thought, surviving the asteroid the killed the damn dinosaurs! DAUNTING TO SAY THE LEAST.

I bought some kind of flea and bed bug fogger and pulled everything off the walls. I went triple dosage. I spent 4 rainy hours wandering Queens waiting for it to dissipate. Of course the fogger said it can’t outright kill them, but it did say it would keep the small ones from  maturing, so hopefully the populations now static and I’m killing the ones that are left. And thanks to the fogger they are messed up and can no longer have sex. This makes me feel a little better. If I can’t neither can they, right? Because, lets face it, my social lifes fucked for a month.

The City to the Rescue

My landlord here in Queens is an asshole who tried to escalate it into an eviction. My lease was almost up, he might’ve had me. So I called 311, City Services. When they found out my landlord threatened eviction they kicked it to the cops. STAY CALM. This could have ended with my landlord in cuffs for yelling at me, but I just decided that the Police should know he was an asshole and leave it at that. So with that in my hip pocked i started googling and throwing stuff away.

They immediately started hassling my landlords ass and after a sleepless night I got the landlords exterminator there for the first dose.  Plus throwing me out now is some kind of retaliation so the new lease was tendered and signed. 7 days later, where your apartments a dump filled with sealed trash bags the whole time.

Also, as far as the city goes,  if you keep the paperwork and are sort of diligent, you can have the city send over a super adorable Jack Russell terrier to re-check the place, but it has to be at least a month after the insecticide treatment for them to be able to detect them.

Surviving

There was no to ways about it, I had to go crazy washing and throwing stuff away like crazy. For days after sleep deprived day. It’s a long, painful, expensive game.

It sucks but there’s a couple of hacks to save some money. But wow is your dry cleaning bill gonna suck. You can space it out by isolating stuff in sealed bags that you’ll never open in the house again.

You’ll need lots of large strong garbage bags. Clear bags are the best cause they need no labeling. I couldnt find any in time. I labelled the bags with a sharpie and some painters tape. It paid off a million times over because you dont want to keep re-opening suspect bags.

As NYC heat laws made the couch up against the radiator across the room the last place they’d want to be I opted to try to use it as a bed. It worked out as far as I was never bitten again. But I slept like I was in a cage at GITMO as far as sleep goes. Dont count on being rested for awhile. Again, some anti-anxiety meds might make a huge difference. I would stay way from ambien though, unless you want to have bed bug hallucinations and no sleep. Valium, xanax, seroquel. Something like that.

Now you’re not gonna get anywhere if your ‘bed’ touches any wall or drapes, make it an island. Don’t let your sheets touch the floor. Check them every day for blood and put all your bedding through the wash like every 4 days and dry it for a half hour like every day!

A Dash of Luck is As Much as You Need

There was one unaffected piece of furniture I could sleep on. I had to concentrate on how much worse it could have been. Sleeping in a sleeping bag in a hardwood floor? Or maybe a long walk to try to buy a pool float to sleep on would have been even worse.

Losing Your Mind

Well this WILL probably happen if youre coming out of winter into spring and you already were cooped up for awhile, but no matter when it hits you, it’s depressing. You’ll feel filthy and you’;; be throwing things away like crazy and you will have to lose sentiment in a way moving never approaches. So much has to go.

And you’ll be a little apprehensive about going to sleep. I advise a trip to the shrink or doctor for something valium or xanax. I never felt so filthy and worthless, and for the first 2 weekends it sort of seemed unfair to to others to be out as I suspected I always had them on me (probably untrue)

Surprising  Saves and Hacks

Well, the plague claimed my Jets hats. It was the same hat I left on the bed by mistake and started this whole run of bad luck, but thats another post. Maybe that was the source as the infestation as it appeared right where the hat made contact. One way or another, NEVER PUT A HAT ON A BED!!!

Books and picture frames are supposed to go or be sealed for a year. I went with a novel and dangerous approach to saving my baseball hats as they wont survive the drier.

Vacuum like nuts and run it for a minute when youre done to trap them inside. Dont change bags inside. I emptied my dyson container at the public trash can on my corner. NEVER INSIDE!

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BUT I DID IT. As we all know from High School English class paper burns at about 451 degrees. Bed bugs die after about an hour at 140. I lucked out on this as I had an electric oven with NO OPEN FLAME. if you have a gas oven you’re out of luck. You’ll burn your house down for sure. However, I cooked my books, while I was right there with a  timer, at 170 degrees. About 40 minutes will do a medium sized book set upright on the rack as high as possible above the element.

Fitted baseball hats are good after 30 minutes but I went an extra 5.

After

As it really seems to start to be over stay vigilant. Fix and pay may lay off some of this expense on my landlord.

Change your anti-roach discs and treat for them too.  Fun Fact – Bed Bugs LAUGH at roach killer and anything short of napalm in most cases.  Small roaches are hard to tell from bed bugs. So try to wipe them out as best you can at the same time, if nothing else for piece of mind. Because believe me, your going to be looking through every bug you kill through a magnifying glass to make sure it’s not a bed bug. (Oh yeah, buy a magnifying glass)

As I write this Im starting week 6.

In retrospect waiting out the toxic spray the exterminator used that took like 5 or 6 hours to be non lethal by seeing the 3 hour Avengers Endgame movie was the only fun part. Good movie.  Captain Marvel was good too, but left me with a lot more time to kill. You’ll be at the movies and probably the library a lot. Ironic, right?

I’ve reduced the amount of bags and chaos and most of my new Wayfair stuff is here and bed bug proof. Ive cleaned and repopulated the dresser and the closet and I’ve moved onto my new bed. You’d think I’d be fine but now I’m actually the most stressed as the idea they may come back and monopolize my time again is palpable.

I also have some not so paranoid new routines. They fall under the “Ounce of prevention” school of thought.

Street clothes go into a hamper or closable bin before I turn in. I change and rinse my hair if not shower before bed and never sit on my bed with regular clothes and never go sit anywhere but bed in my bed clothes.  My backpack NEVER gets near my bed and gets run through the drier once a week for a half hour on high forever more. Jackets too. My jackets hand far from my bed and some stuff done for a whole year til I’m sure the bed bugs are as dead like they deserve to be.

To keep me sane I have my one proactive weapon.

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I truly enjoyed throwing my GITMO couch away

My Bed Bug Phazer

Do all the googling you can. There’s lots of information on line and this is just a few tips, not the comprehensive way for surefire extermination.

Some extermination companies have lots of great info, in fact thats what led me to my Bed Bug phazer.

Simply put rubbing alcohol or Dawn dishwashing liquid kills all stages of bed bug and eggs on contact.. Whether other brands work I didnt research, Dawns readily available here. I suspect it does, but why take chances?  1/3 rubbiing alcohol, 1/3 water, 1/3 dawn will create the most deadly anti bed bug sprat ever. So I mist the area around my bed every night, spray suspect areas near where they like to hang out and I feel kinda powerful.

The pile of bloody mattresses and pictures in the trash along with the Wayfair boxes from other apartments tell me theyre still here. So I taped over all outlets not in use. The bastards love to travel along electric wires. Tape your over your unused outlests and around the edges of any poorly fitted outlet plates. Again, blue painters tape works.

So good luck my friend. Tonight, going on 6 weeks in I will sleep on valium with my Bed Bug Phazer at my side. I will be having that Jack Russell back to be sure theyre gone, but lifes changed. I’ll have Bed Bug PTSD for some time.

But, if you do your research, throw away stuff like crazy and saty calm things will eventually get better. And whatever you do, dont cut corners. This is a war. Think Im kidding? I’m still not sure that weird flu-like spell where I was sick for 3 days wasnt them. Lets face it I was also depressed, forced to stay out in the spring rain a lot and not sleeping well. Even if not the direct cause, they ended up making me sick.

So take it seriously and remember – slow and steady wins the race. Stay vigilant forever more. Lastly – Fear No Bed Bugs! We also survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and we have the brains to fight them!

Cleared by the Bedbug Dog

New York City is strict and punitive when it comes to bedbugs.  I requested a bedbug dog check out the place and they happily obliged. Keep in mind it has to be at least a month after you chemically treat the place or the dog can’t detect anything I worked with 311, essentially filing a new complaint a month later, so I could have this oeace of mind. So worth it!

So you get a visit from a city housing inspector with a super cute dog. All my paranoia and overkill had paid off. The apartment was certified bed bug free. Also, the housing inspector was a totally alright guy who gigged my landlord to fix some other stuff.

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Seriously once the dog cleared me I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And I could lay off the ongoing expense. I was still scared and all OCD about it until this reassuring thing happened. Now I can finally stop looking at mosquito bites and every bug I kill here under a magnifying glass.

It Was a Real Life Horror Story- My Mini-Escape Tips

Well, as you finish this post here’s some things that helped me survive. It’s a horror story,  you can’t totally turn it off. So you might as well embrace it. Take advantage of every free offer for home movie services. You’ll still have a TV, a computer or device, and a smartphone. You’ll want to use these to escape.

Watch everything on Netflix (wild wild country will take up a whole night).  I didn’t have the energy to play guitar or Game much. So its possible you’ll be a bit lethargic at home. Better that than in a panic though.

The first six Black Sabbath albums were made for real life pain this bad. Maybe check them out.

Kubrick movies, movies about Kubrick movies, movies about the people who worked on Kubrick Movies all helped. Full Metal Jacket especially was enhanced by paranoia and feeling under siege. And the ending is even more ominous. As Rafterman says in the penultimate scene, “Hardcore man, Hardcore.”    Joker_fmj

Youtube Red has a lot of books from before Audible. Just search “Book on tape” and a subject or title and save 20 bucks, you’ll need that money.

Watch Horror a little. Sci-fi and escapism are good too.

And red more. Read Horror. I did. It was appropriate. Im biased Hey, my friend Josh WROTE Bird Box, i re-read that. SO I KNOW about not wanting to open your eyes! Sadly that book was too thick to save. So he’ll be making some more money soon as I need a new copy. Im pissed it was the first edition!  This time I’m gonna have it inscribed.

 

 

 

 

Tolkien Movie- 20 Reasons Why You Should See It

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Fresh back from seeing the Tolkien movie and I have to say the absence of Peter Jackson’s influence was the best thing about it. In other words, it wasn’t re-invented with lots of crying and conflict. It was pretty much an accurate life story.

It was also a good watch, more cinema than movie. This movie delivers on several levels.

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Here’s some of the things I found charming

1- While the great authors childhood is somewhat truncated Colm Meaney delivers as the the Catholic priest who becomes guardian to the Tolkien brothers when JRR Tolkien is about 12.

2- The youth and education of Tolkien are well portrayed by a fine cast of children.

3- The young adult cast are superbly selected and there’s no wondering which one is which, they strongly resemble their younger counterparts

4- The Battle sequence that weaves the movie together is fantastic, horrific and beautiful all at once

5- The costumes and sets were great. From the civilian clothes to the military uniforms the feel of the movies very authentic.

6- Good use of CGI despite it not being ‘Avengers’ level

7- Since this generation only knows the fond old pipe smoking man from the photo on the back of the novels there was a real need to show what he was all about.

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8- Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins have real chemistry

9- The script is unique and compelling

10- Its NOT a superhero movie. It’s about time!

11- Never devolves into Downton Alley despite the time its set in

12- Insights into his inspiration are well portrayed, especially as a he wanders the battlefield in a semi hallucinatory state from trench fever searching for a close friend

13- The word “Fellowship” will enter your lexicon

14- It’s DIFFERENT. If you blow this off you’re kind of saying you just want 25 superhero flicks a year. Throw 16 bucks at this and maybe we get a Silmarillion movie

15- Though grand in scale, its not grandiose. Its a relatable movie to anyone who knows friendship, love, loss, pain and shows you Tolkien’s so called  “Fire of Creation”.

16- Maybe if it does well we get a Tolkien book  made into a movie by someone other than disrespectful Peter Jackson. Dome Karukoski’s direction is spot on.

17- Most “Creative Process” movies are documentaries. It would be great to explore some great authors writing process in dramatic form….except that CS Lewis movie with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, what a piece of crap!

18-For you Marvel die-hards, this doing well is probably the only way there’ll ever be a Stan Lee biopic. Let’s face it, with the deluge of Marvel movies we probably need one of those too.

19- We’re spared ALL MENTION of uber-boring CS Lewis who wrote dozens of stories but all of 3 good books whereas Tolkien wrote only 4 in his lifetime and all were incredible.

20- The foreseeable ending is exactly what you want

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Was it perfect? No but it was not really flawed either. Pacing was good, the acting, story and directing are good. All the moving pieces unite well. While Tolkien was quite religious I do not think the word Catholic was in the movie. If you pay attention they use the term priest, but fantastic Colm Meaney’s wardrobe is more episcopalian to the eye. A catholic priest (my uncle whom I saw it with) confirmed a small percentage of catholic priests DID wear that garb around World War 1, so its still accurate in a sense. But probably less than 10% of the  priests of the time dressed that way. I don’t consider this a flaw.

So what are you waiting for? See this underrated piece of cinema

In a rare treat, I got to interact on Twitter with the creative force behind the movie just a little, I make no apologies for my admiring reactions. I truly enjoyed his movie;  here’s my twitter interaction with  Dome Karukoski –

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here’s two trailers

 

The Bi-Polar Barr Hearing

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I don’t feel like I’m alone viewing William Barr as a 2nd tier Lucas Movie Villain. He’s dishonest, dishonorable and belongs in a museum.barr.jpg

Today’s partisan hearing was a reflection of our bi-polar government. As senators coddled or cudgeled Barr based on party affiliation you gotta think the momentum is with the Democrats.

Sure, it’s the Senate where the GOP is in control, but this is certainly yet another cut in into the Orange flesh of the liar at 1600’s Administration.

When i tuned in it was Ernst, who gently asked about what the Russians may be up to, that friendly question from a Republican drew an evasive answer. It made him all the more unsympathetic when he was then rightly bashed by Blumenthal. Then he was coddled by Blackburn, bashed by Booker and so it went. Hirono was by far the heashest and rightly called Barr a liar.

When elaborating conspiracy theories and accepting praise from the right of course Barr looked like a victim. It was when the Democrats put the screws to him his spineless nature came right out.

Whenever questioned by a Democrat Barr’s voice was always a bit more affected if you ask me, with his regionalisms coming out. A “liars tell”?

On the topic of Foreign Adversaries who attacked our election Barr rarely seemed fully read in (this is the Attorney General mind you) and seemed to lack the competence to understand what happened or whats going on now.

Barr wasn’t good holding forth in the face of Corey Booker at all. The presidential hopeful questioned Barr’s honesty and barr had a hard time pitching any justifications. Bookers questions were damaging to the Attorney General, who SHOULD resign, but getting Barr to answer anything was always like nailing jello to a wall.

Tarheel GOP hater Tom Tillis shifted back into love-fest mode. The GOP senators had two points. It was a really gig investigation and the he, Barr, was totally justified to change (or at least obscure) its conclusions. Tillis offered a stiff defense of the way Barr has behaved as AG.  He went with a numbers approach to make it as boring and obscure s possible because Math, in and of itself, really has no relation to whether something is a crime or not.

The GOP refrain was this is just a sour grapes second stab at the reputation of poor president Trump, king of victimhood.

Senator Kamala Harris asked Barr if he’d had anyone asking him to launch punitive investigations. Barr just couldn’t answer. He was more disrespectful to Harris than others. I’m not sure if it because shes running for president, a woman of color or both.

Barr chaffed a bit when he delivered up stock denials on methodology questions about his offices approach. He wouldn’t say much about what they do and less about what people think they do.

Barr tried to punt to Mueller but Harris had none of it. The next move by Barr was to try to shift responsibility to Rosenstein.

Barr didn’t distinguish himself in his knowledge of his own departments methods at all.

Mike Crapo of Idaho from the GOP side was a little less affectionate to Barr, but by no means beat him up.

Barr never raised himself to a Star Trek or Bond Villain level like his boss often does.

Any sympathy bought by Barr was immediately destroyed by the chummy conversation with Senator from Hell Ted Cruz; where Barr suddenly had full commend of methods ad could relate them in detail. Maybe its just that he sounds smart compared to Cruz?

Looking me like some sort of Texas whorehouse owner than any kind of a politician from this century Cruz was that guy we’ve all grown to hate. He still managed to stump Barr by mistake once.

Their conversation was a paranoid and unamerican trip down Kremlin Misinformation lane. I walked away wondering who pulls Cruz’s strings

Ending Round 1 Pat Leahy, Democrat of Vermont went back to questions of more relevance. Like one focused on Barr’s motives in releasing his strange 4 page letter last month. He also expressed concern and asked Barr to commit not to interfere to not interfere in any ongoing investigations. Barr was evasive and took 3 lame swipes at an answer. Leahy wasn’t too thrilled with him. It’s also not clear if Barr actually agreed NOT to interfere based on his own bizarre view of his role and powers.

Instead of just adjourning the Lindsay Graham opted for what amounted to a “Lightning Round” where it was a roulette wheel of Senators and questions

Barr was unsettled by some of this enough to start trying to dispel the idea that there were any “Underlying crimes”. He wasn’t making a lot of sense.

Then Dick Durbin of Illinois had some seriously unsettling questions about how Barr is mishandling the Trump Inaugural committee, which is mired in a multi million dollar scandal that’s looking criminal.

Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island essentially laced right in. The Democrat was slightly pre-heated and was frustrated with the way Barr was evading. He was more able to box in and nail down Barr. His line of questioning was about foreign money and Grand Jury material being suppressed. Barr came off confused. A terrible look for the Attorney General of the United States.
Klobuchar grilled Barr on whether the Mueller Report reviewed Trumps taxes, Barr claimed ignorance.

Quoting pages and passages Klobuchar tried to get some accountability from Barr. You cant get blood from a stone  though, and he inartfully dodged any substantial answer.

In a final semi bombshell Klobuchar asked if the presidents conduct was consistent with his Oath of Office. Barr said it was his call that everything was cool.

Lightning Round continued with Blumenthal. He had specific questions in specific conversations that may haunt Barr later.

In general Barr spent a lot of time looking pretty damn bad. He was clueless on purpose to stonewall at times, but looking clueless just undermines the Justice Department he purports to run

Barrs most bizarre statement was putting words in Mueller’s mouth where he claimed Mueller was pretty much behind him and they barely disagree on anything. This seems ridiculous right off the bat. There’s a letter in the public record where Mueller outright questions the way Barr’s motives in mischarachterizing his report.

Lindsey Graham ended the session and promised to write a letter asking for any clarifications. GOP ass kissing was allowed in 5 second round of praise from some GOP member.

In a final petty gesture Barr described the angry letter from Mueller as ‘snitty’ and probably written by an underling. He held to the Republican line the presidents a victim in this. Forget about the idea that the president is a criminal, that’s his view of the system. That we have a designated criminal as a president,

The Two Two Faces of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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The Mueller Report – The Lies of Sister Sarah

We all knew that eventually proximity to Trump was going to cause Good Ol’ Gal Sarah Huckabee Sanders some problems. While I speculate one day the criminality she’s been part of will come back to haunt her I didn’t think she’d figure deeply into the Mueller Report, and she didn’t.

None the less, her talking out of both sides of her mouth was one of the first stories to ruminate through the headlines when the report, or what we’ve been allowed to see of it, dropped. Seems Sarah’s Christian values don’t include even the slightest guilt about lying unless there’s jail time involved.

And her lies werent to mitigate Trump’s insanity, she was burnishing it.

The Mueller Report showed her to be an Enabler rather than any of  the authors of the Anonymous New York Times “White House Resistor” article, where the idea was to stick around at the expense to your own dignity just to keep Trump from blowing up the world.

When James Comey was fired for not dropping the Flynn Investigation Sarah had a series of May 2017 pressers (remember when we had pressers?) where she simply lied to the American People. Her repeated lie, which she’s since told some more lies about, was that her phone was ringing off the hook with grateful FBI Agents thanking her for Trump’s firing of  Comey. I’m not sure why they thought she would want to hear it. I guess she took the (fictional) calls in between high 5-ing all the other FBI Agents she claimed stopped her to tell her how glad they were their boss had been fired amid a torrent of abusive comments about the Bureau itself.

When in front of Mueller Sarah actually told the truth. These were pure lies made up from whole cloth. Obviously she was parroting her boss.

Cries she be fired are now pretty universal. The Fox White House guy may even be on board with that one, he has to listen to the lies too, right?  But this is how Trump likes it.

By the third week of April we’ve had 4 Pressers all year, in no regular order. This begs the question – what exactly does Sarah do these days?

From the Master Entry Why I Hate Sarah Huckabee Sanders (and Hope she Goes to Jail) begun almost 2 years ago. It’s the Internet’s most comprehensive collection of SHS insanity.

 

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Trump vs Omar – Trump’s Many 9-11 Lies

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The worst day ever. A day where even Howard Stern went into News mode and stopped all on air humor. By 10 am the entire national character was changed forever.

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The Donald’s Self Centered 9-11 Lies

What didn’t change that day was Donald Trump’s penchant for self centered grandiose lying. The buildings had just fallen when he started off a blue streak of horrible lies that continues to this day. The only person who had a 9-11 as emotionally fulfilling as Trump would be Osama bin-Laden.

And every 9-11 since Trump has refreshed and updated his lies. Always bigger than the previous years. The lies have really piled up. Eventually he presented himself falsely as prominently featuring in the recovery efforts by supplying labor and equipment. It’s untrue.

Remember just how badly he screwed the pooch last 9-11? A day where he acted a little worse every hour?

The fact is the president is simply plain old bad with serious things, especially death. Be it the death of a military hero, the death of a rival politician, the death of an average citizen, you name it. He’s made inappropriate comments about all of it. He always speaks horribly and never offers anything in the way of comfort (unless you count violent retribution).

Failing to show any compassion in the face of national tragedies has been Trump’s True North. Be it defending Nazis, disappearing completely when gun violence by angry right wingers unfolds, trashing the late John McCain or making grandiose false claims in the face of bigger tragedies, like the Hurricane that he won’t admit devastated Puerto Rico. Trump’s been a total bust in a role where the nation used to look to get a few sober words of encouragement from their leaders.

In New York Trump was already old news by 9-11 and no one was overly surprised he said outrageous hard to believe things. Mostly no one noticed because everyone except Trump and Giuliani were emotionally overwhelmed and not reading Page 6 to see Trump’s crazy claims. So some of his worst remarks were shot into the dark, luckily for him. But not all, people noticed. Trump’s vulgar personality was well known.

The things Trump has done and said revolving around 9-11 have been just plain disgusting. He started off immediately, gloating THAT DAY. As the fire raged he falsely claimed he now had the biggest building in Manhattan. Later came the delusions that he saw people falling from the building from his vantage point 4 miles away. Most obnoxious of all was maybe the lie about seeing “thousands of arabs dancing on the rooftops celebrating” when the buildings fell. This last lie seems to have no bottom and lead to some deep lows through the campaign and beyond.  More on this whopper of a falsehood later.

Shamelessly taking 150K in Federal Aid he probably didn’t deserve and definitely didn’t need was the first thing he did when the dust started to settle.

Needless to say there was no aspect of 9-11 Donald Trump didn’t personally appropriate. he was the biggest victim if he’s to be believed as far as personal loss goes. Notably saying “I lost hundreds of friends” on 9-11.  It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious. It would mean Trump knew about one out of every ten people who died in the Towers.

Does anyone believe he ever had hundreds of friends to begin with? How many friends do you have? How many of them work in the same quarter-mile area? Yeah it was downtown Manhattan, but being friends with ‘hundreds of people” in just the Towers?  This is BEFORE Facebook changed the definition of friend. There was virtually no social media yet. So anyone having ‘hundreds of friends’ in 2001 seems a stretch anyway.

So the idea you could have “hundreds of friends” who died on 9-11? Is this even true of anyone outside say the pretzel vender who had the stand outside the buildings? That’s about like as likely as having both your children become left-handed starting pitchers for the Yankees the same season kind of a long shot. It’s a damned lie.

The biggest lies Trump has uncorked about 9-11 have mostly been about seeing that aforementioned imaginary ‘massive’ celebration of arabs ‘dancing in the streets and rooftops’ of Newark when the Towers fell.  This is the claim that lead him to famously mock the disabled reporter who tried to clarify the tale, which was reported as an unverifiable rumor and NEVER involved ‘thousands’ of people.

It seems to never have happened. There’s never been any footage or pictures of it. It was just a random thing Trump happened to remember that was never really true. It was in with all the other misinformation like the car-bomb that wasn’t on the 59th Street Bridge or the pipe-bombs in the subway that were just abandoned suitcases.  In other words; it was one of the misconceptions and wild rumors that flew around in the ether that day.

It’s a story only in the papers that were put together by dazed survivors who had been in proximity of the Attacks, later on 9-11 (as limited a run as those papers were). Facts were few and far between for about a week. New York papers did some of their best and worst work at the same time. It was followed up but the reporter could never verify it. There were rumors all over the place. This one ends up being the most toxic, but not for a really long time as Trump doesn’t recall or speak of it  for 14 years.

Maybe the most notable thing about this racist lie, he’s first recorded uttering in 2015, is that its the first time we know of that he ever sees a large crowd that isn’t there.

Could these be some of the same imaginary people he saw at his inauguration?  That particular shindig, which Trump’s lied non stop about, sometimes claiming it was “a million people”, had far less than a third as many people at it as President Obama turned out in 2009, where it really was close to TWO MILLION people on hand in the moment in DC. So it’s a notable first as far as outright hallucinations the ‘president’ occasionally has.

Back to Trump’s extraordinary claim. I personally refute it based on the fact I lived through the same events here in the New York City area and can tell you it absolutely would have ended in murder if you tried to be happy and start dancing the day 9-11 happened. It wouldn’t have been something only one person ever saw. The people who did something like that would have been jailed for inciting a riot the moment such behavior began if someone didn’t simply attack them first.

Anyone who had attempted to dance and celebrate on 9-11 would have been physically attacked, possibly killed and the killers would have gotten Community Service on 9-11. Where’s the police records? Where’s the Emergency Room records? Where are the court records for the crimes this would have sparked. Where’s even one other witness to this massive display?

The Bully in the Bully Pulpit resurrects this day far too often. And always for far too little. In this case it’s just his mean-spirited nature can’t miss a chance to attack a minority female and its wrapped up in 9-11 to disguise his attack. I feel like it comes off as part of his whole hatred of women and minorities more than anything else.

The day of 9-11 was horrifying and wouldn’t end. Only Trump found a way to celebrate that day. Trump knows an ignorant cottage industry sprung up around 9-11 and when he lies about it it’s just a mentally ill guy looking to create other mentally ill people to hang out with.

It’s strange that History will have no choice but to call Trump “a powerful, seductive voice” but it just will. He’s led Marine Generals and captains of Industry off of cliffs. And still they keep falling in line to fall of that cliff. It’s plain old hard to fathom how anyone finds him well spoken or compelling enough for the label to fit but it is what it is.

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Trump Vs Omar

Right now we have a lot of anger being stoked by Trump taking some out of context quotes from Rep Ihan Omar, who isn’t the best speaker, and trying to make it into an endorsement of the Attacks. Honestly the twitter meme Trump sent out was pretty low and creepy and fits with the idea he’s working with Putin to divide Americans.

The out of context audio clip by Omar was bad and dishonest enough without looping it and juxtaposing it with the worst moments of 9-11. Like 7 times in a row.  Ihan Omar, elected from the sae state that gave us Michele Bachmann, is something  of a poorly spoken novice as a freshman House of Representatives member from Minnesota. While she may need charm school she seems to have only said true things in a way that some people have either been offended by or opted to seize on. It’s not too hard to make her look bad. This was a bridge too far to start with. Its also  just a pretty flimsy pretext to send a message straight out of the Third Reich as far as hatefulness. Way too eager to be a creep there.

When it comes to 9-11 I’m a lot less prone to be upset or offended by someone understating the whole thing than I do with a person who misappropriates it and co-opts it to advance their own egotistical designs.

So the real Trolls of 9-11 have always been Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, not necessarily in that order at any given time, but really, no one’s said anything that comes close to what these two have said.

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