The Racist South Shall Rise Again, Thanks to Trump


Hard to tell if it is 2017 or 1917. It is no coincidence that Trump’s election has led to a great resurgence in the white nationalist movement. We can only guess what the Great Tweeter’s reaction will be. SAD

From the NY Times:


After white nationalists and neo-Nazis faced off with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., a state of emergency was declared

Saturday, August 12, 2017 12:06 PM EDT

The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville on Saturday as a protest of a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general turned violent, leaving several people injured and threatening to plunge the area into chaos.
Protesters clashed in the historic college town on Saturday, as white nationalists — some waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets and carrying shields — converged on the statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park and the surrounding streets, and as the police retreated. The protest was the apparent culmination of more than a year of debate and division over the fate of the statue.

Desert rain is different. How come?

Because most of it is recycled wastewater that has evaporated above the Ina Road Treatment Plant. Eventually those molecules collide in the atmosphere with water used for agricultural irrigation on the western slope of the Sierra Madres, which has also evaporated, but contains nitrates from fertilizer. This fragrant brew is then drawn north by high pressure. When the dew point hits around 60, some of it falls as rain but most becomes Modelo Negro and some as Coors.

It is not good for you.

Sam Negri, meteorologist

Glen Campbell: Gentle on My Mind

Glen Campbell’s death released him from the curse of Alzheimer’s. He went on a final tour few years ago to increase awareness of the disease. He agreed to make a documentary, well worth seeing: “I’ll Be Me.”

He was generous in giving others a boost, and his recording of “Gentle on My Mind” was a prime example. John Hartford, a banjo, fiddle player and gifted poet wrote the song. He recorded it, but got little attention. After Campbell recorded it and made it a hit, it won four Grammys, two of which sent to Hartford.

Hartford died in 2001 at the age of 63. Campbell was 81.

Here are the lyrics to Gentle on My Mind, ever worth remembering:

It’s knowin’ that your door is always open
And your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleepin’ bag
Rolled up and stashed behind your couch
And it’s knowin’ I’m not shackled
By forgotten words and bonds
And the ink stains that have dried upon some line
That keeps you in the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
That keeps you ever gentle on my mind

It’s not clingin’ to the rocks and ivy
Planted on their columns now that bind me
Or something that somebody said because
They thought we fit together walkin’
It’s just knowing that the world
Will not be cursing or forgiving
When I walk along some railroad track and find
That you’re movin’ on the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
And for hours you’re just gentle on my mind

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines
And the junkyards and the highways come between us
And some other woman’s cryin’ to her mother
‘Cause she turned and I was gone
I still might run in silence
Tears of joy might stain my face
And the summer sun might burn me till I’m blind
But not to where I cannot see
You walkin’ on the back roads
By the rivers flowin’ gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’ cracklin’ cauldron
In some train yard
My beard a rustlin’ coal pile
And a dirty hat pulled low across my face
Through cupped hands ’round a tin can
I pretend to hold you to my breast and find
That you’re waitin’ from the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
Ever smilin’, ever gentle on my mind


Gentle On My Mind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC




The Evolution of a Dung Heap


The U.S. was bombing Iraq with shock and awe and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was spitting on his comb and running it through his hair. It had all the makings of a screenplay but in fact it had all the ingredients of a real war. Buildings were collapsing, people were getting killed and when it was all over, George Bush declared victory and confirmed that in his view it was indeed all over.

But of course it was not. The columnist Mark Shields, during one of his weekly appearances on the PBS News Hour., spoke about the disconnect between the official party line and reality. You can believe what the president says, or you can believe what you see with your own eyes on the nightly newscasts. The footage clearly illustrated the gap between the president’s propaganda machine and reality.  It was hard for Shields to believe that anyone would think the president had a firm grasp of reality or the truth.

Which brings us to our present state of affairs in the Trump White House. In that historic building, illusion and reality have occupied the same bed for only 200 days but have managed to spawn a new offspring. We call it the factual lie.

The president’s bluster and strings of juvenile superlatives fools no one. That’s what we’re tempted to believe. People are generally rational, we like to think, and they can hardly be fooled by a provincial gasbag from Queens. And yet how can we ignore the fact that millions of seemingly honest, hard-working individuals think the president is just a victim of a bigoted press? Even when news outlets quote the president directly or show video footage of his speeches or declarations about life as a sexual predator, the conclusion that Trump supporters come to is that everybody is just making stuff up. Evidently there is an enormous population that gets something out of Trump’s  blustering cacophony that sane people are missing.

It does not help public policy or adult debate to have people like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway, not to mention the remarkably crude Anthony Scaramucci, interpreting and defending the president’s emissions. Spicer and the Mooch are, thankfully, past tense, now members of a growing population in the land of political detritus. But Conway is still out there doing her imitation of  the conniving Livia trying to out-fox the many weasels parading in and out of the White House. on a weekly basis, and Steve Bannon continues to lurk and plot like a Roman assassin. We predict the dung heap will become a tower of Babel before this is over.

And so it is important that we repeatedly sound the alarm. The Philistines have stormed the highest reaches of our alleged civility. The least we can do is look to the midterm elections while acknowledging that history has taken a disgusting and dangerous turn in the United States.