Bird that Sings

September 25, 2012

AIN’T NO REPUBLICAN

Filed under: AIN'T NO REPUBLICAN,Uncategorized — admin @ 10:01 am

The lyrics and a list of players are below. A performance of the song as well a video collage can be found at . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZzgf-MrSkg&feature=youtu.be

 

AIN’T NO REPUBLICAN- the lyrics

Well I might be a liar

and I might be a thief

might take the path of least resistance

when I’m seeking some relief

I might do anything for money

and still don’t got me none

but at least I ain’t a Republican

at least I ain’t a Republican

 

Well I might go call in sick to work

and then go out and play

I might roll the dice and lose all night

and cheat at cards all day

I might curse the darkness

and then damn the rising sun

but at least I ain’t a Republican

at least I ain’t a Republican

 

Well I might kick the dog some

and I might throw the cat

I might attack my television

with a big old baseball bat

I might spend Sunday on the highway

shooting small game with my gun

but at least I ain’t a Republican

at least I ain’t a Republican

 

Well I might read my bible

drinking whiskey on the side

I might consult a pagan oracle

or look in a Newt’s eye

I might root for some dark power

blow this world to kingdom come

but at least I ain’t a Republican

at least I ain’t a Republican

 

///////////////////////////

 

AIN’T NO REPUBLICAN—the players

Words and music—Larry Abrams

Vocals — Larry Abrams, Jacqueline Ellis, Lanet Lynette

Keyboards — Terence Elliot

Bass — David Freedman

Slide Guitar — Reggie Benn

Drums — Larry Abrams, David Freedman, Alesis HR-16

 

(c)(p) 1995 Larry Abrams

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

June 1, 2012

Dear John: memo from God

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Tags: , — admin @ 11:03 am

Dear John,

I heard you say at your impromptu press conference that you didn’t think God was done with you, that there was still some good left for you do to in the world.

I’m sending this message to let you know, that no, I’m done with you.

You’ve done enough and I mean that in the best possible way.

Take your message in the 2008 campaign . . . please. You said that there were two Americas, one rich, one poor; that was there was an interlocking business and political elite running the empire, the country: That the system was unsustainable and headed for collapse.

It was a very good message, though from my point of view I have to say you looked a little distracted at the time; even conflicted, like you knew you shouldn’t be running but the thing had taken on a momentum of its own.

I’m sympathetic, up to a point. You should have been a man, John and gotten out when Elizabeth had her relapse instead of wasting a lot of people’s time and energy. But I digress. The thing is that you were a messenger but the torch has been passed, as it were, and you’re no longer needed.

At best you’d be a distraction, at worst you’d be an egomaniacal idiot and we’ve had enough of that, haven’t we?

And to put the best face on it, history will probably treat you better than you deserve. Your campaign speeches will look even better in thirty years than they look now, colored as they are by the blatant insincerity with which they were delivered. In thirty years you’ll probably even look like a tragic political figure, instead of a fool.

Though as I write this, it occurs to me, maybe there is a role for you to play: I hate to contradict myself, but hey, it happens.

There is always a role for the holy fool: for the one who dares to say what more sensible people, struggling to . . . maintain their viability in the system, dare not say.

In this case the audience would have to be the Democrats and Barry O. Boy, is that guy a disappointment. What did he think he was running for, the Supreme Court? He’d be a good judge, lousy President. At least that’s my judgment, but I digress.

It would be pretty bad for the empire . . . country, if that damaged Mormon nitwit got elected but I think the Democrats are in serious trouble.

Barry O should never have let Geithner convince him to give all that money to the Bankers on the assumption they were going to use it to stimulate the economy. You give away two trillion dollars to a bunch of bankers, what are they gonna do? They’re gonna keep it, that’s what they’re gonna do! Why should the Bankers do the business if the Government and the Fed are just gonna give them the money?

I won’t even ask what you would do, John, in that same situation. I don’t want to know.

The point is that Obama and Geithner kicked the can down the road, but it’s only a matter of time until the whole thing comes down on their heads and Obama just hopes it doesn’t come down before the election!

He should never have even planned to run for reelection in the first place! He would have really been able to do something then.

If he would have just proposed Medicare-for-all to begin with, he might have gotten a Public Option on his healthcare plan as a compromise. If he had nationalized one of the insolvent banks instead of throwing money at it, he could have made it into a New Deal style Infrastructure bank and gotten the economy, “out of the ditch” as he puts it.

The whole thing makes me to sick to think about. You people are such morons. . . But I digress.

The point is that Obama has to level with the people about the economy and what may be coming. He’s got to apologize for his mistakes, for his misplaced trust in the Banks, and say what he will do to put his mistakes aright if  reelected.

Someone’s got to say this stuff, John and since you had the temerity to think I wasn’t done with you yet, I nominate you.

Have a good life.

Best,
X_x

May 24, 2012

Mitt, Bain and the Banality of Evil

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:12 am

Many people probably have trouble thinking of Mitt Romney as evil.

 

Banal? Yes. Maladroit? Sure: a two-faced politician with greasy hair and a bad dye job who will say anything to anybody to get elected, but evil?

 

Nonetheless, and the bubble headed advocacy of Cory Booker and David Brooks notwithstanding, if there is a single politician in the world who embodies the predations of the neo-liberal era; from the death of American manufacturing to the rise of finance Capital, from the hollowing out of the American middle class to the rise of the One percent, from the death of Main Street to the rise of Wall Street, it’s Mitt.

 

Now Obama and the Democrats are being attacked for their web ads against the right, honorable former Mormon Bishop of Boston.

 

The Democratic ads say that Bain Capital Management was a pioneering Private Equity Firm adept at picking up large and mid sized businesses, stripping them of Capital and employees and then selling them off piecemeal if not burying them with debt and killing them off all together.

 

Meanwhile Mitt apologists, or “Mitt-o-lytes” like David Brooks, tell us that yes, while that happens sometimes, Private Equity is in the business of building giant companies, not tearing them down. Brooks tells us that “Private equity firms are not lovable, but they forced a renaissance that revived American capitalism.”

 

However Brooks misses the truly damning thing about Bain Capital Management, Blackstone, KKR, and the other monster holding companies.

 

Whether Mitt and his Private Equity friends strip their newly purchased companies or build them into viable entities, the businesses themselves are of little or no interest to them. And while Mitt likes to brag about the success of some his ventures, like Sports Authority or Staples, Bain Capital Management is not in the business of Sporting goods or Office supplies.

 

Bain is in the business of leveraging debt and when Bain acquisitions are successful, they create leviathan economies of scale that squeeze out the small businesses; the sporting goods and stationary stores, that used to serve our cities and towns.

 

Mitt and his friends got rich doing this business but in the end, even their success stories will go under, be sold, and eventually stripped down again.

 

In theory, this is the creative destruction that is the engine of Capitalism. In practice, it’s an insane race to the bottom, turning once prosperous business districts into ghost towns of decaying, half empty mini malls.

 

Yes, in Capitalism there are winners and losers and Mitt’s success means creating waves of disposable, minimum wage, retail jobs where there were once small businesses and careers.

 

This is Mitt-o-nomics, where even our factories are turned into commodities to be bought and sold and our jobs shipped overseas; where stuff that used to be made here and would last fifteen years is made in China cheaper but only lasts three years; where small business is the enemy, an impediment to growth; where the true business of Capitalism is Finance, the business of money itself.

 

This is Mitt-o-nomics, where mild mannered, incense bearing Mitt-o-lytes like Paul Ryan and David Brooks, politely tell us that we are “economic illiterates,” that the ways of Capitalism are outside our purview: That the function of our elected representatives is to cut government spending so as not to crowd out private Capital. That to survive, Capital has to grow, we are born to serve it and that’s the way it is.

 

For the Mitt-o-lytes, Willard Mitt Romney is their bumbling Prince, a privately moral, if clueless fellow, who nevertheless understands the Dark Arts of Capital growth and accumulation.

 

For the rest of us, Mitt Romney is Satan in Mom jeans.

 

 

 

December 29, 2011

The Autumn of the Patriarchs

Filed under: Sports,Uncategorized — admin @ 8:12 pm

“Broken treaties broken vows
Broken pipes broken tools
People bending broken rules
Hound dog howling bullfrog croaking
Everything is broken.”
Bob Dylan

As 2012 approaches, nobody needs a clock to know what time it is. It’s a good thing too, because everything is broken; politics, the economy, the climate, even sports.

The era of Spectator Sports as Big Business that began as Big Manufacturing went into decline is itself drawing to a close. Big Sports filled a void; we went from making stuff to watching stuff, but now, right on cue, some of the biggest sports are falling all around us.

Al Davis and Joe Paterno have this much in common; both are from Brooklyn and both had to be carted off the football field, feet first, in the fall of 2011.

When I was a kid, I always had the suspicion that Al Davis was a gangster who was using football as some of kind of front. Actually it was vice versa. Even though Davis—who famously drove his Thunderbird convertible to California in 1959 with a suitcase in the back and eighty bucks in his pocket—ultimately made a fortune in football, making a buck was just a means to an end for Al.

Al Davis wanted to build a football empire. He did too, parlaying his first job as a wide receivers’ coach under legendary offensive football guru, Sid Gillman of the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers, to the head-coaching job of the new league’s Oakland Raiders. At the time Gillman said of his assistant, “Al Davis thinks he’s the smartest guy in football. He’s not . . . yet.”

Davis was soon not only coach of the Raiders, but General Manager and had turned them into a winner too. Then they made Davis President of the League and within a year he had the upstart AFL drafting and signing away players from the established NFL with such abandon that Davis, at least, believed the AFL would soon be dominant.

It was partly out of fear of Pirate Al, that the owners of the NFL and AFL got together and negotiated the Pro football merger of 1966. This pissed Davis off so much he resigned as President of the Junior League and went back to his beloved “Raiduhs” where he resumed complete control of the team’s day-to-day operations.

Along the way the Raiders not only won Championships under a series of Davis’ hand picked successors; John Rauch, John Madden and Tom Flores, but developed the outlaw mystique that made them the bad boys of football. Like James Brown, the Raiders were . . . Super bad.

Davis had assumed controlling ownership of the team long before he took the Raiders to LA in 1982, only to return to Oakland twelve years later in exchange for a King’s ransom. However Al’s second coming in Oakland was not as successful as the first and the whispering began: The Old Man had lost it. Al’s particular brand of football; power running and a, speed-kills, vertical passing game to go along with a take no prisoners, mano a mano defense, was passe´ they said: other teams were out scheming the Raiders; that the game had passed Al by.

Like the Latin American dictator of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, The Autumn of the Patriarch, who had to sell the Caribbean Sea to the North Americans (they had it shipped away) in order to retain total control over his profoundly shrunken realm, Davis isolated himself in response to the criticism and became increasingly obsessed with proving himself still the smartest guy in the room. It was a sucker’s game and Al must have known, but couldn’t resist the action.

Oddly though, no one was prepared when Al Davis suddenly passed away in mid season: it was shock to everyone; his detractors, his underground admirers, even his players.

No matter how much you might have disliked Al Davis, no one thought he would ever die.

Right about now Joe Paterno must be wishing he were dead too.

Incredibly, I remember Paterno’s first years at Penn State, probably because I was not yet old enough to smoke or drink, but Joe Pa really seemed like he had something to prove back then.

Paterno let us know— through his sycophants in the media to be sure—that just being a football coach was not enough. Joe Pa was building a program that was different we were told: Paterno cared about the players, he wanted them to graduate and make something of themselves outside of sports; the implication being he wanted them to do the important things he would have liked to do if he wasn’t stuck in this stupid college football racket.

That was Paterno’s image but after a while, that’s all it was. To put the best spin on it, Joe Pa was like everyone else: we start out with big ambitions and then in middle age, maybe start talking up what we’ve already done; maybe even try to make it seem like more than it really is.

Joe Pa took his mid-life crisis one step further than most of us though; he decided to make the entire Penn State campus, and in fact much of Central Pennsylvania, a monument to his emerging cult of personality.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New England Patriots asked him to coach their teams, Joe turned them down. When the Pennsylvania Republican Party wanted to run Joe for governor sometime around his 1986 National Championship, he turned them down too.

Joe Pa couldn’t leave Penn State and it wasn’t because he was too humble. Mostly, it was because he was a total control freak.

For years—especially the early ones— Penn State featured small to medium sized quarterbacks who couldn’t run and couldn’t throw; whose talents were a mystery except when you realized that they looked a lot like Joe.

Though a great recruiter and self-publicist, Paterno was probably also the worst great coach of all time.

To be fair, some of that was his innate football conservatism: a great Penn State team would rarely stomp their opponent, they would typically eek out a win, and that was mainly because the players would refuse to lose.

What Penn State fan can forget the 1969 Orange Bowl, when Paterno had All-American Charlie Pittman and two future all Pro’s, Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell in the backfield and still barely beat Kansas 15-14, and that, only because of a great Defense anchored by Mike Reid, Steve Smear, Dennis Onkotz and Jack Ham. It was Joe Paterno and Penn State football at its agonizing best.

By 1998, when the first investigation of Jerry Sandusky began, Joe Pa must have known something about his then defensive coordinator and at least he blocked Sandusky from becoming head coach of the team. Paterno could have investigated Sandusky himself but that wasn’t going to happen. For one thing Paterno probably figured that was the DA’s job. For another, he was too busy trying to protect his program. No, the big question, the one will dog Paterno to the end of his days is why couldn’t Joe let go?

Why, after he dumped Sandusky in 1999, when Paterno was already over 70, did he hang on as coach and more for another twelve years only to witness the complete destruction of everything he had built, of his life’s work?

The answer of course is that he didn’t let go because he couldn’t let go: these guys never do.

October 26, 2011

When Hillary met Muammar

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:44 am

On Tuesday, October 18, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Tripoli, Libya and announced that the US wanted Libyan ex-dictator Muammar Khadafy dead or alive, preferably dead.

And so when Khadafy was killed two days later, first bombed by a NATO sortie and then finished off by a band of Libyan partisans, one could only assume—protestations by new Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril to the contrary—that the ex dictator was knocked off at the behest of the First Lady of the Western Alliance.

It doesn't even seem to be a matter of if; the question is why: Why did Hillary kill Khadafy?

There are three possibilities: one, it was personal; two, Hillary, Barack, Nick Sarkozy and Dave Cameron are great humanitarians whose concern for the safety and well being of the Libyan people compelled them to take out Khadafy; three, it's the, uh, oil and even—who knew—the water!

But, I hear you shouting, couldn't the West have had the run of the Libyan oil and gas fields without killing Khadafy? Couldn't they have tried him in open court as Mahmoud Jibril claims he wanted?

The answer of course is yes, it's that then they would have had to put up with the "mad dog of the desert" going all delusional and anti-Imperialist while calling them out on their real intentions.

So now Khadafy is dead while the more pliant oil barons of Bahrain are reinforced with a billion dollars worth of new arms to protect them from their Shiite majority.

Meanwhile the Libyan people—at least the ones on TV—seemed pretty relieved to have Khadafy gone even if took NATO and the CIA to get rid of him. They don't even want to think about tomorrow today, and who can blame them. And even if they get upset, say eight months from now, once they figure out that the West has installed a dysfunctional Islamist kleptocracy prepared to hand over their countries natural wealth to foreign Capital (or at least what's left of it) who's going to know?

The always idiotic and sometimes liberal media will be busy with the US Presidential campaign by then, and with Khadafy gone, nobody's going to think about Libya again for a long, long time.

Personally I'm just proud of our President Barack Obama for his decisive actions in this matter—as opposed to his bungling of the economy(as the always supine and sometimes liberal media is now telling us.)

I hate to admit it but it's true: I'll sleep better tonight knowing the mad dog of the desert is dead. As my National Security therapist once assured me, being American means never having to say you're sorry.

 

 

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