We Get The Government We Deserve

Tom Hampton

 

By TOM HAMPTON

In less than two weeks, Roy Moore will be the newest member of the United States Senate.

Why?  Because he’s exactly what the people of Alabama, and the nation, deserve.

Now of course, you’re reading this, and you’re already offended, because if you’re a person who runs in the same circles as I do, you’re not someone who traffics in the same ideologies that people like Roy Moore does…you’re a generally tolerant person who puts a lot of stock in “live and let live”, you don’t trade in hatred, in bigotry, in sexism, in demonizing people based on race or religion…you understand that the constitution was actually written to enforce freedom of religion, and you don’t twist that principle to leverage Christianity over other faiths or practices.

And that means that you, like myself, are in the electoral minority in this country.

Sure, we all know that there’s a huge unrepresented ghost-herd of “reasonable disconnected citizens” out there who don’t hate people, but also don’t vote, don’t participate in the process, and as such – don’t COUNT…because they’re unwitting participants in the rise to power of unrepentant assclowns like Roy Moore.

Let’s be clear, here….political scandal is NOT a new thing.

But the vast majority of scandals past ended predictably – with the ensuing publicity resulting in resignations (Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Tom DeLay, etc.) and occasionally jail time (William Jefferson, Duke Cunningham, and the like).  There have been the odd outliers who managed to escape any real electoral scrutiny after coming out on the other side of various scandals, but – until very, VERY recently, they seemed to be – by far – the exception rather than the rule.

We’ve entered a new age, though.

We’ve entered the Age Of Zero Accountability here…where you can publicly rape and pillage as long as you have an R after your name and walk the streets unmolested.

Now, we have assholes like Scott DesJarlais, who managed to get re-elected by a horde of trailer dwellers in East Tennessee after a laundry list of shitty behavior.  For those of you who are old enough to remember this past summer, there’s Greg Gianforte – who was elected LITERALLY THE NEXT FUCKING DAY after being brought up on assault charges for physically attacking a reporter…and first lying about it, but being disproven by an audio recording of the attack.  (some of you who actually bother to watch the news may remember the “man on the street” soundbites of folks who said that the fact he went at Ben Jacobs actually made them MORE likely to vote for Gianforte.)  And, hey – if you remember that, you probably remember the good folks of Georgia electing human cardboard cutout Karen Handel after famously telling her potential constituents that she “did not support a living wage”.

You see, we don’t punish our lawmakers for wrongdoing now, and – shit, even WORSE – we reward garbage humans with seats on Capitol Hill in light of incontrovertible evidence of shitty behavior.

Alabama, the state currently in question, actually has a colorful recent history of rewarding shitty behavior in lawmakers – their state Speaker of the House, Michael Hubbard, was famously brought up on two dozen counts of corruption prior to election day and – guess what – he won re-election.  Oh, and not only that – once re-elected, he was given his old Speaker job back by his fellow lawmakers WHILE AWAITING TRIAL.

Then, of course, there’s Robert Bentley, the gross, Viagra-popping, secretary-groping, dirty-talkin’ Governor who got caught on tape saying some truly creepy shit to the object of his affection.  Oh, and due to the politically exquisite timing of that particular shitstorm, it turns out that there was a Senate seat to name someone to – what with perennial Disney Bad Guy Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General and all.  So Governor SexyTalk named his Attorney General, Luther Strange (no, you really CAN’T make shit like that up) to replace Sessions on Capitol Hill…mere moments after he managed to squelch impeachment proceedings against Bentley in his capacity as state Attorney General.

So you see, that’s how shit works now.

We are a nation of knuckle-dragging, Budweiser-swilling intellectual midgets who are not just unafraid, but PROUD to reward garbage humans at the ballot box.  And in the Gilded Age of Trump, all bets are off.

Beat up a reporter?  You Win.

Fuck a mannequin out of wedlock while your terminally ill wife is dying of cancer, all while leading a good old torches and pitchforks revolt against a sitting president for a less shitty plot of your own story?

You Win.

Arrange for an abortion for your mistress while running on a staunch pro-life position?

You Win.

Two Dozen Counts of Corruption?

You Win.

Alabama, it’s not as if it’s a choice between two similar fucking shades of grey, here.

You’re not choosing between two similar mindsets who have slightly different outlooks on intricate legislative points…two guys who are both shitty but maybe one is slightly less shitty than the other.

There is ZERO nuance involved here.

You’re literally choosing between a fucking nutjob whos’ been thrown off the bench not once, but TWICE – for failing to enforce constitutional law.  A dude who, even BEFORE the truly shitty stuff started coming out recently, was ALREADY a drastically awful candidate – but in light of his fondness for teenage girls and getting banned from the mall and all the avalanche of crap that’s come out lately, it’s as if the cherry on top of the whipped cream somehow actually became the entire fucking sundae….

…you’re choosing between that guy and a lawyer with decades of prosecutorial experience fighting for the people of your state, to include actually sending members of the Klan to jail for bombing a church and killing four children.

You’re literally being asked to choose between John McClain and Hans Gruber, and you’re charging to the polls yelling “Yippie Ki-aaaaay, Motherfucker!” in a German accent.

In two weeks, Doug Jones will join Jon Ossoff and Merrick Garland on the sidelines to watch the final chapter of this shitstorm run its course towards swallowing up our democracy…and we’ll deserve every sad, ridiculous, avoidable landmine that we collectively step on.

Hide your daughters.

Seven for Heaven

 

Celek Point

By GORDON GLANTZ

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE — Back in the preseason, before the reality sets in that every other team in the NFL has undrafted rookie skill-position players looking like unearthed gems and veteran free agents who look like magic panaceas to all previous ills, veteran Eagles’ tight end Brent Celek was interviewed on the sideline. He was asked about the prospects of the 2017 version of the team, in the second year of the Doug Pederson/Carson Wentz era, moving out of the shadows of 7-9 mediocrity.

A grizzled veteran of trench warfare, Celek refused to buy into any “sky is the limit” cheerleading.

Instead, to paraphrase, he explained that every season – heck, every game in season – has adversity built into it.

While Celek – who has played under three coaches now – allowed that some exciting talent was in place, and previous holes were seemingly patched by de facto GM Howie Roseman and sidekick Joe Douglas, it would impossible to predict the way it would translate into the won-loss column until the team faced adversity and how it then dealt with it.

What could not have been known in the humid air of that August night was just how much adversity, and how much success, it would translate into.

The Eagles have since lost four Pro Bowl-level players: first all-purpose yardage magnet Darren Sproles and special teams demon Chris Maragos, and then Hall of Fame-bound left tackle Jason Peters and middle linebacker Jordan Hicks.

They lost their projected No. 1 corner, Ronald Darby, to injury after trading away reliable receiver Jordan Matthews.

They lost their kicker, Caleb Sturgis, only to land a rookie, Jake Elliott, who won them a game on a 61-yard boot at the buzzer and continues to kick at a high level.

They overcame national naysayers, doubting the team and its coach. They overcame local media attempts to make it sound like defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was plotting a coup.

They overcame beginning the year with two road games, not to mention three of the first four, and also playing on the road on a short week in Carolina, where they were undaunted by lopsided officiating.

They have found ways to win the same kind of close games they found a way to lose last year.

And they overcame the adversity of having to wait until the second week in November – and nine games into the season – before catching their breath and enjoying a bye week.

While the Eagles’ still have concerns – such as not being able to afford another substantial injury at offensive line or linebacker – they have gone beyond Celek’s wildest dreams.

Not only do they sit atop the NFC East standings, but, at 8-1, they have the best record in the entire NFL. And talk of maybe just squeaking into the playoffs at, maybe, 9-7, has turned into realistic expectations of getting a first-round bye, home-field advantage and – whisper – a trip to the Super Bowl.

The bad news is that the Eagles now hit another tough stretch of schedule.

The good news is that, at least in the division, they have earned themselves a bit of breathing room.

Before any champagne is uncorked, please remember the Eagles of 1994, who started 7-2 and finished 7-9. Remember the Eagles of 2014, who beat up the Cowboys, 33-10, in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day to take a two-game lead in the division, only to miss the playoffs altogether.

Yet, this team seems different in many ways.

It has more locker-room leaders – Celek and safety Malcolm Jenkins, not to mention Sproles and Peters – than it is does locker-room lawyers.

While the jury has not rendered a final verdict on Pederson, he seems a bit more grounded – and committed to the long haul – than Rich Kotite and Chip Kelly.

And quarterback Carson Wentz, who is currently on a collision course with a boatload of postseason accolades, is not Mark Sanchez or Bubby Brister.

Aside from being the complete athletic package, and possessing the leadership skillset that makes him the quarterback of the future, Wentz would trade any prize ticketed for his trophy case for a ring on his finger and a lifetime key to the city.

Still, just as Celek cautioned back in the preseason, the Holy Grail for the Eagle Nation – most of which is too young to recall much about the 1960 championship season, let alone those of 1948 and 1949 – it will not happen without dealing with more adversity.

We won’t waste space here going gray over the litany of things that can go wrong. We all know what those things are. We have lived through them.

Instead, let’s look what needs to go right during the final seven games for the Eagles to be positioned to get to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, and to not be content with taking selfies on media day, but actually win it all.

Let’s call it the Lucky Seven:

1. Stay Healthy

This is football, and football is a violent game. Injuries happen, and they will continue to happen. Just because the Eagles have been hit hard doesn’t mean they will be spared. Nonetheless, while they have a more than capable No. 2 quarterback in Nick Foles, Wentz has to stay upright. Also, they can overcome injuries as many spots. Last week, for example, Pro Bowl-bound tight end Zach Ertz was scratched but Trey Burton and Celek picked up the slack. Sproles went down, and undrafted rookie Corey Clement has filled the void while recently acquired Jay Ajayi adds another option. Rookie Mack Hollins can step in for an injured receiver.

However, they are down to their final options on the offensive line, especially tackle. Hal Vatai – aka “Big V” – isn’t Peters, but he is not Joe Conwell or Antone Davis, either. If Vatai or Lane Johnson goes down, the next up is Isaac Seumalo, who was already benched after being handed the left guard job now manned by Stefen Wisniewski. On the other side of the ball, the injury to Hicks has allowed more snaps for Mychal Kendricks, who previously came off the field when Schwartz went to two linebackers. After requesting a trade in the offseason, Kendricks is having a career year while fellow linebacker Nigel Bradham is playing out of his mind. Lose one or the other, it suddenly means more snaps for Joe Walker, a seventh-round pick in 2016 who is essentially a rookie because he missed last season with a knee injury. Darby also needs to get back into the mix at close to 100 percent, because better teams and better passing games will soon exploit rookie Rasul Douglas. And the safety tandem of Jenkins and Rodney McLeod is essential. Not much behind them.

2. Lasso the Cowboys

The Eagles still have two games with the second-place Dallas Cowboys, including the first game back from the break, in Dallas, on a Sunday night (Nov. 19). A win there would put Dallas well behind the pace, while a loss would keep them within striking distance.

3. Lay It On The Line

The football graveyard is littered with defensive fronts that spent the first halves of a season being compared to the Purple People Easters, Fearsome Foursome and Gang Green, only to fizzle and fade away down the stretch. The Eagles have had such exceptional play from their defensive front that the same comparisons are occurring now. It is premature to go there, in terms of a place in history, but the immediate concern is to maintain that dominance against the run and continue with a pass rush that is top-flight at forcing early throws and does well enough at getting home with sacks.

On paper, there seems to be enough depth to avoid hitting a wall. Pro Bowl tackle Fletcher Cox has benefitted from Timmy Jernigan as much as Jernigan has flourished next to him. Beau Allen is the consummate third tackle and Destiny Vaeao is getting more snaps. Outside, the presence of first-round pick of Derek Barnett, who gets better each week, has seemingly made Vinnie Curry better, while Brandon Graham in Steady Eddie on the other side. Meanwhile, veteran Chris Long has proven to be a welcome addition. Steven Means, a nice player in his own right, can’t even get on the field.

4. Maintain Focus

“One game at a time” is what is taught on the first day of Coachspeak 101. However, for reasons never really pinpointed, it often sticks with certain teams. Pederson keeps saying it, and the Eagles keep living it. However, as the season goes on and the glare of the national spotlight grows more intense, this has to be maintained. After Dallas, win or lose, the Eagles come home to face a young Chicago team – not much unlike the Eagles of a year ago – that won’t be a pushover. It is the ultimate trap game, with three straight road games to follow.  The first two road games are against likely playoff teams, Seattle (Monday night) and the Los Angeles Rams, before getting a bit of a theoretical breather in the Meadowlands against the hapless New York Giants. Those road games are followed by a Christmas Day home game against the Oakland Raiders, who may be playing for their playoff lives.

Without the senseless drill of going game by game, let’s say the Eagles need to go through this tough stretch at no worse than 3-3 – although 4-2 would look a lot better – in order for the final meeting against the Cowboys to feature Nate Sudfeld handing the ball off to Kenjon Barner and throwing passes to Shelton Gibson while the starters and key subs rest, hopefully for two weeks, for the playoffs. Not going to happen without continuing to buy into the one-game-at-a-time approach.

5. Keep Adding to the Supporting Cast

There have been some pleasant surprises, from Elliott being next to automatic on field goals (not quite the same on point-after kicks) to Clement to slot corner Patrick Robinson to Chris Long to Wisniewski to Douglas. That would mean Vatai holding his own, the continued maturation of Agholor as a slot receiver and a strong second half from emerging first-round pick Derek Barnett in the defensive end rotation. Extra defensive backs like Jaylen Watkins and Corey Graham and Douglas, if he goes to the bench in favor of a healthy Darby, would help the cause with some key plays and key times. And it wouldn’t hurt the cause to see Ajayi break loose for 100-plus yards in some of these tough road games, or to see Barner turn a game around with a punt return to the house (and then hand the ball to Sproles on the sideline). While Alshon Jeffery and Wentz seem to be clicking, it would be nice to see Torrey Smith regain his quarterback’s confidence.

6. X out the X

That would be the X on their backs. This relates to Points 4 and 5. While the players need to act like they have been here before and not give fuel to anyone’s fire, the coaches have to not become overly predictable. A downside of being the best team in the league nine games in is that it gives future opponents plenty of tendencies to study. It is a fine line to walk, between not doing what brought you to the precipice of a bye week and home-field advantage and still keeping a trick or two tucked up your sleeve.

7. Believe

Believe in the odds (a rent-a-city like Tampa Bay won a Super Bowl, for crying out loud). Believe in Wentz as the messiah. Believe in Pederson. Believe in magic – the breaks and bounces never seem to go our way finally going our way (61-yard field goal, for example). The team seems to believe it, and they may not get the pending sense of doom many of us feel, but it wouldn’t hurt to go with the flow. And, most of all, believe that inevitable adversity can be overcome.

This column/analysis first appeared at PhillyPhanatics.com

Waiting In Vain

ForBlog

By GORDON GLANTZ

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE — I’m still waiting.

For what, G2?

To reach the expiration date on when it’s not “too soon” to talk about America’s gun addiction after a mass shooting, that’s what.

We all know the typical protocol.

It’s been the same modern-day response, going to back to 1984, when unemployed security guard James Oliver Huberty opened fired in a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 and wounding another 19.

The sordid history of systematic silence continued with Edmond, Okla. (14 dead, 6 injured) in 1986 and a school playground in Stockton, Calif. (5 killed, 29 injured).

These were all enough for his right-wing holiness himself, Ronald Reagan, to come out against semi-automatic weapons.

They even put a silencer on that one, though.

The 1990s opened with a bang in Jacksonville in June of 1990 (10 dead, 4 injured), and then 1991 in Killeen, Texas (22 dead, 20 injured). The 1990s saw six more – from Iowa City to Olivehurst, Calif. to Garden City, N.Y. to Jonesboro, Ark. – before the issue seemed to clash with the internet age, magnifying it, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 and injured 24 in Columbine, Colo.

Let’s talk now?

Stifle, they said.

Post-Columbine, mass shootings became so commonplace that you could put loose change in the D.C. jukebox and get the same sick song – with lyrics like “nothing could have stopped it” and “if a bad guy wants to get his hands on a gun, he will” and the chorus of “it’s too soon” to discuss gun reform/control – that we would take extreme horror to bump the more paranoid post-9/11 fear of terrorism from the public psyche.

Instead, thoughts and prayers.

What kind?

Silent ones.

We had several tragic shootings fly under the national news radar during the Iraq War years, but it was hard to ignore after a Virginia Tech student, Seung-hui Cho, killed 32 and wounded 17 on his campus in 2007.

Six were killed and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was among the 11 injured in a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona. A year later, in 2012, 12 were killed and 58 injured in a post-midnight showing of the “Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Col.

More admonishments against getting to the heart of the matter, even as hearts were being broken, came from elected leaders ignoring what most Americans want, which was some form of gun control/reform.

The moment of reckoning seemed to come, before it went just as fast, when 20 first-graders were among the 27 dead (hate counting to the shooter) at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Then-president Barack Obama made a tearful and eloquent plea that fell upon deaf ears. Instead, more loaded up guns before he came and took them away.

Hate to say those children, the same age mine was at the time, died in vain. But, they died in vain.

The year 2015 saw nine black people killed by a White supremacist while praying in a church and 14 killed and 22 injured in San Bernadino, Calif.

In 2016, we had 49 killed and 58 injured at an Orlando night club.

This year, we’re still wrapping our minds around 59 dead and 500-plus injured at a Las Vegas outdoor concert, and the president visited and cautioned against talking about gun laws, while three were killed just the other night at a Colorado Wal-Mart.

So, while we can’t even discuss one’s right to bear arms without being accused of being a communist, we can’t send our kids to elementary school or high school or college without fear of that phone call.

We can’t serve our country without fear of one of our own opening fire.

We can’t go to a night club or a concert or a midnight movie.

And we can’t pray in a house of worship – even if those prayers are for the victims of gun violence, a mandate which is always part and parcel of the “too soon to talk about it” chorus.

We can’t shop or eat lunch in a courtyard.

It is in the First Amendment to talk about our concerns, and to protest and seek change, but not when the Second Amendment is in play. That’s the same Second Amendment many of us – actually, most of us — believe is loosely interpreted to protect gun laws to the extreme that we have to shrug off not only mass shootings, but all forms of daily gun violence.

A may come before B everywhere else in the civilized world, but the First Amendment does not come before the Second in the land of the allegedly free and the home of the purportedly brave.

We are told we are trying to infringe upon liberty – even though the idea of “nothing we can do about it” infringes upon all our freedoms.

This litany mass shootings took place from coast to coast, and the shooters were almost exclusively men. While they came in all skin tones, most were white.

Some were known to have psychological issues, and others seemingly “snapped,” in such an unpredictable way that the out-of-context “improved psychological care” mantra —  from the same right-wing base that cuts those same funds — is borderline pathetic.

And it’s all to protect the sanctity of the almighty Second Amendment, and the powerful gun lobby.

The one common denominator in mass shootings (defined as four more casualties) is guns.

Smirking their smirks, they say: guns don’t kill, people do.

Actually, guns don’t kill. How can they?

They are inanimate objects that need to be loaded with ammo and pointed at a target.

People with guns kill.

And there are too many of them in too many hands.

But let’s not talk about that.

Just hush up.

Let’s sit in the waiting room and wait for our numbers, or those of our loved ones, to be up.

While we wait, let’s look at the rules – and how they change in the right-wing narrative — for a terrorist attack carried out by a lone wolf ISIS sympathizer, complete with a weird-sounding name, who came from a country not on the president’s banned list who killed mostly tourists by running them over with a rented truck on a Lower Manhattan bike path.

But when the Halloween nightmare unfolded on the bike path, it didn’t stop the president from taking to Twitter and unleashing one of his unfiltered random attacks.

In that case, unlike Vegas, he couldn’t talk about it soon enough.

He spat spitballs at New York senator Chuck Schumer, saying the lottery program that allowed certain immigrants to stay on green cards, was a “Schumer Special.”

Actually, Mr. President, how would you like your crow cooked for that special, before eating your words.

Schumer supported the measure eons ago – way before 9/11 paranoia was spawned – and it was in what was something quite rare today — a bipartisan measure signed into law by a Republican president, George H.W. Bush.

Isn’t that a kick – or maybe a playful pat – on the butt?

Furthermore, Schumer – in the Gang of Eight — has since been part of efforts to amend that measure, only to be rebuffed.

Hard to get those facts straight at 3 a.m., though.

Guess, for once, it was too soon, huh?

Later in the day, the president shifted gears and took aim at the justice system, calling it a “joke” and a “laughing stock.”

He was talking about terrorism, and how we vet incoming immigrants and punish them (not sure how to properly punish someone who wants to die) when they are naughty. Can’t completely argue, to be honest. A lot of things needs improving, especially when the goal is to be “great.”

Still, couldn’t the same be said of how we deal we have dealt with gun violence in the last few decades?

Is it not a “joke” and a “laughing stock,” particularly in the eyes of the outside world?

I know we don’t want to let the facts get in the way of an emotive outburst, but let’s look at some basic math.

We are considerably more likely to die in gun violence (1 in 350, and 1 in 15,325 in a mass shooting) than in a terrorist attack (1 in 20 million, counting Oklahoma City, 9/11 and the most recent incident), so let’s get back on schedule with the reality check.

In the meantime, I’m still waiting.

 

Many Forms of Abuse

Lizanne

By LIZZANE KNOTT

In light of the outpouring of sexual abuse stories in professional scenarios, I have to say that I have never encountered it (in my private/personal life, Lord yes – but never in a workplace).

While I spent a good deal of my life working with horses, I also held an office in a rapidly growing tech company for years which was largely male dominated. I was only ever treated with kindness and respect by my peers.

And too, my work in my studio, which is male-dominated as well, the same. I have though, experienced being bullied in the music industry by other artists. One fairly well known singer-songwriter (who shall remain nameless and is not someone I travel in circles with) actually took me out to dinner so that he could tell me that I basically had little talent as a writer or singer and at my stage of life had almost no chance of “making it”. Hmph.

I think the point I’m trying to make here is that abuse comes in all forms from all types of people. We, as women – hell, everyone – need to take a stand against the negativity that seems to be permeating our lives on a daily basis. No one of us is more or less deserving of following our path, making our own way, than anyone else, regardless of our sexual orientation, race, age, religion – or for that matter species (but that’s a whole another argument).

Long ago I made the choice to not be a victim to other peoples ego’s and hurtful behaviors, their karma is their own. I choose to put positivity and love out there because that’s what’s needed most in these times and the only thing that will get us through this stormy political sea we’ve all been cast out on.

So hold steady and sail on, better days are coming.

Sad Reckoning Awaits

 

Clare DiPinto

By Clare DiPinto

I’m a bit concerned.

For all the people who’ve determined — not by researching, but by reaction or basically hearsay — that government aid programs whom they feel unjustly come out of their tax dollars to go to whom they’ve also deemed unworthy (taking advantage of system , getting a free ride ) are going to wind up cutting their nose off to spite their faces.

These programs are designed to assist those in need and you have to qualify and trust me you really do need it, if you qualify. So when you gladly see these programs stripped and discarded , under new regime , what will those that rely on them today but you also do when you find things didn’t pan out as planned and now you could use some help but none is available? Because you made sure of that.

Now what?

It’s tough. You can’t blame Obama, and don’t want to see the sad truth, so can’t blame the rich men in office – it will be a sad reckoning.

We will have worse than a cast system. As the saying goes, look before you leap.

Power Of Consequential Thinking

Truth-or-Consequences-no-texture-1024x768

By GORDON GLANTZ

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE — Consequential thinking.

Is that even a thing?

Yes, you millennial minion you, it is.

And if you did the wrong thing last Election Day, you are going to learn about it the hard way.

Forget about the power of positive thinking, or its polar opposite, because this packs a bigger wallop.

It’s simply more consequential.

Maybe you voted against Hillary Clinton or you were ignorant enough to be influenced by others that she was the “lesser of two evils,” or that there was “just something about her” that you didn’t like or trust.

Maybe you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for her opponent, the current “president,” either.

You had a speck of the right idea, especially if you were a fellow Bernie Bro, but the wrong execution of it. There were those pesky consequences to your actions.

If you voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, or just didn’t bother at all, you voted for King Pompous anyway.

Bringing us back to consequential thinking, or lack thereof.

In that department, he has none. As in zero.

And all the signs were there during the campaign, which weren’t hard to discern when the supposedly “fair and balanced” news network covered every breath that he took.

He was appealing to lowest common denominator among us – the “uneducated” that he professed his love for – and didn’t need to have much consequential thinking when plying them with such red meat that the stuff was still squirming on the plate and oozing worms.

Thing is, he was lacking consequential thinking of his own.

If you want to campaign on promises to repeal and replace Obamacare on Day 1, with a magic panacea that is “so terrific” that it will iron out every rough edge of the ACA and lower premiums, you better have something in place.

Instead, he still can’t wash away that perceived black stain on the White House.

If you want to deny the science of climate change – which equates to saying the earth is flat – you have to have to be aware of the consequences of the inevitable extreme weather like that of which we are enduring this hurricane season.

If you want cozy up to the NRA and do a Charlton Heston impersonation at one of their tribal gatherings, you need to be prepared for mass shootings that are bound to occur on your watch.

As it was, we are still in the midst of a horrific hurricane season and still sorting out the carnage of the worst modern mass shooting in our not-so-great history (some of the pre-modern ones are enough to make you drop the whole “great again” gag).

Even on sillier issues – like chastising NFL players (all 10 of them) for not standing during the national anthem, only to have 250 do it in response the next week – there is no foresight.

He is not the product of his own lack of consequential thinking, though.
Those who helped put his butt in the throne – and you know that’s how he sees it – are guilty as charged.

If that’s you, it goes on your record — your permanent record,

Maybe, like felons who have committed an egregious act, you should not be allowed to vote ever again.

Ride My See-Saw

moodybluescenter

By GORDON GLANTZ

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE – Of all the bologna that should keep me up at night – or, in my case, up while trying to take my afternoon nap – who is or is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should not be among them.

But it is.

You just can’t teach a grumpy old dog new tricks, especially when he has yet to chew his way through the same rawhide bone.

Just to repeat – a nut graph, if you will – I could, and maybe should, just leave it alone. All my all-time favorites are long-since inducted. That arm’s-length list goes from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to U2 and The Clash to all the obvious Classic Rock icons (Beatles, Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc.).

I hocked upon a righteous drum solo for Bob Seger, and was almost committed to a mental institution when one-hit wonder Isaac Hayes got in first, but all was made right a year later. I then began screaming for Genesis, Rush and Journey.

Inducted, inducted and inducted.

But the sports half of my brain get reconcile the more artsy-fartsy way the Hall goes about laying out nominees and coming to its final conclusion each year.

And even though fans vote – the only reason likes of Rush, Journey and others got in – the snot-nosed critics are still able to force their agenda of such extreme inclusion of forms of music that really are not Rock and Roll that obvious choices remain excluded.

This year’s list of 19, of which a grand total of five will be inducted, is no exception. I see some I’m happy with and others that don’t pass the smell test.

And I’m still left wondering what Bad Company, the Doobie Brothers and Steppenwolf ever did to be treated with such blatant disregard.

After I huff and puff, I’ll cast my vote. And then I’ll sit back and contemplate therapy as a day perfect for napping, like when it’s raining, is lost starring at the celing.

Let’s look at the list and I’ll give one of three answers – Yes (in bold), Maybe (italics) or No – for whether or not induction is deserved. I won’t give the “yes” nod for more than five, but a maybe means I can live with it.

  • Bon Jovi – Yes (Not a huge fan, but I was a first-hand witness to their impact and you can’t deny the body of work and the songs that continue to resonate).
  • Kate Bush – Maybe (Good music, but a little too quirky and out the mainstream to break into my Top 5. Still, I’d be OK with it).
  • The Cars – Yes. Hell Yes. (My favorite band for a stretch in ninth grade. I did out-grow them but still appreciate the tell-tale body of work and the obvious influence on other bands that came after. To me, they are on the same level as The Talking Heads, who were inducted a while back. How did that happen, you may wonder? Critics loved The Talking Heads and were never really into The Cars. It’s a New York vs. Boston thing).
  • Depeche Mode – No (I mean, they had their moments but, uh, no).
  • Dire Straits – Yes (A no-brainer, really, so brace yourselves for the inevitable WTF moment).
  • Eurythmics – No (A few OK songs does not a Hall of Fame career make, sorry).
  • J. Geils Band – Yes (This is a case of waiting until somebody dies –in this case, J. Geils himself, to act. Pretty damned pathetic).
  • Judas Priest – Maybe (We are talking about heavy metal icons with a hefty catalogue, but going in before metal pioneers Steppenwolf wouldn’t be right).
  • LL Cool J – No (But it will happen, and at the expense of an act or artist way more deserving, mark my words. Rap isn’t my thing, but I can appreciate it and where it’s coming from as a form of urban expression. That said, it is a whole different genre that should have its own Hall of Fame).
  • MC5 – Maybe (And only because they are pretty good. Still, the body of work just doesn’t measure up. Line them up against Steppenwolf, for example, and that should end this discussion).
  • The Meters – No (They keep coming up on the nominee list like acid reflux. Until somebody explains to me why, when Todd Rundgren or Boston and singer-songwriters like Harry Chapin and Gordon Lightfoot get no love, I’m going to keep going for the Alka-Seltzer when I see them listed).
  • Moody Blues – Yes (It’s even more of a no-brainer and so overdue that I might miss two naps if they don’t get in).
  • Radiohead – Maybe (Not my cup of tea, but there seems to be a compelling need from the board to leapfrog bands from this era over people who may not be around to appreciate being inducted much longer).
  • Rage Against the Machine – Maybe (I can appreciate the impact, and I dig Tom Morello, but I’m just not feeling it).
  • Rufus featuring Chaka Khan – Maybe (I can’t put it in my obvious Top 5, but they like to look like to do the annual “politically correct thing to do,” and this is not this band’s first time on the nominee list. For what it’s worth, “Tell Me Something Good” was the first 45 I ever bought, so I have a soft spot. Just not that soft).
  • Nina Simone – No (Her own bio lists about every genre under the sun – from Jazz to Soul to Gospel – but not Rock and Roll. Her only Top 40 hit, “I Loves You, Porgy,” reached No. 18 (No. 2 on R&B charts) in 1959. We can appreciate the longevity and respect in the music business, but this would be like putting a rugby player in the football hall of fame).
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Maybe (Actually, not maybe. Yes, but as a pioneer selection. How she, as a more of an inventor of what became Rock and Roll than Bill Haley and his friggin’ Comets, is not in is beyond me)
  • Link Wray – LOL (not means no, as in N-O.).
  • The Zombies – Maybe (I really like their stuff but there just isn’t enough of it).

So, the summarize, from this list (and I could come up with five more deserving inductees fast than you can say Boston, Styx, Foreigner, America and Warren Zevon), we have: Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, J. Geils Band and Moody Blues — with  special “pioneer” designation for Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Now go forth and stuff those ballot boxes.

I need my sleep.