All your life will ever be

Told you.

Eric Garner is finally getting his due.  I wish the assholes would stop and allow the peaceful protestors to do their thing.  Way back when it happened I said they left that man dead in the street pretending like he was still alive.  He wasn’t.  They used an illegal choke hold on a man that wasn’t doing anything in the first place and they killed a husband, father and grandfather.  And the State of New York let it happen.  And to the right wing, it’s not about taxation.  It’s not about Obama’s police state.  It’s about racism.  Period.

Shame on them and shame on this country.

The thing is, as a white person, I only hear stories of cabbies not picking up black fares in the big cities.  I hail a cab and they pick me up.  Here’s the thing.  Jay-Z is worth about $560 million dollars.  If he were to stand alone on a street corner in New York, no entourage, he could not hail a cab.  The subtle things that happen in this country every single day effect the individuals ability to lead the same life as I do.  I had a client a few years ago who had itty bitty dreadlocks.  He was a firefighter.  His dreads were not more than an inch long which was in compliance with the fire department regulations but his Captain busted his balls about his hair.  Why?  Seriously.  Why.  Until we recognize it and shine God’s flashlight upon it, it continues.

It has to change.  It must change.  Enough.

Now, am I the only person that sees the irony in the police using tear gas on a bunch of protestors who were chanting “I Can’t Breathe”?

I want to bathe you in holy water

Time to call bullshit.

Mark Zuckerman and his wife just donated $25 MILLION dollars to the CDC to fight ebola.  Bullshit.

What would the world look like if somebody had dropped $25 million dollars on the CDC in 1981?  What if it wasn’t called “gay cancer” back then?  What if the President of the United States had actually uttered the word “AIDS” during his term?  Yeah, bullshit.

The fact that Obama actually said the word “ebola” in a press conference makes his tee time irrelevant. Because GW took 407 days off as President and Obama is at 125 days. And Dwight D Eisenhower played 800 rounds of golf compared to Obama’s 186.

 

 

Only few return, so only few will learn

Let’s have some fun at Fox News’ expense.

In Guilfoyle’s defense she did ask “why did you feel compelled to ruin her thing?”  But seriously boys.  Seriously.  You are an embarrassment and anyone who still watches this assclowns should go out and shoot themselves in the head.  It won’t hurt them because their heads are empty.  No one with a brain watches these asshats.

And then they got owned.

It’s a long way from being the First Lady of the City by the Bay to sitting next to these sleezeballs.  I wonder if she ever sleeps.

In other news, this guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkPGsKdbYRA#t=121

In Russia everyone has dashcams.  That’s how we get great videos like this one:

Those Russians can wreck some cars.  Isn’t amazing how quick the flashers go on?

Doncha wonder why the PoPo turn off the video cameras after the stop?  That’s because shit’s about to go down.

But today is a happy day, I turned 56 on Friday.  Never thought I’d live past 30, so let’s end with the Hartwich.

 

 

Pastoral scene of the gallant South

Miss me? Sorry, it’s been busy around here.

So in our last show our hero was railing against the police killing an African American man and leaving him dead in the street while pretending he was still alive.  Fast forward and…

No pretending Michael Brown was still alive.  They shot that young man six times.  He wasn’t getting back up.  And FINALLY a town blew up.  It should not be a freaking mystery to anyone.  We pretend like we aren’t a racist nation or is it lip service that we pay to the idea?  We suck.  We just suck.

Of course this new Right Wing has made it ok within their ranks to be racist and have even brought on a few fascinating characters like Allen West and Herman Cain.  Mostly because those two are clowns.  Alternatively I’d love to sit and talk with Condi Rice and everyone knows I’m a Colin Powell fan.  I’d love to have a frank conversation with Powell about his years with the Bush Administration.  Love to.  But in truth, the racists have pulled off their pointed little robes and feel free to express their ignorance in public.  That’s ok.  Now we know who they are.  They are Senators and Representatives and in a couple of cases Governors.  And they are very very dangerous.

We have allowed these Right Wing ass clowns to take over the media and now they tell us what to think.  And most of us are too lazy or stupid to form our own opinions.

Turn off the EFFING television news.  It’s horseshit.

Wonder why the Clive Bundy protesters were allowed to show up armed to the teeth while in Ferguson unarmed demonstrators were gassed and shot with rubber bullets?  Seriously.  You have to ask.  What.  Was.  The.  Difference.

Simple the Ferguson protesters were unarmed and posed no threat to the police.  The demonstrators stood unarmed with their hands up, signifying the position Michael Brown was in when he was murdered.  Yet they were gassed and shot with rubber bullets.  The armed racist knuckleheads at Bundy’s Ranch were white.  That’s it.  They were and are much more dangerous, but the government walked away from them.

There is some seriously good shit in here.

At what point do we say enough is enough?  At what point do we as a nation grow the eff up?  Last night was the VMA’s.  I saw an art form that has moved past the racism and embraced each other’s culture and put forth some amazing stuff.  There are periods of time where I have hated popular music but right now, the blending of genres is exciting, interesting and great to listen to.  As an aside, there is no reason for Taylor Swift.  None.  Every time I see her I think WHY?  She’s this generation’s Sheryl Crow.  But I digress.

My hope is that what’s currently happening in music will continue to spill into society and change the world.  It wouldn’t be the first time that music has changed the world.  In the meantime, consider this: Jay-Z is worth $520 million and if he were standing alone on a street in New York City, he could not hail a cab.

 

Yes, I’m running down the railway track

I’ve been on this one for years but goddammit, I’m right.  Once everyone else figures it out it’ll be too late.  When I first moved to Concord in 2000, I went down to the Concord PD and said “Hey I have a Doberman Pinscher, but he’s a nice dog”.  They were like “So what?”  I said “I don’t want you to shoot my dog”.  They said “If you don’t do anything you shouldn’t we won’t shoot your dog.”  Well, that was a lie.  And it’s been the lie.  Dogs get shot all of the time and the standard police lie is “The dog posed a threat to the officer”.  This means if they are chasing some asshat and he hops your fence and the cops follow him and your dog barks at the cop, the cop shoots your dog.  Period.  Because your dog posed a threat to the officer. I trace all of this back to the war on drugs.  The Columbians were just crazy back in the 80’s and they brought the militia mindset of their own country to ours.  And the police responded in kind to the Columbian thugs.  But then our own thugs learned to play like Columbians and the police became militarized and then they just quit distinguishing between ordinary citizens and the mini-militias they were facing in the failed War on Drugs.  And then “ice” or crystal meth showed up in the US.  And the crazy ran deep.  But then the cops got crazy too and they kept saying their crazy actions were justified.  And now shit is just out of control. Police officer Nicholas McDermott ruined Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe’s career.

Backe said officer Nicholas McDermott “screamed, ‘back the f— up.” Backe said he could back up no farther and told the officer, “Chill out, we can’t back up. You’ve got enough room.” At that point several officers attacked him, he said, striking him as he fell to the ground and continuing to beat him until his face was bloody. One kicked him in the face, he said.

When he fell, his shoulder struck a concrete curb that separated the sidewalk from a garden. He said officers kept beating him while he was down. “I hit the ground hard and they just got on top of me,” he said. Backe contends that this is when he his shoulder was so badly damaged it ended his career.

In this case the Orange County Sheriff’s office in Florida went to a house where the guy they were looking for no longer lived.  They didn’t bother to do their due diligence and just charged in.  So they shot a 17 year old and killed the family dog. Last week Eric Garner died at the hands of the NY PD.  He was put in an illegal choke hold  (Choke holds are illegal, people are not).  Garner an asthmatic who weighed almost 350lbs succumbed on the street.  You can google around and see the video in it’s entirety, including the part with NYPD pretends like he’s still alive when he’s actually already dead.  They called him at the hospital but I don’t believe he was alive when he got there.

The police were not there because he was selling cigarettes without paying the stamps, they were there because of a fight he had just broken up.  So NYPD killed a good samaritan.  Nice job.

You see, it’s just fine while the police are killing them negroes and the Mexicans, but if they start killing white people, well then shit’s going to get real.  Right?  Wrong.  It’s a Martin Niemoller moment.  

We can stand up for what’s right today or deal with the consequences of our inaction tomorrow.

If I don’t do it, you know somebody else will

During the week,  I collect all kind of crap to comment on each Sunday morning.  And then something happened and I’m up all Saturday night.  And not in a good way.  The Fitbit tells me how I slept, as if I didn’t know this time.  I didn’t actually fall into a real sleep until 3:50am.  It was a long night and I have a busy day.  But here we go on this week’s collection of crap.

First up, the absolute best thing on the interwebs.

This horse appears to be some sort of competition horse in a Spanish speaking country.  And Boss, well he is the boss.  I picked Beauregard based on his littermate’s relationship with a horse.  I said “whatever you did to get that” pointing at Nero, “that’s what I want”.  I had a reserve on the next littler but then Beauregard (then Max) came back as his owner was being shipped out to somewhere he couldn’t take him.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of bad on the interwebs.  Like NYPD killing a man who didn’t do anything.  At all.  I’m telling you the police are out of hand in this country.  And the privatization of the prison system is a very bad thing.

Let’s play a round of good cop bad cop.  This time the lady cop is the bad cop.  No probable cause lady.

Apparently there is a super secret homo death squad who worship Hitler and are coming to kill Christians.  Good thing we have the Gaily Grind who will keep us all updated when they finally locate the training facility.  I’m certain it is located next to Santa’s workshop and the Easter bunny’s hovel.  The thing is this asshat has people who listen to him and believe his bullshit.  Although I guess if you’re reading this you might believe my bullshit….

But at least my bullshit is the good shit.  I thought this study by the Southern Poverty Law Center was much more terrifying than imaginary homo death squads.

And just because.

And because Johnny Winter passed away last week… it’s long, just let it run you’ll thank me.

 

 

The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.

Well, we started off last week with the second dumbest decision of the current Supreme Court of the United States.  The dumbest decision was Citizens United and the dumbest of all time remains Dred Scott, although these guys are well on their way to a modern day Dred Scott decision.

These nincompoops are a product of the Great Communicator and the Bushes.  Elect morons to office and they pick morons for the court.  The biggest turd is Scalia, a turd that lies on the doorstep of the Right Wings Great White Hope, Reagan.

SOME HOW, in this country, your religious beliefs now allow you to discriminate against women.  That, friends, is utter bullshit.  It’s utter bullshit for numerous reasons, but the most important reason is that the Bible never, ever, ever instructed it’s believers to be assholes.  Not once.  So this argument and the Catholic church, who with the unholy alliance with the Mormons brought us Prop 8 are now running the country.  Welcome to ‘Merika.

It’s interesting to me that the Catholics who currently sit on the SCOTUS have forgotten that a mere 50 years ago, it was a big question as to whether or not this country would elect that Irish Catholic guy from Massachusetts.  His father never could become President and that was the thing that guy wanted the most.  There is a  cost for forgetting history.  It usually presents itself in the form of extinction. Yet this Court got themselves out on a very slippery slope from which there is no retreat.  And the Catholic Church is spraying the hill down with oil.

My religion doesn’t allow for any science so I won’t provide for any medical insurance at all, nor will I provide sick time, we will just pray over the sick.  My religion says not to associate with gay people so we won’t hire any.  My religion says that anyone with AIDS should not have a job.  My religion says that women should serve their husbands so I won’t hire any.  My religion says women should obey their husbands and never leave the home for anything.  My religion says that people of color are an aberration and must be exterminated.  My religion says that Hitler was right  and all Jews must be killed.  Where the hell does it stop?

Well it appears to stop at my religion sacrifices chickens to the beat of the African drums.  My religion says I eat an ital diet and smoke the ganja.  My religion says I fast for Ramadan and pray five times a day.  That’s where it stops.  And that is utter bullshit.

  • “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.” ~Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg

So get your chicken sacrificing, ganja smoking Allah praying ass in line and bow down to the Knights of Columbus, you’re new god.

This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

About that Ride.

A week ago I finished my fourth AIDS/Lifecycle.  It was hard for all of the wrong reasons.

Four weeks before we left I thought I would take Bill the Dog down to the Clayton Art and Wine festival and hang with either Cousin Jeanne or Cousin in law Jason, whoever was there.  The truck needed gas first.  The 20 year old truck.  The battery failed at the pump and the truck was stuck there.  Oh, and it was 10am on a Sunday.  Who cares?  I called AAA.

Well, apparently the guy at the station wanted it out of there after 30 minutes of waiting for AAA.  We go to push it and it comes to that point where you jump into the truck to hit the brake so it doesn’t roll out onto Clayton Road and I missed the hop.  Oh yeah, I rode over Morgan Territory the day before.

I don’t know if that is going to work or not but if it does it’s cool.  Anyway there was 4497 feet of elevation change.  And my legs were toast.  So hopping up in the truck was off the table.  I caught my heel on the sill and my foot got stuck between the bottom of the seat and the sill of the truck.  And the truck was rolling away and Bill the Dog was in it.  I thought about just dropping out but there was a curb behind me and I was afraid of a curb with one foot stuck in the truck and a head injury.  If I missed the curb I ran the risk of getting run over by my own runaway truck.  And Bill was driving at that point.

I don’t know why I didn’t tell the guy to stop pushing, but I didn’t.  And at the end of the day I ended up shoving my shoulder into the truck to stop it from rolling.  But it was too late for my hamstring.  In spite of some amazing work by Dr. Elkind, I left on June 1 at about 70%.   And it got worse.

By Day 2 I had compensated for the hamstring to the point that my calf was blown up too.  By far my earliest trip ever to Sports Med.

 

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Kind of pathetic that this is the only picture they have of me.  On the other hand, that guy was giving everyone a push.

But that’s not what this is about.  This is about Edna.

Edna was a Training Ride Leader, a 13 time rider (that’s 9 times more than me) and just one of those infectious personalities you cannot help but be drawn to.  She was always and I do mean always smiling.  I have no recollection of any other expression on her face.

On Day 4 she was riding along with her husband and she went into cardiac arrest.  On her bike.  She fell off and hit her head.  We all wear helmets but there is only so much they can do.  She might have survived the cardiac incident but the head injury was too much.  Her devoted husband rode on the next day and broke his leg.  I’m sure he rode on because she would have wanted him to, she loved the ride but he was understandably too distraught.  He loved her.  She passed on June 8th.  We all rode into Los Angeles on Day 7 with her number either taped to our helmets or our bikes.  We all carried her into LA.

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Edna was a Dodger fan.  She was wearing that jersey on her last day of riding.  A lot of people have said she died doing what she loved, which was the Ride.  I guess that’s a decent way to go. An old friend died on the rugby pitch, same story.  It’s just that I’m not done here so I’d like to keep on rolling for about 40 more years.  So if something happens to me rest assured, I’m pissed off about it.

I just think about her husband.  He is a kind and generous man.  This woman that so affected 2500 riders and 500 Roadies was an amazing personality and an amazing person.  If we are all feeling it how bad must it be for the man that loved her, woke up with her every day, had breakfast with her?  I really feel for him.  His loss must be excruciating.  He’s probably numb right now but holy crap when this one catches up…that poor man.  She was 41.

It just makes me think about the fragility of this life.  It’s not like I don’t get it, I do.  When the good Lord calls you home, you’re going whether it’s part of your plan or not.  Every year when I ride out of the Cow Palace I look down at my handle bars and say “This could be it.  You could not come home from this.  Is your shit straight?”  I try to live my life in a way that the answer is always “yes”.  Some people won’t allow that, but that’s their problem not mine.  It’s my job to do my best, whatever that is at that particular moment in time.  And let God sort the rest out.

 

 

Make your life a mockery

I cannot imagine the horror Peter Rodgers and his ex-wife went through last Friday night.  The killer’s mother found his video and his 141 page manifesto online, called her ex-husband and they jumped in the car and raced to Santa Barbara.  They heard on the radio about the rampage going on in Isla Vista.  I cannot imagine.  I’m sure they knew the moment they heard.  The shock that went through their bodies.  They had that kid in therapy every day of his life since he was 8 years old and it didn’t stop the carnage.  They called the police on April 30th and the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office sent six cops out there, but never looked at the youtube videos.  I don’t know if that would have given the probable cause to search his place or not, but the parents did all they could.  They knew he was dangerous.  They tried.  A lot more than most people would.  They aren’t the only family out there going through this kind of hell with a mentally ill child.

First off, let me invoke the Unibomer rule here.  Rule: If you have a manifesto you get to use the insanity defense.  Period.  Addendum:  If it goes on for 141 pages detailing every time you burped or farted over the last 22 years, it’s rubber stamped insanity defense.

There is a ton of chatter out there about how it’s somebody’s fault because our society is misogynist.  OK, fair enough.  It’s Rupert Murdock’s fault.  Happy?  He’s the sorry sonofabitch that has been advancing all of this propaganda in this country for the last almost 20 years.  Blame Reagan for repealing the Fairness Doctrine.  Blame Rush Limbaugh.  These propagandameisters are brainwashing America.  And misogyny is part of their agenda.  Blame the vast Right-Wing Conspiracy because it is real.

And if you’re really bored, blame this idiot.  Her doctorate was apparently mailed to her by a cereal manufacturer in the Caribbean.

Another Fox shill.

So let’s just play some Rammstein.  Nothing misogynist about rock and roll.

 

The pen is mightier than the sword but no match for a gun

Nothing is simple.

Another young man goes on a shooting rampage.  This country wrings it’s hands.  The gun whack jobs will say that if the other students had been armed he could have been stopped.  I’m just not sure how they can all be so sure that it would end like that.

When it comes to extreme stress situations and emergencies, you never know how someone is going to react.  Unless they have been trained, they don’t know.    Who knows how much bravado dies because they froze.  Studies have found that some possess an ability to rise to the occasion while others are destine to be victims even if they have the opportunity to save themselves, they won’t.  They won’t leave a burning airplane.  They say that’s the difference between the ones that survive things like plane crashes and train or bus crashes.  If they aren’t killed in the initial incident, they have the ability to get out and many times lead others out.  A lot like the World Trade Center.  Others freeze.  They don’t make it.  I find that fascinating.  I’m pretty certain I would be the one to survive, if I had a moment to make a split second decision.

I used to live on Sabado Tarde.  The Brother lived in Isla Vista at one point too.  We both know where all of this took place.  Isla Vista is cut off from the rest of the world.  It’s a series of mostly 1950 and 1960’s era apartments each jam packed with students trying to stretch their funds.  Del Playa is the beach.  Back in the 60’s there were plenty of demonstrations there including the famous burning of the Bank of America.    We could have used the Class of 1970 in 2008.

I am getting more and more fascinated in what makes people tick.  What makes them do what they do.  Why they say what they say.  Why they can’t just say what they want.

This particular young man was afflicted with Asparger’s Syndrome.  Highly functioning until Saturday night.  He had been putting up a series of youtube videos that were becoming more and more disturbed.  His family was concerned and called the Sheriff who did a welfare check.  Here is the thing, you can’t just haul somebody off to a mental hospital any more.  This guy was 22.  His parents couldn’t do anything more than ask for a welfare check.  If the patient doesn’t want help, we are all screwed.  He didn’t want help and did not appear to be in a state where the sheriff could haul him off on a 5150 or a 5250.

Now you could get all up in arms about the injustice of that, before you do that let me remind you that in California it was the work of both Jerry Brown and Ronald Reagan that got us to this point.  And I don’t know that it is a bad thing.  I don’t know what the solution is either.

Whenever I think of this subject, I think of Rosemary Kennedy.  At 23 years old her father Joseph Kennedy authorized a lobotomy for her “irritable and difficult” behavior.  She spent the next 53 years of her life institutionalized.  Rosemary is a perfect example of why the laws had to be changed.  In those early IQ tests, Rosemary Kennedy tested very low, in the 60’s and 70’s.  As the story goes, when she was born, the nurse would not deliver her until the Doctor arrived.   The delay resulted in a lack of oxygen and her intellectual disability.  She was functioning until the lobotomy.   What’s interesting is that lobotomies were outlawed in the USSR in 1950 but to this day not in the US, although several states have banned them.

The thing is, we cannot apply our morals and our thought processes to the mentally ill, because they are mentally ill.  Their head doesn’t work like ours, that’s why they are ill.   And there is a plethora of illnesses and afflictions.  Manic depression, now called bi-polar, schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, autism spectrum, unless we are in the middle of it, we don’t understand it.  Our rules, our morals don’t apply.  An autistic child doesn’t function like we do.  We have no idea what goes on in there.  Until something bad happens.  Parents trying to do the right thing struggle mightily.

I’m not a mental health professional.  I’m a Realtor.  I’m lucky some days to get my pants on before a walk out the front door, but that’s just because I can be a little absent minded.   Jenny McCarthy, also not a mental health professional thinks autism is caused by vaccines.  I think it makes more sense that it’s caused by the bastardization of our food supply.  When we are mutating our vegetables by adding Round-up to the seeds, we are screwing around with something we shouldn’t be.  Kind of like lobotomies.  But I’m not a scientist either.  I never dissected a frog.  The idea of taking apart a little animal was never interesting to me.  I am still a little damaged by the little lizard that ran under my bike yesterday and I killed.  It was about 4 inches long.  Frogs have always been off the table.  Which is also why veganism is easy for me.  I just don’t like killing animals and it has never set well with me.  But I digress.

We don’t know what causes any of it.  We’d like to think we can fix things with a pill but we can’t.  And a lot of pills make a lot of mental patients feel awful and the don’t like that which is why they go off of their meds.  Sometimes horrific things happen like last Saturday night in Isla Vista.  You can’t take the horror out of that situation.  The 10 families that are now going to bury their college students who they sent to idyllic Santa Barbara where nothing should have gone wrong.   The 7 injured who will never be the same.  The other thousands who are indelibly damaged by what just happened at their school, in their neighborhood.

Bottom line, there is only a couple of ways in and out of Isla Vista.  One of the is the ocean.  The Alpha Phi sorority had a chance to live or die and they made the right decision and did not open the door or this would have been much worse than it was.  And it is awful.  And I have know idea what the solution might be.