CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AT 50

Aquarian Weekly
7/9/14

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AT 50

I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.

– Fredrick Douglass – Love of Man, Love of God, Love of Country 1847

Thirteen years before the United States of America was plunged into a long and bloody Civil War from which over 600,000 would be slaughtered beneath the nation’s original sin, Fredrick Douglass poured from his heart the core of patriotism. It is one of the most jolting, irreverent pieces of kick-ass writing scratched by human hand. It is the essence of the American horror, the dream; the senseless passion that arises from the heart of a man yearning to breathe free under the yoke of a hypocritical system ironically built on the concept of the word. It runs some forty-one hundred words and slams into your skull like a battering ram. It is as beautiful a rebuke and demand on this country as I have ever read anywhere by anyone.Douglass_47-52_65

It is those words that I come to time and again when confronted with the anguish of the African-American experience in this country, when it was barely possible for a black man to consider such things, much less formulate them into ideology and then push them, no, regurgitate them onto paper; a force of nature, a torrent, a battle cry. Because it is in Douglass’ experience which preludes a century of sheer madness passed along by law and religion and patriotism and the institutionalized discrimination bound by violence and destruction of men, women and children, eradicated legally and physically from the dream; the American promise of a vain, slave-owning genius by the name of Thomas Jefferson, who had the gall to write, even as he owned fellow human beings, about God having created all of us as equals to gain the liberty of revolution.

It was a revolution that did not include all, hardly; many of whom had lost their sons defeating the world’s most powerful military. Across fields of destruction, they fought until the land was indeed no longer under rule, in turn, trading one tyranny for another.

And still a century would nearly pass before the Emancipation Proclamation and the bloodiest of wars, the murder of a president and another hundred years of degradation. All the while Americans could have heeded the call of Douglass that begins as if a phoenix rising; “I like radical measures, whether adopted by Abolitionists or slaveholders. I do not know but I like them better when adopted by the latter. Hence I look with pleasure upon movements”.

Ah, yes, “movements”, wryly states its author, who understood it was the “slaveholder” who would carry his fate – Jefferson’s dream, perhaps? – or a movement centuries away, when it would be no longer about the “white man” tossing crumbs, but the black man pushing forth on the words of a movement, on the words of A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, T.R.M. Howard, Whitney Young, James Farmer, John Lewis, Jimmy Lee Jackson, Martin Luther King, Fred Shuttlesworth, Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, Septima Clarke, Bernice Robinson, Esau Jenkins, Minnijean Brown, Robert F. Williams. Amzie Moore, Hartman Turnbow, David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Samuel Wilbert Tucker, Charles McDew, Bernard Lafayette, Charles Jones, Lonnie King, Julian Bond, Hosea Williams, Stokely Carmichael, James Meredith, Raylawni Branch, Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong, James Bevel, Malcolm X, and a preacher’s son from Atlanta, Georgia by the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

I write today because of men like King and Douglass, who in their prescience made a Declaration of Independence a living, breathing descendant of justice.

It was the Civil Rights Movement that stretched from Birmingham to Tulsa, Anniston to Tallahassee, all through the South and up into Chicago and many of the inner cities of the North, which gets little press when it comes to abject bigotry, but should not. And it is the brave voices, echoes of Douglass pondering aloud exactly what it means to be free, to seek liberty and a pursuit of happiness, to be a man; one man, one race, all races, all creeds underlining Jefferson’s great promise.

Freedom Riders and boycotts, lynchings and marchings, cops and courts, corruption and press, politics and anger, and peace, voting and fighting…and then, one day, July 2, 1964; 100 years after the bloody Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s shuttering sentences that scrambled up Jefferson. The gangly man in the stovepipe hat and the high-pitched voice stood on the battlefield of Gettysburg and dared measure “the great task remaining before us”. Yes, and what of that task, asked of his nineteenth predecessor, one Lyndon Baines Johnson, who wrangled the difficult votes to declare rights to humanity and liberty and all the haughty talk of freedom.

Oh, it would take two more sweeping acts of congress; one for voting rights in 1965 and one for housing rights in 1968, as if we could not, would not, goddamn us all, should not get this right after so many years and bloodshed and speeches – oh, those speeches – the fact that a man would be forced to “dream” that all Americans “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” – not realize, but dream.

I was not yet two years-old when MLK stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, built for a man who a century before toiled at the behest of Fredrick Douglass to set the African-American slave free and the country aflame, and ask for the right to be recognized as a citizen of these United States. It is hard to believe this could take place in my lifetime; not 100 years ago, but within the American Century.

I am 51 now. I write today because of men like King and Douglass, who in their prescience made a Declaration of Independence a living, breathing descendant of justice.

Patriots all.

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IN PRAISE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH (AGAIN)‏

Aquarian Weekly
6/25/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

IN PRAISE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH (AGAIN)

Ignoring the glaring hypocrisy of the ruling this week, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the First Amendment by striking down a 2007 Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone around family planning centers. Of course it is ridiculous to have any such “boundary” stopping those who wish to express their support or most likely derision of potential abortions, although I have been known to cheer on those who aim to cease the dangerously high levels of population that will soon cripple the ecological and economic foundations of civilization. It’s a tough gig, cheering for abortions. It was like that “Fuck God!” chant I couldn’t get going in the Yankee Stadium bleachers during a rain out a few decades back.buffer_zone_65

Quick aside: Having heard the vilest things uttered by marginally intelligent and I assumed sentient beings there, I take it as a matter of pride that I reached a level they would not broach.

The hypocrisy comes when you consider that protests outside the Supreme Court are not only prohibited, but the buffer zone is a hell of lot wider than 35 feet. Throwing rocks is possible, but you are likely to see serious jail time for that. No one really can defend throwing a rock at the Supreme Court building, even if it is to curtail the over-population of our doomed planet.

Lord knows, and I believe strongly I am supported by the Creator God, whose main purpose, it seems, in the Torah is genocide, I do not deny abortion is a form of murder. It is. But is necessary killing, like bombing the Middle East or allowing crazies to buy any gun they want. I support all the Amendments, and with it the Second Amendment, no matter how many people are massacred daily. Abortion, school shootings, economic wars, these are mere collateral damage for being free. Freedom of choice – the American Dream – to maim, kill or even yell things at teenagers raped by their uncle when they want to flush the after affects.

Quick aside: According to the New Testament, mostly the Gospel of John, God aborted his son in the 99th trimester. Just saying.

And so, I fully support this ruling. Shit, in this county, and I am loathe to mention which county, because when this damaged sucker hits the presses I would like to keep my whereabouts hidden, I know first-hand that it is difficult to get at patrons entering buildings by either chanting obscene accusatory nonsense or merely trying to quietly council them on the ways they have gone astray.

To wit: Three years ago on a hot summer day, not unlike the one that has come the lazy afternoon I thrash this together, I decided to camp out in front of a Catholic Church not far from my residence, and calmly explain to the perhaps unknowing parishioners that by attending this establishment, they were inadvertently but without equivocation supporting institutionalized pedophilia. I handed out pamphlets that described in detail many of the hundreds of cases brought against the church for the continued and heinous sexual abuse of minors by priest and nuns, which the church not only failed to admonish for a century-plus or God-forefend, police, but openly sanctioned and defended.

I was asked to leave the premises, but thought at the time it might be within my constitutional rights to take my good time and whatever tattered mess is left of my good name, and attempt to save innocent children from further Catholic-sanctioned rapes. Glad to know that I can return to that dark place and try and spread the good word again someday.

Quick aside: I did not hear anyone chanting support of child rape. Just saying.

I also recall a time in the late 1980s’ when I joined a couple of other wise-asses to make an attempt to explain to those poor souls who thought it might be a good idea to join the U.S. Army that they should consider the abysmal record of this country to avoid mindless conflicts in which young men and now women are cut down or mutilated for meager pay and some bullshit concept like honor, as if to gain it, you must wear matching clothes and become fodder for the banking set. Yes, there were police involved that day, my friends. Apparently, that “buffer zone” needed no law, but was, as we now know (as if we needed a ruling on that) unconstitutional.

It’s a tough gig, cheering for abortions.

Before we leave this celebration of freedom of speech – and lest anyone think this is a veiled satire to berate the ruling, please do not, I stand by the above – I would be remiss in mentioning the hunting and/or bait and tackle establishments my wife once stalked warning those sauntering inside that blood would soon be on their hands. Now I am no Vegan or animal activist, and although I personally find hunting to be an insipidly barbaric activity practiced by sexually-threatened narcissists with mommy issues, I support hunters’ rights. And as much I love my wife, I think protesting anything is asinine and mostly solipsistic, and that one should understand that “killing for sport” is still killing, and the Genocide God is quite specific about that in His commandments, and, well…I’m just saying.

And isn’t that the crux of this unanimous ruling by the highest court in our land, a country built on laws and reason, not to mention land grabs, free labor and genocide. Rooting for or railing against abortions is all part of our national pride. I feel it. You feel it?

So, anyway, now I have to go tell the poor bastard with the “Impeach Obama” sign at the end of the road that he doesn’t get a new government, he gets Joe Biden.

Freedom!

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TIME WARP‏

Aquarian Weekly
6/25/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

TIME WARP
The Never-Ending Fancy Shit Show That Is Iraq

I leave the country for seven days and end up in a fucking time warp?

Or did I misread this latest madness on getting “involved” with Iraq again, as if that is an option. Let’s face the hideous fact that this has been an abject clusterfuck since we recognized Iraq as a sovereign nation in 1930 and began screwing around with it through secret CIA coups around 1960, which later culminated with one of those fancy “puppet regime” deals three years later.gplaio

From then on the CIA was all-in. Horrifying lowlights include the 1980s U.S. sale of chemical and biological weapons, viruses and bacteria along with anthrax and bubonic plague to Iraq to fend off the Iranian revolution, which was the predictable result of another of our fancy puppet dictators. This is where you get that ironically bile-inducing photo of a smiling Donald Rumsfeld shaking the hand of brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein in 1983 as part of our fancy “special envoy” assignment. Later, of course, it would be Rumsfeld, as Secretary of Defense – second in disaster only to the cruel joke that was Robert McNamara, architect of the fancy institutional slaughterhouse known as Viet Nam – who so bungled the fancy 2003 Iraq campaign that it has landed us back here in this weird redux of doom.

Lest we forget George H. W. Bush (an ex CIA man, of course), who as president in 1990 embroiled this country in the fancy oil-centric farce known as Desert Storm to curtail the monster we helped to create, which later, as we well know, led to the Osama bin Laden (another monster we helped to create to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan) fatwa against the United States (amongst other silly Islamic-based nonsense), that culminated in the bombings of an American embassy in Africa, the USS Cole and finally 9/11. Then baby Bush came along, bringing with him the crusty idiots who fucked this thing up in the first place (aka Dick Cheney and the aforementioned war criminal Rumsfeld) to invade Iraq with falsified intelligence and other badly planned fancy goofs.

Let us now take a moment to address our current president, who needs to know, as he contemplates another fancy run on this religious/cultural desert sink-hole, that he is only president because Hillary Clinton voted to give G.W. Bush a blank check to commit this foreign policy atrocity in 2003, and that despite his unbelievable streak of one stumblebum domestic folly after another lately, his current policy of not listening to war-mongering cretins, who never wear a uniform but feel the need to send us into suicide missions for their own tiny-penis reasoning, is the only thing keeping him in the “not-awful” column around here.

It goes without saying that when it comes to Iraq, enough is enough.

Like Syria should be Russia’s problem, so then is Iraq Iran’s problem, and maybe Ronald Reagan’s original theory to use Iraq as a fulcrum against its insane neighbor, something the two succeeding Republican presidents seemed oblivious of, is the best plan of action.

Right now the militant group, something called the Grand Poobah Liberation Army of Iraq and Oates, is wreaking havoc with the crack military army we trained to keep that part of crazy land from coming apart (something again we needlessly instigated, maintaining our putrid half-century of fancy operations). This has excited all the has-been brain farts that created this feces to write op-ed pieces in driveling rags like the Wall Street Journal to call for more fanciness. It’s hard to blame Cheney, though. This latest nonsense is his and history will record his fancy goof and that scares him, because Cheney believes in permanent retributions like hell and he knows he’s going there and the best thing he can do is hope that the blood stain won’t be on his children, like some kind of fancy Biblical curse.

Lord knows a decade-plus and trillions of American money and gallons of our blood, is not enough to control the uncontrollable. But just as in 2003, this fancy aggression argument is made with no idea how Iraq works or has worked for centuries.

It goes without saying that when it comes to Iraq, enough is enough.

This is tribal warfare between Sunnis and Shiites and should remain so, as it will remain so forever. Long after all of us our gone and more of our children’s children will return from some part of oil-land with key limbs missing, there will still be Sunnis and Shiites, and they will be killing each other over holy land or Allah or specific pant styles and it won’t make a damn difference if we are tough or dithering or arrogant or determined or support Israel or continue to blithely ignore the atrocities of Saudi Arabia or use solar power or drill-baby-drill. This is what goes on and we should seriously, after decades if not centuries of evidence, finally get the fuck out of it.

We are so naïve and have been for years (including myself, who stupidly felt that unfinished fancy business started by one Bush meant it needed to be dealt with by another one or it could come back to bite us) in the idea that we can “control” or “abate” or “defend” this infinite bloodletting. It is stupid and worse still insane and even the mere thought of putting more lives or money at risk for it is so completely off-the-charts foolhardy that it defies further comment.

As a matter of prediction; once these half-assed militants get near the real shit, say, Bagdad, where the Shiites will then be asked to defend their own, instead of indefensible desert outposts posing as “cities, (something the mighty U.S. Army could barely accomplish) then it will be bye-bye Sunni insurrection.

Bye-bye

Something the United States should finally be saying to Iraq for good.

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OPEN LETTER TO MY WIFE III

Aquarian Weekly
6/11/14

REALITY CHECK

James Campion              


OPEN LETTER TO MY WIFE III
In Which We Discover Your True Grit After 15 Years Married To The Author        


Me, I always have you there.
Yours for the whole life.

– Arthur Rimbaud

Once again, as has been my feckless duty for the previous two public floggings – first on the occasion of our nuptials in June of 1999, when I sent to press a confession of my many and varied ills, and then a decade later on the tenth anniversary of our legal bonding – I take this precious ranting space to applaud your courage in still calling me your husband.

IMG_5645This time around we find ourselves in Dublin, Ireland on the twelfth day of this pagan tribute to the goddess of marriage, Juno. I tend to have these things hit the streets when we’re abroad and you are not able to read them, but then again the Internet has since screwed my insidious plan to express with glee this one-sided affair of our journey (advantage jc) with as little repercussion as possible.

Do not think I take this lightly. I know I married way above my class. Nor do I take lightly the unflinching dedication to this madness of a life we have slashed together as if a living, breathing Jackson Pollack. In fact, “abstract expressionism” would be a good description of this thing we’ve created by coming together, nay, staying together so long.

I tell friends almost daily, as I did a couple of days ago, how you have ruined me for other women. Say you come to your senses and boot me out, then how am I supposed to relate to ordinary mortals? Who would see this tornado of jack-assery coming the way you do, or fire against my brimstone the way you do, or crack wise, embrace rage, sink passion, brave doldrums, and rip through the artistic cosmos? Who, I ask you?

Fuck that. It’s prostitutes and bad poetry from then on.

You have taught me a valuable lesson lo these past seventeen years; fifteen in unholy matrimony: Love is not a universal concept. I probably should have seen that one coming, with all the evidence to the contrary. The idea that you can truly love someone else after being in love only works when you don’t have the scars of you, the brand of you, the scent, the fist, the silence, the exhale, the laughter, the abject mind-altering fuck-all of you. Sure, you can toss around affection and even understand random sex, but love? This comes from having your grip on my throat (I meant heart, not throat, no…wait, throat).

Here’s how you pulled that off: By allowing me to think you do not have this ironclad stranglehold on me; that somehow all these decisions that revolve around thinking of you every single day of my life since we plunged headlong into this without reason or logic have been mine and mine only. How some metaphysical hammerlock on my psyche doesn’t exist; it’s merely a “want” on my part or even (gulp!) a need. Yes, I need to have you consider me an important part of your existence, because, shit; not for one minute could you not be doing all this incredibly cool stuff – art, home-building, yoga, tequila abuse and zig-zag wandering across cityscapes – without me. Or taking care of every animal within a sixty-mile radius of this place we’ve built together in the mountains, which you stripped bare and rebuilt in your lioness image.

I guess the one thing you definitely could not have achieved is this now six year-old talking, singing, arguing, playing, challenging contraption called Scarlet. This offspring, this progeny, is partly my fault.

I guess the one thing you definitely could not have achieved is this now six year-old talking, singing, arguing, playing, challenging contraption called Scarlet. This offspring, this progeny, is partly my fault. This warped Vegan, Ramones-loving, snake-handling, cosmopolitan water-rat rhythm-machine with the innate ability to speak simultaneously with you whilst spouting divergent ideas has taken your staunch propaganda of empathy and protest and complicated my super-ego to a surprising level of boundless joy. What’s entirely my fault, however, is her shouting requests for “Dead Babies” at kiddie sing-alongs and reveling in what she calls the “bad things” like horror flicks, reptiles, punk music and whatever that creepy melody she hums late at night in bed that sounds like she’s conjuring demons.

What our daughter has received from you is the concussive beauty and steely strength and infinite compassion and the uncanny ability to draw six lines with a crayon and make me think of the Iliad or Twain or Beethoven’s Ninth or those unimaginably gorgeous Mexican sunsets. Most importantly, and dangerously for me, she also possesses your capacity to take hold of my jugular and squeeze; her grip is fierce, dare I say fiercer still than whatever it is you unleashed on me years ago and made me want to keep around. The uninitiated may call it masochistic, even fatalistic, but I call it loving you and now loving her and wondering how actually being loved by both of you is deserved.

But I am comfortable in my hoary role as the mutant in this dynamic; the bleating curmudgeon whose only purpose is to remind you of what being a mere human is like, and not avenging angels with the cute cat voices and the paint splattering all over and me over here never once struggling against your goddamn supernatural grip.

So now we’re in Dublin in search of the another bizarre heritage we share, beyond apathetic radicalism and constipated sensibilities and a dark faith that we never doubted each other for these fifteen years and how much I have cherished that rare, rare trust. It is what keeps me in your sway with infinite gratitude.

Your grip is strong, woman.

Don’t let go.

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VA SCANDAL: OUR IMPRINT, OUR LEGACY, OUR SIN‏

Aquarian Weekly
5/28/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

VA SCANDAL: OUR IMPRINT, OUR LEGACY, OUR SIN

One can conceive, even fathom something as horrifying as the Veteran’s Administration systematically allowing dozens of wounded soldiers to die and then scramble to cover it up, just as easily as one can conceive and even fathom the bizarrely ritualistic lies, deceit and ideological idiocy that put them there in the first place. There is the din of bureaucracy, money, ineptitude, and plain human nature to ignore “problems” of this magnitude when it is so overwhelming it reaches Biblical proportions. The question before us is why is it that so many dubiously opaque crises/scandals seem to be pored over with obsessive myopia, but this one, for decades, has been shrugged with a collective shoulder.Memorial-Day-AP75

Over two administrations now, both Republican and Democrat, there have been revelations of egregious treatment of veterans by our system; the first, the woeful conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2007 and now these new murderous allegations of the VA Health Care System in Arizona. Never mind the known troubles with such institutions since WWII well into the 1970’s, depicted graphically in memoirs by veterans of several wars too numerous to recount here. Yet, despite some oversight and investigations that receives a third if not less of the media coverage and overall slanderous rhetoric of lesser “crimes”, these fail to resonate with the American public, no matter what ideological line one inhabits. And while there is bi-partisan rage and lip-service condemnation from two presidents, this abomination, as damaging to whatever withering tatter of a soul is left of this nation as one can imagine, we see none of the hyperbolic outrage given to the ACA or the IRS scandal or this obsessive nonsense surrounding the Benghazi embassy attack.

Why?

Is it because it involves the military and the Pentagon; and these have been arguably the most untouchable monoliths of our bloated and mostly ineffectual federal government? Why is it that it takes about five minutes of knee-jerk debate and a few flimsy pieces of evidence or bent reasoning to stumble headlong into war; flushing billions upon trillions of our money on needless slaughter from the jungles of Viet Nam to the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, but when it comes to dealing with its most heinous realities, that our youth has been cut down, mutilated and massacred, we meander along endless lines of time?

This is how big our Military Industrial Complex has become; a gorging monster of bureaucracy that consumes up to 19 percent of our national budget, nearly as much as the much-ballyhooed entitlements, Social Security (24 percent), or the combined spending for Medicare and Medicaid (22 percent). According to a Peter G. Peterson Foundation study published in April of this year, the U.S. defense budget dwarfs those of ballpark economic stalwarts combined; China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, UK, Germany, Japan and India respectively at $607 billion to our stupefying $640 billion. And several studies have shown, and much of it pointed out in congress during last year’s sequester debates, that a healthy dose of it is either outdated or unnecessary.

Yet no one blinks an eye.

Why is this self-contained, hardly ever dissected monstrosity spread around the globe like a bottomless money-pit never put up for discussion by anyone on either side of the political aisle when seriously deciding the fate of the national debt or outlandish deficits or other well-tread political footballs?

How did the denizens of defense, this sub-cultured, fund-gobbling cottage industry, become so untouchable that it barely gets a whisper and people run from it like gun laws?

Why is it that it takes about five minutes of knee-jerk debate and a few flimsy pieces of evidence or bent reasoning to stumble headlong into war… but when it comes to dealing with its most heinous realities, that our youth has been cut down, mutilated and massacred, we meander along endless lines of time?

This VA disaster, a legitimate scandal of epic proportions and an a pox on our American ideals, whatever pile of streaming feces that emerges from, should be front and center above all else. What kind of putrid nation that waxes poetic at every nauseating turn about “supporting our troops” and respecting and thanking our fallen for “protecting our freedoms” on the eve of Memorial Day allows this to happen without gutting the whole damn thing piece by piece?

The Military Industrial Complex is too big to fail or god forbid too expansive to even approach with a critical eye; and so the victims of its gorging mass of inhuman machinery get swept under the rug. We should be ashamed that these people, and they are people as they were people when they were so flippantly referred to as “troops”, (a more dehumanizing term is hard to find), are even languishing in these half-assed institutions, needing the kind of one-on-one care rarely afforded to them, while waiting for treatment as if someone with a head cold.

Everyone and everything is to blame for this. Forget merely firing directors and tossing more shit on congress and the president; we the people should look ourselves in the mirror as we continue to go about our business and complain about health care costs and standards of living and taxes and regulations and drugs and civil rights as neighbors and sons and daughters and friends continuously get shipped off to a nihilistic never-land to be carved up in order to keep this monster fat and happy.

After the morally bankrupt nightmare that was Viet Nam and all the pathetic fuck-all that followed, we still find ourselves whistling past a very real and lasting graveyard that has out names on it; our legacy, our sick obsession with war.

Our sin.

This is ours.

We own it.

For good.

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ROB ASTORINO TAKES THE STAGE

Aquarian Weekly
5/21/14

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

ROB ASTORINO TAKES THE STAGE
Republican Candidate for Governor of New York On The Road Less Traveled

The Rye Town Hilton or the Westchester Hilton at Rye or whatever they’re calling this behemoth by the Hudson these days was packed with over four hundred Republican delegates from across New York State to officially nominate my longtime friend and compatriot, Rob Astorino for governor this week. It was a surreal site, and not because I would normally be throwing up near this many national or local party insiders unless someone is paying me, but as his friends and family repeated over and over; this is the BIG step.

It’s weird enough having as close a friend as Rob run for such a lofty position, as even he admitted to the immense national position governor of New York affords a newcomer, but for a two-term county executive with a ten-person staff and a significant spread against a state brand name like Cuomo?

Sure it was a blast, as always, to visit with Rob and his family in the VIP room hours before he would take the stage to accept his party’s nomination. After the ponderous roll call that turns ceremony into torture, he stood poised to take a larger stage, the national stage, the one where nobody can turn back from; it is, as Rob so poignantly whispered to me as they readied his march towards this cauldron, “now a part of history”.

astorino_campion_380_75

It is not lost on Astorino or his staff that they are looking at a hard road against a political brawler in Andrew Cuomo whose pedigree to personally eviscerate opponents is well documented. And although Astorino survived the pitiful likes of Andy Spano, who treated the 2009 campaign for county executive as a bar fracas, this will be different.

By the time the NY State Republican Party decided to cast its collective vote for my friend, the Cuomo re-election machine had already labeled him a racist and extremist, the standard opening salvo for a Republican candidate these days. And for some of the many GOP candidates across this fruited plain, this is not entirely unfounded, but this is just lazy politics. Those kind of mutants don’t win elections in Westchester, one of the bastions of progressive politics for the past half-century plus.

However, there is no point in my gushing on about someone I consider a brother in many respects, so I’ll try and keep the rest of this thing analytical and explain why Cuomo’s early scheme of first dismissing my friend as a novice and then trying to besmirch his reputation is a failing one.

Firstly, Astorino has shielded himself wisely in those who will be of utmost import to keep him where he is comfortable, within the arena of ideas. His running mate for Lt. Governor is Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, who happens to be an African American and president of the New York State Sheriff’s Association, is key for two reasons; it renders absurd the asinine notion that the candidate is racist and it fires up the key central and western parts of the state, where former Republican governor George Pataki siphoned enough votes to beat Mario Cuomo in 1994 (a campaign I covered). You see, although Astorino walks the party line of gun rights, he does not make it his rallying cry, but Moss will and did in his opening speech, which pretty much centered on it for ten consecutive minutes.

Next, the Astorino camp paraded not one but two women to introduce him, (important these days for any Republican, thanks in no small part to the idiot rambling of several candidates these past years), one an African American and longtime friend, Pearl Quarles, who spoke tenderly of knowing the candidate’s genuine compassion as a father and lifetime resident of Westchester, and Buffalo Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who spoke convincingly of his dedication in soliciting all voters under his tent.

Back to Pataki, whose improbable victory 20 years ago evokes similarities to Astorino for me (not the least of which is that the opponents name is Cuomo), especially since I also covered his run for mayor of Peekskill, mere miles from where Rob has spent his entire life, and where we both worked as sports broadcasters for ten years. As I stood with many of the former Pataki aids before and during Astorino’s acceptance speech, there was detailed talk of the candidate also embracing the underdog role. Rob had made it a point to assure me he relishes coming from out of nowhere to challenge, as he did in 2009. His grueling defense of his record last year in a successful re-election campaign was a different animal, and he knows it. The inevitability of Cuomo in a year where Democrats are most likely going to get their clocks cleaned nationally is no slam-dunk. No one knew much about Pataki in May of ’94, in fact, non name recognition alone cost him nearly 20 points in the polls; something he made up in a manner of weeks in the autumn of that year.

“If Cuomo wants to sling mud at me, and I expect this to be nasty, then that’s his deal. I have other ideas.”

Finally, the most pertinent aspect of Astorino’s image is that there is no image, despite hokey visuals of him interacting joyfully with his family and speaking stridently with his constituents in pre-fab settings on the Hudson or the inner city. Astorino is the real deal, and it was on display during what I think was the finest speech I have seen him deliver and one of the best stump speeches I have heard since Barack Obama’s stirring oratory following his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses.

During the 20-minute slice of political art, Astorino abandoned the kind of artifice usually doled out at these things – red meat, name-calling, rousing one-line hokum – and began to deconstruct what he deems the ills of New York by statistically unfurling its failures nationwide, and in each instance New York, which he repeatedly referred to as “the empire state”, was dead last. Fiftieth, he pointed out, in education, tax burdens, infrastructure, growth, etc. The most impactful moment was his referring to aging New Yorkers as waiting out a de facto economic prison sentence, recounting discussions with neighbors who were simply eyeing retirement for a chance to abandon New York for more affordable environs.

Not once did Astorino call Cuomo a socialist or anti-American or an extremist, but simply and effectively pointed out his derision for the Common Core Act or the Safety Act, as any opponent would, otherwise, what’s the point of the democratic exercise? Not once did he rant like a professional wrestler about being “a true conservative” or refer to Cuomo as a loony liberal, and believe me, this was the room to pounce.

Astorino also steered clear of social issues, as he has done with great effectiveness in two runs for county executive in a widely Democratic county. In fact, I counted no hackneyed hoot-and-holler moments in this speech, which I deemed (with great reference to Doctor Thompson) a king-hell whoop of a political dissertation in a spontaneous text to the man as he wrapped up this impressive opening salvo with a brilliant list of the glorious history of NY from sports to invention to celebrity, evoking the best of Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” miasma without the Gipper’s Hollywood schmaltz.

As Rob told me before taking the stage, “If Cuomo wants to sling mud at me, and I expect this to be nasty, then that’s his deal. I have other ideas.”

Ideas?

Imagine that.

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NO CURE FOR STUPID

Aquarian Weekly
5/7/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

NO CURE FOR STUPID

It is time we begin to phase out the word racist from our vocabulary. Not expunge it in some social construct like what we so cautiously present as the “N” word now, as if an acronym can lessen its impact. What I mean is just stop giving credence to it, as if a superfluous adjective, not unlike Hate-Crime; the distinction being that there are violent crimes committed to help a brother out. The word is useless and thus obsolete like mubblefubbles and dretched or firefanged. My favorite may be shittle. Most of my work is “shittle”, and not for reasons you may think. These terms were once at the top of their games, but are relegated to the scrapheap of history; where racist belongs.

Racist used to be a thing; like a knight. There are no more knights, except in fiction, because it is not of this time or place. It is anachronistic and bizarre to think of a gentleman donning pounds of iron to joust some other asshole or to take on the hordes. We would chuckle at someone doing that today, unless it was done over bad food in some theme park restaurant. This is the racist today; an oddity, something you might find in the Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors.donald-sterling_270

To continue to evolve as a society, I say we let racist fade into the sunset and chuckle at those who may espouse irrational discriminatory views, as we would someone using a rotary phone.

However, what is still in vogue, and always will be, is stupidity.

This week, L.A. Clippers owner, Roger Sterling made discriminatory comments about African Americans, much of which has been played and re-printed to death, so I shan’t repeat it here. Suffice to say, he is stupid and has offered his stupidity up to harshly judge one race of people. This, like stupidity, is a not a crime. The problem for Sterling is he owns a franchise in the National Basketball Association and it cannot have his stupidity bringing down the money train.

Choosing to accept one race above another as “acceptable” is not a good business model, specifically for a concern with a dominant African American employee base. And so the NBA, which has forgiven Sterling previous legal issues regarding race to allow him to own a franchise in the second largest market in the country, kicks him out. Sterling had been sued multiple times in the past for racial discrimination, including a 2009 case in which he paid $2.7 million to settle allegations his companies targeted and discriminated against blacks, Hispanics and families with children in renting apartments in greater Los Angeles.

The league displayed its stupidity by ignoring this moron for decades. Shit, the NAACP was going to hand this guy an achievement award next month despite documented acts of discrimination. How stupid is that?

The point is the NBA and the NAACP would never have provided these privileges to a racist, just someone who is stupid. Because, let’s face it, if you listened to Donald Trump speaking about this recently, you know that you can be really, really stupid and own stuff.

What about that idiot who owns Chick-Fil-A?

But these guys are not alone. Stupidly is rampant; amazingly so. Despite literature, science, experience, and the enlightenment of the information/technology age there are just some of us that cling to stupidity. Granted, some cannot help it. And our hearts go out to them. Then there are others who, and this is purely on the assumption that unless there is a serious problem with learning disabilities or mental illness or head trauma, adult humans in a fairly free society simply choose stupidity.

For instance, had Sterling been ranting on tape about the shape of someone’s skull deciding their level of intellect or that a good idea to cease California mudslides would be to burn a wayward woman at the stake we would call him stupid.

This is the racist today; an oddity, something you might find in the Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors.

It is important to note the distinction between mere stupidity and racism, which was all the rage for generations around here, resulting in the systematic slaughter and exploitation of the Native American, the horrors of slavery and the ensuing Jim Crow laws, using the Chinese to test dynamite whilst building the railroads or using the Irish and Italians as Industrial Revolution fodder, the internment camps for the Germans in WWI and the Japanese during WWII, keeping minorities from competing in collegiate and professional sport or even entering educational institutions, and lest we forget generally treating Jews like a disease. These were institutionally sanctioned rules of law or acceptable social parameters placed on the color of skin or race or religion, and let’s face it, now they’ve moved on to decide acceptable acts of sexuality.

We now consider those actions absurd, accepting the choice of sexuality, but we’re working on it.

Stupidity is a difficult disease. But for the most part it is hard to believe we live on the same soil and breathe the same air as these cretins, not unlike going to the doctor today and being reminded that bloodletting and leaches used to be accepted forms of medicine.

Honestly, you cannot be a racist today. It’s impossible. Are there people who still believe the earth is flat? Sure. But…come on.

The other reason racist must go is that some people still enjoy being labeled a racist. We are only doing them a favor bestowing an anti-social term upon them, as if they are warriors in the fight for white supremacy, when really, they’re just stupid, like those who choose to ignore climate change for fear it might cause environmentalists to make them stop using the earth as a dumping ground for toxins or those who think anyone with some Mediterranean blood are terrorists.

You know what is racist? The laws in this country that are slanted against inner city black kids jammed into our prisons, voter-Id laws that target minorities, Stand Your Ground laws that work like gangbusters for whites, but not so much for everyone else, not to mention the many victims of these egregious laws.

Sure, throw Sterling to the dung heap.

And send “racist” there too.

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BUNDY RANCH SOLUTION: FREE-FOR-ALL IN NEVADA

Aquarian Weekly
4/30/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion              


BUNDY RANCH SOLUTION: FREE-FOR-ALL IN NEVADA

The key to organizing an alternative society is to organize people around what they can do, and more importantly, what they want to do.

– Abbie Hoffman
Yeeee-haaa!

I love this blithering asshole, Cliven Bundy. He is a dumb hick bigot dipshit and he is my hero. Soon I will take his advice and begin a life (or at least write about) a life of blessed anarchy where it belongs…The Bundy Ranch.Bundy

Right now this scofflaw has been sitting on miles of my land; American taxpayer…I. That’s right. Squatter. Freeloader. Welfare King. And I figure, just like my daily visits to the Bank of America when I was a reluctant but proud shareholder of that corrupt institution, which included me shouting about turning up the air-conditioning and demanding to hear Daniel Johnston tunes in the lobby, I will have plenty to impart in the area of wisdom and well wishes.

It’s obvious this nation’s defense has been compromised since 9/11, what with all the torture chambers and six-hour waits at the airport. Otherwise there would be no good explanation why this good-for-nothing shit-stain rancher would not pay me and my taxpaying brethren the over one million bucks he owes in back taxes for 20 years of fraud and not be taken down like road kill.

Where is George Washington when you need him? Hell, you might ask those poor bastards the federal army plowed under over some barrels of whiskey in the wee months of this republic, forcing the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the federal government to ostensibly represent our interests with appropriations culled for being a citizen.

But George is gone, and ever since Nixon decided it might be a good idea to murder children at Kent State, people tend to frown on armed denizens of the nation “cleaning house”, so to speak. Take out the trash, like we say here in New Jersey. Here in Jersey we like our civic representation to use us as fodder, especially at rush hour and then deny it ever happened – then when busted apologize and whitewash the thing with “internal investigations” – in other words good, old time politics; something between a hockey fight and the human centipede concept.

But never mind us; this Bundy Stand-Off nonsense is about ripping stuff off and calling it rebellion. And I am all for that. I was a fan of the Rodney King riots, but this is way better. Despite Mr. Bundy’s inability to parse four words in the King’s English without his brain going sideways and the odd white supremacist rant, he possesses something of a genius strand. It is vague, but it is there. Of course suckering FOXNEWS in getting behind anti-American causes and calling it American causes these days is like running over the Branch Davidians at Waco.

I was a fan of the Rodney King riots, but this is way better. Despite Mr. Bundy’s inability to parse four words in the King’s English without his brain going sideways and the odd white supremacist rant, he possesses something of a genius strand.

Shit, Janet Reno knew what she was doing; tanks rolling over a burning arsenal is as American as a deadbeat rancher, and I salute any idiot who refuses to recognize the American government and its representation, namely me, and still rides around on a horse waving the goddamn flag. Like those moron TEA Party jack-offs and their “Keep The Government Out Of My Medicaid” signs.

We’re getting off track here. Way off. We need to plan this out. How can we take advantage of this Bundy character’s new philosophy: Whatever you can get away with you can own, or Finder Keeper’s, which works great among prepubescents or people with an IQ just north of flat-line.

Sign me up.

I say fuck the government or the FBI or whatever gets these goobers all militia-ed up and put together a small army of our own; North Eastern Rebel Force 12 (why twelve? I love Joe Namath and I was married on the twelfth and it’s none of your goddamn business, tyrant!). Then march down to this old fart and plow under his land, (His land? There is no “ownership” in Bundy World) turn it into a rock festival; jam godless music at deafening volumes and take long, painful shits all over his property, festoon the joint with used condoms, beer cans and syringes, and find out where Bundy sleeps and have ten-deep orgies before organizing a group puke all over his bedroom. In fact, turn his house into the center of a giant tribute bonfire.

That is the way Cliven Bundy rolls.

And thus….we roll.

Like Frank and his brother Jesse James, who knew what is was like to flout convention, take on a new philosophy of lawlessness, which blazed a trail of land-rape and gun justice that would make these high school dropouts and their cousin-wives down in Nevada look like the Webelos.

Now, my friends, that is true anarchy.

Then when it’s over, we’ll erect a statue to Grampy Cliven, godfather of Do What You Like And Damn The Torpedoes; a renewed sense of American tradition, where you just steal what you wish and call it a cause.

Yeeeeeee-haaaaaa!

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ERIC HUTCHINSON’S PURE FICTION

Aquarian Weekly
4/16/14
Cover Piece

 

ERIC HUTCHINSON’S PURE FICTION
Pop Singer/Songwriter Gets Back to Basics; Rhythm + Melody = Hit

It was one of those brutal New York City winter nights this past January when april-16-2014-eric-hutchinson_small
I met up with Eric Hutchinson at the Monkey Bar in midtown. He was sitting alone in a booth towards the front across from the bar dressed in a high-collar, blue zippered sweater and jeans, his hair a little longer, his face a little thinner. He looked relaxed, confident; as if he had shed the excess from his life and work. Ella Fitzgerald played softly on the jukebox. An elderly couple chatted at the far corner. Hutchinson ordered a Scotch, neat. I had my obligatory Hendricks and tonic, two limes, lots of ice. I had come to find out what was behind the songs I had lived with for two weeks on a first mix of his new album, which he would title, Pure Fiction.

“It’s called Pure Fiction, because when I finished writing the songs that would end up on this album and started looking them over, I noticed that none of them were about me,” Hutchinson began. “When I took myself out of the way, I wrote about something else. But then I thought anything that comes from me on some level is about me. I still wrote it, I still made it; it came from somewhere, and I think on this album I tried not to get in the way of that as much. If I wrote a lyric, maybe at some time earlier I would have thought this is too cheesy or this is too simple, but this time I said, ‘I wrote it for a reason and I don’t want to get in the way of what I’m writing it for.’ I tried really hard this time around to not screw with stuff more than it needed to be. And I enjoyed that process.”

Hutchinson’s first two studio albums brimmed with the kind of hooks, choruses and clever lyrics an ascendant star needs to make on his way to the firmament, but he was now without a label for the first time in years. He recently released a set of live songs from his last tour, Almost Solo in NYC, which featured his deftly humorous storytelling as much his considerable musical talents, but decided it was time to trim the whole thing way down, get back to what put him in the discussion with the industry’s hottest new talent in the first place.

“You get a lot of good things from being involved with a major label system like exposure I never would have gotten,” says Hutchinson. “But the other side of it is it’s almost never on my time-line. The last album took a long time, partially it was me, but partially because once it was done there was a lot of stuff out of my control. My mantra on this album was ‘I want to make it, I want to put it out, and I don’t want anything to be between that.’ I wanted that control.”

“My mantra on this album was ‘I want to make it, I want to put it out, and I don’t want anything to be between that.’ I wanted that control.”

Released from music-biz trappings, the 33 year-old singer/songwriter returned to his roots; back to his apartment, back to the guitar, and reconnected with his adoration for the well-constructed song – tearing it down and building it back up, one note at a time.

“I sat at in my home studio asking, ‘Can I play this song on the guitar? Can I make this song work?’ recalls Hutchinson. “Because it’s not about hiding behind tricks, it’s about ‘Is this a song when it’s broken down to its bare basics – is it a song or not? Is it tangible?’ I would be at the piano or guitar and just play it as hard as I could and just sort of sing and leave the recorder going and for twenty minutes maybe bang on the piano as hard as I could, smash the guitar, totally sing guttural. Then, leave it alone. Go back the next day and see what jumps out from that, what works.”

Much of this primal, stripped down style is clearly evident in each track of Pure Fiction; a truly masterful presentation of Hutchinson’s acute pop sensibilities. In fact, Pure Fiction is Hutchinson’s elegy to pop music, his raison d’être, a place to fit all those melodies that are so comforting in their immediate hook you’d swear you’ve heard them before. The album’s first single, “Tell The World” is a wonderfully crafted sing-along and a striking prologue to the album’s underlying theme – holding onto our moments and shamelessly shouting it from a mountain top.ERIC_HUTCHINSON14291_Web_25

“I found myself in the worst place a writer can be, which was happy,” he chuckled to himself. “I live in New York, I’m married, I’ve got a dog – I’ve got a nice life…and when I sat down to write this time I didn’t feel like emptying the chest all over again and having to dig out my problems. And I became aware midway through that there’s a lot of that in there anyway, but I kind of felt it was thematically working and I didn’t try and go away from it when it was clear I wanted to keep saying it. It’s also a little bit about ‘I’m in a great place, but doesn’t everyone always hate you when you’re in a great place?’”

To hear Hutchinson explain it “Tell The World” is less joyous romp than social commentary on how everything that ends up on Facebook and Instagram reflects only our best moments in life, however there is a great joy in the song, especially the vocal, which is as infectious as anything he has committed to a track. His experience with achieving a measure of stardom and accepting his good fortune without trepidation infuse Pure Fiction with a feel-good vibe, something he found while traveling the country on tour and experiencing life outside the bubble of New York, where he lives, but mostly seeing the world for leisure.

“I put up this inspiration board right in front of me at my workspace when I was playing piano or guitar and singing into the mic,” effuses Hutchinson. “I was actually thinking about what I am looking at when I’m working. This method took me back to Barcelona, when I went to visit the Joan Miró museum and I was in heaven. The whole city is amazing. It’s so beautiful. And his stuff was so beautiful I immediately thought, ‘Should I be looking at something that pleases me when I’m writing; would it bring something out?’”

“I guess the more places you go, the more you realize the same things matter to everybody.”

The “inspiration wall” can be heard in the nearest Hutchinson has come to a ballad, “Sun Goes Down”; his “Dock of the Bay” moment, mixing a haunting melody with striking lyrical imagery. “I got this postcard and just described what was on it,” says Hutchinson; the postcard as metaphor for the captured moments of Pure Fiction: “On the front a desert sky orange, red and brown/ She wrote will you think of me/When the sun goes down.”

“I guess the more places you go, the more you realize the same things matter to everybody,” he says, smiling.

We ordered another round as the room began to fill and the background banter reverberated. Hutchinson made sure I understood the spiritual center of Pure Fiction which is infused in tracks like “Love Like You”, an achingly infectious song with a tension that draws the listener to the lyric through an almost hypnotic vocal performance, mixing Beatles bop with the velvet strains of Al Green. But it is in the juxtaposition of subtle duplicitous lines like “This is a crash landing, we’re living a dream”, which hint at Hutchinson’s playful seduction of how much happiness is the result of blind chance.

But it was anything but blind chance when Hutchinson entered the studio last summer, where he constructed the songs meticulously, showcasing an array of rhythms for flavor – South African, bosa nova, four-on-the-floor rock and slap-back funk – giving personality to dance numbers like “I Got The Feelin’ Now”, “A Little More” and “I Don’t Love U”. Wrapping the tracks in airtight tempo allowed his dexterous vocal lifts and twists to breathe inside percussion. “I tried really hard to not get in the way of these songs,” says Hutchinson. “I usually agonize over a certain chord progression or lyric, but this time I just let it happen. I stopped wondering what it was or where any of it came from.”hutch

To complete the cycle back to basics, Hutchinson worked on Pure Fiction in L.A. at the late Elliott Smith’s humble studio on Van Nuys Boulevard where he recorded his debut, Sounds Like This in 2008. Under the tutelage of two producers, Jerrod Bettis, (Adele, Better Than Ezra, Backstreet Boys) who played much of the accompanying instruments, and Aben Eubanks (Kelly Clarkson) he opened his mind to new recording techniques , but remained dedicated to my description of him when we first met in 2006; songsmith.

“It’s that attention to detail all the way across, where every single thing matters, which could also be the unraveling as you get close to the end of the album,” Hutchinson says, laughing. “In the old days you get the whole band together and figure out later what the hell that sounded like – did the bass player play the right thing or not – but to me that’s the whole thing; we get the drums down, and then I get the acoustic guitar, and I make sure the acoustic guitar works and then Jarred picks up the bass and I say, ‘Well, that’s great, but that part could have gone there.’ It’s the only way I know how to make music.”

New found professional freedom, a comfort in knowing his place in the music biz and a masterfully crafted pop album has Eric Hutchinson right where he wants to be. “I’ve been doing this for how many years, but whenever anyone asks me, ‘What kind of music do you play?’ it’s like the first time it’s ever been asked. I never have an answer, you know? And on the last album I was chasing this thing that I’m a soul artist and the show reflected that on some level, but I think after making this album, I can answer people; I make pop music. This is pop music, and I think this show will reflect that a little more. The last show was little more like a soul review and I think this will be a little more pop, whatever that is? I guess we’ll figure that out. Yeah, these songs are pop. I’m a pop artist.”

“Yeah, these songs are pop. I’m a pop artist.”

Perhaps the strongest musical statement on Pure Fiction is “Forever”, a collaboration with The 88’s Keith Slettedahl, a first. It is a master’s course in dynamic ranges; from the massaged acoustic open to the lilting lead vocal as prologue to chest-caving bass drum kicks, all of it bedding the wash of harmonies that appear as if a choir. It evokes the best of the British New Romantics period seeped in a New York club milieu. “I was trying to get out of my head space, and for me, that meant co-writing with someone else for the very first time,” says Hutchinson. “For the first time I can listen and kind of say it’s not mine. I can appreciate all that he contributed to it. Talk about getting out of your own way, I was completely out of it, because it was his thing, and I came to love it more than anything I could come up with.”

When we parted, well over an hour of coming to grips with this crossroads album of his, and where it will lead him, he assured me that just speaking aloud its intentions brought to light all the hard work it took to realize Pure Fiction. But doubtless it will be more well-defined this time around.

“My manager (Dave Morris) is obsessed with the idea of how many artists finally figure it out by their third album; Springsteen, Billy Joel, their first albums are not the ones people talk about, they don’t have the hits on them,” says Hutchinson. “But to me, I think, the third album was about figuring it out. The first one was just gut level, raw, had to get it out there, the second album was over-thinking it all, and this one is me tinkering and learning from those two and changing it up a little bit.”

 

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DESPERATE DEMOCRATS LOWBALL STRATEGY 2014

Aquarian Weekly
4/23/14
REALITY CHECK

James Campion


DESPERATE DEMOCRATS LOWBALL STRATEGY 2014

Karl Rove once told me that the only thing that matters when you are looking at miles of bad road is what you do to shorten it. I remember he let the “shhh” just roll through his teeth; “shhhhorten it”. They were gritted like a challenged pit bull. His eyes seemed weird, unfocused, as if he were thinking of six things at once. But his words rang true.Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz

That was in the summer of 2000 just outside of Orlando, Florida. I remembered it a few months later when his candidate eviscerated a blindsided John McCain in South Carolina with scurrilous rumors of a “Negro love child” and “Rabid atheism”. And I remembered it when Rove openly told reporters those last desperate weeks in the late-summer of 2004 that he was going to “rile the base with anti-gay” legislation. And his candidate won re-election.

I can’t recall who or what Rove elected both times. Another Bush? Perhaps it worked out. Maybe not. One thing is for certain, his arch enemies, the Democrats have decided that the projected ass-kicking they are looking at come this November – and it is going to be severe and cost them the senate and completely neuter this president – will not come at a price for the Republican Party.

Since the Democrats owned the store in 2010 with the passing for the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans have made a mockery of “statement votes” in the House, most pointedly the 281 or so times they attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now the Democrats announce something called the Paycheck Fairness Act, a desperate attempt at useless legislation that has no chance of becoming law, but will make Republicans, who will certainly piss on it, appear anti-woman.

Women, especially single women, are a boon to Democrats, coming out nearly 3-1 for Barack Obama in 2012. Much of this was aided by brutish Republican candidates waxing poetic about “levels of rape” and more than hinting that women’s contraception was a euphemism for whore.

This shameless attempt to fire up the women’s vote with political window dressing was launched out of the White House, which floated out a bogus figure of women in the workplace making 77 percent of what a man earns. Statistics from several studies including Bureau of Labor Statistics report it closer to 83 percent or in other studies closer to 88 percent, still others by profession average at 91 percent. Of course, these studies like most studies of a fluid and variant subject tend to fluctuate, but is nearly, if not completely impossible, to legislate.

But it is a moot point, since this is a political ploy by House Democrats who are merely using this as an election year stunt. It is pandering, like Rove did with the Religious Right and your garden-variety bigotry in 2000 and again in ’04.

Shhhhorten it.

Now the Democrats announce something called the Paycheck Fairness Act, a desperate attempt at useless legislation that has no chance of becoming law, but will make Republicans, who will certainly piss on it, appear anti-woman.

Speaking of which, you may have noticed a bit more talk in the past week about the covert racism of the Republican Party due to the race of the president. What was once innuendo has become blatant accusations, which, of course, are difficult to substantiate. And even though there is truth to how people are motivated by politics, it is not a real debate. Saying a political party or a member of government is racist for disagreeing with a sitting president is as specious as a government who labeled you as siding with terrorists or un-American if you protested the Iraq War. We’ve been down that slippery slope for decades. It is not politics, it is human nature, and to whitewash an entire opposition party with racism or anti-American rhetoric is fabricated, self-serving and reeks of desperation.

Shhhhhorten it.

On a similar note, pay attention to how things roll out after the Republicans take the senate. There will be a concerted effort on the part of the establishment to push for a comprehensive immigration bill during the final two years before the 2016 presidential election, to begin the healing process between the Republican Party and the Latino/Hispanic vote, which is toxic to its national election hopes thanks to such stellar ideas as “Voluntary Deportation” and building giant walls on the border. They’ve already rolled Jeb Bush out to pour honey on this turd. Believe me, it’s coming.

Another Bush?

Shhhhhorten it.

But fear not, this transparent dance with demographics can’t work, right? Because all one has to do is look at 2006, when Democratic candidates ran on the promise to end the Iraq War. It was one of the great slaughters in mid-term history leading to a whole lot of nothing. Well, not nothing; the Affordable Care Act.

But fear not, Republicans, you have your own pile of feces called Voter ID Laws enacted in 30 states for only one reason; politics. If there is one thing that does not need government overreach it is voter fraud, which is less than half of one percent of millions of votes cast each year in all 50 states, but there they are just the same.

Shhhhorten it.

But the Dems have it this season. The party is pulling out all the stops to halt what is an inevitable transfer of power in the legislative branch and a two-thirds majority in the federal government. Two years of Republican majority is plenty of time to strengthen the already invincible electorate waiting for our next president, Hilary Rodham Clinton.

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