personal

another thought about Hillary

This is an excerpt from a video that was shared on Facebook by Carey Wedler. It sums up nicely what I would say to any Hillary supporter out there. It goes into a fair amount of detail, mostly about Hillary's war record and below is the TLDR version.

Listen up Hillary supporters... Whether you genuinely like her, or are just terrified of Donald Trump, if you cared enough to be even marginally informed about current events, you would know that Hillary Clinton's policies and actions have directly contributed to the conditions that gave rise to him, from the bad trade deals and violent drug war, which sparked waves of undocumented immigration, to the ongoing 'war on terror' which inspired victims of American violence to wage terror attacks in the west. She directly helped create a society ripe for the demagoguery, islamaphobia, and authoritarianism of Trump, and his movement will only grow if she's elected.
I guess what I'm saying is... there's the fanaticism of Donald Trump, and then there's the fanaticism of people so terrified of Donald Trump, they'll rationalize voting for a war-mongering sociopathic criminal. If you fall in to one of those categories, you're the problem, not me.

It is impossible to overstate that the basis of the Clinton campaign is disinformation. The problem with that is people tend to fall in love with their conclusions, even if they are based on lies. Thus we have a fair number of liberals who are convinced that she is somehow a maligned, pragmatic champion of the people who 'will get things done'. Yes she will get things done. The wrong things. Everything she has accomplished in her career has been at the service of corporations, foreign governments, the defense industry, or some combination thereof.

She is qualified to be president in the same way that the wolf is qualified to run the henhouse. That wolf will certainly get things done.

Until we run out of chickens.

 

That’s not my party

I had an idea to write something and then I just got a tweet:

Now without going into a pedantic discussion about the proper use of capitalization, I need to say that this was unsolicited. And that’s the problem, really, which is that Hillary had a universal corporate sponsorship from the beginning, not to mention illegal collaboration from the DNC, and that is now, in the year 2016, too much to overcome for anyone.

Let that sink in. We live in a post-democratic USA. We have two parties, both of which are owned by the same handful of corporations.

It was ’a corporate coup d’état in slow motion, and it’s over.’

What has also been happening, also in slow motion, seems to be the division of the Democratic party, into very distinct halves. I have ‘friends’ on Facebook that are very heavy-handed in their pro-Clinton rhetoric. Some are respectful, some are not. All of them feel that they have a moral high ground, which to many of us is absurd. The argument goes something like this:

In order to save us from a Trump presidency, we need to hold our nose and vote for Hillary. She is better qualified and will do a good job. All politicians are criminals.
— Hillary Supporters

So what occurred to me today is how faulty this reasoning is, if you remember that the main message here is to stop Trump.

Ok, if that is so important, then why didn’t we fairly elect in the Democratic primary the candidate who had a much better shot at winning the general election? If Hillary is supposed to be good enough to beat Trump, then Bernie would have been Trump kryptonite, but we couldn’t have that because… I never got a good answer for that. They said he wouldn’t withstand a Republican attack (not true); no one would vote for a socialist (leaving out the democratic part); he was too old.

from Real Clear Politics

from Real Clear Politics

The only reason Bernie did not get the nod was that the corporate lobby did not want him raising the minimum wage, or spearing the health care golden goose, or proposing any meaningful Wall Street reform. So they just gave it to Hillary. It’s not about defeating Trump, it’s about not rocking the boat.

So that’s the thing - that’s where the disconnect really is. Some of you are happy with Obama.

Obama...the greatest Pres we will see in our lifetime
— Facebook friend who shall remain nameless

Many of us are not. I still remember the day Obama appointed Geithner and I knew my worst fears were true. No real bank reform. No real health care reform. No privacy protections. Police state surveillance. The worst crackdown on whistleblowers EVER.

Let that sink in also. Under Obama, during a time where we desperately needed transparency and renewed faith in a government of the people for the people, we got instead Assange under house arrest, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Aaron Swartz. Not to mention the first ever openly fraudulent primary election. My friends, if that is where we are setting the bar, we are setting the bar too low.

It’s the sources I think. Information control is real. 

Realize that this line, for example: All politicians are criminals

has been repeated to me a few times by people I am close to, yet that have no connection to each other. Just like they do on the right wing, Democrats now distribute political messaging disguised as popular media and no one can tell. If you don’t realize that your favorite podcast, or blog site, or tv show takes occasional marching orders from a corporate overlord, then I can’t help you. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Realize also that agencies are being hired right now to perfect the next Twitter ‘bit’, the next viral screenshot on Facebook, and many of us are unwitting parrots in this game of conspiracy and manufacturing consent. I can think of one way to summarize how I feel right now.

If they allow it, it is not enough.
— me

I will dare to guess that many of us feel this way right now. We just witnessed our first rigged primary, and yet we are asked to believe this wolf will be a good steward for the henhouse.

We need much better than another Clinton in the White House.

if only putting it into a screenshot made it true, but the people that are sharing this on Facebook are not checking the facts at all. They just assume it to be true, because they want it to be true. So it gets shared 44 thousand times. The writer cites no sources and fails to explain why it was posted as a screen shot of something else, even though  he is the original author  (or claims to be).

if only putting it into a screenshot made it true, but the people that are sharing this on Facebook are not checking the facts at all. They just assume it to be true, because they want it to be true. So it gets shared 44 thousand times. The writer cites no sources and fails to explain why it was posted as a screen shot of something else, even though he is the original author (or claims to be).

Hillary is not a proponent of the EPA. She is no friend to water quality, health care, unions, or finance reform, and she is a horrible choice for president because she already knows she is above the law. She is not a liberal champion. She’s not even a liberal. It feels good to say you are liberal, and pragmatic, but if you support Hillary you are neither of those things. Pragmatic means compromise towards positive change, yet I promise she will be to the right of Obama, who was not nearly progressive enough as it is. Spoiler alert - Hillary will not kill the TPP.

The truth is that the DNC has lost me and many like me. I could never again vote for a party that ridicules me and that lies to me. The truth is that it IS possible to have viable 3rd party in a very short time. The truth is that if everyone voted for Jill Stein, we could do the impossible.

I am now a member of the Pacific Green Party. I urge my friends to do so as well. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. I won’t insult you. I’m sure you’ve thought about it.

One thing is for sure. That is not my party.

Trump is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to a phenomenon created by neoliberalism. And we may get rid of Trump, but we will get something even more vile, maybe Ted Cruz.
— Chris Hedges

Here we go

The thing about Halloween is that it is almost Thanksgiving; the thing about Thanksgiving is that it is almost Christmas. And of course, once you get to Christmas it might as well be New Year. So this is it. What a year it's been. I'm finally getting ready to start doing some band gigs again, Addie has been breaking cuteness records every day, and all in all it feels like things are finally falling into place. Mimsy is in her new house. All is well. 

Thanks Ashland, for being here for us. It has taken some adjustment but I really feel now like we are on course for great things. This week is the first week since August that I can relax a bit.

It feels sort of weird to relax but I think I can get used to it. :)

Happy November

Hello, and happy November. It has been quite a few months for me.

Some of you may have heard here and there that I'm super busy, I've been working non-stop since August. I had a few posts about what has been going on, and frankly the details are not super interesting and perhaps I am not at liberty to fully share, but the short of it is that we had some technical debt that needed to be paid and I went ahead and did it. I refactored an 8 year old code base in 3 months. That is an order of magnitude of roughly 4. What?

Yes, I said it. If I was x amount of programmer 8 years ago, I am roughly x^4 of programmer now. That's insane.

Luckily, I was able to make a very compelling case to my employer that I am irreplaceable. It feels really good to know that my contribution is valued. I have worked really hard for years now and it feels today like it finally paid off. I live and breath this stuff, and I know our whole system in and out. Those of you in tech know how valuable that is. Some of this business knowledge lives mostly in my brain.

Anyway, today is a good day. My hard work has paid off and it just goes to show - good things come to people who work their ass off even when they're not sure if anyone notices.

Eventually, someone will notice.

my only surviving test from Composition school

I spent a year in composition school as a youth and it is a bit of a shame that I wan't in a place to get much out of it. I learned a lot of technical stuff but my teacher hated me and had every reason to. I was quite irreverent in my early years. Learning music theory was always very hard work, much like any of the sciences. You first learn about who came before you and it is always very humbling. My teacher had a thing for Copeland and Bartok. They were kind of a big deal.

Anyway, as I'm looking through stuff I came across this old test from my class in harmony. I probably kept it around because I did ok. Now it just feels like a relic from a very different time. It's funny, I still remember and use rules from species counterpoint, so I guess some of this stuff does stick.

there goes August

Well, that was fast. I haven't had much time lately to write. Here's a recap:

It's been smoky in Ashland because forest fires;

I'm sort of excited for Fall;

We have another baby on the way (a boy!);

And I'm still working around the clock to get running on EngineYard. We were just in Big Sur over the weekend for a wedding, and honestly it was amazing.

We got to see all of our old friends from LA and it was a blast. I even said hi to Katy Perry who was very sweet and spoke to me a bit. And then I was able to play a few songs for her on the piano by the bonfire.

Garrison Starr was there, and Ray Don, Joel Eckels, Jay Nash, Joe Purdy, and of course the amazing Chris Pierce, all of whom played a song or two.

I played my new song Never Say Goodbye, which I wrote for my two friends getting married, and then Southern Girl. As far as I can tell, Katy sat down at the bonfire somewhere during my first song, and I saw her listening as I finished up the second one. I even got to play another song after Jay Nash but I don't think she was there anymore at that point. Which is a bummer because I played Georgia Rain and it was my best song of the night.

Anyway, what an epic night. Thanks to Ngoc and Matt for putting on the most amazing wedding ever. Just perfect attention to detail and the site was gorgeous. They are a beautiful couple and I wish them all the best.

 

good morning

It's not morning, it's midnight I use that as a metaphor. Tonight we begin again because I was carrying around too much baggage until now. I am pulling the plug on my amazon account and my entire blog history from 2004 to present will go offline. I haven't written much at all in the last few years so much of it doesn't even feel like my own words any more. I just turned 41 about 2 weeks ago, my daughter is about to be 2 years old and it occurs to me that this is the youngest I will ever have to be for her. I can cut loose all of the writing I did before now. No one is ever going to want to go back from here anyway. And I still have all the songs I wrote and recorded which are all the memories I am ever going to need.