June 9, 2019

A capriciously disseminated newsletter written by a hemp-inspired quadriplegic jester who, like King Lear, impotently screams ineffective vitriol at the raging antediluvian squalls of societal indifference that violently smash the planet and callously destroy the things I love. I cry, defeated by a redoubtable sea of troubles as my siblings, whose pursuits of happiness do not coincide with the status quo, are mowed down by ignorant privilege while comfortably content indifference ignores the anguished cries of people's suffering simply because they don't look the same.
— SSTJazzVocalist

#Wheelchairistocracy #GroovicusMaximus @frangeladuo

Welcome to QuadTalk. I am Rusty Taylor, a complete, level C-4 spinal cord injury who, for thirty-three years (and counting), has been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, and, as such, I am a victim of the nefarious for-profit healthcare system we, the citizens of the U.S.A., have callously ignored for too long. This will not be a media blitz of superfluity; I am a vitriolic antagonist against the status quo, so if you are naively looking for a feelgood story about a “poor li’l ol’ cripple boy” who done good against the odds, then I suggest you go find the Hallmark Channel and infuse your brain with enough endorphins to make you forget that separating children from their families is simply morally unconscionable or that a casual rapist majestically sits as Supreme Court judge. Otherwise, welcome...


This newsletter is inspired by my capricious Muse. Unfortunately, I alone am responsible for its content and dissemination. I have no proof-reader or editor nor do I have corporate sponsors to moderate my tone and style, so...

I alone am responsible for all the typos contained herein, and all I can do is promise to try not to make additional grievous errors. Please excuse an occasional rhetorical mistake. They are unintentional.

It's A Quad Thing; You Might Not Understand
From my journal entry of June 8, 2019
Had an interesting day today. It’s an early Saturday evening, and it’s been raining since... forever… a gray-leaden dismal day, ashen in appearance but misty, foggy, and as dreary as an Edgar Allen Poe poem about a fuliginous avian harbinger of doom, so we didn’t go into town early this morning for the Market Days event to sell my brother’s pen-and-ink prints. I recall just a few scant days ago, I was listening to Pat Metheny’s “Red Sky” as the sun innocuously pierced through the sultry vegetation that greeted me through pellucid fenestration; mom’s sky blue hydrangeas were lightly dancing in the breeze as butterflies tickled the delicate petals that gaily waved through the air as if there were no repercussions. Just a reminder that even on the most dismal of days, the Cimmerian lugubriousness that currently smothers the southeast is only temporary.
Ricky is doing his “warrior weekend” [1] thing, and Tanya drove him into Warner Robins so that he can fulfill his military obligations; my father and I went into town a bit later to give me a shower [2] and do other sundry chores, which, around here, means that we had to go and pick up our prescriptions, which, sadly, is something for which we must assiduously schedule. Not only must we prepare a detailed itinerary, but we have to warm up our physical bodies with light calisthenics as a therapeutic prophylactic to delay injury from overexertion or strain. Additionally, we must employ a team of laborers to physically relocate the pharmaceuticals from our apothecary to our awaiting storage warehouse adjacent our living quarters… the volume of drugs is that substantial.
After we stop by our apothecary and procure our drugs, Dad an’ I stop by a local Mexican restaurant we like. Again, it’s a dismal, grey day, so much so that I use the adjective grey instead of gray to emphasize a more dismal, Dickensian achromatic lack of color that is associated with late-nineteenth century London than the colorful gaiety of San Francisco’s fog, but I digress...
We’re seated in a small alcove of about five tables, the remaining tables are filled with patrons of disparate peoples, and after a few minutes, while we’re reading the menus, a young man stands up from the table next to us and… slowly... approaches me. I am looking at him, trying to assess what type of person is accosting me this time. The mystery remains when he asks me with a radio announcer’s timbre if I were familiar with the Shepherd Center. He’s obviously trying to impress somebody, but who and why remain elusive and only relatively interesting because I am still waiting to find out this man’s motivations. Is he a friend or foe?
He is casually and conservatively dressed in that his hair is closely cropped to his scalp; he’s wearing light brown pants with a belt into which he’s tucked a gray t-shirt with a bunch of words screen-printed upon it that’s too convoluted for me to try to decipher but my disinterest in the man is growing rapidly; his appearance lacks sincerity. On some subconscious level, he senses my disinterest because he now seems to have finally convinced himself that his story must be told, or, more specifically, he’s decided that I need to hear his story, so…
He tells me about a young man who was riding a motorcycle, got hit by a car traveling too fast, was paralyzed but, by the grace of God, he walked out of the Shepherd Clinic unassisted. The story concludes with his telling me that he’s a preacher.
Ah, I think to myself. I now know why I have been subjected to such overt bravado; although, I still don’t know his intentions. Throughout my paralysis, I’ve been subjected to meeting all kinds of people who, for various and disparate reasons, feel they have to speak to a man who has obviously fallen on some hard times. I’ve stopped going to bars because I end up drinking too much. Bibulous patrons buy me drinks for whatever reason, so much so that it is impossible for me to walk out of the establishment on my own two feet.
Anyway, the rest of our confabulation went a bit like this:
“Are you familiar with the Shepherd Center in Atlanta?”
Before I can answer, he uses about 15 minutes of my time to tell me about Shepherd’s mission to rehab spinal cord- and brain-injured patients.
I reply, “Yes, I was at Shepherd in 1986.”
He mentions a pasture associated with Shepherd Center, and asks, “You probably don’t no him?”
I shake my head.
He tells me that someone becomes paralyzed every 60 seconds. I have no way of knowing if this is true, yet it sounds impressive… obviously said aloud in an effort to impress somebody, but who it’s supposed to impress still remains a mystery, so I say nothing but continue to look this guy steadfastly in the eyes, which seems to make him nervous.
“Well,” he mentions a little girl’s name but it really doesn’t matter; there are many similar stories, so… “[Girl’s name] went to bed able to walk but when she woke up she was paralyzed.”
“Yes, sir. I’ve been paralyzed for 33 years . There are a million similar stories. I went to bed bench-pressing 300 pounds. When I woke up the next morning, I could not bench press air.”
He’s daunted but determined… I still have no idea what his intentions are. He obviously felt that, as a preacher, he had to make a teaching moment out of my appearing so serendipitously into his life. A crippled boy sent to him for inspiration. He had to make a memorable moment out of this gift from God. The preacher man again mentions the name of the motorcycle victim about whom he initiated our present discourse.
“[Man’s name] went into Shepherd and could not walk, but through the grace of God, he walked out.
Again, I remain silent, so he comes closer, shakes my contracted hand, and slithers back to his table of people who are now preparing to leave, which they do.
My father and I are amused, but we’re having a good day, the food is good, and the TV is on a station that runs the thirty-minute infomercials, and this particular advertising extravaganza is pandering Country Music from the 70s, so I am nostalgically musing over the fashion of Marty Robins, Conway Twitty, and Porter Wagner’s crooning with sparkly sartorial excess juxtaposed against the coy sultriness of Crystal Gayle and Barbara Mandrell when I see the preacher man’s slowly returning to our alcove.
“I was just wondering; do you belong to a church?”
I look him straight in the eyes… it’s really effective when used as a defense mechanism against people with low self-esteem, and I say with a slightly sardonic smile, “I’m good.”
“I just want to invite you to my church.”
“And I would like you to visit my home.”
“Where do you live?”
“Hamilton, Georgia,” and I give him my address as he walks away.
I have been paralyzed for thirty-three years, and I’ve met my share of geniuses and fools, but I never know what kind of person I will meet at any given moment; I do, however, learn something new regardless… even when I am learning what not to do.
[1] My brother is in the Army Reserves. As such, he is contractually obligated to give up one weekend a month to perform his military duties as well as one month per year. My brother and his fellow reservists are called “weekend warriors.”
[2] My brother and his wife of thirty-three years are currently staying in my house in Columbus, Georgia while Ricky's building our family’s house in Hamilton, where I'm currently staying with my parents until completed. The house in Columbus has a wheelchair accessible roll-in shower that we use whenever I start to offend sensitive olfactory sensibilities so much so that flies find the stench emetic.
Peace Through Music

Make Stages Wheelchair Accessible
An Initial Descent Into Madness

If you are not aware, dear reader, the dissemination of this capriciously scheduled newsletter, QuadTalk, was originally to create a public discourse about how we, as a society, treat the physically handicapped. Unfortunately, it has become a soliloquy, and I’m hoping that my rather abstruse writing style is the reason that no one has offered any commentary other than encouragement to continue. Still and all, my original goal was to create a space for discourse, but since I am the only participant, and since my story is unique, I will tell my story alone... episodically and, hopefully, interestingly; although, my life’s story is incomplete without the acknowledgement that I have a rather extensive family who helps me immeasurably, a fact that, unfortunately, screams the very obvious fact that not everyone has a family as wonderful as mine. I admit. I am a very fortunate person. I really am. Additionally, I have been given many more opportunities than others because I look like a white male. Ain’t no way of getting’ ‘roun’ dat shit. Still, I will tell a bit of my story, mostly positive, and with the expectation of universal exculpation that I will refrain from revealing the harshest of my egregiousness. I think you will find it, if nothing else… interesting.
Because of my privilege to even be alive, I was granted an opportunity to become a pawn to Capitalistic cupidity by working for an internationally significant corporation in my hometown Columbus, Georgia, the Fountain City. As I look back, I am ashamed that I was caught up in the superfluous game of living extravagantly, but, in my defense, I indulged in music and books, which is still my life. Still, it is embarrassing to admit that I was a part of the unconscionable system of economics that greatly enriches an embarrassingly scant percentage of humanity at the expense of the vast majority, but, as a quadriplegic, what else could I do? I can sing, but I would die if my life depended on that. I was a fairly healthy dude before I broke my neck, was breezing through college but at a pace that had no strict restrictions. I could always work when I needed money. Thankfully, I broke my neck, or I would not have expanded my horizons as quickly. I will tell my story, then we can all look back and ask ourselves, as a collective society, if we should give a quadriplegic an opportunity to pursue her own path or do we medicate her into a somnolent life of nursing home BINGO and really bad church choirs.
This reminds me… I forget when I started and when I had to give it up, but I sang for a local nursing home for at least ten years. Once a month. It started when a local celebrity, Lou Vallee, asked me to sing with him. OK. Queue the floating harp music, the musical scales of contrapuntal harmonies as we drift into a flashback. BTW, I stole the following from the Internet:

At Home with Rozell or later, The Rozell Show , hosted by Rozell Fabiani first aired September 22, 1954 and ended in 1988.
Anyway, Lou Vallee played piano for the Rozell Show ; he played the organ for our city’s minor league baseball games; he was an active member of the Columbus Jazz Society; and he played everywhere in Columbus when he was younger, so, yeah, when Mr. Lou Vallee asked me to sing with him once a month for the nursing home that employed my mother, I said yes with the alacrity of a desert dweller’s lust for water at the realization that the approaching oasis is not a mirage. My mother was a nurse there. Sonia Echevarria was the activities Director, the nicest person on the planet. Of course I said yes.
At first it was Lou Vallee, I, and a drummer named Ike Alexander, and we played everything from the forties, fifties, and sixties, and the residents loved us. Very many of them told us that they liked the religious music but not all the time. Ike had to leave, so we brought in another voice, Jenn Dunford. I only bring this up because it gives me a groovy idea to approach Dr. Kevin Whalen about suggesting to his jazz students a strong encouragement to volunteer playing jazz music to the residents of an area nursing home. It’s a great way to practice small ensembles before an eager and forgiving audience, but I digress…

* * *

I did acquiesce to the corporate life, and I struggled with it the whole time. I wondered constantly why I was allowed this opportunity to sit on my ass and make more money than I ever had simply because I was able to learn how to manipulate a computer enough to transmit information in various forms to other computers who belong to other corporations simply to maintain the status quo that did benefit me and many others who more or less looked and acted as I. I did, however, meet many people who were in similar circumstance, i.e. they knew that they were a part of an inequitable system but what else could they do? We all had to wait for a majority of the world to notice.
And now, more people are noticing. Women, minorities, and the younger generations have realized it… internationally. Things are going to change, and that is wonderful, but during my corporate incarceration, the thing that got me through the ordeal was that I met some wonderful people whom I love. Yes, I have lived a privileged life, and I am often an ass, but I have, at times, been a part of some interesting stories. The following is from my journal entries from February 2005. It’s been slightly edited, mostly for aesthetics, but you’ll get the idea. Obviously, the names have been changed.

* * *
From my journal entries of February 2005:
Sunshine took an entire bottle of her prescription pills, and she’s currently on the 10th floor of The Medical Center, the psyche ward.
Of course, visitation is strictly limited, but Sunshine told Flowers (who drove her to the hospital) that she wanted me to know. In fact, I’m currently waiting on a phone call from Passion who’s visiting Sunshine at this very moment. (It’s 7:53 [pm], Wednesday, and yes, Wednesday is usually the night I go to sing in front of Judy Bug’s book store, but it’s raining again, a steady, vertical rain throughout the entire day.)
Obviously, Passion was an emotional wreck today. She came up to me first thing this morning and started adjusting me. It’s her gig: Most mornings, she comes to my cube and checks that my shirts are tucked in on the sides and that my skin isn’t showing, which she playfully says turns her on. She’ll then brush sundry fuzzes, threads, or other minutia from my shoulders, chest, et al, and she’ll fix me a cup of coffee if I want one. She even sometimes needs a hug from me (or so she says), and I willingly acquiesce. Today, however, while we were in the break room fixing my coffee, Passion cautiously checked the hall then walked up to me, got really close, and whispered that Sunshine was in the hospital. Her eyes began tearing, but someone else came into the break room, so Passion and I walked back to my desk, and she asked if we could talk somewhere.
We went to an empty conference room and talked for about forty minutes. Actually, I said very little, but Passion’s descant flowed like the primeval Chattahoochee, endless and syncopated, sometimes silently moving downstream but with complex emphasis on melody and harmony.
Passion and Sunshine spent Monday together drinking; they are notorious drinking buddies. Anyway, while they were together, Sunshine’s husband Stony called, and during their confab, Stony hung up on Sunshine, which sent Sunshine over the edge. Passion was in no shape to drive, so Sunshine called Hopeful (Sunshine’s son’s girlfriend and mother of Sunshine’s grandchild) to pick her up. When Sunshine got home, Stony made another overly crude remark (however, immediately after he uttered the volatile words, he feigned that they were made in jest), and it seems that here is where Sunshine must of cracked.
I’m still foggy on when Sunshine took the pills. Keep in mind that Passion is emotionally spent as she’s telling me the story, and all I could think of in the midst of the actual tragedy is that I wanted to gather Passion in my arms and hold her for eternity. Anyway, Sunshine had called Passion Tuesday morning (yesterday), but Passion was too hung over to help her friend. So Sunshine called Flowers, who took her to the hospital.
Of course, Passion feels she’s let down her friend, and she will have to come to terms with this later. Now, she’s full-tilt, kick-ass in charge of dedicating her life to the advancement of Sunshine’s emotional salubrity.
Passion’s words were endless. Again, I desperately wanted to gather her into my arms, but I sat quietly and listened to Passion’s confession. I didn’t say much, but I did occasionally assure her that she is a good person.
When she had finished, we both silently stared at one another then she slowly walked up to me and hugged me tightly. I told her that I was there for her but that I’d only be available for eternity. She audibly smiled, and she was still hugging me very tightly when she said, "You’re the very best friend I’ve had in a long, long time."
It’s 7:27 [pm... a different day]. I just called Sunshine’s house, but she’s not home yet; seems like she’s having trouble procuring a doctor’s signature that’ll grant her access to un-institutionalized freedom. Anyway, I’m going to bed relatively early tonight…
[Another day] I have a truly wonderful friend in Sunshine, and she has a true friend in me.
I honestly believe that I visited Sunshine the most while she was in the psyche ward; if not, my visits were far more positive than anyone else’s. In the two days I was allowed to see her, I saw her for five hours. Yes, we bonded; we laughed often; silently cried; and we talked. She was allowed to go home today, and she called me at work to tell me that, which is wickedly cool because she knows that I use a speaker phone, yet she took a chance on letting folks around me hear her voice, merely to let me know she’s home.
I called her just before I started writing and after The Simpsons, and we talked longer than we’ve ever talked on the phone, although our entire conversation probably ran an entire minute. I did, however, hear an eternity of gratefulness in her voice, gratefulness that I called, and that I had called yesterday, and that I will continue to call every day just to make sure everything is all right and to remind her that she has a place to come to if she needs it.
But now the songs of nocturnal slumber are whispering in my ears enticing somnolent images of sleep, and I am off to visit my land of dreams.
Peace Through Music

Peace and Love
Southern Strategy Helped Trump Illegally Usurp the Presidency
With Muscovite Assistance

There seems to be a narrative making its rounds that Donald Trump is a GOP anomaly, a misguided public servant whose personal philosophy sharply differs from the fluffed romanticism of a Ronald Reagan-idolized yet delusive GOP of family values, a strong military presence, and fiscal economic policies, but this fantasy is as illusory as Trump’s business acumen... a big lie… like a tragic toupee. There is ample evidence, overt, that the GOP has been a bigoted party of wealthy men, mostly Caucasian, who lust for power garnered through egregious wealth accumulation, and this party has used the Southern Strategy to appeal to the racist faction of their voting constituents since, at least, Nixon.
According to wikipedia:
In American politics, the Southern strategy [is] a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans. As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. It also helped to push the Republican Party much more to the right.
Confusion is catalyzed by ambiguous obfuscation.
Exactly. Communication is filled with confusion, and our nation’s political scene is an exercise in communication. Ergo, politics is confusion. The Southern Democrats in the early to mid-20 th century became Republicans. It is truly confusing.
Again, from wikipedia:
In the 1948 election, after President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military, a group of conservative Southern Democrats known as Dixiecrats split from the Democratic Party in reaction to the inclusion of a civil rights plank in the party’s platform. This followed a floor fight led by civil-rights activist, Minneapolis Mayor (and soon-to-be Senator) Hubert Humphrey. The disaffected conservative Democrats formed the States’ Rights Democratic, or Dixiecrat Party and nominated Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for President. Thurmond carried four Deep South states in the general election: South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The main plank of the States’ Rights Democratic Party was maintaining segregation and Jim Crow in the South [my italics for emphasis]. The Dixiecrats, failing to deny the Democrats the presidency in 1948, soon dissolved, but the split lingered. In the fall of 1964, Thurmond was one of the first conservative Southern Democrats to switch to the Republican Party just a couple months after Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.
The Republican Party split into the Rockefeller Republican and the Goldwater Republican. This is why I try to steer clear of using the terms Democrat and Republican to differentiate between individual politicians. Instead, I use the dichotomous adjectives progressive and conservative ... for clarity.
By claiming that the Civil Rights Act—that was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964—was an intrusion by the federal government against states’ rights, the Southern Strategists developed this buzz phrase, i.e. States' Rights, as a substitute for the word “nigger” by associating it with the intrusive federal government that was intent on allowing African-Americans an equal opportunity to share in the American Dream. They also believed that the Civil Rights Act severely limited the rights of people to do business, or not, with whomever they wanted even when based on race or sexual orientation, say, like when a cake decorator refuses to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple… which is supposed to be antithetical to Capitalism’s idolatry of the Almighty Dollar, but I digress…
At the local level, the 1970s saw steady Republican growth with an emphasis on a middle-class suburban electorate that had little interest in the historic issues of rural agrarianism or with racial segregation. It’s this kind of indifference that helped the rise of Donald Trump’s insipidity. He was elected by people who binge watch either reality shows or mellifluent rom-coms… or who interminably watch videos of kittens and puppies instead of learning about the bigotry that surrounds the planet.
From wikipedia:
Republican strategist Lee Atwater discussed the Southern Strategy in a 1981 interview later published in Southern Politics in the 1990s by Alexander P. Lamis.
Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964 [...] and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster...
Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does [my italics for emphasis] get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?
Atwater: Y’all don’t quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

In 1980, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan made a speech that contained the simple sentence “I believe in states’ rights,” which is convincing evidence that the Republican Party was building upon the Southern Strategy again. Reagan’s campaigns used racially coded rhetoric, making attacks on the “welfare state” and leveraging resentment towards affirmative action. Reagan used coded language lambasting welfare queens, busing, and affirmative action. He employed the stereotypes of welfare recipients, often invoking the case of a “welfare queen” with a large house and a Cadillac using multiple names to collect over $150,000 in tax-free income, which resonated with Southern white perceptions of black people.
George H.W. Bush continued the Southern Strategy in 1988 by invoking Willie Horton. Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes recognized that an implicit racial appeal could work outside of the Southern states. The Southern Strategy morphed into national effort and helped the citizenry of our once great nation to accept, among other morally questionable tactics, mass incarceration… including me.
At the turn of the century, Bush the Lesser implemented his own Southern Strategy by exploiting...

“the denigration of the liberal label to convince white conservatives to vote for him. Bush’s appeal was to the same racist tropes that had been used since the Goldwater and Nixon days.”
New York Times opinion columnist Bob Herbert wrote in 2005:

“The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.’s relentless appeal to racist whites. Tired of losing elections, it saw an opportunity to renew itself by opening its arms wide to white voters who could never forgive the Democratic Party for its support of civil rights and voting rights for blacks... evolved from a states’ rights, racially conservative message to one promoting in the Nixon years, vis-à-vis the courts, a racially conservative interpretation of civil rights laws—including opposition to busing. With the ascendancy of Reagan, the Southern Strategy became a national strategy that melded race, taxes, anticommunism, and religion.”
[The above quoted material is from wikipedia]
Like King Lear’s impotent railing at the indifferent storm that’s ravishing the moor, I am metaphorically screaming for posterity the following that few will hear: Ronald Reagan’s policies, which reflect his hubristic personal philosophy, supported racist propaganda that exploited easily manipulated followers to sequaciously adopt Reagan’s achromatic supremacy that helped to catalyze the ever increasing chasm between Sardanapalian largess and poverty. This revelation will ultimately destroy Reagan’s current desperate but fanciful lionization; he will then be memorialized less admirably than Jimmy Carter, which would really piss off some of my kith and kin who errantly and ignorantly deify Hollywood’s most recognized B-actor and grade-A political charlatan.
What we have here is failure to communicate… effectively. The Southern Strategy is still being used by Trump’s GOP to encourage the subtle racist to become overt in her feigned superiority. Trumpeters for Trump, if they still exist, are copasetic with their association with the KKK and white supremacy; others are insidiously slinking away in shame of not only their bigoted political ovations but their religious affiliations as well.
Peace Through Music
Tender Chunks of Meaty Goodness

“He was not in any kind of leadership. I certainly doubt he was the smartest guy in the class,” Steve Perelman, a classmate of Trump’s at Wharton, told the Daily Pennsylvanian in 2015.To the contrary, the late professor William T. Kelley, who taught marketing at the Wharton School for 31 years, said that “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”
Trump mocks and exploits women. He shamed and attacked a Gold Star family. He coddled the pathetic tiki-torch brigade in Charlottesville, Virginia. And he does all these things while basking in the approving roars of his testosterone-fueled crowd.
—The Atlantic
Cheap shots have replaced bravery. A certain kind of animal cunning has replaced honor. Libertine aggression has replaced fidelity. It’s as if the movie was remade from the bully’s perspective, and the bully became the hero. The man who evaded his generation’s war, who compared the dangers of his sex life to serving in Vietnam, is honored beyond the warrior.
—The Atlantic
In 1980, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan made a much-noted appearance at the Neshoba County Fair. His speech there contained the phrase “I believe in states’ rights” and is cited as evidence that the Republican Party was building upon the Southern Strategy again. Reagan’s campaigns used racially coded rhetoric, making attacks on the “welfare state” and leveraging resentment towards affirmative action. Dan Carter explains how “Reagan showed that he could use coded language with the best of them, lambasting welfare queens, busing, and affirmative action as the need arose.” During his 1976 and 1980 campaigns, Reagan employed stereotypes of welfare recipients, often invoking the case of a “welfare queen” with a large house and a Cadillac using multiple names to collect over $150,000 in tax-free income… Whites interpret this in a racial manner, the unstated impression in whites’ minds were black people and Reagan’s rhetoric resonated with Southern white perceptions of black people
As even its harshest critics concede, neoliberalism is hard to pin down. In broad terms, it denotes a preference for markets over government, economic incentives over cultural norms, and private entrepreneurship over collective action. It has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena – from Augusto Pinochet to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, from the Clinton Democrats and the UK’s New Labour to the economic opening in China and the reform of the welfare state in Sweden.
—Dani Rodrik
What seems to be lost in all the conflict surrounding the current usurper of the presidency is the fact that Trump IS the unrestrained personification of the GOP whose message, since, at least, Nixon, has been a more restrained and much more subtle racism than the type of radish-screaming clarion that Trump has brought out in the open, and… the current racism and business-embracing of Capitalistic cupidity, which is not sustainable, are extant because too many of us voted for one of the most unqualified, bigoted, and morally bankrupt men on the planet. Our nation’s government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”; ergo, it is we , the people, the citizens of the U.S., who voted Trump into office. It’s not the fault of the GOP, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party, Mitch McConnell, etc. Those of us who voted for Trump, regardless of reason, are all at fault… and we’ll likely survive this embarrassment with impunity.
Anyone who feels compelled to boast how smart he is clearly suffers from a profound insecurity about his intelligence and accomplishments. In Trump’s case, he has good reason to have doubts. Trump has the kind of street smarts (what he’s called “gut instinct”) characteristic of con artists and hucksters, but his limited vocabulary, short attention span, ignorance of policy specifics, indifference to scientific evidence, and admitted aversion to reading raise questions about his intellectual abilities—his capacity to absorb and analyze information and ideas.
It seems fairly obvious that the reason that Hitler didn’t succeed in his attempt to create a totalitarian government with himself as the irrefutable leader is because he lacked the intelligence. Whether his lack of mental acuity was due to drugs or was psychological is questionable, but it seems highly likely that Hitler’s mental acumen lacked substantiality, especially near the end of his life. King Henry VIII seems to have undergone a similar fate; although, he transmogrified from a renaissance man into a megalomaniacal narcissist allegedly after a jousting accident caused brain damage. Makes me wonder if, in his youth, Donald Trump had an accident or suffered from a nefarious health anomaly that catalyzed his ignorance; although, he seems always to have been an ignorant bigot who incessantly lusted after any warm place to stick his dick.

It Ain't Jazz, But...

I ain't braggin' (yes I am), but Ted and I share a special, synergetic harmony that'll transcend music-genre stereotypes and touch the souls of listeners who are passionate about music . Additionally, Ted's lyrical wit and compassionate tone encourages the active listener to experience the gamut of emotions from heart-wrenching sorrow to riotous laughter and... yodeling. For more info, click here .
Dr. David Banks is the current president of the Columbus Jazz Society that has been extant since 1977. If you'd like to receive an email containing area jazz events, send him an email, and get added to his distribution list by clicking here .

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Shameless Solicitation

It’s time. I need money to pay for someone to help me because I’m wearing out my family. I’m hoping to solicit enough money to overpay someone to help me throughout the day and night for a weekend... or longer; my septuagenarian parents need a break. Please read my story, and if you can, donate a few bucks. If a bunch of folks give just a little, I can stay home; otherwise, I will consider going into a nursing home. I am tired of being a burden on my family. If you are unable to donate, your support will be just as appreciated. Thank you very much.

Read my story...
...or you can buy my CD of jazz Vocals


To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!