I Might Well Move To Los Angeles After All

I didn’t want to say this. I didn’t want it to happen. However, my lawyer advises it seems clear my chances of staying in Canada long term have ended, so I’m in the process of taking a decision I did not want to, in moving out here. However, as friends have told me, I’ve gotten more adjusted to life out here over damn near eleven months (I hope so). Maybe the cats can do something similar. We shall see.

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Zappa and DiMeola, “Clownz On Velvet”

I always wondered.

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Mahavishnu Orchestra, “One Word.”

I’m grateful to have seen this band on this tour. If you wonder why I’ve always touted this band, sit back and be thou amazed:

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King Crimson Medley From French TV


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A Thought or Two re: the NRA Convention Speeches

This Politico piece is pretty interesting in that it reminds us again how completely batshit crazy this organization has become. Now as its president we meet one James Porter, a barely literate character from the backwoods of Georgia who’s somehow risen to the head of this good-ol’-boys’ club but for obvious reasons it looks like he’s going to be much less public than his predecessor. I wouldn’t want him to be the face of anything in which I was involved, that much is sure. He’s a drooling idiot, nothing more. LaPierre, however, is another story. He’s a snake-oil salesman, sure, slick and greasy, but give him this much credit: he’s effective at what he does.

In the excerpts from the speeches, consider how gun-control supporters get marginalized in the same way the Right always does re: the Left. “Oh, you don’t count. You don’t matter. Only our opinions matter because, naturally, we’re right. Not you.”

That’s a schoolyard insult. The NRA, like the Right in general, steadfastly refuses to grow up. In the process, the nation continues on pause instead of getting down to solving its problems.

I was also struck by the words of Ollie North of Iran/Contra infamy. He actually still believes people lied about what was clearly his program in fact. What did the media say that wasn’t true? They could’ve pushed harder, of course, and followed the clues that finally led to the Oval Office and the President who should rightly have been impeached. He was no great President. He was an unindicted co-conspirator.

Notice how LaPierre posits there’s a “terrorist in every community.” Wow. How does he know that? Every community, every last one? Come on, folks. We all know what he’s trying to do here—crank up the fear to eleven. It should be transparently obvious, but the thousands of people who attended most certainly believed the snake-oil sale and they met at the point of purchase.

This is dangerous rhetoric, and thinking people should recognize it for what it is. The NRA’s reach has grown to monstrous proportions as we see from the group’s efforts to stop gun-control movements beyond the U.S.; to repeat, truly I think this must constitute a charter violation if not criminal activity. What many on the Right fail to realize is how the NRA’s mission has devolved over time. They’re a shill for the gun industry, not gun owners. That’s been the case for a long while now, but the leadership would never admit that. Instead, they invite the incurious to their conventions and ply them with merchandise—as well as “information” about the gathering threats to their God-given right to own military-grade weaponry. This is a grotesque development; until the organization is utterly abolished and its leadership is jailed, the situation’s unlikely to change.

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What Does James Porter Mean By “Fake President”? Also, A Few Other Questions

OK, I get it. James Porter is that crazy uncle who lives in the attic, never comes downstairs and only ever watches Fox “News.” Here’s a question: WHO THE HELL LET HIM OUT? He’s gone and become the President of the NRA, probably while still wearing his pajamas.

Fake President“? Ridiculous.

Just to remind everybody of the obvious, what we commonly know as text can be broken into at least two sub-components, surface text and subtext, what the speaker means by the surface text. This is of course how we come up with such delightful rhetorical devices as “dog-whistle politics.” Porter is jangling the dog’s chains, folks. He’s reaching into the hearts and minds of racists in America already seething with hate toward Obama, who cannot suffer a black President, but of course they cannot just stand up and say what they really want to.

Porter also says Obama’s motivated by “revenge.” Against whom? For what? He never says, but his views line up with those of the odious Louis Goemert, who accuses the President of having Muslim Brotherhood members as advisors. How ridiculous is that? If people on the Left had said that Dubya and Putin were plotting to split up the world between themselves and their nations’ aristocrats, we’d have been laughed out of the political room, and justifiably so. Why doesn’t the same happen to these idiots and fools? I do not know, but I’m sure this is wrong.

This man is pond scum. I wouldn’t cross the room to meet him. Likewise his “star attendees” at the NRA convention this weekend, the Nuge and Sarah Palin? That’s an SNL skit, folks, I’m telling you. And might well be. Stay tuned.

But back to “revenge,” we all know the subtext—that “fake” means “black.” When those of us on the political Left said Dubya wasn’t the President, we had a provable case. When I taught, I never once called Dubya President without some kind of tweak. Usually I called him Governor as George Carlin did—”Highest office for which he was actually elected.” Fair enough, Monsignor. But this….on what basis does he consider Obama’s presidency illegitimate? Is he an Orly Taitz birther type? She’s scratching and clawing every day to remain somewhere in the backwaters of the political light, still hawking her ludicrous notions about the President; how can anyone still hold to such a theory? They have to have some other agenda in mind….including Mitch McConnell and his “one-term President” ideology that’s done so much harm to the country.

The revenge charge is immediately revelatory. It always amazes me when people on the Right say such jaw-dropping things, not even realizing how transparent those sentences become. Porter reminds me of another Carlinism: “Stupid, full of shit, and fucking nuts!” This guy probably has a driver’s license, which also suddenly seems scary.

Let’s remember, though, that the NRA is entirely working for gun manufacturers. The “National” Rifle Assn. is now working with the aforesaid companies in overseas markets. I find that interesting as well. Maybe now they’re the IRA, International Rifle Assn., in which case a certain group of people would perhaps be right well pissed off, one would think. Let’s remember that the devolution of this organization has happened without the understanding of the rank-and-file, for the most part. I know a number of NRA members who tell me I’m crazy when I try to convince them of these things. Simply said, they do not want to believe all this has happened in their name. LaPierre and now Porter as well stand as figureheads for a hierarchy thoroughly in the sway of the gun industry.

Fake President, eh? How about fake NRA?

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Jim Porter, New NRA President: Madness on Steroids

Jim Porter is beyond doubt one of the crazier people I’ve ever read about. This TP piece introducing him to the wider world is nothing short of terrifying. It’s as though the Civil War never ended.

It did, didn’t it? Please tell me it did.

Why, for example, does he call Obama a “fake President”? Why? He was duly elected, unlike Dubya the first time around and by the way, if you don’t legally win the first time around but win the second, it does not legitimate the first vote. It simply doesn’t work that way.

Then there’s that whole “War of Northern Aggression” bit. One of two things are possible here: 1) He knows his audience, so he goes for the dog-whistle; or 2) Nah, this is what he really believes—that war never ended, so regionalism bleeds toward ignorance and a single-mindedness that there’s only one point of view and nothing else could ever be possible.

Then there’s this notion that everybody should be trained on military weaponry. Against whom, may I ask? Squirrels? Moths? Come on. The only use for this level of ordinance is to kill humans. Nothing else. Now, look: You can certainly kill somebody with a six-shooter, right? You don’t need a hundred-round clip to defend yourself. What are you going to do? Shoot the intruder’s face into jelly like Tarantino did with Hitler in Inglorious Basterds? For what reason except bloodthirst?

I do in fact have experience with an M-16, at Lackland AFB in 1976. I was handed mine for qualifying for a medal I suddenly decided I didn’t want, for a simple reason. We were told just before we took our positions that there was an apartment complex on top of the hill into which we’d be firing. There was no fence at the hill’s edge. Nothing. I thought of a child chasing a ball over the edge. I’d have done it as a child myself. Never lose a toy.

“Ready on the left. Ready on the right. Ready on the firing line. Fire—”

Which I did. The kick pushed back on my shoulder rather hard, but the most surprising thing to me was how much damage could be done with a single shot. If I’d been defending myself at home against an intruder and I had one of those, trust me when I say it would not end well for the intruder. We took a class before Wet Fire (and yes, that’s what they called it; I couldn’t help laughing every time I heard it) in which a teacher showed us a six-inch piece of steel which had served as the target; there was a significant hole that went straight through. The target was five hundred yards away from the shooter. And then we saw another exemplar shot from half the distance; there was a huge hole from the front, and an even larger one from behind. That’s how these bullets work, folks. They spin on contact. The only reason for owning something like this is to kill other people—not only that, but to utterly decimate them.

Now, look: I don’t mean to tick off anybody. All I’m saying is that if you think you need an AR, I don’t know why. I wouldn’t want to shoot a deer with one of those; what would be left to eat?

About that day on the firing range, I admit to shooting toward others’ targets rather than my own. I seem to remember I got something like a 30% percent score, but it didn’t matter to me; I just hope the guys around me scored more than 100%. That would be cool.

But as to Porter, he’s an idiot. No. He’s a monster. I hope he’s the guy who finally sinks this organization that had fair motives to begin with but has devolved into something more like madness on steroids. Porter’s a time-bomb just about to explode that gun club like a match in an arsenal.

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