Oh America, Where Did We Go Wrong? – (We Have a Narcissist Cry Baby For a Leader)

There was a time not long ago when the leaders of our proud nation worried more about important matters of state than what other said about them. Tackling issues of national defense, financial crisis, employment, and trade were more important than denouncing the press or politicians who disagree with your opinions and ideologies. That all changed on January 20, 2017.

We are now facing the dumbing down of the position that has long been considered “the most powerful person in the world”. The current president of our beloved country finds it more important to attack the media. “Fake News”. He finds it necessary to remind everybody of his “yuge” and “biggly” victory via the Electoral College (the same Electoral College he said should be done away with). He continues to make false claims about a popular vote victory even though it has been shown he lost the popular vote by almost three million votes, with almost another 3 million votes going to independent candidates.

However, it wasn’t until recently that his true narcissistic nature was shown. He recently gave the commencement speech at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Our esteemed leader chose to use this moment not so much to congratulate the cadets on their accomplishments, but rather to cry out about the treatment he has received since becoming president. He ranted about how no president in the history of our country has been treated as badly as he has. Nevermind the fact that he is a narcissist, self-indulgent to a fault. His statement simply didn’t ring true. For all his braggadocio, he has claimed to be supremely intelligent, he fails to understand that history simply proves his statement false.

His predecessor, President Obama, was treated rather poorly during his eight years. The legitimacy of his educational achievements was called into question. For six years he had a Congress that not only opposed his every move, it blatantly obstructed them. Worst of all, he had his citizenship called into question by none other than our current leader. It would seem that President Obama may quite well have endured worse treatment than our current leader could possibly have received in less than six months in office.

Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln, two of our most respected presidents, most definitely received worse treatment than our current leader. One protected the nation from the threat of war with the USSR. The other saved a nation from collapse and emancipated a race of people. Yet, both were rewarded for their service in a manner not befitting their service to our nation. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Lincoln was assassinated while attending a performance at Ford’s Theater. These two fine men of character, morals, and dignity were killed in cold blood. This seems to clearly be worse than any treatment our current president could have received.

So now I ask our “esteemed” leader one very simple question. Is it possible that perhaps in all your narcissistic, ego-maniacal, selfishness that you may be exaggerating just a bit? Enough of your whining. Enough attacking the press. Enough of not leading the nation that elected you to do just that. Put on your big boy pants. Understand that not everyone is going to like you (as was shown by the results of the popular vote). Work for the greatness that this nation has always had, not the greatness you think we have lost. Get your House in order. This isn’t a game, not a round of golf. It is a country that will not be a destroyed by a self-indulgent man such as yourself.

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What Is Going On In This Country?

Now, generally, I try not to put forth too much of my personal opinion on things such as racial inequality and things of this nature on public forums. Mostly, this is due to the inevitable fact that someone will end up with a bad case of  Irritable Vagina Syndrome (IVS). Since I don’t have the time, inclination, or necessary ointments to help these people, I try to hold my feelings on issues such as these locked away deep in the bowels of my soul. However, this is not one of those times. Therefore, let us begin this journey of rantings and ravings.

As most of the educated American population is aware, in the Great State of South Carolina, there were indeed not one but two men with the surname of Scott that have been shot and killed by police officers. This week alone, we have found out that one of the officers involved in one of the shootings will not go to court. They claim there was a gun. Yet there has never been any video evidence of said gun. However, they say it was there, did a thorough investigation, and even consulted with other prosecutors from other cities. Therefore, I can accept their decision in this matter. However, the other case in which a man named Scott was shot, to borrow a line from Woody Allen, is a travesty of a mockery of a travesty of a mockery of a travesty. One Officer Slager pulled Mr. Scott over on a cool brisk morning. Mr. Scott, fearing he may have an arrest warrant for unpaid child support, turns himself into Carl Lewis and begins a mad dash away from the officer. (Here is where the plot thickens.) When Mr. Scott is approximately eighteen (18) feet away from said officer, the officer draws his gun and releases a volley of gunfire at Mr. Scott. Alas, poor Scott he knew you hardly. He was struck by rounds from the officer’s prized service revolver and lay dying on the ground. No worries, though, Officer Slager rushed to his side to provide medical attention. Oh, no wait. That isn’t quite what happened. Slager rushes towards the downed suspect. He sees that he is taking his last breath. He stands and goes to retrieve the stun gun that he had dropped while running after the victim. The dashing young officer returns to Scott’s side and drops the stun gun next to him. That is right folks. Instead of providing much-needed first aid, he tried to frame the dying man. Yet, the plot twists even more. A young man video recorded the entire event on his cell phone while walking to work. This led to the eventual arrest of Officer Slager for the murder of the dearly departed Mr. Scott.

Flash forward to last week, and the closing arguments in the trial against Officer Slager are winding down. The jury receives their instructions from the demanding judge. The depart the courtroom. They return many hours later and announce that they cannot continue with deliberations. The judge demands an answer. The foreman advised his honor that they have one man on the jury who states he cannot with good conscience convict a law enforcement officer. The judge scolds the members of the jury and forces them to return to deliberation. Evening comes and they still cannot get the one gentleman to sway. They announce this to his honor once more. “I send you home for the weekend. Deliberations shall continue on Monday,” announces the judge. Come to the morn of Monday, and the jury is once again weighing in on the issues at hand. The holdout, in all his magnificent wisdom, sends a letter to the judge. It states that he cannot and will not change his mind. It is at this time, the foreman asks that this juror is removed and that the judge replaces him with an alternate who has witnessed the proceedings. The judge in his self-righteousness denies this request. A mistrial is declared.

Now I ask you, the good people of this nation. Is this right? An unarmed black man is blatantly shot in the middle of the back while fleeing from an officer of the law. He is shot without any provocation. The officer claims he was in fear for his well-being (nevermind the fact he shot the man running away and then tried to frame him). The case hinged on the vote of one Christian Conservative white man who suddenly decided that he could not in good conscience convict a police officer. Now I ask you to do me just one small favor. Close your eyes, lay back on your couch and imagine that your son our daughter, a young white man or woman, is the one running away from the officer who happens to be black. Do you think the same outcome would have taken place? We claim to be a great nation. However recently it appears that the only thing we are great at is division. Therefore, I ask you without malice, with nothing more than aching in my bosom and emptiness in my gut. Exactly what is going on in this country?

Small Shows

As an avid concertgoer, I like to hit the bigger events, bands that I really know a vast amount of their catalog or that I grew up listening to.  However, it is also extremely rewarding to go and experience bands in some smaller, much smaller venues. You can experience the band in a completely different way. The ambiance is more intimate and often times more fun. Such was the case this past weekend.

My buddy and I made the three and a half hour trek to St. Louis from Kansas City to attend the Reverend Horton Heat show. I was introduced to the dear Reverend a couple of years ago by my friend. It wasn’t my normal kind of music that I would be listening to but it is rocking enough that I enjoy it. One of the great things with hearing a band in a small venue is that their are always opening acts and they generally get to play longer than a normal opening act. Such was the case this weekend at The Ready Room. The opening bands were Igor & The Red Elvises and Nashville Pussy.

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Igor & The Red Elvises are a band we had seen perform a couple of years ago. They played at a town fair in Warrensburg, Missouri. They sounded fairly good. So when given the chance to see them a second time, I couldn’t wait. When they took the stage, there was a fairly good buzz in the air. Needless to say, they came out gunning everyone down with what I can only describe as a Siberian surf rock that attacked your senses with a funky groove.  The same melodic hypnotizing songs we heard two years ago once again hugged my ear drums. The difference this time was provided by the actual venue in which they played. The concrete walls and the sound baffles, this little building echoed music like an arena. Both fans and band were able to enjoy this small moment in time, in a small space, and feel like they were in a fifty thousand seat arena. It was absolutely a growing experience as a music listener. I once again understood why so many of the bands I like choose to play in these small, intimate and if not sometimes shady venues. I will definitely be going to more venues like this to regain that old time rock and roll feeling. I hope you do the same.

WEEKLY AWARDS

Well hello there boys and girls, ladies and gents. It is that time again.  You guessed it, time for the weekly awards. This week I am blessed to be able to say that both awards are going to the same benevolent benefactor of bullshit.  He has truly earned both honors.

ASSHOLE OF THE WEEK AWARD

Senator John McCain (R)-AZ

Senator McCain wins the award for the Asshole of the Week Award for his appearance on Meet The Press.  On Sunday, February 17, 2013, the wonderful senator stated that the current administration (you know which one, the one with that black socialist guy) is “perpetrating a massive cover-up” in regards to the deaths of American diplomats in Benghazi.  The details of the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi were released months ago. There has been no proof of any wrong doing in regards to this incident.  However, McCain still insists there is a conspiracy to cover up information in regards to this incident.  Just another example of his need to become retired, as soon as possible.

DOUCHEBAG OF THE WEEK AWARD

Senator John McCain (R)-AZ

The Douchebag of the Week Award goes to the sensational senator as well.  This distinction was earned for his comments in regards to the  nomination of Chuck Hagel to the post of Defense Secretary.  McCain stated that he supported the filibuster against Hagel due to the fact that Hagel was mean to President Bush.  He then went on to say that Hagel would most likely have his nomination confirmed after the Senate’s Presidents Day recess.  Is this the third grade our senators are in?  McCain thought Hagel was mean to President Bush?  If that were the case, would there be anyone who could possibly be available to be nominated?  McCain, as one of the senior senators, should have simply proceeded with getting the confirmation completed prior to the Senate recess.  This would have allowed for more pressing issues to be addressed upon the Senate’s return.  MIA:  McCain’s intelligence and common sense.

It is with the utmost sincerity and good fun that I present this weeks dastardly duo award winner.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Therefore, join me next week for the next installment of the Weekly Awards. Be sure to tune in.

-Peace…Hair Grease…and Love

WEEKLY AWARDS

It is that time again for the dubious distinctions to be directed toward their derelicts.  This weeks winners are definitely deserving of being  chosen.

ASSHOLE OF THE WEEK 

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)

The esteemed representative from the great state of Texas is the recipient of the Asshole Of The Week award.  Like most of his counterparts in the Republican party, Mr. Smith is against immigration reform.  He would prefer that we simply deport all of the illegal aliens that reside in our country.  This week, he warned GOP members to oppose immigration reform as it would give the Democratic party “millions of votes”.  Wow.  Really?  That is a really good reason to deny immigration reform.  No wonder our Congress cannot get anything done.  With hints of wisdom and racism combined like this, Mr. Smith is this week’s most deserving award winner.

DOUCHEBAG OF THE WEEK

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

The esteemed senator from the sunshine state is proudly awarded the Douchebag Of The Week award.  He was chosen by the Republican party to respond to the President Of The United States’ State Of The Union speech.  He used this opportunity to show party strength and lack of intelligence by announcing that he still lives in the same working class neighborhood that he grew up in.  He said that most of his neighbors are the ones who get up early every morning to go to work or receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. He stated that he was proud to be neighbors with these people and that reforms to Social Security and Medicare need to be made for these kind of people.  He sealed the deal for this week’s award when he failed to mention that his house has been for sale since last fall.  He is currently trying to sell the house in an effort to move his wife and children to District of Columbia.  It was a nice touch of douchebaggery.  Brag about how much you love your neighbors and fail to mention that you are ready to up and go the minute the house is sold.

Until next week, enjoy your time and time your enjoyment.

-Peace, hair grease, and love.

How Patriotic Are Americans?

Scouring through the news sites online, I saw that a true American hero was murdered while taking a fellow veteran shooting at a gun range in Texas.  Chris Kyle, a retired Navy Seal, extremely decorated with over 160 confirmed kills, was shot and killed by a 25 year old Marine reservist.  Upon reading the comments to these articles, I was completely flabbergasted.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  There were actually posts from fellow Americans that said “he had it coming” and “he got what he deserved”.  Others posted that it was karma that he had been murdered.  It was at this point that I began to wonder just how patriotic Americans really are.

I was raised in a military family.  My grandfather, father, mother, two brothers, and a niece are veterans. I was taught that you respect those who serve and show gratitude for their service.  I eventually joined the military myself, enlisting in the United States Navy at 18 years of age.  I served with pride.   As a veteran, I remember those who died, those I served with, and honor those who serve to this day.  I know that each and every service member has signed a blank check that is payable up to the cost of their life to defend the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy. However, I was also raised to know that not everyone will share this same point of view.

Those who have never served, those who laugh when American soldiers die, those who protest when soldiers are buried are not patriotic.  They  may be proud to be American but the are not patriotic.  They are those who do not know that soldiers do not fight for glory.  They fight for the man or woman next to them. They serve because they love their country so much that they are willing to sacrifice their own life to insure that the nation’s freedoms and liberties endure.  They fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves.  Not every soldier agrees with the wars they fight.  They follow the orders that are given.  This is something their critics should understand.  It is the reason that those who show such unpatriotic behavior should hang their heads in shame.  You don’t have to agree with the wars that take place. Hold the anger you possess against the government itself.  Nothing but pride and respect should be shown for every service member who serves.  Show nothing but respect and honor for those who have paid the ultimate price for you freedoms and liberties.

When I look around this great nation and see how those serving and those who have served are treated, it makes me feel ill.  If you cannot support those who protect you, cannot show one shred of gratitude for those who have protected you, you do not have the right to claim how patriotic you are.  Sit idly by and remain silent for you have not the right to judge those who have given all so that you can speak your mind.   Enlist and serve, protect and defend. Then you will  have earned the right to say whatever you want. Until then you have no idea about the people you mock in their death.

– The Ranter

WEEKLY AWARDS

As you may have read on a previous posting of mine, I am awarding weekly awards for inept or socially unacceptable behavior.  The main winner will be deemed the Asshole of the Week.  The second most polluted social action or statement will be rewarded with the Douchebag of The Week.

This weeks winners are as follows for showing such low moral fiber and a blatant lack of class or redeeming qualities:

ASSHOLE OF THE WEEK AWARD

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and James Risch (R-ID)

This week’s award goes to 8 Republican senators for there appalling vote to block the Violence Against Women Act.  This act expired at the end of 2012.  Now these super geniuses have decided that the bill does not need to be renewed.  I wonder which one we will see in the news first for punching their wives in the face.  Nothing like the GOP to want to make it legal again to smack the old ball and chain when she doesn’t listen.  Their blatant disregard for an act that was created to protect women earns all of them the award.  

DOUCHEBAG OF THE WEEK AWARD

American Oil Companies

The runner up this week is once again shared.  It goes to all the American owned oil companies that continue to gouge the hard working men and women of this country.  Gas prices are at a 30 year high despite a drilling boom.  However, the executives at these companies will continue to try and use the excuse of problems at refineries and transportation issues.  What they fail to tell the public is that they continue to see record profits.  For not caring about the economic impact of their greed, these companies barely fall short of the top honor.

Check back weekly for the latest winners.  They will be announced every Monday night.

Peace….Hair Grease….& Love.

Coming Soon: The Ranter

It is funny some of the things that are in the news lately.  Depending on the websites you read, you never know what some people will talk about.  For instance, Think Progress had the following story about Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl in New Orleans:
 
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance Inspires Conservative Freakout
 
The funny thing about this article is that with all the craziness going on in this country, people are wanting to complain about Beyonce’s performance at halftime.  At the current time unemployment is out of control, we are in a war, the housing industry still sucks, gun control is on debate, states are trying to redistrict the voting for their states, and countless other issues persist. However, what does the media choose to focus on?  This is part of the reason that this nation is in the trouble it is in.  I suggest that all media outlets start focusing on the issues at hand.  It is high time that these issues get tackled head on. 
 
Coming soon, political and social rantings from the madman.  Welcome to the neighborhood.  It might get a little crazy around here.  So tune in soon, same bat channel.
 
— The Ranter

Man’s Best Friend

As I sit and watch my dog sleep on my bed, I cannot help but think back upon my life.  I have had this dog, Siren, for fifteen years.  Many life altering things have taken place during this time.  I found out I was a father, moved across country twice, traveled to different parts of the world, gotten divorced, fallen in love again, and conquered cancer.  Throughout it all, there was my faithful companion, my canine child, always by my side.

Dogs love unconditionally.  Even after being punished for some small disobedience, they forgive an love.  This is something the human race surely cannot claim.  Dogs are able to tell when something is bothering you.  Have you ever noticed how they stare at you or crawl next to you and cuddle with you?  It is as if they are trying to survey your emotional state.  They are trying to comfort you.  More often than not, they can always make you feel better.  A wag of the tail, a pawing at your hand, simply laying on your lap while having you pet them.  All of this  does wonders in making you forget your worries if only for a brief moment.

My dog has taught me several things in the many years I have had her.  I have learned to be more patient.  I have learned that although someone may have faults, they can be the best friend you could ever wish for.  I have learned that you do not have to be perfect to be loved unconditionally.  Instead, you must only be willing to love unconditionally.  I have realized that it is okay to get excited, okay to slow down and relax, and okay to just say screw it.  It is okay to nap.  It is still fun to play.  However, the greatest thing I have learned is that no matter what is going on in my life, there is always something to smile about.  Life goes on.  The world keeps moving.  I have never been alone in the last fifteen years.  My dog would not allow that.

Looks like she just got done with her pup-nap.  Looks like I need to go and spend some quality time with a very dear friend, my best friend.  My girl Siren.

Ten Years Later

September 11, 2001- It was a beautiful sunny morning.  The skyline of New York City glistened in the fresh morning air.  It was a normal day.  Husbands and wives went to work, children went to school and all was normal.

The twin towers stood proud, a symbol of the New York City, literally towering above all other buildings, welcoming visitors to the “big apple”.  They shined in the morning sun, a compass of sorts for the residents of the city.  It would be the last time they would shine.  But more than that, it would be the last time that we as a country would feel entirely safe and secure.

 

A loud crash blasted through the air like an air raid siren.  Onlookers gazed on in amazed horror at the sight of a jetliner plowing into the first tower.  I remember people thinking that it was a horrible accident.  People screamed and ran frantically trying to comprehend what just happened.  Shortly after, the world would know that this was no accident.  The second jetliner approached with the same fury.  As it roared towards the second tower, all those around me were filled with horror knowing exactly what was going to happen.  We were filled with sadness and rage knowing what was going to inevitably happen while being able to do nothing to stop it.  The second impact was more violent than the first.  It exploded into a giant ball of flame in the glow of the morning light.  The bright light of the morning was filled with a haze as the smoke flooding from the towers began to block out the sun.

You could hear the sirens of the brave and dedicated members of the New York Fire Department, New York Police Department and Port Authority vehicles scream toward the wounded towers.  Everyone prayed for the safety of those in the towers knowing full well many lives would be lost from the devastation of the impacts.

As the sisters stood crippled, smoke pouring from the tops of the building, the city was in bewilderment.  Soon after, the towers would collapse in a scene of misery that this country had never seen before.  Simultaneously, the hearts of the American collective dropped.  The worst moment in the history of our great nation had just taken place.  Then the news from other areas of the country comes in.  The Pentagon is crashed into just the same as the towers.  Another jetliner crashes in a Pennsylvania field.  It was hijacked by terrorists and was on its way to another target before it was crashed by passengers fighting to gain control of the plane.

This was truly a day that will live in infamy.  The complacency of our way of life would no longer continue.  From that day forward, we would forever be more vigilant, more suspicious of those around us, more watchful of our surroundings.  Yet, as a nation we pulled together.  We grieved together.  We healed together.  Now ten years later, we remember together.  On this the tenth anniversary of the worst day in American history, let us remember.  Remember those who were stolen from us.  Remember the heroes who perished trying to rescue others.  Remember those who gave their lives to prevent another target being hit.  Just as important, let us remember how we came together as a nation.  Remember how we would not let the insanity of a small few tear us apart as a whole.  On this day of remembrance, let us mourn together again and renew our vow that we will never let anything of this sort happen again.  We remember and shall never forget.  Let this day renew our strength as a nation so that we can move forward and regain the brotherhood and trust we once knew.  To the families of those who perished on 9/11, our thoughts and prayers are with you on this day.