POLITICS - posted on March 14, 2016 by


Either it’s just Trump self-aggrandizing, or it’s the #TyrantClass giving us a choice between who they want (Hillary), and someone who *appears* to be a populist, but whose presentation is basically insupportable in any factual way, it just articulates a right-wing under-informed rage at the *actual* inequities that we ALL face, but in a totally self-destructive and emotion based way.
In either case, Trump is a farce. A distracting and VERY DIVISIVE farce, but a farce nonetheless.
The problem is that in his articulation of that rage, he very adroitly focuses that rage on completely inappropriate and ultimately guiltless parts of our society, by using preexisting prejudices and fears and tying them in with childish delusional 14 y/o answers that could never work in the real world, but have GREAT appeal to the lower instincts of racism and prejudice and fear in some segments of our society.
And the problem with that is simple….by unleashing this tsunami of Ignorant/Stupid/Angry into the ballot box, we could actually get a result that no one credits right now, and that is to elect another Hitleresque leader onto history who is empowered to behave exactly as he said he would, and he begins to repeat a particular part of human history, taking us ALL down a dark tunnel into another time that is a sewer of the worst parts of ourselves.
By putting these horrific consequences out of their minds, and only focusing on the parts of his messages that resonate for them (the Fed, Central Banks, Mexicans taking our jobs, terrorists, vague and otherwise conspiracies of varying magnitude, etc etc…), those who vote for him based on these single issues disregard the other very powerful and also popular views that he holds; the undeniable racism, the ridiculous “solutions” to alleged “problems” that things like a Giant Wall would “solve”, bombing places in the world until they basically stop “bothering” us, and a whole host of ludicrous solutions that appeal to a part of humanity best left in the caves of our not very ancient human past….which is where they belong.
This Willfull Ignorance, this choice to only focus on the little flake of Fool’s Gold in this giant pile of excrement, THAT is childish and foolish. But that is EXACTLY what this farce plays to, that 14 y/o need to fix the “One Big Thing” in some simple bar-parking-lot-fight kind of way, whatever the cost is attached to it.
These folks who succumb to this better hope they don’t get what they ask for. For those of us who understand what is happening here, you people terrify us, because we can see that you BELIEVE in it, and that is truly frightening, because we have learned from history that this kind of thing can become real and profound, very quickly.
When I see otherwise fairly rational friends of mine, whom I know to be decent people, falling prey to this, I know it’s real, and it’s profoundly shocking and scary to me.

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POLITICS - posted on March 7, 2016 by

Bernie-type “Socialism”

This is in response to Garry Kasporov saying this – 

Since I believe we are talking about Bernie Sanders and what he would do, a coupla things…
There’s more breakdowns than just the two types of “socialism” that we’re talking about, and yes, I’ll admit that I’m using Bernie’s own tag, but more on that below.
First some clearer definitions- 
“Democratic socialism is distinguished from both the Soviet model of centralized socialism and from social democracy, where “social democracy” refers to support for political democracy, regulation of the capitalist economy, and a welfare state.[2]

 The distinction with the former is made on the basis of the authoritarian form of government and centralized economic system that emerged in the Soviet Union during the 20th century,[3] while the distinction with the latter is made on the basis that democratic socialism is committed to systemic transformation of the economy while social democracy is not.[4]
 That is, whereas social democrats only seek to “humanize” capitalism through state intervention, democratic socialists see capitalism as inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by superseding private ownership with some form of social ownership. Ultimately democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will only cause more problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy, that capitalism can never be sufficiently “humanized”, and that it must therefore ultimately be replaced with socialism.[5][6]”

Clearly Kasporov is talking about the authoritarian form of socialism, which is the type he lived under, and a type that I don’t think anyone rational is saying Bernie espouses or aspires to.
And so using the above template, here’s what Bernie says about himself and what he thinks he is, which sounds very much like “social democracy” as defined above.

“So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.
Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.
It is a system, for example, which during the 1990s allowed Wall Street to spend $5 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions to get deregulated. Then, ten years later, after the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior of Wall Street led to their collapse, it is a system which provided trillions in government aid to bail them out. Wall Street used their wealth and power to get Congress to do their bidding for deregulation and then, when their greed caused their collapse, they used their wealth and power to get Congress to bail them out. Quite a system!
And, then, to add insult to injury, we were told that not only were the banks too big to fail, the bankers were too big to jail. Kids who get caught possessing marijuana get police records. Wall Street CEOs who help destroy the economy get raises in their salaries. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant by socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.
In my view, it’s time we had democratic socialism for working families, not just Wall Street, billionaires and large corporations. It means that we should not be providing welfare for corporations, huge tax breaks for the very rich, or trade policies which boost corporate profits as workers lose their jobs. It means that we create a government that works for works for all of us, not just powerful special interests. It means that economic rights must be an essential part of what America stands for.
It means that health care should be a right of all people, not a privilege. This is not a radical idea. It exists in every other major country on earth. Not just Denmark, Sweden or Finland. It exists in Canada, France, Germany and Taiwan. That is why I believe in a Medicare-for-all single payer health care system. Yes. The Affordable Care Act, which I helped write and voted for, is a step forward for this country. But we must build on it and go further.
Medicare for all would not only guarantee health care for all people, not only save middle class families and our entire nation significant sums of money, it would radically improve the lives of all Americans and bring about significant improvements in our economy.
People who get sick will not have to worry about paying a deductible or making a co-payment. They could go to the doctor when they should, and not end up in the emergency room. Business owners will not have to spend enormous amounts of time worrying about how they are going to provide health care for their employees. Workers will not have to be trapped in jobs they do not like simply because their employers are offering them decent health insurance plans. Instead, they will be able to pursue the jobs and work they love, which could be an enormous boon for the economy. And by the way, moving to a Medicare for all program will end the disgrace of Americans paying, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.
Democratic socialism means that, in the year 2015, a college degree is equivalent to what a high school degree was 50 years ago – and that public education must allow every person in this country, who has the ability, the qualifications and the desire, the right to go to a public colleges or university tuition free. This is also not a radical idea. It exists today in many countries around the world. In fact, it used to exist in the United States.
Democratic socialism means that our government does everything it can to create a full employment economy. It makes far more sense to put millions of people back to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, than to have a real unemployment rate of almost 10%. It is far smarter to invest in jobs and educational opportunities for unemployed young people, than to lock them up and spend $80 billion a year through mass incarceration.
Democratic socialism means that if someone works forty hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty: that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage – $15 an hour over the next few years. It means that we join the rest of the world and pass the very strong Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation now in Congress. How can it possibly be that the United States, today, is virtually the only nation on earth, large or small, which does not guarantee that a working class woman can stay home for a reasonable period of time with her new-born baby? How absurd is that?
Democratic socialism means that we have government policy which does not allow the greed and profiteering of the fossil fuel industry to destroy our environment and our planet, and that we have a moral responsibility to combat climate change and leave this planet healthy and habitable for our kids and grandchildren.
Democratic socialism means, that in a democratic, civilized society the wealthiest people and the largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes. Yes. Innovation, entrepreneurship and business success should be rewarded. But greed for the sake of greed is not something that public policy should support. It is not acceptable that in a rigged economy in the last two years the wealthiest 15 Americans saw their wealth increase by $170 billion, more wealth than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans. Let us not forget what Pope Francis has so elegantly stated; “We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
It is not acceptable that major corporations stash their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens to avoid paying $100 billion in taxes each and every year. It is not acceptable that hedge fund managers pay a lower effective tax rate than nurses or truck drivers. It is not acceptable that billionaire families are able to leave virtually all of their wealth to their families without paying a reasonable estate tax. It is not acceptable that Wall Street speculators are able to gamble trillions of dollars in the derivatives market without paying a nickel in taxes on those transactions.
Democratic socialism, to me, does not just mean that we must create a nation of economic and social justice. It also means that we must create a vibrant democracy based on the principle of one person one vote. It is extremely sad that the United States, one of the oldest democracies on earth, has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country, and that millions of young and working class people have given up on our political system entirely. Every American should be embarrassed that in our last national election 63% of the American people, and 80% of young people, did not vote. Clearly, despite the efforts of many Republican governors to suppress the vote, we must make it easier for people to participate in the political process, not harder. It is not too much to demand that everyone 18 years of age is registered to vote – end of discussion.
Further, it is unacceptable that we have a corrupt campaign finance system which allows millionaires, billionaires and large corporations to contribute as much as they want to Super Pacs to elect candidates who will represent their special interests. We must overturn Citizens United and move to public funding of elections.
So the next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this:
I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.
I believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America instead of shipping jobs and profits overseas.
I believe that most Americans can pay lower taxes – if hedge fund managers who make billions manipulating the marketplace finally pay the taxes they should.
I don’t believe in special treatment for the top 1%, but I do believe in equal treatment for African-Americans who are right to proclaim the moral principle that Black Lives Matter.
I despise appeals to nativism and prejudice, and I do believe in immigration reform that gives Hispanics and others a pathway to citizenship and a better life.
I don’t believe in some foreign “ism”, but I believe deeply in American idealism.”

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My TOUR WORK, PHOTOS - posted on February 17, 2016 by

Hell of an evening…


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My TOUR WORK, Random STUFF - posted on January 20, 2016 by

Mocking death?!?!

Read THIS first, so you know what I’m talking about… then come back.Glenn/Bowie
God, no shit.
Thankfully I think my circle of friends and musicians is of a high enough caliber in both ability and SENSIBILITY that I have seen very little of this kind of crappy nonsense, and if I had I would have gone very far in a boot wearing expedition up someone’s ass.
These people are all actually PEOPLE, and if you think that they are elevated above being human because of the heights they’ve reached in their careers, your ignorance is profound and your imagination is challenged and stunted….it’s sad to understand what a monochrome blur your life must be like….
Having worked with 3 of the Hotel California-era Eagles, I’ll tell you one thing for certain, they are ALL the best version of the thing they are that will ever be, Glenn the best Glenn Frey, Joe the best Joe Walsh, and Don the best Don Felder that there will ever be, and that’s NOT nothing.
2 of the best guitar players/songwriters in popular music EVER, and one of the best singer/songwriters in popular music EVER, with a body of music that has reached into the lives of almost every person in Western culture on an almost daily basis, to the point that when you hear the music YOU know every damn word….?!?!?! Music YOU may not even like, sure, and that’s fine, but you gotta admit when it has that kind of impact across the geography and timespan that it has, it’s fucking GREAT, you just don’t get it.
That’s not nothing.
These guys can play their asses off, write their asses off, sing their asses off, arrange/record/produce their asses off, and in Glenn’s case LEAD his ass off leading one of the biggest bands EVER….they are BAD ASSES, all of them!!.
Go do THAT, and then talk shit…I’ll wait….

But….they’re all ALSO just people, with their foibles, demons, ticks, itches, relationships, children, problems, illnesses and now even death, just like anyone, doing anything.

I don’t know, I read that piece and realized maybe I’ve been kinda glossing over it whenever I see someone slagging about this, knowing that it’s just ignorant childish creepiness that’s not worth engaging one on one…had this reaction, felt like saying something…

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My TOUR WORK - posted on January 18, 2016 by

Glenn Frey

So yeh, Glenn has died…another of the Greats now gone.

I’m not the one to eulogize him. I worked with him for several years and of course that means I got to know him to some small degree, but of course I also knew him in only one segment of his long and amazing career, and I can hardly say that I *KNEW* him. That’s for his family, of course the other Eagles, his long time business partners, and all the other musicians who all knew him longer, better, and deeper than I ever would have or did. The guys that I worked with when I was with him had almost all worked with him as the Eagles band as well, so there’s lots of other people who can speak about him much better than I.

But of course it affects me, and a lot of people know I worked with him and they’re concerned and interested, so I’ll say a couple things….

First of all, I liked Glenn.

He was always cool with me, was generous with me and others when I was working with him, and although of course rock lore is full of all kinda stories, MY experience of him was good. There were times he would be in the same restaurant that some of us might be eating in, and our waiter would come over and say something like “the gentleman that was sitting over there has picked up your check”, and it would be a pretty big tab, but I always thought that was very classy. He didn’t have to do that, he just did. We often rode with him in his jet, (yeh I know, tough life!!), and sometimes he would just wander from chair to chair talking with different guys and just kinda hanging…he did that with me once and it seemed that for a bit he was enjoying just doing what we do, playing music and then hanging about after the gig talking…

He knew a lot about what he did of course, and I learned a few things from him, which at this point is teaching an old dog some tricks, but was he was very good at this thing and he had good thoughts about how it should be done….and yes of course, if he wanted something done a certain way, that’s how it was to be, NO question. And that was fine, he knew how to be Glenn Frey better than anyone else did for damn sure. And he was a REALLY good Glenn Frey, he could really sing, he could really play in the groove, and he knew how to run a show like a CEO….but maybe most of all, I think he actually still really LIKED it…like the part of him that made him get into it in the first place was STILL in him after all those years, and he would sing himself hoarse, get covered in sweat, and leave it all out there….I thought that was awesome, it made me like him more for it.

With him I got to do some things I’d never done before, and to play with an amazing group of musicians playing some of the best popular music that has ever been made. And yes, I’d look over singing harmony with him on like “Lyin’ Eyes” or another song where I’d be singing with just him and me on one of the verses and think, “Holy Shit, this is actually happening!!”, and feel validated for my life choices in a way that most people who do what I do never get a chance to be. If you get to play with some someone like Glenn, it makes some of the downsides of this musician life seem not quite so silly, so irresponsible and childish. There’s not many people who will pooh-pooh doing THAT, and for a guy who grew up a bit on the iffy side in Alaska, it was powerful for me.

Playing with Glenn I also got a chance to get to know and play with Joe Walsh a bit, who was one of my serious idols as a young musician growing up in Alaska, and I can’t say enough good about that experience for me, he’s a sweet guy and one of the greats in Rock music, it was thrilling and an honor.

My time with Glenn came at a time in my life that was very tough for me on a personal level, a difficult and very low period that made the work with him all the better for me, and it helped balance things out, and I’m grateful to him and others that I worked with during that time, it really mattered. The guys in the band were wonderful to me, very supportive and helpful both on and off stage, I made good friends and had some great times.

Today I was sitting at a table in Starbucks when my phone started blowing up and I saw what I was being told was true….I was almost surprised how bad I felt about it, but I did; he was a Big Deal guy, but also someone that I worked with quite a bit and did a lot with, it matters.

I want to mention my good buddy Jonathan Clark. Without Jonathan I wouldn’t have had many of the good gigs I’ve had in my life…yes…WE have to carry our weight when we get in the room, but someone has to get us INTO the room, and a number of times for me that was Jonathan, and definitely so in the case of Glenn. Thank you for that!

I really enjoyed my time with Glenn, and it was truly an honor to have been involved with even my little small bit of that great story.

Thanks Glenn.

Wade and Glenn Frey

Wade and Glenn Frey

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