CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!!

16395_10152458693736179_870729479636026355_nAnyone who’s read any of my blog posts over the last year or so, has been a witness to my ranting about how unnecessary politicians have become in the actual running of our country. Among those I’ve been most been most scornful of has been the king of the “snappy tie” crowd, Speaker. John Boehner. Since that time Mr. B  has grown tired of listening to the yapping multitudes, resigned, and headed to the nearest bar, never to be heard from again. (We hope)!

Now we come to the issue of the 2016 election, the media, the money, and the biggest political mess most of us have ever seen.

On the Republican side, it begins with the fact the Republican led House and Senate have been the least productive and have the worst approval ratings in history. Not only have they not been able to accomplish much of anything new, they haven’t even been able to maintain the status quo without huge fights, shutdowns, threats of internal wars and all manner of internal disputes.

This brings us to a platoon of presidential candidates and the possibletrump8 reason that most of the tried and true guys like Lindsay Graham have gone straight to the bottom of the barrel while Ben Carson and “Teflon” Don Trump are at the top! Next, we have the highly staged Republican debates and the probable reasons they sound and operate more like a neighborhood street brawl and less like an actual debate!

Teflon Don seems to be the one everybody wants to shoot at, obviously because he’s the one who has pissed everybody off! Next in line, following close behind, is the media because according to Trump, Cruz, et al, they’re not asking the right kind of questions or asking them properly! Number three is Mr. Priebus from the RNC who is hated by everyone for no particular reason! He gets the blame for pissing everybody off and not dictating what questions the media asks, even though he’s not supposed too! Number four and completing the circle in this mess is the big money donors like the Koch Brothers who are funding a large portion of this fiasco and have to be slamming their heads into the wall when they look at the results they’re getting for their money which is pretty much the opposite of what they wanted! Obviously, they wanted the candidates to suck up to the media so the media would suck up to the candidates! Instead, the candidates are telling the media what they can do with their questions which hurt the medias feelings and they might not want to play any more!

trump9Tonight, (while the Broncos are pounding the Packers we hope) the Republican political contenders are having a private meeting to discuss how they want to be treated by the media, the RNC, the donors, and all other interested parties! Mr. Priebus has not been invited and I don’t know if the media has or not! This should bring about an extended round of discussions which might take months and by that time, the election will already be over! We’ll be saluting President Sanders or President Clinton (if she can stay away from another inquisition by Howdy Gowdy) and we can settle in to four more years of political bliss!

Do not despair! I may have a solution to the debate dilemma and it goes like this!

Why not run a Republican political debate like we run an NFL football game? We can set up some rules, hire some referees, sell a bunch of advertising, pay out some ridiculous salaries to folks like me, charge eight bucks or so for a warm beer, and voila! We’ve created a brand new industry!

Since camera time is the premium, all infractions you cause will cost you camera time and question quality.

For instance, any time spent acknowledging accomplishments of our current President will could cost you two minutes of camera time.

Too much time spent badmouthing your competition or accidently telling the truth, will cost three minutes of camera time.

If you wear a horrible tie or spend too much time telling folks what a badass you are, will cost you five minutes camera time and you’ll have to say nice things about the career of Hillary Clinton!

Throwing a dead chicken at the moderators will get you a debate disqualification and you’ll have to spend a day with Teflon Don’s hairdresser!

I imagine we have to work on the finer details of this a little, and I haven’t had time to fine tune it yet with Mr. Priebus, Fox News, or the RNC, but I believe it has possibilities!! Some might say that it’s more than they’ve got right now!

Have a great week everybody!

Rod

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WHERE’S PT BARNUM WHEN WE REALLY NEED HIM??

Trumpdedump

What’s that old saying about getting into a mud wrasslin’ contest with a pig?…..You just get all tired, smelly and dirty and the pig really likes it!?

Nothing I’ve seen in politics in a good many years could possibly remind me more of a pig mud wrasslin’ contest than the current round of rude speeches, debates, insults, bragging, backbiting, backstabbing and just generally going backwards than what we’re witnessing with the current crop of political contenders making their bid for ascension to the Oval Office in 2016! Nothing that is, except for the story twisting and teeth nashing going on inside the studios of every “major” news network in the USA all trying to twist and wring every conceivable drop of sweat and angst out of every lie, rumor and innuendo emanating from the headquarters of each and every candidate you can find!

Approximately 8 or 10 years ago (give or take a couple), Mr. Trump came up with some of the first birther” theories about the actual birthplace of the man who was to be our current President and we named it Birthirism. Speeches were made, theories were invented, books were written and birthirism spawned some of the wildest theories to hit big time politics in generations! The rest, as they say, is history but even that pales in comparison to what is happening today.

Who’s to bless and who’s to blame? Who really cares? What folks are being treated to today are some of of the wildest, most outrageous claims conceivable, being made by some of the most unreliable sources imaginable, being sold as fact by some of the dumbest TV news “reporters” available, and going into the books as beingtrump7 totally believable!

PT Barnum would be proud!

If there’s anything these contestants seem to have in common, it’s the idea that they’re all expert at something and in this case it’s fence building. Not only is Trump ready to build a fence big enough to keep the Mexicans out, if he wins, he wants to build it big enough to keep those who voted for him in!

Walker thinks that the fence he wants to build would be across the US/CANADA border to keep the Canadians from invading, and in conversations I’ve had with my Canadian friends they also want to build a fence to keep those pesky Yankees out! Especially the politicians!  The guys who make fencing all agree that it looks like a pretty good year no matter who wins!

Over on the other side of the fence (no pun intended), Hillary Clinton is sliding straight into her role of “tar baby” du jour. Willingly accepting all the barbs, lies, insults, and character slams the media and the other side can muster. Going through her days calmly making speeches and answering the endless questions about the computer server she decided Hserver2to own rather than using some crappy server the government could provide.

It takes you back to the days of the Rose Law Firm when she and her husband were first on the national stage being endlessly investigated by the media and political enemies over a land deal called “Whitewater.” Then there was the episode of the Rose Law Firm billing records and the Vince Foster incident, That was followed by poor old Webster Hubble and her endless battle with a guy named Ken Starr.

Hillary seems to have a monumental capacity for abuse and political crap because not long after that she took on the role of assisting her husband in trying to design a national health care system which would work at all income levels. That only subjected her to a daily barrage of ridicule and abuse from a guy who could probably use some health care to kick a few habits of his own named Limbaugh. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she then got to endure her husband’s total stupidity with an intern named Monica!

In my whole life, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone more willing to take on and accept abuse (some even self inflicted) from the public and the media! Hillary Clinton accepts it and blindly keeps coming back for more! I am pretty sure, that if nothing else should disqualify the lady from becoming President, this should. Even though I think she’d probably be pretty good at it, who wants to put up with four years of this crap? Why she does it, I don’t know but I believe she could give lessons to the energizer bunny!

Politics ain’t beanbag. It’s a stinky, nasty, bastard that makes our country smell much more like a cesspool than the Garden of Eden. I still say we ought to do the world a favor, get rid of all the politicians, and run this whole damn thing ourselves! We couldn’t do any worse!

Have a great week everybody.

Rod Taylor                                              http://www.allaroundseniors.net

Annnddd….they’re off!!

will_rogers2Sometimes we find ourselves standing around wishing for things that can no longer possibly happen. My fondest wish, now that the first of the Republican political debates has already descended on us is that my idol, Will Rogers, was still alive and well. Other than Jesus himself, I don’t think anyone I’ve ever known (or read) had a better handle on who people really are (or pretend to be) than the original Mr. Rogers, and boy, we could use him now!

As of the other night, I don’t believe that ever in this lifetime has so much hot air been pushed at so many by so few! Kind of like a Duck Dynasty rerun in suits! You have to feel sorry for the people of Cleveland having that much toxic waste dumped in their city with very little warning and as yet no one has put up a dime to cover remediation costs!

On the constructive side, my bright idea this morning after nearly being run over by a texting driver on my way to play a little music is….(wait for it!)….pass a law that would make it legal for folks to vote on their cell phones! At first, the idea sounded a little far fetched but the further I got into it, the more my brain kept saying, why not? Let’s face it, we bank by phone, check emails by phone, pay bills by phone, text by phone, damn near live our lives on the phone, why don’t we get out of the dark ages and begin voting by phone as well? Shouldn’t be any big deal right?

Let’s face it, if we can do the other 99% of our lives by phone a small thing like voting registry and the actual process of voting itself should be no big deal and that whole waste of money, manpower, vote counting, B…S… politics and time waste could be eliminated in the blink of an eye! Why do we need to waste time standing in lines burning up the clock to do something that can be accomplished on a cell phone in seconds? Why do we need to waste billions of tax dollars setting up phony restrictions and “stacking the deck” on people who just might vote a little differently than we’d like them to? Are we that insecure that we believe the only way we can retain power is to make voting tough as possible on “those” people?

Since having our noses buried in our cellphones is where most of the population of the USA seems to live these days,Vote phone we could eliminate a huge amount of time, fraud and government waste by just eliminating politicians altogether, do our government business on a daily basis  by phone and eliminate billions of dollars in tax burden by doing it ourselves!

What’s the big deal? Our governing bodies, the congress and senate have managed to carve out these lofty 6% approval ratings for themselves working on our behalf (laughter) and I’ll bet anybody in town a free lunch that we ought to be able to do that good or better in our sleep! I imagine Will Rogers would approve and he might even offer us a little advice now and then!

Another notable event that took place the other night was the last and final performance of Jon Stewart on the “Daily Show”.

Other than Will Rogers himself, I don’t believe any public performer has (or has ever had) a better handle on modern day politics and politicians or been held in higher esteem by everyone from janitors to the President of the USA than Stewart! Sure, it’s a different time and generation but to me, he had Rogers’ type of wit and dry humor when he looked at politicians that made us love him! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could tap into his brand of brain power to create a “Cell Phone Democracy”?

Let’s face it, if we put our minds to it, I’d be willing to bet that after the normal amount of grunts groans and hiccups, there is enough of our own solid brain power (plus technological and electronic) to re-create an operating government, still maintain a democracy, eliminate tons of stupidity, greed, graft and corruption, and still turn this big old battleship into something the world would respect again! How many neanderthals does it take to start a war? To hell with politicians! It should be obvious that their day has come and gone! If you need further proof of that, their performance in Cleveland the other night should do the job!

Our slogan could be; “SEND POLITICIANS HOME, VOTE BY PHONE”! I’ll bet Will Rogers would be proud!

Have a great week everybody!

Rod Taylor                                                  http://www.allaroundseniors.net

I believe it’s better to give…

I-Hate-my-JobHow’s your job? Believe it or not, there’s a pretty good reason for asking a silly question like that, and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t have something on a personal level to relate or compare it too!

Like many others I know, I’ve spent a major portion of my life working an assortment of “dead end” gigs in order to support the employment love of my life which is music and the performance of it. They haven’t been bad jobs, they were just me, lying to myself about what I really wanted to do and not having the confidence that I could actually do it!

In the last few years, I feel like I’ve struck a major vein occupation wise, by taking the necessary classes to learn the fundamentals of becoming a “music practitioner” and trying to learn that trade.

“Music Practitioner” (or the practice of) is quite simply sharing your ability to play or perform music for those who could use a “pick-me-up” in hospital rooms, hospices, or other venues where people (usually bedridden) will allow you play for them as a way of easing worries, calming fears, or in general, raising spirits and making this very unsettling time in one’s life a little more enjoyable and this portion of it at least, more bearable.

Lately, I’ve been taking a minute after each playing time to spend a moment asking the patient a little about themselves. Are they from this end of town? What brought them here etc.? That little “ice breaker” bit of conversation has been extremely positive, not only for the patients but for me as well! It seems that spending just a little bit of time in conversation between you and the person you’re trying to help has such a positive result, that by the end of the shift, no one leaves the hospital with a more positive ladyattitude than yours truly! It’s a totally contagious thing and my most fervent wish is that there might be a way to bottle it and offer it to others!

The euphoria of my little dreamworld is usually interrupted by the babble you get to endure when you arrive home, turn on the TV, and the current crop of politicians show up with their latest and greatest load of soft and smelly they think they can sell you!  Once again, like a moth to a flame you’re pulled in to the ridiculous sideshow that politics has become and you have to struggle to find the “OFF” button on that contraption that occupies so much of your time to preserve your sanity! It’s a cast of crazies and I try not to think about the possibility of a President Trump making Supreme Court nominations! Somehow, that thought doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence in me!

I know it sounds high minded and idealistic but somehow I wish I could take these people along when I play for patients just to see how precious life can be and how hard people fight to preserve it! Add to that, how happy it makes you feel when you’ve tried to help! If you could talk a politician into doing it, maybe they might spend a little more time using their brains before they put their mouths in gear and hopefully, the result might be a tiny smidgen of intelligence!

On second thought, maybe they could save us a bunch of money, do us all a favor, and become professional football coaches! That way, they could all stand around, talk about deflating each others balls and we wouldn’t be obliged to listen! Then, professional football, politics and porn could all be X rated, and you’d have to go into some little dark room somewhere to watch it or talk about it and leave the rest of us alone! What a concept!

So much for dreaming, here’s a little follow up about Alzheimer’s.

I saw something on the news this week about an experimental medicine being tested which might slow the deteriorating effects of the Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t know anything about it yet but I would gladly read any articles that anyone reading this post might come across. Just reply to this site if you find something and it would be greatly appreciated! Alzheimer’s is such a crippler that we need to use every asset we have to bring it to a halt!

Have a great week everybody.

Rod Taylor                                             http://www.allaroundseniors.net

Glen Campbell has Alzheimers

GlenCALZ1One of the first times I can recall meeting Glen Campbell was somewhere in the early days of the “Goodtime Hour” when everyone was wearing beads and leather, trying to get in touch with their inner “selves” and wondering, “What’s it all about Alfie”?

I was trying to peddle a song to Campbell and a buddy of mine who knew him from the recording studio days took me down to the studio barn where the show was being shot. It was during rehearsal time and Glen had given us permission to come in.

For those who haven’t experienced a big time TV show set, the term “organized chaos” immediately comes to mind. The Marty Paich orchestra was going over a music selection, sound and lighting techs were running around like ants working on shot angles, and over on one side of the set, leaning up against a fake wall partition was Glen Campbell playing the strings off a guitar on a song he was getting ready to perform. Even though he couldn’t read a note of music, there was a reason he was one of the busiest guitar players in Los Angeles long before the Smothers Brothers grabbed him up to do their summer replacement series.This incredibly talented guitarist who learned the “abc’s” of his craft in barrooms and honkytonks throughout the southwest, had a skill and talent level most guitarists could only dream about and I was one of them!

The man could play! Once you got close enough to hear him “noodling” around on the song he was working on, you had to be in total awe of his musicianship as well as his incredible speed, accuracy, and musical inventiveness on the guitar neck. He wasn’t showing off, this was a master musician at work and you knew, whencampbellshowtime came along, once again, the world would get to see what Glen Campbell, ex studio guitarist and present day big time TV performer was all about!

That was then, this is now, and a lot of songs have been played since those bygone days. Glen Campbell, one of my big time music idols, has Alzheimer’s, and it’s breaking my heart.

If everything went the way it’s supposed to in that John Wayne idea of things you have mapped out in your mind, Campbell would be casually sitting on his very comfortable Malibu back porch reaching out every now and then and playing a few notes on a guitar he always  keeps close by, while the grandkids play on the lawn or chase the dog and his wife would come out every once in a while to refresh his iced tea.

Reality sings a different kind of tune.

Today, his wife always sits close by to make sure he doesn’t wander off. She feeds and dresses him, helps him go to the bathroom so that he doesn’t pee in the corner and helps him do just about everything that needs doing except play the guitar which is about the only thing this disease has left him capable of doing. That great skill is also slowly fading and it’s a shame the way Alzheimer’s robs you of everything inch by slow, tortuous inch. Oddly, for a great many, music, in whatever form you may have been acquainted with it in your previous life seems to be one of the very last, few things folks with Alzheimer’s can still relate to, or take pleasure from. In the recent special done for television, I was struck by the way Campbell could still remember and play his part in a musical duet he did with his daughter even though he couldn’t remember her name!

These days, I occasionally get to work at some of the retirement communities in the “Memory Care” section of their facility. It’s always interesting to me that in some of the places I play, the attendants will bring out cymbals and sticks and wood blocks plus anything else you can beat out a rhythm on, and the residents are happy with that! Even though they may no longer know the melody or the words, the fact that they can still beat out a rhythm to “I’ve been working on the railroad,” or something of that nature, makes everyone happy and still lights up their world!

Alzheimer’s is a cruel crippler. It’s nature’s medical hoax slowly playing out and robbing us inch by inch, day by day, of every cognitive impulse we’ve ever had, and somehow music seems to be the last thing to go. Isn’t it a shame that at this time in our society, we can still spend untold billions on bullets and bombs and yet research money to cure this insidious disease travels at a pace only snails could envy! We need to rethink that!

Have a great week everybody.

Rod Taylor                                              http://www.allaroundseniors.net

HEALTHCARE EVERYWHERE and MARRIAGE FOR ALL!!

barackquestions1As most of you already know (or suspect), I’ve been a big fan of our President for a long, long time. Never in my adult life have I seen someone bear up under the spiteful slights and smears of their opposition and enter into this very difficult office with his political foes totally dedicated to the proposition of defeating his every move and making his, a “one term only” presidency! Indeed, to endure the hidden slurs and nastiness of those you’re supposed to be forming alliances with, even those who condescend to work with you this one time only……the road has to have been long and treacherous with very, very few who might spend a minute talking with you to share your opinions or hear your gripes.

Through it all, all those tormenting times where he must have come within a hair of doubting his own values or even his own worth, the fact that he has managed to pass laws through the Supreme Court which will redefineobama-one-term-president the social direction of this great nation for future generations is truly earth shattering! The Affordable Care Act, one of the most vilified pieces of legislation in recent history passed through the court in a 6 to 3 decision. Likewise, the Same Sex marriage bill passed 5 to 4! Surprisingly, the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama has withstood the onslaught of conservatives everywhere and come through it all with flying colors. These are not lightweight victories but decisions that will define not only in his first term, but his second term as well!

In all of our lives, there are mileposts we look back upon that we instinctively know are game changers. I can still remember the night Cassius Clay, (he was still Cassius Clay then) stepped into the ring for his first fight with Sonny Liston. We had all heard about Clay but everybody knew that Liston was the baddest cat in town and that’s where we put our money! By the end of the first round, we all knew our money was gone and there was a new top dog in the house!

We can all look back at the Denver Broncos as one of the worlds great “also ran” football teams, but in 1997 we got to change out tune! When you got up out of bed that day, somehow, you felt that this day just might be different from all those other embarrassing moments because you had those strange chills running up and down your back and by sundown you knew you were right!

We had us a World Champion!

That’s what this week felt like. Watching this man in action, you had to stop and say to yourself that you’re watching something special. I wont say he’s a crap shooter …just someone totally dedicated to doing his job despite the obstacles thrown in his path! I still distinctly remember the night he appeared before the TV cameras and told the world that a team of Seals under his supervision had just killed Osama Bin Laden. You knew that was a big decision and a big victory but you didn’t really know how big until you saw film clips of that little room with Obama and all his closest advisers glued to the TV monitors looking scared to death and you knew that they knew all their chips were in and they were rolling the dice for the whole house!

This past week, once again, we got to watch a man we call Mr. President persevere and perform at the top of his game despite the obstacles. I won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on Dylann Wolf’s journey into racial hate, death and madness but instead write a few words about the reaction of this man and the people of South Carolina who were ready to forgive despite their personal losses!

The eulogy he gave for Rev. Pinckney was inspiring. It was kind of like watching Hank Aaron, Elvis, and Mohammed Ali all rolled into one when they were at the very top of their game! When he paused and then broke into Amazing Grace, the whole audience erupted and began singing as one! They blew the doors off that arena, and I’m not ashamed to say I sat there and cried like a baby because it was like the Super Bowl, the last game of the World Series, and one of the most truly inspiring moments I’ll ever get to see in my lifetime! If you haven’t seen it, you should! It was a moment no one should ever forget.

Have a great week everybody.

Rod Taylor                                  http://www.allaroundseniors.net

At Long Last…..TRUMP!!!

trump2I don’t believe it…is it possible…could it be?? YES IT IS!! Our prayers have been answered!! The time is here!!…the clown car is firing up!!…TV pundits everywhere know their jobs are secure for the next year and a half because Trump just jumped into the election race and in the first five minutes of his announcement speech, pissed off at least half of his competition and left the other half wondering “What the hell am I doing here”?! Neil Young told him to “F— Off! and not use his songs because he’s a Bernie Sanders supporter!

Poor old Jeb Bush is watching his life neil-young4flash before his eyes because the road ahead  looks more like a war zone than a political campaign! So far, Trump has managed to insult him, his wife, her country and heritage and that’s just for openers!

Personally, I want to thank Neil Young for stepping in and telling Trump not to use his songs! Believe it or not, Neil and I were raised about 10 miles down the road from each other in Ontario. Both decided to make our living playing music and both decided that the USA was the place to do it. With the exception of the fact that we’re equally pretty, comparisons end there and I certainly wouldn’t want to compare his bank account to mine!

Getting back to the Trumpster, put yourself in the shoes of Rubio…or Walker…or Rick Perry…or Huckabee or Cruz etc.! I’ll bet they’re all wondering how they’re going to be able to instantly quit bad mouthing Obama and begin bad mouthing Trump! Every one of those guys have to be sitting at home wondering whether or not they should cut their losses or go out to the woodshed and cut off a finger or trump1find some other story like “more time for my family” or any other equally lame excuse!

The other road of course is to throw all caution aside, jump straight into the clownmobile and attempt to slug it out with the Trumpster in a rip roaring brawl that is bound to leave no one unscarred! Meanwhile, President Obama is in the White House sitting back in his big presidential chair saying to himself “Yes…there is a God”!!

One thing is for sure, everyone is going to be watching, and all the TV networks who were panicked about their sagging ratings are now going to be battling (battling?) for the the privilege of showing one or more of these debate episodes. Fox News is probably trying to figure how to hog this melee to themselves while everyone else tries to figure out how to sabotage Fox News and not get caught! Hey…it’ll be better than Wide World of Wrestling or old Duck Dynasty reruns and the ratings will be through the roof! None of the present candidates can lie more convincingly than Trump. None of them have been in front of a bankruptcy judge more often than this “richest” contender for the Republican ticket, and not one of them can be as brazen at stepping over those facts than “Delusional Donald” himself!

Meanwhile, back in the lush green valleys of Vermont, there’s a guy named Bernie Sanders who has to be more thanBernieSanders2 tickled by this wild republican free-for-all as his campaign for President gathers momentum inch by inch. Usually it’s the Democrats that look like a Honkytonk at closing time on Saturday night and even though he knows the odds are stacked  pretty long against his attempt to win this campaign, Bernie also knows he’s gonna scare hell out of a lot of people including Hillary Clinton! I’ll bet he’s chomping at the bit to get it on!

No one goes unnoticed. Not the Supreme Court, the Koch Brothers (or is it the Kook Brothers?), Sheldon Adelson, the folks behind Citizens United, and all the rest!

No one gets to hide as they have in the past, and no one is excluded. Even Hillary is going to have to explain in brutal detail how her money keeps pouring in. Although it could well be 100% honest and legal, Bernie’s presence in this campaign is going to cause a lot of things that might have remained in the shadows, out into the open.

And that’s the way it should be! 

Have a great week everybody.

Rod Taylor                        http://www.allaroundseniors.net