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

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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

AND….They’re Off!!!

The number of GOP candidates for President is getting larger by the minute.

The number of GOP candidates for President is getting larger by the minute.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

At long last, in a dazzling display of mediocrity that has left most of the American voting public begging for mercy, the two current sides of our reigning political powers (at least those begging for your vote), have finally “declared”! Yep, they’re candidates for an ascension to the throne of President of the USA for the foreseeable future at least!

Indeed, the only folks who are really delighted with this whole sequence of events are the self assigned political “experts” who fill our TV screens on Sunday mornings with their intellectual opinions and personal brand of Bovine Excement about absolutely nothing of any importance!

Actually, with the exception of a few “family friendly” shows, I’ve gotten into the habit of making my Sunday mornings a TV “no fly zone” which isn’t easy for a television addicted person like me! I’ve been forced to go practice my guitar, go for a walk, go wash the car, or do anything constructive as long as it doesn’t include the drivel that Sunday morning TV watching provides! That brings up another question that I believe we should ask ourselves.

If, (as we tell ourselves) we’re all so interested in the truth, why is it that we allow ourselves to own a box made for morons that sits there in the corner or up against the living room wall spewing nonsense any second grader should be able to analyze as nothing more than second rate BS?

Peddling Horse Puckey on TV is nothing new and it’s certainly not limited to politics. For generations, we’ve been watching a host of liars that ranges from TV preachers to cigarette advertisers to used car peddlers and yes, right down there scraping the bottom of the barrel, those “safe” Oil Well Fracking ads and Presidential Wannabe’s!

And we wonder why our kids are screwed up?

If there is such a thing as “truth in advertising” then, how come no has as yet invented something that we could put on (ocruzlie1r in) our TV’s that would allow the consumer to know either by sight or smell when that wonderful story being told by the person in front of the camera was the gospel truth, or just the usual heifer dust? I don’t know about you folks but like most others, I have cable, and that cable is costing me somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred bucks (give or take) per month. That’s what I’m paying to have these fools play me for the biggest fool of all! So, wouldn’t it be nice to have a “fact checker” gismo on your TV so that when someone was ready spreading it deep, your TV screen would begin to turn a dark brown, something akin to the color of old cow turds? That might be fitting, or maybe your TV could begin smelling as though you had just stepped into an overripe pigpen? That would be appropriate also!

Will Rogers once said, “If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics!” He was right!

Here’s another one, “Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.”

This year the fields on both sides of the Presidential argument are large and growing larger! The Democrats have atcorp1 least four candidates, and I’ve lost count on the Republican side. One thing is for sure… each one is a master at telling their own brand of truth and it kind of makes you wonder why they all want to go through this ritual dance in the first place. It wouldn’t be those mega bucks donors they’re all sucking up to would it?

There’s money in politics and just as we found out in the case of an old retired Speaker of the House turned lobbyist, it doesn’t take long to build up a financial stash large enough to agree to a payout of three and one half million to try to cover up his sordid past! You can’t do that at $7.50 per hour!

SMELLAVISION!! Now…there’s a concept!! Think I’ll buy me one if I can find it!

Have a great week everybody!

Rod Taylor                               http://www.allaroundseniors.net

It’s The Water…And The Hemp!!

Many DW1years ago, one of our major brewing companies, (was it  Coors?) had a slogan that I believe went, “It’s the Water”.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency made a pronouncement that they could not find any correlation between oil well fracking and the safety of our drinking water. Upon hearing this my first question was, since we don’t know for sure the names of  all the chemicals the drilling companies are forcing down the well hole, how then, is the EPA qualified to tell the public whether or not their drinking water is impacted by a well that’s fracked?

Even though I know that our summer season in Colorado thus far has been one of the wettest I can remember, I’m also quite aware that one of the worst droughts in history is impacting the southwest and in certain areas of California, farmers aren’t even bothering to plant crops because of lack of sufficient water to feed and irrigate them.10537735_665890526837338_9149993080934533626_n Our scientists and some political leaders are warning us about climate change and rising sea levels and yet there are still diehards and deniers who dispute the idea and say we ought to hold course as we’ve always done. Indeed, two of our current Florida Presidential candidates dispute global warming and rising water levels even though some streets of south Miami Beach are under sea water now every time it rains.

I’m reminded of the old James Casey poem, “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” and those fateful words, “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” My heart chills a little when I stop to think that for some folks at this time, there may be more truth in that poem than fiction.

frack1Consider this. Everything I’ve read about oil well fracking tells me that anywhere from one million to several million gallons of water we use for our every day needs get forced down the hole to frack a well. When you multiply that by the thousands of wells currently being fracked across our nation, you don’t have to be a mathematical whiz to realize that’s a helluva lot of water! In short, with climate conditions the way they are and shortages occurring as they are in our southwest, what would you prefer to have, gasoline for your car, or clean, fresh water to brush your teeth? I know I’m beginning to sound like a bit of an alarmist but the way things are, if we continue to use this resource to frack oil wells, it won’t be long before we’ll be forced to choose! I don’t believe we can continue to have both!

So…….what’s our way out of this one?

I believe Henry Ford saw this as a potential problem many years ago and was as willing to meet the problem head on then, as we should be now! There is a fuel solution to feed our hungry internal combustion engines and that solution is fuel from Hemp!  I know Elon Musk is doing wonderful things with batteries but meanwhile, we’ve got hungry gasoline engines to feed!

In this year of political campaigns and runups to presidential elections, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all those presidential wannabe’s who hold up their shingles as being good upstanding Christian citizens would take a look at a God given solution in the form of this little green plant growing out of the ground to our impending combustion engine fuel problem?

Think about it folks. No more busted pipe lines trashing our coastlines! No more exploding oil trains! No more oil refineries belching smoke and fire, polluting the earth while greedy fossil fuel companies ignore the filth and devastation they cause and pick our pockets while they do it!

If this blog makes any sense to you, I’d appreciate if you would forward it on to your friends. It’s no secret that we have a problem, and it’s also no secret that we are the only ones who can fix it! The politicians wont. They’re too busy sucking up all those fat cat special interest big bucks to maintain the status quo!

Thanks and have a great week everybody!

Rod Taylor        http://www.allaroundseniors.net

 

Poor Jeb…Politics is Tough!!

Jeb1Last week, all of the so called “News Networks” on our TV’s were on fire with a story about “unannounced” Presidential candidate Jeb Bush not being able to answer (to the TV reporter’s satisfaction) a question about whether or not he approved of his brother’s invasion of Iraq back in the days when “W” was President of the USA!

While I understand Jeb’s reluctance to give them a straight out yes or no answer, I also understand that if anyone in this whole world is intimately acquainted with the in’s and out’s of the whole Iraq situation concerning his brother, it’s got to be Jeb Bush! He is quite probably also intimately acquainted with the political doing’s of our government back in the days when his father was Vice President under a guy named Reagan and it’s kind of like doing a kabuki dance on the head of a pin for him to give a straight answer to a question and not say too much! I swear, it almost sounded like a used car commercial!

If ever there was a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for anyone to step into, it’s that particular question being put to poor old Jeb, and here’s why.

Back in the mid 80’s when Jeb’s daddy was VP and Reagan ran the White House, a gentleman named Saddam HusseiJeb4n was our number one ally and someone we fully supported in his eight year war with Iran. Saddam was our guy. He was this bad-assed barroom bully type in that part of the world and nobody messed with him. That’s mostly because he was also known as someone who would kill you or have you killed at the slightest provocation with anything he could get his hands on (including chemical weapons which he used on the Kurds) and our government, (which included Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush) were perfectly happy to look the other way while he did it! I’m not saying that impacted Jeb’s answer this week, but I’ll bet it had something to do with it!

Now we come to the other side of Jeb’s answer.

A few years have gone by. Saddam is still in power ruling his world and killing whoever he pleases. The other Bush we call “W” has taken over the White House and not too far away in another house is the number one Bush sidekick and former Halliburton oilman, Mr. Dick Cheney. Gasoline is approaching $4.00 per gallon which has every oil producer in the world frothing at the mouth because one thing they all know, is that Iraq has oil and Saddam is sitting on a bunch of it! The worm is starting to turn and it’s not too long before our one-time friend, the guy we loved and supported in taking care of our Iran problem has now become the number one obstacle holding us back from getting our hooks on all that black gold!

SaddamCartoon1There’s  only one little hangup and that is, how do we hatch a story that will slide Saddam out of the way so that we can get our hands on the oil? Hey… how about this? What if we convince the world that he’s got a bunch of WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction) he’s hiding? That way, we’ll scare hell out of our people, invade his country, take care of his bad ass, and help ourselves to his oil!?

Needless to say, we cooked up the WMD story, we cooked Saddam’s goose, we didn’t quite get the oil but we did have one of the longest, costliest, wars in history! Now poor ol’ Jeb is standing in front of some inquisitive TV reporter with a microphone in her (or his) hand, and pretty quick he has to come up with a valid answer to that dumbassed question!

I’m not saying all questions are dumb, I’m not saying all TV reporters are dumb, and I’m not saying Jeb’s past life flashed before his eyes but but something weird sure did! What I am saying is that the way things are going today on TV news, given a choice in the believability contest between the current Presidential campaign and the worst used car commercials you’ve ever seen, I think the used car commercials are winning!

Send me your comments and critiques. I’ll read them all and use them if I can.

Have a great week everybody!

Rod

Well…At Least Someone Stood Up For Democracy!!

469813812Every now and then a story comes along that’s just too good not to write a little something about. That’s the case of our blog today.

Today’s entry is about a man who followed his personal truth and political convictions through to their inevitable upside down conclusion which our government is sure to sweep under the rug!

Sometimes going through the normal political maze to state your point is frustratingly slow and usually manages to get flushed down some political rat hole, so Doug Hughes, a 61 year old Florida postman decided on a more direct route. He put together 535 letters (with proper postage) for all congressional memimages2bers, loaded them onto his homemade gyrocopter and after informing his friends of his intentions, flew to Washington DC and landed on the US Capitol lawn!

What’s his main gripe with politics? Since I don’t know Mr. Hughes personally, I can only surmise that money in politics and the power money has in directing (or re-directing) political thinking seems to play a large role in his frustration. Speaking for millions of pissed off USA voters, it’s probably wrapped around the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, and campaign finance reform period.

truthpolitics2Do I personally agree with Mr. Hughes 100%? Well, I certainly agree with his ethics and his political message 100%. I just don’t think I’d have the guts to fly what he calls a “flying lawn mower” through that maze of security to make his point! For that, he gets my everlasting 100% admiration and unwavering support. As long as he’s the one doing the flying and not me, I’m happy! Does he, like so many of us do, see our current political system as a cesspool of dysfunctionality and warped thinking? There can’t be any doubt that he does, and he might be right since it’s currently rumored the Koch Brothers are planning to spend close to 1 billion dollars to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Mr. Hughes, I share your frustration and salute you.

The other end of my rant this week is against all those big oil company ads talking about “Fracking Safety”.

Early last week, a “fracked” well near Windsor, Colorado had an equipment failure which caused a lot of steam, some fire, and a hell of a lot of concern for local citizens. The local writers had this to say;fracksafe

“A damaged natural gas and oil well north of Windsor that spewed greenish-brown “flow-back fluid” and steam for upward of 30 hours etc. etc.”

What’s in that greenish brown flow back fluid? I’m sure I don’t know and neither do millions of others since the companies doing the fracking wont tell us, and our “bought and paid for” government sees no reason to reveal those secrets to us! That’s what we get for our hard earned tax dollars right?

I always like the TV ads of the young Mom herding her offspring out onto the playground while she’s telling me about the virtues of fracking, it’s safety, how big oil is right there to help out with a guarantee of a beautiful flowery future, free from foreign oil and everything after that! RIIIGHT!!

Next, we get treated to a TV ad bought and paid for by British Petroleum. It features a BP employee, Mr. Bob Fryar, extolling the virtues of BP while the cameras pan across the fresh wild grass growing up through the gulf waters etc., and how they are spending every conceivable dollar committing to a “safer BP!” Oh really? What they don’t tell you is how they cut every possible corner on safety to get that well drilled and producing and the lives those cuts cost.   So, Mr. BP, thanks for all your pretty commercials, but I would rather you would spend your money repairing the lives and livelihoods you ruined while you were causing the worst environmental disaster in history!

Those are my frustrations this week. Now that the 2016 Presidential Election campaign has begun, I’m sure there will be plenty more where that came from!

To my latest hero Mr. Hughes, you have a friend in Denver!

Please send me your comments and critiques, I’ll be sure to read them all and use them if I can.

Have a great week everybody!

Rod

Nice Going, Mr. President

10363992_10152286021038241_8823739990813409908_nThis week we got treated to a little look at the “whatifmobile.”

“What could be” or “what might be” seems like a phrase we don’t hear much around these parts any more because it makes me think of a special word. The word is “PEACE” and it’s a word that requires some very special care these days in the way it’s treated.

I know it’s Easter and I know I’m a dreamer, but when world leaders from everywhere seem to be looking around for a soapbox to stand on so they can foul the air and pound our ears with their myopic war hype philosophies, the idea that we have a president whose philosophies seem to follow those of John Lennon who once sang, “Give peace a chance”, those philosophies are truly refreshing!

As a Grandfather who is totally repelled by the thought of my grandkid and thousands upon thousands of other folks grandkids going to sleep at night beside their AR-15 in some rat infested hell-hole corner of the earth, defending God knows what, the idea of a peace proposition, no matter how remote the hope, is cause for a little private celebration.louie

I know there’s plenty of T’s to cross and plenty of I’s to dot and plenty of  conservative republican war hawks both in our political bodies and those we deal with in our every day lives who are frothing at the mouth to tear this deal apart. Their number one hope is to prove him wrong and give this so called “imposter” the boot so they can fire up the war machines and send his ass packing back to Kenya! (He is from Kenya ….Right)?

All of their “druthers” are totally understood and I believe that’s why we have the word “dysfunctional” in our dictionaries! But before that happens, there’s something about this president that does give me hope and does make me believe that although there might be molehills the size of mountains to overcome, he and his cabinet just might be the men and women we need to make it all happen!

yahuI know we’re not alone in this venture and we’ve got peace partners such as Israel who deserve the utmost consideration, but the overheated bloviating by their so called leader certainly isn’t doing a single thing to help the process along. Also, the country we’re entering into this proposed peace plan with, has black marks on their own personal record to erase, which makes their path a challenging place to be.

Then again, who are we to stand on our own soapbox, looking down our noses, belching our personal perfection to the rest of the world and proclaiming that our perfect society is the example for all other countries to follow? I believe we still have our own discrimination problems along with Ferguson Missouri type problems, immigration problems, climate problems and societal problems galore along with thousands of roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure problems  that could fill up a lot of pages here. Once we take care of all those in our own little “do as I say, not as I do” format, lets see if, by a lot of hard work, we can take a run at ending Nuclear Proliferation!  If we can make that happen, then, we can make those stalwart “conservative” republicans we’ve had a heapin’ helpin’ of for the last dozen years happy, and talk about shipping his ass back to Kenya!

This is going to be my last blog for a while. In my daily life playing music for, and entertaining certain groups of people, (especially memory care folks), I’ve made some observations which I want to test and examine more closely if possible. Although these certainly aren’t any musical/medical breakthroughs, they are traits that I’ve noticed and want to pass along to others who might be interested after I’ve had a chance to work on them a bit. This website will remain up and running, and from time to time, I intend to make postings of my observations mainly to find out if others in this same occupation come up with the same results in their musical travels. I’ll let you know.

Send me your comments and critiques. I’ll be sure to read them all and use them if I can.

Happy Easter and have a great week everybody!

Rod