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Now hear this

This is my new favorite guitar duet by Maneli Jamal and Andrew York, two very talented players. This piece, “Southern Magnolia was composed by Jamal.

York was a member of the LA Guitar Quartet. His composition of Sunburst has been recorded often:


The editor has fallen asleep

This is from The New Yorker. This sentence, written by , is 61 freaking words long and contains 12, yes 12, prepositonal phrases. Six such phrases is a sure sign of a severe, if not fatal, case of wordiness. Twelve prepositional phrases means the writer must be quarantined for at least a month until this malady clears up. Turner Catledge, the great southern gentleman and New York Times managing editor, once said the paper’s composing room had an unlimited cache of periods and admonished his reporters to use them liberally. Doreen, listen up. If you can’t,  Doreen’s editor should immediately report to the school nurse. The narcolepsy must be treated.

Here is the offending and offensive prose:

“On Wednesday, seven days after the nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Florida, and killed seventeen people with an AR-15, the White House invited a select group of the survivors of that shooting, and of mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and at Columbine High School and in Aurora, Colorado, for a ‘listening session.’ ”


Sexual harasser-in-chief

Someone please explain why former Sen. Al Franken was hounded from office for this photo while Trump the humper has attracted complaints from 19 women of sexual misconduct. When historians look back on this time, they will perforce call it The Age of Bullshit.

The stubborn rose

   This rose appeared in early February. Roses are supposed to be dormant in early February. Nonetheless this flower, called Angel Face, a floribunda, decided the time was right to bloom.

   I tried to reason with her but to no avail. Nothing is quite as stubborn as a rose, and it has the thorns to prove it. This particular bush took June of 2017 rather personally. It is but a shadow of its former self, severely stunted and not fully recovered yet from the fierce relentless heat. We expect this June will bring a scalding encore. Growing roses in the Sonoran desert allows us to experience climate change on a personal basis.

   It is a mystery how so many Americans deny the fact of climate change. But then this is a nation of mysteries. How is it, for example, there are no school shootings in Japan? Or France? Or Great Britain? How is it that this American civilization breeds a 19-year-old killer such as Nikolas Cruz who so easily takes the lives of 17 people?

   Then there is the mysterious Congress, a congregation of ignorant, Republican fools like Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa who helped pass legislation last year that allows the mentally ill to buy guns. These prostitutes who service the National Rifle Association are beneath contempt.

  The greatest mystery is how this nation was forced to suffer the nation’s foremost whore-monger as its godless president with the whole-hearted support of evangelicals. The greatest mystery is also the greatest hypocrisy.

Long Dong Silver

In 1991, Mitch McConnell, serving his second term as a Republican senator from Kentucky, voted to confirm Clarence Thomas, President George H.W. Bush’s for shit nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States. In so doing, McConnell rejected the clear and forthright accusations of sexual predation and harassment made by Anita Hill.

Hill was harassed by the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Sen. Joe Biden. She was specific in her charges against Thomas much in the same way the allegations are being made today against Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for senator in Alabama. McConnell finds Moore’s accusers credible. By implication, his vote rejected Hill’s charges against Thomas.

It would be interesting if McConnell would explain why he believes Moore’s accusers and rejected Hill’s charges. Seems clear that McConnell thinks Roy Moore is lying. Apparently, McConnell thinks sexual predators, surmise, are not inclined to tell the truth. One might well consider  whether in hindsight McConnell now believes he voted to add a low-life sexual predator to the highest court in the land. Some of us have no doubt about that.

A billion-dollar theft by Republicans

The Star’s editorial last Sunday was softer than the Pillsbury doughboy. The subject was Basis Charter schools. This outfit has attracted a lot of attention as allegedly being the very best in the country, yada, yada, yada.

Nowhere in the editorial or the three-part series upon which it was based was it pointed out that the charter school legislation represents the Republican effort to undermine, if not destroy, public education: The state of Arizona gives more than a billion dollars every year to corporate thieves posing as educators. This is a massive raid on the state treasury while the Republicans continue to squeeze university budgets. It is beyond outrageous. It is criminal, state-sanctioned theft, a massive scam.

There is no accountability for the state’s spending on charter schools. Charters spend how they please on what they please. If you want to know how the money is spent, ask and you will be told essentially “fuck you.” The school owners own the property financed by your tax money. Nothing bought with public money — charter school buildings, real estate or other assets — belongs to the public.

According the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Arizona provides $5,366 per pupil per year to public schools. It gives $6,669 to charter schools. Per pupil. Per year. It provides nearly $5 billion to public schools and a little under $1.1 billion to (unaccountable) charter schools.

 But it isn’t just the money. One wonders what the racial composition of Basis North high school. What are the entrance requirements? There’s a reason it scores high. Could it be its selection of none-but-the-best students? What are the teacher requirements? None of this is the public’s business. It’s only the public’s money.

The Legislature’s Republicans intended that the owners of charter schools should get rich and lord it over district schools. They hate public education that much. It’s beyond belief and sanity. But it has gone on so long and continues to do so, that obviously no one gives a flying shit.


A sumptuous repast of fashionable naught

Below is a link to a fine little ditty written by
Sam Negri while he was an editorial writer for the Star.


Regarding the Sons of Whores

From The Arizona Daily Star, August 8, 1977,  one of the best pieces we ever ran. As true today as it was then. Here is the link:


Of Time and the Smell

Notice the scent of the breeze wafting off the windward side of 1600 Pennsylvania? It’s not cherry blossoms, but the aroma of impeachment mixed with the unmistakeable stink of executive privilege. It’s like 1974. Here is an article from — appropriately enough — Bastille Day of that year: clipping_12108527

St. Clair’s argument stunk up the Supreme Court, and President Nixon was history a month later.