2014-10-27

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-10-27


Here's the line-up, I'll add notes once I get there:
18:12 - OK, i'm at Hendershots now.  Got a large dark drip, and a soft chair next to a coffee table, so I can draw some art, if I like.  I think I'll try a grammaphone in perspective first, maybe with a pointillist style?
19:05 - Larry's friend Mamie just arrived, I think she's going to play with a keyboard tonite.  She has a very distinct speaking voice, almost like a fun-friend character actress from a sitcom.  Funky fun glasses to match, so cool.

19:47 Actual time - Betsy is starting to play, 17 minutes late, way too loud.  Glad I brought my hearing protection from home.

19:30 - James Strickland - 19:52 Actual time.  He's fingerpicking, it might be improvisation, no singing, no resolution to the tonic here.  I think he said he's covering a "YES" tune.  It sounds vaguely familiar.  Strong finish.
19:40 - Mamie Fike Simonds - 20:02 actual.  "It's Raining Tonight" Good blues song, STRONG stage presence, excellent delivery, entertaining.  She's playing a red (roland?) electro 2 keyboard:"Trust & Tenderness" 3rd song:"Good Rockin' Daddy"
19:50 - Brad Aaron - 20:08 actual Playing Nuçi's space jam on Wednesday.  "We Both Know It's Time" Band is "Summer Sonic"  "Say It To Me"  Both he & the guitar are out of tune.  I can't tell if that's intentional to match the angsty lyrics or not.
20:00 - Sean VanMeter and Jordan Wilmoth - 20:20 actual performance time.  "Anybody heard the joke about the sidewalk?" Crowd:"no. . . " "It's all over town!" Crowd:pleasant groan.  A year ago today, Nuçi's had a band camp (Halloween Ball?), that's where these 2 started playing together.  "Happy Valentine's Day" Sad song.  "Mary Beth".  He wrote this when he was 13 years old.  Very Elton John sounding.
20:10 - Johnny Rowland - 20:27 Actual time.  He's under-the weather.  He just finished this song "Springtime" last Friday.  "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", excellent.
20:20 - Rumsfeld - A standard Rumsfeld performance, OK guitar playing, no singing.
20:30 - Kevin Whitfield - Excellent head voice on 1st song.  He wrote "To Ash" in February.  (Did he say it was last year, or this year?).  He says it was this year, 2014.  Kevin Whitfield Music on instagram, twitter, facebook.  Similar to Dave Matthews tonite.
20:40 - Drew Albenesius - "Down With The Glistening Shine".  Plus an untitled song.  "The Truth Is A Loaded Weapon" or "Don't Tell Me Any Lies".  Drew Albo Music on facebook.  Here's an audio clip of Drew, the only thing I managed to record all nite.

20:50 - Rick Bedell - The Flutist.  Improv.  Betsy needlessly told the audience to be quiet for Rick.  There has never been a week in which the crowd didn't just get silent on its own when he started to play.  And there's nothing special about the flute that requires quiet, It's amplified plenty through the sound system.  The crowd REALLY likes it.
21:00 - Larry Forte - 21:20 Real time.  "One Drunk Down"  "Lonesome Trail", I'm starting to recall the lyrics of the chorus from before.  It could be a crowd sing-along, if they knew it by heart.
21:10 - Between Naybors 21:27 Actual time.  1st song about guy like himself, in probably 12 years.  It's about the hardship of songwriting.  "One Straw Away From A Broken Man".  
21:20 - Luck Bucket - Doesn't remember the words to "Freebird" for his sound check.  ugh, ordering the audience to tip, as though we haven't or aren't. so cliché.    A song about 2 dogs, the narrator's dog and the narrator's dad's dog.  Strong story.  Betsy is wrongly telling the audience they must be completely quiet.  That is not appropriate for a coffee shop open mic nite.  "I Just Wanna Get Drunk"  


Nice use of cuss words, I like it.  But he's asking the crowd to sing along to a song he's never sung here before, and so they aren't familiar with it, and the chorus isn't simplistic enough to support that kind of participation.
21:30 - Ken Williams - "Find Love Again", a song about 2nd chances.  He's working hard.  Going flat here & there.  "Hard Knock School Of Life", A song about touring with a band.
21:40 - Castaway - He was smoking outside when I was locking up my bicycle earlier, such a shame.  Hope he can break the habit before it kills him early.  He's got a classic crooner's voice, it won't take long for the cigarettes to hurt it.  "If Only You, If Only Now".  

I finished the sketch of a grammaphone I was working on.  The caffeine in the coffee is making me jittery. . . so I'll wait to retrace it later at home, perhaps.



Now a song off the 1st Castaway album available on Bandcamp.  

"The Rain Ain't Comin' Soon"
William.
21:50 - Rachel Morgan - 22:13 Actual time.  "Prosperous".  She wrote it after watching an episode of "Supernatural".  She says it's not a great show actually. 

It's good!  Capo on the 4th fret, an unusual placement.  She could cut out some "whoa-uh-uh-oh's" to shorten it a bit.  A cover song:"It's Raining In Paris"  Wow, she is radio-ready tonite.
 Add a fancy stage costume, & she's a platinum hit for sure.
22:00 - Jules Wood - 22:23 actual time.  Voice smooth as chocolate milk.  "You Can Sing Me Anything".  Magnificent.


2nd song was OK, couldn't really understand the words as well as the 1st song.

Now it is 22:30, Billy Todd Puckett is an add-on.  Calm, quiet blues song.  

22:37 -  Brett Vaughn.  "I Find It Kinda Hard To Breathe".  He's a snappy dresser.  This song needs to be chopped down to length by about 2 verses, 20-40 seconds.
Guitar has a hole in the spot where the pick guard normally goes.

22:45 - Austin Tyler - One he just wrote: " Damn Sam".  Another he wrote when he met his girlfriend who is here, a few months ago.  

The battery in my audio recorder died long ago.  I don't know if I even got any audio from tonite at all.

"Love You For The Rest Of My Life".  Includes a reference to "Mister Jones" by the Counting Crows.  He's normally a drummer.

22:54 - Jessica (Ford?), a friend of Betsy.  "Holes In The Soles Of Her Shoes".  It seems she's got some kind of tambourine bells triggered from her foot that I can't see through the speaker.  Maybe it's just an effects trigger?  Nope a real foot bell, just like those of a tambourine with no drum head.

23:02 Betsy is singing an accapella song.
.

2014-10-14

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-10-13

It's Monday night again, and this time, I'm recording these notes directly into this blog as they happen!  I've never "live blogged" anything before.  This will be interesting. . . .

There's a nervous new guy with a guitar next to me, his shirt is tie-dyed an orange-yellow color that matches his natural hair & beard, and it has a bald eagle graphic on it.  Tonight's host just said hi to him.

I think I need to plan my visit a little better, the younger barista charged me by the cracker.   That's weird, that's never happened to me anywhere else on earth in my whole life.  He tossed the lid on the container, so I can't use it to cover the chicken salad, so I've got to eat the entire thing immediately.  He didn't give me a fork. . . . that and 1 large coffee for $7.95.  Jeez, this is painful.

Looking at some of the guys around Athens, I guess the bushy beard with no mustache (or a thin one) is the prevailing style.  It is on display tonight.  I won't be sportin' that style myself, if I grow a beard it itches like crazy.

Betsy Franck is the host, she's doing a gospel-y number.  Once again, the volume is up too high, it is painfully loud tonight.  I just had to go to the jar at the front to grab some free earplugs.  It is a shame I couldn't just sit & enjoy her song.  The woman next to me just thanked me for watching her laptop as she stepped away, but I didn't hear her the first time, so she said "oh, never mind".  Man, the volume is interfering with my ability to make new friends.  Maybe the sound guy has lost lots of hearing over the years?

Ethan Mullinax is the guy with the eagle shirt, he's up next.  Oooo, he's got a neck-harmonica holder!  He just hit some harmonics on the 12th string, too.  Both songs are imploring god for favor.  This song has a pleasant low-grade depression sound.  Ethan moves easily between chords, fingerpicking, singing & harmonica.  I think he's practiced a lot.

Here comes Rumsfeld again.  He plays guitar well, but never sings anything, such a waste perhaps, I want to know what his singing voice sounds like.  "Santiago's Road" is his 1st song.  His stuff could easily be used as background music for parts of movies or documentaries.

I'm gonna take my earplugs out & try to talk to Ethan . . . . His band is "Modern Mammoth".  The other 2 guys in that band are biology majors, so they don't have a lot of spare time.  Ethan majored in piano.  He's not a fan of ordinary cover songs.

Simone ZJ:"When The Time Comes".  She has an sound that is adjacent to Jewel.

Evan from the Tabletop Board Games Meetup just sat down with a friend.  I don't think he recognizes me yet,  I'm gonna say Hi to him in a second.

Rose Riot: She's singing a discordant minor song.  Wow, She's good!!  A guitarist with clothespins on his jacket just walked in.  Rose is figerpicking.  And she's concentrating hard.  Larry Forte just showed up too.  "Who Are These Ghosts".  Rose claims she's rusty.  If that's rusty, I can't wait to hear when she's practiced!  She loves David Bowie, here comes a cover:"......."
I don't recognize it, it must be one of Bowie's non-radio hits.  "As the pain sweeps through. . . . .'till the world falls down, fallin', falling in love".  Heck, that was very nice, I need to look up that song.

Johnny Rowland is back with a black knit cap today.  His music is usually delivered with a delirious happiness, no matter what the words say the subject is.  He's hitting a homerun again tonght!  Johnny used a slip into conversational talk right in the middle of this song, very nice!  Johnny went home & learned the song "Valerie" he heard last week here at open mic, but he's covering a Dillon song now instead.  "When the wind is blowin' in your face..... ".  Johnny sure has a much better voice than Bob Dillon, but almost everyone does. 

Kevin Whitfield Performs
@ Hendershot's Open Mic Nite, 2014-10-13
Kevin Whitfield is back.  His volume is down to listenable level, or maybe the performers are playing  more softly in response to hot levels.  It is really hard to type into blogspot, as the window is doing something with javascript that hides the last line of the text box edit window, at least in Safari on an iTouch 4.  I guess I'll have to file a bug report with Google.  Kevin sounds great, but most of his songs are just too long.  2nd song chronicles his 4-year relationship:"I Love You Just The Same".

Here comes Rick Bedell's flutes.  He snagged a drummer from the audience again.

"Bastion Song".  Michael just drummed for  Rick, now he's playing with his regular guitarist.  They call themselves "Me & Gloria".  Bill Jenkins just gave me their business card.

The host is singing, but it's so god damn loud, I just want it to be over.  I had to grab my ears just to protect myself.  That's a shame.

Hand Drumming On Wood Box
(Robert & Pat?)  I think they slid in to replace a no-show, but I'm not sure.  ("Everywhere Song"?)  Good-time fun song.  He's drumming with bare hands on the wood box he's sitting on!  Sounds great.  The singer's slightly off-pitch here & there, but it's not bad though, here, it is charming. 
Drew Albenesius
Drew Albenesius just covered Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" very well, the crowd is happy.  Betsy says he's got a magnificent mustache, and I agree.  "Roll Credits", very nice song.

The house was pretty full.

Guy in a red hat, I missed his introduction.  "So Many Years Ago": He wrote it in the dark in his car on the way back from Washington, D.C.

Larry Forte: "Drinkin' Cheap Beer Tonite"  He brought T-Shirts & CDs for sale.  And a sign.  T-Shirts are only $5, I need to ask where he had them made!

Bubba: Picked up the house guitar with a hole in it where the pick guard should be, but the house guitar doesn't have a pick guard on it, so it has a hole ( Is that Larry's guitar?  Does he loan it out?  I'm not sure ).  "Fur Elise" fingerstyle, short but very good, it's over way too soon.  "Burn Me Up", 2nd song, barre chords with trills, nice.  Once again, the volume is too loud, but he's got a nice raspy voice, distinctive.  This song is a little bit monotone, and his pitch needs work, but his enthusiasm makes up for it, I want to hear him sing something else some other week.

Daniel Brown is a traveling musician,  he's the one with the clothes pins on his jacket.  He seems like a natural stage performer.  He wrote this 1st song @ 03:00 in the morning with his little dog ( based on the way he said this, I understand it wasn't last night at 03:00, though, just at night, previously ).  His voice is distinctly nasal, yet his diction is clear enough to be understood.  2nd song, "Killer Queen" with a capo on the 4th fret.  Very interesting, I like it.  Jeez, I wish I was recording this for later!  I'll have to fix that next week.  I think he's repeating verses though.  Daniel is the drummer for "Secondary Modern" (<--their Facebook page) playing at the GO bar soon, later tonight!  He plays drums with them.  His 2 bandmates don't know he's playing this open mic nite right now ( I don't think they would be upset ).  He has a jacket that looks like scale leather, given to him by a good friend.  2 wooden clothespins have the website URL of a guy Secondary Modern recently played with stamped on them.  Daniel says his arm used to have a bunch more of these pins, I guess a bunch of people each grabbed one.  I didn't want to take one of the last 2, though.  Secondary Modern is from the wine country of Southern Illinois.  They're on tour all over the place for 2 more weeks (<--their blog has the tour schedule).  Daniel says "Secondary Modern" is a euphemism in Great Britain for "Blue Collar Worker" or "Working Class".  Here's why...

Brett Vaughn played, but I had step away so I missed it.  Darn, I haven't had a chance to talk to him at all yet.

Betsy Franck is wrapping up the nite.  Wow, she had to ask for the guitar monitor to be turned down, so clearly I'm not the only one with loudness problems.  She's using a fancy strumming pattern.  She's clearly pro enough to get up closer to the microphone than most performers do, she's got enough experience to know that's how to get the best sound  from a mic.  Next song, Betsy says it's about this time as a 5 year old, she lost a race to another 5 year old who asked for permission to pass her, and she granted permission.  She's regretted it ever since.

I just found an app just for blogger, that should make it easier to type next time around.

2014-10-05

Open Mic Nite @ Hendershots

So I went  the past 3 Monday nites to Hendershots coffee shop-bar to hear the open mic performers and meet people.


On 2014-09-29 I heard Nigel Wright play.  He sounds rather like a Chris Isaak or Morissey with a very deep voice.  Nigel's got a stop-motion film called "Ejnar's Christmas" on his website that he wrote music for and lends his voice to.  He just released an album called "VALASKETH" too.  He could make some interesting background music for movies, sci-fi or dystopian.  I image part of the goth crowd would like Nigel Wright's work very much.

A guy named Rick Bedell played two handmade flutes.  One is long, and the other is a split flute.  When he plays that, it sounds like 2 people are playing at once.  He doesn't have any songs, he just improvises.  The crowd gets quiet when he starts to play.  I guess they hear flute sounds as a trigger to relax.  Greg likes to grab other musicians he just met, such as a guy with a hand-drum, and play with them on stage with no practice.


Cody Hudson is a Johnny Depp look-alike, but ~20 something.  He's tiny, I could put him in a shirt pocket like a pen.  Cody plays guitar left-handed, and I'm not sure, but I thought the strings were upside-down too, with the lowest pitch string closest to the floor.  I don't know how or if the chord fingerings for most standard chords can be easily translated that way.  Maybe if Cody comes back I can take a closer look.


Kevin Whitfield has some pretty intense songs about love lost.  He told me he wrote about a break-up he had about a year ago.  I asked him last week if he knows a lot of torch songs.  This week he altered some lyrics to refer to Hendershots directly in the song, and while singing joked about getting some free beer served in the artist's green room right next to the stage.  (I'm sure there's no free beer to be had.)  This was a very funny song ending, Kevin just killed it.  I think this was a response in whole or in part to my questions about his heart-tearing subject matter.  I wonder if anybody else chatted with him about his heartbreak songs?  Some of them could be condensed though.  Nashville should be on the lookout for Kevin.


 Jacob David Martin has a very southern blues voice, he sang "Luck Bucket" & "Simple". 

Johnny Rowland has a very commercial voice, don't be surprised if you hear his work in an ad for a cell phone carrier or a soft drink someday.  He's also got a bushy head of hair that's almost as big as his own lungs.  If you wonder what Ingrid Michaelson might sound like as a man, that might be Johnny Rowland.  He sang "Josephine" alone.  He used to play it with a buddy in New Orleans as a group called "The Whiskey Bill".


Quentin Nekvinda played a very Dave Matthews-sounding version of "All Along The Watchtower" with his dad, Chris, on banjo.


If you hear "There's A Fire In My Brain", that's a code phrase for "go take a leak", "get a coffee refill", or whatever else.


3 members of Pennyboy played 2 songs.  The 2 guitarists looked directly at their fretboards most of the time, but it was complicated playing, so I can understand.  They performed a song called "If".  The lead singer sounds a lot like Robert Smith of The Cure, and isn't afraid to go high pitch falsetto & warble.  I gave him hell about taking his hands out of his pockets.  He said he wanted costumes with leather pants, but another guy want them all to dress down, plain.

Patrick Ware, the sound man with glasses & a long beard, sometimes leaves the volume just a little too loud to please me.


Larry Forte makes the schedule for artists.  He makes paintings, too.  To play Open Mic Nite you tell him you want to perform the day before, Sunday, on the facebook page.  Some female performers get on the schedule, but when they do, they don't show up, leaving open slots.  I've only seen 2 acts with women in 3 weeks.  There's plenty of women in the audience, I wonder if any of them play music?

2014-06-27

Dear Sesame Street: Let's Count To 100!


Dear Sesame Workshop,


I am 40 years old.  4, 0, FORTY years! [Thunder, lightning] Ah, ah, ah, ah. . . . .  Yet I distinctly recall playing hide & go seek as a 4 year old boy.  My uncle asked me to count to 100 so everyone else could go hide well before I went searching for them.  But I had to tell him I didn't know what that was.  I had only learned to count to 20, because that was the highest number Sesame Street would teach at the time.  Even then, none of the other kids took the time to teach me what they knew, they just wanted to play the game.  But I'm certain I could have learned how to count to 21 & beyond, if only they had taken a moment to explain it.  I missed out on learning that until the 1st or 2nd grade.

I think children are capable of learning much more math, much sooner.  If the Sesame Workshop had just played some shorts explaining numbers up to 100, I think I would have quickly figured out that the pattern of increasing numbers and their names continues to at least 999, at which point I certainly would have asked adults on my own, "What comes after that?", and they could easily handle explaining 1000+.

There is one problem with numbers in American English that is invisible and built-in.  The teens and their names.

10 should be called "tenty"
11 should be called "tenty-one"
12 = "tenty-two" and so on up until 19 = "tenty-nine"

When you consider that all numbers above 20 have the same naming pattern, but the numbers 10-19 don't, then you realize that teaching numbers just up to 20 means a child is going to presume every number has a special name that someone else must share with you before you can name it, or use it, just like people have names that are unknown until an introduction is made. 

So please consider increasing from 20 to 100 the maximum number that Sesame Street teaches.  You could even make a song about how it makes no sense that number eleven should be "TENty-one", but that sounds too similar to "TWENty-one", especially on the phone, so we call it eleven instead.  You might make a joke that maybe we could call it "ONEty-one", but that too sounds too much like "twenty-one" on the phone, the radio, or TV.

You might find it helpful to present the number and the word for the name of that number at the same time.  I know Sesame Street hasn't normally done that in the past, but I think it might be time to start, with the basic numbers especially, as this could help children learn to read much faster too, as spelled-out numbers are everywhere around us.

You might determine I'm wrong, that this is too hard for children this age (for all I know, you may have already tried it before).  Maybe trying to explain how the teen numbers break the normal pattern is too much for your TV show.  Perhaps just a few rare showings of segments about these larger numbers & teen-names is all that older children will need to clue in & pay attention that this is important, because they rarely see the skit about this.

But whatever else you do, please increase from 20 to 100 the maximum number that Sesame Street typically teaches.


Your friend,

Ace Frahm

2014-06-19

ONLY Good Murder Avoidance Policies Can Stop The Mass Murders

Sheriff Bill Brown said:
"It was apparent he was very mentally disturbed"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings


Elliot Rodger had PREVIOUS CONTACT WITH AUTHORITIES.

    2013 July 21 - He talked to officers at the hospital, saying he'd been the victim of an assault. Officers thought he might have been the aggressor.  One of Rodger's neighbors said that "he saw Rodger come home, crying" and said that Rodger claimed that he was going to kill the men who attacked him, and "kill myself."  He wrote in his manifesto that the incident was the final trigger for his planning of the killing spree.
    2014 April 30 Elliot Rodger was so disturbed that a family member asked law enforcement officers to check on his welfare , Brown said. They went to his residence, found Rodger "polite and courteous," and left, Brown said.  He wrote in his manifesto that he had already planned the killings and purchased his guns by that time, and that officers who interviewed him at his apartment would have found the weapons if they had conducted a search of his bedroom.  At the time of the deputies' visit, Elliot Rodger had already bought at least two handguns, which had been entered into the California gun ownership database under his name, as required by California's universal registration law.  The deputies were unaware of that fact however, because they did not check the statewide gun ownership database.  They also did not view the YouTube videos that had caused Rodger's parents to contact them.



THE FAMILY KNEW HE WAS UNSTABLE, REPORTED IT RESPONSIBLY, AND YET THE GOVERNMENT STILL FAILED TO TELL HIM HE COULDN'T HAVE A GUN.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-isla-vista-suspect-20140525-story.html#page=1

The rampage left six dead and 13 hurt, with eight suffering gunshot wounds, four hit by the suspect's vehicle and one suffering a minor injury.
The action covered so much ground that officers worked 12 different crime scenes.

THE DEPUTY'S GUN DID NOT STOP THE GUNMAN.

    Elliot Rodger encountered a sheriff's deputy who was on foot and exchanged gunfire.
    He kept driving and hit a bicyclist.
    He shot more pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Isla Vista holds legend status as the most densely populated square mile in California
Of 20,000 people -- 13,000 of them are students
The streets are lined with bicycles

4 ADDITIONAL DEPUTIES' GUNS DID NOT STOP THE GUNMAN FROM STRIKING ANOTHER CYCLIST.

    He encountered four deputies on foot near a park and they exchanged gunfire.
    Rodger may have been hit in the hip.
    He drove away at a high rate of speed and hit another cyclist, who tumbled over the car's hood and hit the windshield.


Inside the car, police found three handguns -- all legally purchased -- and more than 400 rounds of unused ammunition, all loaded into 41 ten-round magazines.

CONGRESS IGNORES THE DEAD, DOES NOTHING AT ALL.

A father of one victim said his son died because Congress had failed to act after a mentally ill gunman killed 26 people in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:
"Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop?"
"We’re all proud to be Americans. But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?"
"These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids"

Mental Health & Gun Control.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings#Gun_control_and_mental_health
Elliot Rodger had been prescribed Risperidone, an antipsychotic, but refused to take it, stating, "After researching this medication, I found that it was the absolute wrong thing for me to take." Now, what if Elliot Rodger had just posted the same mindless "govmn't ain't gettin' my gun" picture Costas Constantinou just did?



Costas Constantinou's Thoughtless, Child-like Opinion
Elliot Rodger says:
"Hey, Costas!: Shouldn't the government have taken away my gun?
I literally wrote that they should have done so in the screed
I posted right before I murdered 13 people and hurt 7 others."
Why should the endangered public or a responsible government permit stupid people like Costas Constantinou to empower psychotics to keep their arms?  Morons like Costas Constantinou have an infantile fantasy that there's some kind of magic big bad wolf tyranny that his personal firearm frightens, yet his real vote in real elections is powerless against. Guns don't prevent mass murders.  Even guns in the hands of trained police aren't very effective at stopping an on-going rampage, as this case shows.  Clairvoyant knowledge of the future, which doesn't exist, would also be needed before guns stop mass shootings, because guns don't magically erase the perpetrator.  Guns are particularly bad at stopping a murderer armed with a vehicle.

ONLY GOOD MURDER AVOIDANCE POLICIES CAN STOP THE MASS MURDERS

The only truly effective way to prevent shootings like this is to stop them BEFORE they start. In particular:
  1. Our mental healthcare system should be required to inform law enforcement of 
    1. Any diagnosis of psychosis
    2. Any prescription for a citizen of an anti-psychotic medicine
  2. Our law enforcement agencies in turn should be REQUIRED TO ACT on such information
    1. Suspending all firearms licenses AND drivers licenses for all persons who reside in the same domicile with the patient
    2. Take physical custody of all firearms, ammo, and vehicles registered there as well, until such time as the owners no longer live with the patient, or the patient is "cured", no longer a danger

2014-02-23

Raising The Legal Age Of Tobacco Use:A Response That Is Too Long For Facebook

The legislation aside, most people who are legally adults still have the minds of children --> hence rampant religionism, a matter we all know about :-)   Why should we make all the legal privileges & responsibilities of adulthood available all at once to everyone at some magic age number?  Each one requires a different skill set to handle, and reaching an age number is no guarantee you have that skill set.  It is just a lazy, cheap, pragmatist's way of dealing with the complexity of these disparate issues with the lowest expense that is "good enough" to avoid massive, widespread, unacceptable problems.  Otherwise, we'd need some kind of testing for each person for each dangerous thing, like taking a driver's license test or a earning a gun license for everything: voting, running for office, getting drafted-enlisting, smoking, drinking, getting married, taking out a loan, working for a capitalist, having sex, performing surgery, parenthood, starting a business, investing your savings.  A "get all adult rights & responsibilities at once" approach is an argument for pushing the magic age back to the most conservative age at which you could reasonably handle the hardest one well, or least harmfully.  If the worst issue is the physiological one for smoking, that might be as old as 23 or even 24, and then all the other rights would have to wait that long.  The go-to-war age is an argument for shifting the magic number much, much older, until the person understands just war theory and the Geneva conventions, and is smart enough to resist illegal orders, and not to enlist when the sitting president orders torture or fails to arrest previous presidents for torture.  I'd like to point out that this is the case RIGHT NOW, and has been for 12-13 years, and is likely to continue up to a total of 18-23 years at least, a time period that could encompass an entire military career.  Enough for a whole lifetime during which it is unethical to enlist, due to our own nation's well-documented yet unprosecuted war crimes.




Having one cigarette will not kill you.  Having one smoking habit can.  Sometimes the issue is framed as a "personal liberty!" concern, completely ignoring the 3rd party externalization of costs effects, especially the corrupting power of that tobacco money on our politicians, which legally places this known cancer agent out of the restricted drug class it otherwise belongs in. 


As a matter of public policy, the commercial production & sale should be shut down.  Even a transition to "do not light this on fire" version of THC hemp would be better than the current tobacco industry.  I'd like to see a transition to a single-payer system of health care.  Nobody wants to indirectly subsidize the tobacco industry through a national health care program, so the industry stands in the way.  (Even though we are indirectly subsidizing tobacco right now.)  Tobacco taxes will never be high enough to compensate taxpayers for the long-term medical costs, or renumerate dead smoker's families for defective product wrongful deaths.

2014-01-13

The Mythical "Perfect Conservative"

The fantasy tall tale of a fictional character that never actually existed is a bad guide to life.
Nonetheless, that's what Herman Cain is using. In 2010, he wrote an awful piece on how ultra liberal fantasy character jesus is supposedly a conservative who agrees with Herman Cain's dorked-up worldview.

I just met 2 atheists yesterday. One of them mentioned how little sense Herman Cain's "The Perfect Conservative" made, & how it helped him lose his bad religious thought system. This is probably the best thing to ever happen in part from any of Mr. Cain's writing.

Herman Cain was of course, running for president of the united states at the time, as a black man on the GOP party ticket, a party known as a welcome home to racists, because it fails to be an unwelcome home to them. His odds were never really good. But had an entertaining personality, so people liked to watch him, whatever the outcome of the politics.

photo by Gage Skidmore

His original post can be seen here:
http://www.redstate.com/thehermancain/2010/12/20/the-perfect-conservative/

I thought I'd give my 2 cents on what's wrong with Cain's "perfect con" claims for the gratification of my new friends:

He was not born into a royal family, but He left a royal impression on the world.
So what? Lots of non-privileged-by-birth-luck people do great deeds.


For 30 years, He learned the ways of the world without becoming of the world. He then changed the world for the better.
So he wasn't actually here. If he wasn't composed of matter or energy, then he didn't exist. And this fantasy has definitely hurt the world far more than it helps.


He led without a mandate. He taught without a script. His common sense parables filled people with promise and compassion, His words forever inspiring.
Lots of people lead "without a mandate", whatever that mushy weasel-word is supposed to mean to you. Fantasy jesus has not taught anything, even in its own story it disinforms & dissembles, creating confusion instead of clarity. The glaring educational omission of a supposed god to ancient humans would be quite unethical. Cain uses the word "script" as though we are supposed to glean negative connotations from it, but a teacher without a lesson plan isn't as good as one with a syllabus. The parables are ambiguous nonsense that allow anyone to read into them anything they most wish to hear. The content is useless. No thinking person would feel good about the drivel.


He never condemned what others believed – just sin, evil and corruption.
This is not correct. Your belief system is the 1 thing mythical jesus damns you for more than anything else, when he's not part of it. This statement makes me wonder if Mr. Cain has ever read any part of the New Testament. Fantasy jesus explicitly condemns anyone who thinks he's a fantasy to hell in matthew 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.". Myth jesus constantly damns anyone who quite naturally asks for a shred of proof:matthew 16:1-5. romans 14:23: "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." If absence of belief in myth jesus is a sin, but that doesn't count as condemnation, then you have a non-sequitor in your logic that isn't just invalid, it is BAD.


He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed the hungry without food stamps. And everywhere He went, it turned into a rally, attracting large crowds, and giving them hope, encouragement and inspiration.
Fantasy jesus also has reality warping magic powers that cost nothing and produce instant results. Myth jesus did not share any part of those powers with us to use for good. Reasonable people know that it is not plausible that such arbitrary violations of the physical laws of the universe have ever taken place. Here in the real world, excellent government workers require actual resources to do good work, in the form of taxes, and it takes time to perform that work. Not one of our beloved public employees has the power to violate the physical laws of the universe at a whim, for free, instantly. I image anyone who can perform such miracles would become very popular very quickly, but I have never met anyone like that, nor heard plausible reports of such from credible 3rd parties, and neither have you.


For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done. He didn’t travel by private jet. He walked and sailed, and sometimes travelled on a donkey.
Why would a mythical person who can warp reality need a job? Cain hates the unemployed because their lack of magic powers necessitates an inconvenient obligation on his part to help out so they don't die? Herman Cain admires a fictional character for having all the resources he needs (read:none of Cain's) for his work, but jesus' work is just talking, so he needs no actual material resources? Cain likes the fantasy figure for his lack of modern transportation modes, which didn't even exist at the time-setting of the story? If myth jesus was a god, why would he resort to slow walking, sailing & donkeys, if he's supposed to communicate to as many people as possible? Why wouldn't he at least create a bicycle & a bullhorn for himself?


But they made Him walk when He was arrested and taken to jail, and no, He was not read any Miranda Rights. He was arrested for just being who He was and doing nothing wrong. And when they tried Him in court, He never said a mumbling word.
Past police behavior was horrid, so we should have cruel, inhumane and unjust policing too? A guy who is supposedly the best philosopher ever won't even mount the slightest defense of himself in court? Isn't he supposed to be able to win over ANYONE? Wouldn't this be the perfect time & place to do it? This is not what someone deserving of our admiration does, even if wrongly accused.


He didn’t have a lawyer, nor did He care about who judged Him. His judge was a higher power.
This is a fantasy story that can not be verified by any legitimate record, from a time-setting that does not feature a modern justice system where lawyers exist. Is this supposed to make us feel sympathy, because an ancient mythical character didn't get the same treatment modern real citizens do? Then Herman Cain just makes an unsupported claim with no proof, reasoning, or logic.


The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12.
This is an absurdity, liberal courts by definition don't sentence anyone to death. And if it is not okay to find people guilty of false offences & sentence them to death, why does jesus constantly do just that all the time? If that is justice by his standards, shouldn't the SAME STANDARDS apply to HIM? Why would Cain characterize the apostles as an "army"? Who did they kill?


His death reset the clock of time.
No, it didn't. No good time measurement standards existed, and christians would have had motivated reasoning to force everyone to use their preferred choices. History is written by the victors. Still, other non-christian calendars are used today that have no christian markers in them. Seconds did not become longer or shorter, and their position & direction in the dimension of entropy did not change.


Never before and not since has there ever been such a perfect conservative.
"perfect conservative" is an oxymoron. This seems to be the illogical conclusion of the argument. It is not supported by the premises or structure, and it adds a superlative time-based component to the claim which is not supported anywhere else by any of your other statements.


For over 2,000 years the world has tried hard to erase the memory of the perfect conservative, and His principles of compassion, caring and common sense.
Herman Cain claims that there has been a 2 millennias long campaign (by who?) to censor all knowledge of the world's 2nd largest religion from existence. This has not occurred. And your mythical jesus does not posses "principles of compassion, caring and common sense". He refuses to heal the children of non-jews unless prodded to do so, and does so only then with contempt, mark 7:25-30


His followers are now millions and millions the world over, as those who resent Him have intensified their attacks on who He was and what His followers believe.
Is this Cain's idea of a status update? Perhaps it is a vague form of the "appeal to popularity" logical fallacy. The use of the word "resent" here reveals Mr. Cain is trapped inside a thought bubble, unable to conceive of the actual thoughts of anyone who doesn't think exactly like he does. Nobody "resents" a fictional character. That's like being angry with Count Chocula, it makes no sense, nobody does this. Mr. Cain's deliberately loaded use of the word "attacks" to describe legitimate, calm, anti-theological logic & reasoning is a petty attempt to portray the christian hegemony as though they are somehow "victims", somehow wronged.


The attacks are disguised as political correctness, or a misunderstanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Separation of Church and State does not mean Separation of Church from State. The State cannot impose Church on the people, but the people can display and say as much Church in the public square as they desire.
Again, with the loaded phrase "attacks". Mr. Cain seems to do a bait & switch, starting with "the state" but switching to "the public square". These are not the same thing. And, the Supreme Court has constantly decided over & over & over again, that the separation clause explicitly forbids the entanglement of peculiar religion in our governance. If access or respect is granted to any, than it must be granted to all, and if denied to any, then it must be denied to all. Everyone has a right to be unburdened by others' stupid religious claims, such as those of the church of england, the religion our nation was founded against, the one & only thing our founding fathers could agree upon.


Our Founders recognized that distinction, which helped to inspire the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the founding of this nation – The United States of America!
The word "that" is a unclear pronoun reference to his previous unclear statement, so I can't even be sure what he is trying to claim here.


We must be the Defending Fathers and the defenders of the perfect conservative.
Mr. Cain wishes to draw a similarity between himself & his audience with the founding fathers, presuming that his audience will like them all with a child's understanding of the founders. He's confounding myth jesus with myth dead old white men, as though our nation has magic anti-physics powers too.


That’s why I proudly wish one and all a very Merry Christmas!
Perhaps this goes a long way toward explaining the fall of the republican party. Their future success depends heavily on religionism staying in fashion, which is unlikely in the age of the internet. It is too easy to draw the distinction between what religion says is good, and what actually is good.

2013-03-06

gop Ideas Are Bad, Not gop Communications

http://utahpolicy.com/pages/full_story/push?&id=21868018

The gop communications problem isn't its own stand-alone problem.  The communications problem exists because it is no longer possible to convince poor people ( 80% of Americans ) that gop plans which hurt them in so many blatantly obvious ways are "magically" good for them.Republicans aren't correct on ANY of the issues, and too many people have paid for it with too much misery in their lives for too long.  Nobody is voting for barrack obama because he talks of people.  They are voting against the gop.  They aren't going to forgive the gop for the harm they have caused the nation for the rest of their lives.
Republicans can think inside their own heads that they care.  But Americans are starving.  The gop tells them they don't even deserve minimum wage no matter how many productive hours they spend producing high quality work, or how much blood they leave on the factory floor.  This shows everyone that the gop doesn't actually care about them, the gop cares about hanging onto incorrect GOOFBALL fantasies about how the economy works, how it should work, and who is DESERVING of wealth in our society, and who is not.  The gop fundamentally gets the morality of proper wealth & power distribution WRONG.  Constantly.  The gop has screwed us up for so long that even the most unaware, uninformed, irresponsible voters have a general sense that this is so.

You don't have a communication problem about policies.

You have a "Our policies hurt people" problem, combined with a "We're too stupid to understand how our broken policies hurt people".  You have to gerrymander & steal elections to hold office now, because your thoughts upon what GOOD IS are wrong in ways that are obvious to everyone but yourselves.  The ultra-progressive liberal (not democratic) critiques of the gop are always completely correct.The two examples you give:
                limited government

                low taxes on the lives of everyday citizens
Limited government means that multinational banks rob us blind, and not one single prosecution takes place because there aren’t enough honest finance cops in our employment to prosecute them.  Not even an indictment.

When you speak of "low taxes", you mean NO TAXES.  And when you say "everyday citizens" you mean ONLY for the wealthy supercitizens who receive the benefits of everyone else’s taxes.

You can’t convince people that taking away:
             benefits  --> Anything that is a benefit has been EARNED by the recipient.  If you take it away, you are STEALING from them.  You're arguing that people should vote for thieves.  Good luck.

more help --> You're arguing that help is bad?  You're a fool.  "Help" is inherently good.
programs  --> The economy of scale we benefit from when the American government acts for us on our behalf is the BEST deal an American could ever possibly get in their life.  We should insist that everything the government could do for us together, it should, because we get so much more out of it than if we try to supply goods & services individually, or privately.
subsidies --> ONLY wealthy corporations who don't need them get subsidies.  If an American is very lucky, he can get some survival.  Some more existence.  Hardly an undeserved luxury.
is somehow, counter-intuitively, good for them.  Because this harm is demonstratably not good for them, and the painful demonstrations have already occurred.  Austerity has RIGHT NOW failed completely in Europe, once again proving John Maynard Keynes completely correct.  If there are magic benefits of hurting people this way, why can’t we detect them?
Your thinking is broken at its core when you say:
                ". . . .conservative policies will bless the lives of real people, making them strong financially and morally."
This means your plans depend upon MIRACLE MAGIC being real.  It means your plans are fundamentally bad, because magic is not a feature of our physical universe.  It means your mind fails to recognize the problems because it holds conservative thoughts for religious reasons, not good reasons.  It means that when presented with irrefutable proof that a conservative plan will hurt everyone, you will not alter your plan, or your warm feelings toward it.  Your self-identity is wrapped up in your bad plans.  Rather than separate your identity from your bad plan and change the plan, you preserve your self-identity by preserving the bad plan. 
You say:
                "We need to make the moral argument for free enterprise and individual effort."
These are two different things, and one doesn't exist.  "Free enterprise" is not "Free" as in "Freedom".  It is free as in "devoid of any laws".  There is no such thing as a valid moral argument for an enterprise that isn't bound by the same laws living, breathing, human citizen are bound by.  It's like making a moral argument for the squareness of circles.
As for individual effort, conservatives have a goofball notion of what this is.  They think a capitalist who steals labor instead of insisting on a minimum fair profit distribution has performed more "individual effort".  Everyone knows that almost all wealthy perform no useful work whatsoever.  Almost all wealthy, with exceedingly FEW exceptions, inherit and/or steal their wealth.  Everyone knows it now, thanks to the internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM
You say:
                "We need also to make the case that some programs, particularly when too generous, actually hurt real people instead of helping them, especially over the long term."
The only example I can think of that meets this description is defense contracting.  We overpay and get more wars, when we could hire actual warriors instead and create more peace.  
You say:
                ". . . . we need to make the case that we can make the transition from an entitlement society to an achievement society without undergoing a terrible wrenching of society. . . . . . making the case that people will be far better off in the long term."
If this was EVER going to be true, the bush tax cuts would have produced a TIDAL WAVE of demand for labor.  This never occurred.  Your beliefs were disproven upon the pain of our lifetimes, yet your beliefs about it failed to change in spite of concrete proof that hurt us so very badly.
You say:
                "It’s a difficult communications challenge. Conservatives need to do much better."
This is wrong.  You have a difficult HUMILITY challenge.  Your plans have deep inherent flaws, and even after you hurt us with them, you insist that we should get hurt some more.  You ran your experiment upon us, but you didn't alter your experiment when it failed.  You insist the experiment should have worked, that we should do it again, exactly the same way.
Conservatives need to admit that they have been bad.  They must apologize for the harm they caused.  Then they must alter their brains to create plans that acknowledge that no one is independent.  Every last one of us depends upon all the others. 
Your thoughts and plans are bad & wrong, NOT THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT THEM.

2013-03-03

Rolling R's

I accidentally figured out how to roll my R's yesterday while singing parts of ranchero music to myself.  I've been listening to 102.3 "La Grande" to help pick up some words.  Sometimes I can follow the general theme of a song.  Most include some sentence about returning to your lover.  I don't know any whole song in español, really, I just have earworms for the interesting parts.

To roll an R, you first start off with an normal R sound, but while doing that you switch to an almost complete D sound, and then back to an R.  This hapens quite fast in practice, but you can go slow to learn it.  You'll know you've got it when you feel the vibration in your head during the middle part of the rolling R sound.  The R sound allows lots of air out of your mouth.  A pure D sound requires briefly holding your tongue against your top palate, just behind your top front teeth.  The D sound restricts the airflow, and you release it to make a plosive "Duh" noise.  But when rolling an R, the tongue doesn't completely restrict the airflow, because you leave a tiny sliver of space between the tongue and the top palate in the D-like position.  This tiny space with air rushing past causes your tongue to vibrate like the reed of a woodwind instrument.  Your tongue is extended to the top front of the mouth, making it stick out just enough like a lever fixed on one end.  The lower-jaw area is like the fixed end of the lever.  Your tongue muscles give the tongue just enough springiness to bounce back as the air rushing past between the small sliver of space tries to push the tongue away.  This sets up an oscillation.  The top palate is fixed, it can't move anywhere, so the air under pressure ( you are exhaling to make a rolling R sound after all ) tries to expand, but if all of the air can't slip through the thin space left by the tongue, the tongue gets pushed down.  The space is ever-so-slightly wider now, and so more air can escape past your top teeth.  This relieves the air pressure, so the tongue moves back into position.  This cycle will repeat and repeat for as long as you have a breath to exhale.  You can make the rolling R sound in an extended fashion until you must inhale once more.  This makes the rolling R a lot more like an extended L sound which can be held as long as you have breath.  But in the L, the air escapes around the sides of your tongue, not the tip.