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Author: Brad

I am a lifelong resident of the Puget Sound and have lived in Seattle for the past 31 years. I am married and have two kids and I have a demanding job. All of those things take up a great deal of my time, otherwise you'd see more content on this blog.What I'm reading: Silence, by Shusaku Endo; All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr; and Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.Favorite Films: Apocalypse Now, Brazil, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The 400 Blows.What I'm listening to: Angel Olsen, Drive By Truckers, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave (always).
Chuck Berry died today

Chuck Berry died today

Back in my radio days at KUGS at WWU in Bellingham, Chuck Berry was a staple of the Saturday afternoon “Roots Rock” show. He was perhaps the first rock n’ roll guitar god, he was a talented songwriter, and a master showman. His disciples include first and foremost The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Animals, and many more.

“If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” – John Lennon

Karim Sulayman’s “I Trust You” Artful Protest vs. Anarchic Protest

Karim Sulayman’s “I Trust You” Artful Protest vs. Anarchic Protest

Karim Sulayman – I trust you from Meredith Kaufman Younger on Vimeo.

Who is Karim Sulayman? He is an Arab-American who has mastered the art of singing tenor. He has also mastered the art of protest. (And he performed it right in front of Trump Tower).

Sulayman’s protest touched people in a good way that made them stop and consider how they feel about Muslims. People watching him had to be asking themselves if they feared him and, if the answer was Yes, then why?

We need much more of this type of peaceful protest and much less of the anarchic type of protest that we saw in response to Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled appearance at UC Berkeley.

Did the Berkeley protest change the minds of any bigots who support Milo Yiannopoulos? I doubt it. The best way to protest a provocateur is to not show up at his event. People like Yiannopoulos relish conflict and chaos. It inflates their egos. So if you really want to marginalize him, make plans for a big protest and make sure he knows about it – and then make sure nobody shows up to protest.

Washington State fights Washington D.C. over Immoral Trump Immigration Order

Washington State fights Washington D.C. over Immoral Trump Immigration Order

We Washingtonians are blessed with a moral citizenry willing to speak out against the bigoted actions and orders of President Trump.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested a temporary restraining order against Trump’s travel ban; U.S. District Court Judge James Robart granted his request, John M. Koenig, former U.S. Foreign Services Ambassador to Cyprus, answers the moral question.

Front page story of today’s Seattle Times, “U.S. suspends enforcement of travel ban; Trump bashes judge”.

WASHINGTON — The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of President Trump’s refugee and immigration ban and scurried to appeal a judge’s order, plunging the new administration into a crisis that has challenged Trump’s authority — and ability to fulfill campaign promises.

The stand-down, a day after a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked the ban, marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America’s refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.

As the White House worked to reinstate the ban, Trump mocked U.S. District Judge James Robart, appointed by President George W. Bush, as a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”

You can always count on Trump to insult the messenger who tells him anything that counters what’g going on in his self-declared “very good brain”. James Robart, the “so-called judge” is widely respected and was nominated for the federal bench by Republican President George W. Bush. At least Bush acted presidential. Donald Trump, on the other hand, continues to act in the same very un-presidential manner he did as a candidate. SAD!

On the opinion page of today’s paper, we get “America quickly losing moral high ground under Trump”, by John M. Koenig, who retired from U.S. Foreign Services and now lives in Bellingham.

After the first week of the Trump administration, however, I feel compelled to say this: I have never been so ashamed of American foreign policy as I have been in the past few days.

Today, America steps forth not as a sometimes misguided champion of values or proponent of enlightened self-interest. Trump’s America proclaims itself an unabashedly immoral actor, its policy openly selfish, subordinating principle to fear and greed, and destroying the foundation on which international cooperation rests. We strut as a bully in the world but cower timorously at home. This is a deeply inhumane and brutish foreign policy posture, likely to cause untold human suffering and disaster.

Some say we need to give the president and his team more time, but the new administration’s rush to cause harm counsels against much patience. Others argue for fighting the Trump administration’s destructive impulses from the inside, but that approach is rife with problems.

…How does one ethically hold a post of responsibility in an administration whose destructive and immoral program one fundamentally rejects? My children are grown, and I retired in 2015 after 31 years as an American diplomat. I do not face the dilemma that many of my former colleagues now confront. But I like to believe that, were I in their position, I would have the moral courage to go — and join the resistance on the outside.

Bravo! Washington is fighting the good fight, and winning.

Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Donald Trump’s favorite topic

President Donald Trump spoke at the annual National Prayer Breakfast meeting this morning, and guess what he talked about? Himself! As in the Celebrity Apprentice reality television show’s approval rating with him as the host compared to the show’s ratings with Arnold Schwarzenegger as host.

“We know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster, and I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings”.

Donald Trump likes to make jokes about other people’s failures, and he cares way too much about his own success or lack thereof. That’s why he whined like a baby when he found out that more people attended and watched President Obama’s inauguration than his. He just couldn’t believe it and spoke forcefully about how more people attended and watched his inauguration even though the event photos, television ratings, and transportation data clearly show otherwise. He cried about it for over a week, and will probably continue to do so until he dies.

So you have to wonder what a man who is so concerned about ratings thinks about this:

Trump-Disapproval-2 Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Donald Trump’s 8 day approval-rating honeymoon

Eight days into his term and he hit a majority disapproval rating. Donald Trump won that race. Fastest ever!

In contrast, President Obama left office with a 37% disapproval rating and 59% approval rating.

Given the way Trump has governed during his first two weeks, he may never reach a majority approval rating. Seriously, he’s never appealed to more than 50% of voters and if he continues to cater to the hard right wackos in the party instead of reaching out to people on the other side, he never will.

Watch Donald Trump jack off his ego on television in this interview with David Muir

Watch Donald Trump jack off his ego on television in this interview with David Muir

President Donald Trump gave his first major television interview since taking office and used the opportunity to jack off his ego. You can watch it in full and read the transcript on the ABC News website. Listen carefully to the first 28 seconds. You will hear him say “I Can Be the Most Presidential Person Ever other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln” which for some reason is not included in the transcript. And from there it just gets more and more self indulgent.

Here’s the YouTube video (no telling how long ABC will allow it to be shared).

Most grown ups would have moved on from comparing crowd sizes at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration to the size of the crowd at his own inauguration, but not The Donald. He spoke about it at the CIA on Saturday, he tweeted about it, and he spoke about it ad nauseam again last night. Here are a few excerpts:

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The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

UPDATED January 20, 2017 and moved to the top of the blog to show all of Obama’s term with all of Bush’s term:

Are you better off today than you were four eight years ago? The Dow Jones during the Bush years peaked and spiked, taking the market on a harrowing roller coaster ride. Well if you invested stayed in the market for the past eight years, I think the answer…

was YES! four years ago and the answer is YES!!! right now.

Here are two charts that illustrate how much better off your investments were under Obama’s tenure than Bush’s tenure:

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Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration by Wearing Black

Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration by Wearing Black

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

– Johnny Cash, from “Man in Black

Inauguration in Black

What should you wear to protest Donald  Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States of America on Friday, January 20, 2017? It’s pretty simple. Wear black, and I mean all black – black underwear, black t-shirt, black pants, black belt, black shirt, black tie, black socks, black shoes, black coat (raincoat with a hood if you live in Seattle), black accessories, and if you hair is not black – consider dying it black.

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The Best Albums of 2016

The Best Albums of 2016

2016 was a terrible year in many ways, but it was a great year of music. Here is my list of the best albums of 2016.

1. Skeleton Tree, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This album was started before Nick’s son Arthur died in 2015. Understandably, that tragedy weighed heavily on Nick as he wrote the songs for this album. The album is sad in a beautiful way. If you haven’t seen the movie, One More Time with Feeling, that played in cinemas around the globe on the eve of the release of this album, you should.

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