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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).
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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Donald Trump Tweets Flag Burners belong in Jail and should Lose their Citizenship

Donald Trump Tweets Flag Burners belong in Jail and should Lose their Citizenship

Early this morning, Donald Trump woke up and sent off a flurry of tweets including this one:

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail”!

6:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016

What are we to make of this tweet that defies the U.S. Constitution? In 1989 the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson ruled that burning a flag in protest is political expression protected by the First Amendment. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in Afroyim v. Rusk that the 14th Amendment forbids the government from taking away the citizenship of natural born Americans. Is Donald Trump suggesting that congress enact laws to punish flag-burning protesters by incarcerating them for a year and/or stripping them of their citizenship? Based on Supreme Court decisions, if congress did pass such laws, they would immediately be ruled unconstitutional.

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Donald Trump Lies about Winning the Popular Vote

Donald Trump Lies about Winning the Popular Vote

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Donald Trump rebels against anything that doesn’t align with his own version of reality in which he is a supreme being adored by everyone. So as Hillary Clinton continues to gain more and more of the popular vote – last reported as a 2.2 million vote lead – he tweeted out more lies.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

…and a little later

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem”!

There is evidence from actual vote tallies showing that Hillary Clinton leads by over two million in the popular vote, and there is no evidence that millions of people voted illegally. If there was evidence of voter fraud and the press didn’t report it, then there would be bias. But there isn’t any evidence, so there is no biased reporting.

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The Republican Party is now the Official Party of Hate, Oppression, and Fear

The Republican Party is now the Official Party of Hate, Oppression, and Fear

racism-hate-fear-tony-puryear-smAll the racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and nationalists across our country heard Donald Trump’s dog whistle “Make America Great Again” and united to vote for Donald Trump to make the Republican party the official party of hate, oppression, and fear. They heard Donald Trump say things about groups they hate, people they want to oppress, and heard him stoke the fires of fear. All these things he said  appealed to them (“He says the things I’m thinking”), so they voted for Trump.

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Who Supported Donald Trump for President

Who Supported Donald Trump for President

Now that a few days have passed since the election, we have some demographic statistics that show who supported Donald Trump for president. We know his entire campaign was centered on racism, and disgruntled white Americans overwhelmingly voted for him. And one of those disgruntled white people was David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan. He tweeted, “Our people have played a HUGE role in electing Trump!” and “Anyone telling you this was a vote for ‘unity’ is a liar and they know it!” And it wasn’t just the KKK – Trump had the support of pretty much all of the hate groups in America. Haters attract haters.

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Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut

Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut

kurt-vonnegut

Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut who was born 94 years ago on this day in 1922. He died in 2007, so this quote obviously refers to the Bush Administration, but I think it will have even more resonance on January 20, 2017.

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka ‘Christians,’ and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or “PPs”.

Donald Trump Scares the Hell out of Me and so does this Song by Radney Foster

Donald Trump Scares the Hell out of Me and so does this Song by Radney Foster

I have been in shock since around 10:00 last night when it became clear to me that Donald Trump will be the next president. I have a friend who tells me we get the president we deserve, but what the fuck did we do to deserve a fear-mongering racist, bigoted, egotistical, pussy grabbing, narcissist with the vocabulary of a fifth grader and the temperament of colicky toddler in a hot car seat? I don’t know. I have some thoughts, but I haven’t strung them together yet.

I was going to when I got home tonight, but I turned on the radio and tuned into Greg Vandy’s Roadhouse on KEXP. I’m still listening, and it’s exactly what I need to hear right now.

Greg’s show is a heavy one tonight with old and new songs about the current state of our divided union, and many songs are by people I’ve never heard before, including this song by Radney Foster. It captured my attention first because of the powerful vocal quality and then because it’s a frightening vision of a demagogue’s power over the rubes.

It’s a single that was released in September. I think it will be on his upcoming album due out soon. It’s on my list.

Political Songs: The 2016 Election Selection

Political Songs: The 2016 Election Selection

hillary-and-donald-6-sm

Choose wisely.

Here is a list of political songs you need to listen to during the final two weeks leading up to the presidential election on November 8th.

As you may have figured out by now, one of the biggest issues of this election is racism. The first few political songs take us back to the mid sixties through the mid seventies. Yes our nation has made some progress since then, but these songs remind you about what was going on then and makes you wonder why it’s still going on now.

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