Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Prospectus: 2018

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I'll turn 72 in April. An "orphan" since 2001, my folks passed within a year of each other earlier this Century.
I'll be okay if next year unfolds for me, personally, in just about the way this last one has. I hasten to knock on wood.
For me, inside the walls of the perrara, my life is bearable. My health, apart from my mobility issues, is reasonable for one of my age and exposures. Money's always an issue: I'm mostly, if not broke, then at least badly bent.
But my machines are all functional and functioning. if nowhere near 'state of the art.' I got a new HP desk-top in 2017, and it works well for what I do. Also, I would feel secure taking a 1000-mile trip in either the car ('02 Lexus GS) or the truck ('97 Ranger SLT). I'd like to get a newer vehicle, but I don't NEED one, so I probably won't--absent hitting the lottery..
After some months out of the loop, I now am reinstated in a health-care plan, this one with Humana. I had my introductory appointment last month with the new "group." My new primary care Doc is Ghanaian. I had to take a piss test to have my hydrocodone 'scrip renewed, and I had to sign an agreement that I wouldn't shop around for more controlled 'scrips. Prescription pain pills aren't my failing...That was a new development.
Late last year, I had visits with my heart doc, skin doc, and lung doc, all in the last 6 mos, and none of them said anything worrisome. No open wounds or unexp0lained lesions.
As is usual, I am still plagued by rotten tenants, though usually only one at a time. A Landlord's lot is not a happy one.
Mainly, though, this past year was memorable for the two unbelievable gifts, bestowed on me, in Smoky (aka, Nobel) and TASHA, both of who I am fostering for NMDOG.
It's been just about all the adventure I can handle, anymore, watching Smoker-boy become a real dog. He was a shell-shocked wreck when he landed here. He'd been treated well by his rescuers, but he was deeply affected by his years of abandonment. He barely moved at all the first month he was here: I had to lift him to his feet and lead him outdoors.
TAnd lately, against odds, there has been the positive pleasure of him attaching to me, becoming my dog and me his person. Watching and helping him emerge has been a genuine delight.
And Tasha's, the blonde bombshell/tri-paw, my other canine sprite/spirit. Her arrival signalled the biggest changes in Smokies' demeanor and behavior. She's a handful, strong enough to pull stumps, even though only having three limbs.
The two are just enough.
So, I'm hoping for a "push" in 2018. You never "hit" either (20 or 18) in blackjack, cuz the dealer might bust.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wasted on the young?

Salome was on the very full playbill the first summer I worked at the Santa Fe Opera, when it was still in the first theater--which resembled nothing so much as an incomplete barn--in '62 (though with Eleanor Lutton in the title role; the image above is from 1967, another staging of the Strauss biblical fable). Those were the first operas I had ever heard and seen performed.
What I remember most, musically, from that summer was the Stravinsky festival that was presented, with the maestro in attendance; it was his 80th birthday, and he and the SFO founder John Crosby were soulmates. (foto, right)
"We" did SIX Stravinsky operas in about three weeks, that summer: Mavra, Le Rossignol, Oedious Rex, Persephone, The rake's Progress and Renard.
This at the same time "we" were also producing repertoire classics like Tosca and Traviata, which the pros could perform in their sleep, but along with Honegger's "Joan of Arc..." and Strauss' aforesaid Salome, PLUS Cosi fan Tutte. It was a constant whirl, and music flooded everywhere, from rehearsal studios all over the "ranch." (foto, below:The first theater, which burned down in '67)
I worked on them all as an apprentice set-builder/laborer, and then as stage-hand moving sets and props at night during the shows. I was there for every rehearsals, and every performance. Always in the back. I knew it was an exceptional experience; I just didn't know HOW exceptional it was. I hadn't remembered this in years, but at the dress rehearsal of Tosca, when having killed Scarpia, she flung herself off the battlement to her death, there was an astonishing puff of dust from the p[adding behind the fall, which exploded in the lights, which was a novel effect, and was unanticipated.
I remember two, other, really outstanding moments, in particular, from my Summer of '62: 1) I appeared on-stage, once, in a Swiss-Guards uniform, filling out the ranks of the chorus in Tosca. And 2), at a cocktail party, I sat beside the Maestro, on the piano bench, turning pages of a score I could not read, while he played and members of the Opera cast took turns singing songs from Porgy and Bess; he nodded to me when the time was right to turn 'em. Didn't say a word.
Ultimately, I worked at the Opera for all or parts of three summers, 62-64, incl...
It was illuminating.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Make Those Responsible, Accountable: A Modest proposal

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As another school shooting unrolls--this one in Kentucky, but it is becoming increasingly immaterial where--a friend, who has grown weary of the perpetual, tragic, preventable, too-frequent headlines, suggests a cure:
Prosecute the PARENTS of kids who take guns from home and use them to commit these crimes, for the same crimes as the shooter would be charged with--if they live/d.
A death sentence or a couple of well-publicized life-imprisonments MIGHT get the attention of the ammo-sexuals and gun-goons, enough to get them serious about locking up their metal phalli when they'r not playing with them.
Personally, I am a firm believer in the instructive power of the well-chosen, well-publicized, well-conducted execution.
I think, for example, the summary execution of a few corrupt bankers would have salutary consequences in the whole industry. A hedge-fund runner or two? Also polluting industrialists: Broadcast videos of  the drowning of a few of 'em in toxic tailings pools might just prompt the rest to clean up their acts.
The Chinese handle corrupt officials in the most impressive and efficient way:
For those who embarrass the regime, they hold a drum-head trial, with a pro forma guilty verdict, trip the malefactor to her or his tighty-whities, give 'em a shove to dige a hole, stand 'em in it, shoot 'em in the head, and dump a bag of quick-lime into the hole with a couple gallons of water and seal it up.

I don't know whether this prevents corruption, but it does positively affect recidivism...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

None STILL Dare...

Some people were not alive, and others weren't paying attention, when Tricky Dicky Nixon was forced out of office in 1974, and seek to find parallels between then and now, where--other than the perfidy, treachery, and dishonesty of the perpetrators--there is very little similarity.
They (the GOPhux) are the majority now. So, their inaction is covering their asses...
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The biggest and most important difference then, circa 1971-74, was that the Democrats held substantial majorities in BOTH Houses of Congress. (
The GOP were the DEEP minority in 73. The Dems either had passed or were on the verge of passing the Bill of Impeachment in the House, but even with 57 seats, they didn't have enough votes in the Senate to convict, without GOP defections.
Scott, Baker, and Goldwater all went to Nixon and told him if he didn't resign, there were enough Senators who were ready to defect, including themselves. So Nixon squeezed out a pardon and departed.
Perhaps another significant difference is that the GOPhux in Congress were not implicated in Nixon's malfeasances; his crimes were committed solely within the Executive branch.
Whereas, now, at MINIMUM, we know that Sen. Yertle McConnell knew of the Russian interference as early as March of '16, and not only did nothing to interrupt or prevent it, but actually threatened Obama to expose and politicize it, in the RightWing Echo Chamber and through them the rest of the lap-dog, stenographic national media, and torpedo the whole election by delegitimizing the intelligence. And that, ladeeze and gennemuns, is treason.
Joe Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation.
That moment, the former Democratic vice president said, made him think “the die had been cast ... this was all about the political play.”
He expressed regret, in hindsight, given the intelligence he says came in after Election Day. "Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more,” Biden, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said.
Biden was speaking at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, a block from his old office at the Old Executive Office Building, to discuss his new article in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin.”

The irony of the title of the book Biden was celebrating, notwithstanding,
We should be measuring the motherfukkerz for nooses.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Dr. Woody'z "Wize Wurdz, Droll Dichos & Homey Homilies", Jan, 3, 2018

  • A 'gentleman' should be known by the quality of his intoxicants and his generosity with them.

  • A MINIMUM wage that is NOT also a LIVING wage is makes a mockery of "working for a living."

  • A burning flag injures no one who is not wrapped in it.
  • Age inflicts the subtlest injuries.

  • Agnosticism: A conviction that arguing over the 'existence' of 'gods' is mere, idol speculation...

  • A grudge needn't be "forever": one day at a time is enough.

  • Algebra is the grammar of calculus; calculus is the language of "the modern World."

  • All 'religions' extract obedience, submission, and self-abnegation from the 'faithfui' in exchange for moral 'certainty.' 

  • Allowing White people to "define" racism in Murka is like letting priests define pederasty.

  • Anti-vax fanatics are descended from the folks who used to blame witchcraft for a still-born calf. 

  • Atheism is a "religion" the same way "Off" is a TV channel.

  • Belief is redundant in the presence of sufficient evidence.

  • Blaming (or congratulating) ANY one president for the the rising or falling of the current economy is like blaming a passing ship for the tides. 

  • Causation in human affairs is ALWAYS retrospective.

  • Celebrities are known for BEING known, not for WHAT they know.

  • Childless: at least that's ONE mess I won't leave behind.

  • Civility is the shit-soaked ball-gag the powerful force onto the People to silence their rage.

  • Class war only occurs when the workers fight back.

  • Correlation is not causality, but it is close enough for schadenfreude.

  • Credit cards are nothing so much as renewable instruments of perpetual indenture.

  • Depressions are only really bad for 98-99% of folks. The rest do okay.

  • "Dignity" is civilization's substitute for "turf and mates."

  • Dogs read languages most humans don't know we are speaking.

  • Do not automatically attribute to stupidity or ignorance what can equally well be explained by malice and/or indifference.

  • Don't expect to be treated nicely by people to whose "Faith" you are a living rebuke.

  • Economics is the scientific application of high-level maths to the job of king the Rulers look good.

  • Everybody's got 'baggage'. What matters is how and what you pack.

  • Faith (#1) is NOT an automatic dispensation from the requirements of reason and logic.

  • Faith (#2) is the capacity to believe, wholly, what cannot possibly be true.

  • Free will (#1) is a handy myth by which the Owners can blame the Losers for their own fate and make the Losers accept the verdict.
  • Free will (#2) is a metaphorical trap by which the Oners/Owners persuade the powerless to blame themselves for their own oppression.
  • Freedom in any civilization is measured by the distance between the Church and the State.

  • Freedom isn't free; so quitcher bitchin', and pay your fucking taxes...

  • Folks who now blame vaccines for their children's infirmities once blamed witches for still-born calves.

  • Futility is appealing to sensibilities which one's antagonists and adversaries do not possess.

  • Grafitti is the art of "self-inscryption."

  • Great wealth is never "innocent."

  • Grown-ups don't expect "credit" for doing the right thing, or for NOT doing the wrong one.

  • High ground is great in a flood, not so much in a fire.

  • Hope is emotional morphine. It doesn't relieve pain, it anulls anxiety about it.

  • How can one trust ordinary citizens to be 'responsible gun owners' when so overwhelmingly MANY of them are not even 'responsible citizens?'

  • Humanity: A cosmic experiment, testing if Life can survive self-consciousness. The Null Hypothesis appears safe.

  • I always scored "high" on drug tests...

  • I believe in higher powers; they're called "exponents."

  • I bid you all peaceful slumbers--but if not, then poor memory...

  • I find the most vitriolic critics of lawyers usually have NOT been "defendants."

  • I never lost a job; I knew where every damn one of 'em was the day they let me go...

  • I'll believe you don't solve problems by throwing money at them when people with money stop throwing it at their problems.

  • I've not got much use for those who gotta have "God" to be good.

  • If I know your religious beliefs, and I haven't asked you about'em, you've said too much.

  • Picture
  • If it's my weed, we're on my schedule; if it's yours, I'm flexible.

  • If men were conditioned from birth to autofellate, they'd never have to leave the house; there'd be world peace in a generation...
  • If religious people were susceptible to reason, they wouldn't BE religious people.

  • If the fascist boot ain't on yer neck, it might be cuz it's on yer foot.

  • If you can be trusted with a gun, you can be trusted with a joint.

  • If you get better with age, I must SURELY be approaching "splendid" by now.

  • In a dog's eyes, there's no such thing as "size."

  • In principle, there are a gazillion explanations for "things" that DON'T require "god," or "divine will" and only one that does. I like the odds.
  • In the "real" world, nobody cares HOW you win, only THAT you do...

  • In the Corporate State, corporate media are State Media.

  • In the USofA, today, every shooting deathy is a "political" killing.

  • Irony is incomprehensible to the true believer.

  • Is "freedom" an intellectual/emotional antidote--the speculative antivenin--to the snake-bite certainty of determinism?

  • It's both stupid & futile to pretend to operate a political democracy within a totalitarian economy.

  • It is often easier an more effective to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

  • It's hard to convince someone NOT to believe a falsehood upon and in which their only power rests, howsoever illicit.

  • It's hard to quit being an asshole, because it requires admitting you were an asshole to begin with.

  • It's tough when you look this good to feel so bad.

  • It's your pain. Nobody gets to tell you what hurts, how much or what helps.

  • Law functions best to insulate the Rulers from the insolence of the unruly.

  • Learning is what we call what happens when education turns feeling into knowing.

  • Life is so rich, so variegated, so fecund that it seems unlikely that it is also rare.

  • Life's an existential tautology: It's only purpose is to "be."

  • Life's too short to drink cheap Scotch.

  • Low on weed? "Be careful with whatchu got!" Good advice for anytime, really...

  • Men seldom realize they're in the shit til it closes over them.

  • Men who weep at tragedy are "compassionate"; a weeping woman is "weak."

  • Metaphor: The art of calling something what it is not, and being understood.

  • Miracles seem to diminish in direct proportion to the availability of recording devices.

  • Most men have feet of clay: the more prominent the man, the more porous the feet.

  • NOTHING of which humans are capable has NOT at some time been both a sin and a sacrament.

  • No 'quiet desperation.' Not here; my despair is LOUD and RUDE.

  • No language is either "inferior" or "superior." None is "better" nor "worse." Each one uniquely conveys the conditions its speakers require it to describe.

  • No people is humane or civilized which sells its victims to the highest bidder.

  • No reliable CorpoRat sycophant, of which ever "party," ever left Congress broke.

  • Nobody gets religion like a slut gone "good."

  • Nobody's ever too old to be an orphan.

  • One is only as 'free" as one is wealthy, in the capitalist USofA.. 

  • One may be honestly mistaken; but upon learning what is true, one must thereafter cease to be either 1) mistaken or 2) honest.

  • One may safely ignore those who loudly or proudly proclaim their own sanctity or enlightenment.

  • One seldom mutters imprecations when drunk that one does NOT think when sober.

  • One thing "faith" makes possible: ENDLESS self-deception!

  • One thing about being a solipsist is, you're never really alone.

  • Optimism is the secular equivalent of "faith."

  • People who mock lawyers mostly have never been defendants.

  • Religion is how folks who need 'purpose' invent it.

  • Religion is the safest grift: Nobody can say "God" didn't "say" what you say "He said."

  • Sarcasm: For when it's really NOT worth prison.

  • Sex is just sex. All the rest is adjectives. 

  • Speak no more ill of the dead than they did of the living.

  • Speed kills. Weed chills.

  • The "media": Electronic thorazine for an irritable polis.

  • That I am not surprised does not mean I am not outraged.

  • The thetoric of "positive thinking" and "self-reliance" is a tool the Bosses use to blame the proles for failing to overcome the hurdles, pitfalls, and obstacles the Owners set before them.

  • The "sin" at the root of all "religious" crimes is "thought."

  • The Bosses don't have to control what you think as long as they control what you think about, and how you think about it."

  • The Difference? Drunks run stop-signs; stoners wait for 'em to turn green.

  • The Rich make "choices": Porsche or Jag;the poor make "decisions": Food or rent...

  • The Secret of Life: It's doable, once you quit expecting it not to suck.

  • The biggest difference between "flying" and "falling" is in the landing.

  • The epitome of human hubris is the frantic search for the cure for death.

  • The greatest privilege the privileged enjoy is the privilege of pretending they aren't privileged.

  • The more knowledge there is, the less "miraculous" the Universe seems, but the MORE astonishing.

  • The older I get, the better I used to be.

  • The worst thing about having a good education is that it won't let you forget.

  • The person who says money can't buy happiness probably doesn't know where to shop.

  • There CANNOT be a meaningful political "democracy" amid a totalitarian economy.

  • There is no such thing as an "outside" joke.

  • There's nothing in the 'worst' of us that isn't in ALL of us.

  • They say, you can't cheat an honest man. Don't believe it. You can.

  • Thinking: What we call the process of turning feelings into words.

  • Treat your 'faith' like your dick: Don't shove it in somebody's face unless they ask...

  • United, we bargain; divided, we beg.

  • Usurpers are endlessly inventive in "defense" of the stolen.

  • We're all gonna go sometime. There is no law that says it's gotta be awful. 

  • What Coprophagy is to nutrition, so exactly is Ayn Rand to intellect.

  • What we detest most in ourselves, infallibly we detect immediately in others.

  • What you see depends not on what you're looking at, but what you're looking for.

  • What's the loneliest waterway in the world? Bayou Selphe...

  • When in doubt, you're probably right.

  • When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. But if you have ANYTHING,m then you have EVERYTHING to lose.

  • Who can convince you to believe the impossible can induce you to do the unthinkable.

  • Who votes doesn't count; who counts the votes does...

  • Who sees fraud in every program for the poor only attests to their own avarice and sloth. 

  • Who would be both safe and free/Asks what ne'er was nor e'er can be.

  • Without deadlines, I'd have had far fewer headlines.

  • Wolf pups snapping at one anothers' heels aren't simply "playing," they're PRACTICING.

  • You are NOT "What you eat." You are what you don't excrete.

  • You can't sell your soul and then pretend you still have one.

  • You do not "know" what you cannot "say."

  • You don't have be very smart to confuse the truly stupid.

  • You get what you'll settle for.

    (Copyright, John Konopak, 2018.)

  • Friday, December 22, 2017

    Lining Up the "Kill Shot"

    I am ALWAYS surprised when folks profess astonishment that the filthy fucking Fascists of the GOP seem intent on destroying Social Security and Medicare.
    "Why would they want to destroy programs that are HELPING people," these tyros inquire, stupifiedly?
    The answers range from the paralyzingly ordinary to the byzantiely bizarre. But it is fundamentally this:
    It is BECAUSE they "work," BECAUSE they are  effective, BECAUSE they are popular, that the GOPhux target them.
    They have an ulterior motive: 
    They WANT you to hate Government.
    Remember Ronny Raygoon's endearing homily, the nine, most feared words? ("I'm from the government and I'm here to help.")
    They run for office claiming Govt. it terrible, and then, when elected, they PROVE it, beyond any possibility of doubt.
    They want YOU to become so tired, and sick, and disgusted, and horrified by the mess they create that YOU will throw up your hands and walk away. They want you to voluntarily foresake your popular sovereignty.
    Trump is the ULTIMATE insult and affront. He has irreparably damaged the Office of the President. And yet, he CANNOT be defeated in the conventional sense. Thus, his mere presence on the office lends to it an aura of meretriciousness that is fatal to public trust.
    Which is PRECISELY the whole fucking POINT@!
    Because, if the people hate and distrust their own sovereignty, they won't mind so much when the CorpoRats swoop in and steal the whole fucking thing, and privatize it.
    This is an historical moment, because it is apparently the culmination of the Centuries'-long plutocratic attacks upon the Commons.

    Thursday, December 21, 2017

    The Reason "Why"

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    Yer ol' perfesser'd say, the answer is simple, but it tolls so loud a knell for the decease of the Murkin "democracy" that it is likely to be dismissed as nihilism, because most people cannot admit or really comprehend the inhumanity of their enemies.
    "They," your plutocratic enemies, are systematically alienating the People from their own sovereignty.
    The GOPhux and their billionaire paymasters are creating the conditions under which even those people most committed to the political "values" of the Founders, John Locke, and the Enlightenment, will HAVE to throw up their hands in disgust and distaste at the feculent clusterfuck our politics have become and walk away, leaving all the messy shit to the corpoRats and plutocRats to handle in their boardrooms.
    El Dotardo's just the dirty end of needle, and a distraction from the real shit work in Congress and in the deparments and agencies, such that by the time they're done, there will not BE any part of the Federal state involved in actual "public service," only "public regulation" under CorpoRat direction and supervision.
    If one were a student of history, this present moment could be viewed, historically, as the culmination of the centuries-long design to eliminate "commons," and "public property.," altogether.
    You're watching history unfold.
    Aincha excited?