“You don’t have to show me a poll to tell me that we’re in trouble with young people,” said Alex Smith, the national chairman of the College Republican National Committee. “The bottom line is anyone who runs with a Republican label next to their name starts out at a deficit with young people and it’s incumbent upon those candidates to fix that deficit.”

Read more here.

“I don’t think that Mike Pence is a bad person, but I think he has made an alliance with someone who is completely unacceptable from a libertarian, conservative or progressive standpoint,” added Christian McGuire, a junior at Patrick Henry College studying American politics who was also demonstrating against Pence. 

McGuire estimated 75 percent of the student body opposed Trump

And here.


Makes me want to go to Vegas!


IMG_20160604_083252So, it occurs to me that I’ve actually got quite a backlog of street art pics from Vegas. I’ve been collecting them for a couple years now without really doing a specific blog post on the topic. I’ve posted street art from Vegas before; here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here (a ways down the post)! I also included some murals in my original posts on the Erotic Heritage Center), but I notice some of those murals are covered now. In any event, I think it’s well past time for an update.

If there is any difference between this stuff and the murals I posted a couple years ago, I would say that I am seeing more large projects done by some well known artists these days. I’m still a fan of the lesser-known words tucked away in corners here and there, but it’s…

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Moby Dick - Chapter IX

I recently connected with my Latin and German professor from when I was 11, and he was 28. An email exchange ensued discussing literature in a multitude of languages. I told him I could not read Moby Dick.

He responded:

Zu Moby Dick: Da ist zweifellos so manches, was für den Leser nur schwer verdaulich ist. Aber nicht wenige Stellen sind wunderbar. Besonders schön Kapitel 9 „The Sermon“! Jeder einzelne Satz ist ein Genuß! Beispiel: “In this world, shipmates, Sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.“ Oder: “Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness!”

Ah, so I pulled the trusty old book off the shelf, thumbed through the yellowed pages, found chapter IX and started reading.

Coffee, Moby Dick and world class prose on a Saturday morning, after coming home from a long work trip back east last night – it does not get any better than this.

A Special Kind

Losing a Generation

I challenge you to talk to young people, thirty and under. Nine out of ten will vote for Clinton. They want to vote for a third term for Obama, but of course they can’t. They will vote for Clinton, not because they are convinced and behind the candidate, but because they are not given another choice.

Perhaps I am not running in the right “young circles,” perhaps I am in a different universe, but it sure looks like the GOP is losing an entire generation. Think about it, in the years when they are excited about their lives, their futures, their prospects, they are confronted by the obtuseness of Trump and his GOP. They are now forming life-long allegiances. And their views will also wash over their children.

The GOP is losing an entire generation, or two. It’s going to take decades for them to dig out of this.



War Dogs

I am a government contractor myself. I respond to government RFPs, just like the two guys in this movie do. They sell bullets and guns. I sell software systems. But the process is the same. And yes, it sure looks like there is money to be made in arms.

I do not know how authentic this movie actually is. It portrays two young  kids (Jonah Hill, Miles Teller) with little education, barely out of high school, who stumbled into dealing with arms, getting rich quickly.

Or do they? There are always hurdles, and sometimes the hurdles to our successes are within ourselves.

War Dogs is an enjoyable movie to watch and I am afraid it’s probably closer to the truth of government contracting than I’d like to think.

Makes you want to get on that website right away and start getting rich quick, from the crumbs.

Rating - Two and a Half Stars

I am actually not one to walk around spouting “family values” even though I think I have strong family values.

But we have a political party that proclaims it’s the party of family values, and it defines those all too often as marriage to be a union between a man and a woman that lasts a lifetime, and that family values must be rooted in religious foundations, preferably or possibly exclusively those of Christian origin.

  • Yet, Trump was on the nomination stage with his five children from three different wives.
  • Melania said she has been with Donald for 18 years, yet he divorced his second wife 16 years ago.
  • Sitting next to Marla Maples in an interview in 1994 and talking about his one-year-old daughter Tiffany: “She’s got Marla’s legs,” and then he moved his hands toward his chest, cupped them and added: “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet, but time will tell.”
  • Here is a collection on The Daily Show that shows Trump’s misogyny under the microscope.
  • And then, of course, there is the famous: “If she weren’t my daughter, I’d be dating her.”

I don’t know about this party of family values, but I think they chose the wrong standard bearer.


Definition of Dictatorship

  • Everything sucks
  • Fascist speeches
  • Unqualified children in outsized roles
  • Fear mongering
  • Narcissism
  • Only I know how to help you
  • Believe me

In 1899, when Churchill was a mere 24 years old, he recognized the threat of Islam. This threat has not changed.


This, from no less than one of the greatest men who ever lived, Winston Churchill, comes this great piece of truth!

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power…

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Once again I was seduced into buying a book because it was marketed well. After all, it has won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010.

Reading it I was bored out of my mind, but since it’s a short book, only 200 pages long, I thought I could make it through it just for the “experience.” I gave up at about 25%, when I found myself just turning the pages to get on with it.

There is no character development, no plot, no story, no reason to keep reading on, ever. Check out this random section below. This is what this book is like throughout:

Such vanity! What gall to elect for yourself such attention, good or bad. Project yourself above yourself. Look at the top of your dusty hat: cheap felt, wilted and patched with scraps from the last wilted and patched felt hat. What a crown! What a king you are to deserve such displeasure, how important that God stop whatever it is He is tending and pitch bolts at your head. Rise higher, above the trees. Your crown is already hard to see amid the dust of the road and dirt of the ditch. But you are still remarkable. Rise higher, perhaps to the height where the blackbirds flap. Where have you gone? Oh, there you are, I think. That is you, isn’t it, that wisp inching along? Well, rise higher, then, to the belly of the clouds. Where have you gone? Now higher, to where, if you are not careful, you might stub your toe on the mountains of the moon. Where are you? Never mind you; where is your home, your county, your state, your nation? Ah, there it is! And higher now, so that your hair and the lashes of your eyes catch fire from the sparks of solar flares. On which of those bright bodies do you rule your kingdom of dirt, your cart of soap? Very well, that one. I hope you are right—there is little need for a tinker on Mars. Now higher again, past the eighth planet, named for the king of the sea. And higher again, past the shadowy ninth, which for now only exists in the dreams of men back on—Well! Where have you gone? Which among those millions of glittering facets is where you belong? Where is it you toil and drum and fall to the ground and thrash in the weeds?

— Harding, Paul. Tinkers (p. 74). Bellevue Literary Press. Kindle Edition.

Are you captured? Are you dying to turn the page? Are you wondering what happens next? Did the lashes of your eyes catch fire? Or are you glad you made it through this nonsense?

I guess they call this poetic prose. I call it self-indulgent babble of an author in love with his own words. There may be a market for this, but I can’t imagine that anyone actually reads this stuff.

Oh, well, there go my ten bucks.

Another Pulitzer Prize winning book that I found unreadable was A Visit from the Goon Squad, where I got to about 25% in January 2012 when I gave up.

Perhaps I need to stay away from Pulitzer Prize winners going forward.

No rating because I didn’t finish the book.


Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) is a brilliant kid from a working class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey in 1951. His family is Jewish. His father is a butcher and Marcus helps out in the shop during his senior year in high school.

It’s the time of the Korean War, the draft is on, and some of the sons of the neighborhood are coming back from the war in body bags. Indignation starts at the wake at the house of the Jewish parents of a fallen soldier.

Marcus has received a scholarship from a small town, conservative and mostly Christian college in Ohio, so he is exempt from the draft. As he finds his way in college, he becomes infatuated with classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), and things become complicated for him very quickly.

He is a kid who has his act together and he has a plan. He went off to college partly to get away from his overbearing parents. Nevertheless, through fate and circumstance, the trajectory Marcus had planned for himself does not quite play out as intended.

Indignation is a story based on the novel by Philip Roth. It portrays life of the working class in the early 1950s. It’s also a coming of age story of a young man.

We walked into this movie not knowing a thing about it, and we walked out both stunned about how good it was and how well crafted the story line turned out to be. Our conversation about the movie lasted all the way home in the car, and I have already ordered the sample of the novel on Kindle.

Go and see this movie!

Rating - Three Stars


American Art Collector

After I recently moved, my subscription to American Art Collector Magazine stopped coming. When something no longer happens, you often don’t notice it right away. One day I looked at my last issue and noticed that it was months out of date.

American Art Collector is my favorite magazine. When I get it in the mail, I immediately open the plastic cover and start thumbing through it. It always makes my day, and it always inspires me to paint. Always.

So when I noticed the magazines were no longer coming, I tried to contact them through  the website. To get access, I needed to have my subscription number or ID, and since those are on the plastic mailing cover, I never retain those.

So I emailed them and told them what had happened. A week later the five most recent issues of the magazine came in the mail. It was like Christmas.

I commend American Art Collector Magazine for their awesome customer service.


Check out this blog post by Elizabeth Mika of this title: The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Narcissist.


etymology of nacissism

[source: Online Etymology Dictionary]

This is my favorite piece of music of all time.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is known as one of the greatest compositions ever. And the 3rd movement, in my opinion, is one of the most enormous, most beautiful works of art that humanity has ever produced.

It contrasts sharply with the other movements of the 9th, which are for the most part much more famous and recognizable, even in popular culture.

When I was 16 years old I first listened to this piece and it brought tears to my eyes and chills to my spine.

I am 60 now, and it still has the same effect.



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