Music Mystery Solved. You’re Welcome.

I was in a waiting room the other day, when a song played that I hadn’t heard since I can’t remember… One of those moments that causes you to drop what you are doing and really hone in on the tune… When was the last time I heard this? How could I not know it? How could it have been so long since the last time that I’ve heard it? And how was I going to figure it out what it was? In most circumstances, one could just ‘google’ some of the lyrics to find it, but this was an instrumental! Was I going to have to download a special app for my phone and attempt to hum it out? I gave serious consideration to asking a group of people nearby about it, but I just couldn’t go through it… “Excuse me everyone, sorry to interrupt; but does one of you happen to know the name of this song that’s playing right now? Thanks!”

I tried to retain the memory as best I could, but I was having trouble holding on to it. To make matters worse, I began to confuse it with a similar sounding song by a somewhat obscure trip-hop artist I discovered on Pandora. A sort of cinematic-orchestra meets samurai Wu-Tang? Like a DJ in my own head, one song began to blend and blur into the other. But what was I going to do?

Fortunately, there’s this fancy technology called the ‘Internet,’ and I was able to take a blind-chance in one of its search engines! And sure enough, there was a connection!

I never thought I would find it, but the mystery song turned out to be “Love is Blue,” by a French conductor named Paul Mauriat. However, it turns out that he was just covering the original himself! Regardless, the song turned into a gigantic hit in 1968, but is probably not something you’ve heard on the radio lately. The mystery was put to rest when I stumbled upon an interview by Onra, the trip-hop artist (and fellow Frenchman), where he admitted using samples in his trip-tastic track; “I Wanna Go Back.”

Well now it’s time for show-and-tell, so here it finally is in all its glory:

Have you heard this before? Did you already know what it was? This is a live version by the previously mentioned Paul Mauriat. In fact, this was his final performance of this song 30 years later in 1998 at his “Sayonara Concert” in Japan. Anyway, I think this performance deserves a spot in an Internet Museum somewhere, and is guaranteed to brighten your day… enjoy!

Time to Jump on the Trump Bandwagon?

Donald Trump is not what I would call an ideal candidate, and I certainly don’t stand by everything he says. I would prefer that he apologized a little more, and doubled-down a little less. But I don’t believe for a moment that he’s an actual racist, and I’m fascinated that so many people (including media outlets) continue to get away with reporting that as though it is a bona fide fact. Do they honestly believe that he’s literally a racist? Who knows? Maybe they’ll say I’m just defending a racist? That seems to be the level we’ve sunk to in the media these days. Does he have a tendency to say some outrageous things? Absolutely. But at least he has the bravado to say what a lot of people are thinking. Agree or disagree, I can at least respect the man.

Now if it were up to me, I would easily pick Rand Paul out of the current field so far. But he’s currently facing an uphill battle on the bubble right now with the future uncertain. In fact it was just announced that he will not be invited to participate in the pre-caucus debate in Iowa! Apparently, his supposed poll numbers don’t show enough public interest. Not enough interest? He has 1,000 precinct captains in Iowa alone! He won the straw poll at CPAC! And before Trump stole his thunder, he was considered the top candidate to beat Hillary! And now he’s completely ineligible just two weeks before the great Iowa showdown? 

Since when did these polls become so infallible anyway? Are these random people really going to show up and vote for so-and-so just because they pushed the #3 button on their telephone? It is the first debate of 2016 in Iowa; a big deal because it is only a few days before our nation’s traditional first caucus. Now we will finally see how well those polls really reflected reality. Now things just got serious… so why are we eliminating two candidates, two weeks before 2016’s first debate? How could we not give all the candidates one more fair chance to make it big at the bellwether? 

Whatever you think of Rand Paul, there’s no question that he should be in the top five potential candidates. Think about this for a minute: while he might not be every republican’s first choice, he would probably be in the top 2 or 3, and just about everyone’s top five. And let’s face it, the only five republicans that should even be on stage at this point are Paul, Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina (the other victim of elimination).

Ben Carson is a good man, but is in over his head. Kasich is an unappealing retread. Christie is a proven failure and wannabe tyrant. And former establishment favorite Jeb! Bush is a hopeless bore-fest. But the good news for the GOP neocons is that they really don’t need Jeb! anymore anyway. The old guard oligarchs can (and will) live vicariously through Marco (the Manchurian) Rubio!  

Say what you want about the Republicans, but they have an interesting mix of people and ideas. The Democrats on the other hand, are facing an extinction-level emergency! On the surface, the two most obvious problems being identity and age. We have two major candidates: one is pushing 70, and the other will be 75! Who would have guessed that the top candidates for the Democratic Party in the year 2016 would be just two white people in their 70’s? And their emergency backup Biden will be 74! Wow, what happened to the once proud Democrat Party? How could this possibly be the best they have to offer?

Over the last ten years, the republicans have evolved, while the democrats have devolved. The republicans reinvented themselves with Tea Party and Libertarian-leaning factions. Democrats however, have completely lost their personality. What does it mean to be a democrat these days? One of the candidates is an open socialist, and the other one doesn’t seem to know! Of course their embarrassment of a chairperson (DNC Debbie), failed to deliver an answer about this question not once, but twice! So let me ask you: what is the difference between a Progressive, a Socialist, and a modern-day Democrat? I don’t know either, but it’s definitely not the party of Jefferson or JFK anymore…

As far as the candidates go:

I kind of like Bernie, and I think the majority of his followers have their heart in the right place. However, I don’t think I could ever vote for him. Even though I probably agree with him on more issues than any other candidate; we are so far apart on the others, that he automatically disqualifies himself. The fundamental problem involving the economy; while we could completely agree that crony-capitalism lies at the heart of the problem, our plans to fix it would be vastly contrasted. I see only two solutions: a return to a limited-government, free-market system… or we try something new and innovative. On the flip side, Bernie believes in big-government socialism. Really? Was it socialism that made us the wealthiest, most admired, desired, and most powerful nation on Earth? I get why big corporations are bad, but how would big bureaucracy be any better Bernie?

Hillary on the other hand, represents everything wrong with Washington. Too much baggage, too much corruption, too much controversy. Old, out-of-touch, out-of-bounds. How could anyone believe that someone as entrenched with the establishment as Hillary Clinton could be good for this country? Would things really be any better had she won in 2008? She is as much of a war hawk as the Neo-cons! And does anyone think that she will reform Wall Street or fix the economy? I’m sure the big players that donate to the Clinton foundation will get special treatment, but does anyone else believe that things will get better for the rest of us little people? Besides a lot of scripted talking points and empty promises, what is Hillary going to do for you? It’s very simple: the establishment wants her to win. Wall Street would be thrilled, and Oligarchs world-wide will rejoice! How will that work out for the rest of us? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not find out…

Let’s be honest, the Bush regime was atrocious. George seemed like a nice enough guy, but Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove were rotten to their cores. Then the Obama administration (hope and change) promised to fix the republican mess… except it really just extended the Bush problems while making everything else worse! So spectacular was the Obama disaster, that the ‘left-for-dead’ republicans were resurrected and rose to take everything back over! The democrats lost the House, the Senate, and the States! Sure, there were a few social-issue victories, but just about everything else was an enormous failure, deception, and disappointment. This is no longer the party of Jefferson and JFK. This is the party of Saul Alinsky, endless government, gun-control, global warming, and political ‘correctness.’

Trump might not be my first choice, but he’s an angel compared to Hillary. He also happens to be one of the few candidates that could actually fix our Nation’s monumental problems. After all, this is a man with a reputation for getting things done. He’s also someone that can’t be bought and sold by elites and special interests. He’s smart, seasoned, and an American icon. Is he ideal? Not necessarily. But he could also be a big step in the right direction with a chance for greatness. And that I could live with…

Whose Blood is on Whose Hands? The Eric Garner Decision Edition!

There has been quite the blame-game in New York following the execution of two Brooklyn police officers, but who is really at fault?

Mayor de Blasio? Sure, there are plenty of reasons to criticize him and his policies, and the city would probably be better off with someone else running it. But as far as the recent shootings were concerned… what could he realistically have done differently? Do you sincerely believe that the killings were caused by de Blasio’s so-called “climate of mistrust?”

Let’s think about it another way: Let’s pretend you are the Mayor of New York, and you have an opportunity to prevent the shootings from happening… except there’s a catch: you won’t have any idea of who, where, or when. All you know is that two cops will die in retaliation for the Garner verdict. So how would you stop the shooting? Make the police stay home? Prohibit protesting? Declare Martial Law? Put the whole city under lockdown? Or would an overreaction risk a far worse outcome? The point is, how could you possibly micro-manage that many moving parts in a city of 8 million people? Can we sincerely blame this all on the Mayor? Even if we really want to?

How about the supposed “black leaders” like Al Sharpton? He certainly plays a role in the overall problem… what else should we expect from a race-hustling, tax-cheating federal snitch and professional agitator? But how much blame can we honestly place on Al for these specific cop killings? Did he tell the man to pull the trigger? Was the shooter even a fan of his? Did he actually watch his never-ending clown-show on MSNBC? Al Sharpton is a national embarrassment and needs to go away, but is he individually responsible for this double-murder? Doubtful.

So should we blame the protesters? After all, some of them did chant hateful things. But did they truly represent the majority of the people that were there? Or were they just a few isolated incidents that were cherry-picked for a purpose? Perhaps even made-up using deceitful editing?

Of course it would be easy to put all the blame the shooter, right? Except it’s an obnoxious oversimplification, and overlooks one obvious problem: the murder wasn’t just some random action, it was an act of retaliation! So if this crime was a matter of cause and effect, what caused the effect?

The Grand Jury Decision of course! Because if the verdict had gone a different way, it’s quite possible that the future could have been completely changed! Imagine: no outrage, no protests, no racial agitators, no political dramas, and most importantly: no dead police!

But did the jury get it right? Of course not! And they didn’t even have to determine guilt, they just had to decide whether the case deserved a second look! But they couldn’t find a good reason for it? Seriously? And no explanation was even necessary? Agree or disagree, at least Bob McCulloch (the Ferguson prosecutor) made a lengthy prime-time statement, and took the time to answer questions! But who was held accountable in New York? Apparently no one… Welcome to Staten Island, what are you gonna do about it?

But what do you think? Did they get the decision right or wrong?

Whether you want to call that resisting arrest or not, the excessive use of force seems severely uncalled for. Especially when it amounted to trivial tax evasion. And was it really necessary for several more officers to pile on top of him on top of it? For peddling piddly loosie puffs? Are you kidding me?

And even though the officer claimed the takedown was a “wrestling move,” it was quite clearly a chokehold. The coroner even ruled his death as a homicide!

Then the initial press conference comes, and the head of the police union (straight out of central casting) blames the victim for “resisting” and “lack of respect” for law enforcement!

Where is the justice? Where is the humanity? There wasn’t any of course; this was all about protecting their own, regardless of the facts and circumstances. Can you believe the balls on this guy? Their head goon (Patrick Lynch) just excused the entire event, blamed the victim, and used it as a warning to the rest of us to keep in line!

With that kind of arrogance on display, is it any wonder why some people feel hostility towards law enforcement? People like Patrick Lynch give the police and unions a bad name. And while it’s unclear how much he personally influenced the unidentifiable Grand Jury’s super-secret decision making process, the results have proven… problematic.

To make a point, let’s imagine that the Eric Garner decision went in a different direction: the prosecutor announces that the case merits a more thorough examination, and outlines the following list of suggestions for the family’s future trial:

  • Conviction of six months for involuntary manslaughter
  • a transfer by the officer to another department
  • another six months of training to earn his badge back
  • a 3 to 5 million dollar settlement for the Garner family
  • a re-evaluation of appropriate use of force for the NYPD
  • a re-evaluation of New York’s tobacco tax laws

Sure, perhaps that list only takes place in a purely hypothetical legal structure, but ask yourself: if that really was the outcome, would there still have been national outrage? Mass protests? A public relations disaster between the mayor and the police union? A pair of unfortunate funerals?

I guess we’ll never know, but the jury didn’t need to make a list! All they had to do was agree that it deserved to have a second opinion! But they didn’t! And look how easy it was for the system to cheat justice! Is it any surprise that people are upset and marching on the streets? Can we even trust these prosecutors to police the police? Or should they be required to recuse themselves? And did you know that Grand Juries have been abolished from virtually every country in the world except for one? Is the Eric Garner decision a good example of why they don’t work?

How are people supposed to respect the rule of law when the system is allowed to act above it? What kind of precedent does that set? Where do we the people draw the line? The Grand Jury didn’t just get it wrong, they proved that the system truly is rigged when they need it to be.

What do we do when the people responsible for justice can clearly commit crimes right in front of us, but can’t be held accountable? And it’s expected to be accepted? Hey, that’s just the way things work… now sit down and shut up!

And for what purpose? Think about how much easier this whole situation could have been if the New York “justice system” could just admit they got this wrong and give a simple apology? Would it have been that big of an issue to put one blue-privileged policeman into a white-collar resort for a few months? And pay the Eric Garner family a few million dollars? While simultaneously saving themselves from the hassle of indefinite protests and bad publicity? And the unintended consequences that led to the deaths of two peace officers?

Apparently not, and that’s why the blood is on their hands. The legal system is a disgrace… now what are they gonna do about it?

Critical Thinking and the Art of Presidential Prognostications:

 

TNAM’s Blake Walley interviews attendees at Freedom-Fest (the world’s largest gathering of free minds) in Las Vegas on a variety of issues: economic collapse, border crisis, impeachment, and early presidential favorites for 2016!

 

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