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Godspeed Bobby Lloyd

Bobby Lloyd Hicks has left us. I am sad. A great man and a great musician.

I used to pester him “What are you listening to?” After a few times, he showed up with a mix cd and said, “I knew you were going to ask so, here’s what I’m listening to.”

It got to be a routine, any time I booked a session, Lloyd handed me a disc before we started and, I always got to listen…to what he was listening to.

What a thoughtful gem of a guy.

Politics, Division, Mind Control and Amway Pizza

 

Politics in a nutshell…

Watching this reminded me of a show I played about 20 years ago in Toledo.

Here’s the setup: I was playing in a real good, tight bar band. One winter, a couple of guys, brothers, hired us to back them at a series of Amway functions. These were deals where members of an “Amway family” would gather for a weekend. They were arena sized events with crowds ranging between 2,500 to 18,000 in the audience…lots of motivational speakers and seminars. Our role was to come in, play positive themed, sometimes Christian themed energetic music and pep up the audience when there was a lull. To give an example, we did a medley of “Jesus Is Just Alright” and “Takin’ It To The Streets” while this brother act sang and jumped around to get the place pumped. The medley was designed to hit two key points: Jesus and get out there and sell!

It was pretty hokey shit but, for our little funky band, instead of our regular club gig, we got to fly somewhere, stay in first class hotels, be escorted in limos, get meals comped in nice restaurants, backstage buffets and work with top line sound companies that were there to satisfy our whims. Also, we were hanging with the actual millionaires of Amway, the “Diamonds”. So one would have the opportunity to network if they desired.

We had done about a half dozen of these things before the one in Toledo and it had become fairly routine. But, this time there was to be an extra perk. On the Saturday night of this event there was to be a pizza party! It was decided that, instead of backing the brother act, our band would get to play a whole set with our singer out front…with of course a pre-approved song list to insure we wouldn’t hit the multi level marketers with something inappropriate. The rest of the guys in the band were all exited about “a chance to do our own thing!”

As it turned out, the pizza party was a reward to those in the crowd that were top sellers in the previous month. We were standing backstage watching a truly bizarre scene as the crowd was winnowed from around eight thousand to a couple of hundred. There was a group of red shirted Amway authoritarians lined up in front of the stage and members had to get in line in front of one of those guys and show their last month’s paperwork to see if they qualified for pizza and dancing. There was a lot of arguing and fighting over individual sales numbers…a bunch of people had to be escorted out by security…a lot of bad blood.

Finally, after about an hour, the chosen few were left from the fray. Then a group of guys wheeled out carts stacked with Dominos pizza…that’s right Dominos. It was announced over the sound system that these big winners were allowed two slices each. And that was our cue to hit the stage running to add some energy to the frenzied mob grappling to get their just reward.

I stood guitar in hand, appalled and full of self loathing for being a part of the fiasco.

To top it all off, after the crowd was ordered out of the arena, there were stacks of pies left over and the pizza police cheerily offered to let us take whatever we wanted back to our rooms. We declined.

 

Trump vs. Media

I had the press conference on in the background…it was a microcosm of how I feel about him.

I perked up when he said something about how the media “work for special interests that profit from a broken system”. But then, he blurted that thing about winning the biggest electoral landslide since Reagan.

The media has been a cockup for a long time. But then he spews these awkward, rambling untruths that I can’t stomach.

I remember during the campaign when he talked about severing ties to the Globalist Movement and I thought, “Damn, sounds like something Ron Paul would say”. Then, two days later he’s meeting with Kissinger.

I’ll tell you this: the press is pissed off. At first it was all a joke. Then, when Trump won, they were mad and confused. Now they are smoking from the ears pissed off.

All I can see is things becoming more divisive. Trump supporters are right this minute high fiving and buying rounds of shots. The corporate press will use dwindling resources to take the guy down. In essence, it can and will…get uglier.

Republican Education Spending and the Charter School Issue

During all of this DeVos discussion, I was thinking it odd that there hasn’t been more talk of abolishing the Department of Education. After all, the big issue of Federal funds for localized charter schools could easily be turned in to an argument for returning power to individual states. I hear Republicans jabber about state’s rights all the time.

But then, I recalled something I heard Charlotte Iserbyt talking about years ago. Basically, she laid out the correct argument against Fed funding of charter schools. It’s not about the notion that this funding would take money away from public schools, it’s because the shadow government types that promote the idea do so as a means to gain control over the private education system in the same way they have with public schools.

Ryan McMaken points out that the Republicans are in no way looking to get rid of the DOE and, in fact, they are in the habit of more spending…

So, we’re now again in a period of GOP control of both Congress and the White House. If recent history is any guide, we should brace ourselves for massive increases in departmental spending.

Given the fact that President Trump’s agenda appears to primarily be composed of large increases in government spending and government power, we have no reason to expect otherwise.

I didn’t include a source link for the Charlotte Isebyt stuff because if you do a quick search of her you will find a ton of items where she speaks out about charter schools. I will leave you with this quote from last July about potential Secretary of Education candidates…it’s interesting.

Here is a list of persons, and anyone associated with them, at any time, that we would NOT want to have considered:

Any former Secretaries of Education, such as Senator Lamar Alexander, William Riley, or William Bennett; Chester Finn, John Ayers, former Vice President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) and brother of “building bomber Bill Ayers”, Tony Wagner, Tom Vander Ark, Lee Shulman, former President of the CFAT, et al, or any person associated with their work, or tax-exempt foundation (such as Heritage, Carnegie/Rockefeller/Ford, et al, or corporation…Gates et al), or corporate head…

…We want a Secretary of Education who will return our schools to traditional academics run by elected school boards and teachers trained in true academics, not performance-based Skinnerian animal training techniques necessary for taking their servile place in the global economy to spin off profits for the global elite. We want our public schools returned to their pre-1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act excellence. We agree with C.S. Lewis that when training beats education, civilization dies.