January 9, 2022

It's A New Year, With The Same Problems (But Worse)


When I started getting back into producing content, I switched from making YouTube videos, to making podcasts.

One of the first podcast episodes I did was a quick episode titled, “How Things Got So Bad in America”

And I’m sorry to say that the state of things have only gotten worse since then.

Granted, we got rid of the hateful bad orange man, but only just barely. The hateful orange man showed us all how little there is standing between our civilization and total chaos, when thousands of useful idiots, mixed with a few hundred hardened neonazis, stormed the US Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of a democratic election.

And they almost succeeded.

But I don’t want to spend this episode belaboring what tragedy we only barely avoided. I want to focus instead on what it was that we won, by electing Biden.

It isn’t much.

We still have a moribund Democratic party that doesn’t understand the material conditions that are driving the rise of fascism, and the deepening of the political divide in America.

A stunning example of this, is that Nancy Pelosi, in an effort to stop the rise of fascism, invited Corporate Demon Dick Cheney to the house floor with open arms, in a show of cross-party unity. Dick Cheney is a man almost single-handedly responsible for the deaths of thousands of dead troops, some of whom were my friends, and over 1.5 million Iraqi citizens, people I will never know, but who were still friends, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters of parents to other people who cared very much about them. 1.5 million families destroyed by US Imperialism, all for the profit of Haliburton, Lockheed Martin, and a handful of US Oil corporations who went on to privatize the world’s 2nd largest oil reserve.

Nancy Pelosi didn’t end her efforts there though. No, this woman who scoffs at the Green New Deal, who gleefully and openly engages in insider trading because for her it is legal, she also invited the cast of Hamilton to sing a song, on the 1 year anniversary of the coup attempt-- a meaningless empty guesture on par with her display at the hieight of the Black Lives Matter Protests, when she took a knee while wearing Kente cloth. She didn’t do anything to make the police more accountable for murdering people with impunity. She didn’t do anything to reform the brutal system of capitalism we are all grinding away under every day. She took a knee.

Adding to the inanity of this display, is the fact that Alexander Hamilton, much like the hateful orange man, believed that he should be president for life. Nancy Pelosi’s guesture was so empty, and so meaningless, it failed to even carry a poetic message.


This complete disconnect between the ruling class and the reality that the rest of us face rears it’s head in other places, most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic, which we are now starting our third year of.

Today, I saw multiple stories about how ambulance services are no longer functional in both urban and rural settings, due to the number of first responders who are out with breakthrough COVID infections.

Health officials are encouraging people to get a ride to the hospital, because if you call for an ambulance, it may never come.

Of course, with ambulance rides are a vital service. With a severe injury, stroke, or heart attack, every second spent in transit has a negative impact on health outcome. And being that they are almost entirely provided by for-profit entities, they have long costed tens of thousands of dollars for a quick trip to a hospital. So ambulance rides have long been out of the financial reach of most Americans-- or they are just one of the devestating bills that cause health related costs to be the #1 cause of homelessness in the USA.


But even if you do get a ride to the hospital, you might just have to wait outside in the parking lot to die. Hospitals are now overwhelmed with COVID cases, surpassing 100% capacity, with healthcare workers burning out and leaving the field due to unrelenting stress and unbearable working conditions, like 12 hour long shifts, back to back 12s... and with healthcare workers dying of COVID, or suffering from Long-Covid, or just being sick and tired of hearing “thank you” from elected officials with no public policy to back up their words… many are just leaving the field altogether.

Just like Pelosi, kneeling with her kente cloth, the 8pm applause for healthcare workers has been an empty guesture backed by no material support, no actual change to the root causes.

And that is ultimately what liberalism is. Liberalism wants to maintain the status quo, even if that status quo is further and further distorted by the right wing, as it becomes more and more openly fascist.

And it is this same property of liberalism that has allowed material conditions to deteriorate so badly, to create so much fertile soil for fascism to take root.

Health and safety are indisputably public matters. COVID has demonstrated this to the point of absurdity. People who refuse to wear masks are a danger to others around them. People who are able to vaccinate and choose not to, are a danger to everyone around them. And the drive for profit, and worship of the profit motive by both conservatives and liberals, that allowed the COVID vaccine, which was developed using public money, to be held in private under intellectual property laws, and prevented it from being produced on a scale that was capable of vaccinating the entire globe thus ending the spread of the virus.

If we valued human lives more than we value profit, we could have ended this as soon as the vaccine was available. If we as a society valued human lives more than we value profit, we would have had a public healthcare infrastructure that would have allowed the anti-vax skeptics to see a doctor and get better information without incurring massive bills. It’s fairly widely known at this point that most all people who are anti-vax conspiracy theorists, do not have health insurance and cannot access medical care, or a doctor’s opinion.

Capitalism keeps undercutting itself, and destroying our social fabric. A year ago, Texas was thrown into an icy hellscape when the power gride went down, and pipes that were supposed to be insulated, but weren’t due to budget cuts, burst open, leading to massive water shortages.

And this past week, I-95 around Washington DC was clogged with traffic when a minor snowtorm was met with a completely unprepared and underfunded DOT, that didn’t have enough equipment on hand to clear the roads, which led to cargo trucks crashing and blocking the roads. Compounding the crisis, was the atomized individualiism of the DC beltway motorists, who all believed that rules apply to other people, that they were very special people who get to break the rules, (much like the deeply narcissistic bad orange man) and in a bid to get ahead of their neighbor and win the game of traffic, pulled their vehicles into the snowdrifts in the breakdown lanes, and managed to get their vehicles so badly stuck that they completely blocked access for emergency vehicles for over 24 hours.

One the flip side, we have seen the power of collectivism-- as working class people around the USA are forming unions at a pace unseen since the 1950s. Starbucks workers are unionizing. Union workers are going on strike and fighting back against cuts and clawbacks from their corporate bosses. And 4.5 million people quit their jobs last November alone, creating a low-key general strike, and increasing the demand for labor.

In response the CDC released new quarantine standards, at the request of the CEO of Delta Airlines, that shortened the quarantine period from 10 days to 5 days. There was little to no science backing this up. But there was a labor shortage that backed it up.

In Portland Maine, a City Council made up of all Democrats, in a meeting that they held remotely due to the danger posed by COVID, voted to repeal hazard pay for front line workers. Only one councilor voted against it, and called out the hypocricy of the others.

The only thing that is important to both liberals and conservatives, is to make sure that the profit machine keeps humming along uninterrupted.

And with both Democrats and Republicans fighting against working class people to make sure that the profit machine continues to hum along uninterrupted, no matter how many of us die.

And unless we band together and fight back, things are just going to keep getting worse and worse.

December 22, 2021

Gretsch Electromatic G2220 Jet Junior Bass II Review

UPDATE: 4/15/2022 12:53PM

Youtube user LowEndLobster purchased one of these for a review, and after experiencing similar issues, took the pickup apart, and lo and behold: 

October 3, 2020

Trump Has Covid. Now What?



The main function of conspiracy theories is that absent a belief in an all powerful God that controls all events in the world, we at a base level desire to know that somebody is in control, that this global society isn’t constantly flying off the rails.

The problem is though, that nobody smart is in charge, and our global society really is constantly flying off the rails.

I’m seeing a lot of liberals and progressives and just non-marxists on the left in general, talking about how Trump getting COVID is probably just another media stunt, that this is somehow going to be good for him, that he is going to use his illness to try to delay the election, or that he is using the media cycle to distract from everything from his tax returns showing evidence of fraud and evasion, to the fact that his administration hired under-qualified doctors with little medical experience to over see the detention camps if they were “philosophically aligned with the mission” which turned out to be genocideally forcing immigrant women under the knife for hysterectomies.

And I’m seeing the Right-wing true believers now saying that the reason that Trump and his inner circle caught COVID isn’t because he refused to follow a single health and safty guideline from the WHO or CDC, but it’s because the Democratic Party are using Biological Warfare against Trump and his inner circle.

Applying Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is often the correct one.  And the correct answer is this.  Trump is incompetent, and fucked up.  He fucked up big time.  If you want evidence, look at his entire real estate career and his entire presidency.  It has been a single continuous failure.  Fucking up is all Trump has ever done.  And he never apologizes, because he is a narcissistic monster.

So first, to the idea that TRUMP GOT COVID ON PURPOSE OR IS FAKING IT.
His getting COVID is not something he did on purpose to distract us from the issues.  Ever since day one every news cycle has been filled with 5 new horrible things that Trump has done that were either unprecedented, unethical, illegal, or just violated basic social norms and human decency.  Everything the man does is horrible, he is a walking trash fire, writing in his own personal hell of narcissistic reaction, , barely understanding the world around him.  The only reason that this monster hasn’t had his face smashed in by the people he fucked over, is because he was born rich, rich people don’t roll like that, and poor people don’t have access.

It isn’t an October Surprise.  It isn’t a calculation.  It isn’t a miracle.  It isn’t RBG in heaven arguing her first case with God. It isn’t because of all the witches hexing him on twitter (although, thank you very much for doing that, that made my day).

Trump got COVID19 because he didn’t listen to science. He has botched the public response since DAY ONE. 

Back when  it wasn’t clear how bad this would get, Trump and the GOP tried to sell the whole “staying open” thing at first saying that our grandparents should be willing to die so that we can work in unsafe conditions and also get sick and die.  That we should all go out and die for wall street.  This was the cardinal sin that was never corrected for, and landed Trump in the Hospital.

Because he refused to respond adequately, the virus moved from being contained to being community spread.  That led to the mask thing.  To wear a mask was to admit that he failed.  So he was against masks.  That was the second sin Trump committed that landed him in the hospital.

Trump decided that people shouldn’t wear masks at his rallies, which he would continue to hold, like the one in Tulsa (which by the way, Herman Cain also refused to wear a mask, got COVID and DIED because he listened to Trump and didn’t wear a mask at this rally).

Everything he has done so far, it is not part of any master plan, it’s reactive, it’s ego soothing, it’s totally surface level, there is nothing else to it.  He isn’t smart.  He isn’t complex.  He has no clue what he is doing.  That is why he is such a massive failure, and everything about his presidency is a massive failure.  We should get used to saying that the people who run this country are idiots who don’t know what they are doing.  They are all just making shit up as they go along, there is no plan, there is no steady hand on the wheel, it’s all a bunch of made up bullshit, and all of us working class people have to suffer the consequences of their failures, because that’s how capitalism is structured.

He doesn’t care about other people, he is more concerned with looking right than being right.  Which means he can never admit to being wrong, ever.  His fragile ego is so frail and brittle that he totally self-destructs, like we saw at the first presidential debate with Biden, where he did nothing but scream and yell and interrupt Biden the whole time.  People are saying that that was his strategy.  No.  That wasn’t a strategy.  That was incompetence.  That was a toxic person, who hadn’t done their homework for the whole semester, writing a bunch of bullshit on the exam, and then arguing with the teacher that the test wasn’t fair.  It was pathetic, childish, incompetent, a total hissy fit.

Trump stated publicly, that he didn’t want people to wear masks to his rally because it would only remind him of his public policy failure.  That’s it.  There’s no plan beyond that.  He just doesn’t want to admit that he is wrong, because he is an unthinking monster incapable of critical thinking or empathy.  He is so awash in his own bald faced lies, he believes them.  He is the kind of person who would asphyxiate huffing their own farts to prove that his shit doesn’t stink.  Think of the stupidest meanest kid on the playground in middle school.  That’s who we are dealing with.  A morally stunted manchild incapable of admitting to failure, and is thus cursed to never be able to improve, grow, or learn.

Now, I’m a socialist, I do not carry water for the Democrats, and frankly I resent having to defend them. And as somebody who has studied microbiology, I have to ask, “How could Trump *not* have gotten COVID at this point?”  It’s a miracle it took this long. 

He did literally everything wrong that he possibly could have.  He did exactly the opposite of what everybody at the WHO and CDC told him he needed to do.  The real miracle is that it took this long for him to get it.

This isn’t part of any plan by the Democrats, this isn’t part of any plan by Trump.  Sometimes people just get sick, because that’s how Viruses work.  And to the right-wing conspiracy theorists pointing out that soon after Trump was infected, a bunch of other people around him who ALSO REFUSED TO FOLLOW BASIC SAFETY GUIDELINES also got infected?  To those people, this looks like evidence of a conspiracy theory afoot.  To me, I have to wonder if these people understand how infectious diseases work.  You get the virus from people who have the virus.  We told you to wear masks, we told you to social distance, and you refused.  The only person to blame is Trump himself.

I think it’s really important to combat conspiracy theories though, that’s why I’m recording this podcast today.  We need to confront conspiracy theories and magical thinking because if we actually care about the state of the world, we need to have a scientific approach to understanding it, or we are just going to delude ourselves into believing whatever nonsense we want to believe, instead of actually knowing things.

That’s the whole thing with this whole “make America great” slogan, America was never actually great.

America has been an undemocratic, capitalist shithole banana republic for most of the people living here, for most of its existence.  And guess what?  It still is.  It’s actually always been this bad, but the centrists were better at keeping the cosmetic up on the facade.  Liberalism has at long last given us Trump because America is also a narcissistic nation that is incapable of admitting to it’s mistakes.  We can’t admit that we were founded on slavery, that the founding fathers were a bunch of aristocratic slave owners who never wanted the vast majority of us to even have voting rights in bourgeois elections, and the US Government under the control of both capitalist parties has consistently attacked and destroyed left wing movements for worker power.  Anything good about America today is because working class people organized and fought and struggled and formed unions, and organized general strikes, and shut down the economy, and were able to pry temporary wins from the dictatorship of capital that still runs this country.  And we aren’t willing to admit any of that as a nation.  Not even Biden is willing to admit to all of that, because to do so, to really say that Black Lives Matter is to admit that they haven’t for the last 300 years in America.  To say that Medicare For All is a good solution is to admit that the capitalist system is wasteful, inefficient, and kills people.  And Biden is not willing to admit that.  To say that we need a Green New Deal is to admit that Capitalism is incapable of solving any of the problems it has created, least of which the existential threat which may cause the extinction of the entire human species at some point in the next few hundred years.  And Biden won’t admit that.

And because he can’t admit that America was never great, because we as Americans can’t admit that America, for the most part, has been wrong, has hurt people, because like Trump, we have not been able to admit our mistakes, to admit our failures, we have not been able to grow, to learn, to become better people, and we have not been able to grow, learn from our mistakes, or become a better country.

And voting for Biden isn’t going to change any of that.  Really, voting for anybody to be a part of this government, even Bernie Sanders, will have a limited chance of changing it to be anything other than a cudgel in the hands of the capitalist elite.  Though of course I would rather have a Bernie presidency, or a Howie Hawkins presidency, than a Trump Presidency or a Biden presidency.  I don’t want to discourage people from voting, it’s important, but it isn’t going to be enough to defeat Trumpism. 

The Liberals, driven by their support of capitalism at all costs, actually followed the same playbook this election cycle as the Centrist liberals did in the 1920 and 30s in Germany, siding with the capitalist class in fighting against the Socialists and Communists in favor of centrists, while cautiously keeping the fascists at arm’s length, treating them as a parliamentary force that could be defeated through elections.  The American Left lost access to the public sphere of debate in the corporate media with the Liberals kicking the Green Party off the ballot in many states, and working together to defeat Bernie Sanders to prevent him from getting the nomination. 

The main reason that I think that Trump really has COVID, is that before it hit, and more specifically, before it hit him, Trump was all lined up to potentially win the presidency by a slim margin, or failing that, institute fascism through street violence by his fascist supporters like the ProudBoys, the KKK, Identity Europa, and the other fascist groups that saw a surge of activity following Trump’s 2016 election.

Without the pandemic, it might have worked.  Qanon would have pushed their NeoNazi antisemetic conspiracy theories.  When he first got into office, he talked about the “coming storm.”  People familiar with the history of WW2 should have immediately recognized that what he was talking about was the same storm that the Nazis talked about in the Wiemar Republic, for which the “Storm Troopers” of the SS derive their name.  Qanon talks about “the coming storm” where all sorts of celebrities and rich and powerful people will be rounded up and killed. 

It’s really important to recognize that the argument that Qanon is making is the same argument that was made by Hitler made about Jews.  He used an old anti-semetic trope that Jewish people steal christian children and use their blood for Satanic rituals to give themselves magical powers. 

Qanon says the same thing, but says that the elites are primarily stealing children for sex trafficking, but that the sex trafficking ring is actually a front for a secret Satanic cult that steals christian children and uses their blood in rituals to give themselves magical powers. And the people that Qanon keeps pointing to as ring leaders are mostly Jewish.  Hmm.  Must be a coincidence.  Or Qanon is a Nazi recruiting front, just as the German Newspaper “The Storm” was in the 1930s.

The Fascist right-wing thrive on conspiracy theories.  Let’s not muddy the waters with our own made up bullshit.  Let’s be truthful.

Let’s remember the words of Carl Sagan, “if it can be destroyed by the Truth, it deserves to be destroyed.”

If there is anybody that deserves to be destroyed by the Truth, it’s the Liar in Chief. 

September 19, 2020

The Right-Wing have Declared War

The Right Wing don't care about the rules, they will cheat, steal, and murder, to get whatever they want.

"Good sportsmanship" doesn't apply, because THIS IS NOT A GAME.

September 16, 2020

They Vacation While We Die

The following statement was delivered by Arlo Hennessy on Labor Day 2020 as part of an action by the Southern Maine Worker's Center

They Vacation While We Die

by Arlo Hennessy

“They vacation while we die.” We are the workers- “When we talk about the Workers’ Center organizing for racial, economic justice and human rights, we use the term "worker" in its broadest sense. We understand that most people are workers, including those who are employed by the formal economy, hustling in the informal economy, taking care of their families, or unemployed due to the pandemic. Workers may or may not be protected by employment law. They may or may not be receiving wages. All of those who are struggling with the impacts of the global economy, neoliberal policies, and economic injustice-- key parts of a system that attempts to deny us our human rights-- are in essence workers.”

They are politicians, who are supposed to be working for us, but instead are on vacation. Time off from; squabbling, self aggrandizing, and lining pockets with business handouts. While the family cares & heroes act, collect dust, and Trump’s worker relief bill goes unchecked. Today, Maine workers at restaurants, resorts, ice cream shops and coastal businesses are exposed to COVID-19 so these same politicians can enjoy vacationland. If a vacation is the fruit of our labor, then right now it is a poison apple.

I want to highlight what was said today, the pandemic & subsequent labor crisis has hit black, latinx, native/indigenous, asain, and workers of color the hardest. Black workers are in the midst of another crisis, the state sanctioned murder of black americans at the hands of police. BLM has a platform that amongst many demands, is calling for the abolition of police as an antidote to violence, because as Gil Scot Heron once put it “America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey.”

Black liberation, decolonization, no borders- ending white supremacy needs to be a tenant of the labor movement, because without us there is no labor movement. The labor movement is the abolition of slavery, chinese rail workers, the latinx and philipino farmers of the chicano rights movement, Ai Jen Poo and the domestic workers bill of rights, the Somali warehouse workers organizing against trillion dollar multinational corporation Amazon. We cannot let the bastards win, by dividing the class and race struggle as if they were not one. That's why I call on my brothers and sisters of the labor movement to stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and endorse their platform. To do otherwise, portends more violence, death and the further erosion of union brotherhood.

I end with a quote by Martin Niemöller, which illustrates how cowardice in the face of facism lead to the atrocity of the holocaust.

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. "

We are blocking traffic for a moment of silence, for the people lost to the pandemic and violence of this historic crisis, both directly and indirectly beginning with; the workers lost to COVID-19 and the disproportionate rates of fatalities that have claimed the lives of black, navajo, latinx, and poc workers across the country & Maine. Specifically the 125 + tyson chicken poultry workers and 499 navajo (data).

This moment is to honor the black lives matter movement, and mourn for our black lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy in America. We call for justice for James Blake & his family, and Breonna Taylor, for David Okat and Chance Baker Portland, Maine. Kawom Smith- Walker, Lincoln county Jail Auburn Maine. Too many more to count, Black Lives Matter.

This moment is for those who have died due to the housing crisis, lives lost from illness, overdose, or exposure in Portland Maine.

Lastly, this moment is for our & your loved ones in the labor movement who passed this year; Wayne Poland, Tina Malcomson, Juliet Holmes Smith, Steve Gordon, Mark James, Sandy Bishop.

Hold these people & uprisings in your hearts while we pause, beginning now.

August 17, 2020

As the DNC tacks hard to the Right, Should the Left Follow?

What is Trump's "Delay" Play about?

Who is in Joe Biden's "Middle Class" anyways?

Green Party 2020 Convention Report

Gloobians and Xxors, a sci-fi political parable.


  There was this planet where the vast majority of intelligent life was a species called the Gloobians. On some of their backs lived a parasitic race of tiny worms called the "Xxors" who divided themselves up into two groups, the Klixxors, and the Klaxxors, and the two groups managed to hold power in the planetary congress, making laws while sitting on the backs of their enslaved Gloobians, slurping up their blood and laying eggs under their skin.

I traveled down to the surface to meet with the Gloobians, obviously the vast majority of intelligent life on this planet.  The first group I met with were members of some sort of underground rebel alliance who wanted to form a Gloobian political party.

Now this made very little sense to me.  Why wouldn't they have one already?  The Gloobians very obviously made up the vast majority of intelligent life on the planet, it should be EASY for them to form a political party of their own, and they should be able to institute a policy by which they eliminate all the Xxors from their backs, and nobody would get their blood sucked, or have eggs laid under their skin ever again.

I asked them why they didn’t have such a political party already.  The Gloobian Party rebels said, “well it’s just very difficult.”

I didn't understand at all why this would be the case, so I pressed further, “but why would the vast majority allow themselves to be ruled by blood sucking parasites?  Why would any of them align themselves with either party of blood sucking Xxors?  Is it illegal for you to form such a party?

“No.” the Gloobian Rebel Alliance answered matter of factly.

“Well, do the Xxors secrete some sort of chemical that make Gloobians love the Xxors?”

“Hah, oh no, that's certainly not the case.  They are quite irritating.” and the Gloobian pointed at his own back, “I have Xxors living on my back right now, and I would love to get rid of them, but it would be illegal to kill them, and they can only feed on Gloobian blood, and so since they are also intelligent life. Some Gloobians think we need the Xxors, but most Gloobians agree that they are idiots.  Almost every Gloobian hates the Xxors universally."

“Wait so all Gloobins hate having the Xxors on their backs? Well, what the heck is stopping you from just changing the laws to make it legal to remove them, and just get rid of all the parasites entirely?” I asked.

The Gloobian rebels shifted their stances queitly and looked at their many feet, and finally one spoke up, “look, we don’t really understand why either, you should just go ask around.”

So I did.  I walked into town and bumped into a Gloobian campaigning for one of the Xxor parties.  I approached her and asked why she supported the Xxors.

“I don’t support the Xxors at all!” she said.  

“Then why are you out here campaigning for them?” I asked.

“Are you kidding?  I’m trying to make sure that the Klixxors don’t win!”

“Are you aware that there is a Gloobian party, that is by and for the Gloobians?  They want to get rid of the Xxors entirely”

“Ha!” She snorted, condescendingly, “You really don’t know anything do you?  We have to vote for the Klaxxors to make sure that the Klixxors don’t win.”

“So are the Klaxxors better?”

“Well they would be, except they have to appeal to the Gloobians who would normally vote for the Klixxors and weaken the Klixxor base to make sure that the Klixxors don’t win.  So for this election, they are adopting a lot of the Klixxor policies.”

“And the Klixxors are especially bad?”

“Oh yes, they want to suck our blood and lay their eggs in our skin!”

“And the Klaxxors don’t do that?”

“No, they do that too, but if we have to live with Xxors on our backs, laying eggs under our skin and sucking our blood, we may as well suffer with dignity.”

I paused for a second to make sure I understood, but I was certain that I did not. “But you don’t have to live with the Xxors laying eggs under your skin or sucking your blood at all though. You could vote for the Gloobian Rebel Alliance, and just get rid of both Klixxors and Klaxxors, all the Xxors.  Why don’t you do that?”

She shook her head and took pity on me, “you stupid earthling, you don’t know anything at all.  I already said, if we don’t vote for the Klaxxors, the Klixxors will win, and it will be four more years of them sucking our blood and laying eggs under our skin.  You poor stupid idiot.  You don’t understand politics at all, do you”

And I had to agree, that no, I certainly did not.  Not one bit.