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    Wednesday
    Jan272016

    It's FREEZING out!

    How many times have you heard that? Come to LA and hear it when the temps dip into the low 50's. It's enough to make a born-and-bred New Yorker's blood boil. Especially since last winter when I returned to my Putnam County cabin for a month, I went snowshoeing in Zero degrees temps and got minor frostbite on my toes (they call it frost nip.) 


    I have taken the uber-cold for granted for too long. Everyone should have to read this article from Outside Magazine: "As s Freezing Persons Recollects The Snow - First Chill - Then Stupor - Then Letting Go."

    Then there's the story of heavy metal singer, Terje Bakken, who tried walking to his parents cabin but got caught in a Norweigian snowstorm and was found frozen three days later.

    But I knew all this. Jack London told me in "To Build A Fire."

     

    Friday
    Jan222016

    Snowmageddon - Look A Squirrel!

    We've seen this movie before. This was the Arrivals board at Jet Blue in JFK, almost a year ago to the day (Jan 26):

    That's my flight, #124 from LA, one of the three that got into JFK at the positively deathly hour of 4:16 PM during the last Snowmageddon. It was a race against time for me, from getting a seat on the flight to the flight even taking off (JFK stopped all flights in after ours.) But the fun began as we all watched our TV's that carried the local NY news. The city and most of the North East was apoplectic with this "storm." Runs on supplies, "Gotta Get Milk and Bread!" But this was a new level. People were banned from the streets in NYC. No cars and stay inside was deBlasio's command. To enforce that, he just down the subway system.

    Think about that. The engine of NYC, its subways, was turned off. All of those people who worked on it and the millions who work by using it - all were sent home. Gov. Cuomo called out the National Guard - before the first snowflake fell. I luckily got one of the last seats on the Airporter bus to Grand Central (cabs were non-existant) and the huge station was sublime in its eerie solitude. Literally, there were maybe ten people and ten more armed soldiers in the almost acre-sized concourse.

    Then the last, very last train, north was leaving and that took about 20 of us into Westchester. By the time I got to Putnam County and the last stop, there was still no snow but cars were off the road like they were expecting an asteroid to hit. My good friend, John, picked me up and took me to the A&P for some essentials. The store was just about to close and the shelves were picked cleads as if looters had just ransacked them.

    So I made it to the cabin and hunlered down with a large pile of wood for my fire, filled the tub up with water and got the candles out.

    For nothing. Oh, maybe 4 inches.

    And we keep falling for it. The news shows have those "Breaking News" updates with the special logos and theme music. "Storm Watch 2016!" 

    The forecast for the tri-state NY area is 2-8 inches. When did that ever translate into a blizzard? I thought, minimum, a blizzard had to be a foot. No, the entire Northeast is falling for it again, hook, line and sinker. 

    Of course the conspiracy theorists say that this is a) to gin up the phony climate debate, b) to keep the public rubes' minds off the big news that is happening (economy, ISIS, Congress pushing through a bill) or c) a martial law muscle flex, to move the troops to see how they fare.

    So stock up on your comfort food, download all those Netflix episodes and fill your bathtub. You'll have nothing to do. Not even shovel.

     

    Recorded during the last Snowmagedden, on a Tascam DR1, in my kitchen, waiting fo rthe strom of the century:

    Before The Big One Hits 

    Flying in to JFK if weather permits, somewhere in the clouds above Kentucky.

    Trying to make it in before the Big One hits and hoping that our pilot, he gets lucky.

    All the TV stations they’re on highest alert. Don’t change the channel or you might get hurt

    They say the snow will be so deep, we might loose civil order

     

    The weatherman said you won’t believe your eyes.

    It’s a storm of unprecedented strength and size

    Better hide your kids and hoard your supplies.

    The whole East Coast seems to be losing its mind

    With tales of snowfall that never quits

    I just want to make it home….before the Big One hits.

     

    We made Grand Central – not a soul in sight.  And the wind was barely even blowing.

    The mayor said “I want you off the street at night.” And it was hardly even snowing.

    They’re closing the bridges and the subway too

    It’s what every other red-blooded leader would do. Cover your ass and cover your pension

    The governor is calling out the National Guard, but telling us “Don’t loose control.”

    I think I’ll take my chances with my Saint Bernard and his whiskey.

    Everyone on television’s losing their minds with every angle that this story permits

    I just want to make it home….before the Big One hits.

     

    I’ll get the last train out heading North somewhere.

    I’ll make it home with barely minutes to spare.

    Where the drifts will be so high, I might expire

    I won’t bother buying milk or bread.

    The shelves’ll be picked clean by the mob instead

    It’s just me and the dog, and his cask, by the fire.

     

    The weatherman said you won’t believe your eyes.

    It’s a storm of unprecedented strength and size

    Better hide your kids and hoard your supplies.

    The whole East Coast seems to be losing its mind

    As we fall for this story  time after time

    I just want to make it home….before the Big One hits.

     

    ©2016 Cassongs Music

    Thursday
    Dec172015

    Do You Know Who Daniel Kauffman Was?

    If you have seen this video, fine, I am posting it again.  Veteran BBC host, Andrew Neil, encapsulates the entire murderous ISIS plague as it should be. Post and repost. Watch and rewatch.

    I had seen it originally that week after the Paris massacre and was moved. I saw it again in Timothy Sandefur's elegant eulogy for his brother, Daniel Kauffman, murdered in San Bernadino. It is so well written and packed with though-provoking links that support all of his contentions. Here in SoCal (I live in LA and caught Tim live on the Armsrtong and Getty show.) Sandefur is a principal attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, and an adjucnt scholar with the CATO Institute and a man I'd like to meet someday.

    Oh, Daniel drew strength from watching the Andrew Neil rant. I do as well.

    Daniel Kauffman, victim at San Bernadino

    Saturday
    Nov142015

    Why The Eiffel Tower Peace Sign Is So Wrong

    In the post-massacre phase, just like after 9-11, we are all together. We all grieve and search for a community, albeit online, to share our grief. In September 2001, the social media had not yet gone into turbo drive so the glow lasted a little longer. It took less than twenty-four hours to see it end for me. I saw this:

    When I first saw the drawing, simple black brush strokes on white paper, my gut wrenched. A child of the sixties, I had peace signs on my pants, my school locker and my guitar but as adulthood called, I came to understand the absolute meaningless of the symbol and how it was exploited by every left leaning group from Rolling Stone to the Communist Party. I cringe when I see little kids, children who have no clue to what "peace" means and how it is secured, adorn themselves with it. 

    And when two people, one a friend and one very close to me, remarked that the Eiffel image meant something to them, I had to stop and wonder when might we develop that resolve my parent's generation had in defeating the tyranny of Germany and Japan.

    It is precisely the mixing of metaphors that makes this so wrong. This is not about peace. Of course, we all want peace and we should give peace a chance but when you are moshing to a heavy metal band in the orchestra pit of a Parisian theater and two savages come in and start mowing every one down, how is that peace sign supposed to help?

    No, Jean Julien, the hipster artist whose painting was tracked down by Slate and elevated by CNN, has history in this mixed messaging. Here is his take on Ferguson. Remember, all the grand jury findings have shown, without a doubt, that the "gentle giant" threatened the officer, grabbed his gun and fought with him.

    There is the hand of an artist with an agenda.

    And, voila:

    More of the same wishful thinking that a pencil, like the power of a flower 50 years before, would stop those pesky Syrian refugees from killing 130. Perhaps they should have passed pencils out in that Cambodian restaurant?

    No, Mr. Julien, you got it wrong then and you've got it wrong now. The last thing Paris and France need is peace. The enemy is slaughtering your people, dude. Marine Le Pen said it perfectly. You must annihilate them. Then, you might experience some peace and only if you stay forever vigilant with a strong defense. Hmm, Peace Thorugh Strength. Now where have I heard that before?

     

    With a hat tip to Breitbart

    Saturday
    Nov142015

    The Tiger Is Killing Us

    There is a tiger on the outskirts of town and he is eating us, one by one. Each night we hear the screams of another victim, a neighbor, a friend, but always a faceless someone. They are quick to clean up the “mess” lest any panic ensue. But we all know what is happening.

    The tiger is killing us, one by one.

    After each attack the mayor appears and he urges calm. “We are not certain it is a tiger. Let us not cast fear upon the tiger population.” (Does this man live in the same town? Does he not hear the same screams? See the same blood stains? Notice our decreasing numbers?)

    “But tigers are a wonderful species. We must celebrate them for their tiger-ness.” And then, the kicker, he announced, “ We will be bringing in tiger cubs to all the neighborhoods and they shall live among us and we can all get along then. And you shall all see that tigers are a good species, even if there is one bad one here or there.”

    Jones and the local hunters gathered at the town square and formed a posse, of sorts. “We must stop this madness. Come with us to hunt the tiger.” As it headed to the forest, the hunting party was met with force by the local militia and disbanded.

    “To show our tiger friends that we mean them no harm, the authorities will go house to house to collect all guns.” After they took our shotgun and pistols, the sheriff and his men were heading down the street to the next home when we heard that sound again. As we looked up to hear the gurgling from the woods line, a deputy reached down to scratch behind the ears of a little frolicking cub. “Cute little guy,” he said.

    The tiger is killing us, one by one.

     

     

     

     

    “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.”

    Winston Churchill