Trail Mix Facelift

blog-facelift4We’ve got a new look, partially due to an outdated blog style that became obsolete, and also because it was time for something different.

We’ve had so many iterations since launching nearly 10 years ago (June, 2005) I’ve lost count. But through it all so many of you have stuck around and kept our little corner of the “internets” a safe haven for reasoned and reasonable discussion.

I still have a few tweaks to do on this format. Hope this adjustment is OK with everyone so far.


Militarization of Police?

Most liberals, and many conservatives, are incensed by the “militarization” of local police departments.

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
Militarization refers to the routine use of SWAT equipment for ordinary policing situations, the use of military-style armored vehicles, and the treatment of the public as “enemy combatants.”  Peaceful protesters are treated as “rioters,” and reporters trying to do their jobs are harassed.  In addition, many police officers now intimidate, assault, and/or arrest anyone who tries to take a video of them during confrontations.

As I noted, even some conservatives are questioning militaristic police behavior, conservatives such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

I respectfully disagree.

In fact there are many OTHER public services that should, in my opinion, be “militarized.”

militarypoliceFire Department.   Fire at your house?  Militarized fire fighters will arrive, and treat you and your entire family as “suspected arsonists.”   Face down on the ground, with an assault rifle to your head, you will be given 30 seconds to prove that you are innocent.  If so, you will then be allowed to put out the fire yourself.

Trash Collection.  Did you fail to separate your recyclables?  Don’t be surprised when militarized municipal trash collectors break down your door at 3 AM, handcuff you, put a hood over your head, and load you onto a plane for extraordinary rendition to an Eastern European country for enhanced interrogation.   (“Are you now, or have you ever been, a global warming denier?”)

Public Library.   Talking too loud?  Rather than “shushing” you a librarian/sniper, from a perch above the circulation desk, will fire a warning shot into an arm or leg.  Overdue Book? (Don’t even ask.)

I’m sure you will agree that our local communities will be MUCH more law-abiding if these changes are made.


For the benefit of those who have not been in the military, I conclude with a clip from “Stripes.”

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Chuck in Charge

Congrats to my pal, Chuck Todd, who’s taking over NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

chuckWashington Post (Ben Terris) — People can finally stop speculating about Meet the Press. NBC News President Deborah Turness announced that David Gregory, who has been hosting for almost six years, will leave the network.

Todd came to D.C. from Miami as an undergraduate at George Washington University, and landed a job in 1992 at National Journal’s Hotline.

“He was a force of nature from day one,” says Craig Crawford who was the Hotline editor when Todd started. “He was so deep into politics that he was as enthusiastic about city council elections as presidential campaigns. He had to compromise just to keep the Hotline from being 300 pages every day.”

“There is no one with a bigger passion for politics than Chuck,” Turness said in her email. “His unique ability to deliver that passion with razor sharp analysis and infectious enthusiasm makes him the perfect next generation moderator of this beloved broadcast.”

As his former boss Crawford says, knowing the material, that’s only half the equation for why Todd will be a good fit at MTP. “The other half is having an engaging personality,” Crawford says. “He loves people, and is chattier than Gregory. He’ll be able to break down barriers and get people off of their talking points.”

Do You Have As Good A Sense Of Humor As Your Dog?

The fall of Tricky Dick has always brought back memories, many of which I would rather forget.

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc
It also brings back wonderings, such as why has America lacked a sense of humor? Has our beloved nation always lacked an appreciation for a good joke?

I do remember when we joined Ike in his pleasant life, even during his stay at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado following his heart attack. When he played golf and fished, little was there from the Democrats running him down for taking the time to relax. He did after all save civilization from the Nazis.

JKF evokes wonderful memories, except for those who point out his womanizing, even the swims in the White House pool, while Jackie was otherwise busy. He died a death that was horrendous, but he did have a sense humor that was shared with the American public, and we were going to the moon.

Johnson was strange and scary. He did send a lot of us to Vietnam on a fully paid trip, including rack and rations — and, whatever ammunition we needed. People tended to not enjoy his sense of humor as it was coarse and often of his own making.  Especially his dogs.  He was a rather rough man and picking up his dogs by their ears was not funny.  He did not understand the mail that arrived letting him know that either.

Then we get to Nixschlect (1). Oh did he ever change the tenor of America. I remember my father-in-law trying to brush aside what a bad guy Nixon was. He even stood up for Agnew (uck). The years Nixon was in office were gloomy. Even his Checkers speech was a downer.

maxresdefaultFord, he wanted to send us back into Vietnam. The falling down routine Chevy Chase did was funny, except it was not Ford. The man was an athlete and showed it, most of the time. Was Ford funny? In a way. He was a change from Johnson and Nixon and the Vietnam War, except for those of us frozen in our orders to go back to the place.

Carter. Oh how I wish he was funny. SNL continued on with the presidential follies with the peanut farmer. The sad thing is Carter is one of those real nice guys, the type you know is real and honest. But, he was not presidential material.

Then we get to the real Bonzo, Reagan. His “genuine” humor was as genuine as a three dollar bill. He destroyed more of the American sense of laughter with his destruction of America. “Welfare queens,” hah, just another way of hurting the poor. Just as we will never know the true extent of W. Wilson’s incapacity, leaving the government to his wife and others. We may never know the extent of the power taking by those around Ronnie due to his Alzheimers.

Bush the Elder leaves me thinking he could tell a good joke, however he always looked like he had intestinal cramps. And, his best joke about not raising taxes fell very flat.

Leading me to the man who probably has as many jokes in his head as Gracie Allen: Bill “I never said I screwed her” Clinton. The best thing about Bill is that he drives the Republicans crazy. Caught getting a BJ and not from HRC, they try their best to destroy him and it does not work. His aw-shucks is not from Mayberry, but it is real and it is funny to still watch the Republicans unable to understand him or Hillary. I suppose that is a joke a dog would enjoy.

The next joker in office I will skip. His whole life has been a . . .

Finally we get to the man who has a gentle sense of humor, one that we rarely get to enjoy. But, then he is a professor.  I should be one in awe of the man’s sense of humor being that I am in a very unfunny business (federal database and computer work), but he really has not wowed anyone yet with a real thigh slapper.  He stays rather cool and not willing to say anything around the break room that would leave us chuckling for hours.

Dogs-Playing-Poker-Painting-19201080Okay, dogs do jokes. Yes, really.  Dogs have a great sense of humor. You just have to be attuned to it.   How many times have you stood in the middle of the world calling your dog, without results? And, then you turn around, there is your dog with a funny curled up lip? Well, that was a dog joke. And, with the laughing curled up lip, your dog thought it was pretty funny. Hey, it was funny. You yelling and yelling, with arms flailing, and there was Rex right there, being quiet and not letting you know;  that was the funny. Sure, it is not up there with bombing Cambodia or a little blue dress, but then it is from a dog.

Start watching and enjoying our canine friends and what they tell us. We have a lot in common and it is some of them tell better jokes than the Republicans can.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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I Am NOT A Crook – yeah, sure

Forty years ago Saturday Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency.

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc
In honor of the first president to exit the office while still breathing before the end of his term, here’s to you Tricky Dickie.

Very little is ever mentioned of Nixon’s toll on the military once Watergate hit the headlines.  We were still hot in ‘Nam, and a lot of us had orders to go (more on what happened later).  Korea was still a short tour, which means it was a hazardous place to be.  Africa was and still is a destination where few want to go.

What we did do was read, listen to the television and radio, and constantly ask anyone in Washington and the Pentagon what was going on.  At the time I was at Lowry AFB, Denver, CO. and then Columbus AFB, MS.  The topic of discussion was what our boss was up to and what would happen to us.

Always, what would happen to us.  He was running the show.  He had the power of being Commander in Chief to send us anywhere and do anything, including blowing up the Earth.  The talks were often nervous for those going to B-52 training, think of Dr. Strangelove How I Learned to Love The Bomb, who would be crew on those planes.

nixon-4watergate-1024x852What was hardest for all of us was the period when Nixon’s vocal actions were being played on air after the discovery of the taping system and the Court said he had to turn the tapes over.  The political atmosphere was tense.  There was great concern about the economy; we were entering into a recession.  As bad as military pay is now, it was worse then.

We were not sure what to expect from the Congress and the White House for anything for about two years.  It was tough looking at Nixon’s picture in all the offices at the bases, but funny too (the dude was weird looking).

There were laughs too.  The political pundits had a blast.  So did the comics and just about anyone who could shrug their shoulders.  The Nixon scowl was always good for a drink in the NCO club.

All that happened – happened daily.  The revelations of stuff kept coming out every day.  The testimony in Congress was stunning and shocking.  The investigative news media (something you need to do a bing or google search for as they are a rare and endangered species now) was dredging up all sorts of things.  And it was in the papers, on radio and television – every day.  All the time.  Cronkite giving the body count and then the Watergate updates

Yup, those were the days.  And, the peace in Vietnam plodded along, all the while the military wondered what was going to be their role in all of the outcomes.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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The War on Whites

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
When asked by right wing talk radio host Laura Ingraham why the GOP has trouble attracting black voters, Alabama Congressional Representative Mo Brooks said…

Mo Brooks
Mo Brooks

“This is a part of the WAR ON WHITES that’s being launched by the Democratic Party and the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else.”Naturally, I found the idea of a War on Whites intriguing.

I thought, “Great idea!  Where do I enlist?”

One of my favorite Reggae songs, “Kill the White People,” by Eddie Murphy.

After a brief search I discovered a “War on Whites: Recruitment” menu tab on the White House web page.

I was pleased to discover that, as an Irish Catholic, I was considered “not quite white,” so it was OK for me to sign up.

I have been assigned to a “behind the lines,” commando unit.

Our mission is to sneak into the houses of cranky old white men, hide their TV remote, sabotage their favorite chair by jamming a beer can into the recliner mechanism, and then tow away their pick-up truck.

When we have broken their will to resist, we’ll meet in Cairo to negotiate a cease fire.

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Double, double, toil and trouble

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And fall on th’other . . .
– Macbeth Act 1, scene 7.25-28

GOP-led House Authorizes Lawsuit Against Obama

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc

Oh but the spittle and froth coming from the mouths of so many Republicans is to be feared by so many lost in fog of their own making.  Can we mere humans grasp the lawlessness of our president?  No.  It is only seen by those who have seen the shimmering mirage of greatness created by their own masters.

Living in the bounded area called D.C. region, which tends to be a line scribbled on maps delineating about four million people.  But, it fails to circle a large white building with a big dome over it.  A building housing less than one thousand of the most powerful people on earth.

It is within that building that some of the nuttiest and craziest talk is emoted.  Shakespeare would have dozens of concepts to turn into plays, most likely about the folly of fools.  The bravado of the idiots must sound wonderful to their own ears.  But, this makes Macbeth’s acts seem reasonable.

obama-wanted-posterImpeach the most lawless president ever? That is outright crazy talk.  Sue the guy.  That will teach him a lesson. And, it is a warm-up act for the big, full stage performance of impeachment.  Impeachment will show the black guy in the White House who is really running the country.

As fed up with war as the American public is, they have no appetite for the constant talk of the fools for impeachment.  Can the Republicans understand that most, probably the 70% (at least) of the populous who are not Republican by signature, do not see what they see. The citizens do not hear what they hear.  The voters do not feel what they feel.

Given that Republican gerrymandering has created safe districts for the fools, we have to live with them saying and doing things that if not for their protected seats would have them voted out or just plain ignored.  Grabbing the microphone to spew talk intended to have the American public joining them on their march to a new world order — it is that very talk that tells the people to do the opposite.

Americans are not in favor of impeaching a president for any reason, let alone reasons that are created by and make sense only to a handful of elected representatives, senators and listeners of certain television channels or radio stations.  Why do these creatures continually fall upon their swords while talking about standing up to a president?  They must see some reward, but I believe it is only personal and limited; nothing any other American can understand or feel.

Macbeth is trying to create some reason to do the foul deed when no reason exists.  Just like the jesters of the Republican party.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Will Durst: Stuck on Stuck

Will Durst (“Comedy for people who read, or know someone who does”):

Will Durst
Will Durst

“Just following the will of the people.” That’s been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn’t matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska.

According to them, the people want… zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And to mask their inaction, Republicans have coordinated a feeding frenzy that would make rabid hyenas jealous.

Something about Obama drives them crazier than chocolate banana fritters with raspberry sprinkles in a bento box. Maybe because he’s the smartest guy in the room and not the least bit shy about sharing that opinion. Maybe he’s the ultimate anti-Bush. Or there’s something about him that looks different. Extremely different. Could be the ears.

What it boils down to is… “Open Season on Obama.” The memos have circulated. The strategy is conspicuous. To derail any possible presidential accomplishment by stalling progress and tossing a continuous slew of dastardly insults onto and at his person. And the mud is flying faster than fingers in a steno pool. Different circus. Same clowns.

John Boehner plans to sue the President. For what? Not even he knows, but you can be sure, the term “smarty pants” will be bandied about. He did drop some tidbit about objecting to the President changing the employer mandate to Obama Care, but that can’t be the source of his irritation, since the GOP insisted on it. It would be like slapping some other family’s child for obeying you.

Dick Cheney called him the Worst President of his lifetime. Which is quite a coincidence, since many argue Dick Cheney was the worst president of Obama’s lifetime. Obama should actually take solace from this charge, since Dick Cheney has been pretty much wrong about pretty much everything since at least 1999… Read More

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic based in San Francisco.

Flashback Sunday: 1945

Bill Crawford
Bill Crawford

Trail Mix Southern Command (Orlando) — Rummaging through some old photos we came across this image of my parents with their high school graduation class (Mt. Vernon KY, 1945).

Bill Crawford
Toby Crawford

They were dating at the time, so not sure why they’re on opposite sides of the photograph (Dad says they were “off and on” — perhaps this was an off day; Mom says she was probably mad he skipped a date to go squirrel hunting). They celebrate their 64th Wedding Anniversary next month.

Mt. Vernon High School (KY)
1945 Senior Class
(click to enlarge)

By Craig Crawford (Chicago Tribune)
1945, What a Year — Losing FDR, Winning Two Wars, Building a New Nation

1945 Oscars

  • Best Picture:
    “THE LOST WEEKEND” — Nominees:  “Anchors Aweigh” / “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / “Mildred Pierce” / “Spellbound”
  • Actor:
    RAY MILLAND in “The Lost Weekend” — Nominees: Bing Crosby in “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / Gene Kelly in “Anchors Aweigh” / Gregory Peck in “The Keys of the Kingdom” / Cornel Wilde in “A Song to Remember”
  • Actress:
    JOAN CRAWFORD in “Mildred Pierce” — Nominees: Ingrid Bergman in “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / Greer Garson in “The Valley of Decision” / Jennifer Jones in “Love Letters” / Gene Tierney in “Leave Her to Heaven”

Top Five Songs

  • Les Brown & Doris Day, “Sentimental Journey”
  • The Andrews Sisters, “Rum & Coca-Cola”
  • Perry Como, “Till the End of Time”
  • Johnny Mercer, “On the Atcheson, Topeka & the Sante Fe”
  • Les Brown & Doris Day, “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time”

Are You an Independent? Take the Test.

Am I an Independent?

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5

This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the non-party of unsuccessful presidential Candidates John Anderson and Ross Perot, and current U.S. Senator from Maine, Angus King.

(1) The two-party system in the USA is ….

  • (a) the direct result of our “winner-take-all” system of elections rather than the proportional representation characteristic of most other democracies which use a parliamentary system of government.
  • (b) God’s plan: all good people are Republicans and all evil people are Democrats.
  • (c) what was the question?

(2)  The immigration crisis in the USA can be solved by…

  • (a) a more flexible policy that will allow a quicker route to citizenship.
  • (b) building a wall with broken glass on top, landmines, and machine-gun towers.
  • (c) whatever.

Political Ideology(3) Russian imperial expansion can be checked by…

  • (a) a well-designed program of sanctions, in coordination with our European allies.
  • (b) invasion of and occupation of Ukraine.  (We will be welcomed as liberators.)
  • (c) I need to see some 10-second political ads before I can decide.

(4) The U.S. economy can be strengthened by….

  • (a) increasing taxes and creating programs that benefit the lower and middle classes.
  • (b) decreasing taxes that hurt “job creators”: big corporations and the 1%.
  • (c) all of the above.

(5) Global warming is…

  • (a) a scientific fact.
  • (b) a liberal myth.
  • (c) who cares?

If you answered (c) to three or more questions, you are an Independent.

More tests: Are You a Democrat? Are You a Republican?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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