The Great Foo Bird

In ancient times there was a community known as the Goodnu.

The Goodnu lived on the bank of a mighty river, and were a thriving center for trade, transportation and sustenance. Water was almighty and worshiped as a God.

One day there was a tremendous hurricane far out in the ocean. The storm blew a large flock of Foo birds, a very ugly, evil-looking bird, way off course sending them up river and inland many hundreds of miles to the Goodnu community.

The Goodnu had never seen a Foo bird and were quite curious as to its sudden, and to some, ominous presence.

One day a “Foo” bird flew overhead and screeched: “Foo, Foo” and shit on a man’s head. The man ran screaming into the river to wash it off. As soon as the man washed the turd from his ear, he keeled over suddenly and died on the spot.

The people became uneasy. Some believed that they had done something terribly wrong to anger the River God, and that this bird should be avoided. The Goodnu were now convinced that the “Foo” bird was evil.

The next day a woman was working outside and heard: “Foo, Foo”. Not thinking twice, she looked up to see what it was and a Foo bird dropped a bomb, landing a syrupy turd across her face.

Shocked and panicked, she ran into the river furiously washing her face of this sloppy stew. The village watched in horror as this woman also died immediately once cleansed of the runny turd.

The very next day, a village elder heard the ominous call: “Foo, Foo”. He too was struck right in the forehead by the Foo bird’s turd missile.

His first reaction was confusion, and he sprinted towards the river. However, he stopped short and considered his situation. He had witnessed the terrible deaths of two of his villages’ people in the last two days. He decided not to cleanse the poo pile from his forehead, and sure enough – he lived.

So the elder called a meeting of the village folk, and proclaimed, “Goodnus! If the Foo shits, wear it!”

And they all lived happily ever after.

The Dutchman

One of my favorite songs ever – written by Michael Peter Smith – depicting an elderly couple who are living with the infirmities that come with aging.

Censorship is Real Pt.II

So I seem to have pissed off the Facebook Purity Police once again.

Sheesh – people need to lighten up. This is hysterical.

Censorship Is Real

So within seconds of posting, the photo below, which was captioned “when premature ejaculation might be an issue”, was removed from Facebook.

Yeah … right

Unnecessary Inflammation

There’s been a lot in the news lately about fake news, exaggerated issues, inaccuracy in the media – all sorts of stuff that points to the fact that there is a lot of misinformation floating around, and plenty of people who simply accept that misinformation at face value.

It happens on all sides, and we have to be smart about not accepting it.

Today I received the following missive from an organization called ‘Democracy for America’

Matt --

Before there was Donald Trump, there was Paul LePage.

Maine's Tea Party governor has a trail a mile long of saying and doing horrible, bigoted things -- and, so far, he's getting away with it.

And now -- with Donald Trump's election -- LePage has been emboldened.

On Election Day, Maine voters approved an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour, a major step forward in the fight against income inequality. But LePage told his Department of Labor not to enforce the new $12 minimum wage law.

Defying the voters of his state, LePage won't punish employers who won't comply. If the government doesn't enforce the minimum wage, employers will simply not pay workers what they've earned. He's even calling the initiative a "recommendation" -- which, under the Maine constitution, it isn't. It's law that must be enforced to benefit workers.

This is outrageous. This is lawlessness. And it's grounds for impeachment. LePage was nearly impeached twice in 2016 -- but legislators let him off the hook. Until they act, LePage will continue to say and do terrible things.

»(link to petition)It's time for Democrats everywhere to stand up to right-wing extremists -- from Donald Trump to Paul LePage. Sign the petition and tell Maine legislators: Impeach Gov. LePage!(/link to petition)«

This isn't the first time LePage has nearly been impeached. In January 2016, several Maine legislators called for impeachment when LePage was found to have used state money to intimidate his political opponents. Unfortunately, the legislature voted against impeachment.

In August 2016, LePage once again made racist, bigoted statements about people of color. When a state legislator criticized him for it, LePage called the legislator and left a threatening voicemail. Democrats demanded his resignation, and LePage said he was considering it. But legislators didn't impeach him, wouldn't even censure him, and LePage stayed in office.

The lesson is clear: when someone in a position of power repeatedly abuses that power, and legislators refuse to act, that person's behavior and abuses will only grow worse.

Paul LePage should have been impeached a long time ago. His latest offense -- refusal to enforce the laws of the state and undermining a higher minimum wage -- is clear grounds for impeachment.

If legislators don't act now, LePage will feel he's above the law and can act however he wishes -- just like Donald Trump.

Sign the petition: Tell Maine legislators to impeach Gov. Paul LePage now.

Thank you for standing up for workers against Paul LePage -- and striking a blow against Donald Trump and Trumpism.

- Robert

Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

In reality, a quick trip via Google to the web site reveals that the “Labor Department will take temporary non-enforcement position on tip credit and minimum overtime-exempt salary pending legislative or federal action”, and not begin enforcing an increase for restaurant workers and other ‘tipped’ employees until Jan 31, rather than Jan. 7 – a delay of three weeks. It has zero affect on folks who can expect an increase to $12/hour. press release »

A quick trip – also via Google – finds this Boston Globe article that states the reason – however cockamamie – and that folks affected will be eligible for retroactive reimbursement.
Boston Globe article »

So here’s the thing – this is akin to running into a crowded theater screaming ‘Fire!’ because someone lit a match in the lobby. That’s all. Shame on Democracy for America. For that matter, shame on Fox News, Daily Kos, Breitbart, CNN and the whole lot of ’em for doing the same damn thing every day.

Folks need to settle down and do some fact checking. Plain and simple. Do not take someone else’s word for something – take three minutes and do a little research before letting your knickers burst into flame. Seriously these organizations are simply fanning the flames in order to get you to send them money. Do some fact checking and let your cooler head prevail. It will ultimately save you money *and* frustration. 😉

By the way – here is my response to Robert at Democracy for America:

Hello Robert and Democracy for America,

Actually, your letter is misleading. LePage has said that the Maine DoL will not begin enforcing the the minimum wage increase for tipped folks (restaurant workers, etc) from $3.75 to $5.00 until Jam. 31, three weeks after the mandated effective date of Jan 7, and has no affect on the rest of the workforce, who will still see $12/hour starting Jan 7.

While this is indeed egregious, your exaggeration of fact has seriously tarnished your credibility, at least for me.

Please remove me from your mailing list.

Carry on

– M

So this fellow walks into a wine shop and …

house_concertLast night, before our own show, I had a chance to wander over to 202 North Main Wine Bar & Music Room for a couple of minutes just to say ‘hi’ and wish some folks a Merry Christmas.

202 Wines is a nice room, and Mike Parker has done a splendid job of building a cool listening room environment – comfortable, friendly and a very *very* nice little sound system. It sort of feels like a house concert there rather an actual music establishment. Nice vibe.

Anyway – there was a fellow by the name of Ricky Vacca playing an acoustic guitar and singing to a group of 25 or so captivated listeners. The fact that he was playing left-handed sorta Continue reading “So this fellow walks into a wine shop and …”