Heed The Prophets

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Lately events have me thinking about a Special Comment Keith Olbermann gave in late October, 2010, just before the midterm elections. Remember then? The Tea Party had arisen & was fielding candidates.

Going back over Mr Olbermann’s (incredibly) prophetic words I couldn’t help but think how they apply today. The following is taken from “If the Tea Party Wins, America Loses” & appeared on Countdown. Read, heed, remember.

It is as if a group of moderately talented performers has walked on stage at a comedy club on Improv night. Each hears a shout from the audience, consisting of a bizarre but just barely plausible fear or hatred or neurosis or prejudice …

And the instructions are not to improvise a comedy sketch, but to elect a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the ’30s, or backward to hanging union organizers, or backward to the Trusts and the Robber Barons …

You are willing to let these people run this country? This is the America you want? This is the America you are willing to permit? These are the kind of cranks, menaces, mercenaries and authoritarians you will turn this country over to?

If you sit there next Tuesday and let this happen, whose fault will that be? Not really theirs. They are taught that freedom is to be seized and rationed. They can sleep at night having advanced themselves and their puppeteers and to hell with everybody else.

They see the greatness of America not in its people but in its corporations. They see the success of America not in hard work but in business swindles. They see the worthiness of America not in its quality of life but in its quality of investing. They see the future of America not in progress, but in revolution to establish a theocracy for white males, with dissent caged and individuality suppressed.

They see America not for what it is, nor what it can be. They see delusions, specters, fantasies; they see communists under every bed and a gun in every hand. They see tax breaks for the rich and delayed retirement for everyone else. They fight the redistribution of wealth not because they oppose redistribution, but because their sole purpose is to protect wealth and keep it where they think it belongs – in the bank accounts of the wealthy.

They want to make the world safe for Bernie Madoff. But you know better. If you sit there next Tuesday – if you sit there tomorrow, and the rest of this week – and you let this cataclysm unfold, you have enabled this.

It is one thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from without. It is a worse thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from within.

But it is the worst thing to sit back and let it happen, to not find the time and the means to convince just one other sane voter to put aside the disappointment of the last two years and look to the future and vote …

This is the week in which the Three Card Monte dealers hope to take over the government – the candidates who want their own way, who will say anything to make palatable their real identities as agents of regression, repression and corporate sovereignty. They are here, they have energized the self-serving and the greedy and the proudly ill-informed.


Those words were written almost seven years ago.


Total Eclipse of the Heart … and Integrity … and Decency …

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

My apologies to everyone. I blame Jace for encouraging this ūüėČ

The Grand Old Party of Lincoln

Works only on one thing today.

Removing all traces of the Black President

He was an aberration, in their way.

The Party that spawned Progressives

Now exemplifies saying No.

Their circle of negativity gets larger

Obstruction that ever grows.

Power is quite corrupting

To those who are so inclined.

A certain click that makes one tick

The moral dividing line.

Today’s Republicans live by the creed

That all that matters is how to succeed.

No thoughts on charity, only lowering taxes

Self enrichment, pettiness, grinding axes.

As the rich get even richer

Republicans will guarantee

A plan, of course, as usual

Benefitting only white men of property.

Think before you make that choice

Between which Candidate becomes your voice.

Vote intelligently, vote for the best

And help get America out of this mess.

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A Welcome Repast

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Summer is the time for reunions, potlucks, picnics. Every family has particular food favorites, that special dish that has to be on the menu, recipes passed down & passed around. Safe to say we all have one (or two, or three) that qualify.

My maternal Grandmother had a sister, Dora, who was an amazing cook, baker & preserver. She had the “knack.” Her spotless white house in Coopers Plains, New York, always smelled of pickling spice & vinegar from July through September.

My family’s favorite Dora recipe¬†is her¬†Brown Bread. Don’t know when she started making it or where she got the recipe, but safe to say it goes back to World War One-ish. It remains my brother’s favorite & I make it for him as a treat & as a tribute to all those faces, long gone, from reunions past. A taste of this simple bread brings back memories. No one is truly gone if they are remembered.

What foods are special to you? More importantly, who were the loved ones behind these recipes? Share the food, share their stories.

Dora’s Brown Bread

  • Mix together in a large bowl:
  • 2 cups Graham Flour
  • 1 cup unbleached White Flour
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • Then add:
  • 1/2 cup Molasses (Light or Dark; your choice)
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening (Cooking Oil works fine too)

Mix until just blended; pour into two greased 8″x 4″ bread pans. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until center tests done. Cool about 10 minutes in the pans & then turn out onto rack to finish cooling. This tastes better if wrapped in foil overnight before serving; keeps several days.

A tasty addition is tossing in a handful of raisins when mixing in the wet ingredients.

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Planting a Garden

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The other day I commented about how certain elements on the Right are recruiting, mentoring, supporting college students for future Leadership within their communities & national office. Establishing friendships & networks. Simple, smart. Scary if you don’t believe as they do.

Does the Democratic Party have such a plan or strategy? I ask this in all curiosity & concern. Who are the Leaders; are there Leaders; is there Leadership? The harvest you reap depends on the quantity & quality of the seeds you plant. The more you plant, the better odds of success against unforeseen obstacles & circumstances. Simple, smart, commonsense. The future is now.

The Man Who Reclaimed His Head

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Now & then you see a movie that, though not being the best, nevertheless sticks with you. I grew up in the central Southern Tier of New York State. Our cable company carried the TV station out of Elmira which was something¬†close to¬†UHF + a parody of SCTV’s premise. Every Saturday afternoon they showed obscure black & white films from the 1930s & 40s, probably because they were cheap. A plus side to this was I watched quite a few movies you’ve never heard of & never will. One such film was The Man Who Reclaimed His Head, starring my favorite male actor, Claude Rains. It’s one weird ride. It’s also stayed with me all these years.

The story takes place in 1914-15 France. Paul Verin (Claude Rains) is a writer, specifically about politics. He is a Pacifist. He is also poor & married to Adele (Joan Bennett gone blonde, as wooden & stilted an actress as ever, totally miscast. Her scenes drag. Just talking truth here.) Adele wants to ditch their town & move to Paris. The couple has a daughter, Linette (played by Baby Jane, real name: Juanita Quigley.)

Another fav actor, Lionel Atwill, plays Henri Dumont, a politician with big dreams who, though disagreeing with Verin on many subjects, acknowledges the writer’s brilliance. Dumont makes a deal with Verin: In exchange for ghost writing editorials (to be published under Dumont’s name) Verin will get paid handsomely. Deal done, Dumont gets nationally hailed as a friend of the People & Peace; Adele gets to return to Paris & spend Verin’s new wealth. Then Archduke Franz Ferdinand goes to Sarajevo…..

War! Uh-oh. Pacifism loses a lotta cachet. Rich weapons manufacturers meet with Dumont suggesting he change his views. Dumont, being the politician he is, accepts. Now how to deal with Verin? Why,¬†start charming Adele, who being Adele, is easily swayed by francs, lots of ’em. Dumont rises to power; voters believe him to be a man of integrity based on his editorials. Verin, disgusted,¬†leaves Dumont, eventually ending up in the Army. Rumor gets to Verin that Dumont & Adele are more than just good friends. Verin goes over the edge & gets back to Paris, walking in on Dumont & Adele. Verin pulls out his bayonet & kills Dumont. Not just kills: the title of the movie gives away how Verin does in Dumont. Btw, Verin carries the, uh, trophy in a satchel & takes it with him when he goes & confesses. Yep.

After recounting this oddly affecting movie, I have to say it remains relevant, as far as lying, user Politicians, Arms Dealers & Financiers exploiting war for profit, a gullible Public wanting & willing to believe a message when slickly offered in an uber Patriotic atmosphere, presented with an oh-so-professional believability. I certainly don’t condone violence¬†or murder. Just how far can one be pushed before acting to reclaim your life? Your Country? Funny what a movie from 1934 continues to say even today. Any one listening?

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