Prince: It’s Been Almost Two Years… Seems Like Yesterday


April 21, 2018 will mark the second anniversary of the death of Prince. It still seems like just the other day. I grew up in Minneapolis in the same era as Prince, yet we never crossed paths at that time. He was Northside and I was Southside. I was into athletics and he was music. We had mutual friends. One of my basketball teammates was “Jellybean Johnson” of The Time. Jellybean’s nickname was Buddy Miles then (another famous drummer) and he was always carrying drumsticks beating on things. When teenaged Prince was playing in clubs with his band. My parents weren’t about that life which meant I wasn’t about that life either. We didn’t cross paths.

My first Prince concert was in Jacksonville, FL and he was opening for Ashford & Simpson. The skinny kid with the big ‘fro and black bikini drawers was singing songs like, “Head,” and “When You Were Mine,” from the “Dirty Mind” album. The title track will always be one of my favorites.


“It doesn’t matter where we are

It doesn’t matter who’s around

It doesn’t matter

I just want to lay ya down”

The next time I saw Prince was at a club in St. Paul, MN called, “The Taste.” For those of you that saw “Purple Rain,” it was the club where Apollonia performed with the group Morris Day put together. Prince was sitting alone at a small table and I did what you’re supposed to do when a man wants to be left alone. I let him be. No asking for autographs or declaring what a fan I was. I gave him his space.

A couple years later, the movie, “Purple Rain” came out. Prince mania started then and never really died. My son was born around that time and he heard Prince in his crib instead of lullaby’s. Two of the singles from the album were #1 hits. The album has sold well over 25 million copies and as of a few years ago was the third best-selling album ever. It was the Number One Soundtrack of all time and certified platinum 13-times! My youngest daughter grew up on Prince as well. It may have confused other drivers to see us rocking out to Prince while stopped at a light. That was just the way it was.


“I never meant to cause you any sorrow

I never meant to cause you any pain

I only wanted one time to see you laughing

I only want to see you laughing in the Purple Rain”

The next time I saw him was several years later in Lakeland, FL, I brought someone I was dating, who wanted to walk around the lobby and see who was there rather than watch the show. Then she wanted something to drink… later to eat. I should have known then the relationship wasn’t going to work out. At that concert, Prince performed “Purple Rain” live for the first time in years and but for fortunate timing I might have missed it.

We attended another Prince concert together in Tampa at an arena and I set the ground rules in advance. “I will buy you anything you want to eat or drink before the show starts. If you want something during the show or to go mingle, you’re certainly welcome but I am staying in place and don’t intend to miss a moment of the show.”

I bought my tickets for that show on-line, because I was a member of the NPG Club (New Power Generation), I could buy advance tickets and had excellent seats on the floor, 12 rows from the stage. I was mildly surprised that the majority of fans nearby were white but I knew Prince had an international fan base. It didn’t surprise me when they stood the entire concert, singing along and knowing every word. It did unnerve me when Prince pulled out an obscure song that I, his biggest fan, didn’t know, and they were still standing, singing every word. It was the best concert I attended in my life.

At that time, I was in the novelty merchandising business where Prince affected my life twice. I was in Minneapolis, working at the first Super Bowl held there. A group of us went to a downtown BBQ restaurant which was more like fine dining… but BBQ. The place was owned by Minneapolis Central High School’s former track star Harry Davis who I swear had the largest head I’ve ever seen. I wonder how much faster he could have been if his head was just a bit smaller? Back to Prince, I did what you’re supposed to do when a man is eating food with his friends. I left him alone.

Back in Florida, I worked a small concert in Tampa at the Sun Dome and when we got out (about 1 am) we had to drive to Miami for the Florida Marlins home opener. Spider, Joe, Travers and I piled into my car and I drove. The route took us through Alligator Alley which is the darkest most desolate stretch of Interstate highway I’ve ever encountered. Now and then, someone would wake up and ask if I was okay? I said, “I’m good” and they went back to sleep. It was probably best they slept through, “The Black Album” because they wouldn’t have understood but Prince did what I needed him to do and we got there just fine.

Believe me I have more Prince stories, some not fit to print. I’d really like to hear yours. Please share your Prince story in the comments and pass this along to any true Prince fans you know so they can tell theirs.


“My name is Prince, and I am funky

My name is Prince, the one and only”

R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 — April 21, 2016)

What We Learned From The Stormy Daniels “60 Minutes} Interview


I watched the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes so you wouldn’t have to. While we heard many of the things she and her lawyer had been saying in the media the last several weeks. There were some things worth noting.

When she was preparing to do an interview in a magazine before the election in 2016. She was with her infant daughter and approached in a parking lot while she was getting out of her car. The man said, Leave Trump alone, forget the story. Such a beautiful young girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mother!”

About whether they had unprotected sex?

Ms. Daniels said they met in July 2006 at a golf tournament and Trump invited her to dinner in his suite. His initial conversation was all about himself, he showed her a magazine with his picture on the cover. She said, “That actually works for you? Somebody ought to take that magazine from you and spank you with it.” She asked him for the magazine and told him to turn around and drop his pants. He lowered them somewhat with his underwear still on and she swatted him a couple times. After that, they settled into a normal conversation.


She got up and used the restroom and when she came out he was sitting on the edge of the bed. She said she didn’t want to have sex with him but faulted herself for putting herself in the situation. She stated she was “not a victim” but dumb for having gone to his room alone. She said they did have sex, without a condom.


She said Trump didn’t want to talk about his wife Melania who had recently given birth to their son Barron. He brushed the subject aside saying, “It’s okay, we sleep in separate bedrooms.” He also told her, “You remind me of my daughter.”


Stormy indicated she accepted invitations to meet Trump at a “Trump Vodka Launch Party” in California and at Trump Tower. He had been suggesting he could get her on “Celebrity Apprentice” and they met again at the Beverly Hills Hotel to discuss it but they mostly watched a documentary on sharks. After four hours of watching TV, she asked about the Celebrity Apprentice and he said he’d have an answer, “within a week.” He wanted sex but she grabbed her purse and left. A month later he contacted her saying he couldn’t make it happen with her Celebrity Apprentice appearance.

Stormy’s lawyer appeared to discuss whether the $130,000 payment she received from Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen was a violation of Federal Election Commission rules. He says it was and provided documentation that correspondence related to the money was sent to Cohen via the Trump Organization to Trump Tower. A former F.E.C. Chairman appointed by George Bush said how troubling the payment was whether Trump knew or not and it was likely a violation in any circumstance.


Stormy was directed by her lawyer not to answer questions about videos, letters, texts, or photo’s she may have retained.

Michael Cohen and Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to be interviewed for the story.

To be continued…

What We Learned From The Stormy Daniels Interview On “60 Minutes.”

I watched the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes so you wouldn’t have to. While we heard many of the things she and her lawyer had been saying in the media the last several weeks. There were some things worth noting.

When she was preparing to do an interview in a magazine before the election in 2016. She was with her infant daughter and approached in a parking lot while she was getting out of her car. The man said, Leave Trump alone, forget the story. Such a beautiful young girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mother!”

About whether they had unprotected sex?

Ms. Daniels said they met in July 2006 at a golf tournament and Trump invited her to dinner in his suite. His initial conversation was all about himself, he showed her a magazine with his picture on the cover. She said, “That actually works for you? Somebody ought to take that magazine from you and spank you with it.” She asked him for the magazine and told him to turn around and drop his pants. He lowered them somewhat with his underwear still on and she swatted him a couple times. After that, they settled into a normal conversation.

a a a a a a a a a stormiee

She got up and used the restroom and when she came out he was sitting on the edge of the bed. She said she didn’t want to have sex with him but faulted herself for putting herself in the situation. She stated she was “not a victim” but dumb for having gone to his room alone. She said they did have sex, without a condom.

a a a a a a a a a stormy

She said Trump didn’t want to talk about his wife Melania who had recently given birth to their son Barron. He brushed the subject aside saying, “It’s okay, we sleep in separate bedrooms.” He also told her, “You remind me of my daughter.”

a a a a a a a a a stormya

Stormy indicated she accepted invitations to meet Trump at a “Trump Vodka Launch Party” in California and at Trump Tower. He had been suggesting he could get her on “Celebrity Apprentice” and they met again at the Beverly Hills Hotel to discuss it but they mostly watched a documentary on sharks. After four hours of watching TV, she asked about the Celebrity Apprentice and he said he’d have an answer, “within a week.” He wanted sex but she grabbed her purse and left. A month later he contacted her saying he couldn’t make it happen with her Celebrity Apprentice appearance.

Stormy’s lawyer appeared to discuss whether the $130,000 payment she received from Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen was a violation of Federal Election Commission rules. He says it was and provided documentation that correspondence related to the money was sent to Cohen via the Trump Organization to Trump Tower. A former F.E.C. Chairman appointed by George Bush said how troubling the payment was whether Trump knew or not and it was likely a violation in any circumstance.

a a a a a a a a a storrmmee

Stormy was directed by her lawyer not to answer questions about videos, letters, texts, or photo’s she may have retained.

Michael Cohen and Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to be interviewed for the story.

To be continued…

The Fox News Version Of The, “March For Our Lives”


“Well-intentioned but misguided”


“Who paid for all this.”


“We’ll see how long they can maintain their enthusiasm?”


“Gun control ideas sound good, but are deeply flawed and won’t save lives.”


“The ‘March for Our Lives’ taking place across the nation Saturday is backed by wealthy figures and is calling for things that are unconstitutional and irrational.”


“Isn’t that disgusting? I mean, we’re tuning in to high school assemblies, to get the aggregated wisdom of 18 year olds.”

The Fox News Version Of The, “March For Our Lives”

“Well-intentioned but misguided”

a a a a a a a a a a march largecrowd

“Who paid for all this.”

a a a a a a a a a a marchgoodgroup

“We’ll see how long they can maintain their enthusiasm?”

a a a a a a a a a a marchblackgirl

“Gun control ideas sound good, but are deeply flawed and won’t save lives.”

a a a a a a a a a a marchchild

“The ‘March for Our Lives’ taking place across the nation Saturday is backed by wealthy figures and is calling for things that are unconstitutional and irrational.”

a a a a a a a a a a marchcrowd

“Isn’t that disgusting? I mean, we’re tuning in to high school assemblies, to get the aggregated wisdom of 18 year olds.”

 

How Donald Trump, Fox News, And The Republican Congress Destroyed The World

The world has been destroyed, well most of it anyway. Ironically a few of those shithouse countries in Africa survived, missing the nuclear fallout due to trade winds, good fortune, and perhaps some Wakandan technology.

Because no one that knows is left to tell the story, I’ll leave this message which may have missed a couple of the particulars, that describes what happened and who is responsible.

To understand what happened, you have to have an idea of the histories of two old men that followed more or less in the footsteps of their fathers. The eldest, Rupert Murdoch (87) was the son of the esteemed Sir Keith Murdoch, who was an esteemed reporter and editor of, The Herald and Weekly Times publishing company. Sir Richard Murdoch died when his son was twenty-one. Rupert Murdoch used the fortune left behind to start his own company, News Limited.

Donald Trump (71) was the son of New York real estate developer Fred Trump, and he worked alongside his father who lived to the ripe age of 93. Trump allegedly got his start with a million-dollar loan from his father and repeatedly went to daddy for additional funds as many of his projects didn’t work out. When he died, Fred Trump suffered from Alzheimer’s disease which I bring up for no particular reason.

Rupert had always been groomed by his father to enter the family business. He was co-editor of his grammar school newspaper, he attended Oxford and managed, Oxford Student Publications Limited. He worked as a sub-editor for the Daily Express for two years. After his father’s death from cancer, Rupert left Oxford to come home and manage the family business. He soon began making acquisitions and expanding his newspaper empire, first in Australia, then the United Kingdom, and in 1973 made his first foray into the United States, when he bought the San Antonio Express-News. In September of 1985, he became a naturalized US Citizen in order to qualify to own a US television station. In 1984 he bought a stake in 20th Century Fox and in 1996 launched Fox News.

Donald Trump had decided to make Manhattan his oyster and had been involved in several real estate deals, starting with his purchasing a 50% stake in the troubled Commodore Hotel in 1978. The purchase was facilitated by a $70 million loan, jointly guaranteed by his father and Hyatt hotels. It reopened as the Grand Hyatt Hotel, next to the Grand Central Terminal. The same year he finished negotiations to build Trump Tower. He made way for the building by demolishing an old Bonwit Teller store, using undocumented Polish workers and destroying some art deco features which had been marked for preservation. Trump continued to acquire several major buildings in Manhattan along with property in Palm Beach, FL including Mar-a-Lago, and some Atlantic City hotels. The growth of the now named, Trump Organization did not come without hiccups including multiple bankruptcies, several unpaid contractors, undocumented workers, and lawsuits. His credit was so bad he couldn’t obtain financing from U.S. banks and found funding from Deutsche Bank, notorious for Russian money laundering having paid a $630 million fine for its role in a $10 Billion money laundering scheme. He later, according to each of his sons, got money directly from Russia which is now being investigated.

Murdoch had always maintained close ties to government officials including those in the Thatcher government in the United Kingdom and the Republican Party in the United States. He diverged from Republicans in one policy area, being a fan of more open immigration policy as opposed to the Republicans becoming gradually more closed and Nationalistic. Fox gained it greatest growth in the years when Republicans were out of power, maintaining the steady drumbeat of opposition to Democrats, specifically the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They got away from basic news programming instead focusing on opinion shows, more often focused on fostering hysteria rather than speaking truth. During the Obama years, they provided a forum for a thirsty real estate developer, known as much for his braggadocio and larger than life television personality that constantly proclaimed President Obama was not an American and he was seeking proof, having dispatched private detectives to Hawaii to prove the fraud and we “won’t believe what they are finding out.” In 2011, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump was embarrassed by the President on National television after having produced his long form birth certificate. At the same time, President Obama was having carried out the successful raid which killed Osama Bin Laden, making Trump temporarily a laughing stock and figure of derision. It was then Trump decided he would become President.

On June 16, 2015, Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Riding down the escalator of Trump Tower ahead of his third wife Melania. He made a speech highlighting illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the national debt, and Islamic terrorism. He spoke in generalities, often contradicted himself, but he was good television, constantly berating his Republican opponents in the Primary election and the present administration. Having little use for truth and ignoring fact checkers, he was the darling of the news media who saw their own ratings and advertising revenues rise when Trump was on TV so they diligently followed his every appearance, giving him free advertising and drowning out all his challengers. This was true of media in general, but particularly Fox News.

To understand Trump you have to go back to the little boy who was sent to military school because he kept making trips to Manhattan as a young teen without permissions. He got exposure to the military structure, admiring the power and control maintained by the officers, wanting that kind of power for himself. He would never seek it in the actual military, getting five deferments, four for college and one for alleged bone spurs in his feet. He watched and complained while many of his poor classmates served in Vietnam. He talked tough but never demonstrated it other than self-serving stories, most of them debunked where he acted heroically. He is narcissistic, egotistical, self-centered and has a need for constant affirmation. He imagines himself to be the smartest person in any room which is rarely true. He is also a pathological liar, which has worked for him most of his life because those who worked for him were afraid to challenge him because they depended on him for employment. He surrounded himself with family and sycophants, looking to do his bidding.

Fox News cared not about Trump’s lack of qualifications to be Mayor, let alone President. Because he had no ideology, the projected theirs upon him, crediting him with brilliance when the actual term should have been witless. He was all personality and no policy and they rode that horse to high earnings, giving him unconditional support and unlimited airtime, they shielded him from every mistake by either ignoring them or giving credence to the “alternate facts” promoted by his surrogates. Trump crushed his Republican opponents and went on to face his Democrat challenger in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

Fox was all in for Trump providing 24/7 attacks on Clinton for her 30+ years in the public view. There was no scandal they didn’t rehash including Benghazi for which she had been cleared, and later leaks of E-mails from her Campaign Chairman John Podesta. Every evening of Fox when their opinion shows came on, O’Reilly, Hannity and the rest blasted Clinton daily and built up Trump. They cared little for truth and promoted the few intelligible themes Trump had including the evils of immigration, banning Muslims and building a wall. They spewed racism themselves and explained and justified it in the Trump campaign. They contributed to the growth of right-wing militias, even supporting groups in the west that took over Federal land. Murdoch and his media company which now included The Wall Street Journal and dozens of local news stations were all in for the inexperienced candidate for he was generating them revenue and almost exclusive access as Trump had little use for probing interviews when he could have fawning ones instead.

The story of exactly how Trump won the election is still being written. Investigations into collusion with Russians who we know interfered in the election have not been completed. We know about funding from foreign sources now believed to include Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Questions of money laundering and obstruction of justice are being researched and of course, there are the women. Fox News which had spent decades telling us about Monica Lewinsky has ignored the 22 women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, and rape. Fox helped convince enough people that either all the women lied or it didn’t matter that he was able to win despite an Access Hollywood video where he admitted to forcibly kissing women and, “grabbing them by the pussy.” Then there was the FBI which publicly reopened an investigation into Clinton e-mails but said nothing about Trump being investigated that may never be understood. Without regard to how he got there. Trump was elected President and was sworn in on January 20, 2017.

The United States Congress is one of three branches of the government and is part of the checks and balances against excesses of the President. The Republican Party controlled the House of Republicans with a supermajority, meaning they could pass any bill and sent it to the Senate without Democrat input or votes. The Senate was controlled by Republicans which could pass many types of legislation on a majority vote, again without Democrat support. One of the areas where the Senate is supposed to exercise its responsibility to advise and consent is in the confirmation of Cabinet Members. Trump generally presented with inarguably the richest, most self-serving and unqualified nominees ever dragged into confirmation hearings. Republican Senators showed no shame in confirming the likes of Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson who still prove unable to answer simple questions and are embarrassments to the nation. Fox News not only gave him cover but many Trump appointees throughout the administration came directly from… Fox News. Many of the people now running our government have come to us directly from Fox News having demonstrated little qualifications other than having said nice things about the President and having been TV personalities. The recent naming of John Bolton as National Security Advisor is such a man who while having more qualifications than most, sees bombing and war as the solution to any problem.

So we arrive at the point where we got a President who needed to be seen as in control of every situation, who believes in talking loudly while others also carry big sticks and thinks belittling nuclear powers is the path to success. He’s gotten rid of anyone with either experience or willingness to disagree with a man who literally knows nothing. He gets enough public support for every ridiculous action from Fox and now has a mad bomber whispering in his ear.

At the time of this writing, I don’t know whether it was an unnecessary war with North Korea, China, or Russia that resulted in the destruction of most of the world. I don’t know the specific who, just the how. Trump, Fox News, and a submissive Republican Congress could take full responsibility if they were still here.

 

 

Ben Carson, No You Didn’t Just Throw Your Wife, Candy, Under The Bus?


Why did you do it Ben? You threw your wife Candy completely under the bus when you blamed her for ordering that $31,000 dining room set for your office. And you did it on television while testifying before Congress.

Let’s back up. You have been catching hell for a while now because it got out you ordered a $31,000 dining room set after being told the maximum allowable for upgrades was $5,000. Every move you’ve made since then was exactly the wrong one.

You transferred out (demoted) the woman who informed you of the limit and now she’s suing you. You lied about having no knowledge of the details and amount of the purchase but you were busted by your e-mails. And now you blamed it all on your wife for making the decision which only brings more attention to the fact she doesn’t work there and you’ve been letting your family run buck wild through your department like they were official.

Ben… you’ve been married to the woman for 43 years. She’s given you three sons. When you were starting out and hardly bringing home any money, she stood by you. When they didn’t initially respect you as a doctor, she had your back ( I saw your movie, Gifted Hands). When you ran for President and people mocked her appearance, she sucked it up and took it. When you went to work for the man who publicly said you had a “pathological temper” and compared you to a “child molester.” She swallowed her pride while watching you cast yours aside. And now at the first sign of trouble, you blame her.


I don’t even care if it’s true Ben, this is the time where you take responsibility and deflect responsibility from your wife. Your marriage will still be important long after you’re gone from the Trump administration, rumor has it you may be gone sooner than you think anyway?

So, what to do now? Go to Candy, apologize for having disparaged her, ask her for direction and do whatever she says. It may take a long time to get back to normal but I have faith in you Ben. One last thing, get another job. To be honest you weren’t doing all that well anyway. You weren’t really helping anyone except your own family and they can go back to earning a legitimate living like the rest of us. You might not get out of the dog house for a long time but you can slowly get your pride back at least. And no more running for President! It’s not a good look on you.

That’s all Ben, I’m just trying to look out for you like I know you would for me.

Signed,

A Friend