The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

The Republican Party Incorporated

April 17th, 2016 . by Alexander Fisher

 

For the last half century, the national Republican Party has had a track record for not achieving the goals of their conservative electorate. I considered myself a Republican, the Party of Lincoln, when I was young. I thought being conservative meant being responsible with the public’s tax money and keeping government out of one’s personal affairs. A naive boy I was.

Then the wedge issues came along. Opposition to same sex marriage, abortion rights, and other controversy’s that became embedded in the Republican Party platform. On those issues however, they actually failed to change, outlaw or control any one of them in any meaningful way nationally. There was even a period during George W. Bush’s residency in the White House that the Republicans controlled the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and no doubt the national media dialog. But still, the Republicans made little change to the existing laws or proposed any legislation that had any chance of being enacted concerning those issues.

After the Republican’s Reagan Revolution, Corporate Taxation, Government Spending, the Environmental Protection Agency, Terrorism and Voting Rights have all been on the national party’s agenda. Since that time, there are now lower taxes for corporations, greater government spending, a worsening environment, highly visible acts of terrorism and more restrictions on the democratic process. It seems the Republicans can make changes, but only to benefit the special interests that profit from anything related to those things. The party has been taken over for some time by a well dressed criminal class and has become a party that wastes public money on political agendas and giving preferential treatment to others based on lives of wealth and privilege.

The Republican Party needs to explain to their voters why so little has been done on the wedge issues they were elected to change. They should have to tell whether they are ever going to make any effort to change things in the future or not. Beyond just sound bites and symbolic gestures. I think conservative voters deserve to know that. Whether I agree with any of them or not. I would want to know. But If someone is waiting for The Republican Party Incorporated to do anything about the perpetual wedge issues that galvanize conservative voters who keep voting them into power because of them, they will be waiting for a really long time.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republicans-obamacare-replacement_us_570ffe63e4b06f35cb6f08ee

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President Nixon: A Bullitt Dodged

April 1st, 2016 . by Alexander Fisher

I am currently reading John Dean’s book “The Nixon Defense”. The content of the book is mostly transcribed from White House recordings made during Richard Nixon’s years as President. Dean helps to organize the conversations and adds some commentary, but not that much. He was working in the WH then and helps to explain some of the seemingly ambiguous conversations. The Nixon aide quoted in the article at the link below, John Ehrlichman, is one of the players in this book as well. In it, he even discussed with the president rounding up all blacks and putting them on trains, then dropping one off in every town to work as domestic servants.
President Nixon was also making plans to round up newspaper reporters he didn’t like and jail them. He was using the IRS and the FBI to target his enemies. He believed he was above the law, so therefore he was not committing crimes. He went on about how honest he was and how his enemies were not. Then he would break the law to get back at them. Nuts.
As it turned out, the Watergate scandal saved America and our free speech for a few more years. Nixon’s goal was a country run for the benefit of himself and his rich friends. Had he not been hobbled by press and congressional scrutiny in his second term, he would have put his fantasy into action.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/index.html

CREEM Magazine

March 31st, 2016 . by Alexander Fisher

I was just sitting here thinking about the music I listened to when I was a teenager. I read Rolling Stone magazine a lot. But CREEM magazine was a big influence as well. They talked about a lot of name acts like David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Kiss, but they were also writing about The Dictators, New York Dolls, and The Ramones. I remember they had a full photo spread once called “Wayne County At Home” which were photos of a cross dressing punk singer lounging around his house in a dress, heels and a bouffant hairdo. The good old days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creem

The Betrayal of America, by Vincent Bugliosi

March 28th, 2015 . by Alexander Fisher

index As a young prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, put Charles Manson in prison along with his murderous cult. He later wrote the book “Helter Skelter” about the murders and subsequent trials. He was the top of his class at UCLA law school and is known by anyone that knows him as always being the smartest guy in the room. At the time he wrote this book in 2001, he had also just released a highly regarded album of Latin love songs. Quite a guy.
In this short book based on an article he wrote for The Nation magazine, Bugliosi presents the evidence in a conspiracy to anoint a U.S. president without Democracy getting in the way. Above all, his legal arguments make me wonder why Al Gore’s lawyers in December 2000’s Gore v Bush case that was decided by this rogue Supreme Court, did not make any of them. Incompetence or conspiracy? I believe the latter. Only because these were all very very smart people. My 9/11 suspicions are much broader after reading this book. No doubt the Bush administration orchestrated the 9/11 event, but now I suspect complicity with Gore and the DNC, if for nothing other than allowing this to happen. Money can buy you love.
I have read many books recently about events that that laid the groundwork for 9/11 and the perpetual fear/war cycle we are in. John Dean’s book about the flawed appointment to the Supreme Court of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, “The Rehnquist Choice” sadly begins the spiral to the tragic events of the initial decade of the 21st Century.

My Cousin, Robby

March 6th, 2012 . by Alexander Fisher

IMG_0006Today I got word of my cousin Robby Fyffe’s death. He was in his mid-50’s. Too young to go. The last few days had me thinking of the times we spent together. Generally that was only once a year during the summer as children. Robby and his twin brother Andy were a few years older than me. Older than my oldest sister by about a year. Being twins makes you think they were a lot alike. Besides being brothers, at times the only thing I think Robby and Andy had in common was a birth date and living in Red Bush, Kentucky.

In the summer of 1964, everything was, as it  always had been, as far as I knew. I was between kindergarten and first grade in school. My family was in Red Bush because my grandmother, Martha Fyffe Kelly (Mammaw) was seriously ill and would soon pass away. Besides the fact that she was in the hospital at nearby Paintsville, nothing seemed any different to me.

My parents had gone off to the hospital to see my grandmother with my Aunt Berenice, mother of the twins and my cousin Steve who was a teenager and a star basketball player, already in high school. They had left all of the younger children at Mammaw’s house together. The oldest kids were Andy and Robby, at about ten. My sister’s Cara and Cathy were around nine and eight years old, respectively. I was six. As odd as it seems to leave children that age alone, I think we were safe from any predators in that part of the Appalachian Mountains, except for maybe wild animals. But we were never really safe from the collective and individual antics of the twins. Our older cousin Steve was just down the road, so if there was any real trouble, he was only a phone call away. I felt safe. Regardless of the facts. When they left us to go visit my grandmother, they also left us with a large frosted chocolate cake to eat. Just what we needed, more sugar.

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America, Land of the Poor, Home of the Rich

September 20th, 2011 . by Alexander Fisher

migrant-mother

Over the last few weeks, much has been made of comments and audience reactions during the televised Republican presidential primary debates in the media. These comments made by the participants and the audience member’s reactions, were in response to questions asked about the death penalty, and health care for people who are uninsured. In both cases the audience made it very clear how they stand on these issues. Critics are fair to conclude this group of people showed little compassion for those affected in either case.

My own observation is that these issues are almost entirely affecting the poor, alone.

More recently I read a story in the news that said the number of people in the United States that live in poverty is higher than it’s been in many years. I think there can be many reasons for this, but the influence of politics in world economics can have a great affect on poverty. A loss of a job that was sent overseas or eliminated in a poor economy, can send many to poverty as quickly as they can be shown the door. This can happen to anyone, regardless, as long as they are in the middle class or below. (The rich have their own unique safety net, lots of money) Some of these people cannot find new jobs for any number of reasons. Some don’t look anymore. Some never did.

I believe the audience members at the debate would argue that these people are just lazy. I don’t doubt that some are. But without knowing the individuals involved and their reasons and experiences, I don’t understand the reactions. I’d guess some are just born into poverty and just don’t know how to break the cycle, without help. I’d also guess others are just born pitiless and don’t know how to break that cycle either.

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Forty Years Journey: From Herro-Wine to Oxycontin and Heroin

July 5th, 2011 . by Alexander Fisher

Gerald D FisherMy dad worked at a local prison and was at the BCI, Ohio’s FBI, one day in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. A policeman came through the front door with a bottle of wine. He requested that the BCI laboratory analyze the contents of the bottle. When the agent asked why, the policeman told him he suspected the contents was "herro-wine". I don’t remember my dad ever laughing so hard when he told me this story.

Illicit drugs were only a burgeoning problem at that time. Most teenagers’ biggest problem was getting caught with cigarettes and 3.2% beer. In most small communities illicit drugs did not exist for the majority of people. Moms and dads were a little over medicated on the sleeping pills, diet pills, or anti-anxiety drugs, but not in any overly large amounts. There were controls on the system. There was no advertising the benefits of a prescription drug on television. Most pharmacies were locally owned. Pharmacist’s in all states knew most of their customer’s by name and could oversee the distribution of medications to these people. Now most pharmacies are parts of large corporations. Sometimes you can see your former local pharmacists working for the new super chains, filling prescription after prescriptions to unknown faceless customers. Whatever the doctor’s say, well it must be OK, right?

In the 1970’s, drug use became a profitable business for both local and foreign investors. The blame was always squarely put on that long haired kid on the corner. The blame then as now goes to those that finance illicit drug importation. I guarantee you that very few of these people were, or are, long haired kids, even if they are standing menacingly on the corner. The cocaine business that was broken up in Florida in the 1980’s proved that these people were more likely to be the more affluent in the community. They were usually standing alongside and contributing to local and national politicians who controlled enforcement of their illegal activities.

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I Survived…Miss Littler

September 10th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Third Grade_Littler_66_67 When I think about being in elementary school in the late 1960’s, being in Miss Littler’s third grade class immediately comes to mind. That experience always seems to dominate my memories of those years.

Miss Littler was a very proper and clean woman. I mean that in a good way. She was always well dressed and always had her hair done. She wore what we called cat-eye glasses and seemed cheerful on the surface. But underneath was a driven woman who had a plan to help her students succeed in her class whether they wanted to or not. Sometimes those that paid for her behavior were third grade kids.

I have no idea how she became the kind of teacher that she was. When I was in second grade, I had seen Miss Littler. The third grade was on the second floor so I only saw her in passing. I obviously didn’t have the choice of my home room teacher, but I had heard Mrs. Ridenour was nice, so I guess I was hoping for her. No one I knew had Miss Littler before. (no survivors?) You could only hope for nice, the alternative was not pleasant.

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Super Tornado Outbreak April 3rd and 4th, 1974

July 11th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Xenia, Ohio April 3 1974 I was watching a National Geographic Channel special called “Surviving the Super Twisters” about the Super Tornado Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974. I remember the day well. Although nothing of mine or my family’s was hurt or destroyed. I was definitely in the middle of the action that afternoon when it hit my town.

I had just recently gotten a job after-school at the local Otis Elevator foundry in London, Ohio as a janitor. My friend Dennis Brickey had gotten a job and then got me hired as well. Previously, I would hang around at the Gift’s Galore variety store and play pinball until about five PM and then go home, by parental order. The owner had just cleared a back storage room and installed five new machines. He had two of them out by the sales counter previously, but I bet the sight of several teenagers playing pinball didn’t do a lot for his other business. This had the advantage of adding more machines (more money) and getting us out of sight at the same time (more money) for him. I loved pinball and all of the regulars were above average players. As I would walk home at around five o’clock, I would walk right past the courthouse on my way from Gift’s Galore.

That day, Dennis and I went straight to his house after school to watch the cartoon Speed Racer and the game show Match Game ‘74. As usual we arrived at the foundry gates around four o’clock. The skies were becoming cloudy, but no storms were within sight. We were on the second floor cleaning the locker rooms and offices, when at about five o’clock, the power in the foundry began to go on and off. All of us headed for the foundry floor downstairs after the lights finally went out. There was enough light to see down there because of the open doors and windows. After a few minutes one of the foremen in the foundry came and told us there were tornado’s in the area and the safest place for us was back upstairs in the cafeteria in the front of the building. I wasn’t so sure that was the safest place, but if something happened in the foundry and molten iron was being blown around by a tornado, the cafeteria was fine for me.

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Pizza House Rumble

February 19th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Mt. Sterling wasn’t always a very friendly place for someone who went to high school in London.  Many times, I had been in a car driving there with several other London teenagers hell-bent on kicking some Sterling ass once they arrived there. Usually over some minor incident, trivial or imagined.  It was a slightly smaller town, about 15 miles from London, and that made for a nice little ride before you got there so that you could strategize on the coming carnage, yet not one ass ever got kicked on any one of the trips I went on.  By high school I had made many friends in Mt. Sterling.  Once on an ass kicking trip, one of my London “friends” told me he would personally kick my ass if I didn’t help him beat up someone from Mt. Sterling that evening.  I told him he might just have to try that.

My Friend Dennis.

By 1974, I had a mostly different set of friends.  I had known Dennis for several years but we had grown closer in the recent past.  We also continued to be friends for years to come, even sharing an apartment after high school. Dennis’ father was a single parent with two other older children.  He worked for the state like my father, but both were better acquainted from the local taverns.  His father was very strict, so anything that caused Dennis to arrive home after his established curfew could be stressful for me and my parents as well.  Many nights I would arrive home late only to find my mother on the telephone with his father.

Dennis by far got the most severe punishments for anything that we got caught doing.  Sometimes he would be grounded for months.  I spent many Friday and Saturday nights with him at his house, when he was even allowed to have company.  I could easily get out of my punishments after a few days. As a teenager being annoying sometimes had its benefits.  Dennis never could get out of anything.  His father was a stone wall.
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