The Bonfires of Saint John

On Saint John’s Eve, near the cusp of the June solstice, Ken West celebrated his birthday by performing a set of his own songs on the piano in the sanctuary of the Haven church in Charlottesville, VA.

“A Yamaha. A real piano.” West said. “I’m not talking about an electronic thing.”

The lyrics to West’s “Blue Rose,” an ode to Mother Earth, are currently in storage, but West said he has worked on some of the material he brought with him to Nashville in the late 1990s.

The day also included a trip to the local Chipotle, where West said the crew gifted him with a free burrito.

“They all know me over there,” West said.

West also used the day to ruminate on his own take on a new presidential plan to put solar panels on top of the border wall that has been so much a part of the flamboyant POTUS’ reality-TV agenda.

Just hours before sundown, CNN reports highlighted the assertion, assumedly from the White House, that a solar border wall would “pay for itself.” Since Trump’s previous claims that Mexico would pay for the wall have been roundly rebuffed, the idea that costs could be recouped through the collection of solar energy provides a convenient fig leaf for the jingoistic plan to wall off the entire country from its southern neighbor, at significant expense, in an era of slackening immigration across the U.S./Mexican border.

“It could work.” West said, asking us to imagine steel frames 50 feet high, crowned with solar panels, and “barbed wire on the Mexican side.”

However, West is not a fan of the president’s plan per se, suggesting the solar panel wall would need key changes to be viable. In fact, West voiced much more admiration for another infrastructure project on the other side of the world: China’s revival of a “Silk Road” concept that is being talked about on National Public Radio. In some ways, China’s new trade initiative, buttressed by blockchain and cryptocurrency technology applications, paves the way for the Middle Kingdom to emerge as a new and much more competent superpower nation utilizing practical, fiscally responsible trade and military policy.

Noting the enormous debt that America owes to China, West suggested it would behoove U.S. citizens to research emerging Chinese policy. West also reiterated his descriptions of current Chinese military projects: the creation of massive man-made islands to serve as stationary battleships, and a series of “hovercraft” ships he said represent a new and modern naval fleet.

Returning to policy regarding North Korea, which West typically refers to as “going back to square one,” West mentioned two points. First, he said, he has abandoned his recommendation of “dropping 20-dollar bills and rice balls” over the impoverished country, admitting that military leaders would just confiscate any such windfalls. Secondly, West noted the absence of any recent long-range missile tests or other provocations.

“All is well.” West said. “I am the bearer of good news.”

You Don’t Mess With the G-Man



The whole Comey thing is a blizzard – a circus of such great and strange proportions that it’s really hard to tackle it whole at all.

In some ways, it comes down to a sitting president whose level of discourse is “See Dick lie. Lie, Dick, lie.”

In another way, it comes down to the reality. Not the “facts.” The reality is that, if you put your money on Comey, you’re likely to win. But the skeleton crew still propping up the POTUS don’t want you to hear that.

The reality is that there most likely was some form of “collusion” or “obstruction” regardless of the president’s ridiculous soundbite: “No collusion, No obstruction, He’s a leaker.”

Anyway, getting past all of that, there’s something else really interesting happening.

Listening to the post-game today, you can hear several desperate ways that the colorguard behind the throne are trying to discredit Comey.

One is that he really shouldn’t have “leaked” details of his conversations, which, as inside the beltway professionals point out, happens all the time and is routine in the context in which Comey did it.

But there’s another argument that’s even weirder.

You have this soundbite of Corey Lewandowski saying Comey “wasn’t man enough to give the notes directly to the media” all while engaging in the same kind of “alternative facts” spin that took Kelley Ann Conway down a notch.

It’s the old trick of adding insult to injury, but on a deeper level, it actually might be revealing a lot more of the reality that Trump backers would like to conveniently ignore.

Look at this face.

Does this guy look scared?

Think about it. This guy’s a G-man. A spook. He’s not the guy who you scare. He’s the guy who scares you. Jim Comey is the one who knocks.

Here’s the thing – the “alt-right” or whatever you call them these days has always, always traded on the machismo of America, and the ultimate superiority of law enforcement types and white people. Hell, authoritarians make the best FOP donors. So what Lewandowski was saying is really a bridge too far.

In a kind of admission of this ultimate reality, Lewandowski later complained about the “deep state” that’s out to get his man. This reveals another fault line. See, the POTUS people, they want you to see the deep state as un-American simply by virtue of their beltway status, and the POTUS as a “real man of the people” – but the whole thing is a big sand castle. FBI agents aren’t really “inside the beltway” in the sense that we’re being told to think they are – they’re the top cops. They really help run the show. America has always loved the FBI, and that’s not likely to change.

But I digress.

As Howard Fineman said today on Chris Matthews: “People who are trying to attack Comey on (his manhood)…should probably grow a pair themselves.”

And this isn’t just a “mine is bigger” kind of thing. There’s a lot more to it than that.

Because if both of these guys testify publicly under oath on what was said in those private conversations, one of them will have perjured himself.



Today we got a bit of a history lesson from Mr. Ken West on the Russians’ role in World War II.

“They barely survived,” West said of the residents of Stalingrad under siege by the Germans. “They were eating shoe leather… it was a horrible minute, a time of war. They were eating shoe leather (but) they came above the tragedy of war.”

Shifting to the present day, West expressed a certain amount of admiration for the Russian people.

“They’re beautiful people now in Moscow,” West said. ‘They have bad traffic, though.”

West elaborated on a new Internet campaign he means to promote – one that focuses on giving the Russians the attention that they deserve.

“This is what’s going to fly on the Internet,” West said. “Save the Russians … they stand in line for bread – they’re beautiful people.”

Further elaborating on the origins of the Russian people, West suggested that they originally may have come from a specific part of the universe, potentially outside of the Milky Way galaxy.

“We (humans) are all from different sectors of the universe,” West said. “Every portion of us is why there’s so many countries — we come from throughout the universe.”

West encouraged individuals to find their own alien heritage.

“When we find our heritage, we’ll know,” West said, clarifying that the rest of his knowledge on extraterrestrial affairs will not be released prior to his work on a major motion picture.

“I’ll give you a clue,” West said, confirming that the solution to our alien identities will not come from simply dropping mescaline.

In the course of the conversation, West did note that he himself has partaken of the famously mind-altering drug, though not for such lofty purposes.

“I was in Georgetown at a Roy Rogers on Wisconsin Avenue,” West said, referencing an event that he said occurred at least 50 years ago.

Launching into the story, West recounted a series of potential crimes involving his possession of mescaline, which he described as “good capsules of sugary thing.”

“These cops come up on me, caught me in the corner — I said: ‘I’m in deep doo-doo.’”

Two or three officers, West said, pinned him in a corner, but he was able to escape.

“I jumped out,” West said, explaining that he was able to make his way under a car parked in front of the building, and started to throw the mescaline capsules into the gutter.

West said he was arrested and handcuffed with one hit of acid in his pocket.

At that point, in what West emphasized is “not a made up story,” he found himself half an hour later handcuffed to a chair and under the influence of the substance.

“I was tripping,” West said. “I was tripping, tripping, tripping…”

The apex of the story involved a chair thrown at a booking officer.

“I said: ‘here’s this for your Vietnam War,’” West said.

After reminiscing on the legacy of the Vietnam era, West abruptly changed focus back to the present, arguing that “we are in now times.”

“The Russians are disgusted with America and Trump,” West said. “They’re survivors – if it wasn’t for the Russians, we would all be speaking German right now.”

West cited other major hardships that the Russian people have survived in the years since Stalingrad, for example, Chernobyl.

“It’s all about the Russian people,” West said, giving the Russian population “kudos” for putting up with the hijinks and shenanigans going on within the current American political system. West contended that even the Russian oligarchs, who are supposed to be benefiting from much of the chicanery, do not actually enjoy the media circus that’s going on right now, because it makes them look bad.