Byron Callisto, February 24, 2017 

So I’m going to shoot a short film on the 11th with a few friends. Here’s the draft script.

Cascade: Early thirties but looks older; he’s spiritually exhausted from his day job, which is cheap small-town murder for hire. He’s killed hundreds over the last ten years, but he’s starting to have bad dreams and is overmedicating with dangerous new designed drugs. He’s a man of few words, descending into his own abyss.

Simone: Mid-thirties, attractive and conscious of it, a sharp strategic thinker with no moral compass whatsoever. She recruited Cascade when he was a warehouse worker at the fireplace store she inherited from her dad, along with the central valley’s #1 cut-rate down-and-dirty wholesale hitman business. She easily charms Cascade; they’ve never slept together, but he’s never been able to resist her until his recent decline began.

Dart: The new Young Gun, brought in by Simone because Cascade’s balking at a full family execution and seems to be breaking down. His drug choices keep him clear-headed and disconnected, and his girlfriend rules his soul. He’s read everything. A nerd, a gamer, a psychopath, an excellent killer. Happy.

Lacey: Sweet, smart, crazy and very cruel childhood-abuse victim who loves to watch Dart make human margaritas. She doesn’t kill, but she thrills to the show. Her mind is a million places at once, but it always comes together the same way: bloodily. She lives in her own graphic novel, and sticks to the dangerous edge of modern pharmacology.

Murder. Each pulse brings a new color and a half-seen image of P.O.V. ultraviolence — people running, people being shot, people being stabbed and beaten, people pleading — Cascade’s gloved hand holding a gun or knife entering the frame occasionally, along with quick shots of Cascade’s face in the bathroom mirror — businessmen, secretaries, clerks, bartenders. Cascade kills small people.
The images speed to a blur –

Two black cats, DEIRDRE and LELAND, watch as —

CASCADE wakes up and opens his eyes to look into the smiling eyes of LACEY lying in bed next to him on her side.
LACEY: He’s having a terrible nightmare.
She smiles at Cascade, ever so sweetly.
LACEY: Hullo.
CASCADE: Who are you?
She doesn’t answer for a beat.
LACEY: I’m Laaaaaaa-ceeeeeeeey.
CASCADE: I don’t know you.
LACEY: Caaaasss-caaaaaaaadian.

Off-camera — DART speaks

DART (O.S.): Such a cool name.

read more…


Max, February 22, 2017 

She just ties it all up in a nice neat bow there doesn’t she?

Why I Hate President Trump

Max, February 17, 2017 

My only quibble would be with the first sentence. The rest is a beautiful summary of the atrocity that has befallen us.

For the record, I don’t hate Donald Trump the person. I hate Donald Trump the president.

I wish I didn’t. But I do. Here’s why:

He’s a pathological liar, according to Republican Ted Cruz.

He’s a fake, a fraud, and a con-man, according to Republican Mitt Romney.

He convinced 81 percent of white evangelical Christian voters to throw Jesus under the bus to vote for a man who bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

He fired the acting Attorney General in a Monday Night Massacre because she determined that the president’s executive order on immigration was constitutionally indefensible.

He’s created an environment in which a southern white man can shut down a northeastern white woman while she’s reading from the floor of the Senate the cautionary words of a heroic southern black woman about a southern white man, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who was deemed too racist to be a federal judge in 1986.

He disrespects duly-appointed, Senate-confirmed federal magistrates: “so-called judges.”

He’s offended our friends and allies, treating the Mexican and Australian governments in much the same way he’s treated John McCain and Megyn Kelly and a disabled reporter and Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz and the Gold Star Khan Family and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Rosie O’Donnell.

He hasn’t, as far as we know, paid federal income taxes in years, bragging that it’s smart on his part — meaning it’s dumb on our part to do so, thereby undermining citizen investment in shared governance. Nor has he released federal tax returns, as other presidential candidates have for the last 40 years.

His wife in New York City, his weekly trips to Mar-a-Lago, and his gallivanting children are costing us a fortune.

He’s sloppy with national security. Proof: Michael Flynn.

He’s given us a Secretary of Education who was born into and married into a billionaire family, has never attended a public school or taught in a public school, never taken out a student loan or applied for a Pell Grant, or even much supported our public schools.

He nominated a labor secretary (now withdrawn) who took advantage of an undocumented worker, pays his fast-food employees a shitty wage, and wants to replace humans with robots because they don’t take vacation days.

He’s put together an administration of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy.

He’s not kept his campaign promise to release documents and even hold a press conference to prove that the third Mrs. Trump never worked in the US illegally. (We know she lied about having a college degree and — knowingly or not — plagiarized part of Michelle Obama’s DNC speech.)

He said he’d negotiate lower drug prices from pharmaceutical companies. Now he says he won’t — but will give big pharma tax breaks and lift certain regulations on their industry.

He turned the nomination of a Supreme Court justice into the finale of a prime-time reality-show.

He knows little about the history of the United States, about our constitutional system, or about our institutions of government.

He has left millions of Americans who acquired health insurance via the ACA worried sick that this great benefit will be stripped from them.

His closest advisers have added to the chaos of the first weeks of the new administration: Kellyanne Conway and her universe of “alternative facts” — like the Bowling Green Massacre; Steve Bannon, who wants to play war with our military; Stephen Miller, who yells at the American people that the president’s views “will not be questioned!”; and Sean Spicer, period.

He uses Twitter to harangue and berate and demean individuals and journalists and companies that question his infallibility.

He’s rattled and incoherent, unfit and unqualified and unstable.

He uses fear and anxiety to bring out the worst impulses that lurk just beneath the surface to pimp for votes and deepen the crevasse between his America and the rest of us.

He has not drained the swamp, as he promised. It’s deeper. It’s wider. It’s even more dangerous.

The Russians. The Russians. The Russians.

Conservative Republicans would have crucified our former philosopher-president, Barack Obama, for behavior that even resembled that of our schoolyard bully president, Donald Trump. Where is their outrage now? President Turmp is not making America great again. He’s making America ugly again. But Republicans, who created this president in their laboratory of anger and resentment, will use President Trump as long as he’ll sign his John Hancock to their legislation.

He’s my tenth president. I’ve appreciated or admired something about all of them. Until now.


—Rodney Wilson teaches political science.


Lock him up!

Max, February 14, 2017 

Justin Hayward

aldous, February 11, 2017 

I’ve always loved the Moody Blues.  In the seventies we had a stereo system set up in the dining room that was used by several family members – by our dad for his Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and Roger Miller 8 tracks and by all of us kids for our rock and roll addictions, in those days on 8 track and vinyl.  A lot of the vinyl had been left by the older sibs, Jack and Monica, now out of the house, and included some of my favorite selections – Chicago Transit Authority, pretty much all of the Doors studio records, Beatles, Stones, and scores of others.  Joel’s memory may say different, but I remember one of these albums being Days of Future Passed, the Moody Blues “first” album (there was actually at least one other that preceded Days, with a song called Go Now, that would go on to become a number one hit in England.   

I don’t know how Joel caught the Moody bug.  Maybe it was from hearing Days in our record stack, but I suspect it had something to do with the band’s soaring space age music, lyrical themes, and album art.  It just appealed to him, and I loved it, too.  He faithfully built on Days by acquiring each record as it was released, and by 1971 we had all seven original “classic Moody Blues” records:  Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, and Seventh Sojourn.  We got to know each band member, too, as though they were close friends:  Justin Hayward, lead guitar, John Lodge, bass, Ray Thomas, flute and harmonica, Graeme Edge, drums, and Mike Pinder, keyboards. Each was his own man:  Hayward was simply awesome (my only gripe was that, as fantastic as he was on lead guitar, didn’t jam out often enough, which admittedly wasn’t really the Moodies “sound”); Lodge was capable of writing downright genius material as well as something that made one wonder why they’d let him in the band, although he didn’t really get sickly sweet and sentimental until after Seventh Sojourn; Thomas in some ways contributing the most creative, interesting material, Edge kicking ass on drums and contributing the several epic poems sprinkled throughout the albumtry; and Pinder, no doubt the spiritual father of the group, seriously hovering above the others on his own astral plane.

I of course had my favorite Moody tunes, among them Tuesday Afternoon, Gypsy, Eternity Road, It’s Up to You, And the Tide Rushes In, How Is It (We Are Here), When You’re a Free Man.  Many of these happened to be Justin Hayward compositions, so when I was driving through downtown State College yesterday to pick up my repaired amp from Rainbow Music, I did a double take when I saw the marquis at the State Theatre:  “Justin Hayward 8 PM”.  On one hand, I was grateful to have seen the sign and soon after acquired a ticket.  On the other, a little disconcerted at how close I had come to missing it – if I hadn’t driven by I surely would have.  This reminded me of 1990 when I missed Savoy Brown play at the Brick House.  Somehow, I never seem to miss the announcements for the likes of Billy Joel (never seem to attend the shows, either…).

I purposely sat deep in the balcony so I wasn’t blown away by the sound.  I hate loud music, it makes my ears hurt, like when Big Head Todd played at the State Theatre a few years ago.  The three piece band – Justin, another guitarist, and a keyboard player – emerged on the stage.  I was alarmed to note the absence of a drum set.  And a bunch of acoustic-electric guitars.  Hmm, acoustic show?  That would be a bummer.  How’s Justin going to rock out on an acoustic guitar?  To be fair, there was one electric guitar visible, but I was still concerned about the lack of drums.

I need not have worried.  It turned out indeed to be a quasi acoustic show, but excellent nonetheless.  The lead guitarist was awesome, especially on Nights In White Satin, on which he applied kind of a flamenco style (see link).  It was beautiful, an awesome remake of the original.  Yeah sure, I would have preferred Justin to have been playing his signature leads, holding a Strat or whatever the hell he played in the Moodies, but I’m adaptable.  The keyboard player played the hell out of the shaker egg, tambourine, backup vocals, and keyboards, making it sound like a mellotron in all the right places.  Mike Pinder would have been proud. 

Justin was amazing in all respects.  Still tall and thin, same hair as usual, same incredible vocals.  Didn’t seem to have lost much as far as range.  Started out with Tuesday Afternoon and ran through a combination of classic tunes and newer songs.  I’m not very familiar with his or the Moodies music in general after Octave, Long Distance Voyager, and The Present.  He did a lot of songs from more recent albums, including a few from Spirits of the Western Sky, perhaps his latest.  I loved almost all of them.  At one point I was tempted to yell out Question.  He must have caught the vibe, for he proceeded to play it soon after I thought it.  As far as the classic tunes, he also played Watching and Waiting (closest I came to crying), Never Comes the Day, and Lovely To See You.

Justin was also a storyteller.  His stories really added spice to the music.  He talked about growing up in Swindon in western England with his late brother.  It sounds like they were close, like Joel and me, in fact.  I never would have guessed it, but his hero was Buddy Holly.  He talked about opening shows in the sixties for Canned Heat and Cream.  He spoke of how he met the other band members.  I think he said he was in a record store in Swindon, already a professional musician playing with some band or other, when a call came through to the store from…Mike Pinder.  He had heard Justin’s songs and wanted to get together.  Justin credited Mike with giving his songs the direction they needed.  He next met Ray, then Graeme, then John, or something like that. 

Acoustic show or electric, searing lead on Higher and Higher or maybe not, I’d go see Justin Hayward again and would recommend him to anyone.  I’ve missed a lot of amazing musicians along the way, but I didn’t miss this one.

6 simple steps #resist

Max, February 8, 2017 


Byron Callisto, February 4, 2017 

Brink Of Love.

Byron Callisto, February 1, 2017 

First song from the new EP just release by The Murder Merchants.

Free the slaves!

Max, January 22, 2017 

The man is insane


Read it and weep.

President Trump Remarks Given at CIA Headquarters (as delivered)

Thank you.

Well. I want to thank everybody. Very, very special people. And it is true: this is my first stop. Officially. We’re not talking about the balls, and we’re not talking about even the speeches. Although, they did treat me nicely on that speech yesterday [laughter].

I always call them “the dishonest media”, but they treated me nicely.

But, I want to say that there is nobody that feels stronger about the Intelligence Community and the CIA than Donald Trump. [applause]. There’s Nobody. Nobody.

And the wall behind me is very very special. We’ve been touring for quite a while. And I’ll tell you what: twenty … nine? I can’t believe it.. No. Twenty eight. We’ve got to reduce it. That’s amazing. And we really appreciate it what you ‘ve done in terms of showing us something very special. And your whole group. These are really special, amazing people. Very. very few people could do the job you people do.

And I want to just let you know: I am so behind you. And I know, maybe sometimes, you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted. And you’re going to get so much backing. Maybe you’re going to say “please don’t give us so much backing”. [laughter] “Mr President, please, we don’t need that much backing”.

But you’re going to have that. And I think everybody in this room knows it.

You know, the military, and the law-enforcement generally speaking, — but, all of it — but the military, gave us tremendous percentages of votes. We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military and probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. [laughter]

But I would guarantee a big portion. Because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks. We’re all on the same wavelength. [applause] Alight? [pointing to the crowd] He knows. Took Brian about 30 seconds to figure that one out, right? Because we know. We’re on the same wavelength.

We’re going to do great things. We’re going to do great things. We’ve been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we’ve ever fought. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We’ve been restrained.

We have to get rid of ISIS. We have to get rid of ISIS. We have no choice [applause]

Radical Islamic terrorism – and I said it yesterday – has to be eradicated. Just off the face of the Earth. This is evil. This is evil.

And you know, I can understand the other side. We can all understand the other side. There can be wars between countries. There can be wars. You can understand what happened. This is something nobody could even understand. This is a level of evil that we haven’t seen.

You’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.

You have somebody coming on who is extraordinary. You know for the different positions, of secretary of this and secretary of that and all of these great positions, I’d see five, six, seven, eight people.

And we had a great transition. We had an amazing team of talent.

And by the way, General Flynn is right over here. Put up your hand, Mike. What a good guy [applause]

And Reince, and my whole group. Reince. You know Reince? They don’t care about Reince. He’s like, this political guy that turned out to be a superstar, right? We don’t have to talk about Reince.

But, we did. We had just such a tremendous, tremendous success.

So when I’m interviewing all of these candidates that Reince and his whole group is putting in front, it went very, very quickly, and in this case went so quickly. Because I would see six or seven or eight for secretary of agriculture, who we just named the other day. Sunny Perdue. Former Governor of Georgia. Fantastic guy. But I’d see six, seven, eight people for a certain position. Everybody wanted it.

But I met Mike Pompeo, and he was the only guy I met. I didn’t want to meet anybody else. I said “cancel everybody else”. Cancel. Now he was approved, essentially. But they’re doing a little political games with me. You know, he was one of the three.

Now, last night, as you know, General Mattis – fantastic guy – and General Kelly got approved [applause]

And Mike Pompeo was supposed to be in that group; it was going to be the three of them. Can you imagine? All of these guys. People respect … they respect that military sense. All my political people? They’re not doing so well. The political people aren’t doing so well… but you … We’re going to get them all through. But some will take a little bit longer than others.

But Mike was literally — I had a group of, what, we had nine different people? — Now. I must say, I didn’t mind cancelling eight appointments. That wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

But I met him, and I said “he is so good”. Number one in his class at West Point. Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say, I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years, who did a fantastic job in so many different ways academically. He was an academic genius.

And then they say: “is Donald Trump an intellectual?” Trust me. I’m like a smart person. [laughter] [pointing at Mike Pompeo] And I recognized immediately,

So he was Number 1 at West Point. And he was also essentially number 1 at Harvard Law School. And then he decided to go into the military. And he ran for Congress. And everything he’s done has been a home run.

People like him. But much more importantly to me, everybody respects him.

When I told Paul Ryan that I want to do this, I would say, he may be the only person that was not totally thrilled, right, Mike? Because he said “I don’t want to lose this guy”.

You will be getting a total star. You going to be getting a total gem. He is a gem. And I just …. [applause] You’ll see. You’ll see. And many of you know him anyway. But you’re going to see.

And again: we have some great people going, but this one is something, going to be very special, because this is one of — if I had to name the most important, this would certainly be, perhaps, you know, in certain ways, you could even say my most important.

You do the job like everybody in this room is capable of doing.

And the generals are wonderful and the fighting is wonderful. But if you give them the right direction? Boy does the fighting become easier. And boy do we lose so fewer lives, and win so … quickly.

And that’s what we have to do. We have to start winning again.

You know what? When I was young, And when I was … of course, I feel young. I feel like I’m 30. 35. 39. [laughter]. Somebody said “are you young?” I said “I think I’m young”.

You know, I was stopping when we were in the final month of that campaign. Four stops, five stops. Seven stops. Speeches — speeches — in front of twenty five, thirty thousand people. Fifteen thousand, nineteen thousand, from stop to stop.

I feel young.

But when I was young — and I think we’re all sort of young — when I was young, we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade. We’d win with wars.

At a certain age I remember hearing from one of my instructors “The United States has never lost a war”.

And then, after that, it’s like, we haven’t won anything. We don’t win anymore.,

The old expression: “to the victor belong the spoils” – you remember? You always used to say “keep the oil”. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you. When we were in, we got out wrong.

And I always said: “In addition to that, keep the oil”.

Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil.

But okay. [laughter] Maybe we’ll have another chance.

But the fact is: we should’ve kept the oil. I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country towards making us safe, towards making us winners again. Towards ending all of the problems — we have so many problems that are interrelated that we don’t even think of, but interrelated — to the kind of havoc and fear that this sick group of people has caused.

So I can only say that I am with you 1000%. And the reason you’re my first stop is that as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. [laughter, applause]

And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the Intelligence Community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number 1 stop is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that too.

And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday, the speech, and everybody really liked the speech, you had to right? [applause]

We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.

I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: “wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was…. It looked like a million, a million and a half people.” They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said “Donald Trump did not draw well”. And I said “well it was almost raining”. The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said “we’re not going to let it rain on your speech”.

In fact, when I first started I said “oh no”. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops. And i said “oh, this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it”. But the truth is: that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sudden, and then I walked off and it poured right after I left – it poured.

But you know, we have something that’s amazing because, we had, it looked honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

And I turn on, with my steak … and I get this network shows an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.

Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20 block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.

So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.

They had another one yesterday which was interesting. In the Oval Office there’s a beautiful statue of Dr Martin Luther King. And I also happen to like Churchill. Winston Churchill. I think most of us like Churchill. He doesn’t come from our country. But he had lot to do with it. He helped us. A real ally.

And as you know, the Churchill statue was taken out. The bust. And as you probably also have read, the Prime Minister is coming over to our country very shortly, and they wanted to know whether or not I’d like it back. And I said “absolutely, but in the meantime we have a bust of Churchill”.

So a reporter for Time magazine. And I have been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all time record in the history of Time magazine. Like it Tom Brady is on the cover of Time magazine, it’s one time, because he won the Superbowl or something, right? [laughter]. I’ve been on for 15 times this year.

I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that they can ever be broken, do you agree with that? What do you think?

But I will say that, he said something that was very interesting: that “Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr Martin Luther King”. It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it.

So Zeke – Zeke – from Time magazine writes a story about how I took it down. But I would never do that, because I have great respect for Dr Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is: a big story. And the retraction was like — was it a line? Or did they even bother putting it in?

So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you the final time: although I will say it, when you let in your thousands of other people that had been trying to come in, because I am coming back.

We may have to get you a larger room. [laughter, applause] We may have to get you a larger room.

And maybe – maybe – it’ll be built by somebody that knows how to build and we won’t have columns [laughter] You understand that? We’d get rid of the columns.

I just wanted to really say that I love you. I respect you. There’s nobody that I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again. And you’re going to be leading the charge.

So thank you all very much. Thank you, beautiful. Thank you all very much.

Have a good day.

I’ll be back. I’ll be back. Thank you.

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