One Seat At A Time – Rob Quist

Rob Quist, a cowboy banjo player, has the lead in a run for a vacant congressional seat representing Montana. The DNC ignored his campaign, preferring to back special interest politicians. They lost in the primary and still they refused to support a man from a Cut Bank ranching family… to until he beat their flunkies. He is on the good side of many issues; gay rights, education, social security, health et al. The DNC hate him.

But not Bernie.

He stands strong for Rob against his GOP alternative.

Fucking Greg Gianforte.

Today this San Diego native was arrested for assaulting a reporter.

The cretin body-slammed the reporter, who asked about health care.

I know he doesn’t deserve the noose.

But no one has swung with dancing heels at Deer Lodge for a long time.

Montana deserves better as do the people of the USA.

To hear Rob Quist’s version of SHADY GROVE, please go the the following URL


In the spring of 1994 Ms. Carolina was learning to love Montana. She pinned the accelerator of the premiere-class rented Chevy to the floor. We got places fast and left faster. After leaving Garrison Junction she drove down I-90. A roadside billboard announced the State Prison was open for visits.

“What you think?” She was already slowing down for the exit.

“I’m an innocent man.”

“Ha.” Ms. Carolina knew me better than that and slung off the Interstate at a less than safe speed. She liked the sound of screeching tires.

The parking lot of the prison had a few cars. All the license plates were from Montana. Ms. Carolina parked the rented car close to them.

“Are you nervous?” She was a good person. Her crimes were strictly vehicular.

“Those are thick walls.” The granite blocks rose about twenty feet behind which a brick castle rose. This prison was built to keep prisoners just that. I had been arrested in Boston, New York, and Paris. My offenses had been minor. The cops had never caught me for a felony.

“What’s the worse thing you ever did?” Ms. Carolina had been educated in a nunnery. She was an outstanding member of her community in the South. I was her Jean Genet, except my stories had never been published in the mainstream.

“The worse thing?” Most of my transgressions had been legal in the 19th Century.

After paying the entry fee we crossed the dead man zone between the outer wall and the administration office.

Before its closing the guards in the towers had been dead shot marksman.

“You think anyone ever escaped from here?” Ms. Carolina had been free her whole life. Her husband liked her taking these trips with me. He preferred to play golf with his doctor cronies.

“Not this way.” Any convict on the grass was dead meat.

The cellblocks were no joke. Two cots were bolted to the wall. The iron bars on the windows were strong. Those facing the corridor were thicker.

“No one got out of here, unless they were paroled or dead.”

“Could you survive here?” Ms. Carolina thought I was tougher than I was. She liked my writing.

“Maybe.” Thieves, cons, dirty police, and whores existed in another world, but prison only had convicts serving time and all of it was hard time. “But I’d try and escape.”


“I don’t know.” Breaking out seemed impossible even without guards.

We stood in the execution hall. A thick noose hung from the gallows. the length of the rope was set for a long drop.

“So what’s the worst thing you ever did?” Ms. Carolina wasn’t giving up on an answer. She wanted to know my soul.

“Nothing to deserve a hanging.” I had sold weed, whites, and cocaine, bribed police, beaten a few people who deserved worse, and stolen $20 from my mother’s pocketbook. I had yet to give it back. “What about you?”

“Meeting you.” She said those words too fast for comfort and put her arm around my waist.

“That’s only a sin.”

“It’s still a capital offense in many places in the world.”

“Don’t remind me.”

Dixie was one of them, but we were far from the South.

“Let’s get out of here.” Chico Hot Springs was an hour away and the bar had good drinks for sinners and saints alike.

“To freedom.” Ms. Carolina crossed herself. She believed in God and forgiveness.

Any good person does, whereas anyone atop the gallows knows the truth, that you’re free only until your last breath and then you’re gone like the wind in Montana.


In 2011 gold soared to record prices and every day a steady flow of customers entered our diamond exchange on West 47th Street to sell their precious jewelry and family heirlooms. They were of all ages, nationalities, and races. Most of them were honest, but buying stolen merchandise or swag was a crime. Richie Boy, his father Manny, and I didn’t care who they are as long as they possess a valid ID for our police records. None of us were young men and we had too little to gain from doing the wrong thing, when we could churn out a 5% profit.

Our first question to these sellers was, “Who much do you want?”

Most of them said that they don’t know, but they all had a final price.

“Let me check it out.” I ignored their feigned ignorance and tested the gold for karat and weight.

We calculated everything in pennyweights or 1/20th of an ounce. The Middle Age measurement confused the buyer, but we always handed them a slip of paper from a adding machine. Everything was in black and white.

The final price was determined by the market value of an ounce of gold, which fluctuated day to day.

In 2011 the price soared toward $2000/oz.

Weight and carat determined the scrap worth of gold.

We paid nothing for sentimental value.

Our firm had a good reputation for paying the most on the street.

“We only make 5% on this.”

It was the truth, but some pieces could be flipped for more, especially diamond rings.

Late in the summer a young man of Semitic descent approached my counter. He had a few diamond ring in a bag. They were relics of a ruined romance.

After settling on a price of $1500, I advised the young man to buy something for himself.

“Paying off bills does not soothe a broken heart.”

“Yes, but for $1500 you can buy a good used motorcycle. Let me see your ID.” I took his driver’s license.

His name was Arab andI entered it in the police book.

“Are you from Iraq?”

“No, Palestine.” Mohammed spoke flawless English. His father had grocery stores in Queens. He was running three of them.

“Palestine is a forbidden name on this street.” 47th Street was predominantly Jewish.

They backed Israel right or wrong and Israel could do no wrong in their eyes. I was a goy. I had my own beliefs.

“It’s my country”

“I’m half-Irish. My people lived under the British for four hundred years. “I can only say one thing.”

“Which is?” He was used to America’s prejudice against Palestine.

The movie EXODUS had blue-eyed Paul Newman as a member of the Zionist terrorist gang and a young blonde Jill Haworth as a kibbutz farmer. There were no Hassidim in the film.

Only tough white-skinned fighters.

“Free Palestine.” I had a tee-shirt in my closet stating the same slogan.

I raised my fist, the accepted sign of world revolution.

“Good, but it is better to free the world.” Mohammed smiled and accepted his money.

“I’ll think about that bike and you think about the world.”

“I’ll do that.” I leaned away from the counter slightly stunned.

I had been taught an important lesson by this young man.

A simple lesson.

All politics that are local are also global.

They effect everyone.


Free Palestine.

Free the World.

Hypocrisy Of The Endless War

A bomber struck a Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Over twenty young people were killed by the explosion.

The destruction was horrific.

Young innocents.



Israel attacking a Palestine beach.

Yemeni children killed by a drone missile strike ordered by Obama.

Bloody Sunday by the Brits.

When will there be peace.

28-3 / Go Celtics

I am a die-hard Boston Celtics fan.

I listened on the radio to their games in the late 1950s.

I watched the Green on TV in the 1960s.

I still consider Bill Russell the greatest player ever in the NBA.

I was lucky enough to see their battles at Boston Garden in the 70s.

Hondo, Cowens, Silas, Jo-Jo, Don Nelson.

I loved that team and they beat the Bucks to win a 12th Championship for the Celtics.

The Bird years.

The Big Three.

And now the new team.

Blown out twice by the Cavs.

Isiah Thomas out for game 3.

Then they fuck Cleveland at home.

An LA friend asked for my prediction.

“Celts in 6.”




I can’t even remember who the Patriots beat in the Superbowl other than they blew out their lungs and had nothing left for the 4th quarter.


Go Green.