the Trumpkins who live in soulless husks are unbeautiful…

America has done some horrible things in its tender existence.  Some pretty horrible things.  We all but annihilated the native population.  We enslaved entire cultures.  We’ve suppressed, imprisoned and murdered minorities, aka, non-white males, for our entire existence.  We’ve purposely imposed our will upon sovereign states, deposed legally elected rulers and manufactured coupes by the sackful.  We’ve poisoned, impoverished and neglected our own citizens with less empathy or concern than a poultry farmer tosses dead and dying chicks into whatever it is they throw them into.  We’ve started wars to prevent wars.  We even found justification for incalculable mass murder on a so-sickening-it’s-almost-hilarious-to-think-about scale.  And yet through all this and more, we have managed to maintain, promise and earn the status of the world’s beacon of light, a bastion of freedom, hope and intellectual will on a level never before seen in world history.  Or we did, that is, until we began concentrating children and babies into isolated prison camps.

Say that out loud and let it linger a minute.  Let the metallic bitter taste of that bloody image resonate off your tongue.  Wince at the discomfort and stifle the gag and retch that follows its aftertaste.  Ponder that.  America is willfully, en masse, tearing away children from their families and imprisoning them on American soil.  RIGHT.  FUCKING.  NOW.  In real time, folks.  This shit is going down in your backyard while you plan your summer vacation.  While you fuss over the coffee you just spilt on your shirt on the way to work.  While you kiss your snuggled little ones hurriedly so you can return to your spouse and try to work up to some real lovin’, Marvin Gaye style.  

While you are doing this, a child is screaming out loud to an indifferent, even perversely pleased American guard, “¿Donde esta mi madre?!!”  While you are doing this, a father is pawing hysterically at a wire wall, frantically trying to save his children from the clutches of tyrannical despotic praetorian paid for by your American dollars.  While you are doing this, 35% of your friends are slapping each other on the back, laughing themselves silly and praying to God for Trump to up the ante, because this tame shit just ain’t fucked up enough.  This is America, under the reign of an unfettered, unaffected, unintelligent criminally sick fuck masquerading as our nation’s president, buoyed by the will of the minority, by the will of the cowardly, by the will of the lost, indifferent and delusional.

There isn’t much further we can deteriorate as a country.  The next stop will be state sanctioned murder in an open forum.  No joke.  Mass hangings, mass shootings, mass graves.  This is not hyperbole.  Can you in any way believe that the America you knew could ever have done ANY of the things so far committed under this malignant regime, much less operate MASS CHILD CONCENTRATION CAMPS, on our own fucking soil no less?!  And if you can’t fathom that, then try stomaching the fact that other Americans, your brother, your uncle, your best friend, are pleased as fucking punch to see children literally torn from their mother’s arms and imprisoned.  Right.  Fucking.  Now.

One of the most perplexing and maddening effects from this sickness is coming from those that try to excuse or justify it.  “They shouldn’t be here in the first place.”  “They’re here illegally, so they get what they deserve!”  “Why can’t they follow the rules like everyone else is supposed to?”  I can’t believe that these arguments are put forth by people claiming NOT to be part of this Conservative fascist reign.  And that angers me to almost cartoon caricature levels.  You know.   With the ear steam and the tea-pot kettle scream and the temperature eyeball gauge with a needle jumping from from cold to hot to boiling to broken spring?  Yeah, that one.

The simplest answer is this:  How has America managed to NOT imprison forcefully separated children from their “illegal” families while still doling out justice for all these centuries, in the pasts?  We’ve managed to deport, en masse and with great prejudice, WITHOUT having to incarcerate babies in the before times.  What gives now?  Did migrant children suddenly attain superpowers or develop the ability to summon hellspawn, so they require such drastic measures?  Do they shit shiny platinum nuggets, or better yet, plutonium nuggets and we need them for harvest to help balance the Trump deficit?  Do they emit some Love Potion #9 pheromone that influences those in their vicinity against their will to squander them away like a fox burying the remains of a rabbit in the snow to savor later on?  What the fuck?!

Let’s ignore that so many, if not the majority of these “illegals”, are asylum seekers, running for their lives from tortuous governments, murdering drug lords, desperate poverty and sickness.  Let’s ignore that America has stood for that welcomed freedom since it’s inception as an idea and throughout its existence.  Let’s ignore that statistically illegal immigration has been at its lowest, dropping yearly, with reverse immigration on the rise during the Obama years.  Ignore the dark secret that America actually can’t function without these “illegals” as the cash crop cow that it is and has been.  Let’s ignore the principles of a free democracy that once led the world in example by being the most inclusionary country on the face of the earth, a “Melting Pot” as it were.  Let’s ignore how ALL of us got the fuck here in the first place.  Let’s ignore the fact that America herself has in some fashion CREATED the situations driving immigrants to seek a better life; unless you choose to ignore the history of Central America and the banana republic (not the Mall one), a failed drug war that pushed controlling cartel power in Colombia to a stones throw across the Rio Grande; unless you choose to ignore droves of murdered families from 17 years of an illegal war and the trigger happy predator drones in the hands of non-military judges.  Unless you’re a goddam, purposely ignorant fucktard that can only accept made up bedtime stories over statistical data and fact.

So what’s different now?  That’s right kids.  Trump.  A TV game show host.  An impotent and spoiled “business”man, bankrupt of soul, morals and intellect, as he has bankrupted himself and most every person or company to have ever worked up the gumption to trust this shit-stain.  Worst of all, his rise has unleashed a dark and hidden beast, larger and more fierce than any of us had every believed possible…ourselves.

Of course by “ourselves” I mean the 35% of sick individuals that mistake Trump’s clinical malignant narcissism for impassioned bravado.  I mean the deluded “Christians” that defile, in very explicit and literal terms, EVERYTHING Christ ever stood for.  I mean the sanctimonious masses devoid of morals, empathy and reason that for some fucking reason put this sick fuck in command, despite the fact that he holds them in contempt.  Even a professional cynic such as myself never realized the depths to which such pure, unadulterated hate and ignorance has held sway in my country.  Every day I feel like Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own”, trying to wrap his mind around the reality of a woman crying in baseball.  Maybe Hanks should try rationalizing how a fully functioning adult that touts Christian piety as subtly as a Kentucky Derby bonnet can gleefully justify rounding up Mexican children like marbles in a really fucked up game of Hungry Hungry Hippo.

I posted my favorite poem above, ironically by a poet whom I could not stand in my younger years:  e.e. cummings.  I have loved the imagery of this poem, it’s crooked cadence and clipped staccato of word flow, a cummings standard.  More than any vice or fault of mankind, I have hated hypocrisy the worst.  Preaching the opposite of what you emulate and expecting others to bend to your will without compromise on your end is anathema to my existence.  

Yet these characteristics are rampant among American Christians.  I know.  I was a devout one for years.  But like Ghandi, I grew to hate my brethren and their inability fully grasp the tenants of their faith, myself still admiring and adhering to Christ, the figure, as a moral sensei.  Of course, I view Spider-Man in almost the same way.  The two are faulted men, fallible in their humanness but aware of it.  Christians, as a whole, are not.  They are petty, devious, uncompromising and exclusionary.  Christ taught none of these things.  He was none of these things.  Today’s Christians are no less evolved than cummings’ Cambridge Ladies, from whom he drew the inspiration.  

I am a confused man these days.  More-so than usual.  Much more-so.  My country is cheering a madman on his throne of the bones of the tired, poor and huddled masses, not even waiting for some token of purple and gold beads to willingly flash their tits to court favor from a perverse simpleton.  I am angered, I am saddened, I am befuddled, I am exhausted.  I feel like someone on a rope in a losing game of tug-of-war, clutching and pulling for all he’s worth and gaining only rope burns and an impending sense of doom for his troubles.  The worst part is, I look across that muddy pit and see only a mange-addled rodent tugging on the other side, pulling me in and I’m horrified and confused.  The math doesn’t work.  But here it is.  A shit-stained mangey squirrel is besting me tet-a-tet and apparently there’s not a goddam thing I can do about it.  The moon, though, still rattles above.  She’s seen this shit before.  And unlike me, she can bide her time.


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With Friends Like These…


Trump withdraws US from Iran nuclear deal–CNN

This is where those history classes and cognizance of law and world dynamics on the most basic of levels would have paid off. Don’t get me wrong. Americans have a past rich in ignorance of their own country, let alone other countries, and how it has subverted and coerced foreign regimes to promulgate our own agendas. But, despite the often horrible and definitely criminal aspects of those efforts, whether it’s turning a blind eye to the mass genocides in Indonesia and Rwanda, or outright deposition of legally elected governments in Panama or Iran to institute our own puppets with Noriega and the Shah, to complete and utter falsification on a mass scale in Vietnam starting with the Gulf of Tonkin episode on, America at LEAST had some sort of rationale behind it to protect American interests. Misguided? Yep. Horribly miscalculated? Uh-huh. Downright evil? Maybe. But it sorta, kinda made sense on some level at some point with at least some semblance of goal towards protection of America and her ideals and her people. Debatable, I know. But what isn’t debatable is Trump’s continued malfeasance and misuse of his position, including this shit right here with that ignorant fuckstick.

Trump has shown nothing but contempt for truth, for the office of the Presidency and for America herself. He is more than an idiot. He is a simpleton; a child in man form that is fully incapable of thought beyond himself and of the immediacy of the moment. No object permanence, no forethought to consequence, no empathy for fallout to anything and everyone not him. It. Just. Isn’t. There. He is solipsism personified, an abstract in concrete form. And because too much of America is too much like him, we are all but completely undone.

The implications from this latest “decision” made by Trump could, and very likely will, result again in real world traumas. I qualify “decision” because actually deciding something implies a weighing of consequence and a serious debate of pros and cons. Trump doesn’t do anything resembling that. He only knows immediate gratification. He is the fabled greedy monkey with his hand in the jar grabbing for the most he can at one time and unable to pull his hand back out, stymied by his own greed and hubris, buoyed by the supposed adoration from his flock of glassy-eyed Trumpkins, themselves content to rely on fairy tales and schadenfreude to shield them from reality.  And rather than reformulate a thought and approach to a better way to get at them there nuts in a jar, he’s most likely gonna fling that damn jar around and beat it on the ground until it breaks or he has to take a nap.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, America is the jar.

At its simplest definition, a traitor is defined as someone who betrays, rather it be a cause, an idea, a person or a country. Betray, or deception of trust. It is the mortar that binds Trump. He has betrayed his businesses, his family, his marriages, his countrymen… all for the immediacy of personal fortune and glory. This has strengthened his pomposity of delusion to the point that even clear and evident failures are touted as strengths of will and purpose. Even Nixon had an agenda. Even Hitler had an ideal. Trump only is. In a way, he is Zen in human form, or rather the mirrored opposite of that: A cautionary tale of total abdication of worry and distraction, without a focus on an ideal or goal of betterment.

What is most painful about not just Trump’s nullification and abandonment of the U.S.’s deal with Iran is the damage done to the the vastly pro-American sentiment among the youth of that country. The Arab spring may have fizzled, but the desires are still there. One could argue that China’s openness today could very well have been coddled successfully by the Tiananmen square uprising almost 30 years ago. Those youths will soon gain broader control of their country. Iran hasn’t completely shaken its embrace of Western culture throughout the 60’s and 70’s, even if said culture was admittedly forced upon them. Nothing but harm can come of this latest arrogance, not just to Iran and thereby to the U.S. but, again, with its allies. Like the Paris accords, the only existing real-world solution to address climate change on a necessary mass scale, this will pollute our necessary relations with the rest of the world.

And there lies the crux of the problem. Trump’s supporters and apologists feel that America doesn’t need the world, doesn’t need viable trade and relationships on a global scale. This ideal serves both their xenophobic agenda as well as their fully misguided “pride” of patriotism, read nationalism. Such a belief is not just outdated, it is just plain stupid. There is no economy that can flourish within it’s borders. None. The world is closer now than ever on a socioeconomic scale and it will not slow down, even if it does burn itself out.  The balance of the results weighs in the approach to equilibrium or total consumption. But when someone’s real world ideals are directly affected by self-serving manipulations of out-dated fairy tales and fear of invisible monsters, what argument can one proffer that will effectively pull their heads out of their sanctimonious asses so they can stop shooting themselves in the foot?  Did I over-metaphor you there?  

The worst part of all with this current act of vainglorious stupidness? We aren’t even close to the end having to deal with this china-shop bull doofus. Impeachment won’t solve the problem. Hell, the next election may not solve it. America has fully unmasked itself for the dim-witted hate-monger that it is and trying to stuff that particular genie back in the bottle will take more than a mea culpa and a half-hearted re-do. This country, via this leadership and the Conservative party, is a Hydra of hate and ignorance.  Cutting off this head will at best result in a pyrrhic victory. One that I would be happy to settle for over nothing for now, grant you.  But as far as the bigger picture…? I dunno.

Impeaching Trump, trying him for the treasonous traitor that he is and dealing the harshest of punishments is truly what he deserves, but it is cold comfort. So many of my brothers and sisters, my friends and countrymen, have aligned themselves with this sad, pathetic malignancy of greed and ego. I’m reminded of the end of one of Ewan McGregor’s earliest movies, “Shallow Grave” (do yourself a favor and see this movie) as he delivers the final moral, “Oh, yes.  I believe in friends.  I believe we need them.  But if one day you find that you just can’t trust them anymore, well…what then?  What then?”  Yeah.  It’s kinda like that.


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Donald Trump is a Stupid Moron and So Are You If You Support Donald Trump, You Stupid, Stupid Idiot

“Killing this regulation won’t exactly fulfill Trump’s goal of reversing the coal industry’s decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can. ” – Vox

There is absolutely NO legitimate or constructive reason for either this bill to be presented nor, even less so, to be signed by Trump in any way. None. As the article notes, it will not help the coal industry in any viably economic way. No, what this bill represents is simply the only reason that the Republican party exists now and the only methodology that they can embrace: if THEY be fer it, then WE’s be agin it. That’s it. Simple.

This continuation of anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-goodforthecountry policy that defines the GOP is all that is left of their agenda. They have never proffered any real usable change or stimulation that will advance the status of the country, the well-being of the populace nor the recognition of anything other than profit for the wealthy and the powerful other than a giant “Fuck All Y’all” to everyone else, including Mother Earth. It’s this last part, that “Fuck Y’all” attitude, that 1/3-1/2 of the country have embraced to justify their myopically bigoted and belligerently voiced opposition to positive change and continued embracement of policies that actually do themselves even more harm than the bulk of their political counterparts. They gladly sell out their faith and reason so they can throw stones of judgment, hate and fear at the whores of sanity and true freedom, i.e. the rest of us.

Why does the far right, which, to be honest, IS the right, embrace such shittiness, vote for candidates and support actions that actively damage themselves? Again, simple. The bulk of Conservatives are stupid, stupid idiots. That’s right. I did not stutter. I say it loudly and clearly with no regret, hyperbole or irony: Conservatives are a stupid people.

What defines a stupid person? Well, for one, willingly allowing yourself to be viciously raped over and over again while being told by your rapist, “Hey, don’t let that guy over there rape you, cuz you know he will.” That is an objectively stupid person. A person who can’t fucking recognize instinctual danger, or worse, willingly dismiss or excuse it, is a stupid person. To do so for such vapid rewards as political legitimacy to openly embrace harmful policies, brutal evilness disguised as legitimate truisms, and attempt to enforce one’s own delusions of faith and pineal hate is even stupider.

Conservatives, as a biological entity, should not exist. But because they are people and not “uncivilized” wild beasts, nature is stymied at her attempt to cull them, despite the desperate need for a mass culling. Man has that privilege, having gained enough intelligence to alter his destiny while at the same time not enough to appreciate the damage other living things, or those things upon which living things subsist, may incur because of it. Anybody else, nature wouldn’t play that shit. It’d be bye, bye, thanks for playing Darwin’s Roulette…next contestant please. Oooh, Avians…I see you’re still in the running. Wanna have a go?

Or does she? Nature will have her revenge, no doubt. But on by HER clock, not ours. By that time, she will be pissed as hell and she’s going to go all medieval on all of us with no distinction between party lines or political narrative, or stupidity factor for that matter. She won’t give the rest of us props for trying to stem the tide of ignorance while laying waste to fuck all around us. Nope, she’s gonna clean house but good and shake us off like a freshly shampooed Golden Retriever.

Anyone familiar with the biology of populations and a “J” curve vs. an “S” curve reality understand that we are, and have been, right on the cusp of whether we as a civilizations will equilibrate and continue a long-term survival via the “S” curve, versus a rather immediate and vicious plunge into mass-extinction via “J” curve. You can probably guess which status I feel we are headed towards. There’s a reason I’m a cynic.

But what about the between-time until then? Well, get ready for more stupid shit like this. Trump’s already stockpiled the worst of the worst available candidates into every position he’s bothered with filling. So much for all this “swamp drainage” I kept hearing about. But, of course, a stupid person thinks that that is exactly what Trump is doing. You know. Because they’re STUPID.

As long as stupid Conservatives value the chance to spew derogatory vitriol without consequence; as long as the right longs to bathe in the glory of their self-righteous bat-shit insanity; as long as actually smart Conservatives keep thinking the days of Barry Goldwater are just around the corner if only they stick it out a little longer or are just too fucking cowardly to stand up against outright flakey, retarded Evangelical kooko-banana-world tyrannical suppression of truth and righteousness at the highest levels of our country; as long as “Christians” continue to delude themselves that they are embracing the tenants and teachings of Christ, or even better, that that should even fucking MATTER in the FIRST goddam place in a free society; as long as the rich love pissing on the rest of us and poor Conservatives think golden showers are worth the ticket to flout their hate and judgement upon others, then what are we to do? The earth couldn’t give a fuck what we believe…she’ll have her way, dammit. She’s only middle aged and she’s got a WHOOOOOLE lotta dancin’ left.

At this point, any legitimate claim from anyone saying or thinking that Trump is a positive force of ANY kind in ANY way for ANYthing is so far deluded they will never see reason, at all. “Never ever?” No, never ever. They are lost, forever. I can guarantee you that. You will never be able to argue with any person that ensconced in their own filth of irrationality. Nothing will persuade them, nothing will sway them, nothing will help them, nothing will reason with them, nothing will ever save them. They are gone, brother. And I mean gone. Maaaaaybe if they were to suffer severe pain directly via their own political hubris, as is required by a Republican to understand empathy and the value of a free society or individual that ISN’T them or a loved one. But even then, I’m sure it would be a “God’s will” moment for them or whatever bullshit one feeds themselves to obscure the reality that they themselves are the ones to blame for all the shit happening to and around them and not an invisible hoofed satyr prancing just out of reach off their shoulder. Cuz that’s just fucking stupid.

P.S. I fucking HATE you, Trump, you nutless sack of feces. Damn it!


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Jesus Ain’t Say That

Who would have thought one of the most poignant and direct criticisms of Trump, his administration, specifically Pence, the Right wing in general and the whole damn world of Conservatives and Evangelicals would have come from Omarosa Manigault?  I know, right?  Yeah, she was explaining how much worse Pence would be as president due to his hyper-religiosity and hellbent Biblical literal interpretations with an eye on self-fulfilling apocalyptic prophesy.  Then again, that IS the very definition of the current right wing, along with their anointing of Trump as the very second coming of Christ. No hyperbole. It is this disgusting, monstrous distortion of Christianity and the perverse hijacking of the Republican party and all things conservative in this nation that has led to the sickening state of affairs in this country, as we tailspin towards the inner circles of hell.   

Don’t believe me?  Really?  Alright.  Here’s an actual newspaper article by an actual human being with actual motor skills touting Trump as the new savior:  No Shit?!  This is not an aberrancy.  This is the new norm, Right Wing style.  And if that makes you sick to your stomach, then congratulations.  You’re a free-thinking individual with an intact set of mores, a normal functioning empath along with a basic set of interpretive skills and intellect.  This Conservative reality is a sickness that extends to not just the basest of people and their worst attributes.  It is an active embracing of real-world evil.

In a recent article, Time reported that the Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, has been getting inundated with fan mail:  “Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, Cruz’s lawyer, told the newspaper that his client has indeed received “piles of letters.”  In addition, $800 has been deposited into a commissary account which can be used by inmates to buy snacks, radios and personal hygiene products.  “In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant,” Finkelstein said. “Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.” THAT is some fucked-up shit right there.

When W. Bush was president, I thought I had seen the worst in the purposeful delusion in people, both in the proffering and in the acceptance of said delusions.  It was pretty goddam bad.  But what we’re seeing now is beyond the scope of explanation, far beyond comprehension or belief.  The depths of depravity a people will sink to further their own sick biases is truly unfathomable.  I’ve seen the evils of tyranny and dictatorship, the mind-wiping complicity of a subjugated people willing to adhere to batshit insane ideology and ideologues on a smaller scale.  I’ve witnessed the history of whole states and continents besieged with the criminal ineptitude of demons mascarading as saviors.  But I don’t think I’ve seen such wholesale perversion of one’s own faith and morality, going as far as embracing the exact opposites of the tenants of one’s belief system in order to subjugate and persecute, WITH JOY, those who choose not to blindly goose-step in criminal fashion behind a false prophet along with them.  Not even a false prophet, really.  Just a malignant narcissist living in his own bizarro “Being John Malkovich” episode, where everyone’s face is Donald Trump’s and all they say is “Trump, Trump, Trump” instead of “Malkovich, Malkovich.”  No hyperbole.

What we’re seeing now with Trump and this “Trump World” is not just complete embracing of the dark side, as it were.  It is the full deflection of evil onto the good, turning victim into criminal, truth into lie.  With Parkland, it hasn’t been enough to continue the usual 2nd Amendment mantras the right is so fond of regurgitating.  No, what we have now in the world of Dear Leader Trump is the recasting of the victims into villains, turning murdered and traumatized children into the provocateur and the murderer into unfairly persecuted saint.  WHAT THE HOLY FUCK?!  Crisis actors?!  Are you shitting me?!  Have you listened to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Dana Loesch, Kellyanne Conway et al?  If such a thing as “Crisis Actor” is real, then, brother, you been missing the forest for the trees on that one if you think it’s kids not wanting to be murdered and not these screaming mimi fuckholes spewing rivers of shit non-stop from the softest slight against their self-righteous delicate egos.  And WE’RE the snowflakes?!  Is there anything braver and more ballsy than a child, having survived mass slaughter, to further suffer the slings and degradations from a tone-deaf oligarchy and stand face-to-face with them, shoulders firm and head high, calling them out openly on their bullshit?  While I’m at it, fuck you, Ted Nugent, you talentless shit-filled diaper-wearing cowardly has-been.  Seriously.  From the heart.

But with Trump and the Conservative agenda, deflection and coopting is the new normal.  If you can’t reconcile an obvious “uncomfortable” truth, then either blame the accuser or someone else or just embrace it and re-qualify it.  Trump gets caught dead to rights openly degrading women?  “It’s just locker talk…all guys do it!”  Trump is accused of criminal behavior against them by 22 women, and counting?  “They’re liars!”  Trump backs and excuses a pedophile?  “Well, in the Bible, you can marry a 14 year old!”  Pick your poison.  Despite Trump’s record of dozens of failed business ventures, six bankruptcies, non-payment of investors and employees, bilking of his own businesses even when used for charity, collusion with Russia in money laundering via his New York business ventures and real estate holdings, his reluctance to openly reveal his tax returns, something ALL presidents have done since Nixon did, etc, etc, etc. the right has openly excused all of these while giving absolutely no quarter to anyone else of any not of their ilk.

Better yet, just ignore the evil shit you are doing  and blame the other guys of doing it instead.  Hence the term “fake news.”  One of the latest far right strategies and pure example of fascist propaganda masquerading as “news”, outside of Fox News, that is, is being perpetrated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is able to own and control roughly over 2/3 of the news stations in the entire nation.  Say what?!  Yes, that’s right.  Since the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated by Reagan and his cronies to allow the monopolization of information by the uber rich, read Conservative, plutocracy, the bastardization of actual information and the proliferation of manipulated Conservative doctrine has reached pandemic levels.  In a ballsy, completely non-ironic display of a spot-on perfect display of irony, Sinclair forced its peons to read to its TV watching public straight from the text of crazy-as-shit totalitarian dictatorship Big Book of Whatthefuckisms.  Word for word, deriding the manipulation of information and dissemination of unilateral ideologies, read outright lies, by media and talking heads, while illustrating in a whacko-meta way their very premise!  Straight faced.  That’s some fucking STONES!  It would be impressively beautiful from an illustrative narrative view of literal manipulation if it wasn’t so fucking Twilight Zone but very real world scary.  Mao Tse Tung would have high-fived Joseph Goebbels in a mutual “OH NO HE DI’N’T!” display of mutual props.

The most puzzling and egregious, on the surface anyway, is the Evangelical anointing of Trump, the FURTHEST example of anything relating to any tenant of Christianity one could conjure, as the new Christ.  Before the election, I’m quite certain Trump had never uttered the word “Christian” or “Jesus”.  No hyperbole.  “Two Corinthians?”  Seriously?  While still running when asked what Easter meant to him, Trump fumbled with something about Christians and stuff:  “Well, it really means something very special. I’m going to church in an hour from now and it’s going to be — it’s a beautiful church. I’m in Florida.  And it’s just a very special time for me. And it really represents family and get-together and — and something, you know, if you’re a — a Christian, it’s just a very important day.”  Sweet.

If this non-answer sounds familiar, it’s just his usually boilerplate, a’la a 4th grader being asked to explain Fahrenheit 451 that he clearly hadn’t read:  “Well, its really something special.  I’m here in class right now and it’s, it’s really a cool class and all, a beautiful school.  In Georgia.  And it’s just a very special book to me.  It represents heat, and really hot heat–and something, you know, if you’re a–a person who reads it, it’s really a good book.”  Just plug and play that shit into pretty much everything he ever says and follow the usual pattern:  acknowledge the last thing asked, mention something related to that thing, pontificate about how incredible that thing is that was related to the topic that you encountered, obfuscate the asker by steering the topic towards someone else you hate by misappropriating their stance on said topic, bloviate the same inane words into a snake-swallowing-it’s-tail train of haphazard words, close with how awesome that thing is and vicariously you are for doing/being/seeing it then grimace like a monkey smelling its own ass.  Or, as known in the Trump World, smile.

What’s particularly sad here is the selling out of Christianity by “Christians” themselves.  You can chalk all of Trump’s evil bullshit and malfeasance up to what it is:  self-serving criminality served with a political shine to a largely ignorant populace to further one’s own self-gratification and pursuit of power/money/attention.   What you should have trouble reconciling here is the eager kowtowed blasphemy in the indulgence of the right with, for lack of a better term, the very literation of the Anti-Christ.  But once you start to see what it is the hard religious right actually treasure and believe, maybe it’s not so puzzling.  And, it’s not very Christian at all.  

Christians in America have revealed their true colors, not that they’ve been hiding them too well since W. Bush.  I can honestly say that Christians are completely devoid of anything to do with Christ, at all.  No hyperbole. A Christian is to be as Christ.  Simply defined and easy to understand, but very difficult to follow completely and without fail.  But American Christians, specifically Evangelicals, have allowed for the chronic perversion of their faith to distort it so much and so far as be unrecognizable as Christianity at all.  What Trump represents is a mindless, soulless lump of clay that will allow for them to create their own god, in their own grotesque image and parade him like a golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai.  Basically, in Trump, they fully nullify the first 4 of the 10 commandments right out of the gate.  Pretty sure Moses would have just left them smashed if he knew what was to come of them.

A simple test would be to take what really may be the heart of Christianity as taught by Christ, the Beatitudes.  Then, compare these to what the Christian platforms are in todays Conservative party:

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

You could take JUST the Parkland massacre and deride Christians on every single one of these.  Even better, take Matthew 25:35-40.  You know the one:  35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.  36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Does THIS sound like today’s American Christian?  Christ stood for austerity, peace, charity, agape (brotherly love), acceptance, inclusion, absence of judgement, passive civility, equality and welfare.  He was a hippie luddite before there were hippies or luddites.  Christian Evangelicals preach and embrace the active acquisition of wealth, pursuit of vengeance and war, oppose any state, read neutral, measures of help for the poor and sick, judgmental exclusion, self righteousness, acceptance of social and political hierarchy and punishment for those that fail to agree with them.  No hyperbole.  So when you hear “The bible says…” or “Jesus said…” spewing from the mouth of a Conservative hate-mongering hypocrite, rest assured not only is the tenants expressed most likely the complete opposite of what it is they are saying.  Most likely, Jesus ain’t say that.  At all.


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And Now For Something Completely Stupid…

“President Donald Trump signaled on Tuesday he’s prepared to dismiss aides with whom he’s clashed — including national security adviser H.R. McMaster — as he works to surround himself with advisers more aligned with his populist agenda and freewheeling style.”–CNN
 
Trump has sacrificed yet another lamb upon his altar of cult of personality:  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  This is textbook demagoguery, championed by the cowardly, ignorant and weak who crave attention and power but can offer nothing in the way of progress, welfare or stability to a people or state. Idi Amin. Pol Pot. Benito Mussolini. Kim Jung-Un. Robert Mugabe. Caligula. On and on, tyrannical sociopaths willing to sacrifice everyone and everything for narcissistic puffery.  If Trump were in charge of one of the “shithole” countries he loves to deride, there is no doubt he would out-Qaddafi Qaddafi with the best, most beautiful gold lamé double-breasted military jacket with all the most expensive, huge, gold medals adorning it to show all his countrymen just how much he truly loathes, I mean, ‘er, um, loves them.  The rest of his rule would pretty much look as it does now:  a whole lot of jackshit surrounded by more bullshit and lots and lots of golf. 
 
Trump is a brewing civil war short of being a war criminal; he and his Trumpkin warmongers would love nothing more than to elevate this shitbag from dictator to Generalissimo tout de suite. This is not colorful hyperbole in any way. I mean this in the stark coldness of the horrible, horrible truth that it is. At this time in our history, we are being ruled by a mad tyrant, with the most fragile of democratic strings keeping him in check. We are one OJ trial type event from shit hitting the fan and, again, I mean that literally and most sincerely.  Gird your loins, John Wayne style, kids.  Some crazy-assed shit is a-comin’. 
 
I don’t know how many truly appreciate the precariously volatile state our country is in right now with this soulless totem and his spineless and equally malignant co-consipirators, along with the seething horde of idiots that continue to shower adulation in the face of ego-driven ineptitude and malfeasance itching for a fight. There isn’t one aspect of his governance that isn’t riddled with self-aggrandizing nepotism, criminal incompetence and flagrant conflict of interests:  A son-in-law who does somethin’ or ‘nother with a lower clearance level than the White House calligrapher. His goddam caddie as social media director and his fucking wedding planner as the HEAD of New York’s Federal Housing Office!  You can’t make this shit up!  An idiotic anti-school, for-profit fucktard Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, who can’t even talk schools in an interview about schools for about half a damn minute. An even dumber sack of hammers goofus allowing the corporate profiteers to ransack the Department of Energy, Rick “Whoops” Perry, who graduated from Texas A&M with a C average in animal science, a man ironically with absolutely zero understanding of any science and who openly stated if he were president he would get rid of said Energy Dept. Secretary of Housing and Development, Ben Carson, a brain surgeon that truly personifies self-referential satire by illustrating it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to be a brain surgeon, in charge of housing, because…brain surgeon? Scott Pruitt, who has taken the Protection out of the Environmental Protection Agency and put the country up for highest bidder. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State…I mean, ‘er, um, current whipping boy soon to be replaced by a mannequin with an iPad for a head set to FaceTime for any given dumbass willing to give Trump a reach around.
 
If there were any modicum of humanity or morality left in the third of the country that touted this man as almost the literal new messiah, the chorus of wails and derision borne of betrayal and lies should be louder than Jordan-Hare during the Iron Bowl with :30 seconds left and Auburn up by 4. Instead, the best one hears is nothing. Absolutely nothing. More commonly, though, is the rabid refrain of cheers and the ramping up of vitriolic hate and dumbness from the Right celebrating said regression and ineptitude. More than willing to double-down on their Chosen One, completely comfortable with the selling out of their morals and beliefs to co-opt a phony and dangerous vision of an isolated America, drunk with self-righteous bravado, fueled by fairy tales and .223 rounds from a drum magazine, Conservatives have embraced all that is everything they claim they are not:  fascists, terrorists, idolators, traitors.
 
If anyone was withholding judgement of Trump, willing to “give him a chance” to prove himself and take him at his word, that time has long past. If anyone can still look at this wispy husk of nothingness and see anything of value still there, then one must conclude they are clinically deluded or outright liars. There is no excusing this man, this nothingness, not before and very not now. This cycle of self-indulgent whimsy and blithering incompetence will at best continue in a whirl of non-accomplishment. More likely, and more injuriously, real trauma awaits our country. Even more than has been already experienced at the helm of this fecal stain on the American historical landscape.
Herr Trump will out all but the most sycophantic of his lapdogs. He will betray all who don’t fully embrace and worship him unconditionally. He will strut and puff about as though he has single-handedly won the world, when in fact he has ostracized us from it and humiliated us in front of it. All the while, his mind-wiped flock of 35% with sugar-glazed eyes and poisoned minds will cheer their own demise, all believing they are off to the promised land right before the grape-flavored cyanide takes effect.  I kind of envy Stephen Hawking for finally voiding this mortal coil and saving himself the shame of watching the death of science and truth in the face of flagrant idiocy while the bastion of democracy consumes itself for vainglorious fantasies.  Now, I turn my head and my hopes to Neil DeGrasse Tyson as de facto leader of steadied reason and the continued quest for truth.  Science save us all.  God knows, Trump sure as hell won’t.

This column dedicated to Dr. Stephen Hawking.  Thank you, sir.  Rest well.

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God Damn the Pusher

“The big drug company Pfizer seems intent on being a pace-setter in cranking out the benefits of the tax cut to stakeholders who need them the least. In an announcement over the weekend, Pfizer said it was shutting down its research efforts on treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism.” – LA Times 

Hey, Conservatives.  Every time you bitch about how much your meds cost or how your surgery blew your savings or that your stay in the hospital was totes outrageous, yo, try shutting the fuck up.  You are the ones putting these greedy shitmongers in charge. You are the ones that insist on undermining your own healthcare by continuing to vote against your own medical interests, simply because some Fox talking head told you a scary liberal story about lustful welfare queens lining up every nine months to get they abortion so they can fit in that new prom dress they dead baby daddy bought with the food stamps you paid for on account Obama hates freedom.

Anyone in the medical, dental, veterinary or psychiatric professions knows full well about the rolling shortages, backorders, unavailability and absences affecting many life-saving, formerly easily available, basic drugs that are used constantly used daily for routine and emergent medical care.  This epidemic of shortages is a relatively new phenomenon and is in stark direct parallel to the rising promotion and use of designer drugs, all starting with the now legal advertising direct to the consumer.  The stupid, stupid consumer that knows exactly jack shit about medicine but likes slow motion, non-threatening handsome people doing outdoorsy things with a dark and moody backdrop that brightens suddenly at the mention of the new awesome drug that totally will fuck you up but you now totally need.  I started a list here at first, but after getting more complete data, decided to post the link to ASHP’s full 2017 list.  It’s 17 pages. 

It’s insane what isn’t available, and often for months or even years at a time.  Everyday shit like 0.9% saline and atropine injectable.  Not having these available are basically the equivalent of being out of salt and napkins at a diner.  Acetylcysteine, the only antidote for acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning, especially in cats? Nah.  Shouldn’t have given Tabby that Excedrin, should you now?  Diazepam (valium) injectable, 1st choice for seizures, especially in dogs and cats? Fuck it. It’ll pass.  Eventually.  Hope you got something more expensive like Versed lying around.  Epinephrine?  You guessed it.  Hope your heart doesn’t stop.  That’s the first thing you grab.  

The lists of necessary drugs apparently not so necessary after all goes on, and on and on.  Why? THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT! Big Pharma doesn’t care because they don’t have to.  They don’t have to because they have bought out your legislators and have replaced any semblance to ethics in their profession with corporate greed.  It’s the capitalist way.  Besides, they don’t have to make lifesaving drugs.  There’s no law against it, right?  Nope.  You are right.  There is no law against passive corporate indifference contributing to human suffering and death on a progressively worsening scale.  Ya got me there.  Center square gets the “X”.

But what about the costs?  Why so high?  You can argue all you want about how much is spent on R&D and how the cost of drugs needs to justify that investment money spent on R&D.  You could argue that, but it would be a really, really dumb argument.  Firstly, I’ve never fucking heard that argument applied to any other consumer good, allowing, of course, for medicine to be “consumer good”, since in essence it is treated as one in this country.  How much was that Mazda CX-5 when it first came on the market?  What was the R&D on that shit?  Did you have to plunk down $330,000 for that baby?  Or how about that Mossberg 20-gauge Shockwave pump action tactical shotgun?  That bitch looks SWEEEEET!  Must’ve set you back at least $20,000, what with all the R&D they invested.   Please.  Shut the fuck up.

Secondly, it’s the tail wagging the dog now, with Big Pharma developing a condition, percolating the need for the drug then ramping up the grossly overhyped “condition” rather that would fit a new drug than a response to a real need within the medical field based on real world data.  Is it me or did Restless Leg Syndrome suddenly get cured just as suddenly as it showed the fuck up?  There’s only so many plants manufacturing any given drug at any given time, so what’s really happening is preference is given to the money makers. The superstars. The broken ding-dong drugs and the happy pills. Dicks and the blues.  That’s what we need.  $40 pills and up, not $0.03 phenobarbital.  Fuck AIDS, stroke, paralysis and Alzheimer’s.  Uncle Steve can’t get his Wally-Wank to full mast.  Which makes him sad.  So get me some Happy Drugs for $50 a pop, STAT!

It’s going to get worse.  Certainly while the GOP rules the roost.  And even when it doesn’t, Conservatives have clearly shown how effective they are at stymieing the electoral and legislative process as well as distorting public opinion with lies and bloviated fear-based tactics.  Which, honestly, again, not surprising.  Corporations are not inherently bad.  They just react financially to a given scenario.  Ultimately, they have one and only one function:  turning a profit for their shareholders.  That’s it.  They are not trying to make your life better.  They aren’t trying to be your friend.  They don’t worry how enviro friendly they are inasmuch as it affects their bottom line.  They don’t believe in nor do they care nor understand what the fuck “gluten-free”, “non GMAO”, “organic”, “free range”, “all natural” or any of that shit is.  I can tell you it’s not at all what you think it is.  It’s just designed to increase profit for their shareholders.  They are just crocodiles.  They don’t hate what they consume; they don’t love what they consume.  They only know they have to consume to stay alive.  And the biggest, oldest, strongest ones know how to do it the best.

For a classic example, take General Motors, GM.  Just three years ago in 2015, they settled a lawsuit with 127 families for 64 deaths.  And not just deaths their automobiles caused or contributed to.  Deaths that the company was FULLY AND KNOWINGLY AWARE OF FOR 13 GODDAM YEARS!  And those are just the ones that were allowed to file, because “another 350 death and 3588 injury claims were deemed ineligible, with six additional minor-injury claims awaiting final review” because submissions didn’t meet the deadline.  WHAT THE FUCK?!  Now, I’ve known about this shit since it hit the fan, but watching the new super cool, ultra friendly GM ads with that one folksy, easy-talkin’ best buddy spokesman surprising a group of consumers with a crazy assortment of awesome displays of cars, you’d think that shit happened 40 years ago, if at all, instead of just THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS ago.  This fucking company KNEW it was producing vehicles that were going to statistically kill a known percentage of the populace, and they fucking did it anyway.  Because profit.  It was more profitable to not do shit and chance a few lawsuits than to recall multiple millions of vehicles for an ignition switch costing less than 20 bucks.  THAT is what a corporation is.  And Big Pharma is no different.

The mistake people make is giving corporations a conscience, like they would a person.  Whether they fall for their sleek manufactured earnestness or just don’t really care as long as they get’s they shit, the fault lies with the people allowing this:  the voters.  And not just on a consumer level.  Corporate America and Congress are so inextricably joined now, a choice for one is a choice for the other.  You want lower medical bills but you keep voting for Orrin Hatch, then fuck you!  Better dump that timeshare.  You want your MeeMaw to not have to sell her ranch on account of her Parkinson’s, but you keep voting for Paul Ryan, then fuck you!  Better clean out the den, cuz guess who’s movin’ in with her morbidly obese, flatulent Shih Tzu?   You hate shelling out $500 for a bottle of insulin that just last month was $40, but you think that Steve Scalise speaks God’s truth, then fuck you!  Time to hang up on that dream of getting your own bass boat.   Out of the top 20 legislators that get major contributions from Big Pharma, FIFTEEN are good old fashioned, God & guns lovin’ Republicans.  Shocking…

Look, you’re not going to really change the essence of a crocodile.  Never, ever?  Never, ever.  But corporations, like crocodiles, will evolve and will adjust to environmental changes in order to survive.  Companies are already evolving in response to the call of the masses and not to blind loyalty to a clothes-less emperor.  The Paris Accords, MeToo, Parkland and Black Lives Matter have all had huge impacts on how corporations act and what corporations will do to keep themselves pertinent players in a quickly evolving world, despite the GOP’s anchoring in a mythic past.  Big Pharma doesn’t have to keep us in a chokehold.  Unless, of course, you don’t believe in evolution AND you’re into autoerotic asphyxiation, like apparently Conservatives are.   Then again, these guys are into weird shit.  Or haven’t you read Leviticus or the Revelation?  That’s fucked up.


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Situation Normal, All Trumped Up

“Protectionist trade polices are one of the primary factors economists cite for deepening the Great Depression. So if there’s one thing that most economists agree upon, it’s no one wins a trade war.”  –CNN/Money 

I hate Donald Trump.  Unapologetically, unequivocally, unquestionably, whole-heartedly, without hyperbole or regret, in no uncertain terms, I HATE DONALD TRUMP.  With great passion and with the hate of 1000 hates. Anyone that knows me or has read anything I’ve ever written about the man, this hardly comes as ground-shaking revelation.  The man is a fully solipsistic, tasteless, thoughtless, belligerent, self aggrandizing, pathologically lying, malignantly narcissistic buffoon.  He is a caricature of bigoted, sexist putrescence (thanks, unkempt old lady from Buttercup’s nightmare) whose one and only goal is to get people to look at him, talk about him, pontificate about him, acknowledge him.  Him, him, him, nothing else, good, bad or indifferent.  To paraphrase Ghostbusters Zuul, “there is no other, only Trump”.  “But surely there’s at least ONE thing you could say nice about this shitpile of sewage detritus, yeah?  ONE thing?  Just one, Steve?”  All right.  I’ll bite. 

Well, he’s supposed to be this great businessman, right?  I mean, he’s a billionaire, sooooo…  If there is one “attribute” that many of my friends continued, and continue, to harp on as to why they voted for a pussy-grabbing, tone deaf sociopathic mutant whose only inherent power is sucking the life out of those around him to bolster his own image of himself, it is “he’s a successful businessman.” We can ignore the fact that being a great businessman has as much to do with forging new business as president as living in Alaska makes one a great candidate for foreign policy development on account you can almost see Russia.   Forgoing the facts that he inherited his wealth, squandered it on failure, after failure,  after failure, including six bankruptcies, cheated other businessmen and investors, doesn’t pay workers, staff or pretty much anyone else AND cheats charities, they also overlook both WHERE his wealth has come from and HOW he overinflates what he did make and does have.

No, Trump is no businessman. What he is amounts to is  little more than a mooch and a thief.  And while, yes, being successful in business often may require one being at times either a mooch or a thief or both, it usually isn’t the contributing or attributing factors in defining their methodology. The ones most notorious for building wealth using malfeasance as a foundation are often destroyed by that very hubris. Think Bernie Madoff or Kenneth Lay or Charles Keating. In fact, Trump is actually so shitty at business, the National Journal reported that “had the celebrity busi­ness­man and Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate in­ves­ted his even­tu­al share of his fath­er’s real-es­tate com­pany in­to a mu­tu­al fund of S&P 500 stocks in 1974, it would be worth nearly $3 bil­lion today, thanks to the mar­ket’s per­form­ance over the past four dec­ades. If he’d in­ves­ted the $200 mil­lion that For­bes magazine de­term­ined he was worth in 1982 in­to that in­dex fund, it would have grown to more than $8 bil­lion today.”

So, doing jack squat would have actually made the man richer than he is today.  But, therein lies a part of the problem.  No one really knows, because he refuses to release his tax forms, Trumps actual worth.  And believe you me, if that man had an inkling of what he claims, which is roughly $10-12 billion, he would  be chomping at the bit to get that info out.  Even if releasing this information would somehow point to illegal or embarrassing activity, he wouldn’t give a shit, just as long as people could ooh and aah over his wealth. The man has no discernible ability to recognize, let alone accept, moral or legal implications.  What he does have is a fragile ego that needs constant bloviating and attention in order to keep it perpetually inflated.  No, his wealth is not near as much as he claims.  Revealing that bit of truth would devastate him internally, even if he poo-pooed it to his subservient masses.

Trump’s newest business blunder, raising tariffs on steel and aluminum, has the GOP, again, crapping themselves.  One singularity to classic economic depression, as pretty much all economists agree, is starting a trade war.  But Trump, as he does with all things, gives no fucks.  Hell, he’s willing to start a war war without so much regard as to how many mulligans he’s willing to give himself on the 4-Hole at Mar-lago (spoiler alert, for anyone wondering, is “as many as it takes.”)  He is completely unable to think beyond the immediacy of the event of him saying it,  how it will garner him attention.  The NOW.  The only caveat seems to be how much effort is required of him, as he will undoubtedly take the path of least resistance.  Like water. 

And there it is, folks.  Right there, fully obfuscated by the very simplicity of the man himself, is the one “good” thing you can say about Trump.  He is Zen defined.  He is so uncluttered with everything else, he is fully able to think of absolutely nothing else but himself at any given moment in any given circumstance.  He is able to stay in the now because he can’t remember the past and cares not for the future.  Because he has no soul, fortitude or character, he is formless and shapeless, like water.  And, like water, he allows himself to take the shape of whatever controlling force would like for him to take, like, say, Evangelicals.  And, again, like water, he can erode and destroy everything around him simply by being himself over and over and over again without being damaged himself.  Trump is the essence of Zen.  A very, very shitty perversion of Zen, but Zen nonetheless.  Hate him, vilify him, accuse him, fault him…it matters not.  He will not cede and he will not sway, no matter what the import of any truth placed in front of him may implicate.  Trump is a Zen master of ego.  He is the best at being the worst of everything.  He has become like water.  My apologies to Bruce Lee. I know this isn’t what you had in mind, but it’s the best we can do, apparently, these days.  Sorry, Bruce.


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Florida, You Ignorant Slut

In a not altogether surprising display of Floridian logic, after failing to address murder boomboom-sticks directly, the Florida House instead just passed a bill that would require schools to display “In God We Trust“.   Because, of course, the only thing that will stop the perverse display of an outdated amendment is the perverse desecration of another.

Florida, you never fail to fail.  I’ll give you that.  No wonder Trump has made you his default residence and has mandated a no-go zone for offshore drilling just for you.  And I thought it was just because, you know…orange. 

Florida has a real identity issue. It tries to out-Texas Texas, playing Grover Dill to a far more white-trashy Scut Farkus, but doesn’t really have the balls or the numbers to do it. Plus, they rely on the kindness of strangers, aka tourists, to keep it from going cash poor, on account hawking googly-eyed beach detritus and T-shirts with airbrushed alligators huffing paint thinner can only get you so far.  And just to prove how Florida this latest Floridian fuckism is, it was a DEMOCRAT that introduced the bill.  Trust me.  Patton Oswalt let you guys off easy.

It never ceases to both befuddle and incense me how completely fucking ignorant Conservatives truly are. They simply just cannot understand the 1st amendment at all. The very amendment that gives them the licensure they need to do all the shitty, shitty, oh-so-shitty things they do in the first place is the one they shit on every chance they get. Actually, pretty much all the amendments are at best after thoughts, if they think about them at all.  Other than that most precious of preciousness, THE SECOND AMENDMENT (hushed reverence ensues…)  Sorta like the Ten Commandments they never seem to be able to fully recite.  

As a Christian, I was led to believe, or rather the attempt was made to lead me to believe, that the “separation of church and state” was nowhere to be found in the entire American Constitution. I tried to understand it but it never sat well with me.  And I’d leave church thinking, time and time again:  but, but, but…the First Amendment, y’all? (sheepish squeaking ensues…)  It wasn’t until years later, long after I had left the church, that I realized, “OOOOOOHHHH…they mean the actual phrase ‘separation of church and state’…ooooohhhhh. Ooookaaay.  Well.  That’s.  Really.  Stupid.”  

When you factor in how Conservatives slash Christians slash Evangelicals can only understand concepts that aren’t actually conceptual but instead actual literal depictions of actual actuality, then you understand their inability to understand things.  You have to account for a fairly sizable population that honestly and without use of metaphor or imagery believe in the real existence of magical boats that can carry all the animals of the world, ladies that turn into pillars of salt for being all mouthy and woman-like and the mass murder of innocent children just so God can prove a point.  Then you can “appreciate” distilled ignorance masquerading as childlike wonderment, or “faith” as they prefer it.  At least, to their credit, there’s precedent for “justifiable” child slaughter.  Because.  You know.  God.

I don’t know if this bill will be voted into law.  But the fact that it was even introduced, let alone got passed, says plenty.  America is held hostage by a “moral majority” that is neither of those things.  What they lack in descriptive accuracy they more than make up in self righteous vicissitude and moral appropriation.  The far left may match their obstinate delusions but they got nuttin’ on their vindictive nature, both in numbers and magnitude.

The sad reality again divulged from this latest of tragedies AND the newest malignancy that has arisen from it, from “crisis actors” to this total horseshit legislative divinity Let Go & Let God “cure-all”, is how willingly a people who so loudly proclaim to treasure freedom so willingly partake in its subterfuge. Never mind that 12 years ago Florida added In God We Trust to their fucking STATE flag.  Or that it’s already on all the money, because, how couldn’t it be.  Or that “under God” was snuck into the Pledge of Allegiance honoring a flag whose very symbolism allows for no such thing to be embraced by the state.  It’s maddening!  Absolutely maddening!  Conservatives have done it time and time and time again, each time trying to fill a hole with the dirt found at the bottom and blaming everybody else for trying to bury them.  Quite honestly, should they ask all nice-like, that’s one damn thing I’d be more than happy to help them do.


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Suffer the Little Children, Again

“Lawmakers voted down a motion to consider the ban during a session that opened with a prayer for the 17 people killed by a former student last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The vote in the Republican-dominated body was 36-71.” — CNN

Family values.  Add that to the growing lexicon of American oxymorons, brought to you courtesy of the Conservative morons that have made this euphemism a huge plank in their platform.  As much as they like to pry that one from their decks and smack the rest of us subversive libtards about the head, I am moved to paraphrase that literary icon, Inigo Montoya:  “You keep using those words.  I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

I realize that Americans harbor this time-honored tradition of “Do as I say, not as I do.” But there once was an unspoken understanding that this had to do mostly with drugs and sex and sniffing your cousin’s panties and not so much state sanctioned mass murder.  And make no mistake, that is exactly what Florida embraced today, proudly and unequivocally, in a 2 to 1 vote. 

That’s a pretty clear mandate, folks.  The party of the family and the Bible and the Jesus once again sanctioned the right to murder.  And, just to be clear about it, did so right to the faces of the children forced to face the horrors of said murder up close and personal.  Yesssss.  Just like God had planned.  Well done, my good and faithful servants.  Well done. The gun barrel hasn’t even cooled on the AR-15 yet and the Florida House of Representatives literally just doubled down on which the Republican party actually values more.  Spoiler alert:  it ain’t the family.

This topic of gun control has gone on for far to long and for no more justifiable reason than an imaginary right afforded to We The People via the 2nd Amendment.  No less than Chief Justice Warren Burger referred to the 2nd Amendment as the “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word FRAUD , on the American people…”.  But even at face value and the current accepted standard valuing that amendment in particular, apparently above all others, as sacrosanct word of God, it doesn’t nullify the observation of reason and historical context:  IT IS A BAD AMENDMENT!  

Yes.  A Southern boy with maybe 40 guns in his collection (I collect things, it’s a disease) sitting a relative stone’s throw from Stone Mountain is telling you that the 2nd Amendment needs amending.  Maybe even abolishment altogether.  We’ve abolished shitty amendments before.  It’s not at all impossible and hardly without precedent.  Kinda the whole reason the Founding Fathers allowed for amending in the first place: shit changes.  I stand by that sentiment at the risk of being called a hypocrite, because I am not.  PLEASE debate me on this.

Guns are not a right.  No sir.  They may be handy in certain situations.  They may be necessary on some level.  And, by God, they are fun as shit and just plain super cool aesthetically, from physical beauty to an incredible mechanical engineering achievement.  But they are no more a right than a convertible or a pair of sweet Magnanni lace-up’s (size 12, please).   You can have a gun, a convertible, a pair of custom made Spanish import loafers.  You just don’t get to have them.  And I don’t mean from a cost level.  But you knew that.  I can’t get a convertible without training, mandated licensure, repercussions for misuse and regular reevaluation.  I can’t get those loafers without factoring in tariffs and import fees.  But I can sure gets me one them purty shoot-shoot sticks just about any damn time I want with no oversight, no training, no regulation and virtually no repercussion for misuse.

You want to argue you need a gun to protect your family?  Sure, that’s a valid argument.  Statistically, it’s a stupid one but it’s still valid.  And, full disclosure, I have a bunch of guns AND I’ve had a break-in while I was home.  The gun had nothing to do with stopping him/her/them.  The door alarm did.  Still, that is what you call anecdotal evidence and taken alone means jack shit.   But bastardized versions of anecdotal evidence is the GOP’s and the NRA’s (but I repeat myself) bread and water.  By the by, I’d love to hear any valid argument that calls for anything beyond a shotgun for sufficient home defense.  Seriously.  I’d love to hear one, because I haven’t yet.  And I’ve been listening real hard.

No less than Harvard did several studies (see the previous links).  And, true to common sense, the more guns available, the more gun deaths there are.  The more youths around, the more gun deaths.  Gun “defense” is actually most often self perpetuating, a self-starting argument with guns handily available to escalate said arguments.  Guns as such are used far, far more for intimidation than for actual home defense.  

This study goes on and on and fully reveals the statistics that appear obvious to anyone with an open, unbiased mind.  Guns are NOT a significant factor in self-defense and are far, far, FAR more likely to instigate harm by their very ease of attainment or contribute to innocent deaths than to thwart them mean old thugs.   But again, full disclosure:  I do have a conceal carry license.  PLEASE debate me on your perceived hypocrisy of this.  

“Just curious…Why a Harvard study and not the CDC, Steve?”  Well, kids, I’ll tell ya.  The CDC, by law, cannot perform any study or publish any data related to guns, gun injury and gun deaths.  “No fuckin’ way, dude!”  Well, yes, way.  Congress actually passed a law banning the CDC from this study because, as the master wordsmith John Boehner put it at the time, “a gun is not a disease.”  Touché, my Burnt Sienna friend.  Touché.

The data supporting aggressive gun control is overwhelming.  America is the only one with this backwoods amendment “protecting” gun rights and mass murder on the scale that only guns can achieve.  Specifically, high power, high magazine, long distance, rapid fire military-style rifles.  Conversely, America is the only country with mass murders of this magnitude.  And not just mass murders, but escalating large scale murders, both in numbers and in frequency.  But data and science means fully jackshit to a party that has willingly allowed its principles to be hijacked by people that worship wizards, regard stories about magic boats and fruit as historical fact and actively pursue a self-fulling prophesy of universal annihilation.

Conservatives, particularly the base, has become a confusing lot. They are constantly voting for their own demise and against their own interests, just because their leaders flash twinkly trinkets manufactured from religion, hate and fear. For so little, they can betray their own faith and self-proclaimed beliefs, textbook cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.  They have become a cultish embodiment of a faith now borne from monstrous distortion and metaphorical self immolation, not unlike suicide bombers from their arch-nemesis.  Richard Pryor famously did a still hilarious routine about prison gangs, commenting on black double muslims in particular, “Them’s the one you don’t fuck with, them double Muslims. Cuz them motherfuckers can’t wait to get to Allah … and want to take 8 or 9 motherfuckers with ’em.”  Now, just switch that from Allah to Jesus and THAT’S some real family values, Conservative style.  With balls.

I’m not surprised by today’s vote by the Florida reps.  I fully expected this outcome and will expect the same on a federal level, with or without a vacuous shit-trickle such is Trump at the helm.  Then again, I’m a well-seasoned cynic cum optimist.  These kids brave and bold enough to face down their “protectors” right after having had to face down their demons personified haven’t had a chance yet to get to that level of cynicism.  I hope they don’t.  Still, I fear that even if the Dems reattain control of the White House, there will be the Senate and the House to contend with.  And even if they gain all three, the GOP will dig in Obama-style.  They will not be swayed, not with evidence anyway.  They will cry and pout and scream and wail and stomp and throw their bloody tantrums, running for cover under Mama NRA’s skirt and Daddy Koch Boys’ money umbrella, peeking out every election cycle to glad-hand the dirty people with fairy book stories about Jesus and Reagan and scary monster tales about snowflakes and Clintons.  And, again, the children, along with the rest of us, will have to suffer.


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Thinking As a Hobby, Revisited

I believe it appropriate at the nascent stage of my blogging experiment to set the stage before diving right in to vitriolic grandstanding with an homage to the art of thinking and to one of the greatest minds of the literary world, William Golding.  Golding is probably best known for “The Lord of the Flies”, something many of us are familiar with through assigned high school or freshman English Lit in college.  Or The Simpsons.  Either way, still works.  But as far as written works of art, what I personally feel most resonates with me and did actually change my life in a not so small way was his short, funny and and wholly provocative short essay, “Thinking As a Hobby”.  Between that and Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” I think you could trudge and fudge your way through most intellectual cocktail tête-à-tête’s and come off not too shabbily.  If you haven’t read “Thinking” yet, do so now.  It’s a short read and you’re gonna need it to really appreciate this blog:  Thinking As a Hobby

I must admit that while I was fairly smart in school I didn’t really know how to use my smarts or appreciate it.  Also, I didn’t really grasp how smart I actually wasn’t until I left my domain and visited our yankee brethren for a couple of years.  I know plenty of smart people, brilliant even, who don’t fully realize the potential they have because they have never challenged themselves, not really.  I mean, challenge their thought, their comfort zone, their belief system, the core of themselves.  This had never occurred to me, like most, because I never had anyone to really push it out of me.   The South isn’t known for straying out of comfort zones and embracing the strange.  And as far as challenging beliefs, marrying old world Greek ideals with Southern pride, well, good luck getting a mea culpa out of that thistle patch of tradition.

I remember reading Golden’s take on religion and feeling that twinge of unease that pokes at you when you’re being forced to face something you’ve only taken on faith.  Faith in an of itself is so tenuous, so whisper-thin, it doesn’t take much to upset it.  It’s for that reason that so many protect it so violently.  Like the “Wizard of Oz”, the trick is trying really hard to keep you from peeking behind that oh so obvious curtain.  Whether it’s traditional belief such as religion, or familial customs such as established protocol or faith built on trust and little else other than it was the first thing you heard, it doesn’t sit well to hear that faith challenged.  But if you can force yourself that simple discomfort, then you truly can embrace the art of learning and embrace true knowledge.  That all stems from learning how to think.   Not just learning but enjoying it.

I enjoy thinking.  I honestly do.  I had done so long before reading Golding’s essay, but after reading it, it gave me focus and a goal.  Golding gives three grade levels of thought:  three, two and one, with one being the highest form of thought.  I wanted to be a one.  I began to question traditionally accepted mores and mannerisms and challenge them.  Not just within myself but with others.   Things that never sat well with me in my faith began to reveal themselves for what they truly were:  archaic explanations for the inexplicable.  A combination of fable and cautionary tale mixed with the awe and wonder and fears of a people ill equipped to understand the workings of the world and nature otherwise simply because they hadn’t had a chance to get there yet.  Now we’ve had that time and we’ve got the tools.  While today not everybody gets the same advantages, information and knowledge is at an historical all-time high as far as availability and advancement.   Still, I have never seen an assault on knowledge, science and intellect as blatantly aggressive, unnecessary and horrifying as now.   This assault on logic borders on the gothic and medieval, a sorrowful time of intellectual squalor and byzantine worship of magic and the magical.

When I got the chance to go to college, I took advantage of my collegiate undergraduate years to test myself in as many disciplines as I could, within the framework of a Biology Major with a Chemistry Minor and only so many electives outside of what I needed to get into vet school.  I took courses in Philosophy, Religion, Music, History of the Middle East, Angling, Karate…As many as I could.  I took electives within my discipline that I thought would best round me out academically rather than what would boost my GPA:  Biochemistry, Mammalogy, Advanced Genetics, Embryology.  I didn’t need any of these things to get into vet school and there were easier courses, but it wasn’t what I wanted.  I paid my tuition by God and I’d get my damn education, GPA and dean’s list be damned.

It paid off.  When I started at Auburn a fragile freshmen, joining the BSU (Baptist Student Union) and fighting hard to pray and witness like a good Billy Graham style born-again Christian, I found it harder and harder to justify something that more and more began to reveal itself for the charlatan it really was.  True, while the words and the poetry continued to hold sway and there was much comfort in the texts of the books of the New Testament, the mythology of it became more evident versus the history it has been purported to be.  

I remember during my late Freshman year, right as I was really starting to war with myself and my faith, fighting SOOOO hard to keep on the “path of righteousness” encountering a street preacher who took to proselytizing on the commons.  He’d be out there every day around noon, during the heat of student movement and transition from class to class, building to building, preaching the words I had grown up with.  To me, it was a taste of home and as welcoming as a honeysuckle breeze.  I would stand for a while with others gathered around this guy while he bellowed sin and damnation, listening intently and watching the crowd.  Many weren’t having it.  They’d challenge him openly, some more harshly, some just for fun.  Some defending him.  It was stark and sobering for poor little old country boy me.

I listened to it all.  This went on for days.  I’d never seen people challenge my faith so openly.  I was a little uneasy about it but it was intriguing and even admiring.  The students’ comebacks were smart, most were funny.  And they were thought-provoking to a squeaky-clean Boy Scout Baptist who’d never known a life outside a Christian faith.  I found myself harkening back to Golding’s essay and his humorous yet realistic take on religion.   Why was I clinging so hard to this world of faith when the evidence was ever-mounting against it?  I’m a biology major for God’s sake.  Was I a scientist or not?  Golding had a girl to impress.  What the hell was my excuse?

I sat in my Biology professor’s office later for a preassigned meeting that afternoon, coming from one of the more lively encounters with the preacher and the students.  I found myself at a crossroads of ideas.  Here I was discussing the evolution of life, having been able to accept both the scientific and the Christian aspects evenly before, now realizing they weren’t such good bed fellows.  Trying to cling to my beliefs, I half-heartedly engaged with my professor, a brilliant and amicable professor, Dr. Robert Lishak.  He pulled his punches.  His office visitor, another professor, didn’t.  That guy scared me.  But in a good way.

When I left that office, the visit and the discussions about religion and science, the street preacher, my visit that weekend and the trip to church that Sunday…I realized I was fighting with myself.  I was needlessly warring with myself because I didn’t want to let go of something that I embraced simply because of the comfort it gave and not for any other reason.  Comfort was not truth.  Truth doesn’t have to be cold and harsh, but often it is.  I decided to let go of my faith, well the mythology of it anyway.  I’d cling to the life lessons, the beauty and the teachings.  The life of Christ is one worth living.  But when it came to thinking, I’d have to move from Golding’s grade three thinker to a grade two.

America is solidly, proudly, still grade three in thought.  If Golding had assigned a grade four, we’d probably be that.  A level in which not only ARE you at the least progressed in the pursuit of intellect but actually revel in it, all the while demonizing those that dare to push for more out of themselves.  It is this way of thinking, or not thinking, that will be the impetus for this blog.  I will rage against it as vehemently as Dylan Thomas did against death and chase it with the feverish insanity as Captain Ahab did with Moby Dick, quite possibly with the same metaphorical result.

I’m not a grade one thinker.  I never will be.  I’ve accepted this, but it’s not really a huge leap to realize that.  I’m never going to play the 3rd movement in the Summer Concerto of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and blow y’alls dumb cracker minds ever either.  It’s just not something I’m going to be able to do, no matter how hard I train and how much I learn.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m happy enough to know that others will bear that torch.  My country may be satisfied with its wallowing at grade three.  But there’s a grade one world full of Elon Musks, Neil deGrasse Tysons, Patton Oswalts, Marilyn vos Savants and Stephen Hawkings out there.  Damn if I won’t stop trying to crash that party.


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