Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Only this "fucking asshole," as an Iowa voter called him to his face, could stick up a spot like this. A spot that is, at one and the same time, unctuously Christmassy, and blatantly cynical. The sight of Newt's smug, jowly mush next to his Plasticine Pat Nixon clone of a 3rd wife waxing all "from our family to yours -- best of the holiday season" is as vomit-inducing as watching Nixon in the Oval Office with James Brown. For all the jingle-jangle holiday horseshit, there's nothing this toad does that isn't politically calculated and motivated, particularly his recent entreaty to Mitt to lay off the negative ads. 

Newt knows that his recent surge has been beaten back through negative ads dragging out his warehouse full of baggage, so to call for a return to civility and "let's debate the issues" is a blatant attempt to neutralize his opponents' best weapon. On every right wing issue, he's vulnerable as shit. An anti-government crusader who took gobs of cash as a lobbyist, then has the arrogance and audacity to claim it was for his expertise as an historian. A three-times married unfaithful husband calling for a return to old-fashioned values. A man running for the Presidency who would arrest judges whose opinions he doesn't agree with. That he can trot out these lies with a straight face only demonstrates his utter contempt for the rest of us. The people. The press. Everyone. Even O'Reilly called him out on it. How full-tilt gonzo do you have to get before Bill O'Reilly goes "ok, now wait a minute, you can't be serious"?

As to Newt's momentary comeback from pussy-whipped, Aegean-cruising, Tiffany buying newtered hubby to the head of the GOP wolf pack, to the point where he even declared himself the "presumptive nominee" I am decidedly mixed. While the consensus is that he'll lose to the President in the general election, putting this pompous dictator-wannabe that close to executive power is a frightening prospect, especially to a country just getting over the soul shivers from Sarah Palin's potential irregular heartbeat away from the Oval Office. 

Still, as amusing at it is to watch the pack go at each other, the one point I don't hear from Democrats is that, while it may matter politically who the nominee is, from a policy point of view it doesn't. They need to make the point that the policies advocated by the GOP are the same policies that put the country into financial freefall. Putting aside the culture wars and their attempt to drag us back to the 19th century, or perhaps the 1st century, it is the economy -- first, last and always. Even this week's political maneuvering in the house over the Payroll Tax bill shows that the GOP is so obsessed with beating the President in 2012 they would deny him any success, even when it's based on a bi-partisan compromise that already passed through the Senate. Even when it means fucking the rest of us in the bargain. And even though "the rest of us" includes Democrats and Republicans. If you're Boehner, I can't imagine how you spin this one. 

For all the comic moments the GOP pre-season has brought -- the gaffes, the goofs, the mistresses, the oops moments -- someone needs to make it clear that it isn't their incompetence or their desperation that's making them look like a collection of  -- to quote that Iowa voter-- fucking assholes.  It's the paucity, and frankly the danger, of their ideas. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rick Warren -- Hands off Hitchens, You Sanctimonious Boob

As the tributes for Christopher Hitchens pour in from every geographical and ideological corner, none I imagine would have provoked a lash from his acid tongue more than the words of sanctimonious JE$U$ freak, the Rev. Rick Warren, who tweeted: "My friend Christopher Hitchens has died. I loved and prayed for him constantly and grieve his loss. He knows the Truth now." Note the capital "T" in truth.

Sorry, Reverend, but Hitchens is dead. He knows nothing now because there is no him left. No brain function. No personality. No ego. He is atoms. Molecules. Cosmic stuff. Not a happy spirit getting off the bus in God Camp, staring up at His Divine Presence while smacking his forehead like some buck-toothed goober, thinking "D'oh! Was I wrong!" Only a true intellectual coward would fire a cheap debate shot after the man is dead in a vain attempt to score a point he's unable to rebut.

And if Jesus really were the time-travelling death-defying uber human product of magic sex between some fictitious bearded sky daddy and an earth lady, my only wish would be that he would come back now just to bitch slap the living shit out of you for trivializing his message for fun and profit.

There is no God in the sky. No magical place called heaven. And if there were a hell it would be here on earth where where greed merchants have discovered that you can exploit people's ignorance, fear, and gullibility to make millions in the religion business. So if you truly have any of the decency I imagine you claim to have, please let the man die with his thoughts and integrity intact.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sperman Cain and the No-Soul Train


     As if the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct weren't enough. As if the Libya gaffe wasn't enough. As if the smoking campaign manager wasn't enough. As if the silly 9-9-9 economic plan wasn't enough. Now we get the closer: a Georgia businesswoman has just opened up to a local Atlanta station about a 13-year "inappropriate relationship" with the pizza guy turned presidential aspirant. And she's got proof. Not that it matters. Like Governor Oops, Herman looked good through Republican beer goggles for about five minutes. But the true damage wasn't that he opened his fly. It was that he opened his mouth. Now he's polling in single digits, and as he "reassesses" his campaign; i.e. gets ready to bug out, we're on to the new flavor of the minute: Newt. I guess, in Republican politics, everything old is Newt again.

     Newt the sage, the historian. The three-times married traditional family guy, who could've given Herman some advice: if you're going to fuck around, you gotta marry 'em. Otherwise you look like a hypocrite spouting the old-time values. But compared to the misfits they keep throwing up on that stage, Newt is a genius. And through it all, Mitt's still sitting there polling in the low 20s and acting like the chick in high school who wouldn't put out but knew the boys would come back around when they were ready to settle down. 

     It must be even tougher to endure this debacle from the GOP side. The only honest statement out of the mouth of a Republican in the last three years was uttered by Mitch McConnell: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President." Everything they've said and done in all that time has been in the service of that one objective. So, it must be torture to have spent three years grooming a champion to take back the White House only to end up with this non-tourage. This clown college. This movable farce. I imagine, for the more sober, old-school Republicans, at some point you have to look at this group and think: "it really doesn't matter who they fucked. What matters is that they're fucked."

     And while one can take some delight in each gaffe, each misstep, each oops, and each "I barely knew that woman" the joy is not pure. Because as soon as one incompetent derails it just opens the field for another one even more onerous. Cain disappears. Great. Bachmann babbles her way into obscurity. Whew. Still, that leaves Newt and Mitt. There must be some schadenfreude-like word for the momentary joy one feels at each fool's disappearance only to have it quickly replaced by sadness brought on by the realization of the fools who are left.
     For all the rancor that has permeated the political debate over the last three years, the only thing we may share during this process, both Democrats and Republicans, is the knowledge that this group is just fucking sad. Though given the tired Republican platform, maybe Perry the fighter, Mitt the statesman, Newt the scholar, and Bachmann the waitress are the true standard bearers of some very tired, mean, outdated, discredited ideas.

     Still, by the time they're done, the dull Mormon at the end of the bar nursing a diet Coke may end up being their guy. The man who made hundreds of millions of dollars buying companies and stripping them for parts while throwing people out of work. That's the job creator. The man who brought health care reform to Massachusetts but still can't find the right door to open so he can moonwalk away from it. A suit and a haircut in search of a personality and some conviction. This is the great white hope. That's got to hurt.

    Emotionally, it must be like that joke about the neophyte in Hell who sees the denizens standing knee-deep in shit and thinks "Hell doesn't seem so bad." Then a voice bellows out of the speakers: "Ok, break's over!  Everyone back on their heads!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Ok, so it's a bullshit milestone. So what. I'm just using it as an excuse to test the reach of this blog to see who might be looking at it, and to ask people to check out (buy) my book: Deconstructing God -- A Heretic's Case for Religion. (Available on Amazon, Kindle, or  Toward that end, I've reprinted a post which summarizes the ideas in it. After all, what better way is there to celebrate this holiday season than to put forth the idea that everything we think we know about religion is wrong. 


1)    Is there a God? No. There isn’t. Yes, it’s that easy. There’s no magical sky daddy who created us and lives in a place called heaven or anywhere else. There are also no angels, devils, heavens, hells, heavenly saints or magic virgins. These categories we’ve inherited have perverted the discussion of religion, resulting in an understanding of the subject in our culture that ranges from sadly ignorant to profoundly dumb. Though it’s not entirely our fault. We’re taught from an early age that the question of religion comes down to whether we “believe in God” or not. It doesn’t. Or, it shouldn’t. The anthropomorphic God is virtual idolatry. Monotheism with a polytheistic mindset.
2)    If there’s no God then who made the world? No one. If the world didn’t work, we simply wouldn’t be here. End of story. Like Ann Richards said about George Bush: “He found himself on third base and assumed he hit a triple.” Just like us. We found ourselves alive on Earth and assumed we were meant to be here instead of looking around at a world that functions and taking delight in the fact that it does, and gave rise to us. Per Alan Watts: “Man is a little germ that lives on an unimportant rock ball that revolves about an insignificant star on the outer edges of one of the smaller galaxies.” But how cool is that?
3)    What about the conflict between science and religion? There is none. This silly alleged debate is the sad result of those who take the Book of Genesis as history instead of poetry. Science explores the origin and nature of the physical universe. Religion explores a deeper, more profound, psychological experience of human life. They work two completely different sides of the street. The nonsense that is creationism, or its uptown cousin, intelligent design -- which is just creationism with a GED -- is the sad byproduct of those who need to feel that the Bible is literally true in its entirety, or it’s rendered entirely false. This perverts both science and religion. The phenomenon of a magnificent sunset can be explained scientifically -- what causes the brilliant lights, how my eyes take in the sight and how my brain processes it, how many muscles move in my face when I smile. None of this negates or diminishes the joy or wonder I might feel sitting on the beach watching it. That is a moment for poets to write about, or artists to paint. Why do we need to feel that there is any purpose to the sunset beyond the sunset itself?
4)    Doesn’t the question of God and religion come down to faith vs. reason? No. Faith is an element in our lives. But it’s informed by reason. There are times in life that reason will only take you so far. Like when you’re in a plane that’s barreling down the runway. You can be comfortable in the knowledge that the odds are on your side and that the pilot is experienced and sober, but in that moment before takeoff you are in a world beyond your control. Experientially, there is little difference between saying “I have faith in God,” and “I believe life is good.” Either can give one the strength to persevere in tough times. Now, perhaps the God connotation is too strong for people to hear the word any differently, but there is a meaning to faith that arises out of human experience but which has nothing to do with some benevolent God looking out for you. At one of the many poignant moments in The Power of Myth -- conversations between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell -- Moyers asks him about faith, saying: “You are a man of faith. Of wonder.” To which Campbell replied: “I don’t need to have faith. I have experience.”
5)    What about the afterlife? There is none. There’s no beforelife. There’s no afterlife. The kingdom of Heaven is a psychological, or mystical concept that has been misconstrued as a physical place. Eternal life is an experience of the here and now. Our yearning for an afterlife is based on our insecurities and fears about death and the unknown. What we are is energy that can neither be created nor destroyed. Our lives are waves coming in off the ocean. Nothing more. There is no soul that is in any way attached to our personalities. Of course we want to think we go on. Who wouldn’t? You put all this effort into a life and then it’s like you’re mugged and it’s all taken away. But the notion of an eternal soul has to do with our common essence, not our individual existence. When the energy goes out of us, “us” goes.
6)    If there’s no God then what is the meaning of life? Wrong question? Why do we assume that meaning needs to come down from above and that our lives only have significance if they’re part of some great plan? The right question is: where is the meaning in life? Meaning is something we infer from the experience of being alive. Within the fact that our lives are finite. In fact, it’s because of that fact that life’s meaning is heightened. The meaning is in the experience.
7)    Doesn’t religious war negate the claims of religion? No. It proves the harm can be done when a cunning dictator manipulates a race of stupid, gullible, desperate people. Religious war is an oxymoron. While every tradition has blood on its hands the culprit is blind belief and obedience, and at various times in history that has been transferred from the church to the state. Marx’s opiate of the masses easily becomes the amphetamine of the extremists. Though the crime when religion is used as a justification for murder or genocide is even greater because of the inherent expectation of moral behavior. Religion can be used as a weapon only when people are stupid enough to fall for it.
8)    What about those who claim to speak for God? Villains, thieves, and con men. Or women. God is not an entity. There is no God who speaks or endorses political candidates. When a preacher or politician claims their efforts are part of God’s plan, they should have a net thrown over them, because that is insane. Anyone who claims to be receiving these messages is either crazy, or lying for power, or money. Or both.
9)    But isn’t God interested in my life? No. And neither is Jesus. Jesus doesn’t love you because Jesus doesn’t know you. He died 2000 years ago and is not coming back because people don’t come back from the dead. Jesus doesn’t want you to be rich, successful or happy. Nor does he want you to be poor, homeless, and miserable. That’s up to you. Only in America could we conflate the two things we worship: God and money. This has created some very well off happy talk preachers who have managed to sell the notion of divine sanction for greed and personal aggrandizement. This is not religion. It’s purpose-driven megachurch nonsense.
10) But we can’t have religion without God. Yes, we can. Most people in the west approach this notion as an impossibility. But as an exercise ask it as a possibility. In other words: how might it be possible to understand religion without our traditional understanding of God? Religion has not been handed down from above. It erupted from within the collective unconscious and the knowledge that our ego-driven experience of life is limited, and a more profound experience is there to be known by anyone at anytime. This awareness -- call it spiritual, mystical, psychological -- is the experiential core of religion. Of all religions. All traditions have the purpose of laying out a road map to it, not a replacement for our normal experience, but as an enhancement of it. We need to refocus religion as an activity. Not something we are. But something we do. We need to bring religion back down to Earth. Lose the Gods, heavens, angels, miracles, and childish, magical thinking, and resurrect religion as an activity of connecting with that part of us that is not us, but lives in us, or flows though us. Call it energy, being, essence, Tao, Brahman, God -- it doesn’t matter. These are just linguistic and cultural variations on a single theme. Religion is an outgrowth of a very human desire for self-knowledge and an experience not just of our common humanity, but of our unity with all life. But as long as the discussion remains mired in silly arguments between faith and reason, religion and science, or belief and atheism, we will never crawl out of this intellectual hole we’ve inherited and we run the risk of losing the message that religion is there to communicate.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


     There was a time when parents would tell their children: "If you study real hard, you can grow up to be president." Now, apparently, the study part is unnecessary. In fact, if you're running for the GOP presidential nomination, it almost seems counterintuitive. Forget, even for the moment, Cain's alleged moral lapses. Even put aside his painfully embarrassing gaffe when trying to recall his opinion about the president's actions in Libya. That momentary Palinism was right up there with her infamous declaration of foreign policy experience based on Russian jets flying over her house. The real sin was his damage control statement: "It was a pause!" That's the thing with stupidity. It assumes everyone around it is just as stupid and can be fooled with something that looks and sounds like sincerity. It's like that old joke about a guy being caught in bed with another woman by his wife, yet swears it's not what it looks like, protesting: "who you gonna believe -- me, or your lyin' eyes?!" 

   To say: "it was a pause" is to assume that the people watching didn't see this fool's eyes roll back in his head as he pushed the water bottle around and squirmed in his seat to stall for time, while praying an actual thought would visit him. He even went to the point of beginning to formulate a sentence, hoping that a coherent thought, like a train caboose, might roll in behind it.

   The problem with Herman Cain isn't that he may have hit on women when he was at the NRA. The problem isn't that he has no clue about foreign policy or macroeconomics and is trying to ride a backstory, a smile, a hat, and a dumbshit slogan to the most powerful job in the world. The problem is, much like Sarah Palin, that he knows he's unqualified, but he still wants the job. He wants it enough to stand on a debate stage and try to bullshit his way through. That makes it about wanting power and the ego-gasm of being president, along with a disdain for the electorate in thinking they don't deserve better. Not that it doesn't take a massive ego to think you could and should be president, but it must be tempered with equal parts intelligence, experience, and humility, qualities painfully absent in this guy.

   At the end of the day Cain is a sideshow. No one thinks he's ever getting the nomination. But what it does reveal is a party so ideologically bankrupt and so filled with anti-Obama rage that they'll say anything, do anything, and support anyone who seems to have a chance of winning next November, despite the fact that they're rallying behind the policies that put the country in a ditch in the first place. They're basically saying to the entire country: "who you gonna believe -- us, or your lyin' eyes?" So, maybe it's not surprising that Newt is this week's poster boy. My guess is he's used that expression once or twice. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Fuckit List

Let's be honest: if most of us found out we had months to live, would we really bolt for the airport and jump on a flight to Paris? Or climb Everest? Or strap on a loin cloth and retire to an Indian ashram or Buddhist monastery to sit in meditation in the hope of squeezing out some last-minute enlightenment? Expedia notwithstanding, it's probably just a fantasy that taking some romantic trip halfway around the world would set the stage for a final post-mortem epiphany. Not to mention the fact that, if you've got a few months to live, chances are there is some brand new medical component to your life, like a morphine drip or colostomy bag. And good luck getting that past the gatekeepers at the TSA. Chances are the daydream of gazing at the Taj Mahal would be replaced by some more mundane goal, like leaving a bag of flaming dogshit on the porch of some girl who dumped you or taking a whiz in the gas tank of a hated ex-boss. Still, the momentary rush probably wouldn't approach anything resembling peace of mind.

In the movie-- The Bucket List-- Jack Nicholson was rich enough to go tooling around the world in a private jet in search of meaning. Most of us don't have those resources. That's why I don't have a Bucket List. I can't afford a Bucket List. I have the poor man's Bucket List; i.e., The Fuckit List. A list of daily, mundane, annoying chores, worries, fears, and concerns that I would immediately drop if I got the dreaded "your test results are in, can you contact the doctor as soon as possible" message. The idea being that  a sense of ease might result from letting go of all the petty bullshit chores and concerns that plague our daily lives. Epiphany by elimination.

Fight with the significant other? Fuckit. Car payment lost in the mail? Fuckit. Work. Pilots. Scripts. Meetings. Pitches. Notes. Rejections. Who cares about getting a show on the air? I'm dying. Fuckit. Then there's being liberated from having to be nice to people you can't stand. In the course of the day-to-day you can't go telling everyone what you think of them. Too many hurt feelings and potential gunfire. But once mortality raises its ugly head and takes dead aim -- Fuckit! The day of the forced smile and the agreeable grin are over. Time to rediscover the cathartic pleasure of the well-deserved insult, the joy of the kick in the balls, or the child-like glee of the blaring car horn. What are they going to do? Insult me back? Shoot me? I'm dying. Fuckit.

Then there's politics -- the daily ups and downs of people jockeying for power. It's all become a carnival side show anyway. So much sound and fury, signifying nothing. Well, nothing to a dead guy. Who cares who's in power? Are they going to dig up my corpse or reconstitute my ashes just to tell me they're passing universal health care?  Fuckit.

And of course, there's the diet. You're probably wasting away from the disease anyhow, so why not eat like a pig? Get fat. Fuckit. And then there's drugs. The problem with disease is that most often the only drugs you get are the ones designed to heal you. When healing's no longer on the menu, it's time for the happy drugs. Who cares about having your shit together to go to work? There is no more work. It's playtime. Fuckit. Stay home, get a rocking chair, face it toward nature and get blasted. No reason to leave home and nothing to fear about getting too high. There's no DUI if there's no "D." Fuckit.

At the end of the day, I think the only shot most people have at an insight into the sheer joy of existence might come from letting go of the nonsense that consumes our lives as they creep in this petty pace from day to day and worry to worry. It's not just a "stop and smell the roses" thing. It's more of a "put down the checkbook or legal pad and run naked into the ocean, splash around, come out, dry off, get high, watch the sunset with friends and family, eat a huge meal with tons of ice cream, pass out, wake up, and do it again" kind of thing. We have this activity called a vacation wherein we're supposed to relax and change the patterns of our lives. That's why it's called recreation. It's "re-creation." Changing the rules to find a more pleasurable experience of life. Unfortunately, we only do it two weeks a year, and it comes under the heading of recharging the batteries for the purpose of going back into battle. The only way we know if we had a good time is to look at the pictures.

Come to think of it, Fuckit doesn't sound like a bad way to live, even without the death sentence. Though it's more easily said than done. Assuming you're going to live forever, or at least for another 30 years, forces you into a mode in which you have no choice but to deal with the daily bullshit. If there is a tomorrow, you're forced to worry about it. Where's the money going to come from? What's the property value of my house? Is my kid getting into college? Is my kid getting out of high school? The broken sprinklers, pool motors, roof leaks, toilet backups, busted appliances and work crises. The daily detritus we fixate over to the point that the things we crave end up eating us alive.

And that's the problem. We've structured our lives so that only the guarantee of impending death gives you the excuse to cut loose and live. And by that time, you're either such an emotional basket case or physical wreck that living is impossible. You can't live like you're dying tomorrow yet, to some extent, you should. I guess the trick is finding some happy medium. A balancing act between caution and spontaneity, fear and fearlessness, fret and frolic, sense and nonsense. Or maybe the trick is taking a moment out of the day to drag up some problem that's eating you up and, instead of churning your guts over it, just let it go, and see what happens.

It could be that the journey of a thousand smiles begins with a single Fuckit.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Another July 4th is upon us, where we celebrate our breaking away from English rule and establishing a democracy by eating nitrate-filled hot dogs, watching the All-Star game, and blowing up shit in the air, which makes noises and pretty colors. Somehow, like a kid who took dad's car on a road trip and wrecked it, we've made a shambles of the democracy our too-often-quoted Founding Fathers fought to establish. 

We've taken the declaration that "anyone in the United States" can grow up to be President -- a testament to our endless opportunities and open society -- and turned it into an "Any schmuck can apply -- No intelligence required" cluster fuck, epitomized by shrieking harpies who brag about our history but are too dumb or lazy to study it, disgustingly wealthy hypocrites, and random pizza guys.  

Our elections are swayed by vast media blitzes spouting jingoistic, pseudo-patriotic claptrap about "our freedoms," against a backdrop of waving flags and patriotic dirges, financed by super rich business types guarding their investments. And the vast number of Americans are too stupid to dissect the manipulation inside the message. And it's all been sanctioned by the highest court in the land, declaring that corporations are people, too. 

Culturally, we exist on a steady diet of intellectual junk food, as we devour the egomaniacal ravings of housewives, ho's, goombas, and fame whores, along with whatever might be the scandal du jour. Whether it's the comings and goings of some politician's dick, or the latest celebrity or dumb girl murder trial. We flit from one diversion to the next like hummingbirds sucking a flower dry then zipping off to sample another. 

We worship heroes, then revel in their fall from grace, only to stand up again and cheer at their redemption. 

We claim to value education, yet mistrust intelligence. 

We fancy ourselves as rebels, renegades and mavericks yet mistrust independent thought to the point of branding it as treasonous. 

We claim to cherish religion, yet can be easily lead to the notion that compassion for those less fortunate is somehow not only un-American but, remarkably, un-Christian. 

Our mainstream media is mostly toothless, mistaking softball questions of politicians for in-depth interviews, while allowing them to spout the party line without ever having to face the dreaded follow-up question, or an interviewer with enough command of the facts to put the lie to a talking point and call a politician on his or her bullshit. Though, frankly, there's little time for going into depth, as the producer is shouting in the on-camera person's ears that it's time to wrap it up and do the intro to the YouTube video of the waterskiing squirrel or the cat chasing the laser pointer up the wall. 

We fought for independence, but we're now like a child who ran away from home because he didn't want to go into the family business and found himself living on the street, hooked on meth and begging for spare change. We claim to cherish our freedom but clearly have no idea what to do with it. The people who fought for democracy two centuries ago were inspired by Athenian democracy and grounded in ethics, and philosophy. These were patriots. Now a patriot is some MILF who proudly mangles her historical facts, or a wacko musician with a soul patch who dresses in fatigues and runs around in the forest with a bow and arrow shooting bunny rabbits. 

Applied to our times, The Sprit of '76 poster depicting soldiers returning from the Revolutionary War would now depict a young kid drumming on the street for spare change 'cause the music program in his school has been cut, an army band drummer with PTSD who was dropped by his insurance company, and can't go to college 'cause there's no more GI bill, and a flute player with a head wound who can't afford medical care. 

And we think all this behavior has been sanctioned by a bearded super daddy in the clouds who created the entire universe but clearly loves us best. 

So, please, it's been over two-hundred years. Let us come home. We'll behave. No more revolts. We'll adopt the parliamentary system and take the universal health care. We'll make a fuss about the queen and totally lose our shit when some royals get married. We'll ditch baseball and football and go full-time soccer. We'll even call it football. We already know how to riot whether our team wins or loses, so we'll fit right in. We'll take English lessons and learn to speak it proper. Uh, properly. We'll drink the warm beer. We'll ditch our Fridays restaurants and rename them Hounds and Frogs, or Shields and Hamsters, or whatever you call them. And as a real gesture, we'll even give up the guns. And you know how much we love our guns. Without them, we'd have a much tougher time shooting each other over parking spaces. 

Sure, we know you've got your own problems. But you're a struggling adult, and we're just a flailing, out-of-control child. We need help. Guidance. We've been given too much freedom so we just run amok, eating ice cream all day, watching violent cartoons, getting morbidly obese, and then having a tantrum at bedtime 'cause we're all hopped up on sugar. We're fat, sloppy, lazy, and stupid. But we have a lot of land. And good dentists. Let us come home. We promise we'll be good this time. Take us home... Pleeeeeze...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Michelle Bachmann is a moron and totally batshit crazy. That's a given. Like her spiritual sister-wife, Sarah Palin, she thinks a magic man in the sky has anointed her to run for President. There are 7 billion people on the planet; yet, the magic man in the sky is so smitten with this little gal that he sent her a divine message to give it a shot. Because, as we know, God is a social, and anti-tax fiscal conservative.

Yes, it's fun to dismiss Bachmann as a one-woman gaffemobile: The founding fathers ending slavery. The shot heard round the world from Concord, N.H. It's surprising her teeth are so white considering the amount of time she spends with her foot in her mouth. But stupidity for the Tea Party is not a hindrance; it's a job requirement. To paraphrase Alfonso Bodoya: "Facts? She don't need no stinking facts." In fact, the mistakes play well with their crowd as the snide remarks and criticism simply amount to left-wing media bias and play to their anti-intellectualism.

Yes, it's a joke that she's running for President. But consider this: Bachmann isn't running for President. She's running for Vice President. Much like Palin would have if she'd gained any traction. But the GOP knows they can't take the White House with either bagger queen. But with a Romney type in the top slot promoting alleged fiscal responsibility and the nutbag in the veep slot dragging along the tea baggers, she can hit the hot button issues: intelligent design, traditional family, low taxes, a struggling economy. She can whip up her flock with crowd-pleasing cries like: PRESIDENT.... OBAMA....WILL BE A... ONE...TERM....PRESIDENT! She'll smile. They'll cheer. Meanwhile, her handlers will keep her away from the legit media just as Palin's have. Let the Ken doll take the tougher questions on the Sunday Talkers, while Barbie seduces the hometown crowds and tries to win over independents. If the economy hasn't recovered in any way that's promotable for the president, those people could get antsy. She can gaffe her way through the entire election. We elected W. twice. We're capable of immense stupidity, particularly when it's motivated by fear and ignorance.

The biggest fault that can be laid at the feet of the present administration is that they have let the Republicans define the narrative from day one. The birther nonsense. Obamacare. The town-hall protesters. Keeping the Bush tax rates. The present deficit ceiling fight. Each time, the GOP has drawn their line in the sand and the Democrats have accepted it as a given, instead of as an opening gambit in a negotiation. If the President doesn't take the upper hand and define the paying field, while simultaneously putting the lie to every Republican idea as a return to the very policies that nearly destroyed the economy, and in the harshest, most direct language, he may find that a number of disaffected folks on the left may join enough disaffected folks in the middle and that could be a national disaster.

This is a battle for the soul of America. Bachmann's war cry heralds a virtual return to the Middle Ages. Creationism taught in schools. No health care reform. No financial reform. Fighting gay marriage. Fighting any effort to combat climate change. Gutting Social Security and Medicare. And, finally, consider this: with eight years under her belt as a Vice President, she would be poised to make a somewhat legitimate run for the Presidency in 2020. We could be staring down the barrel of a 16-year W. flashback.

Thursday, June 2, 2011



Riding what they've called the "Mitt Mobile," 96 white Romneys have invaded Iowa armed with a big, white family portrait. And that scares me.

First, let's get rid of the white elephant in the room. An extended family of look-alike white people from Massachusetts, many of whom went to Harvard, who play touch football and have almost identical twilight's last gleaming white smiles? Ring any familiar bells? The Mormon Kennedys? The political Osmonds? Of course there are no war vets to hang the campaign around, no profiles in courage, 'cause according to dad, the five fightin' Romneys are saving themselves for Mitt's campaign. Somehow, electing dad to the White House has become the equivalent of military service. Now, who figured out that equation? But that's not the scary part.

It's the goodness. That perfect, wholesome white goodness. Bible and scripture on Sunday. More scripture on Monday. Touch football. Staff tennis tournament with the championship played on the family court. Now before I'm branded some sort of racist, let me be clear: I'm white. It's nothing I'm proud of. In fact, white people embarrass me. More often than not, I find them clueless, clumsy, soulless, insincere, patronizing, reeking of privilege, occasionally bordering on rude and, quite often, fat. Not just that slightly overweight fat but the take-over-the-buffet-line-with-your-doublewide-ass kind of fat. And all that fat is often accompanied by massive stupidity. That good, old-fashioned "America's a great country 'cause we've got freedom of speech, so shut your mouth and stop criticizing the government" kind of stupidity. But even that's not the scary part.

I'll admit there are some good white people. I've worked with some. I live around them. Hell, my sister even married one. And I guess they've done some good things. But I was sort of hoping that the whiter-than-white perfect family portrait as campaign poster was something we'd transcended here in the 21st century, as some diversity entered presidential politics. Not just with race, and gender, but with every other aspect of life. Multiple marriages. Family problems. A little drinking. Drug problems. Maybe the occasional DUI. Imperfect candidates seem more human. And I want a candidate who's human. A dad who's gotten a call at 8 am to bail their kid out. Someone who's gone through the hell of divorce and climbed out the other side. A mom who's maybe had a drink or two after a hard day. It makes them compassionate. Like they understand the problems regular people have and might like to solve them.

So when I see this 60's Tide commercial photograph, I'll be honest--it scares the shit out of me. Because somehow the notion of the "I'm all-white, you're all-white" candidate is still lurking out there in the minds of campaign managers, which means it's still out there in the minds of Americans. Now, it's not Mitt's fault he's white. It's not his fault he's got religion. While, personally, I think believing that, some 18 centuries after his death, Jesus reappeared in upstate New York is a litmus test for insanity, if that belief gets you through the night, then go with god. And it's sort of nice he's got a big old family. But that big old family picture looks like a throwback to an older, Wonder Bread America, and sticking it out there as a campaign poster of the perfect, Bible-reading, touch football-playing family, as if it's a reason for people to vote for you is scary. Because it doesn't make you look like a man of the people. It just makes you look like a man of the white people.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sarah Palin Hates America.

Did anyone doubt even for a nanosecond that political cocktease Sarah Palin would show up at the Rolling Thunder Rally not wearing leathers? Ever graceless, classless, and clueless, Palin kicked off her Rolling Blunder bus tour this weekend in D.C. by crashing an event for veterans, as the first stop in her national campaign to stroke the GOP thigh without saying whether she's going to put out. The ultimate political sycophant, she morphs into crowd-pleasing mode wherever she goes, even when, as in this case, she's uninvited. And predictably, the media has gone re-apeshit over her potential re-entry into the race. Some say she's in. Others, like Lawrence O'Donnell, who was dead-on re: Trump's grandstanding political abortion, insist this is nothing more than a PR stunt to reinvigorate her dormant profile.

However, speculation aside, for this woman whose ambition and intelligence are inversely proportional, there are 3 possibilities: 1) She's running. 2) She's not running but is simply trying to raise her stock price and speaking fees, stroke her ego and engorge her bank account. Or 3) She's testing the waters and possibly angling for the VP spot paired with a Romney-style "mainstream" Republican, thereby dragging the Tea Bagger support with her while bolstering her resume to set up a seemingly more legitimate run in 2020. Regardless, until she comes clean, the media will follow her tour like lions stalking a wayward gazelle, forcing us to endure many more months of Palinisms, along with her unseemly public mugging.

The thing is, even if she does run, she'll once again out herself as the colossal nincompoop she is, because she will have to deal with the legit media and their dreaded follow-up questions. Even if she agrees to be prepped for debates, her native stupidity will inevitably re-emerge. And even if, by some sick twist of fate, she wins the GOP nod, she will still have to go toe to toe with the president on a debate stage, where she will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. However, that won't happen. She'll never get the nod. She knows that. She can read polls as well as anyone else. So, then the question becomes more about her motivation.

Sure, to many Democrats, her possible entry in the race is a valentine. But, as Andrew Sullivan remarked, her raw ambition is something to be feared. Because deep down in the depths of her vindictive black heart, she knows she's not intelligent. Yet, that doesn't stop her. Somehow, she manages to wear her ignorance as a badge of honor, and through some sort of psychological alchemy, turn that ignorance into a kind of folksy wisdom that supercedes fancy book-learnin'. After all, Reagan was no brain surgeon and he managed to lead by blowing smoke up our asses. And Bush was no scholar, and he managed to, well, fuck up royally. But, still, he got the job and survived re-election.

Despite a stupidity even she's not too stupid to notice, she still thinks she deserves the presidency. And that is the proof that she hates this country, because she would willfully put its maintenance, and its safety in the hands of someone she well knows is painfully inadequate. Even George Will stated that she's unfit to hold the launch codes. I mean, I'm all for hiring the handicapped but not for the presidency.

Sarah Palin as President would weaken the country and send a signal to our allies, and our enemies, that we are weak, stupid, and vulnerable because we elected a fool. Granted, we've done it before. And survived. If you can call being attacked by terrorists and nearly plummeting into the second Great Depression "survival." Anyone up for re-living the Bush years?

Still, chances are she won't run. That this is all a Trump-like stunt. But the fact that she taunts the public with this steroidal Greyhound bus tour, dangling her candidacy in front of the country as if it's a gift she hasn't decided if they deserve, is not only the act of an egomaniac. It's the act of someone who disdains this country and its people. Someone who would willingly weaken the country by making a run for leadership. Any asshole can do that flagy-wavy thing, drop a few references to the 2nd Amendment and fob themselves off as an uber-patriot. But it takes more to sit at the desk in the oval office. She knows she's not up to the job. And, yet, that may not stop her. That's not a desire to serve; that's raw ego. Yes, it takes a massive ego to even entertain the notion that one is qualified to be president. But that has to be accompanied by a modicum of intelligence, compassion and, yes, humility.

Greed, ambition and stupidity are not qualities that belong on a presidential resume. A true patriot would want the best and the brightest leading this country, not the worst and the dumbest. And she would put the country in jeopardy just to satisfy her political lust. That is why she hates America. Or perhaps she just loves herself more.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This is ex child actor/evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron. It seems Cameron still can't wrap his tiny mind around the concept of evolution and accept that the universe simply happened, so when renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking issued a statement asserting the notion of Heaven was basically a fairy tale, Cameron defended his deeply held faith by mocking Hawking's facial expression -- the result of the ravages of ALS, a disease he has lived with for some 40 years. So essentially Cameron's defense of his view of religion was to contort his face and say: "See, I can make that face, too, tough guy." 

A few facts:

1) Stephen Hawking is an theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who taught at Cambridge for 30 years, and whose work has advanced our understanding of the nature and origin of the universe. 

Kirk Cameron played Mike on Growing Pains.

2) Hawking studied at Oxford and Cambridge. 

Cameron finished high school... with honors.

3) Among the honors that Hawking has received are: The Eddington Medal, the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, the Albert Einstein Medal, the Franklin Medal, the Order of the British Empire, The Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Wolf Prize in Physics, the Prince of Asturias Awards, the Companion of Honour, the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the Michelson Morley Award of Case Western Reserve University, the Copley medal of the Royal Society, the Fonscea Prize of the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. 

Cameron was awarded the key to the city of Cullman, Alabama, by their Mayor, Max Townsend.

3) Stephen Hawking has lived with the degenerative and typically fatal disease ALS for over 4 decades which has paralyzed him and robbed him of his speech, forcing him to speak through a computer.   

Cameron never won an Emmy for playing Mike on Growing Pains. 

4) Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times Bestseller list for almost 5 years. Cameron handed out a Christian-themed revision of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" on college campuses. 

A few observations: 

5) Hawking is 100% correct. The notion that there is a physical place called heaven is, indeed, a fairy tale for small minds. The phrase "The kingdom of heaven is within you" from the Thomas Gospels was meant to communicate the existence and importance of a psychological experience, not a magic sky Disneyland that only good Christians travel to after they die. 

6) If Cameron were as devoutly religious as he purports, he might understand the concept of compassion, an idea at the heart of every religious tradition. I think Jesus might have alluded to it once or twice. Does he think mocking someone who suffers from ALS is the act of a religious person? If you're going to talk the talk, then walk the walk. 

7) Cameron's behavior is merely a symptom of a childish understanding that masquerades as religion in western culture, one that is based on a literal interpretation of religious texts, and sends intelligent people screaming into the night reaching for some kind of sanity, which they usually find in the comforting arms of atheism.  

8) The universe is 14 billion years old. Our silly little myths and stories are several thousand years old. Does anyone really think that a man named God created the universe 14 billion years ago, then waited 13,999,997,000 years before waking up one morning and thinking: "you know, maybe I should tell some people how I did this..."?

9) Truth is what it is. Scientists look for truth. They don't become so enamored of a theory that they are unwilling or emotionally incapable of revising or changing it in light of new evidence. Hawking is a scientist. Cameron is a believer who childishly clings to a literal interpretation of every word in the Bible, which includes treating the book of Genesis as both an historical and scientific document, regardless of any evidence, facts, or more subtle theories that may have arisen over the last several thousand years. 

And an opinion: 

10) Cameron is a self-righteous, sub-educated, smug little turd who should study more and believe less and if he can't wrap his mind around that, then he should donate his fucking vocal chords to Hawking thus enabling a genius to speak and sparing the adult world from having to listen to the effluence that spews out of his mouth. And until that becomes a scientific possibility, then he should learn to defend his silly little position more intelligently, without resorting to bullshit schoolyard mockery. He outs himself by his own stupidity.  


Thursday, May 19, 2011


My book -- Deconstructing God -- A Heretic's Case for Religion won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Religious Non-Fiction. Ok, so it's not a fucking Emmy but it's better than being hated.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trump's Non-Acceptance Speech -- English Translation

After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency.

My advisors told me I don't have a shot in hell of winning.
This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country.
I had a momentary spike in the polls when I started shooting my mouth off then my numbers dropped into the toilet when people actually listened to what I was saying.

I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election.
I am fucking delusional.
I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly.
At the Correspondents Dinner Seth Meyers and President Obama made me look like the douchebag I am  in front of the whole country, and I couldn't even fire them.
Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.
I'm a money-hungry bastard.
I want to personally thank the millions of Americans who have joined the various Trump grassroots movements and written me letters and e-mails encouraging me to run.
There were no organizations. There were also no investigators in Hawaii checking into birth certificates. I'm a lying sack of shit.
My gratitude for your faith and trust in me could never be expressed properly in words.
I'm illiterate.
So, I make you this promise: that I will continue to voice my opinions loudly and help to shape our politician’s thoughts.
... by hosting Celebrity Apprentice, just picked up for another season on NBC.
My ability to bring important economic and foreign policy issues to the forefront of the national dialogue is perhaps my greatest asset and one of the most valuable services I can provide to this country. 
Which is why I hit the birther bullshit, questioned the president's academic record, and called the Chinese motherfuckers. Because in my foreign policy experience, all one billion Chinese enjoy being called "motherfuckers."It's a compliment in their culture.  
I will continue to push our President and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness.
In case you missed the Republican talking points, the password is "unsustainable."
Issues, including getting tough on China calling them motherfuckers.
and other countries that are methodically and systematically taking advantage of the United States, were seldom mentioned before I brought them to the forefront of the country’s conversation.
Yes. Shipping jobs overseas, our trade imbalance, and the shoddy, occasionally toxic nature of Chinese manufactured products hasn't come up at all in public debate.
They are now being debated vigorously. I will also continue to push for job creation firing people on Celebrity Apprentice, now picked up for the 2012 season on NBC.
, an initiative that should be this country’s top priority and something that I know a lot about.
Hey, I even hired my two incompetent kids as judges on Celebrity Apprentice, now picked up for the 2012 season on NBC.
I will not shy away from expressing the opinions that so many of you share yet don’t have a medium through which to articulate.
I have a big fucking mouth and opinions as silly as my hair.
I look forward to supporting the candidate who is the most qualified to help us tackle our country’s most important issues and am hopeful that, when this person emerges, he or she will have the courage to take on the challenges of the Office and be the agent of change that this country so desperately needs
I will sit there and eat shit when Barack Obama takes the oath of office for his second term.
Thank you and God Bless America!
You have to say that at the end of the speech. Me -- I fired God. I looked at God and said: "You're not up to the job as project manager. God-- you're fired."