Blog Archives

Reacting to the Present

The struggle is real (Microweber)

Blogging can be difficult work, especially when you maintain a full-time job and serve as a single father to a great nine-year-old boy. You also tend to get caught up in the habitual routines of life: doing chores, running errands, hoping that some altruistic housekeeper will come and do all the cleaning you’ve been neglecting for so long… the usual things. And when all your home computers are on the fritz—and you’re relegated to blogging during lunch hours at work—it can be even more of a struggle.

If it seems as if I’m trying to justify more than a month of no blog posts, it’s because I feel guilty for letting it get to this point. Writing this makes me feel a little better, but I obviously have a long way to go.

Today’s post isn’t based on any single thought, opinion or idea. And it wasn’t intended as an apology to readers hoping for some new, original material, either. Instead, this is simply a way for me to reconnect not only with my subscribers, but also with the larger world around me. Granted, this may have the effect of seeming random, disjointed or even stream-of-consciousness, but so be it.

I have to do something to get the creative juices flowing again, right? May as well start with some observations and other assorted nonsense.

Oddly enough, my last post focused on Ted Cruz finally dropping out of the Republican presidential race (“Cruz Gets Trumped”), so the best place for me to start is on the circus that is U.S. politics. Although Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders continues to linger like a bad fart—and this comes from someone who initially felt the Bern—it seems our presumptive candidates will be the rather sketchy, ethically questionable Hillary Clinton and the hair-challenged, misogynistic and racist Donald Trump.

Like many others, I am concerned about these choices, neither of which appeals to me much, but what can you do? This is where we are and we have to deal with it, I suppose.

As a registered Democrat—and a previous fan of Bill Clinton—I will likely vote for Hillary since I find it important to “break the glass ceiling” and elect our first female president. Yes, I would prefer someone like Elizabeth Warren, but Hillary will simply have to do. And let’s face it, the president is more of a figurehead anyway. I’m not sure she can do as much damage as people think since most of the power lies with Congress and the House. Those are the places where serious changes need to be made.

It’s no coincidence that “Trump” rhymes with “chump” (Reuters/Dominick Reuter)

Trump has his moments, of course, but I cannot support someone who wants to backtrack to past eras when seclusion, racism, discrimination and hatred ruled our land. We used to take pride in being a “melting pot” for all people, so building walls and banning immigrants based on religion run contrary to what established us as such a great nation. And I don’t want anyone so unpredictable and misguided at the helm regardless of what little power they may actually possess.

After all, this individual will still have their finger on the proverbial button that could start World War III.

One news story that caught my eye—mostly because you can’t surf the web or turn on the television without hearing about it—was the rape case involving Stanford sex offender Brock Turner. Apparently, this 20-year-old loser who chose to rape an unconscious woman behind a dumpster was sentenced to only six months in jail and three years’ probation because Judge Aaron Persky of Santa Clara County was worried about the effects a longer jail sentence would have on this jackass. And I just read that he will likely serve only three months in jail as long as he behaves himself. Three months instead of a maximum of 14 years? WTF?

Turner’s father even made a ridiculous statement about his son suffering from a lack of appetite due to this incident. He called his rapist son’s conviction “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action,” even though those 20 minutes included sexually penetrating a drunk, passed out woman in the dirt behind some fucking trash bin. Three months of jail is a steep price for rape? I can see the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree because they should lock up both of these pieces of shit.

What bothers me most—and what seems to bother everyone outraged by this story—isn’t the unrealistic sentence this sorry judge imposed, which is indicative of just how broken our justice system truly is. It’s the fact that this poor woman is being mistreated and marginalized for something that will undoubtedly darken the rest of her days. Turner may have to register as a sex offender—and steak may not taste as good to him anymore—but his sentence will end after three months in jail; hers will continue until the day she dies.

My advice to Brock Turner? Grow eyes in the back of your head, asshole. And get used to traveling in groups because if someone meets you in a dark alley alone someday, you will get the punishment you deserve. I promise you that.

This is where I seem to be headed. Time for some ab work! (Adam Rifkin)

On a lighter note, the summer is finally upon us and vacations should be in full swing by now. My own break from the monotony of daily life will come later this month when I head to the beach with my family, an annual trip we all use to recharge our batteries and catch up on the year-that-was. There will be kids, good food, strong drinks, pools slightly warm and salty from excessive pee… everything normally associated with a trip to the coast. I may be grossly overweight and lacking a significant other to share this with, but I am still looking forward to it—even if it’s only for one week.

Wow. It looks as if I still have some writing left in me because this is much longer than I originally intended. Granted, I could ramble on more, but you have likely suffered enough. And I suppose this wasn’t as disorganized and random as I thought it would be. Perhaps the next post will be more chaotic. No promises, of course, but I appreciate you reading and hope you’ll tune in next time.

Until we meet again, enjoy your life and by all means, please be good to one another. That is what life is all about—or at least it should be.

Cruz Gets Trumped

Cruz praised from up on high (@TheGoodGodAbove/Twitter)

At long last, it finally happened: Ted Cruz has been defeated and will not be the GOP nominee for president. A resounding victory for Donald Trump in Indiana yesterday served as the final nail in Cruz’s coffin—and here’s hoping we never have to deal with this jackass from Texas again.

If you think “jackass” is too strong a word, consider this VIDEO in which Ted Cruz auditions for voice work on the popular animated television show The Simpsons. The word it immediately brings to my mind is “creepy,” but you be the judge.

Of course, Cruz’s departure from the GOP race also means that Trump is the presumptive nominee, which is pretty scary in and of itself. Even scarier is the fact that the anti-Trump movement spent more than $75 million to prevent this from happening, only to see their worst fears become reality.

$75 million spent primarily on political television ads? What a waste. That money could have come in very handy in feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless or doing good work for the multitude of people struggling in this country. Man, we sure have some messed up priorities.

Fortunately, there is still hope for those hoping to block Trump’s nomination—and his name is Ohio Governor John Kasich.

I’m kidding, of course. Kasich has no chance and there really is no hope for the GOP. A Clinton-Trump race for the White House seems inevitable at this point. And honestly, we may all be screwed in the long run.

Kick Carson to the Curb!

Ben Carson

I could not have said it better myself (Danny Zuker/Occupy Democrats)

Famed neurosurgeon? Perhaps. Qualified presidential candidate? Hell no!

It boggles the mind to think that the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary narrowed the GOP field of presidential candidates—forcing people like Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina from the race—yet Dr. Ben Carson remains, even though his fledgling campaign seems doomed to collapse eventually.

I mean, here’s a guy who left Iowa to return home for fresh clothes, for goodness sake. And then watched as Ted Cruz used his departure to claim Carson was leaving the race completely—effectively stealing the Iowa caucus in the process!

What has me so fired up against Carson, you ask? Fine. I’ll tell you.

In an interview yesterday with Breitbart News—when asked if Muslims who adhere to Sharia law could also participate in American democracy—Carson had this to say: “Only if they’re schizophrenic. I don’t see how they can do it otherwise, because they have two different philosophies boring at [them]. That would be very difficult.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t America founded on the ideas of religious freedom and tolerance? Or is it simply a Christian-only country?

Let’s see what the illustrious Dr. Ben Carson has to say about this, shall we? Here’s a quote from one of his speeches in Iowa earlier this month—and incidentally, he chose to use schizophrenia in a derogatory fashion in this quip, as well:

“Every coin in our pocket, every bill in our wallet, says ‘In God We Trust.’ If it’s in our founding documents, it’s in our pledge, in our courts, and it’s on our money, but we’re not supposed to talk about it, what in the world is that? In medicine, we call it ‘schizophrenia.’ And doesn’t that explain a lot of what’s going on in our nation?”

Although he was addressing the separation of church and state at the time, I find Dr. Carson’s remarks quite telling. Is he really implying that the “God” addressed on American currency only means the Christian God? Could it not also mean Allah or some other God-like figure from a religion other than Christianity?

I’m sorry, but people who believe only their God is the correct one—and everyone else be damned, so to speak—really bother me… especially when they want to become the next leader of the free world!

If you really want to help the USA move forward and return to greatness, do us all a favor, Dr. Carson. Suspend your presidential campaign so we can start to focus more on the important issues and less on the freak show that the GOP race to the White House has become. I’m begging you.

Hillary Got Bern-ed!

Get out your sunblock, Hillary! (imgflip.com)

By now, I am sure you’ve heard that in yesterday’s New Hampshire primaries, it wasn’t Democratic favorite and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who kicked serious ass. It was the independent senator from Vermont and self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders who took home the victory by a margin of more than 20%.

In other words, it was Hillary’s ass that got kicked, but she wasn’t alone. A host of Republican candidates met similar fates as real estate mogul Donald Trump garnered 35% of the GOP votes, followed by John Kasich (16%) and Texas whack-a-doodle Ted Cruz (12%).

Other GOP hopefuls effectively had some wind taken out of their sails, the most notable of which was the repetitious and robotic Marco Rubio, who along with Jeb Bush pulled in only 11% of the Republican votes. Candidates Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson never even managed to break the 10% mark.

What does all this mean? Your guess is as good as mine since we all know politics is little more than media-fueled horse shit. However, it does indicate one very important point: people are tired of supporting establishment candidates who never seem to accomplish anything in Washington. Clearly, it is time for a change.

And don’t be surprised if we all feel the Bern soon!

Hypo-Cruz-y

And this guy wants to be president? As if! (Booman Tribune)

Hypocrisy in politics is nothing new. The two seem to go together like burgers and fries, Peaches and Herb or any other classic combination you can think of. And when it comes to hypocrisy in the current GOP race to the presidential nomination, no one does it better than Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris—as well as President Obama’s pledge to bring thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States—Cruz had this to say: “President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America—it is nothing less than lunacy. On the other hand, Christians who are being targeted for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them. But President Obama refuses to do that.”

In Cruz’s mind, only Christian refugees from Syria should be protected within our borders, not Muslims. After all, “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” or so Cruz thinks.

I guess he forgot that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. And he currently holds the moniker of America’s most notorious domestic terrorist after killing 168 people and wounding 648 others during the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. Or Dylan Roof, a Lutheran who walked into the Zion Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC and gunned down nine Christians during Bible study earlier this year.

Of course, none of Cruz’s current (and crazy) rhetoric matches what he said in a 2014 interview: “We have welcomed refugees—the tired, huddled masses—for centuries. That’s been the history of the United States. We should continue to do so. We have to continue to be vigilant to make sure those coming are not affiliated with the terrorists, but we can do that.”

Funny how things change when you’re running for president, huh? And Cruz is the son of a refugee!

Huckabee with an F

I couldn’t have said it better myself (Bustle.com)

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like presidential hopeful and neo-conservative windbag Mike Huckabee should remove himself from the race for the Republican nomination?

Earlier this week, Huckabee responded to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris by suggesting the U.S. close its borders to Syrian refugees. And he did so in true racist fashion:

“It’s time to wake up and smell the falafel,” the Bible-thumping jackass stated. “We are importing terrorism.”

Yes, nothing says “presidential material” quite as much as remarks intended to slander the ethnicity and religion of millions of Americans and people around the world.

Is it possible that Trump really is the best GOP candidate?

Crazy Talk

Ain’t that the truth! (Some-ecards)

You know, I used to wish for an end to all the 2016 presidential campaign shenanigans—especially with regard to the GOP—but they provide such entertaining blog fodder that I am quickly changing my tune.

And I am not even talking about last night’s Republican debate.

I know it seems like I’m picking on the GOP—being a registered Democrat and all—but I assure you this isn’t the case. Granted, Hillary and Bernie can say some crazy things from time to time, but neither of them come close to Trump, Carson and the rest of the Republican field. Consider the following comments, for instance:

  • Conservative Christians recently took offense with the holiday cups being used at Starbucks, primarily because they are simply red with the coffee giant’s logo. There is no mention of Christmas, which clearly offended people who felt this was an insult to Jesus. True to form, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump jumped into the mix and suggested people boycott the popular caffeine-fueled company. “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you,” he said. I’m glad to see he has his priorities straight since coffee cups are such a serious issue in this country.
  • Not to be outdone by Trump’s craziness, Senator Ted Cruz decided to share his whack-a-doodle opinions when he recently explained how atheists and others who don’t fear God and pray daily should not be president. “Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief of this country.” I guess he missed the part about America’s founding having some basis in religious freedom, huh?
  • Finally, Jeb Bush joined the fray when someone asked if he would go back in time and kill baby Adolf Hitler if time travel were possible. “Hell yeah I would!” he exclaimed. “You gotta step up, man.” Although this question was nonsensical—anyone worth their salt can tell you that doing something like this could disrupt the space-time continuum (a la Back to the Future)—I find it quite telling. After all, it wasn’t baby Hitler who killed the Jews. And I certainly wouldn’t vote a baby killer into office, nonsensical or not.

Yes, the more I listen to these insane GOP candidates—despite how truly entertaining they are—the more dread I feel that one of them could soon be leading our country. But hey, at least my next Starbucks holiday cup may have a sleigh, candy cane or baby Jesus on it…

Game of Lies

Winter is coming for us all next year (NBC/Seth Meyers)

Like millions of television viewers, one of my favorite shows is HBO’s gruesome and often controversial Game of Thrones. Granted, it took me a little while to get into the show—mostly because I was forced to binge watch it on HBO GO—but I can now say that I am a die-hard lover of Westeros, the Iron Throne and everything associated with George R.R. Martin’s epic creation.

When I consider the current race for the 2016 presidential nomination, however, a different title seems to apply: Game of Lies.

This is nothing new, of course, since we all know political candidates will say anything necessary to get elected. Lies, empty promises, misleading information—these are all so-called “tools of the trade” for those with political ambitions. And judging from the pool of GOP presidential candidates, it seems to be business-as-usual for those hoping to take the White House next year.

Consider a recent study by Politifact, an organization that evaluates the truthfulness of statements made by political candidates. They examined statements made by every GOP candidate and judged them as either true/mostly true or half true/mostly false/false/pants on fire. Here’s the graphic they created to report their findings:

how much youve been lied to

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies (Politifact)

As you can see, the most truthful GOP candidate appears to be John Kasich, who obviously has no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. In fact, most of the candidates who speak more truthfully are so far behind in the polls that none of them are considered to be serious contenders. Sadly, the current front runners—Ben Carson and Donald Trump—tend to be the least truthful, with Carson slightly ahead of the sandy-haired real estate mogul.

None of this should come as much of a surprise, of course, since both Carson and Trump have no real political experience. They just seem to tell people what they want to hear, although neither of them have the knowledge—nor even the desire—to back up the things they say. They just keep saying things… and much of what they say is bizarre, mean or just plain wacko.

2015-10-26-1445898099-2913922-ScreenShot20151026at3.11.25PM.png

The new Archie Bunker and George Jefferson? (Norman Lear/Huffington Post)

Most of what Ben Carson says, for example, seems to qualify for this last descriptor. Take his theory on the Egyptian pyramids. In 1998, Carson made the following statement about the man-made wonders: “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, [something to store that grain] would have to be something awfully big, if you stop and think about it.” Yesterday, CBS News asked Carson if he still believed this and, oddly enough, he said that he did.

And this guy wants to be president?

Of course, Trump isn’t much better. I could go on-and-on about all the crazy things he’s said since entering the presidential race, but they are all pretty well-known. He did target his main GOP rival in a promo for his upcoming appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, though: “Ben Carson is a complete and total loser!”

I hate to sound childish, Donald, but it takes one to know one, punk!

Misappropriation

Your tax dollars at work (SIGAR)

Although it comes as no surprise, I just read how the Department of Defense spent roughly $43 million to build a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan that would have cost less than $500,000 to build anywhere in the world. Apparently, this was one project of many for the Pentagon’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which had a 2010-2014 budget of more than $800 million for projects in Afghanistan alone.

Meanwhile—back in the United States—people were out of work, struggling to make a decent wage, paying tons of money for overpriced health care and generally feeling like complete shit.

Of course, many of them likely felt their government was doing all it could to make life better for its citizens—when in actuality, that simply wasn’t the case.

I realize that criticizing our government is likely a waste of time—since nothing ever seems to change—but does anyone else feel as if $800 million spent stateside could have done some actual good? The $43 million gas station in Afghanistan isn’t even operational, for goodness sake!

These days, people seem to be focusing their attention on the 2016 presidential race and candidates like Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Don’t they realize that it doesn’t matter who is elected or who controls Congress or the House when the whole damned system is screwed up? Is one person or one group of overpaid, vindictive, partisan assholes really going to change things for the better—or are they simply going to give in to the corruption in Washington and line their own coffers at the expense of everyone else in our beloved country?

People always tell you to get out and vote. If this political bullshit and government abuse continues, however, I fear more people will opt for the former rather than the latter.

Better tighten your border security, Canada!

S.O.B.s from the GOP

The new face of foolishness: Donald Trump (Playbuzz)

If I ever feel bummed out or depressed, I sometimes scan the online news sites for stories about GOP presidential candidates, who always make me laugh. Their ineptitude and general stupidity never fail to bring a smile to my face, especially where two particular candidates are concerned: Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

I swear these guys could pair up for a pretty entertaining Vegas show if they were so inclined.

The story I read about Trump was not very recent—it was originally posted this summer—but it certainly illustrates why he has no business in a presidential race. In an interview with NBC News, Trump was asked about Charles Krauthammer, a journalist who is paralyzed from the waist down and had the nerve to refer to Trump as a “rodeo clown.” Trump responded as only Trump could:

“I went out, I made a fortune, a big fortune, a tremendous fortune… bigger than people even understand. Then I get called by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?”

Since then, Trump has insulted immigrants, female reporters and basically anyone who doesn’t agree with his extreme, dumbass ideas. Yet somehow he remains a front-runner in the Republican battle for the presidential nomination. I can’t understand this, but I do have one thing to say to this squirrel-coiffed madman: “Stay classy, Donald.”

Ben Carson wants to be the next big action star (Getty Images)

The story I read about Ben Carson—another ridiculous candidate for Commander-in-Chief—was more recent and happened earlier this week. Carson was being interviewed on Fox & Friends and responded to a question about the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Nine people were killed when Christopher Harper-Mercer walked into a classroom, asked students their religion and murdered each of them in cold blood—and here’s what Carson had to say about it:

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey, guys. Everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’”

That’s easy for Carson to say from his warm seat in Fox studios, but things are much different when you’re in a life-threatening situation. And who knows how someone will react once fear and adrenaline start coursing through them?

Oddly enough, someone did fight back on that fateful day in Oregon: Army veteran Chris Mintz. And he was shot seven times, but still managed to survive. He is currently recovering from his wounds—and it seems to me that someone as intelligent and courageous as Ben Carson would know this before making such insensitive and ridiculous remarks.

Some may find these stories shocking and offensive, but I assure you we will all feel this way if either of these morons wins the Republican nomination or worse, the presidency. And if this does happen, I have only one question:

Anyone want to move to Canada with me?

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