Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Drug Test Wall Street

Drug testing the unemployed and welfare recipients has been all the rage recently from Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Rick Scott among others.

While living in New York in the 80s it was common “knowledge” that many traders on Wall Street were addicted to cocaine. That was mostly among the younger traders who thirty years ago are now the old guard and the younger traders today have obviously grown up in the drug culture dujour.

With the severity of the recession we are in, and the focus of right-wing state and federal politicians on cutting spending and targeting the poor with cutbacks, is it not more logical to look at the source of the problem?

Is it not logical to assume that the abundance of drugs used on Wall Street, among bankers, stock traders and brokers—and maybe even the cops pepper spraying the protestors—may have altered their thinking in ways that exacerbated their greed about brought about, if not contributed to, the Great Recession we are in?

If yes, then is it not also logical to drug test someone who has access and an effect on millions and billions of dollars with an altered mind rather than someone who simply receives $250 to $500 per month?

Where are the priorities? Driving a car under the influence is a crime. Should the same or a vastly greater punishment and prevention be applied to driving an economy under the influence?

Drug test Wall Street now. And for a similar subject, check out this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thou Shall Not Kill

I haven’t posted anything here in months. Tonight I was beginning to work on a script while watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Troy Davis execution. Being bombarded with so much and so often in today’s news media cyclone, I was familiar with Davis’s case but not tremendously so.

I have tried to put myself in Davis’s shoes and it becomes uncomfortable.

I am very angry at those in the State of Georgia responsible for this right now that they would execute someone who I believe is obviously innocent.

I am very angry at Clarence Thomas for rejecting the stay of execution. I don’t care what narrow legal question the law permitted the Supreme Court only to consider. Something is wrong.

Isn’t Thomas famously quoted as saying he was the victim of a “high-tech lynching”? It seems to me Davis’s execution is the State of Georgia finding any ol’ black man and hanging him from a tree because it satisfies their racist blood lust.

As Lenny Bruce said, “Thou Shalt Not Kill means that, not amend section A”. Killing innocent people is wrong and we must end capital punishment in America.

Here’s a link to the Innocence Project. Please do what you can to change things.

God bless Troy Davis’s soul.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Is Michele Bachmann’s Husband Secretly Gay?

I’ve been aware of Michele Bachmann for several years now. But I never knew anything about her husband—not even his name. I did, however, assume he was a rugged, self-made flannel-wearing man from pioneer stock who allowed Michele to bring home the bacon while he chopped wood as a lumberjack or raised livestock on a family farm—sort of the Minnesota version of Todd Palin.

As with Rev Ted Haggard and George Rekers, various right wing anti-gayers are many times are found in their own homosexual scandals. Perhaps Rekers can be most closely compared to Rep. Bachmann’s husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, in that both are proponents of gay-to-straight conversion therapy. Dr. Bachmann himself is rumored, according to Think Progress, Dan Savage and Democratic Underground to “straight-en” out gays.

On Wednesday, Think Progress reported that a year ago, Dr. Bachmann referred to gays as “Barbarians” who needed “to be educated” and “disciplined”. That was when I first saw a photograph of Dr. Bachmann. And that was when I first thought, independent of anything elsewhere on the internet, that Dr. Bachmann was a closeted gay man.

It seems to be a pattern: the self-hatred is so strong that a severely closeted gay man seems to spew his self-hatred at all gays as a way of making himself feel better about his own oppressive and repressive psychological dynamics. If my theory is true, it makes Michele’s blatantly obvious psychological issues so much more understandable. For example, it is so much easier for her to bend American history and her other Tea Party political proclamations into “pretzelized” versions of reality because she is in deep denial about her own husband and has been for more than 30 years.

Last night when I began “Binging” my theory about Marcus Bachmann I found I wasn’t alone.

If Dr. Bachmann ever revealed himself to be gay that would obviously ruin Michele’s presidential campaign, so I doubt that will happen anytime soon. It seems his denial is too strong. However, if he ever does, I hope he goes easier on himself than he does on the rest of gaydom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Deities United: A Future Supreme Court Ruling

It will happen on a day in the not too distant future; maybe a couple of years from now, maybe a decade. The success of conservatives, corporations and the US Chamber of Commerce will guarantee it. Corporations will have won the day in November 2012—and the election.

In Wall Street boardrooms, suburban Washington think tanks and K Street lobbyists’ offices almost simultaneously, CEOs, Executive Directors and Policy Analysts will all smile the Grinch smile. You know the smile; when the Grinch decides to steal Christmas.

Their collective greed and corruption will want more after Obama loses in 2012 because Karl Rove and Tom Donohue will have succeeded in funneling Saudi, Chinese and Russian money to determine our election.

After the glow of victory wears off, and after their stomachs have digested their victory like a Quarter Pounder with cheese and they are suddenly hungry for more, they will all turn their attention to satiating their new pangs.

Suddenly, the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling will seem to them like leftovers or an item on the menu that no longer suffices. In an instant, corporations are people too will not be so tasty or filling. No, nothing will satisfy any longer. No, nothing short of…

Corporations are Gods too.

“Yes,” the lawyer for Deities United, America’s newest conservative 501c4, 50 year old Kirk Cameron, will proudly exclaim before the assembled Supreme Court justices, “corporations are gods too!”

The justices will lean back in their high-backed, black leather chairs, smiling with anticipation about the show that has commenced before them. 

The case before the nation’s highest court, Deities United v. US Department of Defense, will seek to overturn the DOD’s prohibition on corporations fighting the Battle of Armageddon against all the Middle Eastern countries immersed in the Arab Spring of 2011.

Deities United is the lobby group of Xe, formerly Blackwater, and filed the suit to make billions more by killing millions more.

“Corporations are as rich as god,” Cameron will shout, “not poor like churches. Corporations are responsible for inventions that change god’s laws in ways that people cannot, that corporations, perched atop skyscrapers way up in the heavens, tower above people like gods perched atop the clouds, that corporations inspire as much awe the world over as god inspires in His multitudes, and finally, corporations are more jealous, more wrathful and more vengeful than god.”

The Solicitor General, disgraced former Congressman, Anthony Weiner, will argue that corporations can never be considered gods because corporations’ CEOs do not have beards, they do not have moral codes conveyed in commandments and they are not invisible.

The Supreme Court will make their landmark decision 5-4 along party lines in favor of Deities United.

Justice Thomas will write the majority opinion, citing that corporations more than people and god are responsible for changing the earth and therefore fulfill the function of God on earth and that in time Corporations will supplant god in significance and importance on earth…”if corporations are allowed to have their way”, his wife Ginny will chime in, proving once again that Thomas is an activist justice.

House Speaker John Boehner, in an obvious dig at former president Barack Obama, will announce that the decision “gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington — while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred god”.

Former Blackwater president, Erik Prince will say, “Gods especially have the power to take lots of lives without the annoying interference of Congressional investigations.”

Senator Mitch McConnell will attend the announcement of the ruling and will proclaim “it a strong blow for the First Amendment and a victory for freedom of religion.”

And after the Deities United ruling was decreed in 2015 there was no need for the presidential election of 2016 or any other election in any other year thereafter, for corporations had more money than God.

And it was put forth to the people that as the Romans and Greeks had a pantheon of gods, a deity for every aspect of human existence, corporations as gods served the people in a similar way—the god of offshore drilling, the god of convenient shopping and cheap material goods and the god of weapons to keep us safe, among many others.

And Christians wept, not because of the allusions to Roman and Greek gods, but because from Deities United they believed there was now a greater appreciation of God throughout the land.

All Praise be to the Glory of Wal-mart and to Exxon and to General Electric in the recently renamed US Temple of Commerce and the Prophet Tom Donohue.


Friday, June 10, 2011


Last week, after a religious conference, Paul Ryan was chased down by a young Catholic dude and offered a Bible, which Ryan turned down. The young Catholic asked Ryan why he preferred the extreme ideology of Ayn Rand over the economic teachings in the Bible. Here’s the vid:

A group called American Values Network created an ad which attacks politicians who have been inspired by Ayn Rand and uses her anti-Christian statement from a 1959 interview with Mike Wallace.

At the beginning of the clip Ayn Rand says she regards religion as evil. However, many would say that Ayn Rand has inspired "evil". This is very ironic, because what hasn’t been discussed in public yet is how Ayn Rand also inspired modern American Satanism.

Howard Stanton Levey became Anton Szandor LaVey and founded the Church of Satan and authored the Satanic Bible. As the Wikipedia article on LaVey states, LaVey created a “synthesized system of his understanding of human nature and the insights of philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism, for which he claimed no supernatural, metaphysical, or theistic inspiration.”

Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism” is just a fancy word for material selfishness. As John Kenneth Galbraith said, "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

Rand’s atheism is no doubt from her upbringing in “godless” Russia. And It is perhaps convenient for the purposes of her Objectivism philosophy, which, given it promotes a self-serving series of choices should actually, it seems, be called Subjectivism.

But the compassion of Christ—obviously missing in many Christians—runs counter to Rand’s Objectivism. And it is perhaps also missing in many of LaVey’s followers. I hesitate to claim that as a truth because I’ve never met a Satanist that I can remember.

It is ironic that so many conservatives worship Ayn Rand because in 1979 on the old Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder, she told Snyder that "conservatives will destroy this country".  You can find that clip on YouTube.

So, what many of us have believed for decades finally has a correlation: right-wing conservatives are evil and probably more so than Satanists because right-wing politicians are power hungry and persecute the weak and vulnerable.

Even Ayn Rand knew that--which goes for some liberals as well. And that is me being as "objectivistic" as I can possibly be.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Driving Change in the World

When I was three or four my parents bought me a pedal car, a small metal-bodied car with pedals that propelled the car forward. I loved that car. I became quite fast driving it around our house. When I was a little older my father put me on his lap and let me steer our car down the street. I absolutely fell in love with driving and got my first license as soon as legally possible, at sixteen years and one month old.

To me driving represented freedom and self-determination, thrill and satisfaction, solitude and meditation. It still does. I love to drive.

I simply cannot imagine how I would feel if, after all that, my government told me I was not allowed to drive a car because I was too tall, too dumb or because I was a man.

I’ve been hearing stories here and there about women wanting to drive in Saudi Arabia for some time now. Today I read a story on Huffington Post about Saudi women asking Hillary Clinton to help them be allowed to drive. I say go for it. They should also appeal to Laura Bush since “W” and his family are closer to the Saudi royals than Hillary.

There is a petition which I signed on the website, which was recently cyber attacked by China because of their support for Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei.

According to Women of the Revolution, Manal al-Sharif dropped her campaign to call for the driving ban to be lifted. She was detained and released on May 21, 2011 and rearrested the next day and released on bail on May 30, 2011. She’s a computer security consultant but she can’t drive.

A video of her driving and discussing the ban was posted on YouTube. It is here.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prevents women from driving so it’s not a Muslim thing as perhaps the “Shariers”—my new word to denote those who try to scare gullible Americans that American Muslims are trying to institute Sharia law here in the US in much the same way the “Birthers” tried to scare gullible Americans that Obama…you know the rest—might have us believe.

Wahabism is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia. And Wahabism is as fundamentalist conservative as the Reverend Ted Haggard was before he realized the door to his closet was opened.

We cannot surmise for certain that granting women the right to drive would commence in Saudi Arabia a social revolution for gender equality, but there may, however, become a large number of Saudi soccer moms.

In Iran, women are working as taxi drivers, picking up only women as fares. And, as Lubna Hussein made progress for women in the Sudan in 2009 by wearing trousers, the Muslim world is slowly changing.

This morning, while driving to work, I saw a crowd of Syrians outside the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard holding signs that read “Free Syria” and “Where is the media?”

That may be their mistake; confusing CNN with legitimate media, thinking that CNN cares. But I used to do that too—protesting outside Rockefeller Center in 1986, hoping to raise NBC’s awareness and concern about the forced relocation of the Navajo just so Peabody Coal could strip mine coal.

A century ago the American Suffragist movement was working hard to gain women the right to vote, which it won in 1920. Saudi women will get the right to drive one day.

Maybe royal Saudi nephew and Fox News investor, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, can help. I suggest we all write him letters asking him to intervene directly at Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, c/o Fox News Channel, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY  10036.

This can have a double affect. Bin Talal has already called for it. Show him and shower him our support. And it makes visible again, the close connection between Fox and bin Talal, the guy who wanted to fund the Ground Zero Mosque that Fox on-air conservatives were against.

We may also want to write to “W” at his Presidential Center. The website talks about Middle East’s “Wave of Freedom”, a Bush Institute Area of Engagement is “human freedom” and one of the Bush Institute’s Integrated Initiatives has a women’s initiative. Bush has to do some good in the world. You can send them an email at You may need to copy and paste this email address. And I say why not?

Perhaps for the betterment of the world we should commit to this century being the century of women. We have Hillary encourage the Saudis to give women the right to drive and we allow the Iraqis, Afghanis and Libyans to successfully encourage Hillary, Barack and the rest of us to give women in those three countries the right not to have their children and babies killed in our wars.

I’m harping on the death of children in war again, eh? What a downer. Well, here’s an upper. “Drive My Car” performed by the man who wrote it (with Lennon) and sang it, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Problem with Some Christians

This whole end of the world-Armageddon-Anti-Christ mass delusion some Christians have perpetrated on us is actually more damaging to America and the world than it is humorous or  good subject for ridicule. It creates in conservative Christians the need to be righteous and pious and to them, I believe, it means controlling us by stepping on the rest of us.

Believing in a Messiah is akin to a drug addict believing that someone is going to come and cure him of his drug addiction and he won’t have to do anything. That’s not how recovery works and that’s not how the world will work.

My theory is supported by something in the Bible, Psalm 95. According to Wikipedia: “A common modern rabbinic interpretation is that there is a potential messiah in every generation. The Talmud, which often uses stories to make a moral point (aggadah), tells of a highly respected rabbi who found the Messiah at the gates of Rome and asked him, "When will you finally come?" He was quite surprised when he was told, "Today." Overjoyed and full of anticipation, the man waited all day. The next day he returned, disappointed and puzzled, and asked, "You said messiah would come 'today' but he didn't come! What happened?" The Messiah replied, "Scripture says, 'Today, 'if you will but hearken to His voice.'”

I would argue that there is not only a potential Messiah in every generation but there is a potential Messiah in every one of us.

This messiah prophecy stuff was developed at a time of relative primitivism. The mindset that developed the belief that someone would come to their rescue like Superman was the same mindset that also believed in hell.

The belief that a Messiah will come down and everyone will be saved creates the psychology that those believers do not have to be responsible for themselves, or others, or to the world.

There will never be a Judgment Day and there will never be an End Times just like there was never a Biblical Adam and Eve. Those are myths designed to convey the author‘s political point. They were not real, living, historical human beings. Doesn’t one think with the fervency of Christian validation by Believers through the sciences, that someone would find the Garden of Eden?

Maybe the messiah concept is based on Ezekiel’s wheel and the space aliens are the messiah Judaism believes in; they are little grey men.

What Jesus said was very instructive and beneficial to creating a just world for all. But Christians are more concerned with oppressing others than loving others.

Christians don’t have the right or the moral authority to force anything on anyone until they first abide by Jesus’ words. One commandment that is fitting today is “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Many Christians don’t seem to be capable of that.

Greed is one of the biggest problems in the world today. It’s one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Don’t you think Christians would charge around the world battling greed just as Jesus charged into the Temple to battle the money changers who turned his “Father’s house into a den of thieves”?

Gandhi said: “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

”Love your neighbor as yourself” and “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you” are so very relevant today—and much needed. But for much of the rest of it, I believe it is important for humanity to get past these ancient beliefs because they do not serve us properly anymore. It’s like continuing to wear the same shoes as an adult that you wore as an adolescent. They hurt your feet and you cannot walk properly anymore

For those of us with a belief in “god” (I hate the word but it is easily understood by many) we must strip religions down to only what works and what creates a better world and discard the rest. We must only be interested in our spiritual reality. Our spiritual selves are bound by spiritual laws just as our physical selves are bound by physical laws. What really are those spiritual laws? And how do I, by using them, make myself and my world better for myself and others?

So, what next? Well, on to the next end of the world—October 21, 2011. And when that doesn’t happen, on to December 21, 2012.

And don’t blame that on the Maya for that. That’s a modern western interpretation of what is simply the end of a “baktun—a cycle in the calendar— in the Mayan calendar and is not meant to suggest the end of the world as the idiots would have us believe.

As a species we have always been very insecure about our origin, our destiny and our purpose. So we’ve created myths with our ability to reason in our limited ancient minds to answer questions we could not answer with science so long ago. We no longer have those ancient limitations and we must move forward. With globalism and the worldwide web, now is the time that we as humanity and we as a species take a quantum leap forward in understanding our spiritual reality and our true humanity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oil Things Must Pass

I went to the beach last weekend and stepped in a pile of asphalt that had been floating in Santa Monica Bay and had washed ashore after being dumped by a tanker at the oil refineries south of LAX. It made me mad. Oil companies get away with everything, including soiling my shoes.

Last week, the CEOs of the big five oil companies testified before Congress about why they needed their welfare checks while making record money from gambling. Because of Wall Street oil speculators, the price of a barrel of oil is driven up (in some estimates) $44 a barrel to about $100 a barrel.

Speculation has nothing to do with the hands on exploration and production of oil, nor does it have to do with supply and demand. Speculation should be made illegal or heavily regulated. Obama needs to rein in these speculators. He promised in June 2008 that he would do so. Do you think he will now?

Right. On to the next paragraph.

I believe big oil’s Gang of Five should pay for all wars fought in the Middle East. It is as obvious that Libya is not about human rights as it was that Iraq was not about WMD.

I also believe that in wars fought for oil by governments on behalf of oil corporations, the corporations should not only pay for the wars like a business expense, but they and their proxy governments should be liable for damages just like in business, but not like in oil spills. These are blood spills, so they would not be able to be passed on to the taxpayer, consumer and next generation American like BP is doing in the Gulf. Talk about your entitlements!

This means that killing innocent children in their profiteering wars would cost them monetarily in amounts much greater than the 1-2% taxpayer welfare they so hate to lose. One oil executive threatened to move their operation out of the US. I say “Go ahead! Leave! And don’t let your rig hit you in the ass on the way out!”

Necessity is the mother of invention and if America needs to invent a better way to do everything without oil and gas we will.

In fact, is it not a good idea to start a boycott of one of the big five to send a message and scare the hell out of the other four? Of course it is.

And hey, what about the sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car called Revenge of the Electric Car? Try to see it if you can. We need to change the world we live in. Maybe this is a way.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Mandarin Candidate

Given that all the Republican candidates are head cases, the only viable Republican seems to be John Huntsman. However….

Yeah, if my beliefs are correct it could be interesting.

Huntsman knows he won’t get the nomination in 2012. But he’s putting his name out there because he knows the Republican-Tea Party self-destruction and the deconstruction of America won’t be tolerated much past 2014 which, by then, the Republican-Tea Party cabal will have brought America to the brink of armed insurrection on a multiple statewide level. That’s right, unemployed gun carrying yahoos firing at the Florida statehouse and governor’s residence (among a few other red states) recalls with extreme prejudice.

If Obama is a shoo-in for re-election because of the Bin Laden killing and other things—and Huntsman knows it—he’s positioning himself to be the best-qualified Republican to run against Hillary in 2016—again, after the coming Republican collapse.

Huntsman went to Wall Street for fundraising, to DC for strategy, and to South Carolina for the Gong Show. Perhaps we can derive from his attempt at a candidacy that the political winds are blowing from a different direction.

Or, perhaps we can derive that Huntsman is just another egotistical politician with delusions of grandeur and the usual maniacal desire for power.

Or, Huntsman is a brainwashed tool of the Chinese—the Mandarin Candidate—come to cart off of America the last of what the Republicans and the corporations have already given them.

Or, perhaps the Koch Brothers are trying a different political strategy—that Huntsman will run as a charming and smart independent to draw votes away from Obama like Perot did in ’92 for Bush 1 and President Richard John Santorum will be sworn in on January 20, 2013.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Children and War

We are human beings with some control over our shared destiny. The world is getting smaller. We are all becoming closer. I have no misconceptions about being able to end war anytime soon. However, is it not possible for all of us to resolve that children should never ever die in a war?

According to an April 14, 2009 article in The Telegraph, of the people killed in US air strikes whose gender could be determined, 46 percent were women and 39 percent were children. The same article states that a sizable number of children killed in Iraq were killed as part of warfare between ethnic and religious rivals.

Regardless of whether its smart bombs or sectarian bullets, the death of children is wrong. It doesn’t matter if today’s religions consider it a sin or not. When I look around the world I don’t see that today’s major religions are making the world better—in fact, their effect is quite the opposite.

A 1996 report from UNICEF titled “Children in War” stated that “Recent developments in warfare have significantly heightened the dangers for children. During the last decade, it is estimated (and these figures, while specific, are necessarily orders of magnitude) that child victims have included:

2 million killed;

4-5 million disabled;

12 million left homeless;

more than 1 million orphaned or separated from their parents;

some 10 million psychologically traumatized.”

That was from 15 years ago.

And then there are the drug cartels. Last April 9 The Washington Post ran an article titled “Mexican drug cartels targeting and killing children”. Read it. The details are abhorrent.

For children who survive war, there’s The Children and War Foundation. You may be interested in finding out more about them and other similar organizations.

From Qaddafi’s grandchildren last weekend, to all those kids killed in Vietnam, to those Hitler destroyed in camps, to the American Indian children massacred by the US Calvary, to the children Herod killed, to all children killed since the beginning of time, killing children for any reason is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. There are some things that should be sacred globally. Loving and nurturing children should be high on that sacred list.

The point I’m trying to make is this: I believe we are supposed to evolve and progress into becoming a peaceful and passive species. If others also believe that, can we not choose to progress toward that eventuality? Is it not a mixture of belief and destiny that controls our fate anyway?

And can we not at least resolve to try to protect children as a step toward eradicating war forever and as a step toward that peaceful, passive destiny?

We may not be able to bring peace to the world, but can we not begin to bring limits to war? To scale it back? I may sound naïve. I may be naïve. But to change things for the better, we must start with what is considered impossible.

The global pro-peace, anti-war movement is within all of us. We just have to choose to follow it and build it. It may not be easy, and it may take a long time, but it can be done.

The first, arguably, attainable goal we must make toward realizing that goal is: no more children will be killed in wars for oil. Maybe we should begin counting the price of a barrel of oil not in dollars, but in the number of bodies of dead children.

And we can strengthen that decision by choosing to permanently move away from oil for all its uses and purposes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama sin laden

Yes, this title, a silly play on words, is intentional.

On Saturday afternoon I was angry at the news that three of Qaddafi’s grandchildren under the age of 12 were killed in a missile attack which also reportedly killed Qaddafi’s son. Then came disagreement in the some parts of the blogos-fear (clever, aren’t I?) whether he was or was not the evil, older son. A cursory view just now of some liberal websites to verify, clarify and research for this writing has become frustrating because the news of Osama’s killing is everywhere in a multitude of aspects and angles serving its purpose as collective conscious and unconscious distraction.

The death of these kids was the result of a NATO strike. But don’t we own NATO? Should we, the superior “Christian valued nation”, firstly, not go to war, and secondly, not kill children? Now here’s the infuriating question: for oil???!!!

The possibility/probability (your choice) that these kids (and many others around the world in many different wars and military and “police” actions we’ve fought) died for oil is on par with being godless…unless our god is oil and/or geopolitical control.

There are human rights abuses in many places around the world and there have been human rights abuses in Libya for a long time. Suddenly the US is involved? Suddenly NATO is passing resolutions and sending missiles?


And each and every child killed in a war for oil (or Halliburton or the US Chamber of Commerce or Walmart), the loss of their lives are, each and every one, an unconscionable sin that Obama is quickly becoming laden with.

For oil.

The old adage is fight fire with fire. But sometimes that strategy cannot and should not apply. How can you fight human rights abuses with human rights abuses? And if a NATO missile killing children doesn’t violate these kids’ human rights I don’t know what does.


Have I said it enough?


Barack Hussein Oilbama.

What a silly word play.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paul Ryan's Sick Joke

“A Senior walks into a hospital looking for treatment and steps up to the nurse’s desk. The Nurse asks, ‘May I help you?’ The Senior says, ‘I can’t breathe, I’m coughing up blood and my Paul Ryan-Medicare substitute voucher’s out of money, can you help me?’ The Nurse says, ‘I have some good news and I have some bad news.’ The Senior says, ‘What’s the good news?’ The Nurse says, ‘The good news is I know what’s wrong. You have cancer.’ The Senior says, ‘That’s the good news?? What’s the bad news?’ The Nurse says, ‘The bad news is we could cure you but your voucher’s out of money.’
Because of all the hits yesterday's blog received, I decided to put the joke in its proper context.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Playing the Ol' Class Card

What’s the future of America, and the world for that matter, when it comes to the widening gulf between the rich and poor?

The recent and continuing attempts to throw off the yoke of dictators, whether Middle Eastern, or Wisconsin anti-union means the “man” ain’t gonna be too happy until they get everyone under submission again.

When Martin Luther King Jr. became the leader of the Civil Rights Movement the concept of “playing the race card” had not been invented because the Civil Rights Movement was creating a whole new deck for a whole new game. Since the 70s, to my memory, there were many times when blacks—and whites for that matter—were accused of “playing the race card”.

The lack of respect for the needs of poor and vulnerable is reaching a fevered pitch in this country. It seems that the time may not be far off when politicians and activists in talking about their concern for poor people and complaining about the lack of respect that Republicans, and some Democrats, have for them that they will be accused of playing the “class card”, or the “poor card”.

For two years, racist jokes about our first black president have been making the circuit on the internet and through emails. And with contempt for the poor and the vulnerable so obvious in the GOP’s push to privatize Medicare, it seems to me we are not far from seeing classist jokes from being discovered in Congressmen’s emails.

For example, jokes like, “A Senior walks into a hospital looking for treatment and steps up to the nurse’s desk. The Nurse asks, ‘May I help you?’ The Senior says, ‘I can’t breathe, I’m coughing up blood and my Paul Ryan-Medicare substitute voucher’s out of money, can you help me?’ The Nurse says, ‘I have some good news and I have some bad news.’ The Senior says, ‘What’s the good news?’ The Nurse says, ‘The good news is I know what’s wrong. You have cancer.’ The Senior says, ‘That’s the good news?? What’s the bad news?’ The Nurse says, ‘The bad news is we could cure you but your voucher’s out of money.’”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God Tells Me

God tells me that when He created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, He originally thought to call it the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Kinda Bad but realized that “kinda bad” spelled backward was “dabadnik”, which in Lithuanian means “transmission repair”, and wasn’t as cool as the “evil"/“live” thing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lenny Bruce

For more than 30 years I’ve had some Lenny Bruce albums: “Thank You Masked Man”, “The Berkeley Concert”, “The Law, the Language and Lenny Bruce”. I think I also had “The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce”, but I believe that got stolen and sold by a heroin addict I used to live with in New York back in 1985.

Ah, those were great days.

Inspired by my friend Dennis Perrin’s stand-up comedy endeavors, and my desire to re-experience my nostalgia-colored “better times”, lately I’ve been buying late-50s early-60s comedy records. There is something about the times. Despite the racism, sexism and other isms back then, there was a sense of style and sophistication in the air. Nightclubs were not discos. Men wore suits and ties, women wore dresses. The ever-present swirl of cigarette smoke gave everything a mystique that Mad Men captures very well, but you had to be there to really understand. Going out then had a specialness to it that seems to be missing in today’s miasmic culture.

The comedians of the time were considered by Time Magazine in an article titled, “COMEDIANS: The Third Campaign”, to be intelligent, insightful and funny. That may seem shocking today, but that’s because it’s been a whole half century of comedy between now and then. And it was those comedians who first inspired and created a more cerebral approach to comedy that led to Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and  others.

I have three Mort Sahl albums with another on the way. And I’m seeing, thirty years after falling in love with Lenny Bruce, that I never gave Mort Sahl the credit or exploration he was due. A comparison of Lenny and Mort can be made which would easily complement both. Both were intelligent, instinctual, philosophical, Jewish and quick, but Lenny was more conceptual while Mort was more of a straight commentator and analyst. Lenny did voices and characters. Mort did not. Lenny did heroin. Mort did not.

The world is different today. But it hasn’t changed that much in fifty years. And there are enough problems of today that comedy today would have enough material to talk about with meaning and laughs. I would love to see a renaissance of a type of comedy that was intelligent and philosophical and funny. But comedy today is ruled by forces I don’t understand. It’s too controlled and sanitized in this 21st century way. Comedy in the Fifties was sanitized too. My point is maybe that renaissance of intelligent, topical, philosophical comedy may be just over the horizon.

So, for all you future comedians of the renaissance, let me do my part by saying: explore Mort Sahl, Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce see how they did it. I will write a post about Sahl and Gregory in the near future, but this is about Lenny.

Lenny was impish. He had a child-like quality about him. He had fun being in front of an audience. He did funny voices and made himself laugh. But Lenny was deep. He would do bits about kids sniffing airplane glue to get high. No one did that back then. That gave Lenny an air of danger that made him—what that’s word everyone loves to use?—oh, yeah, Lenny was “controversial”.

Lenny did bits about religion, racism, sex, drugs and popular culture. And these were structured bits with a narrative. Observational humor is great, but Lenny’s “Religions Incorporated” is a classic comedy bit no matter who did it. “How to Relax Your Colored Friends at Parties” was genius because the character Lenny played in the bit said everything every white person was thinking who went to an integrated party in the late 50s, early 60s. The Carnegie Hall Concert is my favorite because Lenny is so relaxed and philosophical. And he isn’t chasing after laughs. He is preaching with humor.

Lenny became a target of the popular culture and they drove him to his death. As detailed in the HBO documentary Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, Lenny exposed an offer of a bribe, which was a basis of the persecution he suffered. However, his ideas must have been the wood society built at his feet when they burned Lenny at the stake. That’s what they did to heretics in the old days. And they considered Lenny a heretic because Lenny was effective.

So much has been written about Lenny, there is nothing I can add of value. All I can say is Lenny feels very comfortable like an old friend. He reminds me of a time when I was young and hopeful and amazed by so much of the world.

Here are a few of what is available of Lenny on YouTube. The first is Lenny on Steve Allen.

This is the first of seven parts of the Lenny Bruce Performance Film which was performed shortly before Lenny died and is available on DVD.