Yes, But Can Elephants Really Fly…?

Chris Christie is the new face of the Republican Party – and pigs have wings.  Christie’s getting an awful lot of attention (again) because there isn’t an acceptable whore in the GOP whores-race, and Christie is the closest thing they have to Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  Who would you vote-for in a contest populated by a bunch of lunatic “Mavericks?”  

None of them.

At least Christie’s a candidate who literally embodies both the look and feel of the real GOP mascot.  While the collective Republican primary candidates behave like escaped inmates crying-out to be heard over the din of the Jerry Springer audience:  Christie is the closest thing the Republican party has to a Springer-like “bouncer.” 


The current cast of characters are excruciatingly funny ‘debatifiers’ goofin’-up their own mixed-messages, they can’t help but be diminished by the mere weight and scale of their new pretend front-runner.  Be real – Christie can be tracked from outer-space with the naked-eye but he isn’t running for president.  He’s vying to bump Kristie Ally off the scales and become the next spokes-elephant for WeightWatchers.


Christie’s a heart attack on a plate, or is that ‘plaque?’  Coronary plaque or otherwise…  Christi is not ‘fit’ to be president.  Just ask Jerseytes – they’re bloated with buyer’s remorse. 

- Dissociated Press, 9/30/2011

Republican’s Say “Thumbs-Down” to the Common Man

In a recent Pew Memorial Trust Research Center poll, nine out of ten elephants interviewed wanted to have their good name no longer associated with the Republican Party.  The elephant was originally selected for it’s intelligence and and sharp memory.  “Neither intelligence nor memory seem to apply when analyzing the current state of the Republican Party.  Monosyllabic stupidity has become a badge of honor as the GOP panders to the ill-informed.” said political analyst Winifred P. Jumpingbean.   Meanwhile, Long Island Ice Tea Party candidate Duck D. Duck added,  “Clearly the Komodo dragon would make a far better mascot for the GOP, as Komodos take no prisoners, can spit poison great distances, and reproduce without having sex, thus freeing them from original sin.” 

The GOP has become the party of ‘nasty and forgetful.’  The use of an elephant no longer applies as a Republican mascot, since Republicans themselves seem not to remember how we got into the collective mess our nation faces – and how it’s largely the GOP’s own doing.  

But are voters paying attention?  

What difference does it make when the old Roman adage still holds true: “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.”  Most American voters know more about football than they do about the issues that vitally impact the quality of their own lives.



The Grand Old Tea Party now functions as a front for corporate greed and going about it by what ever means necessary at any cost – using all manner of double-talk that pops into their heads merely to regain the White House in 2012.   Republican politics have become more of a game – like a cross between ‘chess’ and ‘liar-liar’ – whether it’s freedom to screw thy neighbor as if it were condoned by the Constitution – or acting like their feelings are hurt decrying they’re the “victims of class-warfare.”  When less than 2% of the nation’s population controls 87% of the wealth, I’d say the rich are the one’s who threw-down the gauntlet first.  It’s more like ‘crass’ warfare, and the Republican Party shouted-out the initial battle-cry. 

You know the party has lost it’s way when each of the Republican primary debates has been marred either by knuckle-headed comments  by the candidates themselves or  outrageous trumpeting of hatred by their own constituents.
You don’t hear the Republican Party talking seriously about jobs or helping the nation they’ve fleeced for decades – you hear wedge issues.  “Boo” to the courageous gay serviceman stationed in Iraq to finish the war the Republicans wrongfully started.  “Boo” the gay serviceman simply because he’s gay and overlook his service to the country because that’s how a wedge-issue works.  Let the uninsured die of preventable diseases for the sin of being born poor just so long as the uber-rich get to keep their Bush-era tax breaks.  It appears the Christian Republican “right” couldn’t be more “wrong” especially if they cared anything about Christianity and the Constitution – or tried to apply principals contained therein to their own conduct.


The current Republican Party is now the hand-puppet of the Koch brothers and creeps like Grover Norquist – just imaging having their hands up your ass making your lips move…  You can hear it in the voices of the Republican House and the GOP presidential hopefuls protecting the so-called “job-creators” and saying “corporations are people too, my friend.”  Each and every one of them are ventriloquist’s dummies parroting whatever they’re told to say – and what they say has very little to do with the well-being or greater good of the American public or the nation.

In the brutal Colosseum of Christian Tea Party Republicanism, it’s become the common man facing thumbs-down in the blood-sport of financial gain and political power.  It’s high time to turn the thumb-screws down on the party of greed, and thumbs-up for the common man and woman, who only want a job to make their lives a little more livable.

 

Chris Christie for President? Abada, abada, abada-dabada – I hope not.

Have some respect – he’s mulling-over whether to run for president or commit suicide.

The 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls are so comically insane that their own buffoonery is the only tool we have to comfort us, aside from knowing we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  There’s no point in rehashing the GOP’s extraterrestrial-gaggle of misfits passing themselves off as viable 2012 alternatives to Barack Obama.  I’ve often heard it said “the only candidate worth voting for is the one who doesn’t want the job.”  Fair enough, but all joking aside, Chris Christie’s presidential “suicide” reference (while understandable) is a wee-bit extreme even for an ‘off-the-cuff’ statement.  Governor Christie hardly inspires a voter’s confidence with his ability or stability — as if stability were a prerequisite in this year’s GOP line-up — whether you’re running or not.

Chris Christie givin’ us some of that Scott Brown Republican  Sex-appeal.
I grew-up in Joizey so I knows a li’l bit ’bout hal dey do bidness.   Foist, you’se godda speak ‘da language…   (Deep breath…) – New Jersey, once known as the “Garden State’ now has about an acre and half left of unspoiled farmland – the rest of the place is shopping malls and bumpy highways.  Only in an Orwellian alternate universe could Chris Christie be the Governor of New Jersey — further defoliating the ‘Garden State’ of any remaining pockets of intellect or reason…  I’m from Jersey, and I don’t know a single resident who likes the man – except for one person who makes buckets of money and can’t relate to the rest of us.


Christie is speaking tonight at the Regan Library, a place Regan himself might prefer not to be associated-with given recent company.  There’s no point in rehashing the thrill republican’s get over blood-lust for Jesus while disrespecting men in uniform and reinventing Ronald Regan’s lunacy – I mean ‘legacy.’  Christie is expected to evoke the Spirit of Ronald Regan this evening during his keynote address – I’m hoping it will be rebroadcast on the Sci-Fi Network while Nancy Regan levitates midair.  Wearing red of course.

Chris Christie has close financial ties to the Koch Brothers, which doesn’t bode well for the common man.

The GOP is trotting-out Chris Christie as a news distraction and nothing more — so no one will notice how NOTHING of substance came out of ANY of the republican debates and straw-polls.  Every candidate is the flavor of the week, delivering Tourette syndrome sound-bites in an effort to distill a message that if you’re wealthy you’re blessed by God, and if you struggle, you should wither and die for the convenience of others who are more fortunate.  If you don’t believe me – Google it.  Most disgraceful of all have been the outbursts, from the audiences at these debates exacerbated by the inability of a single Republican candidate to display the leadership that might tone-down such hateful rhetoric.  
No need for toning-down rhetoric if Christ Christie tosses his hat in the ring.  Christie’s attitude is “Youse eideer agrees wit me, or I knee-caps ‘ya.”  His record demonstrates he won’t be there for you during disasters unless he happens to also be stuck in town — HOWEVER, he will put-in for FEMA disaster-relief money before he even knows whether or not he really needs it – bare in mind he believes in small government in name only.  In all fairness, there’s a very good reason why Christie demanded that FEMA relief money:  It’s both difficult and expensive to rent a crain-lift to rescue an inland-beached whale especially if you have to saw off the state capitol dome to hoist the creature the safety.
New flash.  Christie would float.  He floats through scandals ranging from cronyism and corruption to turning-down Federally-funded jobs and moneys to improve the state school system.  On the other hand, you can count on Christie to to use the gubernatorial helicopter and security force to disrupt his son’s Little League ballgame just so he can photo-op himself watching the first pitch.  However, if you’re under 3 feet of snow or water, Christie is spinning-around in a teacup in Disneyworld while your world is collapsing.

Christie has EVERYTHING the Grand Old Tea Party is looking-for – he’s crass, he’s corrupt, he’s in the pocket of big business, (a.k.a the Koch brothers) – but best of all he photographs so well with the whole family around him when the cameraman uses a wide-angle panoramic lens.  Let’s cut to the chase – the REAL reason Chris Christie is the GOP presidential distraction du’jour is because former Godfather Pizza CEO, Herman Cain took the Florida Straw Poll last weekend and now the Republican Party has a black front-runner which will never wash with the basest of the supremest base.  Somehow Christie reminds me of ‘The Great McGinty’ the classic Preston Sturges screwball comedy about cronyism and smoky back-room politics.  Someday, affable a fellow as he is, he’ll have to go into hiding on a tropical island to escape something he’s probably already done.

Hopefully that IS all folks.  Next contender please.

Free Fallin’

Rick Perry, who can barely string 2 words together into a sentence,  aside from a death sentence, criticized Barack Obama’s speech in front the the United Nations General Assembly by calling the president’s remarks, “Arrogant, misguided and dangerous.”  Takes one to know one…

Much like Skylab from many years ago, space-junk the size of a double-decker bus is speeding toward the earth with scientists unable to do anything more than speculate where or when it might enter the atmosphere – let alone the exact location where it might fall to earth as a ball of fire.  Kinda like Rick Perry, who’s unscientific adviser/handlers are at a loss to figure out what kind of flaming bullshit is going to come out of his mouth next.  Rick Perry’s political lone-star is in political free-fall.  Perry’s role as Republican Tea Party frontrunner of the week, is to remind us all what a  similarly disastrious Republican Texas governor once brought-about to destroy our nation and our world.

The Christian right-wing Tea Party Republican base isn’t a particularly nice or charitable group as “Christians” go.  The series of primary debate crowds are delighted to hear about human executions, erupting into applause, or shouting-out “let them die” when the subject is the poor without health care insurance.  At the most recent Florida Republican debate, the crowd unrepentantly showed no respect for a serviceman risking his life in Iraq, booing him merely because of his sexual orientation.  Rick Perry and all the other Republican hopefuls have to appeal to the basest of their base to get the party’s nomination.  Christian conservatives bear no resemblance to the Prince of Peace they all claim to worship.   The devil always hides in the most obvious places.  

Perry’s going down.  

If he takes credit for his extremist views he makes himself nationally unelectable – like Michele Bachmann trans-channeling Gracie Allen on acid.  If he displays a scintilla of compassion for a child born to illegal immigrants seeking an education, he looses the support of his base.   As mentioned earlier, Republican front-runners are chosen by the basest of the base.

The long and the short of it will shake-out so the last man standing will get the Republican nomination, and whoever it is, isn’t going to make anyone in the GOP very happy – but the Democrats will love it.  The Republican Party has no plan, no ideas, no morals, no conscience, and no chance of entering the “Kingdom of Heaven” should there be such a place.  Republicans need to spend less time “takin’ it all on faith” and spend more time looking into the human compassion which is supposed to define Christianity.  As Gandhi once said” “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.”

Meanwhile here in America, I humbly vow to go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life if the heaping pile of burning space-crap lands on the Westboro Baptist Church.  Then I’ll know there really is a God.   

Complicated Sentence

Should an individual accused of killing an innocent person resulting in a death-penalty verdict (bearing in mind that elected officials are not above the same laws which apply to regular citizens) be themselves held liable for murder – should that particular governor or legislator ignore evidence which might exonerate a death-row inmate’s guilt?

Complicated sentence in every sense of the word – complicated concept too…

A complicated concept with a very simple answer – take the death penalty off the table. Everyone eventually dies. Who do any of our state government officials think they are to play God? Granted there are people in this world who deserve the death penalty, but when will society gain the maturity and wisdom to arrive at a conclusion that we as a unified people should be above this sort of primitive behavior? Other industrialized nations arrived at this conclusion a long time ago.  However in America the most vocal Christian opponents to abortion cross fearfully close to the proponents of gun-rights and the death penalty. And they’re the ones fearful of Sharia Law…?

Perhaps more of these Christians in name-only need to start thinking of every execution in terms of the Crucifixion of Christ. Wasn’t Christ flanked by 2 sinners? I have very little appetite for organized religion – I’m not prone to joining cults – but the crucifixion of Christ has always moved me for 2 very important reasons: He was a man executed for his beliefs, and he forgave his executioners.

Incarceration is far worse than a quick snuff, as satisfying as voting-barbarians might enjoy that sort of false closure. If the human compassion side of doing away with the death penalty doesn’t resonate with voters, then perhaps the monetary realities will. Long-term incarceration is a far worse sentence than a premature death and far less expensive than endless court appeals. That said, this is not about the money. We do an abysmal job in this country of educating youth to set them on the right course in life, handing-down generation after generation’s worth of prejudice and ignorance. We do an even worse job of offering rehabilitation to the incarcerated so they might successfully reenter society.

With all due respect to the Grecian Islands, way too many Cretans have far too much power in this nation. The Tea Party shallow-thinkers do a great deal to propel the decline of human compassion, when they disgustingly explode with applause on hearing Texas Governor Rick Perry has executed more death-row inmates than any other American governor in history – as if that was a workable answer to crime. Execution is not an answer – it’s a brutal afterthought. 

Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed in Texas yesterday, September 21st after being convicted of the 1998 dragging-death of James Byrd, a black man, he admittedly tied to the back of his pick-up truck and dragged to his death. I have little sympathy for Brewer, but life in prison is a much harsher punishment than a quick death. Death comes to us all – it’s merely a matter of when. The “when” should not be left up to legislators. Prison over-population has more to do with general over-population. There are too many of us. Rats when over-populated in a confined area become cannibalistic. So do people.

Here in Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal sits on death row for the murder of police officer Danny Faulkner. There is a plaque on the street not far from where I live where Faulkner fell in 1981. While I can’t bring my self to step on the plaque as if it were just another piece of sidewalk, I don’t want to see Jamal executed for the crime either. We need to be better than this.

Last night, September 21st, 2011 at 11:08pm Troy Anthony Davis died of a lethal injection, lingering 15 minutes with rapid eye-movement and nerve response following 21 years living on death row. He was in prison for a crime where all but 2 witnesses have recanted their testimony. Egregious and unethical mistakes made in both the prosecution’s presentation of the case and the police’s handling of witnesses and evidence. All now part of a disgraceful open record. 

What is so particularly appalling about the Troy Davis case, is another person has confessed to the crime. He is at large and a family is hiding in protective custody because of their knowledge of the other man’s guilt.  Pope Benedict and former President Jimmy Carter among other notables all appealed for clemency in the Davis case. Yesterday it looked like a Supreme Court order would result in a stay of execution so the Innocence Project could gather further evidence in Davis’ favor. Apparently in the American south, all eyes have to be dotted and tee’s need to be crossed, compassion and justice be damned. Apparently the execution of one black man will appease the blood lust for revenge as if any black man will do. Even officials within the Georgia prison system have expressed extreme discomfort about this execution, but carried it out all the same.

Davis was accused of killing off-duty police officer, Mark MacPhail in 1989. Clearly the MacPhail family are victims here as well, but does killing anyone really bring about “closure” following the death of a loved one? Mercy is the higher path to closure, if closure even exists.

Troy Davis’ last words were “I’d like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I’m not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.” Adding “The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask… is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.” He ended by saying directly to his executioners: “God have mercy on your souls.” 

Those words sound remarkably Christ-like to me.

Color Contrasts

The Humane Society’s Wayne Pacelle showing-off both his colors and his recent sex-change to be closer to his prized crush, #7 Michael Vick.
Is a white person a racist if the individual they most admire in this world and the person they least admire both happen to be black? Living in Philadelphia, Michael Vick divided our city into 2 factions: Pro and con Michael Vick. When you’re anti-Vick, you’re accused of racism when more often than not it’s the other way around.
Disassociated Press Sports Analyst Winifred P. Jumpingbean.
White Vick supporters merely want to see the Eagles win the Superbowl – but that doesn’t preclude racial prejudice from happening on other levels. “Look at that N-word run” I recall a white sports fan once saying at a football TV party a while back.  You don’t hear that language from anti-Vick protestors. Animal rights advocates are upset with Vick’s unrepentant actions and not his athletic talent or lack there-of.
 
Good lord I don’t even know what words I’m supposed to use… ‘People of color’ is an accepted term in usage these days, while ‘colored people’ is not. ‘Black’ was the proper term for a while, but now it’s out of favor. I can’t think of anyone who is literally black any more than I can think of anyone who’s literally white. White people are sort of a variety of beige-shades with some pink and olive tones. Black people are a variety of brown-umber, ochers and Sienna. Don’t question me on this – I’m a trained portrait painter.
We don’t call white people ‘European Americans’, but we do call people ‘African Americans’ even if we’re unclear about their ancestral origin. ‘Native Americans’ don’t want to be called ‘Native Americans’ because they were here WAY before the continents were named after Amerigo Vespucci – and the term ‘Indian’ is geographically off the map and a misnomer at best. Call me naive, but I’m not sure why we need to call anyone anything other than ‘fellow-man’ – but that pisses of the feminists.  So as usual, no one is happy.

‘Negro’ was a respectful term when I was a young man growing-up, but times have changed. That said, I never thought of myself as Caucasian, while that is, technically-speaking the anthropological name for my racial subdivision. My ethnic background is Scottish, English, Irish, Welsh and German. My ancestors were mostly Quaker, (the religious sect who goaded 19th century America into abolishing slavery) while declining on religious grounds from participating in the Civil War itself – aside from offering medical care and safe refuge for runaway slaves. Neither war nor violence are ever a good idea, but the rest of the planet hasn’t yet come-up to speed where that concept is concerned. The least intelligent among us are generally speaking, the most violent – and dysfunctional individuals will drag-down functional people every-time.
The world at large has always been delighted with violence just so long as it isn’t happening to them personally. People pay good money at the movies to see actresses slashed, tortured and murdered – albeit through special effects – somehow it titillates the un-evolved in society striking a primal chord that lurks just below the surface even in the most presentable-looking people. I haven’t the patience to watch violent movies any more than I have patience for real violence or derogatory racial references. I also have no patience for Tea Party constituents erupting into thunderous applause when they hear a certain monosyllabic Texas governor speaking about his dubious distinction for holding the highest number of death-row inmates executed – largely black.
Most of America settles for football to quench their appetite for violence. Thankfully most people don’t have access to a conveniently located neighborhood dog-fighting ring – so football will have to do. Football is a distant relative of Colosseum blood-sports where broken bones and long-term brain injury now rewards gladiators with lucrative product endorsements and a lifetime full of memories they can’t seem to quite recall. I suppose it’s progress of a sort when compared to the thumbs-up / thumbs-down approach of ancient Rome…
In my humble opinion the 2 stupidest things in the entire world are football and fashion. Both are an insult to my intelligence. While fashion seriously harms the self-esteem of young women and grants celebrity status to vapid subhumans like Anna Wintour – football is like watching violent blood dry – boring as shit and totally meaningless. Every moment wasted following football or fashion is unproductive lost time you will never regain.

Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick is an unrepentant sociopath not worth the air he breathes or the food he eats – and he certainly isn’t worth his shiny new “salary.” Michael Vick utterly failed to live-up to ANY of the public-service works he was entrusted to do when his legal team slimed their way into the court system preventing Vick from doing any real time for animal cruelty (a well deserved 10 year sentence) in favor of a lesser ‘racketeering’ charge (a light 2 year sentence with parole.) Vick never did time for his crimes if you really pay attention to the nuances of the case.

Flash-forward – supposedly “rehabilitated’ and a scandal or two later, including a suspicious nightclub shooting – Michael Vick now “earns” a ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR SALARY simply to throw and catch a ridiculous football and knock people down. That doesn’t include his lucrative product endorsements for Nike – a company with a long and disgraceful record of selling consumers affordable sporting goods made by child-slave-labor in 3rd world countries.The president of the United States by comparison earns a mere $400,000 a year – to put it more clearly – Michael Vick earns 250 times MORE than the leader of the free world BEFORE Nike product endorsements – while teachers, police and firefighters are depicted as villainous for trying to earn a living wage.   

Barack Obama is my personal hero in spite of his words of encouragement to scumbag Jeffrey Lurie for hiring Vick right out of prison in a deal cheered-along by perennial looser, Andy Reid. On the other hand, Barack Obama is a man of Ghandi-like patience and more wisdom than any of the halfwits he’s forced to interact with in Congress.  Americans are disappointed in Obama because we’re collectively impatient and want to see him get angry – as if anger is going to turn things around any faster…  Americans understand “anger” – what they don’t understand is patience, diplomacy and governing from center-left. 

Meanwhile as the president is trying to create jobs by raising taxes on the uber-wealthy, Michael Vick will benefit this year from the Bush era tax-breaks for the 2% wealthiest people in America. What is wrong with this picture…?  I see two men of color standing a spectrum-apart in a world where destructive behavior is rewarded and integrity is ignored if not blatantly punished.


In summation, I hope the world outgrows football.  Face it, it’s a one hour game with four 15 minute quarters that can last up to 3 or more mind-boggling hours including commercials and bloated talking heads blathering-on with post-game “analysis”  Snore…  Face it – the secret’s out –  football is boring as hell. It doesn’t hold the interest of the intelligent people I know – so by admitting you like football is akin to confessing personal pride over not being very bright and lacking imagination.
I was once getting my haircut in a black owned barbershop when a belligerent black customer woke-me-up out of a sound sleep to ask me a question.  Still groggy during my hair-cutting nap I was grilled by the strange inquisitor with the following question: “Yo white boy, you give me two reasons why the races should blend?!!!”  I said “Hally Berry and Beyonce.”  The place cracked-up and he left all in a huff.  Unfortunately there are black racists too.   Admittedly I believe the world would be a better place if all the races were blended. God knows white Anglo-Saxon protestants need an infusion of new blood – we’re all as nervous and crazy as Amish puppy-mill Brittany Spaniels. 

I’m reminded of Martin Luther King’s immortal words spoken when I was a just a kid – I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  There is no worthwhile content to Michael Vick’s character such as it is. He is in every meaningful way, a failure, even if he does earn 250 times as much as his better: The President of the United States of America.So now Michael Vick is injured and spitting-up blood.  At least he has health care and $100,000,000 to keep him warm.  

- Winifred P. Jimpingbean, Dissociated Press, 9/19/11

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A Look “Behind” the Bachmann Marriage on the Campaign Trail

Michele and her t’silly husband Marcuth Bachmann sure do know how to swing-dance. First he had her deep-throating corn-dogs at the Iowa State Fair, and now they’re doin’ the butt-bump for Jezus during her hopeless bid to become the leader of the free world.

Bachmann, who lives in a disturbing alternate universe, also sits on the House Intelligence Committee where she doesn’t know the difference between an IUD and an IED anymore than she knows when there’s a heat-seeking missile approaching her from the rear.

Bachmann is officially irrelevant as a possible Republican candidate for president since Rick Perry tossed-out the real red-meat for the Tea Party crazies to chew-on. At the first Republican debate mediator, Brian Williams asked Rick Perry about his stunning gubernatorial record for the highest number of human executions in the United States as a governor – the entire audience erupted into a spontaneous standing ovation even before Perry had a chance to answer.

Bachmann, not to be outdone, vowed to block a woman’s right to choose, saying “If I can block both abortion rights and destroy America’s school systems, governors like Rick Perry will have an endless supply of ruined lives to snuff-out at will.” She later added, “And should any of those un-aborted children turn-out to be gay, they can be treated by my husband, Dr Marcuth where he will carefully council them toward suicide.”

At the second Republican debate another glancing blow hit Bachmann, who’s poll numbers have slipped from front-runner to the low single digits, when Ron Paul (no relation to RuPaul) stated his belief as a former physician that people too poor to afford health insurance should be left to die on the streets – AGAIN meeting with the loudest applause of the evening – shaking second mediator, Wolfe Blitzer to his foundations where he reportedly stained his boxers.

The most controversial moment of the second debate happened when Rick Perry was called to task to explain his state-mandated vaccine for preteen girls to prevent HPV cervical cancer using a controversial new drug from campaign contributor, Merck & Co.

Sticking-out her tongue at Governor Perry, Representative Bachmann said “Merck gave you $5000 in campaign contributions.” To which Perry retorted “That you KNOW-of…!!! How insulting, I can’t be bought for a mere $5000 – I’m a high-priced political whore. Most of Merck’s donations are made to me on the sly through ShillPAC.”

Desparate for attention, Michele Bachman shot-back by saying “HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation, and there are already too many Palin’s in the world.” Her husband, Marcuth, sitting the in audience beaming, was later overheard saying “If any children are going to receive injections in the rear, it should be little boys, and I’m just the man to do it.”

Mitt Romney appearing disoriented and confused at both debates was unclear as to how corporations could either contract or be treated for HPV let alone have abortions, since corporation are after all (my friend) PEOPLE.

- Dissociated Press, 9/14/2011

My PC is finally Gone With the Wind, and What an Epic it Was…

Frankly Bill Gates, I don’t give a damn.

My PC is finally Gone With the Wind, and what an epic it was…

Before I got my new iMAC, I spent a lot of time watching blue and green bars slowly crawl across my computer-screen, forever “monitoring” my monitor, trapped like an animal. Power-on — power-off – in hopes the fool contraption would eventually function for longer than 5 consecutive minutes. During my last and final PC crash, I sat somewhere between comatose and enchanted glaring-at tiny spinning hour-glasses, rotating magnifying-glasses, pulsing targets on sonar-screens — and my all time favorite — a growling cartoon Godzilla. Tirelessly I endured all manner of repetitive animations under the mistaken impression that one or more of these little dancing motherfuckers was actually hard at work cleaning and repairing my computer.
 

Oh how sorrowfully wrong I was…
 

I personally believe those fool animations are designed to mesmerize us during endless downloads as a ”front’ for doing nothing at all – in an effort to divert your attention while they’re doing additional damage to your PC.  
 
It’s times like this when the real conspiracy theorist in me comes-out: I’ve decided all computer viruses are covertly designed and released by none other than the virus software protection companies themselves in order to generate revenue. Their diabolical plot is carried-out through secret off-shore partners trafficking in online-constipation and a fire-in-their belly to part consumers from their money. The seductive little dancing icons perform endless gyrations world-wide to make us think that SOMETHING is actually going-on. Something’s going on alright — they’re gathering your personal information to analyze data during satanic focus-groups to figure-out how-best to fleece you and other future customers.
 

I have no scientific proof of this – nor have I looked into investigating the likelihood of my outlandish allegations – other than knowing from experience people will do anything they think they can get away with when customers are confused.
 

Meanwhile nothing was going-on with my own PC aside from wasting precious time slack-jawed staring at the monitor breathlessly waiting for prompts that never came hoping I’d be rewarded with a virus-free computer that was not meant to be. 

Owning a PC requires a commitment to evaporating time and wondering whether or not the idiotic machine is ever going to work ever again once your warranty expires. The CyberGods sit back laughing only to dash the your foolish hopes — luring an unwary public into the kind of madness that makes people do the same freakin’ thing over and over again — each-time expecting a different result.
 

When suddenly the blue screen of death is upon you…
 

…for the umpteenth millionith time…
 

Start/restart…
 
Repeat…
 

No, make that repeatedly…
 

…Then do it one more  time just for good measure to fully insure that madness is at hand…
 

Quickly - yet in slow-motion I hit the power-off button while frightening words fly past my eyes like: “Emergency Crash Memory-Dump…” Physically falling to my knees and crawling on the floor, I unplug the unholy machine from the outlet to silence it’s insults and recriminations.  Why? Because the manual on and off button longer responds and the power-off option is frozen.
 

My beleaguered soul is left riddled with recriminations thinking about how I should never have visited that one particular website, let alone gone back…  (again and again.) People are human, computers are not.  Nor is Microsoft (albeit a corporation) –  NO Mister Romney corporations are NOT people.
 

Hours, days and weeks of time can elapse without a spare moment for the exhausted PC owner to eat anything aside from chips washed-down with soda in dreaded fear of walking away from the computer when it’s about to freeze or requesting a ‘prompt’ completely outside of a normal person’s understanding.  Seriously now, as if being present at the time a computer crashes or freezes would really make all that much difference… A PC freezes when it freezes. They freeze-up when they’re new and they freeze-up when they’re old – browser be damned and buyer beware.
 

Desperate and sleepless with exhaustion in consternation one calls-in a flotilla of imperious tech-support people ranging from the well-meaning friend to the expensive computer charlatan… 

But get real – it’s hopeless. 

Humbled and dispirited a polite PC owner will make offerings of food and drink to sate the appetites of the all-knowing, all-mighty computer-tech, eating you out of house and home of whatever is left in your cupboard and refrigerator in a last ditch effort to appease the imperious Geek Gods of Hubris.

Even while the tortured PC owner baths their tech-support person’s feet and anoinith their heads with fragrant oils… and all prayers and incantations have been offered-up, the damned know in their heart of hearts it’s really about built-in obsolesce just to keep the industry rich and fat.
 

Were you to promise all of your worldly possessions to the dark overlords of geekdom – face the music – your computer has death-rattle. Only the last rites remain yet to be performed — When suddenly without warning the PC is magically restored – up and running – the almighty geeks have saved the day – but by the time they’re are at home all snuggled their beds with visions of emoticons dancing in their heads…  YOU’RE left alone with your PC – THAT’S when
the goddamn muther-fucking son-of-a-bitch piece-of-foreign-slave-built-shit crashes again merely to twist your pantyhose and the knife with irt a little bit deeper.
 

And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the BLUE-SCREEN of DEATH and several empty six-packs of beer…
 

Alone, trembling and afraid, the defeated PC owner bravely hits the Stop/Restart commands over and over again frantically running malware and virus protection updates only to repeat these useless procedures until your fists fly through the nearest wall.  Take a deep breath – You’re back to where you started, and all the poorer for it – not to mention there’s nothing left in the house to eat.
 

I’m reminded of the dark and terrifying night when Rod Serling passed-away in the hospital room next to mine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. TV cameras and news-reporters were not in my ward to get updates on how I was doing with my early experimental laser eye surgery.  I was merely in the room next door to the world’s eeriest celebrity.
 

Lurking on the other-side of the wall next to my bed, the Earwick-of-Madness  was escaping Rod Serling’s brain seeking shelter in the deep, dark recesses of my own unsuspecting kneaded-eraser of gray-matter. Yes, on that dark, stormy night when I was a mere youth of 27, a vaporous whisper from Rod Serling’s brain delivered a baby sporelette between my ears laying in wait only to multiply and become plenty decades later – morphing ever so slowly – driven with the mission of preparing the final groundwork to assault all my future expectations of sanity – awaiting my first Personal Computerdecades later to enter my life.


Do-dee-do-da – do-dee-do-da…
 

Glimpse at your own risk, the unsuspecting young man in the room next to legendary yet spooky story-telling icon, Rod Serling slipping from this veil of tears into his own nest Twilight Zone as dusky-germs of dementia aimed toward my psyche zeroed-in on a place where they could settle, fester and be plenty. The last element of madness was provided by Satan himself courtesy of the flying monkeys at MicroSoft in bold association with the gentle yet incoherent voices of the good people working tech-support in Ceylon and Calcutta.
 

My PC nightmare began when I downloaded a virus protector-update which turned-out to be an imposter – impregnating my computer with a classic boot-up trojan virus. At my wit’s end, I bought numerous malware online fix-it programs once installed served only to try and resell me the same malware update products I’d just purchased and installed. Over and over again. This kind of round-robin insanity could only be perpetrated by Microsoft.

 

A decade and a half ago Apple was going into Chapter 11 – On bad advise I purchased my first PC – an unholy thing born of the feted loins of Hewlett Packard – the evil company once run by corporate nitwit, Carley Farina, who recently had  political aspirations as a Tea Party freak.  I had no way of knowing the very first computer I’d ever bought was the “Earnest Borgnine, Marty” of ALL smacked-upside-the-head-traumatic-brain-injured personal computers with one oar in the River Stix. 

I bought my first computer, “Marty” boxed right off the shelf from a major chain of technological-superstores not knowing it contained a damaged motherboard. Astute as I try to be, you might have thought I’d have been suspicious that it was the last one left on the shelves.  I suspect it had been a demonstration model. 

When I complained to WorstBuy and Hewlett-Packard while still under warranty, they sent me a very nice young woman with English as a second language.  She conveniently reported to my home to replace the offending motherboard. We communicated with each-other via tableau-vivant so she could grasp how my PC was “sickie in the headie.” She dutifully dissembled my computer carefully laying pieces across several tables. She then opened a new package containing a presumably ‘virgin’ motherboard and absently mindedly, put the very same brain-dead muther-fuckin’-board back into my computer and went merrily on her way. 

What did I know? I didn’t know anything about computers nor did I speak Portuguese. She visited my house several times to put-in and take-out various and sundry things beyond my understanding, while we danced and froze-posed our efforts to communicate. Eventually I came to suspect, judging from her gyrations she was secretly trying to get me to marry her in order to gain legal status.

I declined.
 

Hewlett Packard acquiesced to my anger by having me send the “special-needs” computer back to the main diagnostics lab where it “wintered” in sunny Palo Alto, California on a loading-dock only to be returned to me un-repaired and unopened with all my original tape and markings still intact. 

After faxing several receipts with cover letters cc’d to an attorney, apologies were made, and retributions were promised by Hewlett-Packard and WorstBuy who THIS time around sent functional illiterates to pack-up my computer and resend to the elephant burial ground of smacked-ass-PC’s.  My “Marty” was replaced with a computer of equal or worse brain damage this time sporting a physical crack in the casing. Foolishly I purchased 6 PC’s over a 15 year period –  because the devil you know is preferably to the one you don’t.
 

Now my long personal nightmare is over and I have a brand-spanking new iMac through the generosity of my friend, Ruth. So far – so good. It might not be particularly “PC” of me to say, but once you go MAC, you never go back.

World without death, Amen

Reflections on a Fateful Day in September

There is no ‘header’ because there are no words.

I have a friend who’s birthday was September 11th until he moved it up by 2 days.  9/11 effected everyone in his or her own way.

I have another friend who’s husband was furious with a client who’s office was situated on the 89th floor of the first tower hit. He’d received a text the day before telling him his client presentation scheduled for 9am had to be pushed-back to the following day – a scheduling conflict that saved his life, but not his client’s.

I wasn’t in New York or Shenksville or running for my life at the Pentagon when 911 ‘hit’ – and that’s exactly what 9/11 did – it hit.

I had flown back from Rome only a very short time before the 9/11 strikes. Bearing that in mind, I vividly recall a discussion I had with a ragged-looking but well-spoken man in front of the Italian Fascist facade of Mussolini’s Victor Emanuele in Rome.

Mussolini’s Fascist facade of the Victor Emanuele in Rome.

The man had an accent, but his English was impeccable. He told me he was from Afghanistan. He’d set-up a little card table with a signature-petition attached to a clipboard while he stood on the sidewalk of that hectic, historic site. He was standing outside in hopes of gathering signatures on a petition to enforce a trade embargo against the Taliban in Afghanistan – The Taliban – the very same band of criminals Ronald Regan and Bush-One had armed during Russia’s pointless war in those beleaguered mountains.

The Afghani-man was showing passers-by an album of photographs of his wife who’d been educated in America. There were photographs of her dressed in American professional women’s clothes, like the tailored-suits Hillary Clinton has always worn.

He met his wife at an international-student’s ‘mixer’ at an American university. His future wife was studying to bring pediatric medicine back to her homeland while he was studying science to do the same. As fate would have it, they were from neighboring villages in Afghanistan but had never met until they found themselves attending the same college in the United States. They fell in love, married and returned to Afghanistan as a young, hopeful professional couple determined to make changes for the better to their country and their world.

My flight back to Philadelphia was 4 hours away, so my tourist-time was all but evaporated. I was killing time listening to this odd and unlucky stranger, noticing the burns and scars on his craggy face. It was impossible not to notice his partially missing fingers chopped-off neatly at different digits while he turned the pages of the photo-album for me to see. The photos hit me in the stomach while he leafed through pointing-out Holocaust-like atrocities including photos he boldly exhibited of his wife, the lady-doctor who wanted to be a pediatrician – she’d been drawn and quartered – divided into visceral pieces for the “criminal offense of wearing western clothes.” Her head was on the ground separated from the other 4 parts of her severed body.

“You’re an American”
he told me, grabbing my sleeve saying “you don’t understand – they hate you and they’re going to do something to you – I don’t know what or when.” He talked about his homeland punctuated with spitting contempt for the Taliban and a man named Bin Laden. Both names were words I’d vaguely recalled my elderly father telling me about – based on a large-print article he’d read in Reader’s Digest. “Son, terrorism is the real threat facing America’s future,” he told me while I politely listened to what I took for paranoid ramblings. My Dad’s mind popped-in and out of lucidity during his declining days, so I never knew what to take seriously.

However, in-front of the Victor Emanuele, I wanted to turn-away from the horrifically cruel photos I was being shown. “This only happens in other places of the world,” I quietly thought to myself, stuffing some wadded-up lire into the plastic fishbowl he placed for contributions…  Not fully grasping the comparative value of the lire to the US dollar, I signed his petition as illegibly as possible in an effort to escape seeing those photos which were impossible to look-at and equally difficult to ignore.

Only hours later I was on my flight home to Philadelphia International. I flew home from Europe shortly before the events of 9/11 feeling like my own world was safe and secure – grateful and fortunate that I was not living in a 3rd world country like Afghanistan.

My self-portrait painted upon my return from Rome


Back home, all wrapped-up in my own world – literally speaking - I was painting a self-portrait in my studio when word hit the airwaves about the sequence of plane-crashes on targeted buildings in New York and Washington, DC as well as the heroically averted attempt in Shenksville, Pennsylvania. 

Shocked out of my private thoughts, I was painting the only self-portrait I’ve ever done. Transfixed by the news coverage – the full horror sunk-in. I wept and ironically ruined the rendering of my eyes – later painting-in dark-glasses to cover the mess I had made of my own likeness. At one point I toyed with the idea of painting a reflection of the World Trade Towers in the lenses but removed the images thinking it would be dishonest of me. I wasn’t there. I was merely another helpless US citizen transfixed by the surreal images on television. I had only the right to share in the horror as a helpless bystander. 

I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about that lone man standing in front of the Victor Emanuele with his solitary voice shouting into the wind “They’re going to do something to you…” He’d told me he was trying to spread a “warning to anyone who will listen, to honor the loving memory [of his] martyred wife.”

The real martyrs are courageous victims and not indoctrinated volunteers gleaned from a bevy of brainwashed zealots. I wondered where the brave Afghani man was when he heard the news on that fateful September day(?) I tried to imagine how he’d reacted to learning his ‘Cassandra-like’ predictions had come true…

At home, the majority of American’s I knew felt an uncomfortable mix of grief, helplessness, patriotism and fear. There was also a conscious thread in my ‘wonder’as to why this had happened to our nation? What had we done to deserve such a cruel blow from out-of-the blue? As Americans, we’d been collectively sleeping through all the warnings including the first blatant bombing-attempt on the World Trade Towers in 1993.


Had our secretive capitalist banks done something to make these people hate America? Why did they hit our financial district and our nation’s capitol? Did our country’s elected leaders join forces with financial brokers to secretly do things of which the average American citizen had no possible knowledge? If a stranger slaps you across the face for no apparent reason, it’s usually one of three things: You’ve offended them – they’re crazy – or both.

 

One of a great many photographs of child slave-labor in the Middle East (in this case, Pakistan) under the watchful eye of corporate giant, Nike.


I remembered reading an article in Newsweek about how Nike was using child-slave-labor in the Middle East to produce soccer balls and sneakers. Children were literally ‘cobbled’ to a cobbler’s bench with the article’s header reading “Just Do It.” I never again bought another Nike product – nor will I respect anyone who endorses Nike. The American labor movement was formed to prevent that very sort of atrocity from happening within our shores – only to find the lure of inexpensive goods – cheaply produced elsewhere – made our American consumer dollar appear to stretch further. Who cared how it was made or where it came from…?

A month after the 9/11 strikes, I remember feeling sick to my stomach on learning George Bush had ordered a full-scale war-offensive on a 3rd world country. Any level-headed mature adult knew this needed to be handled as an international police action – not a catastrophic decision to ‘bomb-Afghanistan-back-to-the-stone-age.’ Our retaliation needed to be directed toward a very small band of international criminals. Sadly caught in the crossfire were un-tolled numbers of innocent people who largely didn’t know where America was or how we were different from the Russians who’d trampled over them a decade earlier. These people knew nothing about the US – let alone how once in our glory days we’d sent a man to the moon. We were indiscriminately killing and incarcerating a population to whom our troops were later challenged to “win-over hearts and minds.”

George Bush launched the 2 longest, deadliest and costliest wars in American history due to a severe dearth of sensible, mature adults among his mentors and minions. Cheney/Bush handled the matter like it was a Chuck Norris screenplay or a John Wayne western on steroids. Cheney/Bush were both incapable of seeking a wiser path or higher ground. Today, still, countless scores of lives and limbs continue to be shattered or destroyed – both Afghani and “Allied” (aka American) troops in an effort to unsuccessfully round-up a rag-tag faction of extremist hoodlums.

The events of 9/11 were then conveniently misused as an excuse to instigate a second war in Iraq – eventually exposed as an ill-fated gas-station robbery gone wrong.  It took Barack Obama’s leadership to order the kind of precision covert mission that neatly took-out Osama Bin Laden. Cheney/Bush lacked the wisdom to do anything like that – they viewed both wars as an opportunity to profiteer.

The destruction that began September 11th on Wall Street led to the impoverishment of the American middle-class (exactly what Bin Laden had in mind) and dashed nearly everyone’s hopes and dreams for a secure future – security and securities of all definitions have never been the same since. The United States was burdened with fools at the helm of the ship of state on 9/11. America’s leader’s fell for every crumb of bait Al Queda and the Taliban tossed America’s way with George W. Bush playing right into their hands. Cheney/Bush with breathtaking incompetence mishandled all subsequent events in the Middle East like the Keystone Cops who couldn’t shoot-straight.

Who really won the war effectively declared on 9/11? Our 2 wars were compounded by Wall Street’s greed running-amok and constipated republicans refusing to budge in Congress leading to a diminished quality of life for American citizens who never dreamed their lives would end-up shattered, pocket-poor and mourning the loss of sons and daughters or grandchildren – gone forever – with so very little to show for the effort and sacrifice. On the other hand, Wall Street recovered and flourished.

A Greek-language magazine called ‘E’ dated September 11th, 2001

 
The week that followed 9/11 an elderly Greek woman named Mrs Generalis called me and asked me to come to her office as soon as possible. Mrs Generalis was the unofficial ‘mayor’ of our largely Greek neighborhood. She owned a commercial and residential building that backs-up to the 19th century ally where I live. She ran a Greek travel agency and notary-public service that faced 10th Street. She didn’t much like anyone, but for some reason she always liked me. Perhaps because I was an artist like her accomplished son.

She showed me a Greek language magazine called ‘E’ dated as being the September 11th issue. Magazines go into production well in advance of the cover dates. Often advertising deadlines are even earlier. Monthly periodicals are in the mail to subscribers a good 3 weeks before the cover date. The front cover shows a ‘New Yorker’ style illustration of a concert pianist sitting down in front of a piano shaped like a cellphone. But what was on the inside made the flesh on my forehead involuntarily pop my eyes open. There was a very studently-executed Adobe Illustrator advertisement for Nike depicting an over-weight American in a sweatsuit jogging past the World Trade Towers as 2 airplanes were aimed at each tower – contrasted by an explosive depiction of light on a blue sky. Ironically, September 11th was a beautiful day – before the sky went black with smoke and soot.

 

A very suspicious advertisement in the 9/11 issue of ‘E’


“The Nazi’s they did things like this during the big war,” she said in her heavy Greek accent. “They hid messages in – how you say – innocent-looking advertisements and personal ads so other Nazis knew where and when an attack would happen.” I was reminded of how American forces used Native American languages like Cherokee to send our own secretive missives creating an unbreakable code since there were no Latin, Greek, Asian or German derivative nouns and verbs.

Mrs Generalis called the FBI after I made a scan of the pertinent pages of her Greek language Magazine. Ten years ago she and I were told to say nothing about it, so we didn’t. I couldn’t imagine WHY we were asked not to talk about an ad in a magazine already out circulating in public domain… Mrs Generalis has subsequently passed-away, and history has since written itself…

 

The publisher information for ‘E’ magazine.


We are all helpless against those who fail to hold honesty dear – be they terrorists or elected incompetents well within our own government.

I was not a first hand witness to the events of 9/11 – but I will always wonder about the suspicious coincidences in the Greek language magazine simply titled ‘E’… and how America got into such economic chaos and wide-spread personal financial ruin after two disastrous and unaffordable wars. War is never a good idea for anyone – except for those with profit-motives or a deranged ideology.

Reflecting further on my last couple hours in Rome in front of the Victor Emanuele, I was left with an indelible image of a lone and courageous man from Afghanistan, from whom I’ve subsequently learned a great many things: Life is not infinite – comfort is not to be taken for granted – and there is nothing more valuable than the generosity of a man who has lost everything. 

The 911 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York.