Even before the 2014 Midterms: Apathy is your detractor’s best friend!

The local, national and international news remains chaotic and grim—but that was always the way. Each new event sends shock-waves through our collective conscience as to how the devil our world became so crazy. But let’s face it; to greater and lesser degrees it’s always been that way. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do better.

I look at many of our national leaders—especially in the House of Representatives, and can’t find a reason on earth as to why some of these people are taken seriously, let alone given power to “represent” us. In 2010, the progressive voter sat back on their apathetic asses after America elected Barack Obama in 2008, and thought that one man could—all on his own—cure our nation’s accumulated ills. We as liberal voters did not have our president’s back during the 2010 midterms thus ushering-in a level of legislative constipation not seen since Truman faced his “do-nothing” congress. There’s very little that can be said for the Tea Party and the ideological confusion they’ve wroght on both our houses—but you gotta hand it to ‘em—they got out the vote during the 2010 midterm.

The Republican Party has drifted further and further off track in recent years to where they can’t see past their own confusion and infighting to get anything accomplished in Congress. That, is of course, partly by design, and partly due to the insanity of the party’s drift toward extreme positions to appease a base who’s core belief is counter to just about everything stated in The Constitution they so self-righteously claim to hold dear.

If America is going to move forward in a productive manor, it can only happen if progressive voters mobilize–well in advance of the 2014 midterms. If not, Congress could easily fall further into the hands of right wing ideologues. We already see the push for redistricting and thinly veiled efforts to create poll taxes in an attempt suppress voters–specifically minorities, seniors and the youth vote.

It’s so easy to put off the things a voter can directly do to impact his or her own world in spite of the hurdles set in our paths by the inaptly named ‘Citizen’s United’ bill that has all but handed over our democracy to corporate America. Very few of us are single-issue voters, but for the sake of example, lets focus on one issue: Gun control. A whopping ninety percent of the nation wants thorough background checks and a limit on the number of rounds on magazine clips legally available for sale. Ninety percent of us want to see gun-show loopholes plugged-up—especially after learning hard evidence that terrorists openly advertise to their radicalized followers about how easy it is to gain access to firearms here in America. You can’t buy Sudafed at your local pharmacy without showing two forms of ID, but you can purchase a Bushmaster rifle as easily as you can go toy shopping at Kmart. Write your congresspersons and tell them what you think of their vote—and if it didn’t represent you as a constituent, tell them in no uncertain terms–and vote for the opponent the next time that official is up for reelection.

OK, it’s an oversimplification, but those are the basics. Use your voice by showing up at the polls on off years. Don’t just complain, do something. And if you’re so inclined, volunteer to help inform and get out the vote well in advance. There’s a lot that needs to be done prior to an election. Call your local board of elections or your affiliated party and volunteer.

If you didn’t like the outcome of the vote over gun background checks—especially in light of what happened at Newtown: Speak up. If you think immigration reform needs a major overhaul: Say so. If you think the congressional response to the victims of Hurricane Sandy left communities swinging in the wind: Don’t hold back, sing out. If you think it’s fishy that Congress sat back and allowed the sequester to take effect, but the minute it inconvenienced THEM due to the furlough of air traffic controllers—place a call, send an email or write a letter–and while you’re at it, mention head-start programs, Pell Grants, environmental concerns, veterans benefits—you name it, the list could go on for days…

Most importantly make an effort to be well rounded in your information. If all your news and information comes from FOX News, then you’re dramatically limiting your worldview and the same may be said about MSNBC. Do some reading for the love of Pete. Get informed. Get involved. Volunteer. Turn off the television set and walk away from the computer for a while. Your future depends on it, and if 2014 shapes-up the way 2010 did, don’t forget to shoulder some of the blame if you didn’t do your part. Apathy is your detractor’s best friend. And if you did nothing to look after your own best interests, you forfeit your rights to bitch about the outcome.

– Dissociated Press, 4/29/2013

 

My book, An Early Work Late in Life is available through PixelPreserve for $29.95 plus shipping and handling at: http://www.pixelpreserve.net/bookstore/

The Relevancy of the George Dubuah Bush Library In Light of History and Current Events

WinnieToons hasn’t felt particularly funny lately, so we haven’t published anything. The world has become so random in its insanity, that all I’ve felt like doing is indulging the slump I’d fallen into. There is no humor to be found in the Boston Marathon bombings—or at least nothing I’m willing to stoop to indulge in.

Then along comes the George Dubuah Bush Presidential Center, note the careful avoidance of the word “library”—or “lie-bury” if you prefer.

There is nothing funny about the explosion in the fertilizer plant in Texas or the loss of life.

The only thing that’s funny is that former Texas secessionist, GOP presidential clown car driver and gubernatorial heir-apparent to George W. Bush, Gov. Rick Perry had to ask on bended knee for FEMA money to clean up the mess.

There’s nothing funny about Monsanto. There’s nothing funny about fracking. There’s nothing funny about the Keystone pipeline—especially in light of recent on land oil spills.

 

 

But there is something remarkably funny to a tranquil point just shy of a lobotomization that “forty three” spends his retirement years painting portraits of bichon frise’s and curiously homoerotic self portraits in bath tubs and showers. I hate to admit it, but they kind of look like David Hockney hung-over.

There’s nothing funny about the link between rampant mental illness and organized religion—or the hubris of stupidity that governs the House of Representatives flying in the face of 90% of the American public to shoot down background checks for firearm purchases.

 

But why worry our pretty little heads? Instead, we can turn our attention to the George Dubuah Bush Center for Revisionist Thinking so the legacy of laughter he wrought upon this planet might live on in fairytale format to be enjoyed by the gullible up to and until “new-clear” winter withers us all on the vine.

But still, there is nothing funny about ricin laced letters being sent to anyone—or antrax for that matter.

 

 

 

In summation, after several terrible weeks, what I do find funny is the idea that George Dubuah Bush is getting a library. There’s even going to be a George Dubuah Bush “Institute.” I SO hope the walls are padded.

– Disassociated Press, 4/25/13

 

My book, An Early Work Late in Life is available through PixelPreserve for $29.95 plus shipping and handling at: http://www.pixelpreserve.net/bookstore/

Neither Rain Nor Snow Nor Dark of Night Can Stop the United States Postal Service: It Takes An Unnatural Act of Congress

At my house we have an uneasy truce with the postal service. They’ve learned to “rubber band” the mail to my doorknob and merely hope for the best. I have the nicest postal carriers in the world, but Winnie hates them. Winnie has this irrational dislike for mailmen (and mail women). They don’t even have to be working on my block—she goes ballistic just at the sight of them pushing their carts. But Winnie is only one small beleaguering challenge facing the folks who are deterred by “neither rain nor snow nor dark of night…”

There is a city block’s worth of customer service windows at the 8th and Market Street Post Office nearest to my house. For Philadelphians, I’m talking about the very cool-looking minimalist Art Deco building with the tinted silver leaf ceiling and the stunning stone bas-reliefs of the American struggle of industry. Lovely building really, with over forty service windows of which only two are ever open. There are generally eighty or more glazed-eyed people waiting in line, and one of the windows is providing split services for passports in addition to weighing packages and letters while selling stamps. And this is taking place during the height of tax season when some people choose not to file electronically and want proof of delivery. Some poor souls waiting in line only want to purchase stamps, but the government in its infinite lack of reason has removed all the self-service machines that sold stamps, and locked-down all but the most inconvenient entrances. I stood in line for over an hour to mail off copies of my book to purchasers—and later that afternoon received orders for more, only to repeat the process.

An experience in person at any United States Post Office is akin to watching that dreadful art film from the 1960s titled Last Summer in Marienbad, where people walk aimlessly down endless hallways to nowhere with expressions of existentialism frozen on their faces, only to discover the hallway leads to an eternity of nothingness. The movie is thirteen hours long or at least it seems to be—hours you will never get back. Welcome to the US Postal Service, but don’t blame it on the postal workers or the agency itself. Blame it on the United States Congress who fleeces and shakes down the agency on an annual basis because it’s one of the few governmental agencies that actually turns a profit. Congress just doesn’t allow any of that profit to go back into improving the agency, compensating the workers or updating any of the systems or programs.

Enter the Republican Party who called Obama’s bluff and allowed the meat ax known as “The Sequester” to take effect—and now agencies like the post office who already suffer from Congressional constipation now enjoy a full scale intestinal blockage. Congress wants to cut funds to the Postal Service and furlough employees as a window dressing measure to make the gullible voter think they’re getting something done concerning wasteful spending cuts. The Postal Service makes a profit even under the absurd conditions forced down their throats by Congress. So let’s look again at Congress’ solution: Cut services further, make the service less convenient, drop Saturday delivery—in short, destroy the agency so it can be taken over by private industry who can charge unregulated fees to an already financially beleaguered public. Brilliant. Who elected these people…?

I’ve wasted too many hours standing in lines trying to accomplish what should be a five-minute task. Finally the other day I asked one of the women working at a postal window if I could merely put the proper amount of postage on the packages myself and drop them off at a mailbox. She said of course I could do that. She weighed a standard package containing one of my books and told me the necessary amount of postage to get my book mailed anywhere in the Continental United States. Armed with this information and a large purchase of stamps, the next time I had small or single orders come through, I was confident that all I needed to do was slap the required amount of postage on the package and drop it off in a mailbox while dog walking—blissfully thinking I could then go about the remaining business of my day. Not so fast… none of those packages ever arrived—until yesterday when they were all returned to me, each marked as a “suspicious package” with a “no fly” sticker placed prominently on top. All the packages had been opened, clumsily resealed and returned to me by Homeland Security. Now doesn’t that just make you feel a world safer? It’s a freakin’ paperback book. Granted it’s a bit racy in places, but it’s hardly explosive and it doesn’t contain anything that threatens national security.

I took the packages back to the post office standing in line for another wasteful forty five minutes or so. I learned that I had actually OVERPAID to send these fool packages, but the post office wasn’t about to reimburse me for the $5 per book I’d spent to mail packages that never made it to their paid destination. Even the government worker behind the counter thought that was wrong and unfair, but there wasn’t anything she could do about it. In spite of having paid full postage plus, my book is a fraction of a fraction too heavy to be dropped off in a mailbox, so all were flagged as a threat to freedom and returned to sender. Apparently I have to “tell” a postal clerk in person that the package that obviously contains a book, indeed contains a book. I was advised in the future to grow my beard waiting in line like all the other South Philly matrons waiting to purchase stamps.

The United States Postal System is one of America’s biggest employers, adding economic prosperity in each and every community in America. Note: Employed people buy things which keeps businesses viable so everyone can gleefully pay taxes. As the blithering idiots in Congress cut the Postal System to the quick, they’re in the process of hurling more people into the throes of unemployment, further burdening the social safety net programs they also intend to gut, and destroying the bottom line for local businesses. If given their way, Congress will turn an otherwise profitable agency to complete ruin—which I’m beginning to think is the plan. This is austerity GOP style. It failed in Europe, so why not give it a try here in America? It’s like deciding to lose weight by sitting on a deli slicer and shaving off extra inches until one bleeds to death. Brilliant. Perhaps members of Congress should be required to take an IQ test before being handed the reigns of power. I’m sure most of them aren’t qualified to work the counter at the post office, nor are any of them nearly as pleasant. And while I’m at it, those overworked, understaffed postal workers have never been anything but polite and cheerful toward me; perhaps because, for the moment, they still have jobs.

– Dissociated Press, 4/14/2013

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My first book, An Early Work Late in Life is finally in print. Books are on sale at the Memorial Art Gallery’s Museum Store for $29.95 in conjunction with a special exhibit (more details below). Note: Books that are not purchased onsite at the museum shop require $5 postage and handling bringing your total to $34.95.

It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection.

March 17th through June 9th, 2013 500 University Avenue · Rochester, NY 14607-1484 585.276.8900 · 585.473.6266 · http://mag.rochester.edu/

More updates are available on my other blog: http://anearlyworklateinlife.wordpress.com/
And on Facebook at:

What Does America’s Hawk Nation Have in Common With Kim Jong Un?

Sadly the woman pictured in this WinnieToon actually IS Miss Atomic Bomb 1956. One can only wonder what Madison Avenue think-tank genius came up with this grotesque beauty pageant.

The ever ingenious nation of North Korea awards metals of honor to top “brass” military honchos by spray painting Mekchu (beer) bottle caps and then hot gluing them to their uniforms.

So many things in life are so rarely ever what they seem at first blush. Take Kim Jong Un for example: He appears in the world theater to be a heartless dictator like his father, and grandfather before him. And while that’s true, he is by a larger definition a pudgy little man-child who’s in over his head, insecure and desperate to be perceived as a strongman and world player. Like most primitive thinkers, “Little Kim” believes that a blustering show of military might will shore-up his soft, doughy image. In really, all that does is diminish his manhood, further degrading him into the role of child leader of an irrational rogue state. If Kim Jong Un wants to be perceived by the world as a strong leader—he’d be better served by improving the human rights of his people—and while he’s at it, start playing well with others.

Kim Jon Un crossing the Delaware.

Instead, Kim Jong Un is allegedly developing nuclear weapons and posturing over preemptive strikes against America and her allies, all of which makes him look like a dangerous, diminutive little man who doesn’t quite “get it.” Gracious acts of humanity are what defines a leader of strong character—not sabre rattling. (But then again, he’s far from alone where that particular masculine misconception is concerned.)

Subterranean praying mantis with a home arsenal of weapons.

The same illogical insecurity can be leveled at America’s hawk-nation attitude of strapping on a couple extra rounds of ammo just in case black helicopters decide to swoop down to take away the dangerous toys that almost no one in the world is qualified to handle. While America’s rag-tag survivalist culture wallows in unfounded, irrational fears that the government is going to turn against them—it’s they, themselves who embody their own worst nighmare.

The latest in survival fashion for spring.

It was only four months ago that twenty first grade children and six martyred educators were slaughtered by a madman at Sandy Hook Elementary School—and the NRA’s misinterpretation of the Second Amendment continues to fiercely protect the rights of great braying lunatics to spray classrooms, theaters, shopping malls and places of worship with a rain of gunfire. Note to the survivalists: It isn’t the government you should fear—it’s you, yourselves—the gun nuts and survivalists feeding on a steady diet at the trough of conspiracy theories. Your thought processes of off-kilter. You don’t have your own best interests at heart. Yes, hawk nation, you’re not real bright, and you are indeed your own worst enemy. Just like Kim Jong Un, you’re both steeped, each in your own thrilling personal fantasy-world ripe with adrenalin and self-fulfilling delusions of warlord power—kind of like playing a video game only taking place in real time.

Little Kim taking aim at the West.

What Kim Jung Un has in common with gun-nut survivalists is obvious; both fail to grasp the concept that paranoia has the power to enable one’s own worst fears to become realized. Kim Jung Un need only sit on Denis Rodman’s shoulders to see his neighboring nation of Japan where a quarter million people died in twin atomic bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in what is arguably the most repulsive chapter of American history from which only one thing of value can be gleaned: Never let anything like that happen ever again. But Kim Jung Un aspires toward that level of destructive power—or at the very least the illusion of having destructive power at his disposal. Meanwhile, American gun nuts experience the same delusional need for excessive destructive force fueled by unchecked paranoid fantasies about a “new world order” and an endless thirst for low-information confabulations courtesy of the good people at FOX News.

Kim can see Sarah Palin from his house.

In spite of overwhelming public outcry for reasonable gun control, Congress at the insistence of the NRA, has turned our Constitution upside down by placing the First Amendment right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” well below the imaginary priorities of a Second Amendment “right” to own unjustifiable weapons designed for the sole purpose of human massacres. All of this was unthinkable from the perspective of the founding fathers who drafted of our Constitution. Even uber-conservative Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia can find no Constitutional rationale for private ownership of weapons of war. But assault weapons and extended ammo clips are big business—and the financial bottom line always trumps decency in corporate America. An overwhelming number of American citizens have called for sane restrictions on gun ownership including background checks. Meanwhile, the reasonable nations of the world community have called for North Korea and other rogue states to cease and desist with all nuclear testing. Granted, assault weapons and bombs are technically not the same thing, but they’re really not so different. As the world community seeks to limit access to mass killing devices in the hands of rogue nations—sane and caring citizens seek to do the same thing when it comes to all definitions of rapid-fire weapons.

Praying Mantis survivalist getting a boost of testosterone while caressing a Zombie AK 41.

Here in America, we’ve just experienced a rash of murders, threats and acts of intimidation directed against American law enforcement officers, district attorneys and their families. All are crimes believed to be tied to white supremacist groups. Is that an example of fighting the tyranny of government? No, it’s Aryan nation gun-nut extremists bating government law enforcement into a showdown so they can realize the orchestration of their own paranoid fantasies. That’s pretty much what Kim Jung Un is doing: bating whoever he perceives as disagreeing with him until he forces a showdown, thus allowing him to cry “foul.” It takes cowards and bullies to pack heat, while it takes brave men and women to lay down their arms and live in peace.

– Disassociated Press, 4/8/2013

*       *       *       *       *

My first book, An Early Work Late in Life is finally in print. Books are on sale at the Memorial Art Gallery’s Museum Store for $29.95 in conjunction with a special exhibit (more details below). Note: Books that are not purchased onsite at the museum shop require $5 postage and handling bringing your total to $34.95.

It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection.

March 17th through June 9th, 2013 500 University Avenue · Rochester, NY 14607-1484 585.276.8900 · 585.473.6266 · http://mag.rochester.edu/

More updates are available on my other blog: http://anearlyworklateinlife.wordpress.com/
And on Facebook at: