Butt Boy

I am a middle-aged, married, straight white male (photographed above). Long ago, at the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I was ostracized by my all male group of friends for being “gay” even though (as far as I know) I was not gay. This was the beginning of my awareness that homosexuality was a “thing” (Sure, I was aware of the AIDS crisis, and remember that being connected in the media to homosexuals, but sexuality, in general, wasn’t something I thought about much pre-puberty).

I made new friends (I know, hard to believe). As the years went by, a couple of them “came out” to me…my reaction, I was glad they could live their truth.

I remember, as an adolescent and into my young adulthood, seeing news stories about homosexuality, framing it as a social issue/problem and discussing how clinical studies were trying to determine if people were born homosexual or if it was a choice. Social conservatives (from both parties) stated it was a choice (the wrong choice) and warned that accepting homosexuals and homosexual partnerships/marriage into open society would influence impressionable children to choose homosexuality as a lifestyle. As a straight man, I always saw a core absurdity in that “make someone gay” argument…because I know you can’t make me gay (For the record, Hugh Jackman’s existence was a good shot…but it didn’t take). I, of course, took my thought pattern one further and quickly got to the conclusion, “If you can’t make me gay, then you certainly can’t make a gay person straight.”  Next came, “and why would you want to? Why would you care to? Do you need a hobby?”

But that’s me, I’m just not that hung up on gay stuff. I don’t understand the societal/religious obsession with it….but I have a theory…because I’ve been forced to have one in the face of all this mishegaas. I’ll try to make it quick. Most people are conformists. Most people are heterosexual. Homosexuals represent a minority group that can not conform to the majority’s norms (as I said, it’s not a choice). The trouble starts when conformist homosexuals are forced, or force themselves, to repress their sexuality. Repression becomes perversion and self-hatred. Self-hatred becomes misanthropy. This leads to repressed homosexuals hating their own kind, which heterosexual conformists are happy to go along with because conformist majorities don’t have to be pushed hard to accept minority scapegoats. It’s a vicious circle. So in my mind, whenever I see a fervently homophobic person I immediately assume I’m also looking at a “deeply conflicted” person. That’s my theory anyway.

Applying that to my high school ostracizing, I imagine that someone within that peer group was painfully closeted and acting out…the others just “went along”…Why? Because I’m just sooo super hot…I could be wrong.

Honestly, I didn’t appreciate what those a-holes did, but it wasn’t so bad. I think about the countless stories of men physically attacking homosexuals, beating them to death, in some parts of the world arresting and executing them. When confronted with such events I fall back on my theory that the perpetrators are deeply repressed people acting out.

Funny, I guess you can turn this on me and say I’m homophobic for saying homophobia is caused by homosexuals…You might call it “victim blaming”. That’s fair. Like I said, it is just a theory.

By the by, you can also say I’m homophobic because if I had a choice (I know I don’t, but “if I did”) I would choose that my child be heterosexual. Why? Because I’m heterosexual (I think I am anyway). It’s really that simple. That said, if my child was homosexual I would gladly accept it. It just shows how silly it all can get, even in the mind of someone as innocuous as I am. I’m not going to beat myself up for having a whim. It’s silly. What we think. What we want. Our prejudices. Our theories. Our future visions.

I think it’s all harmless so long as I can be humble enough to accept when I’m wrong, or accept that some of the things I think I want aren’t relevant in the bigger picture.

I really just want my child to be happy. To be educated. To be able to do something they enjoy with their life. To be loved. To love themself. To know I love them unconditionally. Does their sexual preference really come into this? I don’t see why it would.

Hey, speaking of future visions and things I want, here goes…

  • I want homosexuality to be total accepted in open society, with no stigma.
  • I want homosexuals protected from discrimination under federal law as a minority group.
  • I want homosexuals to have equal rights in marriage, adoption, you name it.
  • I want the Federal government to actively stamp out all state level homosexual discrimination.
  • I want this bullshit about protecting anti-gay-bigotry as a religious conviction called out as the discrimination it is and made illegal.
  • I want America to be a world leader in homosexual civil rights and I want our state department to sanction and censure countries that persecute homosexuals.

I believe we are really getting somewhere as a society in the journey toward just letting gays be gay. I know it because I’ve seen it come so far in my lifetime and it is great. And if we keep on this path, we just might be surprised how everything changes for the better.

But it is a real world out there, and there’s still a lot of pain. And a lot of homophobic sentiment baked onto the collective conscience and subconscious. We have to be sensitive. By “we” I mean we the people who are “all in” on the acceptance of homosexuality as a societal norm, as a reality to be accepted and integrated.

And so we now sail into the choppy waters of insensitive and homophobic gay slurs made in jest.

Gay Slurs

So I’m trying to evolve here on this gay slur issue. I laid out the background above to give you some insight into my feelings on homosexuals. In short, I want them to be happy, accepted and protected. But now I’m on the highway to the danger zone. I’m going down the “butt boy” hole. A hole I will endeavor to penetrate deeply into in an attempt to find an odorous truth. BTW, this post was inspired by something that happened on TV.

You see, as part of my coping mechanism in these troubled times, I set Morning Joe to record on my DVR (which airs from 3am-6am PST) so I can watch the first hour while I eat my breakfast, drink my coffee and check my internet. They get through some national and international news highlights in that time, summarizing, in some broad strokes, among other things the latest happenings in our federal government’s current leadership crisis. I don’t necessarily agree with their editorial stances, but they share my sense of deep concern that our current president is an immoral liar who constantly degrades his office and corruptly abuses his position of power. It’s a national tragedy that compounds day by day.

Obviously, I could go on and on here litigating against Trump and his cult or tribe, but that is not why I’m writing today. I’m just saying that Trump is what brought me to Morning Joe. When Obama was president I was listing to Howard Stern in the morning, having a laugh. I could give a shit about Joe. But things have changed. Now my weekdays have common bookends; I watch Joe in the morning and the previous night’s Colbert monologue after dinner. And that’s what it is and I’m okay with that for now. It’s a pacifier. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s my meds.

On Wednesday December 12, 2018 (a day that will live in infamy), Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski used the derogatory gay slur “butt boy” in chastising Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on national television. Specifically, it was in regards to Pompeo’s sickening attempt, through disinformation, to minimize the damage caused by the Saudi orchestrated Khashoggi assassination on our nation’s relationship with the Saudi monarchy. Mika’s point was that Pompeo was serving Trump’s interest over our nation’s and, in so, he is making himself Trump’s “butt boy” (I suppose he should be America’s butt boy). I didn’t see it live but I caught it on YouTube. It was very out of character for Mika’s television persona (I’m assuming she picked up the phrase from a friend). She has fully apologized since. Here’s the full story at the Advocate in case you want to read more about it.
https://www.advocate.com/politics/2018/12/12/brzezinski-i-shouldnt-have-called-sec-state-pompeo-butt-boy

Bottom line, it was unfortunate. It gave Trump an opportunity to twitter slam Mika. I believe she’s sincerely sorry and regretful she went there. I’m pretty sure it’s all forgiven and forgotten by the LGBTQXYZ. But it did get me thinking.

If you look at this very webpage you find a political cartoon I created where I refer to Paul Ryan as “Buttboy” (apparently, I prefer the contraction). So this news story blipped my radar, because if she’s guilty, I’m WAY guilty.

So, let me ask you, is my political cartoon homophobic? Well, if you think it is, I guess it is. Even worse my “Buttboy” slur was the joke’s “topper”. When you write comedy you’re supposed to end on what you think is the strongest joke, the “topper”. So Mika’s charge would be butt boy manslaughter (a crude off the cuff gaffe). But I crafted that cartoon in Photoshop for hours…I’ve committed premeditated first-degree buttboy murder. I’m guilty!

And I’d do it again!

But I am sensitive to the position that buttboy should be retired. I’m not there yet (as you can see, the cartoon is still up) but I’m getting there and I’m willing to listen and keep thinking.

To my insensitive mind, when I heard Mika’s gaffe my first thought was that Pompeo, who looks to me like an ambulatory baked potato – well past his prime, is not a good candidate for the buttboy moniker. When I think of buttboys I want them young and fit, preferably shaved clean/clean.

“I’ve known buttboys. Buttboys were friends of mine.
Mr. Secretary, you’re no buttboy.”

Technically, Pompeo would fall into the category of “bottom bear”, but that’s a whole other can of worms (In case you were wondering, National Security Advisor John Bolton would be classified as a “Bottle Brush”).

When I’m thinking buttboy, in the context of today’s political players, it has got to be Paul Ryan and Jared Kushner (maybe Marco Rubio…oh baby, the way he hits that stubby water bottle really sets the imagination reeling). Buttboys have to be men who still have the kiss of youth about them…Slim-ish builds…Watching their carbs…Oiling up to hit the gym.

Wait stop…

I did it again, didn’t I? I used the homophobic trope stereotype of the “buttboy” to insult and emasculate men I disdain. But I can do it, right? Because I’m “edgy”? Because I’m “funny”? Because my targets are straight? Because I’m “punching up”?

I’m not so sure it’s okay anymore. It’s hard to say…to judge definitively. It’s a grey area in my mind for now. I think about how I would hear it, if someone else said it to me, in any context. They would have to be really fucking funny to sell it to me…and I’m not so sure I’m that funny.

So yeah, I’m on the fence and on the ropes, but Paul Ryan is still Buttboy…for now.

But I do evolve. Ten years ago, I used to be pretty glib and indiscriminate in my use of the word “fag” as a “good-natured ball buster” between friends, but I wouldn’t touch that word with a ten-foot pole today in any context. I’m serious.

For example, this Tuesday, the day before Mika’s slur, I uploaded an old humor video I found that I made back in 2005. In that video, in character, I referred to the rhythm section of U2 as “fags”. Seeing it in 2018, that joke made me uneasy, but I liked the rest of the bit. So I made the decision to edit the audio and comically overdub the word “gentlemen” over the slur. You see, I just couldn’t stand behind a joke with that word anymore. I didn’t want to stand behind it. I guess that’s evolution.

So, if I’m being honest with myself, is buttboy my methadone for fag? It’s tough to say.

I’m prone to say, at least for now, we agree to the general rule of staying away from the big, agreed-upon dehumanizers (n, c, and f), but we must allow some wiggle room for lesser epithets so long as they are artfully played and not used to “punch down”.
https://www.glaad.org/blog/punching-down-navigating-jokes-someones-expense.
Just understand playing on that field means you have to be ready to take the criticism that may come back at you in good humor. You gotta thread a needle to sell that shit, and if you can’t take the heat stay out of the bathhouse sauna.

Look, sometimes I will be crass in the pursuit of my humor. In my form of humor, crass language, imagery and scenarios are essential ingredients. They are a tool. They are not the only tool. But sometimes they are the right tool for the job. It’s the spike and hammer. It’s shock humor. Shock humor has a place. It breaks down people’s perceptions and gets right to the core.

When done right, I think it’s healing, epiphanic in its destruction. I believe that sometimes you have to cut in order to heal.

Look, I’m sorry if this post isn’t much fun. A meditation on the deconstruction of humor seldom is.

It’s just tough now, man, because everyone is so…so…

Butthurt?

KPTV

WAY back in 2005, thirteen years ago, I made this video in college as part of a multimedia project. I ran across it today cleaning up some old files and it brought back memories…stupid memories. It’s supposed to be funny (?). I was inspired by Stephen Colbert to do a caricature/exaggeration of myself…a know-it-all “rocker” who, against his better judgment, is going to do you a favor and elucidate the proper way to rock (not that you’d understand). It was improvised on the spot around some discarded “Rock Star” trading cards and a Rush poster I found lying around. After I was done, I attempted to “fix” the results with graphic overlays. It goes down alright…a window into why I’m not a YouTuber.

Seeing it today reminds me that time is cruel…

Static Overdrive

I realize I haven’t posted on my blog in over a month. Sorry. It isn’t by design. I’m not on vacation. There is no plan behind the slowdown.

Ya see, I built this blog because I enjoy writing in my free time. I figured I could apply some of that activity to “write to share”. For the purposes of this blog, I determined a general format for posts. I would choose a theme or subject (i.e, “what’s on my mind”), loosely determine how I wanted to frame that subject and then extemporaneously write until it felt like a point was made. I have also tried, regardless of the subject, to keep humor or levity in the prose. In short, commentary with humor. I hope you enjoy it. I think there will be more.

Recently, I’ve slowed down. I’ve been writing some more esoteric and personal stuff. Nothing that I’m putting up here. I thought about writing a short story fiction I was outlining for the blog. It’s about a closeted, self-loathing, evangelical baker who is challenged when asked to bake a cake for a gay couple planning their wedding. Spoiler alert, he ends up jacking off into the batter. It’s a sensitive portrayal of a serious subject (See? I still got the “jokes”).

Here on this platform, I mainly write on culture and politics, because I know this type of material is more likely to be of interest to readers. In the last few years, these subjects have been easy pickings. Our culture is a house on fire. Our ruling political party a farce.

I also write on these things because I care about the state of the world. I want people who share my beliefs to feel bolstered, comforted (especially in these times). I want people who disagree with me to feel challenged.

Friends, I admit I have no answers. I do however have one core belief:

Issues, challenges, difficulties are better resolved through cooperation than by obstruction.

It’s pretty basic stuff. It isn’t radical. I just want to say it. It’s my truth.

Yet surely, only the truly naive would slavishly adhere to a “cooperation only” mindset. The people of this world are peppered with far too many, let us call them, “sociopathic types” to allow for total cooperation. And so we have law. Law in a liberal society, when applied without bias, allows us the freedom, as a society, to work together cooperatively.

But it is a “choice” we have the “freedom” to make – cooperation or obstruction – love or fear. As hard as it might seem to believe, the “scales” of our American culture are heavily weighted toward cooperation, inclusion and shared prosperity, and have been more and more (we’re talking historical levels of good). It’s been a tough slog getting there, and cooperation minded people (like me) are going to be challenged…that’s a given (look at history). Why? Because sharing is harder than keeping.

Today, specifically, this spirit of shared prosperity and cooperation is being challenged by a hard pendulum swing toward tribalism (the antithesis of cooperation and sharing) best represented through a sociopathic president who has made the very clear choice of obstruction and hate as his default setting, his only setting (long before he ever took office). He calls cooperation weakness and sees the fair, unbiased enforcement of law as a threat.

His messages of hate and fear have the ear of a disturbingly large percentage of the American population. A minority to be sure, but a large “establishment” minority who share his beliefs and fear that cooperation will lead to their loss of “power” or “control” (even if they had none to begin with).

And so we must live through “The Last Stand of the White Nationalists”, be they conscious or unconscious…and they have the president and the Republican Party. So, no, there are no jokes here.

White Nationalism is a deep vein in the cornerstone of our national history. It is our nation’s original sin (genocide, slavery, colonialism, segregation, discrimination). And it’s deeply baked into the foundations of this country’s law (gerrymandering, voter suppression). Laws that have allowed our Democracy to be unfairly represented and controlled by today’s obstruction minded.

And we just have to live through it. And try to cooperate with each other to get past it. To put it away once and for all…so we aren’t all so used against each other…because the solutions we come up with in cooperation will invariably be better than the results of endless conflict, of war. Conflict figureheaded by that willful fool of a president we are saddled with and funded by a wealth class that aligns with the white nationalist movement/sentiments to shortsightedly shirk regulations and their tax responsibilities.

So yeah, all this dark energy in the “truth” I’m seeing has kind of caught up to me somehow and caused me to not want to write so much in the same vein that I had been on before. I can’t say why. It’s just quiet right now. Maybe I’ll feel differently. Maybe I won’t. We’ll figure it out. Bottom line, thanks for all the love.

In closing (for now, this ain’t goodbye), and because it might be a bit, this atheist wishes you the hap-hap-happiest of Merry Christmases of all time. Just shut out the noise and love your family and friends. That’s what I’m gonna do.

Art Credit: “Band Musicians Cats” by sonsedskaya

The 60 Minutes Piece Is Shelved…Indefinitely

Well, I go away for a couple of days and now we have letter bombs going to Democrats, including the two previous Democratic presidents, and CNN…the press, Trump’s #1 “Enemy of the People”.

Thank God none of the bombs went off. But there could be more bombs, and we don’t know who’s doing this. And this is happening less than TWO WEEKS before the midterms, during the most divisive political period I can remember, where every dirty trick in the book is being trotted out to keep power in the hands of the minority ruling party (voter suppression, race baiting, xenophobia). It’s fucked up. I can’t process it.

My two cents on this start with addressing any conspiracy theorists that call this a “false flag” or “spoof” attack (because none of the bombs detonated) and anyone who seeks to minimize the importance of this historic terror attack. If you minimize it, you are complicit with it, period, and you deserve to be harshly rebuked…as a fool or an immoral propagandist.

Trump read his prepared statement condemning the attack, and I know and believe he is against this kind of murderous terror violence.

However, Trump has repeatedly called for, or justified, violence towards, and the legal prosecution of, his political rivals, or really anyone he deems to be against him. He dehumanizes and falsely attributes malevolence to his rivals. He has a cult following of people who live in a world of “Alternative Facts” and self-justified LYING. They are lying for a cause, so they accept the lies and accept the enemies list.

Bottom line, Trump, with his cult-of-personality as a “strong” man who “punches back” and as a President who lauds people who violently physically attack his opposition, sows the seeds of violence with his irresponsible rhetoric.

The thing about a violent action is that, once it starts, it cannot always be controlled and its consequences can be chain reactional, unintended and permanent (like death or maiming… and I don’t like either of those things, personally).

It takes just one person to think they are understanding Trump’s “code” better than anyone else to start this chain of events that we are now on and can not pretend to see the end of.

Is it so hard to do the math and see murderous violence is inevitable?

Do you think this will get better without a major change?

How fucked are we? (…pretty fucked)

The entire Republican Party leadership, in their refusal to officially censure Trump for the irresponsible handling of his office and his reckless and dangerous rhetoric, are digging a deep hole of moral bankruptcy…of immorality. Immoral behavior solely focused on holding on to the reins of power, no matter the cost. In light of these events, the cost is becoming more and more clear.

To put it in the vernacular…“It’s bad, really bad.”

And none of fundamentals of this equation are going to change unless we “Flip the House”.

So, yes, please VOTE for the most-likely-to-win non-Republican candidates…if you can.

(Warning…at this point the piece gets kind of “tangenty”…but it’s from the heart.)

Oh, by the way, I just want you to know that all this chaos, it’s the perfect environment for the wealth class to run their game of consolidating capital to more deeply entrench the wealth gap (for example, that sham of a tax overhaul). Us common people are being set up for the next big ripoff (yeah, based on cycles, we’re due for a recession..so look forward to that). Just watch.

Republicans need to take the bench for a good long while, to make room for someone with ideas on getting capital out of the hands of the hoarders and into the hands of the citizenry…So we all don’t feel so insecure…So every institution isn’t so underfunded and beleaguered…So we’re not all so primed to fall for the first snake-oil salesman who comes into town…So we don’t become so invested in the snake-oil salesman’s lies that we plot to murder the doctor. You know, the “Doctor”, the one who wants to use practical, proven means to “treat the patient”. I mean shit. I don’t even trust the doctor, but I’d rather take my chances with him…That’s some overwrought metaphor, huh? Woof!!

Look, if some of the wealth class don’t like paying American taxes they can fucking go. They can get the fuck out (and feel free to take Trump with them). They can go back to wherever they came from, or whatever country they are using as their tax shelter…But if they want to live in America, and be Americans, and enjoy our privileges, they have to PAY IN, period.

We have to fix this wealth gap problem or we are fucked…we’ll be looking back on these letter bomb days wistfully.

In closing, fuck the bomber and the toxic ideologies that inspired him.

This is gonna be a tough couple of weeks.

VOTE!!

Trump on 60 Minutes, a Rebuttal: Part 1

Note – I began this longpiece last Thursday and haven’t been able to find the time to get back to it since. So I decided to serialize it to get this first part out now. I’m not sure when I’ll have the free time to finish it. Hopefully soon?…

Leslie Stahl interviewed Donald Trump (aka #PresidentShithead) on 60 Minutes, broadcast on October 14th 2018. I watched it and it caused me so much stress that it made me feel physically ill. It gave me a migraine. I cannot believe that so many people in this country align themselves with this toxic, lying, hateful, corrupt megalomaniac. It shows a real failure in American culture.

I have been forced to observe and live with these faults in our culture for my entire life. And on some level I’m okay with it. I have to be to function. Nothing is perfect. I forced myself to believe these issues were manageable. But Goddamn when you are in the midst of a backslide of this order you really have to wonder where we’re going…and then…if you’re like me, you get a stress headache.

To “set the table”, I love America, but I am not a jingoistic robot. I am not a political animal. I do not align with at political party. I have been a nonconformist my entire life, not to be a contrarian, but because I am a skeptic. I am an observer. I analyze. I research. I accept scientific consensus. I accept empirical fact. But when it comes to cultural, religious, economic and political theory and orthodoxy I question deeply.

To my mind, anyone who even has thumbnail sketch of an understanding of human history should be right there with me…but they are not. In fact the vast majority are not. Why? Because the vast majority of people are conformists.

Conformity is the human condition that allows you to believe in supernatural forces through group think. It allows people to put aside all reason in order to live within a protective blanket of orthodoxy. It’s “In God we trust” (whatever your “God” is). It is a human survival instinct. I don’t even think it is all bad, per se. For example, I want people to come together as communities and share rituals. It’s just when those rituals, at one time, included public extrajudicial executions, I, personally, have to question the foundations of our culture…and I will. I want to look at it as objectively as I can. I want to embrace what I value in it and disregard or fight the rest.

Truth be told, America has a very spotty past (institutionalized slavery, genocide, racism, colonialism, subjugation of women, eugenics, environmental degradation…I could go on). Honest historians will always say that the USA represents an “experiment” in “small ‘l’ liberalism” through democracy (as in the experiment is still ongoing). That even though, at the outset, this liberty was only afforded to an elite (white, male property owners), that over time it was extended to all (at least on a Federal law level). In fact, liberty for all was not truly protected under federal law until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was 188 years after Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As you know, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner until the day he died.

So, yeah, spotty past, high ideals. Bottom line, fifty-four years ago, in 1964, our federal government finally came through and made these high ideals law. Fifty-four years is a blink. Don’t get too comfortable.

All this liberal protection…it can end. It can end just like that [snaps fingers]. “We the people” have to manage it. We have to protect it. We have to understand it and believe in it’s value. We have to share it…even with people we hate (through prejudice or life experience). We have to share it even with people who use it and yet still want to destroy it. We have to protect it in spite of them. And most importantly, we have to pay into it. All of us…even rich (or poor) Libertarian assholes.

I’ve said it before, we are living in the afterglow of the post WWII boom. Our current American society, our current American culture, our infrastructure, our iFucks…they are all birthed from Great Depression followed by an even Greater World War. We won. Even better, because we didn’t have to fight the war here, all of our great cities and factories weren’t firebombed to rubble like they were over there. All we had to do after the war was not be Nazis, create a global order, make money and innovate. We heavily taxed the rich, paid off the war debt and built the infrastructure for the suburban “reality” that I grew up in.

It seems like it should have gone on forever, but entropy being what it is, it didn’t.

For people older than me, the Vietnam War was where the “post-war dream” started to show signs of wear. And that lead to the Reagan era, where “trickle down economics” meant protecting the rich from taxation and regulation.

As for taxes, I’m just gonna say it…Bottom line…If we don’t tax and control the wealth class this “post-war dream” world the common man is living in is going to die. If you want it dead, I guess that’s your prerogative. Just be aware of the alternative. That’s all I ask. It may not be all it’s cracked up to be. We might be looking at its beginnings right now.

Now regulation is a complicated thing and it can go too far, but when it gets painted with the broad brush of “regulation is bad for business” I’m not buying it. Regulation exists to protect the common man and his natural environment from sociopathic sharks (i.e., a certain class of “businessmen”).

So, I wasn’t really here for Vietnam. I was a child and adolescent in the Reagan era. In my lifetime, I saw the “post-war dream” get its stress test in our society’s response to 9/11.

The 9/11 attack was a terrible, unforgivable crime and war was inevitable. I am not a pacifist. That said, the invasion of Iraq was not justified, period. Our government, military and intelligence communities normalization of torture and blatant war profiteering made a mockery of everything I came to believe about post-WWII America. It was at this point that I became an enemy of the Republican party. I never liked them up to that point. I knew they were just a haven for the selfish, racist and superstitious. But when their party leadership fought for torture, I determined they were malevolent and I swore I would never vote Republican at any level.

Then there was the great recession of 2008. Here we saw an unregulated wealth class (thanks Reaganomics) basically pull off one of the greatest financial crimes of all time, just basically ripping of the retirement savings of any common people who were in the position to have retirement savings in any kind of market account. And these thieves…they got away scot-free. A few low level scapegoats were hassled, but no one of any note was prosecuted. Our government, having lost complete control of the situation and in an attempt to avert total economic catastrophe, just printed new money to bail out these “market geniuses”.

Truth be told, a lot of the economic suffering and wage stagnation today’s American common people are suffering can be traced to Reaganomics, the War on Terror and the Great Recession. We lost a lot of ground there. We lost a lot of revenue and momentum that could have be spent on infrastructure, education, healthcare, eldercare…Who’d we lose it to? Rich assholes, that’s who.

But you’d be had pressed getting anywhere talking about it. Who would listen?

And this is just my little superficial observation. I could dig and dig and go on forever…but I came here to write about what our President, The President on the United States of America, is talking about. I just wanted you to know where I’m coming from before I dive into the, as I said before, literally sickening interview I watched last Sunday, several weeks before we pick our new government.

What she didn’t ask

First, I want to mention what Leslie Stahl didn’t ask about, the New York Times article about the Trump family’s tax fraud scheme. The article outlines how Trump, over the course of his career as a “businessman”, received hundreds of millions of dollars, tax free, from his father. This puts the lie to his bullshit backstory about how he was a self made man and explains why he will never willingly release his tax records. He was born wealthy and has spent his entire life dodging his tax obligations to this country, even to the point of committing fraud (as outlined in the NYT article).

I feel like this subject would have been worth a few moments of time in the interview. Even though he would have just dismissed it as “lies” and “fake news”, I think it would have been nice to see it addressed on camera, one-to-one. After all, these taxes the wealthy like Trump are dodging, if they were paid, that would be helpful to keep that “post-war dream” thing (that thing I seem to care so goddamn much about) going on…It would be nice if we had a leader a little more tied into the concept of embracing their citizen’s obligations to the betterment of all…just sayin’…moving on…

So what did they talk about. I took notes…

Hurricane Michael/Climate Change

Stahl asks about climate change. Trump, of course, is a denier. Why? Because of business interests, of course. There are still a lot of hydrocarbons left to dig up, process, burn and send into the air. Stopping now would be unfair to the robber barons.

On the Business:

President Donald Trump: I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t wanna be put at a disadvantage.

This is a oil/coal/gas company lie. Energy jobs are energy jobs, be they pollution creating or environment saving. This is just trump siding with the robber barons.

On climate change:

President Donald Trump: Something’s changing and it’ll change back again.

This is just stupid. Melted glaciers and drained aquifers don’t “change back”. What a lying asshole.

On the scientific consensus:

President Donald Trump: We have scientists that disagree with that.

One of Trump’s tropes is stating there are undefined “people” who support his positions. This is a lazy salesman technique. We all know he is pulling this out of his ass. We also all know that climate change denial scientists are right there on the same level with the doctors who said unfiltered Lucky Strikes cigarettes help to clear out the lungs.

On the “political agenda” of climate change scientists:

President Donald Trump: They say that we had hurricanes [in the distant past] that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.

Lesley Stahl: Who says that? “They say”?

President Donald Trump: People say. People say that in the–

Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?

President Donald Trump: You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley.

This exchange is just bizarre. Here we have Trump doing the “people say” when producing a fresh batch of “shitformation” from his ass. To which Stahl challenges to ask who the “they” he’s talking about are. The honest answer is, of course, that he is caught is a lie (because he is constantly lying) so he pivots to making the unfounded accusation (another lie) that climate change scientists have “a very big political agenda”.

So let me get this straight. Scientists are the enemy of the people, too? Bullshit! These scientists have an environmental agenda, in that they are trying to protect it. Trump and his donors have a economic agenda, in that they want to sell fossil fuels to make money regardless of the toll it is taking on the environment and the global population.

Since the industrial revolution mankind has been challenged with balancing economic factors, natural resources and environmental protection, related to mass production and mass energy consumption. All over the world governments and political parties are on board with the idea that these things must be better managed (maybe even, dare I say, regulated… as in the Paris Accord that Trump pulled out of) as they are having a scientifically proven direct and detrimental effect on our atmosphere (detrimental to the living conditions of human beings…rocks will be okay).

The Koch Brothers and their ilk can give a shit, they just want to make big money. They want to have power. They want to have total control over their big business of fracking the world into a toxic wasteland…just so long as they can have a picturesque ranch in some remote area that isn’t affected too badly. They are Libertarians which means they do not believe in anything outside of self interest.

Libertarians…they don’t trust you, they don’t care about you, they just want to use you, and once your utility is exhausted, they will discard you. Why do they feel this way? Because they are cynics. They know they are under threat of people who share their world view and want to be the master, no matter the cost to society. They do not believe in the collective good. They want to exercise their “freedom”, their “liberty”, by being immoral, selfish grabbers who give nothing back. It is a toxic, and, in my opinion, un-American philosophy. But there is good money in it apparently.

Because the US political system does not firewall robber barons like the Kochs from buying political influence we have a compromised government who deny the science because they are paid to deny it. They claim moving away from fossil fuels is “too expensive” and “bad for the economy” because they are paid to.

Bottom line, environmental protection is a responsibility more than it is a political issue. The real political issue here is the corruption created by robber baron lobbying and dark campaign money flowing into the United States political system. And now, with the Supreme Court stacked with “Federalist” asswipes, don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

I just want a President that isn’t such as willful dipshit about this…Next.

Jamal Khashoggi (i.e., executing journalists)

This is another one for the books. This fucking Saudi prince. What’s his name? DJ Khaled? He plotted to have this “US resident” dissident journalist Khashoggi tortured and murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. It was just the most bumbling, ham-fisted, keystones cops straight-up MURDER you can imagine a spoiled little shithead brat and his “court” could have cooked up.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal, repressive monarchy, which holds public executions, and where atheism, homosexuality, blasphemy and adultery are capital crimes punishable by death.

America has this long-standing, ridiculous, compromised marriage of convenience with Saudi Arabia because we have a common enemy, Iran. It’s fucked up. It’s always been fucked up. I’ll give you an example of how fucked up it is. The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia…the US invaded Iraq. See? It’s fucked up.

Anyway somehow, this prince, he got it in his head that he is so tight with Trump and buttboy Jared that he has some sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card to MURDER green card carrying US residents who write for the Washington Post. That is some assumption, huh?

The optics aren’t helped by this whole “the press are the enemy of the people” bullshit that asshole Trump as been peddling for over a year now (I’ve always said he should be impeached for making those statements alone).

Anyway, Trump and the prince are working on their cover story (imagine the brain power there…you could power a potato) to try to minimize the fallout from this TORTURE and MURDER plot. You know, so they can get back to doing the sabre dance and touching the glowing globe. It is SICK, just SICK.

In the interview Trump cried about the threat the TRUTH about this CRIME has become to his precious ARMS DEAL with the Saudis. Ya know, because when a foreign government shows you that they are lead by immoral murderers, your first instinct should be to sell them as many high grade weapons as they can possibly buy. For economic reasons of course…so it’s good to know we’re thinking straight on BOTH world peace AND the environment. Sleep well at night.

In the interview, Trump repeated the Saudi denial. Said it was made “Strongly”. Of course that denial was a lie and attempt at a cover up which immediately fell apart (BIG surprise).

Trump said he didn’t want to “hurt jobs” by backing out of the arms deal. I’m going to cry a river thinking about the Military Industrial Complex taking a hit. God knows they get such a small slice of our tax revenue to eke out their existence. Trump then warned us Russia and China would grab the deal “Everyone wanted that order.”…I say let them have it.

This whole scenario just highlights that Trump is a garbage human and a garbage example to our youngest generation. He is a criminal and sociopath who has no compassion for other human beings. This dead journalist is just an impediment to his narrative. Trump’s first instinct is to have surrogates smear Khashoggi and try to wait out the news cycle. So for now we’ll just get his “nobody knows for sure” dodge until they stop asking…I hope they don’t stop asking, because this is unacceptable…and the more he helps in the coverup the more complicit he is in the crime…the more blood is on his tiny hands.

End of Part One

To be continued…