Category: politics

Vote Moderate!

Stay centered and vote moderate!

I am not Democrat or Republican. Nor am I liberal or conservative. No, I’m a boring, nonpartisan, mealy-mouthed moderate.

I don’t like demagogues, revolutionaries, or charismatic leaders. I prefer politicians who are as middle-of-the-road and monotonous as me. I like those who serve as ballast, sitting in the center of the boat and suppressing dramatic rocking actions.

I want political progress to inch along slowly, deliberately, and contemplatively, rather than dramatically jumping back and forth. And I want to read about it not on the front page of the newspaper, but somewhere around page 10.

I prefer political leaders who hem and haw. I like them best when they scratch their heads and say such things as, “Gee, I don’t know,” “Shucks, maybe,” and “Heck, I guess so.” I like a legislator who votes for or against a bill and then later says, “Hmm. Maybe I should have gone the other way.”

That’s because I want our politicians to be reflective. They’re making important decisions that affect our lives, so I want them to cogitate carefully about what they support and what they resist.

Let’s not hold it against them when they waffle. Allow them to change their minds a dozen times. There’s a difference between being vague and evasive, and frankly admitting, “I don’t know.” Evasive politicians have already decided. They just don’t want to reveal their decision. But the truly indecisive ones are candid about their inability to make up their minds.

Am I right? I think I am. Or maybe not.

And I believe those leaders are dangerous, who pound the podium with thundering declarations, while stirring up crowds and making news headlines. They make politics exciting, but they also put everyone in peril. They stir up movements that inspire equal and opposite counter-movements. The resulting conflict polarizes our country, destabilizes our institutions, and hamstrings progress.

At least, that’s my view.

Family members turn against each other. Violence against those who disagree with us becomes acceptable. And the economy suffers when the present is chaotic and the future contains great uncertainties.

What do you think? Correct me if I’m wrong.

But moderate politicians have a soothing effect on society. They help us keep calm, stable, and on steady footing. Sure they may be monotonous, and at times exasperating in their indecisiveness. And their mealy-mouthed speeches do have a soporific way of inducing comas. But when you listen carefully, you’ll find them complex, thought-provoking, and empathetic to all sides.

This is my current belief.

Tomorrow is Election Day. I encourage you to get out and vote, if you haven’t done so already. And please be careful, deliberate, and reflective in the manner in which you vote. Yes, please be boring tomorrow. As you study your ballot, take your time. Look for those candidates who interest you the least. Avoid the exciting ones. Seek out the eggheads, the nerds, and the wishy-washy, mealy-mouths. And put your “X” by their names.

Vote moderate!

(But only if you really want to.)

A Guide to Political Correctness

It seems like every day someone famous says or does something that is considered politically incorrect. And predictably, they lose their job. Or they’re vilipended throughout the land and savagely excoriated in the press. Even after they apologize.

It happens to us less famous citizens as well. One carelessly spoken word or sentence that treads upon someone’s sensitivities can end a career or ruin a relationship. Because what happens on the global stage tends to be emulated at the local level.

In this day of extreme political polarization we all have to learn how to be politically correct. For some this is easy. They just keep their mouths shut. But others seem to have no clue.

Sometimes I can be clueless myself, as evidenced by this post. But I’m just trying to help. I wrote this guide to political correctness because I’m trying to eliminate confusion as to what is politically correct, and keep everyone gainfully employed and in rewarding relationships.

I’ve found that one way to stay PC while opening one’s mouth is to keep abreast of current events. That way you know what is currently in vogue and considered correct actions and speech. I’ve been doing just that, avidly watching both FOX news and MSNBC news, so that I can learn from both sides of the political spectrum just what is considered politically correct.

The following are some lessons these TV news networks have taught me:

It’s politically correct to kneel while the National Anthem is played, to show that black lives matter and police can be brutal. But at the same time you should always stand with your hand over your heart, because to do otherwise is disrespectful to the flag.

It’s politically correct to stand up for your religious beliefs and refuse services to homosexuals, if homosexuality is against your religion. But it’s also politically correct to have no religious beliefs against homosexuality, and to offer services to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Because to do otherwise ignores genetic science and discriminates without good cause.

It’s politically correct to discourage all forms of gun ownership, as guns are a major cause of violent deaths in our country. But it’s also politically correct to own and carry the latest and most powerful assault rifles you can afford. Because otherwise crime will run rampant, and we also will have no way to rise up in armed revolution when Armageddon arrives and Satan takes over America.

It’s politically correct to protect the lives of unborn children, by requiring women to carry their pregancies to full-term. But it’s also politically correct to give women the right to choose what they do with their bodies. Because to do otherwise allows men to control women and helps maintain a patriarchal society.

You see? All you have to do is watch both FOX news and MSNBC news, and you’ll eliminate all confusion as to what is politically correct.

But here’s what I believe is the most important lesson in political correctness:

You may have noticed that some of the examples listed above tend to slightly contradict each other. Of course they contradict. Politics by its very nature is contradictory. Politics is about disagreement and debate. It’s about people thinking differently and expressing their differences. It’s a forum for hashing out issues, as humanity seeks answers.

And when you look at it that way, the contradictions above are not confusing, they’re enlightening.

Healthy debate enlightens and ultimately unites. It’s unhealthy debate that leaves us struggling endlessly for answers, over issues that could have been resolved long ago. And it’s unhealthy debate that divides and polarizes, and leaves us fearful and suspicious of each other.

Healthy debate makes every example I listed above, politically correct examples. But unhealthy debate renders them politically incorrect.

Healthy debate becomes unhealthy when someone says or does something we disagree with, and we take offense. Then we demonize that person. We act like victims and treat them as perpetrators. And we attack them personally and may even attempt to put their jobs and relationships in jeopardy.

This drives many who would debate, into silence. It slows the free exchange of ideas. And it makes everything that would otherwise be politically correct, politically incorrect.

But we, ordinary citizens, don’t do this alone. We get a lot of help from political pundits, who profit from unhealthy debate. They are the ones who publicly foster and encourage the demonization of those who hold views they disagree with. They are the ones who turn the politically correct into the politically incorrect. And they are the ones behind the schisms and polarization that currently paralyzes our politics.

Political pundits work in a big industry, for big money. And there’s so many of them, I can’t name them all. But here’s one or two that come to mind:

Rush Limbaugh
Al Sharpton
Gloria Allred
Sarah Palin
Howard Dean
Rachel Maddow
Glenn Beck
Sean Hannity
Arianna Huffington
Ann Coulter
Keith Olbermann
Laura Ingraham
Maureen Dowd
Alex Jones
Tucker Carlson
James Carville

Many of these pundits have their own separate talk show, column, or other forum. They’re lone wolves scavenging off the political landscape. Wouldn’t it be better if they were all put together to debate in the same venue?

Then they’d either kill each other or learn how to debate in a healthy, diplomatic manner. And if the latter came true, we’d have an example to learn from and follow. An example that could improve the health of public debate, and turn that which is politically incorrect into political correctness.

What might happen if all the political pundits had to debate each other in the same room. If they didn’t kill each other, instead.

[ Note: This post was inspired by a recent interaction I had with GP Cox. GP Cox has an excellent, well-researched blog about the Pacific Theater of World War II, which you might want to check out if you’re a history buff.]

Why Amerika Is Great Again

Amerika’s symbol, looking for newly created greatness.

Mid-term elections are less than three months away, and President Trump is out on the campaign trail. With his wavy combover flapping like an Amerikan flag in the breeze, he’s reminding us how he’s made Amerika great again.

And it’s undeniable. Amerika has once again emerged as a great world power. Here are a few reasons why:

Amerika is great again because our worries about war with Russia are over, now that they’re our bestest friends. It’s true that our newest worries are war with Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, France, China, Iran, and a whole bunch of other countries. But between us and Russia, we have enough nuclear missiles to blow them and the whole world up many, many times over. And that’s a great comfort.

Amerika is great again because we’ve identified our biggest enemy. Mexicans. We recently started separating Mexican children from their parents. Or are they Hondurans and El Salvadorans? Wait, what’s the difference? This separation has led to alarm and anxiety amongst the Mexican/Honduran/El Salvadoran people. Hell, let’s just call them the Mexihonadorans. Next we will sell their children back to them and use the proceeds to build a Great Wall.

Amerika is great again because we are eliminating our trade deficit with the world. What with tariffs and retaliatory tariffs, our trade deficit with other nations is on the decline. In fact, all trading with other nations is on the decline. When trading eventually reaches zero, this should encourage us to become a great, self-sufficient country.

Amerika is great again because we no longer have to worry about global warming. We’ve learned to distrust the fake scientists and fake news media that have propagated myths like global warming. So now we feel safe getting rid of emission standards and turning our air into the great smell of money. A great amount of money. For great, hard working folks, like those who work for Trump.

Amerika is great again because we’ve discovered that the only real news comes from Facebook memes. And we don’t even have to create them. Our caring comrades in Russia have volunteered to produce all the memes we need to keep abreast of real news events. This information will help Amerikan citizens in many ways, but especially when deciding how to vote.

Trump has truly made Amerika great again, and we should feel appreciative. So come November, head on down to the polls and send President Trump’s party your own personal message of gratitude. But it really won’t be necessary for you to make such effort. These days you can just stay at home and let someone in Saint Petersburg do your voting for you.

And isn’t that great?

For a related post about Russian meddling, check out this from nrhatch:
https://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/health-alert-from-fox-news/

Trump vs. Hitler

I’ve heard many people compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. I don’t think that’s fair, and I’m not about to do it. I think there are a lot of differences between the two.

For instance, Hitler colluded with Russia to acquire Poland. However Trump colluded with Russia to take Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That’s a big difference.

Hitler died in 1945. Trump was born in 1946. So at the most, Trump is merely Hitler reincarnated.

Hitler parted his natural-born hair on the right, and combed it over to the left. Trump parts his TRANSPLANTED hair on the right, and combs it over to the left.

Hitler was unmarried, but had mistresses. Trump has had mistresses, too. But while married.

Hitler invaded Russia and stole their oil. Trump went to Finland and unctuously poured oil all over the Russian president.

Hitler used Jews as scapegoats. But Trump uses Mexicans, instead.

Is this Trump or Hitler, as a 12-year-old boy? Or do I even have to ask?

Hitler was a master orator. Trump is a master debater.

Hitler was an artist, and inspired the German people with his design of the swastika flag. On the other hand Trump doesn’t draw. He did inspire the American people with his book, “The Art of the Deal,” but it was ghost-written by some guy named Schwartz.

You see? And the differences go on and on.

And that is why I will never confuse Trump with Hitler.

Thanks, Canada

Recently the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, stated that Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada were “kind of insulting” and that Canada would not be pushed around.

Trump responded with vituperant vilipending, and has called Trudeau all kinds of names, and has said Trudeau’s statement will cost him a lot of money.

Wow, what a war of words we have brewing here.

Now social media has jumped into this imbroglio with Americans launching a #ThankCanada and #ThanksCanada Twitter campaign.

Americans love Canada, and we don’t want anyone messing with our favorite country to the north. Not even our own president. Hands off, Trump!

But I have some words of caution for PM Trudeau. I believe he’s on a losing path. From my observation no politician, domestic or foreign, has ever bested Trump in a war of words. He could very well be the worst president we’ve ever had, but he’s absolutely the best at one thing. He’s a master of the ad hominem attack.

Any trade deficit we have with Canada will be quickly overcome with a surplus of well-crafted insults from our Commander-in-Chief. You can’t beat him this way, Justin. Sadly, you just can’t.

But there is one way to beat him. You have to go after Trump’s big weakness. His kryptonite. It stops this guy in his tracks every time. It’s called “facts”. Nothing is more cryptic to Trump than facts.

Trump simply cannot handle facts. Justin, don’t go about saying vague things like Canada will not be pushed around and blah, blah, blah. Trump will blow you out of the water with his ripostes. No, just stick to the facts, and this bully in our White House will run for cover.

For instance, Justin, you could point out that while the U.S. has indeed had a trade deficit with Canada of about $15 billion per year since 2015, that’s about a fifth what the deficit was in 2008. You could also point out that our deficit with China has been running about $350 billion per year since 2015, which is nearly $100 billion more than 2008.

If you would just say something like that, Trump would squawk and yelp and shout “Fake news! Fake news!” (unaware of the fact that these figures come from our own Census Bureau) and then quickly try to change the subject.

Just the facts, Justin, just the facts. Stick with the facts, while avoiding vague language, and you will win every time.

I don’t have a Twitter account, so I can’t participate in Twitter’s #ThankCanada campaign. So instead I’d like to finish this blog by saying my thank you’s here:

First, a big thank you to my Canadian blogging buddies. For example, Gibber Jabberin’ always comes through with hilarious comments to spice up my posts. And Joanne Sisco, I love your photography and fun little write-ups about Toronto.

Thank you Canada for offering us Americans a place of refuge from time to time. For instance in the 1960s and 1970s, when you welcomed young American men who opposed fighting in the Vietnam War, to escape to your country. And also thank you for the affordable prescription drugs ailing Americans have been able to obtain across your borders. You have saved many American lives.

Thanks Canada for Dr. James Naismith, who created the game of basketball.

Thanks Canada for your beautiful scenery that we Americans drink in by the millions when we vacation in your lands. I’ll never forget the time my wife and I got off a cruise ship in Skagway, Alaska. We rented a car and drove through the northwest corner of British Columbia, and into the Yukon. We had to stop at a border checkpoint along the way, but the Canadian officers were very polite and even gave us helpful advice. We always felt safe on this motor trip, and were treated decently by every Canadian we met.

Bennett Lake at Carcross, Yukon. Thanks Canada, for amazing scenery like this!

Thanks Canada for cars, oil, food, computers, gold, diamonds, and so much more. And thank you for helping us with our conscience. When we buy Canadian we can always rest assured that nobody was enslaved or horribly exploited in the making of the product.

Thanks Canada for setting a good example with your healthcare system. If only we had the guts to follow it.

Thanks for Horseshoe Falls. I’ve never been there, but I’ve always heard it’s the best part of Niagara Falls.

Thanks for these things, and so much more.

Thank you, Canada.

Stolen Quote: Shithole Countries

Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? ~ Donald Trump


This question was asked by our president very close to the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. So I thought I’d just go ahead and steal the quote from Big Orange, and answer it for him on this day.

First of all, unlike so many of our president’s critics, I agree that there really are some shithole countries out there. I’m with you on that point, Mr. Prez.

I know I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a country like Haiti. Nor would I want to live in just about any country in Africa. From what I hear on the news, these countries are rife with all kinds of problems, such as poverty and corruption. And then there are the civil wars, religious fighting, dictatorships, and on and on.

No, I agree, there really are some shithole countries beyond our borders.

But the question you asked, Mr. President, is why are we allowing people from those countries come here?

The way I see it, most of our ancestors came from shithole countries. I’m part Irish and British, and a bunch of other European blood. When the Irish immigrated here they were escaping famine, poverty, British oppression, and so on. What a shithole country Ireland was back then.

For that matter, when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, they too were escaping a shithole country. What shits the British were, for all the religious persecution that drove those pilgrims onto the Mayflower.

And every other European country has been a shithole country at one time or another.

America has traditionally been a place of escape from shithole countries. That’s why we allow the poor huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, to reach our shores and inhale deeply.

If this has been harmful to us, then we would be one of the worst countries in the world to live in. But in spite of our problems, and we do have a few, I say we are one of the best, if not THE best nation on earth. In fact I would go so far as to say that immigration is one of the main reasons we have such a great country.

The escapees who travel so far to reach our shores tend to be the brightest and best. Consider their motivation. Consider that they come here to better themselves. Consider that they want to live free and prosperous. These are the very kind of motivated folks we want. They are like our ancestors, who built this great nation. They are willing to work hard to make a better life for themselves, and their community.

We skim the cream of the crop from the shithole nations. We win, they lose. Maybe after they lose enough of their best and brightest they’ll learn to treat their citizens better, and stop being such shitholes.

So there’s the best answer I can give to our President (other than the way I cast my vote in 2020).

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr day to you! And whether you are an immigrant or not, may all your dreams come true.

When He Came Back

saturndevouringhisson_by_peterpaulrubens_1636

I was ten years old when my mother divorced him. I didn’t know at the time that he had molested my sisters. Neither did she. Nobody knew but them, and they kept their dark little secret to themselves until they became adults. I just knew about the abuse we all knew about. His verbal abuse against my mother and all of us children.

I also knew that he could be fun to be around at times, but then in the middle of the fun he would turn on us. He’d lash out and belittle us and threaten physical violence. He’d lure us into relaxing and showing our vulnerabilities, and then he’d move in for the attack.

He rarely actually resorted to physical violence, but his verbal assaults and threats were terrifying, just the same.

So when my mother divorced him, I felt relieved. Very, very relieved. My spirit lightened. The world looked bright and new. I learned how to relax and be vulnerable and how to play, without fearing the mercurial temperment of a sadistic stepfather.

My new stepfather was a drunk. A likable drunk, but a terrible, falling-down drunk just the same. Two years after the wonderful divorce, my mother made a stunning announcement. She was leaving the drunk and going back to my previous stepfather.

I was now twelve. I pondered what it would be like to have that asshole as my stepdad again. And part of me was excited about the prospect. Maybe he would be different this time. Maybe he had changed. Maybe this time he’d only show us his fun side, and never the sadistic side. I actually looked forward to having him back in my life again.

I was young, naive, and possessed of youthful optimism. It’s the kind of optimism you develop after you’ve gone for awhile letting your guard down, without any harm coming to you.

But I was wrong. He was just as abusive as before. Maybe worse. My carefree childhood was over at the age of twelve. I had to put up the old guard and once again try to hide my vulnerabilities.

I went a little crazy in the ensuing years. But I also learned how to resist and and stand up to this bastard. My failure was letting myself go crazy. That took a long time to overcome. But my success was learning how to stand up for myself. It’s a lesson that has served me well ever since.

I draw from my childhood experience an important lesson for those who are happy, and for those who are horrified, about the recent presidential election.

When he came back, I hoped my stepfather would be a different, better person. He wasn’t. You see, he was a sexual predator. Just like the president-elect. Sexual predators have committed themselves deeply to taking advantage of the vulnerable. If they don’t sexually abuse them, then they abuse them in other ways. Because it’s not about sex, it’s about power and control. And they haven’t learned any other way to obtain power and control, than through abuse.

Based on my personal experience with the sexual predator who was my stepfather, I doubt our new president will change after he assumes office. I believe the next four to eight years will be difficult for vulnerable people who place trust in him. He will not save you. You must save yourself. The occasional good times you experience under his leadership will quickly be overshadowed by problems he will create for you. Be alert, and avoid complacency.

And for those who distrust him, keep in mind that the opposition party will not completely protect you from him. Just as my siblings did not completely protect me from my stepfather. We colluded, and tried our best to be strong together. But we only had limited success.

You must protect yourself. Do your very best to learn how to resist oppression and stand up for yourself. And be as self-sufficient as possible. Try as much as you can to avoid relying on political leaders. Your best hope lies within you, yourself.

And most importantly, don’t let yourself go crazy over this. Calm, objective reason and sanity is what you need most during a time of crisis. When you lose that, it can take a long time to recover it.

Take charge of your life and be your own salvation. That will give you your best chance of succeeding during the next presidency. And for the rest of your life afterward.

Dearest Donald

I like Hillary Clinton, but she has one big weakness. She’s technologically challenged. Which makes her emails super-easy to hack.

I decided to get in on the action. I mean damn, why should all those other hackers have all the fun? So I, too, decided to hack Hillary’s emails.

It was a cinch to guess her password: “Feeling_Berned”. But most of what I found in her server was disappointing. It was just a bunch of banausic, everyday stuff. For example, there was a message to Bill, reminding him to do the laundry. And there was a small missive to her son-in-law, Marc, asking for the definition of the word shemozzle.

And then I stumbled upon a bombshell. A real smoking gun. An email that could blow the lid right off the Clinton campaign.

I really want Hillary to win. But I’m going to shamelessly share this email with you, and the rest of the world, anyway. That’s because I want the credit for this scoop before some other hacker takes credit. I’m trying to become rich and famous, you know. I just hope Donald Trump will keep his mouth shut for at least one friggin’ day, so that this real Hillary scandal can get enough oxygen to survive and grow.

Otherwise this email, like all the others, will be completely ignored, and lost like a needle in a Trump-hair-shaped haystack.

So here goes. This is the bombshell email from Hillary that I hacked, that I desperately hope will make me famous:

HillaryEmail

Dearest Donald:

I want to thank you once again for being such a good friend. Remember that conversation we had eleven years ago, when I attended your wedding? Hell, I thought you were joking. Especially since you were a Democrat at the time. But it turns out you are a stand-up man who really keeps your word.

When you joined the Republican Party (for the third time) in 2012, I still didn’t think you’d actually go through with it. Until June of last year, when you rode down an escalator, insulted Mexicans, and announced you were running for the job I want.

Donald, you are a genius! Who would have thought that a billionairre could win over all those Republican voters by acting like a redneck hillbilly? You did what you promised me, so many years ago. You won the GOP nomination!

And now you are doing such a tremendous job at throwing the election my way. Just as you promised. For every gaffe I make, and every scandal I find myself in, you match me ten times over. You seem really determined to make sure I’ll get elected.

One suggestion: It’s my goal to win all 50 states. But I’m still lagging badly in Texas. Now you know how Texans are so proud. And you know how much it hurts to have a bruised ego. If you could piss off the Texans by, say, commenting on their actual penis size, maybe their damaged egos will enrage them enough to vote for me.

But with all your scripted and unscripted lapsus linguae, please don’t let this secret arrangement of ours slip out. Remember, this email is highly confidential. Bill and I have dealt with enough shit, like Whitewater, Troopergate, Travelgate, Vince Foster, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Juanita Brodderick, impeachment, Benghazi, speaking fees, The Clinton Foundation, and private server whatchamacallits. We don’t need to add “Trumpgate” to the list.

Anyway, keep up the good work. And if you ever need anything–anything at all–please let me know. Just wait until after January 20th. Remember, I’ll always be indebted.

Yours Truly,
Hillary

Bernie’s Chances

Is it possible for Elephants to do something sensible? I guess eventually, when they remember to. Over this past week, two Republicans came to their senses and did the sensible thing. They dropped out. So long, Ted Cruz and John Kasich! See ya in three years.

This leaves just one contender fighting an uphill battle for a nomination, and that is Bernie Sanders on the Donkey side. Is this man insane, or does he have a reasonable chance to beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination? He thinks so, and says he’s aiming for a contested convention, where he will win over unpledged delegates (super delegates), and become the Democratic Party’s standard bearer.

Let’s crunch the numbers, to see if Bernie is in his right mind.

There will be 4,765 total delegates at the Democratic National Convention this July. Of these, 4,051 will be pledged delegates. This means they will be bound by rules to vote for whomever they were assigned to vote for, after their state primary or caucus. At least in the first round of voting.

2,383 delegates are needed for nomination. After Bernie’s victory in Indiana on May 3rd, he had 1,414 pledged delegates, and 41 unpledged delegates. Hillary had 1,704 pledged delegates, and 498 unpledged delegates. It seems a lot more unpledged delegates support Hillary than Bernie. But Bernie vows to change that.

Bernie currently needs 928 more delegates to secure the nomination. There are 1,108 delegates remaining, so that means he needs 84% of these remaining delegates to beat Hillary. If he wants to beat Hillary with pledged delegates only, then he needs 969 more pledged delegates. However, there are only 933 pledged delegates remaining. Therefore it’s impossible for Bernie to win the nomination in this manner. This explains why he says he’s going to make a play for the super delegates at the convention.

It seems to me that if Bernie is going to have any chance of winning over the super delegates at the convention, he has to enter the convention with more pledged delegates than Hillary. This seems possible. Hillary currently has 1,704 pledged delegates, which is only 290 more than Bernie. In fact, Hillary would have to win 73% of the remaining pledged delegates before she can secure the nomination with no help from super delegates. It’s highly unlikely she will do this.

Super delegates can change their minds at any time. So the super delegates Hillary currently has can jump ship for Bernie if they decide that is more politically expedient. And they probably would if Bernie entered the convention with more pledged delegates than Hillary. Bernie could then make the case that the majority of Democrats favored him, and not his opponent. Super delegates would have a hard time justifying their votes for Hillary.

If Bernie is to overtake Hillary in pledged delegates before the convention, he will need to win 66% of the remaining available pledged delegates. That is a very steep hill to climb. Not impossible, and if Bernie is the little engine that could, who knows, perhaps he’ll make it. But first he has to win over California. California has 475 delegates to divvy up. It’s the big enchilada. And recent polling shows Hillary with a double-digit lead over Bernie in the Golden State.

Bernie’s challenge is to not only close that double-digit lead over Hillary by June 7th (California’s Primary day), but to also take a strong lead. I mean a VERY strong lead. To the tune of about 66% to 33%.

California may have to fall into the ocean, for Bernie to win.

California may have to fall into the ocean, for Bernie to win.

Under what scenario could this happen? Here’s a few that come to my mind: Hillary gets indicted for reckless e-mailing. Hillary divorces Bill and becomes engaged to Donald Trump (after he, of course, divorces Melania). Hillary announces that she still supports Barry Goldwater. Hillary’s birth certificate reveals she was born in Kenya. Hillary proclaims that California is full of a bunch of commie hippies, and expresses a desire for it to fall into the ocean after the next earthquake. Or, California actually does fall into the ocean, while Bernie wins big in all the other states.

In other words, this is mostly Hillary’s football to fumble. Can Bernie still beat her? Sure he can. Will he? Don’t sell your bank stocks short on it.

My bet is on Hillary.

Holiday of Insults

The leader of the country of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is getting his panties all up in a wad over people insulting him. I guess there’s a law in Turkey that forbids insulting its president. It seems this law was not strictly enforced until President Erdogan came along; but since his tenure in office, he has charged nearly two thousand Turkish citizens for perceived insults against him.

But he hasn’t stopped with his own citizens. Now this redoubtable president is going after the people of western Europe, who apparently are also picking on him. German comedian Jan Bohmermann recited a satirical poem about this very sensitive Turkish leader, on German TV. This poem suggested that he abuses women, watches child pornography, and even engages in bestiality. Oh my!

The inflamed president of Turkey whined to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, begging her to do something. And she has taken his side and approved the prosecution of Bohmermann.

Apparently, Germany and many other western European countries have antiquated laws on their books which prohibit insulting foreign heads of state. If convicted, Bohmermann could actually serve jail time for his funny little poem.

This seems to have encouraged the Turkish boor, who has now shifted his attention to the Netherlands. He’s now making an uproar over some Dutch cartoons which seem to insult him. And he’s sent an email to Turkish organizations in the Netherlands, asking Turks living there to immediately report to him any insults the Dutch people make against him.

This is not going over well in Europe. Both the Germans and the Dutch are outraged. But can you imagine how this would be perceived if President Erdogan turned his attention to America? This is the land of the First Amendment, baby! And we treasure our First Amendment rights almost as fanatically as our Second Amendment rights.

In the U.S.A., politicians must develop a very thick skin. Any pol who complains about being insulted runs the risk of being laughed down and branded a cry-baby. We Americans have the Constitutional right to insult any leader we want, whether foreign or domestic. And we do.

And the most beautiful thing about our country is that we can insult any political leader without fearing the heavy heel of authority coming down to crush our necks.

We've been insulting our leaders for many years. This cartoon portrays Abe Lincoln as a monkey.

We’ve been insulting our leaders for many years. This cartoon portrays Abe Lincoln as a monkey.

I don’t like to insult people. But I do like having the right to do so, without fear of jail time. Wouldn’t it be nice if citizens of other countries had the same right? So I propose a special national holiday dedicated to telling jokes about world leaders. This will send a message to the world that its possible to have a thriving country, where people can stand up to bullies in positions of authority without fear of reprisal.

And with that in mind, here are some insults I’ve reserved for President Erdogan:

Mr. President, I understand you like to lick the balls of a dog. But when you tire of that, you lick its asshole. You also eat dogshit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I won’t insult your wife, President Erdogan. She’s taken enough beatings from you. Besides, she can’t help that she was born your sister. Your mother is to blame for that. Well, at least she gets half the blame. You must shoulder the other half.

So, President Erdogan, you like to wank off to child pornography, eh? Or do you fuck your dog while watching it? Are you into threesomes? Like, I mean, you with a dog and a pig?

I was stationed in Turkey for over a year, while in the military. This gave me occasion to learn a few of their insults in their native tongue. So if you’ll pardon my phonetic spelling, here are some more insults for President Erdogan, in the language he understands:

Babasan suckola suchdem. (I shit on your father’s beard.)
Sikdirge, eshekolu eshek! (Fuck you, you jackass and son of a jackass!)
Gobble-gobble-gobble! (Now I’m really talking Turkey.)

I feel so much better, getting that out of my system. It’s a sort of lighter-than-air sensation of liberation and power.

It’s nice to be an American.