A question of malignancy

ass loss

One of the most frequently asked question among viewers of Trumpland, the greatest reality show in the history of television, is what motivates the people who defend its star.

It makes sense that sleazebags like Sean Hannity are in it for the money, as are the paid sycophants who debase themselves daily. But why do career politicians, successful business people and even military generals, all of whom already have money and status, sacrifice their reputations and legacies for a malignant, mentally unhinged, mango megalomaniac?

I have no answer except that Donald Trump is the most compelling television villain of all time. And that includes fictional soap operas like Dynasty and Dallas. J.R. couldn’t shine Trump’s loafers when it comes to duplicity and far-reaching malevolence. Forget about bankrupting rival tycoons and debauching socialites, Trump has the stature and capacity to corrupt and degrade on a global level. Not to mention his uncanny ability to metastasize his malignancy to any seemingly respectable person who enters his orbit.

Even given his ‘genius’ for entangling others in his web of nastiness, he couldn’t carry the 24/7 show himself. His backup cast is to die for.

Trump flaunts his Barbie trophy-wife on his arm like an over-the-top diamond-encrusted designer watch; his favored daughter is a callow, conspicuous consumer of her own tacky Made-in-China fashions; his shallow sons, emasculated and greasy, do their father’s dirty dealing on command; his falsetto-voiced, skinny-suited son-in-law, who absorbed the art of murky financial dealings on the knee of his felonious father, exudes the precise amount of limp-wristed ineptitude to make him seem truly sinister.

And that’s just the immediate family, all of whom might be indicted in future episodes, except perhaps for Melania, who cannot be prosecuted for taking up the oldest profession in the Biblical books.

Trumpland viewers are treated to a congo line of cowardly Republicans who dance to his frenetically crazy tune as if they are monkeys performing for a mad orange organ grinder.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the devout Catholic who weekly demonstrates a miracle to his fellow Church congregants by walking upright to his pew without a spine, has attached himself to a thrice-married philanderer and admitted sexual predator with the devotion of a prepubescent altar boy to the Virgin Mary. Great role model for the teens in the parish Catholic Youth Organization, Paul.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the turtle-like political schemer and ultimate swamp creature, emerges from his jowls intermittently to croak positively about a President he loathes, before retreating into the folds of skin in silent acquiescence as his Republican lawmakers trash patriotic Americans serving in the FBI and intelligence communities.

General Michael Flynn gave up a life of fancy dinners with dicey foreign leaders and all-expense paid travel abroad to throw his three-star respectability into Trump’s collection basket of half-baked buns. He began his association with the Evil Orange Clown by transmogrifying his military bearing into mouth-frothing shouts of ‘Lock Her UP’ and will likely end the relationship behind bars whimpering ‘Let Me Out’.

Sean Spicer, who before meeting Trump had carved out a respectable career as a slightly bent spoke in the GOP propaganda wheel, threw his future job prospects to the winds of political expediency by publicly blowing his boss with the “yours is bigger than his” pronouncement at his first official press conference.

Reince Priebus, the weak-kneed lifelong Republican hack, emerged from the shadowy obscurity of dim GOP backrooms to fizzle out under the relentless glare of the Trump sun, his big boy political pants sagging above the crack of his ass as he shuffled off to search out a book agent.

Steve Bannon, the messy Machiavellian menace behind Trump’s rise to Conman-in-Chief, rose from the White Nationalist bully pulpit that is Breitbart News to a White House desk within slobbering distance of the Oval Office. He put in 18-hour days pulling his political puppet’s strings with a mix of feigned fealty and obsequiousness only to find himself back at Breitbart when he ran afoul of the kids, and is now scanning the job classifieds with Reince, Sean and Michael. Job hunting tips for Sloppy Steve—get a haircut, wash your face, shave and camouflage that overflowing belly with an untucked shirt.

Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, the Evil Elf of Alabama, swallowed his southern pride and took shelter under the nearest toadstool as the boss heaped insult and humiliation upon him for the Russia recusal. He held his low ground to do the important work of harassing ‘bad people’ who smoke pot but eventually forfeited his elfin manhood in entirety by acceding to the boss’s demand to go after the Clintons and find dirt on the director of the FBI. Where does an evil elf go when the kingdom collapses?

Anthony Scaramucci, media pundit, businessman, financier, opportunist and human pinky ring, sold his profitable company to serve a man whose venality he came to idolize only after he won the Presidency. The Mooch swaggered into the media spotlight and unashamedly put his lips to the boss’s ample ass at his first press conference with flattery that went so far beyond the pale that even casual observers were left blushing. It was all for naught as the Mooch found himself muttering profanely at the unemployment agency even before officially undertaking his new White House job.

Secretary of Health Tom Price, the good doctor of the stock market swindle, graduated from allegations of insider trading while serving in the Senate to fraudulent use of government airplanes for personal business during a brief stay in the Cabinet. His political career crash-landed when the boss uttered the words that gave him a woody watching The Apprentice—”You’re fired.”

Sweet talking southern belle Sarah Huckabee Sanders perfected the art of man-flattering and lying with straight-faced innocence, but likely won’t be up for the part of Scarlet in any remake of Gone with the Wind. She doesn’t seem like Rhett Butler’s type.

The one person in Trumpland who may have a future after impeachment is Stephen Miller, the dead-eyed Trump defender whose occasional emergence from his White House lair to do Sunday talk shows, scares the bejesus out of Liberals and even centrist Republicans. Miller might not have much of a future in drafting bills or writing speeches, but he’ll never be out of work as long as Hollywood is making movies with evil Nazi characters.

A shoveler’s guide to the digital galaxy

With the new millennium roiling in its awkward teenage years and the digital world, even in its infancy progressing at a dazzling pace, we are living in interesting times.

I like to tell dinner guests of a certain age that their place in human history is unique and will remain so to infinity. The more modest among them find it hard to accept that they are special. Others express puzzlement.

People born between 1945 and 1965 are the last generation to grow up without computers. For as long as human history is recorded, there will always be the time before computers and the time after computers.

The Last Ones will always hold their place.

It’s been snowing here in the desert, a foot in two days, and as most Canadians know, shovelling snow is a good time for reflection. The technique doesn’t change much whether you’re clearing a sidewalk or a long curving driveway. Push the snow shovel forward until the volume bogs you down, then throw as much as you can comfortably lift to one side or other. Repeat.

The world is changing so fast it seems quaint to reminisce about a time when teenagers were thrilled to get a tinny sounding transistor radio for Christmas that would almost fit in their shirt pocket.

If you had told a teen back in the fifties that in their golden years kids would be carrying their entire music collection in a device smaller than the new transistor; that it would double as a phone and could also take pictures and better video than Dad’s bulky movie camera; that you could ask it arcane sports questions and it would answer in real time; that it would provide detailed maps and directions almost anywhere in the world; well, he would likely have accused you of smoking wacky tobaccy.

Except there was no marijuana in Edmonton in the fifties and early sixties. Not in my circle. We started to hear rumours about such things about 1967. But if you wanted to partake of the herb you had to go to Van, man. Maybe down to the Retinal Circus.

Edmonton was still a small city, perhaps 150,000 people. The bread man delivered to your door and the milk man was a neighbourhood regular. You could pet his horse on the nose or just watch it drop a load on the street in front of your house.

My older brother’s summer job was clop-clopping through the streets of Edmonton in a horse drawn milk wagon, one of the last Edmonton milk men to pull on the reins before horses were phased out in the late sixties.

If my brother wanted to talk to his girlfriend on the family phone he had to stretch the cord into the bathroom and leave the door open a crack. He didn’t have a stereo in his room as a teenager. It wouldn’t fit between our beds and the closet.

My sisters shared the room next door. I think they might have had a shiny, new clock radio that my older sister got for Christmas. I can’t recall for sure though. Their room was off limits for the boys.

My dad was a working man who took on extra jobs so we could afford to buy a small house. They paid $3,000 and eventually sold it for 10. Mom was home every day making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just like June Cleaver, the Beaver’s Mom, but without the fancy dresses.

There was no fast food. Mom made everything from scratch. We had a garden and she did a lot of canning. A lot of Moms did back then. She put the sealed glass jars filled with vegetables under the basement steps where it was dark and cool year-round. It cut the cost of food for a family of six, a smallish number back then. Many of my friends had six or eight brothers and sisters. Always someone to play with.

We got our first TV in that house, a small black and white with rabbit ears on top. It got three channels that shut off after the late night movie. We watched wrestling or hockey on Saturday night and Walt Disney after supper every Sunday. The Ed Sullivan show was the hottest thing on the tube. (TVs had tubes then. Lots of them.) Ed stood with his arms crossed and stiffly introduced his guests in a staccato voice. He was a newspaper man before TV.

We all watched together, with Mom and Dad in the most comfortable chairs and some of us lying on the floor. We decided what to watch by consensus and there wasn’t much arguing because the CBC shows were mostly lame. Tug Boat Annie. Father Knows Best. Mike Hammer. Only three channels and something for everyone.

Push snow until shovel bogs. Toss left or right. Repeat.

I started in journalism in the early eighties at a far-flung outpost of the then powerful Thomson Newspaper chain, The Kamloops Daily Sentinel. We typed stories on sheets of cheap pink paper using 30-year-old Remington typewriters with worn keys, cigarettes dangling from our lips, overflowing ashtrays perched precariously on stacks of paper beneath clouds of smoke.

Good times.

Reporters did most of our fact gathering by phone, scribbling in notepads with a free hand. If we needed to check out a document at City Hall we had to go there, and if we were lucky, somebody might photo copy it so we wouldn’t have to copy it by hand.

My first week on the job I screwed up on a court document and wrote a story accusing a prominent city lawyer and a sitting provincial judge of breach of trust. On the advice of Thomson’s Toronto lawyers, the paper printed an obsequious front page retraction above the masthead, hoping to mitigate any financial damage. The headline, in 72 point bold face usually reserved for the outbreak of war, read, simply: “Oops… we goofed.” It was rumoured to be the largest retraction printed to date in a Canadian daily newspaper.

After an investigation that involved higher ups in far away corporate headquarters, a copy editor was deemed most responsible and demoted. Having nowhere lower to go except out the door, I was left to slink around the courthouse in shame on future assignments.

I was working in Vancouver in time to get a media pass to Expo 86, where technological marvels of the world were on display. Newspapers were profitable in those days, with no hint of the gloom and doom that would settle on the industry as the Millennium came to an end.

The paper I worked for was expanding, replacing its typesetting machine with clunky computers connected by complex wiring taped to the rug by technicians with tool belts.

I was in my mid-thirties by then, and already technically challenged. To keep up, I bought a home computer for two month’s pay and for the next several weeks poured through how-to books trying to master the intricacies of DOS. That first computer weighed 25 pounds and had the power and memory of an I-pod Shuffle. It functioned as a typewriter with floppy disks for information transfer. A year or so after I bought it I couldn’t give it away as a boat anchor.

Keeping up with the latest technology, the company bought a Fax machine, which saved reporters a lot of shoe leather. No more trips to City Hall, only short walks to the Fax, which spewed out a small forest of press releases 24/7. What a great invention, except when you phoned a Fax number by mistake and got a loud gronking noise instead of hello.

The first cell phones were big and heavy. You needed a holster to cart one around. One day a slick political operative came to the office to do an interview. I was impressed when he pulled a small flat object from his shirt pocket and flipped it open to take a call. I wanted a flip phone but the company hadn’t caught up yet and I couldn’t afford one on my own.

Oh, the times they were certainly changing.

When I retired in 2009 the Fax was a historical curiosity. Photographers didn’t use film anymore and I didn’t have to size actual pictures for reproduction in print. All journalists carried cell phones and lap top computers that provided instant access to the world. Like the Eagles Song, ‘everything all the time.’

Push snow shovel. Lift and throw. Repeat.

The first year of Donald Trump’s Presidency is relegated to its place in history. The year when Reality TV crossed over to politics and brought us into a new universe of alternative facts.

A year when lies from the leader of the Free World became the norm and sexual assaulters were outed by the score.

A year of Breitbart and Fake News.

A year in which sleazy media opportunists like Sean Hannity and spineless Republican politicians denigrated American patriots like Robert Mueller, James Comey and the dedicated men and women who work at the FBI and in U.S. intelligence.

A worrying year for all nations who stand by the principle of truth and the rule of law.

A year of outstanding journalism from mainstays like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

A year of substantive online reporting from new media like Politico and the Daily Beast.

A year of record-breaking mass murder in a divided country upon which the stability of the world hinges.

A year of ominous signs of climate change. The winds blew hard and the fires burned hot in 2017.

A year the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord.

The Last Ones are the only living connection to the pre-computer world. Even though our memories are distorted by the lens of nostalgia we alone know firsthand about life in simpler times. I cannot say whether the world is better or worse for the technological achievements I have seen in my life. I know it is faster, smaller, better informed, immensely more complicated and stressful in the extreme.

I can’t help wondering if the digital age will end well. for humanity.

Push snow shovel. Lift and throw. Repeat.

UnChristians debase faith


Judge Roy Moore’s run for the Alabama senate seat provided the state’s Christian community a golden opportunity to live the tenets of the faith. The Christian conman Moore gave them a chance to show their children that those who use the Lord Jesus Christ to further political goals or as a rationale for misdeeds must be held to account.

They failed themselves and their children while righteous Alabamans banished the mall-cruising teen predator into history’s political swamp, there to croak piously about the forces of evil who conspired to put him in the muck and slime where he belongs.

Alabama’s Evangelical Christians supported a deeply troubled man because they prefer his far right agenda to that of any Liberal Democrat, no matter how virtuous and God-fearing. They tarnished the faith they blindly defend and compromised its core values.

I say this with considerable insight into the devoutly religious mind. I was born into a faith-based family. My pro-life parents fervently believed in the teachings of their Church. We prayed on bended knee at home on important dates in the religious calendar and attended church together on Sunday. I went to religious schools from elementary through high school, receiving instruction from Church-vetted teachers throughout.

One ideology was drummed in from Grade One on–‘ours was the one and only true religion.’

I believed everything I was told. As fervently as my parents. Many guilt-ridden nights were passed in terror-filled trepidation at the prospect of burning in hell for eternity because of a childhood transgression against one of the Ten Commandments. I prayed for forgiveness and vowed to do better but couldn’t quite suppress a sliver of thought that God was harsh and vindictive. Even to a child, eternity in hellfire seemed overkill for taking His name in vain or thinking impure thoughts.

Bigger cracks in my faith emerged in my teens. I began to question the virtue of the Christian teachers, both laymen and those who wore the cloth, as they revealed themselves through the familiarity of daily contact to be no better and sometimes worse than non-believers I knew outside the Church. Despite early indoctrination into the “true” Christian faith, the kids I went to school with often came up short in character comparisons to neighbourhood friends who went to public schools.

It became inescapably clear that my religion had no monopoly on righteousness.

Still, my parents provided a powerful example of Christianity in their daily lives. My Dad tithed to the Church every week even when we had to dig in the couch for change to come up with money for a loaf of bread for the family. He worked three jobs but still found time for charitable work. My mom kept her nightly home vigil with muted complaint when he went to meetings and volunteered at Church events that raised money for families even poorer than our own.

Mom and Dad did not look down upon those who worshipped in other faiths, be they Muslim or Buddhist or Jew. Their God would never denigrate a person of another belief, unless that person distorted and twisted the teachings into hot-air blasts of hate.

Mom and Dad did not look down on First Nations people, as so many other faith-based friends, school mates and relatives did at the time. They were colour-blind when it came to people of good character, believing integrity shined as brightly on a black, yellow, red or brown face as on white.

Mom and Dad held strong faith-based views on hot-button Christian issues like abortion and homosexuality. The former they viewed as akin to murder and the latter as an abomination and a sin. But they did not proselytize and I never heard them speak derogatorily about anyone regarding either issue.

Mom and Dad did not lie. They placed high value on the truth.

During a discussion late in his life, Dad refuted my assertion that five per cent of the population was gay. “How could that be?” he replied with great conviction. “I’ve never met a gay person in all my years of living.”

This kind of delusional thinking is impossible to overcome with logic, as we have seen so often in the era of Donald Trump, but I loved him no less in his wilful ignorance.

When it came to light after his death that one of the grand-kids was gay, Mom put family and right from wrong over blind faith. “It doesn’t matter what the Church says,” she told me. “God knows who’s good or bad. It doesn’t change my opinion even a little bit. He’s a good person and that’s all that counts.”

Dad showed his measure as a Christian man daily throughout his long life but the instance that stands out for me is the time he stood on principal and resigned from his cherished Christian men’s organization.

Like most fellowships devoted to good works it had rituals and ceremonies and lifelong friendships developed among its like-minded members. It is an international organization with community branches and officers who oversee various charitable projects. Dad had served on the executive of his council and volunteered countless hours over the years. His involvement wasn’t selfless. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and valued the friendships he made. To say it was a large part of his life would be understatement.

After decades of service, he came to believe that improprieties occurred in the appointment of a member of the executive of his council. Nothing sordid or financial. Instead the conflict centred on the passing over of deserving men for a position on the executive in favour of a man he deemed to be a lesser candidate with more Church clout. Although not personally involved in the outcome, he believed in his heart it wasn’t right.

My Dad left school in Grade 11 to work on the family farm. He was not a man of letters and he turned to his sons for assistance in drafting a painful letter of resignation from the organization he so loved.

It didn’t matter to my brother and I whether he was right or wrong in the executive dust-up. He took the hard way and followed his conscience when it would have been easier to go along, setting an example for his sons that would resonate long after he left this life.

Those Christians who follow false prophets in pursuit of political goals, like fanatics in all religions, debase the faith they hold so dear and do a disservice to true Christians like my Mom and Dad who knew the difference between right and wrong.


Putin on the Ritz


The Conman-in-Chief’s latest encounter with Vladimir Putin makes it clear to all but the most obtuse observer that the bloviating blowhard is scared spit-less of the Russian gangster.

Gathered with world leaders for a photo op dressed in a blue silk smock hanging to mid-thigh that violently clashed with his orangeness, looking like an aging overweight hairstylist with a fondness for excessive hair product, Trump turned to the similarly attired little murderous macho man, flashed his best salesman smile and extended a tiny hand.

The resulting grasp exhibited none of the prolonged awkwardness shown with previous world leaders. No grip and yank to show dominance. Just a brief limp-wristed clasp to set the tone for what was to come.

With all things Russian dominating the domestic political stage, the tough-talking, trumpet blaster did not deem it expedient to have a mano-a-mano sit-down with the thug his intelligence agencies say interfered with America’s most sacred democratic institution.

Instead he asked Vlad politely during a brief aside whether the ‘rumours’ he was hearing about election interference were true.

“Nyet,” replied Vlad, apparently showing some annoyance at the trumpet-blaster’s temerity. “Is plot by political foes to ruin great relationship.”

Unspoken, except perhaps by an imperceptible digging in of Vlad’s blood-stained fingernails into the flesh of a tiny hand, or maybe the subtle twitch of a killer’s eye, was the pee tape and money laundering documentation Vlad has squirreled away in the Kremlin for just the right moment.

How else to explain Trump’s take-away from their encounter.

“I asked him again about election interference and he said no. How many times can you ask someone.”

And with that, the commander of the greatest military force the world has ever known, a man who thrives on his perceived toughness, who feigns patriotism for political expediency, who pulls no punches when dealing with adversaries like Rosie O’Donnell, Nordstrom’s, grieving Gold Star families, female network anchors, NFL players and even his own Republican colleagues, one of whom has terminal brain cancer, throws his entire intelligence community under the military bus.

“I believe him,” he said meekly.

After all, why would Vlad lie about something like that. Especially to his new best bro.

For all his shallowness, intellectual deficiency, pettiness and plain out ignorance, no one can deny the Apricot-tinted Conman’s cunning and incredible survival instincts.

Ask yourself why a man facing the pressure of a massive investigation into all things Russia would publicly take the word of his country’s number one enemy, a Russian tyrant who murders his political enemies, over the documented findings of Americans who risk their lives gathering the information in service of their country.

It’s a head-scratcher.

My guess is, money laundering and other financial crimes aside, it dates back to the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas in 2013. According to an account pop-singing Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov gave to a Russian news outlet, as reported in Politico, he met Trump in the lobby of his Las Vegas hotel and developed an instant camaraderie.

“He took me around the shoulder, gave a thumb’s up, saying ‘Everything is cool!’” Agalarov remembered of the Trump Hotel meeting. Later, as the two watched the pageant, Trump regaled Agalarov with his philosophy on prenuptial agreements and gossiped about VIPs in the audience, per the Russian’s account.

In light of the Access Hollywood tape, who could doubt that with the country’s most beautiful women parading on stage, that the conversation with the Russian pop star turned to “boy talk.”

Investigators looking into the existence of the pee tape video are looking in the wrong place. The encounter may not have taken place in Russia, where Trump’s spidey senses would have been on full alert, but instead in a penthouse in the desert, where Trump would have felt safe getting a golden shower. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except when Russian spies are involved.

That explains the testimony to Congress of Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller, who recently told U.S. lawmakers that someone in the Agalarov entourage offered to send five women to Trump’s room during a trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. Schiller says he declined the offer on Trump’s behalf.

Agalarov likely knew the Old Orange Groper had a predilection for doing naughty things with beautiful women from the Viagra-fueled partying they did in Vegas. Like a good host, he wanted to return the favour, Moscow-style, with secret cameras rolling.

From the loyal Schiller’s testimony under oath, we don’t know whether Trump dropped his guard and succumbed to his libidinal yearnings in a far away land. The long-time bodyguard said Trump laughed when he told him about the offer. He said he stood at Trump’s door for several moments but could not testify as to what might have occurred after he left.

Given Trump’s taped admission that he can’t stop himself from kissing women, welcome or not, and his affinity for grabbing them by the pussy, it doesn’t take James Bond to figure out what the Russians might have on the Old Orange Groper.








Locked & Loaded

bloody gun

The next time you’re at a large concert or sporting event, say something with an audience of about 30,000, look around at the crowd and imagine each man, woman and child with a bullet hole in their forehead. That’s how many Americans die every year from gun violence, and that’s not counting the injured.

For people who never tire of telling us they live in the greatest country in the world, shooting each other is an everyday thing.

According to the non-profit monitoring group Gun Violence Archive, in the first year of the Mango Megalomaniac’s debasement of America’s highest office there have been 378 mass shootings, defined as four or more people shot at the same general location and time. This is down from 483 in 2016. Of course, the year isn’t over.

Despite these startling statistics the Conman-in-Chief has Americans convinced that terrorism is the greatest threat facing the country. This is an alternative fact not born out by the numbers.

An exhaustive study by Alex Norasteh of the Cato Institute concluded that from post 9/11 to 2015 there have been 24 Americans killed by foreign-born terrorists. Norasteh went further, crunching numbers from 1975 to 2015. He concluded during that 40-year span that 1.13 billion foreigners entered the U.S. legally and illegally and more than 28 million foreigners entered the country for each terrorist who killed somebody in a terrorist attack, including the thousands who died on 9/11.

Clearly, building a wall and banning visitors from Muslim countries won’t keep Americans safe. Gun-loving good old boys are murdering people with frightening competence, using high-powered weapons capable of killing dozens of their fellow citizens in mere minutes.

The Conman-in-Chief, pandering to his well-armed base of deplorables, signed an executive order in February making it easier for people with mental health issues to obtain firearms. That didn’t stop him from saying the latest outrage in a Texas church wasn’t about guns. It’s a mental health issue, he said, without a hint of shame.

That’s like saying smoking cigarettes is an inhaling issue. Leave them in the pack and they won’t harm your health.

The U.S. could build a 50-foot wall around its entire perimeter and its citizens would not be safe in any aspect of their consumer-driven lives because they have to live with each other in a country suffering from mass psychosis.

Not at elementary school:

Dec. 14, 2012, Newton, Connecticut: Twenty children and six teachers are mowed down at Sandy Hook Elementary with a semiautomatic weapon.

Not at high school:

April 20, 1999, Littleton, Colorado: Twelve students at Columbine High School are killed and 21 injured by two students armed with bombs, guns they borrowed from their parents and knives.

Not at university:

April 16, 2007, Blacksburg, Virginia: A disgruntled senior at Virginia Tech kills 32 people and wounds 17 others before killing himself.

Not on the job:

Workplace killings are too frequent to list them all but it suffices to say the phrase ‘going postal’ originated in the U.S., where making a living can be hazardous, whether you work in a beer warehouse or a financial institution.

Aug. 3, 2010, Manchester, Connecticut: A former employee shoots eight people to death at Hartford Distributors before turning the gun on himself.

July 29, 1999, Atlanta, Georgia: A failed day trader killed his wife and two children with a hammer before heading to his former firms, Momentum Securities and All-Tech Investment Group, with evil in his heart. The final toll—12 dead, 13 injured.

Not while taking in a movie:

July 20, 2012, Aurora, Colorado: A Batman fan dressed as The Joker shoots 82 moviegoers, killing 12 and injuring 70 during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

Not while eating dinner out:

Oct. 16, 1991, Killeen, Texas. A 35-year-old man crashed his pickup into Luby’s Cafeteria. He shot and killed 23 people before killing himself. Twenty-seven others were wounded. A former roommate said he hated blacks, Hispanics and gays, and thought women were snakes.

Not while dancing to Latin music:

June 12, 2016, Orlando, Florida: A sexually conflicted security guard killed 49 people and wounded 58 others inside Pulse, a gay nightclub hosting Latin Night. He was shot and killed by police after a three-hour standoff.

Not while listening to country music:

Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada: A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. The man fired hundreds of rounds with a semi-automatic rifle he legally converted to an automatic weapon, firing from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Not while barbecuing at home with friends and watching football:

Sept. 19, 2017, Plano, Texas: An estranged husband killed eight people on his wedding anniversary while they were watching The Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.

Not even while praying at church on Sunday morning:

Nov. 5, 2017, Sutherland, Texas: A mentally ill man who had been drummed out of the military after spending a year in the brig for beating his wife and stepson used a legally acquired semi-automatic rifle to kill 26 people and wound 20 more at First Baptist Church. He was shot by a neighbour who grabbed his own assault rifle and rushed to the scene.

The gun carnage escalates with new records being set yearly while the gun lobby bribes and extorts Washington lawmakers who piously wave the Second Amendment, written in the 1700s by men who wanted to arm slave-owning militias with flintlock muskets against the threat of an uprising by the enslaved.

Americans might want to pause for a moment before allowing their government to build walls and seal their borders. Some of them may want to get out someday.

What a great country.

Survivor – The White House Edition


Dear Trump voters…

The rational among you may have noticed your ‘businessman’ President has made a few suspect hires. The Mango Megalomaniac’s first 200 days in the Oval Office would have got him fired from The Apprentice for appalling judgement, as illustrated by a multitude of the shortest political tenures in U.S. history.

The record setting string began with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the shortest serving NSA ever, fired after less than a month for lying to the Vice President about his contact with the Russians.

A record that will go down in history steeped in Turkish coffee, slathered in Russian salad dressing and surrounded by the stale pizza crusts left over from conspiracy theories propagated by his son.

Then came Press Secretary Sean Spicer, fired after six months for not lying convincingly enough for the President. And because he wore ill-fitting suits, had a sparser comb-over than the boss and exhibited a limited command of English.

Spicey’s  record for ruining a reputation began with his emphatic and pictorially disprovable lie about the inaugural crowd during his first five minutes on the job.

The man the President hired to take Spicer’s place came to work with fire in his eye vowing to quell White House dissension through a scorched earth policy. Instead, Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci, who arrived on the press briefing scene blowing kisses and exuding an overabundance of love for the President, scorched the air waves in a profane tirade and was perp-walked off the White House grounds, his sorry ass singed and fired after 10 days. He had not yet officially assumed his duties.

The man who personified a human pinky ring holds a record for bad Presidential judgement that may never be broken,

Next came your President’s pick for the critically important post of White House Chief of Staff. The ineffectual and weak-kneed Reince Priebus, a devout Christian who declared at a banana republic cabinet ‘love-in’ that serving Trump was a blessing, was dumped like an odorous expulsion from the Narcissist-in-Chief’s dimpled fat ass.

A record in stinking up a political blessing that makes the Washington swamp smell sweet in comparison.

The latest on the list, the White House’s first political Advisor on White Supremacy, Steve Bannon, was banished back to bloviating for Brietbart, voice of the Alt Right, where he vows to wage war against anyone who tries to deflect the Infant-in-Chief from Bannon’s stated mission of figuratively blowing up the country’s institutions.

This is a record with an ominous asterisk, since the position of Advisor on White Supremacy is unique to this administration.

Consider this, denizens of Trumpland, your Reality TV hero also set a real-life firing record by becoming the first President in U.S. history to fire an FBI director who was investigating his administration. Unlike his flinty-eyed TV alter ego who cut his minions loose by staring them down across the table in a corporate boardroom, your Chicken-In-Chief sent an underling to the director’s office with a mealy-mouthed letter when he was out of town. The FBI director with a long record of public service learned about the firing on CNN.

It is understandable that those of you who first fell under the Trumpeter-in-Chief’s spell during his Reality TV days might not be overly concerned by the spate of firings. After all, most of you tuned in each week, side by each on the couch, or on matching recliners, with quivering thighs or the sexual tingling of an oncoming woody, in anticipation of hearing your hero utter his signature phrase.

If only life in America could be that great again.

The trouble is your choice to lead isn’t content with firing people. He wants to torture them too. Good people like Jeff Sessions. Your Disloyalist-in-Chief denigrated then publicly humiliated his personal pick for the highest law office in the land, hoping to goad him into resigning so he could then arrange to fire the special prosecutor investigating him for obstruction of justice and other crimes and misdemeanors.

Remember, Jeff is your guy, the first senator to endorse the man you embraced as your Commander-in-Chief. Sessions is cracking down on Dreamers and the immigrant families who are taking your jobs in the cabbage patch. He wants to ban Muslims and stop the funding to sanctuary cities. He may look like an Evil Elf but he’s claims to be a Christian who wants to expand your country’s world-leading prison industry by locking up more Americans for longer terms. He knows in his heart that people who smoke pot are bad. He stands for confederate statues and prosecuting bad people on both sides of the neo-Nazi, White Supremacy, KKK melees.

If Trump is gunning for Jeff, none of you are safe.

The Rot Within

american dream

“Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.” (“Every nation has the government it deserves.”) –Joseph de Maistre, 1811.

Lawyer and philosopher Joseph de Maistre, a loyal subject of the King of Sardinia, was advocating for hereditary monarchy when he coined the phrase that became popular in the 20th century in a slightly altered version: “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”

De Maistre, appalled by the violence and disorder that followed the French Revolution of 1789, favoured governments founded on a Christian constitution. As a Catholic and proponent of hierarchical authority, he supported the papacy’s hold on European monarchs.

However misguided his intention may appear through the lens of history, his words were never truer than in America in the time of the Mango Megalomaniac.

Out of a population in excess of 300 million, Americans chose as their Commander-in-Chief a pathological liar, a shallow, ignorant, thin-skinned bully, a con man who worships money above all else, a self-serving tax evader who avoided military service when his country called, a misogynist bigot, a mentally ill unstable opportunist. And they did so with their eyes wide open.

Donald Trump’s shortcomings have been on public display for five decades. His philandering, his bankruptcies, his stiffing of contractors and working people, his tacky taste and shallowness, his lying and conning (remember his election campaign vow to never settle the lawsuits over his bogus “university” scam), all played out in the media spotlight. He admitted to grabbing women by the pussy and called Mexicans rapists. He denigrated an American war hero for getting captured in the conflict he so deftly avoided and railed against a Gold Star family whose son gave his life for the country. He said it was smart not to pay taxes and called the political system that would eventually elect him rigged.

Knowing all this, Americans elected him as their President.

This should not have come as a surprise to the rest of the world.

The historical facts run contrary to the ‘alternative’ facts Americans ballyhoo while laying claim to being the greatest country in the world. America is a war-like nation founded on slavery and genocide. Conflict and violence have been its lifeblood, as evidenced by the ubiquitous war memorials in its capital. It maintains its standing in the world through military force.

The U.S. perceives its national interests extending into every corner of the globe. It is a country that sees enemies everywhere. The long list of direct armed conflict, meddling and fighting by proxy includes Britain, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Chile, Libya, China, Korea, the Soviet Union, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and even tiny Grenada, among many others.

When deemed to be in its national interests the U.S. government has supported despots like Sadam Hussein and the Shaw of Iran, supplied arms to mujahedeen fighters like Osama bin Laden and helped in the overthrow of democratically elected leaders like Chile’s Salvador Allende and Patrice Lumumba, the first elected Congolese Prime Minister, who was murdered with U.S. approval.

To deflect from investigations that could implode his Presidency, the beleaguered Bloviator-in-Chief ‘wags the dog’ by threatening to wage nuclear war against America’s old nemesis and newest arch enemy, North Korea, for wanting to arm itself against what it perceives as an imminent American threat.

Rest easy. Unprovoked, North Korea won’t be insuring its certain destruction by launching nuclear-armed missiles at the United States or its allies.

Like the Romans and other empires before them, what Americans fail to grasp is that the real enemy is the rot within. Military power aside, the U.S. is a country that’s world standing has peaked. It has been spiralling downward for decades while the top 10 percent get richer and the bottom 90 percent get disillusioned and increasingly bitter.

This so-called bastion of freedom imprisons more of its citizens than any other country, exceeding second place China by more than half a million inmates even though that country has a billion more people. Tens of thousands of Americans are shooting themselves or each other every year. Mass shootings are so common the national news media only focus on exceptional cases involving children, terrorism or racial motivation. Terrified police officers shoot motorists for reaching for a driver’s licence. An estimated 150 Americans overdose on opioid drugs every day.

American companies, with the First Family at the forefront, set up shop outside the country to increase profits on the backs of cheap foreign labour while companies that can’t pick up and move import foreign workers to do jobs they say Americans are too proud, lazy or soft to do.

More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. It is the only developed country that does not offer its citizens health care as a right. The United States is one of only three countries worldwide to opt out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Donald Trump has been a long time coming. He is made in America.


The clown uses dead of London town


It is impossible to overstate the ignorance of the Mango Megalomaniac Americans have selected as their leader out of a population in excess of 330 million.

The man you have unleashed on the world is a lout, a liar, a boor, an ignoramus, a conman, an idiot, a braggart, a bully and a world class narcissist. He is vulgar, shallow, self-centred, selfish, gauche, materialistic, an opportunist and a misogynist accused of multiple sexual predations.

Only collectively can words capture the breadth of Donald Trump’s shortcomings as a human being and, more importantly, as a leader. These are not aspersions cast willy nilly by ideological enemies but instead sound assessments drawn from the body of a life lived in the public spotlight–the lies, the cons, the bragging and bullying, vulgarity and ostentation, the philandering, taped sex talk and accusations of sexual assault are part of the public record.

Trump voter or not, as an American citizen you allowed him to become President on your watch and bear responsibility for the havoc he wreaks.

In the aftermath of the latest terror attack on his nation’s oldest ally the orange-gooped old groper saw an opportunity to further his political agenda by using the dead and injured to his advantage. He immediately tweeted that the attack confirmed the righteousness of his ill-advised travel ban, not knowing yet if the terrorists came from out of country, and notwithstanding recent attacks in Britain and Europe have been perpetrated by citizens and permanent residents who would not have been affected by a travel ban.

It’s not the first time he has misused innocents. Remember the Syrian epiphany. The one that came at a hot point in Trump’s seemingly endless domestic political turmoil. The world class narcissist who said nothing when his BFF Vlad was killing kids in Aleppo with flesh-ripping bombs was suddenly so moved by images of gassed children he fired off millions worth of missiles on an empty airfield after warning his BFF about the incoming fireworks.

Fifty million dollars and a few dead guys in Syria bought him a day or two of adulation from his warmongering base and praise from spineless politicians on both sides of the swamp. Mission accomplished. Attention momentarily deflected from the shit storm at home.

Trump couldn’t stop at using the victims of the latest London attack as political props. He followed up by tweeting a cheap shot at London’s Muslim mayor, distorting and misinterpreting comments the mayor made attempting to assure Londoners and visitors to stay calm despite the increased police presence on the streets. Within hours the Pulitzer Prize winning internet site Politifact deemed Trump’s tweet about the mayor to be false. The site speculated that he got his information from watching Fox coverage of the mayor’s comment.

Can there be any doubt in the minds of rational people that Trump is pacing the empty rooms of the White House at night in his gold-trimmed bathrobe hoping in his evil heart for a foreign terrorist attack on American soil so he can point his tiny finger accusingly at the judges who thwarted his unconstitutional executive order?

This is a man who embarrassed his country and put the future of the planet at risk to fulfill an ill-informed promise he made to the science-challenged mouth-breathers who put him in office. The same ones he bragged would stick by him if he shot someone on Fifth Ave.

Reasonable Americans, turn off the tube, get off your couches and take to the streets. Overwhelm the Washington swamp dogs with your numbers. You must take your country back from this madman who believes global warming is an evil plot cooked up by the rest of the world to take advantage of the United States.


Open letter to Trump voters

Dear deplorables, crusty doughnuts and half-baked buns;

Are you tired of winning yet?

Harken back to the good old days of 2016, when the man you selected as your leader and role model for the nation’s youth, was caught bragging about grabbing pussy (boy talk, as wife Melania explained). Back then he knew more about fighting terror than the generals and was smarter than the intelligence community and everyone else on all other matters and was the only person who could solve the nation’s many problems.

He told you so and you took him at his word.

Double-dealing Donald was your saviour back in the day, someone who would pull the plug on the Washington swamp and get all those slimy politicians slithering in a political conga line with a magical wave of his tiny hands. A man who would make you feel great again, bring you back to the glory days of your grand delusions.

You knew it was true because he was a rich guy you’d watched pretend to fire people on television. You saw his name on buildings and on the airplane that took him to rallies with his trophy wife and Miami Vice sons Eric and Don Jr. and beautiful daughter Ivanka. You laughed with the naughty old orange philanderer when you heard he agreed with shock jock Howard Stern’s assessment of his daughter as “a  piece of ass.”

That happened before he found God, the Christians among you rationalized.

And as a bonus voters got his genius son-in-law Jared Kushner, someone who would overcome the Kushner family criminal stigma by brokering peace in the Middle East while simultaneously revamping the U.S. government and conducting diplomacy with Mexico, Canada and China. All while wearing a thousand dollar skinny suit with no cape attached.

What a great family, you said to yourselves, so accomplished at making money and avoiding taxes. Great kids with their collective eyes on the bottom line. You couldn’t wait for them to get into the White House and apply the skills they learned shilling for Daddy while your kids were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. You assumed the boys must have learned a lot about business while conning shady developers into buying the family name at inflated prices. Many of you purchased Ivanka’s tacky Chinese sweat shop fashion accessories to wear to the Make America Great Again rallies.

You watched the great man walking imperiously down the steps of his personal airplane, his tie hanging below his crotch like a red codpiece, trophy wife in her proper position behind, and listened rapturously on the tarmac imagining he would make your sad lives more gilt-edged, empty and vacuous, just like his.

It was basically the same pitch he gave to the suckers who attended his bogus university: “Trust me and you can have what I’ve got.” Of course, that was before he settled the law suit,  the one being unfairly overseen by a biased Mexican judge, and gave the swindled students their money back.

There will be no refunds for Trump voters. Only a bad case of buyer’s remorse and a sick feeling that will be deemed a pre-existing condition and won’t be covered by your health insurance. That is if you are able to get health insurance.

Health care seemed easy before the election. “It will be so great, and cheaper, too,” said your apricot-flavoured conman, neglecting to mention the fine print that says it will only be cheaper if you and your family don’t get sick. But cheer up, the health bill is mired in the undrained political swamp that is the U.S. Senate and might not make it back to the Congressional slough before the impeachment.

Who knew health care could be so complicated?

Remember when the honest-talking billionaire told you it would be a disaster to elect Crooked Hillary and have the office of the President mired in an FBI investigation over improper use of e-mails. And how his trusted campaign confidant and future National Security Advisor Michael Flynn led you all in a rousing chorus of Lock Her Up.

Such good fun in 2016. Looking back, the e-mail scandal seems so quaint and innocent as your conman’s Presidency, minus the disgraced Flynn, reels under four separate investigations, including the Senate, Congress, the FBI and a special prosecutor looking for crimes like treason, perjury and obstruction of justice.

Then there’s the wall. Remember what great fun it was to shout “Build the Wall” with all your fellow bigots at those great rallies. And to chant “Mexico!” with hatred in your heart when the Mango Megalomaniac pursed his pussy lips and asked who was going to pay for it. Some of you may remember getting a woody.

Turns out you’re going to be paying for pricey repairs to an ugly fence because those stingy Republicans won’t give their own President billions of taxpayer dollars for a border solution more suited to medieval China than the 21st Century. Guess it was hard to read that fine print all slathered up under the brims of your Trump ball caps with the little guy below imitating a banana in your pocket.

Fighting domestic terrorism was easy, too, way back on the campaign trail. All your conman had to do was ban all those pesky Muslims from coming into the country with a flourish of his Super Souvenir Executive Order Trump Pen, available after the impeachment for $19.99 on the Shopping Network. What a great gift for Uncle Billy Bob’s Klan induction anniversary party. Except, this time the fine print was written in the U.S. Constitution, a wordy document none of you could be expected to have read but one the country’s “so-called judges” hold dear.

Turns out the orange tax-avoider you chose to bring fiscal responsibility to government is anything but stingy with your money when it comes to playing golf and promoting his various properties. It’s costing you more than a million dollars a round for Trump to play his courses with other rich guys. Try not to dwell on it when you buy discount golf balls at Walmart.

Then there’s the huge expense of protecting the slicked-back sons as they traipse around the world at Daddy’s behest. Not to mention the three million a month you’re paying because your hero’s trophy wife doesn’t want to share a town, let alone a roof and bedroom, with a fat-assed senior whose greasy hair hangs down to his shoulder on one side in the morning.

Tax cuts and infrastructure spending? Senior Republicans are already calling the White House’s proposed budget dead on arrival and the country is headed for a fiscal crisis in September when the temporary spending extension runs out.

Turns out those Muslims aren’t so bad if they stay in their own countries. Salesman Donnie sold the Saudis a lot of heavy duty weapons on his first foreign trip, even though a lot of Saudi money has been funnelled to terrorists and Saudis were front and centre in the 9/11 attack. Minor concerns to the man who paid someone to write The Art of the Deal. After the apricot-arsehole’s recent roadie, you have to worry about staying friendly with the NATO allies he pissed off with his boorish behaviour in Brussels.

Not to worry, he’s already got new allies in Syria and Nicaragua, the only two countries on the entire planet not to sign the Paris Accord. Unfortunately, the rest of the world’s leaders are collectively shaking their heads in disbelief at your man playing politics by putting an ill-advised campaign promise ahead of the future of the world’s children. All you coal miners out there can assure your kids they might get a shot at black lung disease if they drop out of school before the planet burns up..

But you can take some pride in the accomplishments in the first four months of your man Donald’s reign. He sent his lap dog Mike Pence down to the Senate to ensure the appointment of a supreme court judge. Course, a monkey could have got his pick through a Senate dominated by tree swingers.

But even Trump’s biggest critics have to admit it takes a world class ignoramus to piss off the Pope.

I ask again, America, are you tired of winning yet?

McMaster Dances Mango Tango


Perhaps the most frequently asked question by rational viewers of Trumpland, the sleaziest Reality TV show in the genre’s sordid history, is why do they do it.

Why do seemingly normal people demean themselves in defense of an ignorant, bullying braggart? Why do they put their reputations on the line for a shallow conman who has spent his life enriching himself at others’ expense?

Take H.R. McMaster, the latest casualty in a long list of Trump supporters and sycophants who have stepped in front of the camera to take one for the Mango Megalomaniac. A hero of the Gulf War, McMaster, then a captain, lead a tank attack on a numerically superior Republican Guard force destroying the enemy without losing a single tank. He was awarded a Silver Star and rose rapidly through American military ranks, writing a book, Dereliction of Duty, criticizing American military leadership for its role in the Viet Nam War and earning a PhD in American history along the way. In 2014, Time Magazine listed the now Brigadier General as one of the most 100 influential people in the world.

Fast forward to his press appearance in front of the White House after his new boss, while bragging to the Russians in the Oval Office the day after he fired the FBI director investigating him, revealed highly classified information that put the lives of a U.S. ally’s intelligence operatives in jeopardy. Standing before the cameras in a tightly tailored suit unbecoming a man in charge of the nation’s national security, McMaster called the Washington Post story outlining Trump’s gaff categorically false before turning on his heel and marching back into the White House without answering questions.

The next day, no longer able to dispute the veracity of the report, McMaster was back before the cameras ‘walking back’ his previous assertion by saying the story’s intent was wrong.  Using weasel words better suited to a political hack than a respected general, McMaster maintained everything Trump said was “wholly appropriate” to the conversation at hand.

Wholly appropriate?

We later learned, thanks to a patriotic leaker in the intelligence community, that in addition to giving sensitive intelligence to the Russians, Trump told the enemy his real reason for firing the FBI director. He called James Comey, a respected public servant who eschewed a lucrative private law career to faithfully serve his country for more than three decades, a “nut job” and said his firing would take pressure off the investigation into Russian interference, an investigation in which his Oval Office guests were front and center.

This went down as Trump lapdog Mike Pence and other minions were scurrying about making fools of themselves lying to the American people, insisting Comey was fired on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General. Unless Pence was lying, the Russians knew the real reason for the firing before the Vice President of the United States.

Most recently, McMaster was back on television reacting to the Washington Post story that Jared Kushner and McMaster’s disgraced predecessor Michael Flynn had met with Trump’s Oval Office guest, Russian Ambassador and spymaster Sergey Kyslyak, to discuss opening a back channel to the Kremlin that could circumvent American intelligence.

Nothing unusual about this, said McMaster with a straight face, adding that governments routinely try to establish back channels to foreign governments. Trouble is, the secret meeting took place in Trump Tower during the transition, when neither Flynn nor Kushner were part of the American government.

It doesn’t take a PhD to understand that it isn’t business as usual when two subjects of an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election are meeting with Russia’s top spy to arrange communications that will be known only to them. Think about it: Flynn, who Trump fired but continues to promote as a good guy, lost his job for lying to the Vice President about his communications with the Russians. Kushner only admitted to the meeting after being outed by the press. McMaster would have us believe we’re supposed to trust these guys.

Learned war hero General McMaster, you are sinking into the orange goop dripping from Trump’s sweating face, joining good Catholic Sean Spicer, gurgling in the muck of Trump’s toxic swamp.

But perhaps more troubling for America’s future than power hungry bootlickers doing a morally bankrupt narcissist’s dirty work to the detriment of their country, is the inescapable fact that 37 per cent of Americans still believe Trump is doing a good job.

How can this be, sensible people the world over ask themselves as they watch the hypocrite who famously evaded the draft during the Viet Nam war, not out of concience but to pursue money, lay wreaths and spout clichés during Memorial Day ceremonies? The answer is as uncomplicated as the head space of the hundreds of people who willingly went to their deaths in the service of another megalomaniac in Jonestown. Tens of millions of Trump supporters are drinking the Kool-Aid in great suicidal gulps, which doesn’t auger well for the world’s oldest democracy.