Friday, September 4, 2015

The 2016 Election Conspiracy Project Continues

I'm working on a strange fiction project to follow the 2016 election. I've decided that it will be a weirder and richer experience for the readers if I write a collection of interrelated short stories instead of a single novel. The stories will all take place in the same world - a conspiracy theory shadow of what you're seeing on your screen - and characters will appear and reappear. The structure is inspired by Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, and it's ideal for adapting to the insanity that will engulf this country over the next year.

I will announce more tomorrow - I have a particularly delicious idea to chase after - and you should see the next installment soon after the Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Kim Davis Rapture Countdown

As you know, Pat Robertson's people say the world is going to end on September 23. This is going to shake things up at one county clerk's office in Kentucky. I made this to help you keep track of how much time we have left with her.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pat Robertson's Latest Apocalypse Just Got Personal For Me

Evidently the world will end on September 23.

Someone wrote in to Pat Robertson's show with this prediction, and Pat said that the Big Clock is set at "11:59," adding "I do think the earth is hurtling toward some final conclusion. We all feel that."

My birthday is September 24.

I'm a stay at home dad, and it's been a long, long summer with my children - you feel me? I love them, but I need some time alone. I was going to have red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and I'm only on the second season of Game of Thrones. I haven't even read the books, and my sister bought me the first this past Christmas. My day is wide open, but now Pat, you've come barging in bringing that darkness of yours.

Oh yeah, and my anniversary is on the 25th. My wife and I planned to have dinner somewhere dark and cozy and hold hands across a table. But instead, she's got to get raptured along with the kids, while I stay back here and fight off the minions of the Beast and the False Prophet. Do you realize how mad my wife is going to be when she realizes I get to go to hell, and she's going to be stuck with the childcare for eternity?

Thanks, Pat. Thanks a lot. Also, the youngest turns five a few days after. Not that you and your freaks care, but he wanted a pirate cake. Scratch that one off, I guess.

I've noticed a lot of you wingers have been ramping up the end times chatter. Glenn Beck was on the tube the other day saying that God was going to curse us for making a nuclear deal with the Iranians. I can't even keep track of how many people told us we are all going to die over the new gay marriage ruling. And even with this election coming, it's clear that a large chunk of the right is supporting Trump, because they think he's going to wreck the whole system. Everything is poisoned, our doom is nigh, and the best thing to do is burn it all down. You people are a real goddamned summer picnic, you know that?

Here's an idea: Maybe the world actually won't end anytime soon. Maybe we're going to have to face our problems - we do have many - and maybe we're going to have to fix the things that need fixing. Maybe we're stuck here, and life just keeps going on. And sometimes it feels like the world's ending, but that's just because we're all getting older, and less relevant, and the culture moves away from us. Which is sad, yes. I will be 45, and I understand this. But it's always been a world worth fighting for, and there are still the cupcakes and hand-holding I talked about.

I do know this: Acting like you do makes you look and sound like a scared old man - but also kind of like a toddler who didn't get his way, and now he wants to kick over the furniture and stomp off to his room. I'm going to go ahead and buy my kid's birthday gifts, get my wife something nice, and plan for my own day when I can overeat and take it easy.

Because that's how grownups handle things.

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Works For One Of The Largest, Richest Hate Groups In America.

"Wallace pulled a Tim Russert go-to-the-videotape, contrasting Beck's high-toned religious rhetoric Saturday with his July 2009 statement on “Fox and Friends” that Obama harbored a "deep-seated hatred" for white people." - Politico

"FOX News Top Five Islamophobic Smears" - Right Wing Watch

"Two weeks ago, two producers working for Fox News in Amman Jordan resigned in protest of the network’s coverage. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote 'We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that.' They went on to write 'Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.'"
- Democracy Now

"Fox News Reporter Whips Up Fear And Loathing Of Homeless Black People In Dehumanizing Report" - Raw Story

"Then, fatefully, Fox News anchor E.D. Hill jauntily paraphrased 'Hezbollah-style fist jab' on air as 'terrorist fist jab.' Hill wasn't endorsing the phrase, but she failed to make clear that she was citing someone else's characterization. She apologized the next day but lost her show anyway." - Slate

"Allegations that Sen. Barack Obama was educated in a radical Muslim school known as a 'madrassa' are not accurate, according to CNN reporting...The Obama aide described Fox News' broadcasting of the Insight story 'appallingly irresponsible.'" - CNN

"A burka in a Christian town: How Fox News and right-wing media turned a lesson in tolerance into an excuse for hate" - Salon

"Using 2012 American National Election Studies data to test whether Fox News viewers have distinct racial attitudes, it can be demonstrated that, indeed, these viewers are more likely to reject the reality of structural racism and to endorse negative stereotypes of Black people." - Salon

"Putting aside its top-down class warfare, segment after segment is meant to scare its white audience into believing that African Americans, or Muslims, are out to get them." - The New Republic

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

Monday, August 31, 2015

I Used To Be A Conservative Republican But I'm All Better Now, Thanks To Dick Cheney

I voted for George W. Bush. Twice.

I don't like admitting that. But it's true and important. Part of why I have become such a loud left-wing Democrat is that I am hoping we can develop time machine technology, so I can go back and find that Paul Bibeau guy before he starts screwing up. Maybe reading my blog will help him.

Anyway, fifteen years ago I was not only voting for GOP candidates, I actually gave money to the party, and I had a little card from them to carry in my wallet. I was literally a card-carrying Republican.

The story of how I got from there to here is kind of long and weird. It involves trying to join the CIA and discovering I was actually friends with an intelligence analyst who had turned into a bona fide 9/11 whistleblower. I wrote about her trip to Taliban-held Afghanistan here, and I will write about the entire tale in greater detail this week.

But I wanted to start with this: Dick Cheney saved me.

His dishonesty and immorality were so clear that they shook me up and made me reconsider everything I'd taken for granted - not just about the GOP, or about the conservative argument for a "strong defense," but about the nature of US foreign policy itself. The effect was that stark. Those of us who remember the Bush years know that what Cheney said and did, and their results, were undeniably awful on a scale we rarely see.

Cheney lied repeatedly about everything we were doing in the world. No, he didn't make mistakes from bad intelligence. No, he didn't make a lawyer's argument for his side. He lied to us... about the reasons we went to our wars, and about what we did in those wars. Millions of lives were ruined or destroyed as a result.

I bring it all up for two reasons:

The first is that Dick Cheney has just launched a book, and now he's doing the talk show circuit and writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal. He clearly has a real audience out there. The second is that the GOP is going through a crack-up. Extreme conservatives like Ted Cruz and the people at sites like RedState and The Federalist are attacking the party establishment. And an even nastier and more extreme splinter group of racist Trump supporters are actually attacking the conservatives for not going far enough. The whole movement looks like it's ready to light itself on fire. And I know - I absolutely know - that these two things are related. Dick Cheney was such an obvious fraud and such a hideous warmonger that even very stupid people - like your faithful correspondent - could see it. Guys like me abandoned ship. And the people who remained? They are impervious to evidence and argument. They'd have to be.

I stopped being a Republican because there were just some things too terrible for me to consent to. But as for the rest... The conservative movement today is filled with the kind of people who still take Dick Cheney seriously.

And that explains everything.

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Please Ask Your Senator To Support The Iran Deal

According to Politico the administration needs three more senators to support the Iran deal in order for it to pass. Tim Kaine, one of the good, stalwart leaders from my beloved commonwealth of Virginia, has already announced his support. My other senator, Mark Warner, though a decent man, is still undecided. I just emailed him to express my feeling that he'd better get off the goddamned dime. If you are a Virginian, please do likewise by contacting him here.

At issue is whether you want to take steps to cool down hostilities with one of the most powerful countries in the Gulf region, or whether you like this deal we've got going where we have a new war there every few years.

Do I like the Iranian government? No. But do I hate the Iranian people? No. Definitely not. And do I dislike their government enough to end the lives of a couple thousand of my countrymen and women and send their kids back those little folded triangle flags in place of parents?

No. You shouldn't either.

Politico lists the five most important remaining holdouts. Here they are, with links to contact pages:

Ben Cardin of Maryland
Cory Booker of New Jersey (Don't break our hearts, Cory. Don't you do that.)
Chris Coons of Delaware
Michael Bennet of Colorado
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut

For the rest of you, here's the official webpage where you can find your Senator and his or her email.

Take a couple minutes and do it. It's important.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

This Is The Post Where I'd Be Mocking The Palin-Trump Interview

Above is where I'd put the video of Sarah Palin interviewing Donald Trump on that weird irregular bin TV news network, and then I'd make fun of it. I've made fun of Palin and Trump in the past, and I will completely do so again.

But I found I couldn't watch it. I saw five seconds of that garbage and just turned it off. I thought I had a strong stomach for idiot celebrity sociopaths - it's my gig, right? - but they got to me. God, those people...

They're awful. I don't have a joke to follow that up. No. They are just really awful. We should really all be on board with how terrible they are. The fact that we aren't is disturbing.

What the hell is wrong with this country? What the fuck is happening out there in Cleetusland?

Anyway, this video is the band Strand Of Oaks playing on KEXP. KEXP is a great radio station, and this version of the song "Shut In" might actually be better than the one on the album. I mean it.

Let's take a break and enjoy ourselves. Maybe a meteor will come. You can hope, right?

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE
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