3 Lessons From My Constant News Consumption

If you’re like me, you’ve been watching a lot of news lately. No one can really blame us. The proverbial shit has been hitting the proverbial fan.1

In the last few weeks, we’ve had a racially motivated riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a presidential mishandling of the same. And then poor Robert Lee got pulled off of broadcasting the Virginia Cavaliers home opener for fear we’d confuse him for a Civil War general.

To quote the late general, “What, I say, what in taahnation?!” I assume he said that at some point. He’d also likely point the stunning absence of Asian Civil War leaders’ statues in Charlottesville as a good indication that ESPN could have taken a gamble on this one. Continue reading

6 FAQ’s For “You Buncha Snowflake Libruls.”

America is a country of extremes. The flat expanse of the Great Plains gives way to the purple mountains’ majesty of the Rockies. Farmers, hedge fund managers, teachers, and factory workers all cheer for the same team of millionaires giving each other concussions. We’ve got the bet-it-all-on-black insanity of Las Vegas, and the hey-isn’t-that-that-one-guy-who-was-kinda-famous-in-1982 insanity of Branson, Missouri.

When it comes to politics, we’re no less extreme. And when it comes to lazy transitions, “when it comes to” is my favorite. Continue reading

Does This Swastika Clash With My Yarmulke?

Money and power don’t matter as much to me as they matter to others. They still matter, don’t get me wrong. But I’m pretty unlikely to make a major life decision based primarily on money or power. I am not going to take a job I don’t want to do just because it pays really well or gives me influence.

I am less rash than I was when I was young. When I was a younger man, I would not hesitate to invoke the sacred words of the Most Reverend Doctor Johnny Paycheck, “Take This Job And Shove It.” To be fair, I’ve worked for numerous line bosses who got themselves a brand new flat top haircut who really thought they were cool.1 But as I’ve aged, I’ve realized that silly habits like “eating” and “not being homeless” are worth a little bit of sticking through a bad situation at work. Continue reading

I Wish I Could Say I Did Nazi This Coming.

Back in January, I wrote an article pleading with conservatives to draw a pre-emptive red line.  I asked them to conduct a thought experiment:  what could Donald Trump do that would be so bad, it would cost him your support?

TL;DR: Your political support of someone should not be unconditional. In fact, you should support ideals, and you should vote for the person who most closely embodies those ideals.  Support for a leader irrespective of his actions means you are not an ideological conservative. Rather, you are in cult of personality. Continue reading

It All Boils Down To This.

America is the most powerful nation in the world, by just about any measure.

We have an enormous military budget, bases and warships strategically scattered all over the globe, the most sophisticated weaponry, and diplomatic ties to allies that exponentially multiply our reach. We have the world’s largest economy, accounting for a full quarter of the entire world’s GDP, with only 4.4% of the world’s population.

Through humanitarian aid, we’ve saved millions of lives around the world. We’ve educated, fed, and healed people. Many other countries thrive because we helped them up, and now we’re standing there with a big stick right behind them. Continue reading

To Compromise Is To Be Complicit.

Our country is becoming two separate families, and we don’t really like each other very much. Both families claim the same nation, but each has a very different understanding of why this country is here and, maybe more importantly, where it should be going.

My natural instinct, believe it or not, is to find common ground and seek ways to move forward together. I’m a peacemaker, not an ideologue. There’s ample room for compromise in almost every situation. Continue reading

The Gospel Of The Big (Orange) Guy

There’s spin, and then there’s unabashed lying.

Spin is a reality in every industry. It’s a skill you have to possess to get beyond the lowest ranks of private or public endeavors. I don’t care if you’re an orderly in a county hospital. If you are too transparent or matter-of-fact, you’re likely to remain on medical waste sorting duty until you quit (or die from MRSA).

If you’ve read some of my stuff, you might use spin to say that I have an uncanny ability to connect disparate topics together in a delicious gumbo, each ingredient intensifying the flavors of the rest of the mélange.   Continue reading

I Stopped Believin’. Journey, I Have Failed You.

I don’t want to believe that Joe Paterno knew about the stuff Jerry Sandusky was doing with underage boys at Penn State, but he did.

I don’t want to believe that Lance Armstrong cheated to win the Tour de France 7 times, but I’d bet my left nut that he did.  What, too soon?  He’s a cheater, and he’s healthy now, so I can make fun of him.  It’s in the Geneva Convention, look it up.

I don’t want to believe that Dr. Huxtable roofied a bunch of women and then raped them, but he did, and he’s in deep Jello pudding now. Continue reading

A brief, alternative history.

Remember way back when we found out that Hillary Clinton had kids from three different relationships? And she’d ended two of those relationships via adultery? It’s like she was doing her best Shawn Kemp impression.

Remember how she had such little familiarity with her “favorite book” that she referred to a book of the Bible as “Two Corinthians”?

Remember when she refused to disclose her tax returns, despite mounting evidence and suspicion that they had information unflattering to her and her business dealings?

Continue reading

Sorry, but our shareholders don’t think you need a second opinion.

There is an underlying premise in America that, in my opinion, needs to be examined:

We assume that just about anything can be done better if it’s done for profit.

We have this sense that if you want to make any service the best it can be, introduce competition and the profit motive will drive the competitors to fight and claw each other until the absolute best service possible rises to the top. The market’s invisible hand will lift the best up while smacking the worst down.

The market is like a pimp, according to my thorough research which included watching HBO and listening to hip hop. Continue reading