Oval Office Voice Recording: July 31, 2017, 1:15 p.m.

“Anthony! Tony. Can I call you Tony?”
“Of course, Mr. President. Can I call you Donnie?”
“Ah. Okay.”
“Tony, we need to talk. Come on in. Sit down.”
“That’ll be all, Rosie. Close the door on your way out, and make sure we’re not disturbed.”
“So, Tony. It’s been a busy … what, five, six days?”
“Ten days, D – Mr. President.”
“Ten days! Ten days. Wow. A busy ten days. Busy. Wow.”
“Yes sir.”
“We haven’t had a real chance to talk, man to man. I guess it’s time we got certain things out of the way. Right? Right.”
“Things? Wait, why are you undoing your belt?”
“Don’t worry about it, Tony. It’s just something I expect all my hires to do. You know, here in the White House, I’m under a lot of pressure. I don’t always have the chance to get away, you know what I’m saying? And a man has needs.”
“Needs, Tony. And right now I need you to show me what you can do for me. Demonstrate your loyalty, you get me? Wow, loyalty. Loyalty is a necessary thing. It’s the best thing. It’s the only thing.”
“Wait, I’m not … I mean, you can’t be serious.”
“Needs, Tony. And after all, you were the one who brought it up, talking about Steve Bannon. And I’ll bet you were right. Steve probably does suck his own. But the President of the United States has people. People who do things for him. I like to think you’re one of those people, Tony. One of my loyal people.”
“Sure I’m loyal. I’d defend you to the death. But this … I wasn’t expecting this.”
“So when the President of the United States says to you, Tony — says Tony, I need you to do this thing for me, are you gonna be loyal, Tony? Are you gonna be loyal to the President of the United States, who hired you? Tony? Are you?”
“Well, like I say, I’d defend you to the death, Mr. President. But, you know, this is not something a man should have to do. I mean, I have a wife.”
“No you don’t. She left you, Tony. Filed for divorce, the cunt. She’s a cunt, isn’t she, Tony? Tell me she’s a cunt.”
“She’s a cunt.”
“What a cunt. What a cunt. I should know. I know about cunts. And now you’re alone. Nowhere to go. But you have this job, Tony. It’s the best job. The only job.”
“Well … yes. Sir.”
“So, Tony, you want to keep this great job. Great. I know you do. Great job.”
“I want to keep the job. And I think I can do it. Better than those other limp-dick weasels. Well, Sarah doesn’t have a limp dick, but she’s a weasel.”
“She’s a cunt, Tony. They’re all cunts. But it doesn’t matter, Tony. What matters is, your President is asking for your loyalty. Asking you to show your loyalty. Really show it. Show it like a 16-year-old beauty pageant contestant just before the final three. Wow. Like that.”
“Sir, I … I don’t …”
“You know I fire people, Tony? I have no problem firing people. I had a whole TV show about firing people. And I fired them. I fired them all. Bigly.”
“Sir …”
“So I could say, Tony, you’re fired. You get where I’m coming from? You’re fired. I could say it. I could say it and sleep well tonight. It would be a good fire, the only fire. You’re fired. You want to hear me say you’re fired?”
“No sir. It’s just … you know, I never did anything like this before.”
“I’ve never been President of the United States before, Tony. But I am now. Tell me, Tony, do you think when General George Washington asked Mahatma Gandhi for this favor, that Gandhi said no? Dooming the American experiment almost before it started? No, he took off his war bonnet, Gandhi did – he was an Indian, did you know that? One of the greatest Indians. Wow. – He took off his war bonnet and he said yes, Mr. President, I will do this thing you ask.”
“Sir, I don’t think Gandhi was alive when Washington was …”
“Tony, I know my American history. I know American history better than anybody. It’s a good history, the best history. But you’re missing the point. I need some loyalty here. And I need a quick BJ from somebody, or somebody gets fired today. Right now. You’re fired. I could say it so easy. I could say you’re fired. Plenty more people out there. Loyal people. The best people.”
“Sir, I’m not …”
“That’s it. You’re fired. You’re fired. There, I said it. You’re fired, Tony. You hear that? You’re fired. Wow.”
“Rosie, we’re done here! Rosie? Get some of those Secret Service guys in here. I need to get Tony off the property. I want him out of here. Now!”
“Sir, I …”
“You’re done Tony. You’re fired. Thanks, guys. Get Tony out of here. And get that chopper back for me. It’s been a rough week. I want to play a few rounds, take the pressure off. The President is having a rough week. It’s been a good week. The best week. But rough.”

Petition the Veep: Stop Evil-lution in Schools!

COE 235Ooh, sign me up!

A petition addressed to VP-elect Mike Pence asks for (drum roll, clash of cymbals!) …


(A “moratorium.” Just until we can figure out, you know, whether it’s really true or not.)

They’re looking for (drum roll again, even louder clash of cymbals)


—You know, a stunning tidal wave of deep passionate concern from Americans.

Some absolutely verbatim excerpts from the petition:

It is obvious to us that Evolutionism-Darwinism is an anti-Christian atheistic dogma masquerading as science. According to renown (sic) philosopher of science, Professor Michael Ruse blah blah blah blah.

Evolutionists, indeed, themselves speak about their “theory” blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah “the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail.”

Blah blah blah denying the work of a divine creator in the natural order blah blah blah sweeping theological contention blah blah blah!!!

Blah blah blah blah the Neo-Darwinian paradigm is on the verge of collapse blah blah!!

Blah blah blah! Blah blah its flawed historical narrative of origins which includes telling students that humans are walking sarcopterygian fish! Blah blah blah!!

It ends with:

We therefore urge you to persuade President Trump to issue an executive order imposing a nationwide indefinite moratorium on the teaching of evolution in public schools. For it to be effective, this order should clearly state that it supersedes the decisions of state and district boards of education regarding the science curriculum. Those schools that don’t comply with it should be completely denied federal funding and aid by the Department of Education, just as it is proposed that cities that provide sanctuary to illegal aliens ought to be denied assistance. We hope that you will act upon this very urgent matter and uphold truth and the American way of life we hold so dear.

(Yeah, one peep out of you freedom-hating bastards and we’ll jerk your funding so fast your head will spin! But hey, no pressure. We’re all about that “equal exposure and then letting the kids decide for themselves.”)

I’m seeing an opportunity in the comments section.


Short Stack #24

Maple Syrup on PancakesJust sent in my application to the United Nations for the Pig Latin interpreter post.

I think my chances are good. I’ve been speaking it since the third grade.


One bad shower can scar you for life.


When you think about it, The Joker is the ultimate example of motivational success. He’s upbeat, cheerful, he has high self-esteem, he’s willing to try anything, and he recognizes no limits. He’s like the perfect corporate CEO.


It just seems so odd that some Earth animals grow faucets on their bodies for the young ones to drink nutrient fluid from. That can’t be the most efficient way to do it. On my planet, we take the young ones out into the Solar Forest and plug them in for a few months. After that, they eat rocks like the rest of us.


In Moscow, there’s a museum of Russian-made sex toys. They can’t actually demonstrate them because the room fills up with diesel smoke, but you can look at them.


Movie Idea: A renegade environmentalist releases a deadly virus into the New York City airport, knowing it will spread worldwide in a matter of days. The virus kills and zombifies all it infects.

The catch is that it only works on Chihuahuas. Bands of surviving humans all over the world hurry to install screen doors, don ankle-high boots and arm themselves with brooms.

But victims continue to die, and international panic ensues. Finally, Autumn arrives, and the zombie Chihuahuas succumb to the 60 degree temperatures.

The final scene is a New Zealand farmer going out to check on his sheep. He slides open the barn door, and there is a sudden flash of bulging eyes and sharp, white teeth.


Now I’m wondering if the term “hand job” — which seems like it would be fairly recent — might actually be tens of thousands of years old (in whatever language they spoke at the time, of course).

“Gronk give Oona big fish, Oona give Gronk googawonga?”

Hey, someone has to think about these things


I’m clearing and organizing some of the piles of paper in my office. One note I came across, just something jotted down on a scrap of paper, said:  “I want to be a member of the last insane generation.”

Fat chance.


Vaping. There are some new dumb ideas out there that people think are smart ideas simply because they’re different from the old dumb ideas.


When they know nobody can overhear them, the superheroes who can fly make fun of those who can’t.

FLIGHT-SHAMING. It’s the ugly little secret of the superhero business.


I’m wondering if all the people against spanking are also all against genital mutilation. Because I see a LOT of ardent posts against “brutalizing your child,” but very few against circumcision.

But hey, that’s NORMAL. Besides, it’s mainly about health, right? It’s for their own good.


In an adjacent universe, on Just Slightly Magic World, there are real fairies who come to deserving people’s houses and leave gifts. For instance, there’s an Apple Pie Fairy which comes at midnight and leaves a generous slice of warm, delicious apple pie for every member of the family.

This is not as good as it sounds, however. Owing to the fact that fairies aren’t human and don’t actually understand humans, the Apple Pie Fairy leaves those slices of apple pie in unexpected places — for instance, on the pillow of each family member, or artistically arranged on the toilet seat.

Worse, the Apple Pie Fairy is hypersensitive and prone to fits of vengeful rage, so nobody dares say anything.


When an octopus finds a dark hole on the ocean floor, it doesn’t stop  to wonder what horrible thing might be lurking in there, it moves in and BECOMES the horrible thing lurking in there.

This is basically the same reason Donald Trump is running for president.


From the days of Jesus’ healing miracles, SECRET THOUGHTS OF THE HEALED BLIND MAN!

This morning there is some sort of very large object in the sky emitting light so bright it hurts to look at it. Surely that can’t be natural.

It came up over the horizon and has slowly climbed into the sky, moving east to west, almost as if it’s orbiting the planet. It doesn’t look really big, but if it is in orbit, it must be huge.

There’s nobody on the streets looking at it. I wonder if anybody has even noticed it up there. It’s like they’re all taking it for granted or something.

What if I ask my neighbor and it turns out it’s something everybody else sees every day, and they laugh at me? I don’t want to look stupid. But damn, that thing worries me.


I’ll bet snakes have to slither into someplace dark in order to sleep. Stupid reptiles — the rest of us evolved eyelids. (Doesn’t mean we sleep but, you know, we COULD.)


Idea Book: Novel: “Worst Contact”

A previously undiscovered tribe is located by aerial surveys of the Amazon. Anthropologists make plans to carefully contact them. But a Madison Avenue PR firm decides to jump in and contact them first, taking bids from companies for which products to introduce them to, and to film their reactions to.

The first two products are Milky Way candy bars and Budweiser beer. The civilized world is captivated by the Amazonians’ filmed astonishment at the irresistibly sweet taste of the candy, and the hilarious effects of the beer. Sales skyrocket, and more companies vie for product placement opportunities. The Amazonians are quickly introduced to such foods as Ranch Style Beans, Armour Vienna Sausage, to Wrigley’s Hubba Bubba bubble gum, and even Marlboro cigarettes.

Soon a reality TV show features an extended Amazonian family, showing family members experimenting with clothes, shoes, modern firearms, fast food. Christian missionaries arrive from the Vatican, and episodes feature the reaction of the Stone Age primitives to the revelations of God and Heaven. iPhones are handed out, and the men of the tribe are directed to first person shooter games, and YouTube videos of twerking. A staffer on the film crew begins distributing heroin to tribal friends, and they begin sneaking off to shoot up, all captured on hidden cameras.

But I think it would all have a happy ending. Probably include a lesson on the Indomitable Spirit of Man or some shit like that.


Figures of speech not to use: Like a chihuahua in a blender. Salty as whale’s piss. Pathetic as Sarah Palin’s brain, spread out on a dissecting table. Lame as that handicapped beggar I just ran over. Exciting as a power surge during a brain scan. As unsexy as furries at a veterinarian’s convention. Hungry as a Muslim at a Pork Festival. Like a honey badger with hemorrhoids. Ugly as a fat man’s back pimples. Scary as fireworks outside a Gulf War vet’s house. Like taking a dozen Xanax and listening to Wayne Newton. Creepy as Karl Rove in ass-less chaps.


Years in acting school, and finally one day you get The Call. You’re invited to star in an upcoming movie. You excitedly accept, thinking >>This Is It<< — your big break, the day you will look back on from your future as a rich, internationally famous movie star, and think “That’s where it all started.”

But when you get the script, you find out it’s something called CopEye, a crappy police-themed ripoff of the movie Popeye. It’s not even shitty Popeye, it’s a shitty tearaway of Popeye. And there are utterly unnecessary nude scenes.

Kids, that’s what real life is like.

No, just kidding. Your big break will be a remake of Lawrence of Arabia, and Peter O’Toole will look like a second-rate ham compared to you. Your whole life will be like that.


All you people afraid of clowns — coulrophobics — think of this:

When clowns take off their red noses, makeup and clown clothes, they look just like normal people. They walk around in public and nobody knows what they really are.

They are HIDDEN clowns, SECRET clowns, SURREPTITIOUS clowns. They might even brush past on a city street and TOUCH you. They might even do it DELIBERATELY.

You think you’re safe from clowns, never knowing they’re touching you ALL THE TIME.

You can’t escape from clowns, because they are hidden among the people around you. Watching you. Walking up behind you without you knowing. Thinking about touching you.

Clowns. Everywhere.



The Bible is a lot more stirring and dramatic when you read it in the original Klingon.


Dick Cheney has had five heart attacks and a heart transplant. The way I figure it, he has one Horcrux left, and then he becomes mortal.

Anyone in his neighborhood, look for the large snake he always keeps close to him.


It seems to me that one of the inevitable consequences of advanced civilization would be immortality. Why, if you could beat every disease, including aging and eventually death, would you NOT choose that?

In any society that had the technology to extend life, those who chose it would live on and on, those who didn’t would be self-selected out, until eventually there would a community made up mostly of immortals.

I suggest one of the reasons we haven’t been contacted, if it’s at all possible, is because we’re so ephemeral to them that they consider us more beastly than civilized.


I was thinking today that we usually imagine a single dividing line between Conservative and Liberal, but there are actually THREE major dividers along the socio-political spectrum.

There’s that middle conservative-liberal divider (which is a broad line rather than a thin one), but there’s another line between Conservative and Conservative-Crazy, and a third line between Liberal and Liberal-Asshole.


If we’d evolved from dogs, Hump Day would have a whole different meaning.

“And stop licking yourself at work, Spotty! Nobody believes you dropped something under your desk!”


The Swedish Chef is a horrible insult to Swedish people! I say this as someone who may or may not have Swedish ancestry, and may or may not actually know some Swedish people.

But I’m offended anyway, just in case.

Wait … is he the Swedish Chef, or the Swiss Chef? I mean, whatever, right? But either way, it’s an insult.

Also: Shout out to all my Swedish/Swiss peeps! Gehoorty verdoor de chicky stew!


Just ordered an Earth-food item called a “peetsah.” It comes with a leathery base made from a type of crushed grass seeds, a paste made from a fruiting body of a terrestrial plant, a congealed material prepared from the white fluid squeezed out of the nether paps of certain herbivorous mammals, a variety of sliced and chopped dirt-grown plants, and the shredded muscle tissue of a large bird. The whole thing is thrown into a heating chamber and singed for 20 minutes or so. It sounds revolting, but when my people return for me, I’m going to suggest we take the recipe and the ingredients back with us. That business about consuming pure energy does get boring at times.


If a product is “tainted,” does that mean it has actually come into contact with someone’s taint?

Because I can see why you wouldn’t want something like that.




Beta Culture: Dealing With Conservatives

Beta-Culture-JPGHad a little epiphany today about the sense of humor, and why ultra-conservatives don’t seem to have much of it.

Humor requires a certain flexibility of mind, a capacity to quickly change mental directions. The lead-in to a joke sets up a certain expectation, then the punchline forces a radical departure from that expectation. The unexpectedness makes us laugh.

A Hasidic Jew walks into a New York City bar with a frog on his shoulder. The bartender says “Where the heck did you get THAT?” The frog says “New Jersey! They’re all over the place down there!”

But if you’re an ultra-conservative, you don’t like unexpectedness. It’s like being an extreme introvert and getting thrust into a surprise birthday party. Ultra-conservatives don’t have that mental flexibility — it’s why they’re ultra-conservatives. It’s not just that they don’t want to learn anything new, don’t want to change, don’t want to try new foods or experiences or ideas, and don’t want things around them to change, it’s that they can’t. They can’t handle it. Can’t deal with difference and newness.

I’ve toyed with the idea of something I call the “adaptive limit” in humans. People who grow up in an environment that encourages adaptability, continued learning and growth and experimentation, they have a high adaptive limit. Those who grow up in conditions of fear or stress have a low adaptive limit. Whatever one’s adaptive limit, anyone who has their limit exceeded by too much stress, trauma or pressure, they shut down and react mechanically rather than creatively or openly. They play out trusted mental patterns or reactions from the past, because they literally can’t come up with anything new.

We beat on Southerners and religious people for being “stupid” and “hateful,” but I sometimes think a better approach would be one of … kindness and understanding. Not acceptance — bad ideas and behavior don’t stop being bad. But an understanding that takes into account their limits, limits unsuspected even by themselves. They’re not bad, necessarily — they’re wounded. They have something like PTSD just from everyday life, and need a more compassionate approach to helping them open back up and begin to grow again.

And maybe a lot of them never will. Maybe — from damage too great to heal or the inflexibility of age — they’re just not up to it.

When you’re facing one of those people — with your own automatic belief that you’re dealing with a responsible adult — it’s tough to step back from their negative reaction and consider that you’re dealing with someone who is probably doing the best they can, and needs compassion rather than reactive anger.

With my impatient nature, I’m probably one of the worst people to tell others to be more compassionate and understanding.  But  strategically, I can see great value in the larger atheist community working out approaches to dealing with certain populations that will take into account their adaptive limits, and reactions they probably have little control over.



And now I’m thinking of certain inflexible and even somewhat irrational people on the liberal end of the spectrum, and it occurs to me there can be liberal-trending people who also suffer from exceeded adaptive limits.

Be Alert … because the world needs more lerts

I somehow got onto a right-wing Christian mailing list. Without fail, EVERY email they send me is both amusing and disturbing. That they’re so wrong, but so earnest, is funny. That they’re enticing others to be so wrong and earnest, that’s disturbing.

The latest was an Action Alert! from the stick-up-the-backside “American Family Association”:

“Pepsi Produces Another TV Ad Promoting the Gay Lifestyle”

Yes, the “gay lifestyle.” The lifestyle that people choose, and then recruit others into, so they can all be evil and debauched together, and get people to hate them. All done deliberately, you understand, and in opposition to good traditional American Christian values.

And yes, Pepsi is saying “Be Gay!! Everybody drink Pepsi and engage in homosexual activity!! Don’t be like all those heterosexuals who drink Coke!” What better publicity campaign could you get?

I had to respond to the part that said “Sign the Boycott Pepsi Pledge.”

Continue reading “Be Alert … because the world needs more lerts”

Code Blue!!!!!!

I’m chuckling, but in a grim way.


I get these emails from something called Worldview Weekend, a Christianist organization that sees a plot to murder God – and white people – in every shadow. I signed up in  a weak moment a year or so back, just to keep tabs on what they’re selling.

Some of the lines from this week’s plate of steaming neo-con Jesus (I confess I added all the exclamation marks, just because it seems funnier that way):

Liberals to Spend $1 Trillion And Can Not Say it Will Produce One Job!!!

Uh, hello? How many net jobs were created by the several trillion that Bush spent?

Distracting and Destroying the Middle Class, by Brannon Howse

Continue reading “Code Blue!!!!!!”

The Rumor Starts Here

BBQ BushI’m starting the rumor that President Bush plans to go back to Crawford, Texas and open a tire store, “Presidential Tires — Where the Rubber Meets the Rode” (sic), or possibly a small roadside barbecue stand, “Leader of the Free World Bar-B-Q.”

You heard it first, right here.

No, seriously. Undisclosed Capitol Hill sources have revealed that Bush will return to his ranch, which he has now successfully cleared of brush after 8 years in the White House, and will trade on his nationally-recognized name to launch a private business venture.

“I’m going to show everyone that my success in Washington, D.C., was no fluke,” said Bush. “This will pin down my legacy as the 43rd President of the United States with a commercial triumph in the field of rubber, or possibly barbecue.  I expect my venture here in Crawford to become a national chain, or maybe even worldwide.”

[Photo: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson listens as President Bush (man in gray suit on right) speaks about his upcoming venture into barbecue, or possibly tires.]

Sarah Palin: Radioactive Girl

palin-radioactive.jpgGood things are happening right now: The news media has finally, finally, FINALLY grown a set, and is asking the McCain and Palin camp some hard questions, and demanding answers.

For Palin, the shit just keeps flowin’ on down. I can’t believe the kind of stuff I’m reading about her, on a daily basis.

McCain and his “soul mate” are goin’ down hard.

And oh, yeah, Palin’s post-election political career in Alaska? Toast. Even a conservative speaking career may be out. Conservatives will wake up on Nov. 12 and find themselves in bed with the ultimate Coyote Date, and will chew their own arms off to get away from her.

Continue reading “Sarah Palin: Radioactive Girl”

Is John McCain (Maxwell) Smart?

cone.jpgI don’t know why I haven’t heard more about the “Cone of Silence.” I chuckle every time I think of John McCain sitting under it in a room by himself. 

It brings to mind THIS.

I can just all-too-easily picture McCain under there when the hostess comes in to tell him it’s his turn to go on stage for his interview. He sits there going “What? … What?” in a bewildered Maxwell Smart voice.

In fact the more I think of it, the more I’m convinced that John McCain IS Maxwell Smart.

Let the meme go forth.