In An Attempt To Ban Overzealous Trump Supporters, John Cusack Accidentally Blocks 2 Journalists On Twitter. I’m One Of Them.

Being blocked by a celebrity on Twitter is something of a surreal experience.  Out of the thousands of mentions and messages they receive daily, somehow you’ve managed to break through and be acknowledged.  But then, just as quickly, rejected.

Sometimes, there’s a response before you get blocked.  Sometimes, nothing at all.

Usually, when I get blocked by a famous person, there’s a good reason for it:  I’ve pissed them off.

As I noted in this space four years ago, Obama apologist Sophia Bush wasn’t terribly thrilled with my harsh criticisms of her.  After lamely engaging with me twice, she ignored me for a couple of months.  Then, fed up with more criticism, I was blocked.

After arguing with Rosie O’Donnell about an article Radley Balko wrote in The Washington Post, she blocked me, too.

Porn star Eden Alexander, who I was friendly with for years on Twitter, didn’t realize I’m anti-Hillary Clinton (my roughly 800 followers know this wasn’t exactly a state secret) until I pointed out to her the former Secretary of State’s questionable human rights record.  After noting her awful history of espousing policies that disproportionately hurt already suffering people of colour, according to Alexander, an Asian-American, I was exercising my “white privilege”.  Then, she blocked me.  We haven’t spoken since.

I didn’t even realize Bill Cosby was aware of me until out of curiosity I checked his account to see if he was publicly addressing the numerous women who’ve accused him of sexual assault.  Barely active on the social network, I was shocked to see he had blocked me.  I didn’t realize he knew I had been tweeting article after article about his predatory behaviour.  When I was younger, I was a huge fan of his.  But way too slowly over time, as an adult, I’ve eventually grown appalled by his actions.  Honestly, I’m pretty proud of that block.

The same thing happened with Jerry “The King” Lawler.  He was accused by his girlfriend of physical abuse and I tweeted some articles about the incident.  (The matter was eventually dropped altogether.)  That was enough to get me blocked.  John “Bradshaw” Layfield apparently doesn’t like people who support Mauro Ranallo, the former Smackdown Live play-by-play announcer he once worked with and allegedly bullied.  (Ranallo has since resurfaced on NXT.)  I was one of many who suddenly found themselves unable to read his tweets, even though I have never engaged with him on Twitter.

How weird to be blocked by two former colour commentators on Raw.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling doesn’t like those who support BDS for a free Palestine so she blocked me.  I still don’t know why Wil Wheaton won’t allow me to see his tweets any more.  I was actually following him for a while.

Certain journalists aren’t too fond of me, either.

I don’t remember what I did to annoy Tom Hawthorn years ago.  But he blocked me.

Cancer survivor and Boing Boing journo Xeni Jardin, who I otherwise had positive exchanges with, didn’t appreciate my listing of Obama’s worst policies, so, she rescinded my follow and shut the blinds on her tweets.

The Huffington Post’s Lauren Duca had some mysterious issue with me which led to me being blocked by her.  But, much to my surprise, I’m now unblocked.

I’m pretty sure the reason Alexa O’Brien temporarily blocked me was because I’m an Edward Snowden supporter.  Her animus towards him is baffling considering her strong, unquestioning backing of the recently released Chelsea Manning.  (I’ve been a Manning champion, as well.)  We had nothing but pleasant conversations, too.  Strange.

Arthur Chu and Media Matters For America’s Oliver Willis, who I called a “transphobic moron” for his anti-Manning views, don’t want anything to do with me, either.  (The feeling is mutual.)  I blocked Warren Kinsella, the controversial Liberal strategist, before he curiously blocked me.  Used to be friendly with him, too.  Not anymore.

Disappointingly, I can now add John Cusack to this growing list.

Recently, the actor (whose best movie remains The Grifters) and political activist (he was a Bernie Sanders supporter during the 2016 election) decided to mass block a number of overzealous Donald Trump “trolls”, as he frequently describes them, who have been swarming his timeline for months.  (Before that, he had been responding critically to some here and there.)  Unfortunately, this decision has led to some Trump critics getting blocked, as well.  Cusack seemed to anticipate this in a couple of subsequent tweets:

“Block lists have weeded out many of the [Trump] troll bots – but I’m sure some [were] blocked who aren’t trolls so sorry!”

“If you know any non maga [Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’] trolls who want to be unblocked let me know – ”

Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola was puzzled by his blocking, as I was by mine.  Considering the fact that I have been nothing but supportive of Cusack (we’ve had few exchanges but they’ve all been friendly), I’m more than a little miffed by his sudden rejection of my follow.  How did I, and Gosztola for that matter, end up on a Trump troll block list when neither of us have exactly been gung-ho for this misogynistic, racist, serial abuser?

Anyway, the longer I’m blocked by Cusack without explanation, the more irritated and offended I feel by his mistake.  I asked Gosztola on Twitter if Cusack unblocked him yet.  He didn’t respond.

What’s really ironic about all of this?  Like Xeni Jardin, Cusack’s on the board of the Freedom Of The Press Foundation.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 6, 2017
2:52 a.m.

Published in: on July 6, 2017 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Morning Joe’s Donald Trump Problem

Maybe they shouldn’t have put him on the air so much.  Maybe they shouldn’t have privately advised his campaign.  And maybe they shouldn’t have been so chummy with him for all these years.

When Donald Trump declared himself a candidate for President in June 2015, few were more enthusiastic about it than Joe Scarborough.  The former Republican Congressman was an early champion of the future President as was Mika Brzezinski, his fiancé and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  Trump was a frequent guest on their program during the early days of the overlong 2016 federal election campaign.  The interviews were not noted for their toughness.

Considering his routinely inflammatory, xenophobic, sexist, contradictory, revisionist and often blatantly dishonest rhetoric, Scarborough & Brzezinski’s shameless, early shilling for Trump had long been a source of ridicule and criticism, especially within their own cable news network.

Not helping matters was a leaked piece of audio that illustrated their penchant for subservience, not to mention Scarborough’s initial reluctance to turn down a possible Vice Presidential candidacy as Trump’s running mate.  Scarborough even went so far as to publicly brag about advising Trump “to speak in complete sentences at debates.”

Even after publicly criticizing his proposal for a Muslim travel ban in late 2015, Scarborough & Brzezinski continued to see Trump socially.  (They stayed at Mar-A-Lago over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays that same year.)  The day after it was first announced as public policy through a highly condemned & legally contested executive order this past January, there they were having lunch with the man in the Oval Officethe same man who offered to officiate their wedding during their Mar-A-Lago stay.  (Scarborough has been a frequent guest at the Florida resort.)

After Trump had won the election, as he sheepishly admitted recently to Rolling Stone, Scarborough told him over the phone, “I hope we’ll be friends after this.”

Despite occasionally spatting at each other on Twitter and TV over the last year, their off-air social engagements resumed unabated, at least up until a few months ago.

This week, after once again poking the beast by foolishly questioning his mental health, President Trump responded in his favourite forum by lambasting Scarborough & Brzezinski the only way he knows how, by cruelly lying.  (Do we really believe anyone still recuperating from a facelift (that appears not to have actually happened) would ever be in the vicinity of the most judgmental man on the planet?)

The backlash was predictable.  And then, the Morning Joe hosts countered Trump’s laughable tweets by claiming that the White House wanted an apology for their public criticism.  If they sufficiently grovelled, a National Enquirer story exposing their then-secret relationship would be killed.  (They came out as an engaged couple in Vanity Fair in May.)  They didn’t and true to the threat, it ran.  That raises a whole lot of abuse of power questions.  (The National Enquirer officially endorsed him for President.  Trump has a close, longstanding relationship with its owner, David Pecker.)

But what about Scarborough & Brzezinski’s own embarrassing conduct in this whole mess?  In the early goings of the 2016 campaign, they gave Trump a lot of free publicity and not a lot of scrutiny, inexcusable behaviour for broadcasters on a national news channel.  (As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi reported on the campaign trail last year, Trump gave them a warm shout-out during a New Hampshire rally.)  Even after they started questioning some of his worst ideas on Morning Joe, they maintained their already established off-camera relationship with him right up until January this year (as far as we know) which was far less hostile.

Scarborough is now claiming, with a straight face, that the man he and his fiancé stupidly sucked up to in 2015 and 2016, for the purpose of getting exclusive access, is not the same man currently occupying the White House.  Has he really forgotten Trump’s original campaign announcement where he smeared most Mexicans as criminals, rapists & murderers?  Was he not aware of Ivana Trump’s claim that her husband raped her (later retracted because of considerable pressure from his legal team)?  Did he miss how Trump and his father wouldn’t allow black people to rent apartments in their buildings back in the 1970s?  I could go on but you get the idea.

You’d have to be a complete dunderhead to believe that 2015 Trump was more reasonable than 2017 Trump.  You don’t even have to do any research to realize Scarborough is completely full of shit.  I’ll use the most obvious example.  2015 Trump suggested a Muslim travel ban.  2017 Trump has tried three times to implement it.  Explain to me again how the 2015 version was more acceptable.

As for Trump brutalizing the Morning Joe couple on Twitter, I have next to no sympathy for them, mean tweets notwithstanding.  When you make the decision to roll around in the mud with a pig, expect to be corrupted by the filth.  No amount of washing will make you clean.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, June 30, 2017
11:23 p.m.

Published in: on June 30, 2017 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Acquiescence

Pretending to care about actual change
Until they’re safely out of range
They convince themselves they talk a good game
But they’re determined to keep things exactly the same
Shocked by the loathing and widespread contempt
Can’t even bother to make an earnest attempt
Feigning sympathy for your tales of woe
All while strengthening a brutal status quo

Slaves to corruption and leaders who kill
They bombed millions and stuck you with the bill
They don’t give a fuck about the working poor
They all line up to support the next war
Afraid of offending their biggest donors
Constantly making embarrassing boners
They rigged their own system to put forth a loser
Who couldn’t even defeat a racist abuser

A revolt is raging within their ranks
This is what you get for defending the banks
The knives are out and blood will be shed
They won’t rest until you’re dead
But go on, keep pursuing your conspiracy theory
As your fading supporters grow increasingly weary
They don’t believe your opposition is bold
They know too well how easily you fold

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, June 16, 2017
11:29 p.m.

Published in: on June 16, 2017 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Some Unanswered Questions About The Numerous Investigations Into The Trump Administration

1. Why did Michael Flynn accept the job of National Security Advisor when reportedly he didn’t really want it in the first place?

2. Who really hacked the DNC’s email servers?

3. Why won’t Flynn agree to testify under oath in public?

4. Are there really secret recordings of private conversations between President Trump and James Comey?

5. What will be the focus of Robert Mueller’s investigation?

6. Will Flynn get immunity in order to compel his sworn testimony and relevant documents in his possession?

7. Is there a coup being planned by the national security state to remove Trump from the Presidency?

8. Why did Trump need the recommendations of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he had already made up his mind he was going to remove Comey from his position as FBI Director?

9. Why was Mueller named Special Counsel but not Special Prosecutor?

10. Where is the evidence Russia interfered in the 2016 US Federal Election, therefore tipping the vote towards Trump?

11. Will Democrats accept the final results of all these investigations if they all conclude that the election wasn’t rigged by Russia or anyone else?

12. What is President Trump so afraid of?

13. Why did Sessions not mention his contacts with Russian government officials during his confirmation testimony or on his SF-86 form?

14. How much does Vice President Mike Pence know about all of this?

15. Why didn’t Flynn previously disclose during the campaign that he was a foreign agent paid by a businessman with ties to the Turkish government?

16. If Russia wanted all of Obama’s sanctions against them lifted, what did The Trump Administration want in return?

17. What is the extent of Trump’s business interests in Russia?

18. Will Trump’s tax returns be subpoenaed by any of the numerous ongoing investigations?

19. Who is leaking all this damaging information about The Trump Administration?

20. Was Carter Page paid by the Russian government to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign?

21. Does the Russian government have any actual leverage over The Trump Administration?

22. Will Mueller’s investigation interfere with all the other ongoing probes?

23. When will the FBI submit the Comey memos to investigators?

24. When Comey was still the FBI Director, if he felt Trump was pressuring him to drop the Flynn investigation, why didn’t he come forward to say so months ago?

25. Did Trump really ask Comey three times if he was under investigation?

26. Why is Trump still loyal to Flynn when he has caused so much trouble for him politically?

27. Did Trump ever meet Carter Page and if so, what was the nature of their conversations?

28. Why did The Trump Administration allow a Russian photographer into the Oval Office during his May 10 meeting with two Russian officials when they didn’t want the US media to know about it?

29. Will Trump be impeached?

30. Why did Trump wait 18 days to fire Flynn when he was told by Obama officials well before then that the former head of the DIA might be compromised and possibly susceptible to Russian blackmail?

31. Why was Comey, a Republican, so secretive for almost a year about the Trump/Russia investigation which he eventually acknowledged in sworn testimony this year while being very open about the Hillary Clinton private email server inquiry?

32. Does Trump really like watching sex workers piss on a bed?

33. How many Trump officials will be resigning, fired or prosecuted when all is said and done?

34. Do the Russians really have compromising material on Trump and his aides?

35. How long are all these investigations gonna take and will they uncover the whole truth whether we accept it or not?

36. Is there really an Israeli spy embedded undercover with ISIS?

37. How deep is Jared Kushner’s involvement in all of this?

38. Does Trump regret firing Comey?

39. Who will be the new FBI Director?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, May 26, 2017
4:19 a.m.

Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 4:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Revealing Quotes From Bill O’Reilly’s Keep It Pithy (Part Two)

“…Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote that ‘it takes a village’ to raise children.  My parents and their friends thought it takes parents.  They were sorry that some of my friends had maniacs for parents, but they didn’t interfere.  And they didn’t want anyone poking their nose in our house, either.” (SEVEN, pg. 76)

“…can I say that my father was always looking out for me?  No, I can’t…my father had demons that intruded on his parental duties…my father set a terrible example by inflicting unnecessary pain on his children.  He did not do this on purpose.  He simply could not control himself.” (SEVEN, pg. 77)

“…these kids have been taught one lesson very well in their twelve years of so-called schooling: They are not going to be held accountable for failure.  When you have a lot of people believing that, you’re in real trouble.” (SEVEN, pg. 78)

NAMBLA’s website, as of this writing, is still up and running.

You don’t want to go there, I’m guessing.” (SEVEN, pg. 80)

[from O’Reilly’s Ten Commandments of Effective Parenting, first seen in Who’s Looking Out For You?]

“3. Parents who are looking out for their children will be under control in the house.  There will be no random violence, intoxication, sexual displays, uncontrolled anger, or vile language…If it is a chaotic mess, the parents are not looking out for the kids.

[snip]

7. Rules will be enforced but explained.  Parents who truly look out for their kids understand that there are rules in society and that high standards of behaviour are the key to a successful life.  Rules are good.  But rules must have a logical objective…

8. Parents will be honest at all times.  Lead by example.  No lying, no cheating, no nasty gossip, no cruelty, no manipulating…”

9. Parents will be respectful of their parents.  Grandparent abuse or neglect is among the worst possible things a child can see.  This is a very important commandment.  You can’t effectively look out for your kids if you don’t look out for your folks.  (Even if they don’t deserve it.)” (SEVEN, pgs. 81-4)

[from O’Reilly’s lame, satirical “secular Ten Commandments”]

“ONE: Thou Shalt Not Make Any Judgment Regarding Most Private Personal Behaviour.  Man/Woman Is the Master/Mistress of the Universe and His/Her Gratification Is Paramount.” (EIGHT, pg. 89)

“Thanks to increased competition, you are now much more likely to hear all sides of a story.  Sometimes that’s more information and more scandal than you might want to hear, but it’s your right and your job as a citizen to face up to it.” (EIGHT, pg. 90)

“The reason that we wretches [journalists] are under so much suspicion is that we are perceived as being arrogant.  That charge is tossed my way often.  I’ll let you make the call.” (EIGHT, pg. 91)

“We have an obligation to report on school principals like the one in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, who refused to publicly discipline two students who engaged in oral sex on a school bus in full view of other young students.  I mean, what kind of message does an educator send when he believes disgraceful public conduct is a private matter?

The fourteen-year-old girl and the sixteen-year-old boy who humiliated themselves and corrupted other children most likely got their oral sex education from the entertainment media (or President Clinton).  We have an obligation to scrutinize show business and so-called ‘celebrities’ who behave disgracefully.  We have an obligation to hold the corrupters personally accountable.

But we are not doing it.  And because of this cowardice and apathy, the forces of darkness are allowed to go to the bank unchallenged and, at times, even glorified.” (EIGHT, pg. 91)

“You will rarely see an article written about me that does not describe me as ‘contentious,’ ‘bombastic’, ‘a blowhard,’ or ‘bullying.’  While that assessment may be accurate… (EIGHT, pg. 92)

“…you can go ahead and hose people all day long, amassing great wealth and power, but what, exactly, does that mean?  Nada, that’s what.  Note to the greed-heads and evildoers: You may be remembered for your misdeeds, but only as objects of ridicule or revulsion.” (EIGHT, pg. 93)

“…most bad people, out of cowardice or self-interest, attempt to disguise their evil.  Some get justice, but some do not.  For me, that’s the most frustrating part of life: seeing evil individuals continue to harm people with impunity.” (EIGHT, pg. 94)

“Sex is supposed to be a private activity between consenting adults who are honest with each other, sharing pleasure and affection, and then shut up afterward.

Men, if a woman shares her body, take it as a gift of affection, not proof that you’re stud of the month.

Ladies, if you said yes without being forced, then don’t brag to your coworkers or your homegals.” (NINE, pg. 98)

“Dykes on Bikes?  Take a hike!  Can’t you ‘express yourself’ without throwing it in our faces?

…I don’t want to have to try to explain why Jack is dressed up like Jill or Jill is wearing a buzz cut.  The kid shouldn’t have to be dealing with any sexual ideas at all, much less a couple of thousand folks marching around in drag or half-naked in order to ‘celebrate your sexuality.’  Give us all a break.  Express your sexuality where the rest of us do, if we have any sense: at home, with the blinds drawn.” (NINE, pg. 99)

“Like Ann Landers, I’ve come up with a little manual for dealing with the opposite sex…Bring on the cheek-to-cheek, the heavy petting, and the home runs, but not ever with any of the following prohibited, ridiculous lines:

He says,

[snip]

‘Look, I just want to talk to you.  Nothing will happen if I come in.’ Lock the door.

[snip]

She says,

‘Let’s be friends.’  Fine.  Date her best friend.

‘My sister’s got two beautiful kids.’  Whatever you do, do not have sex with this woman.

‘I’m not that kind of girl.’  Get the telephone number of her best friend right now.” (NINE, pgs. 103-4)

“I don’t tolerate victimizers or charlatans or liars or manipulators.” (NINE, pg. 109)

“…I have instituted the two-call rule…If I call a person twice and don’t receive a call back, that relationship is over.  I leave a short message saying that I will not be calling again.

[snip]

“I want to deal only with people who are respectful of others, even in a casual setting such as a restaurant.  Be aware of how others are treating you and question that treatment if you feel it isn’t square.” (NINE, pg. 110)

“If you have to convince someone to be your friend, the concept of friendship falls apart.  Like love, you can’t force it.” (NINE, pg. 111)

“In my early years, I had no idea that I would rise so high in my career; nor did my friends.  They were betting on the penitentiary.” (NINE, pg. 111)

“For people like me…disaster is always in play, constantly present on the horizon…both my mother and father were possessed by a nagging fear that stuff would inevitably go wrong.

“..Americans born into wealth and power usually do not have that fear.  That’s because things always seem to work out for them.  Money buys security from harm and often can mitigate difficult situations.  Power, as we’ve discussed, leads to opportunities.” (TEN, pg. 118)

“Ms. [Rosie] O’Donnell demonizes anyone she disagrees with, and her musings are not to be questioned.” (TEN, pg. 119)

“Burt [Reynolds] took full advantage of Dallas [in 1977 while shooting Semi-Tough] with hot and cold running babes in his hotel suite and fleets of limos…I kind of liked him…But even I had enough smarts to see that he was headed for a fall.  He was too cocky to the wrong people…” (TEN, pg. 123)

“What kind of power does Oprah wield?  Well, Parade magazine reports that she makes $260 million a year.

[snip]

Having that kind of money can literally drive a person crazy.

[snip]

With everything almost instantly available, everything becomes rather ordinary.  For that reason, the ultrawealthy, if they are not ultracareful, can become bored, jaded, or, even worse, sadistic or self-destructive.  The awful behaviour of some celebrities and power brokers illustrates that point beyond a reasonable doubt.  Just ask Caligula.” (TEN, pg. 127)

“I know that sometimes I come off as ‘all about me.'” (ELEVEN, pg. 142)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, April 23, 2017
2:42 a.m.

Published in: on April 23, 2017 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Revealing Quotes From Bill O’Reilly’s Keep It Pithy (Part One)

Four years before he would be shit-canned for being publicly exposed as a creepy serial harasser, famously self-absorbed and thin-skinned Bill O’Reilly released a silly, contradictory book called Keep It Pithy: Useful Observations In A Tough World.  (Spoiler: it’s mostly useless.)  At less than 150 pages, it’s also a shameless recycling of highlighted passages from five of his previous books (with occasionally new but brief comments on those same passages).  Basically, it’s a written version of The O’Reilly Factor, his once long-running Fox News Channel program that just got cancelled.

When The New York Times revealed a few weeks ago that O’Reilly and Fox had privately settled with a number of female employees who complained about his abusive, lecherous behaviour at work and on the phone (resulting in 13 million in payouts), following the departure last summer of the channel’s co-creator Roger Ailes who had his own legal problems with women, it set in motion a chain of events that led to the end of an era.  Hopefully, it will also end O’Reilly’s book career.  The man’s a fucking self-parody.

Looking back on it today, among other things, it’s hard not to notice the blatant hypocrisy of a man who claims to be a faithful Catholic who’s just “looking out for the folks” with the reality of who he actually is, a gross, lying, adulterous, cowardly, violent, overpaid bully who can’t keep his hands to himself or even live up to his own self-described “traditional values”.  (When he criticizes others, he’s really criticizing himself.) I mean, on page 30, there he is defending Bill Cosby’s now discredited “morality” lectures against the Black community right next to a photo of the comedian himself.

At any event, here are the most revealing quotes from Keep It Pithy (the bold passages are the new bits O’Reilly wrote as comments, lead-ins and exits to his previous words):

“Many publishers have asked me to simply reprint my past stuff.  I’ve always said no.  That’s because some of what I’ve written is obsolete.  Dated.  Not relevant to anything anymore.  That happens because life passes quickly and seasons change, to say the least.  What was fascinating five years ago may be very boring right now.” (INTRODUCTION, pg. ix)

“…Please keep in mind that in order to move forward, you have to look backward.  We all must understand what has happened in our lives, in the country, and in society in order not to repeat mistakes and, most important, so that we can find the most moral path to happiness and prosperity.”  (INTRODUCTION, pg. xi)

“Back in 2006, I had fun imagining in my book Culture Warrior a future State of the Union speech by a U.S. president named Gloria Hernandez.  Here’s a summary of that imaginary pol’s goals and philosophies:

“…a ‘one-world’ approach to foreign relations that would prevent the U.S. government from imposing a policy that would benefit America first…a touchy-feely vision of our society that places individual self-expression and rights over self-sacrifice and adult responsibility.”  (ONE, pg. 3)

“The brilliant men who forged the Constitution…also believed for both moral and practical reasons that the greater good must always take precedence over individual selfishness.” (ONE, pg. 4)

“Most of these quotes from my writings will require no explanation.  My core values have not fundamentally changed.

Too late now!” (ONE, pg. 5)

“The sad truth is that most high-profile media people are looking out for themselves and themselves alone. On any given day in Manhattan, you will see them dining in incredibly expensive restaurants with other powerful people.  You will see them at swanky parties and black-tie charity events.  You will see them at their lavish vacation homes in the Hamptons, Aspen, or Loudoun County, Virginia.  You will not see them at Wal-Mart.” (ONE, pg. 8)

“To this day, I keep these lessons close:

  1. Keep a clear head.  [That means avoid getting hammered as much as possible.]
  2. Don’t compromise when you know you’re right.
  3. Give most people the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Don’t fear authority.
  5. And definitely have a good time.” (ONE, pg. 10)

“…I know that true, unrepentant evil exists. And I firmly believe it will be punished…” (ONE, pg. 16)

“Many letters to The Factor give me clear road maps to the devil’s den – and suggest I’m headed there.” (FOUR, pg. 42)

“[The Catholic Church’s] leadership is made up primarily of elderly white men who have spent their lives playing politics and currying favour with the conservative zealots in the Vatican…[They’]re all men of guile, power players who enjoy their wealth and influence…who play the same kind of callous game – that is, amassing power and money while completely forgetting the mission that Jesus died to promote.” (FOUR, pg.43)

“With such leadership [in the Catholic Church], it should come as no surprise that the clerical sex scandal broke wide open.  With a few exceptions…Catholic leadership in America is made up of venal, self-absorbed men who embrace the daily philosophy of ‘cover my butt’.  When Cardinal Law learned of abusive priests, did he leap up in outrage, throw out the perverts, and call the cops?  No, he did none of those things, according to his own sworn testimony.  Instead, he kept the situation quiet so it wouldn’t hurt his standing in Rome.  Thus his solution to child molestation by his priests was to pay the victims off and have them sign a nondisclosure agreement…That policy, of course, led to the brutalization of hundreds more children, but did Law care?  He dodged and weaved and attacked the press until finally the evidence became so overwhelming that he was publicly humiliated…But even after the crimes and payoffs became public, the Vatican refused to take aggressive action against Law and the other perversion enablers.  And so the reputation of the Catholic Church in America arrived where it is today – completely down the drain.” (FOUR, pg. 44)

“My last word on religion is a practical one based on timeless logic: If you live your life subject to the rules of Judeo-Christian tradition…then you will do more good than harm on this earth.  You will love your neighbour and help other people out.  You will not do things that hurt others or yourself.” (FOUR, pg. 45)

“In helping me to determine right from wrong, good from evil, and trying to correct injustice, my Catholic faith is invaluable.

[snip]

“Religion has been a very positive thing in my life.  Without it, I would never have been motivated to expose bad guys and celebrate heroism.  Most media people are self-interested and cautious.  But I see my job as much more than a big paycheck and a good table at the bistro du jour.  I am on a mission.” (FOUR, pgs. 46-7)

“Greed is the destroyer of success.  You cannot be creatively successful and greedy at the same time.  I’m talking about both material and emotional greed here.” (SIX, pgs. 57-8)

“The true heroes of America are not the new Internet billionaires or the overpaid sports stars and movie actors or the wise guys who jack up their companies’ stocks…The true heroes of America…go to work for a modest wage, fulfill their responsibilities to their families and friends, and are kind and generous to others – because that’s the right way to live…

But the rich and powerful have forgotten or never learned that bedrock truth.  Or they simply don’t care.

But forget them. 
Each of us is, to a large degree, in control of our own lives.
That includes me…” (SIX, pg. 59-60)

Self-indulgence, and especially harmful, debilitating self-indulgence, is not going to give you what you want.  It will keep you from getting what you want.” (SIX, pg. 60)

Kids seven to ten years old in Palmdale, California, were required by the school district to take a very disturbing sex survey.  Sample question: ‘How often do you think about sex?’  That’s not a misprint, folks.” (SIX, pg. 64)

Remember ‘Captain’ Lou Albano, the wrestler?  He always said, ‘This stuff is fake.  Don’t try it at home.’

So listen to me, someone whom you know from TV, when I say, ‘Be careful what you let your kids watch, and what they start to believe, if they fall for everything they see on TV.” (SIX, pg. 65)

“People basking in the spotlight – and I don’t just mean politicians – are forever presenting terrible examples to the children of America.” (SIX, pg. 66)

“…when they see other kids harming their bodies by drinking, smoking, taking drugs, or engaging in irresponsible sex, explain that these losers do not value themselves highly.  They’re doing themselves in because they’re unhappy about their lives; they don’t feel popular enough or attractive enough, so they fall for the short-term illusion of substance-induced kicks or cheap sexual thrills.” (SEVEN, pg. 73)

“History clearly demonstrates that without structure and accountability, human beings have a tough time staying on the rails…An effective person must incorporate discipline into his or her life, and a just society must demand responsibility from its citizens.” (SEVEN, pgs. 74-5)

“You can hope that you’ve raised someone who will join the forces of good in America, not a candidate for an entry-level job in the porno industry.” (SEVEN, pg. 75)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, April 23, 2017
2:11 a.m.

Published in: on April 23, 2017 at 2:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Liberal In Denial

A flamethrower with really bad timing
Out of touch with the angry masses
Stunned to once again be kicked to the curb
Impotently ranting as his time passes

Foiled by the shifting of the winds
Stuck in the past that will never return
Struggling to understand the new reality
Foolishly thought that it was her turn

An absolute master at collapsing bridges
So many relationships severed and torn
A downfall caused by pitiful decisions
A satisfying defeat that no one will mourn

Completely convinced of his own acumen
As arrogant as Margaret Thatcher
Two failed attempts to acquire modest power
You couldn’t even get elected dog catcher

Fatuous and lame, predictable and fake
A liberal who’s not very progressive
Dangerous positions rejected by most
Time to reach for that anti-depressive

When it all goes to shit you blame someone else
A sure sign of your chronic immaturity
How you long for a hero as dull as yourself
One who meets your criteria for purity

Racist and sexist without acknowledging such traits
Is the very definition of denial
Projecting your flaws onto those who oppose
You’re not noble at all, just vile

Contradictions abound when you lack consistency
Sometimes I wonder if you’re drunk
The glory days are over for you, I’m afraid
There’s no escaping this monumental funk

A verbal assailant who lives for the joust
But crumbles when challenged with facts
You can’t win with silence or petty retorts
You’re running out of retaliatory acts

Stop believing you’re on the inside
Such delusions make me laugh and cough
Some words of advice you need to hear
Do us a favour and kindly fuck off

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, April 15, 2017
4:00 p.m.

Published in: on April 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Prince Of Dumbness

I’m not fooled by your latest pose
The smell of bullshit right under my nose
A backroom stooge who’s forgotten his place
A sexist past you’ll never erase

Born again “feminist”? Don’t make me laugh
After all, you’re the king of the avoidable gaffe
Remember the cartoon on your stupid blog?
Impulsiveness is the curse of the glory hog

When it comes to Palestine, you’re in denial
What passes for thinking is frankly juvenile
An entire population seems to disappear
Because without the status quo, you have no career

Funny how Igor thinks he’s Dr. Frankenstein
You’re oh so progressive except for Palestine
Does their suffering not matter? Help me understand
Do you approve of the thieving of their homeland?

The master strategist once had the golden touch
But one campaign decision proved to be too much
All it took to cause such fatal devastation
Was making a false claim of transit segregation

Shortly thereafter, he was out of a job
Which gave him more time to be a cultural snob
Yet another cruel lesson that won’t be learned
When you create your own fires, expect to be burned

A paper sniper who lives for the pointless feud
But beware what you say or you’re gonna get sued
Your neutrality on Iraq was so incredibly brave
I didn’t know you had a reputation to save

A myopic centrist lost in his own hype
Backed another loser who couldn’t sell her own tripe
Just like him, he thought she was a winner
Imagine his shock when both were done like dinner

How much longer before you finally realize
That no one believes your new phony disguise
You care more for winning than doing what’s right
The Prince Of Dumbness, so ballless and slight

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
8:29 p.m.

Published in: on April 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Warren Beatty’s Secret Post-Oscars Playlist

Poor Warren Beatty.  He had one job to do at the 89th annual Academy Awards and it proved too difficult a task.  No, it wasn’t La La Land that had won Best Picture but Moonlight.  (Somehow, he was holding a duplicate Best Actress envelope.)  Not helping matters was the fact that it took forever to make the necessary correction.  By that point, the La La Land team had already delivered most of their acceptance speeches.

Feeling embarrassed by the whole preventable debacle, Beatty has been privately nursing his wounds through music, relentlessly punishing himself for his unfortunate error.  I happened to have gotten a hold of the playlist:

It’s A Mistake (MEN AT WORK)

Screwed It Up (LIMBLIFTER)

I Was Wrong (SOCIAL DISTORTION)

Fuckin’ Up (NEIL YOUNG)

I Started A Joke (BEE GEES)

Dare To Be Stupid (WEIRD AL YANKOVIC)

Karma Police (RADIOHEAD)

Not Right (THE STOOGES)

How Bizarre (OMC)

Dazed & Confused (LED ZEPPELIN)

Out Of Touch (HALL & OATES)

Help! (THE BEATLES)

Foolish Games (JEWEL)

No, No, No (DESTINY’S CHILD)

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (U2)

Wrong (DEPECHE MODE)

For Your Eyes Only (SHEENA EASTON)

Gotta Stop (Messin’ About) (PRINCE)

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (CULTURE CLUB)

Where’s The Love? (HANSON)

Something To Talk About (BONNIE RAITT)

Blurred Lines (ROBIN THICKE)

Causing A Commotion (MADONNA)

One Slip (PINK FLOYD)

Been Caught Stealin’ (JANE’S ADDICTION)

King Of Wishful Thinking (GO WEST)

I Missed The Bus (KRIS KROSS)

I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight (CUTTING CREW)

Thunderstruck (AC/DC)

Numb (U2)

Tragedy (BEE GEES)

My Favourite Mistake (SHERYL CROW)

Mr. Moonlight (THE BEATLES)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, February 27, 2017
6:28 p.m.

Published in: on February 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stubborn Young Fool

I’m so sorry you’re an idiot
I regret that you’re so dumb
Who cares about my identity?
What does it matter where I’m from?
It’s sad you just can’t handle
This inconvenient truth
Your candidate is garbage
Her losing is the proof

You asked a sincere question
How could she possibly be worse?
So I supplied the answer
And you began to curse
“Check your privilege, cis white male!”
A reply that made no sense
“I’m embarrassed that you’re a follower”
I didn’t know you were this dense

As I tried to explain
How I came to my position
You were seething in response
And made an impulsive decision
You refuse to listen to facts
That can never be refuted
She’s hurt people of colour
So many it can’t be disputed

In the end you revealed
You’re a stubborn young fool
Who just didn’t appreciate
Being taken to school
I was kind and supportive
And you were once the same
But when I noted her flaws
I was the one to blame

I wasn’t looking to fight
Or to sour your mood
I’ve always been respectful
This time, you were fucking rude
I will always remember
Your derisive scoff
So take your own advice
And kindly fuck off

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, February 6, 2017
10:43 p.m.

Published in: on February 6, 2017 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment