PUNCHLINES AND PROPHECIES – BY TOM CURLEY

So, last night Ellin and I were watching the Golden Globe Awards.

Normally we don’t that much care who wins or loses. But for the last few years I’ve been getting “screener” copies of all the movies nominated for all the award shows. We watch as many as we care to watch and can watch the ones that win. So, we watched the show. Near the end of the show Oprah Winfrey was given the Cecile B. DeMille award.

It’s their version of a life-time achievement award. The winner gets to give a speech without having to worry about the dreaded “music” telling them to shut the fuck up and get off the stage before they get “the hook.”

Last year the winner was Meryl Streep. She gave a speech eviscerating our “So called Commander-in-Chief.” This year Oprah didn’t really mention the President at all. Even so, she gave a presidential speech and by most accounts, a pretty good one. In the middle of it, I paused the show and said to Ellin. “Holy crap, she’s running for president.”

And sure enough, that was the headline the next day.

I’m writing all of this, not because I support or oppose Oprah Winfrey running for president. I’m not writing this because if he’s done nothing else, Cheesy MacCheese Head has proved the old adage we were taught as children: “Anybody can grow up to be President.”  More importantly, he’s proved that just because anybody can be president, not everybody SHOULD BE!!

No, I’m writing this because I predicted that Oprah Winfrey would be president 28 YEARS AGO!!!

Don’t believe me? I have proof. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far … well actually, it was this galaxy. I wrote a show called “A Half Hour Radio Show.”

The premise of the show was that two hosts, me and my partner Jeff, would present a half hour of witty, satirical bits, and skits. The problem was, we never ever did any of them because something would always happen. We would never get to our actual show. In the first episode, the radio station we were on was sold during the opening music and they installed an instantaneous ratings computer that computed ratings in real time. Every time we went to commercial, the format would change so we never got to our show.

After that, things got much weirder.

In one episode, Jeff and I got sent 30 years into the future to do a show with our future selves. Why? Well, we still had the show 30 years in the future and we realized one day that we had no show for that week.

We thought it would be funny to get our selves from 30 years ago to come to the future and do a show together. Then they remembered that they actually did do that, so now, they had to do that. So, they did.

If that confuses you, it should. If figuring out time travel doesn’t give you a headache, you’re not doing it right.

The point of that particular show was to look at the world 30 years from then. Our young selves asked our old selves about what life was like. We learned things like:

  • There were 5000 TV channels. Today, cable, satellite, fiber, etc.
  • Every song had its own channel. Today, it’s Pandora, Spotify, etc.
  • There was a commercial channel. It only played commercials. Today, it’s on YouTube.
  • When asked who was the President of the United States, our older selves answered: “Oprah Winfrey.”

It’s on tape. You can listen to it here.


Not only did I write it, I wrote it the in early 1990s
when 30 years in the future was 2020!


I was JOKING!! I was trying to be FUNNY!  I thought that was all CRAZY stuff! Considering what’s been going on, maybe it’s not so crazy after all.

I wanted to make the future as funny and absurd as I could. I never thought I’d become “The Nostradamus of Nonsense.”

THE SEE-SAW SOCIETY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I just had a terrible thought! What if the extreme political division in America continues? What would that mean, long-term, to our government and to our country?

The way I see it, we could just see-saw back and forth between Republican and Democratic Presidents and congressional control in Washington. When one party is in power, the other party will become energized and vote them out at the next presidential election (after either four or eight years of the ‘in’ party’s reign). Then the same thing will happen again and the current minority party will take over from the current majority party. This process could go on forever.

What would this mean for the country? When in office, each party will devote their energies to undoing everything the other party did during it’s time in power. The President will reverse as many of the opposition party’s executive orders as possible. Congress will pass laws to neutralize or reverse as many as possible of the ‘evil’ laws passed by the other party. The courts will be stacked with ‘good’ judges from the ruling Presidential/Congressional party.

This translates to total schizophrenia for the country. For four to eight years at a time, we’ll have, let’s say, a Democratic government. That would mean we’d live with policies that were pro-environment, pro-universal healthcare, pro-regulations, pro-entitlements, pro-voting rights, pro-women’s rights, pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-LGBT rights, pro-marijuana, pro-income equality, pro-Constitution and Bill Of Rights, pro-gun control, pro-middle class, pro-diplomacy, pro-Western European allies, etc. You get the idea.

Then when the pendulum swings, we’ll have four to eight years of a government that is against or indifferent to all of the above. That government would work hard to enforce the exact opposite.

(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / iqoncept

It may actually take more than four to eight years to undo all the ‘damage’ done by the opposition party during their time in power. So random rules and laws from each party’s tenure could remain. This would result in a mishmash of laws and policies coexisting, that range from right-wing/conservative to left-wing/progressive. But the major issues, the ones that electrify and motivate each base, these policies will swing wildly from one administration and congress to the next. There will be instability and confusion in every aspect of life.

The party in power will shut out the other party, minimizing that party and emasculating them. The continuation of one party rule, with no compromise or coöperation, will further fan the flames of inter party hatred and further fuel the bitter political divisions in the nation. It will also make it very hard to get anything done in Washington because majorities will always be small and fragile.

That leaves us with a barely functioning government that will always have the abject hatred of a large percentage of the country. Everyone will know that whatever the ruling party manages to accomplish will be undone and or reversed within a few years.

I don’t see how this cycle will get broken. Unless, the 60% – 65% of the people who hate Trump can come together and form a government that has at least some bipartisan support. Once that happens, the pendulum can stop swinging wildly and reset somewhere in the middle.

Until then, buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

MEAGER OR LESS BE THE GIVINGS OF OUR PATHETIC GOVERNMENT

THE MEAGER MEANNESS OF THE REPUBLICANS IN POWER


With the pointless removal of Net Neutrality — a proposition against which 22 million American objected this time around — they did it anyway. As if letting us have anything going for us offended our lords and masters.

We used to have an elected government. Now, we have vicious little kings in their nasty little domains, set up to take it all and give it to those who need it least from those who needed it most. From healthcare — at which they have not yet succeeded in depriving us, but wait for it — to the loss of net neutrality, the goal of this government is to collect taxes from the poor and shovel the money to the already-too-rich-for-their-own-good.

Our government at work

Meager? Our “working” government are a bunch of Scrooges who never saw a ghost. They will not rest until they have wrested everything they can from us and left us poorer by far than when they arrived.

I have long ceased to ask why. These are men who have no conscience, no vision of the future, no love, no compassion. They are cold, hard, mean-spirited men and I hope with all my heart that we toss them out on their asses as soon as legally possible. Sooner if Mueller gets his act together. Who knows how much damage they can do in the meantime?

BAD GOVERNMENTS TEND TO GET WORSE

“It is a lot harder to get rid of a bad government than to elect one,” said my Tasmanian friend.

It sure is. We  elected Trump — though I take issue with including me as I did not vote for Trump or anyone in his party. Ever. We opened the door and let them in. Getting them out again is going to be one huge mess. I wonder how we will do it, what with all the gerrymandering in the various electoral districts and a broken Electoral College.

First, you get elected.

My father used to remind me — regularly, as if I were otherwise going to forget — that the German people voted for Hitler. He didn’t thug his way into power. He ran for office and they voted for him.

We — as a nation — voted for Trump. Some voted for him out of some bizarre but well-intentioned belief that he might do some good. Others were just pissed off and they wanted to make a loud noise — and they most assuredly have done exactly that. Many voted for him by not voting at all, or voting for non-electable candidates, effectively skewing the election.

It wasn’t a national sweep where we all got together and thought he was “the right guy” for the job, but  the weird statistics managed to get it done.

Trump is the man pushing through laws we thought we’d beaten off. All the positive things we thought we’d accomplished turning to rubble. It’s going to be long road back.

Then, you pass some really evil legislation.

Like the Germans, we did it freely. No army pushing us. No thugs at our backs beating us down. There was a hint of potential thuggery, of course, but few of us directly experienced it. Now, welcome to a new world. Our world. We bought it, moved into it, and are living it. Hell isn’t theoretical anymore. We are in it.

Look what we’ve got. Laws which will in short order make the poor more poor, the middle class a lot closer to poor and a several hundred filthy rich people ridiculously even filthier and richer.

Laws which will make most of us less healthy, will kill many who remain. Children will die of easily controllable diseases, as will their parents and grandparents. Old people will starve and live in poverty without a safe place to live.

The roads and railways will crumble. Our last remaining places of beauty will become sump holes of oil hunters and fracking companies. Pollution will increase, the air will get less breathable. Jobs won’t trickle down.

Because poor people don’t spend money and without a demand for goods, no one will hire new workers or raise the wages of existing ones.

Many of us will do our best to keep our spirits up and stay on a better course. We will never stop hoping that something will happen to get us back on the right track. Maybe Fat Orange Head will keep eating those fried burgers until his heart stops pumping. He’s old enough, fat enough, and sluggish enough. We can hope. Maybe in the middle of a Tweet, his brain will finally melt down.

We dream of a better future.

Where are the new Democrats? Why do I always see the same old faces? Assuming we have the will to drive the current assholes out of office — who are we going to elect? When do we see the new faces to will lead us forward?

Most of us still believe this country is a democracy. Is it?

ANYONE KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON? (WITH GARRY AS THE CLOSER)

I keep reading about how Trump is going to be impeached. Meanwhile, I keep thinking two presidents were impeached: Andrew Johnson and William J. Clinton. Neither was removed from office. It was more like a bad mark on their permanent record than getting expelled. They were harder on Harry Potter than either impeached President.

This doesn’t mean I had or have anything against Bill Clinton (I liked him a lot) except the whole thing about men and their zippers and how come they can’t just keep them zipped — at least until they get out of office. Would it really kill them to not screw someone inappropriate for a few years? Men can be such pigs. But I digress.

I do not think Trump will be impeached. “Why not?” you ask.



Because the Senate doesn’t want to. Even if Democrats utterly wipe the floor with Republicans in 2018 by winning EVERY available seat in the Senate, it does not mean the Senate will impeach Trump. And if they did, why does everyone assume that impeachment would unseat Trump? It hasn’t unseated the two presidents who were impeached. The only thing that can unseat a president are “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which there exists no clear, current definition.

Moreover, a GOP-dominated — or even a Senate with a substantial percentage of them — does not have to act on impeachment. Regardless of the outcome of any investigation, now or in the future, there is no mandate to do anything about it. And yet, despite the ineffectiveness of previous impeachment procedures, everyone is convinced that this time, it will be different.

Why? What would make this time different than before? What new law is on the books? What new interpretation of “crimes the president can commit” exists?



I’m as unhappy as anyone about the state of the nation, but I’m a pragmatist. The harder I look at it, the more I’m convinced this is another not-happening event. Senators aren’t going to take him down. For way too many of them, it would be the same as taking themselves down.

If we are all very lucky, Mueller’s investigations will take down many of his Trump’s cronies. Which maybe will improve the situation a little bit. But eliminating Trump? You think so? If you think so, I’d like to hear why you think so. Based on what? Because I want to believe. I really do.

In the end, I believe that ending this disaster will rest with us. Voters. In 2018 and 2020. If we cannot stand together and sweep the bastards out of office, life in these United States is going to get increasingly ugly and frightening.

Talk to me. Tell me I’m wrong. Convince me I’m crazy or I just don’t understand the situation.

I’m listening.

And from Garry Armstrong:


This has been primary conversation for Marilyn and me, which depresses the hell out of us, but one thing seems clear: The Squatter isn’t giving up his land because of all the bad news and the threat of impeachment. Unless they nail him on treason, he’s not getting out of Dodge. Unless they get Watergate type material on him, he won’t give up the ranch. It’ll take a great showing by the Democrats in the mid-terms and deep doo-doo for the Republicans for the Bully Boys to run their Jefe out of town.

Meantime, it’s great fodder for late night comedy/ talk shows. As the revival tempo monologues pile up the missteps by Orange Head and his minions, the audience gets more and more excited, anticipating a climax that the Big Fat Bad Hombre is leaving. No! Not happening that way. Sorry to be a party pooper but reality bites.

Don’t shoot the messenger. Men are cheaper than guns.,

TENTERHOOKS? IT’S SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT!

Tenterhooks, those hooks that hold fabric over the “tent” during manufacture? Not what’s on my mind.

I’m much more worried about what is going on with my country and it is scaring me half to death. Not just scary, though. Horribly depressing.

Now that I’ve said that, I’m going to make an effort to return to not thinking. I’m worded out. Read out. Mentally exhausted, angry, frustrated, and wounded. If I live long enough to vote again, I hope I get to see every last Republican voted out of government. Then, let’s call on the ghosts of Wyatt Earp and his boys — and have them run every last one of those evil bastards out-of-town.

Every town.

Everywhere.

Forever.

Let them live on dry sand and cactus under a relentless sky.

Nothing makes us all feel so frightened and vulnerable as realizing we have an out-of-control government and nothing we can do about it. It is a genuinely terrifying experience and I do not wish this on anyone.

FACTS, FAKE NEWS AND FACEBOOK – BY TOM CURLEY

As the drip, drip, drip of the Russia investigation is turning into a torrential downpour, the news cycle has been diverted to another story.

It appears the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama is a PEDOPHILE! A guy who had, or tried to have sex with CHILDREN!!

The facts are damning. The case against him is solid. So solid, in fact, most Republicans in Congress have come out against him and said he should drop out of the race. So, who isn’t denouncing him? Well, SCROTUS of course. What a surprise. Plus a whole bunch of Alabama Republican voters. The excuses some of them have come up with are mind-boggling.

How about: “Mary was under age. Joseph was much older, so Roy Moore is just being biblical.” Yes, that is real. I did not make it up. They also said “He might be a child-molester, but at least he’s not a Democrat.” That’s real, too.

My first thought at this was, is there no line that can’t be crossed with these people? Is there nothing this guy could do that would make them say “Enough. I’m out!”  Kill a puppy? Torture a kitten? Eat a baby?

But then I realized that the most probable reason they think the way they do is because they don’t believe the news reports. It’s all “fake news.” We live in a bizarre world where if people read news they don’t like, they refuse to believe it. Why?

Well, I think it’s mostly because of Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Most people get their news these days from social media. Not newspapers, not cable news, not network news, not local news. Just Facebook.

And where does the news on Facebook come from? Mostly from people on Facebook. All those folks sharing and sending stories they see on Facebook to their friends. Email is also a popular way to propagate “the new News”. I think the reason that this new “News” delivery system has been so successful is because you get the stories from your friends.

People you know.

There is only one small problem here. YOUR FRIENDS DIDN’T WRITE THE STORIES!

They just pass them along. 99.9% of them don’t check to see if they are actually true. It only takes about 30 seconds to go to snopes.com to see if a story is true, but almost nobody ever does it.

Unless your friend is an actual reporter you should take anything you read online with a grain of salt. Some with a grain of salt the size of a grapefruit.

That’s a lot of salt!

Here’s a sad fact. Almost all the stuff you see online is not true.


There is no pill, cream or exercise that will make your penis larger. There is no program from Bill Gates, Disney, or any other company that is donating five dollars to a cancer charity every time you forward an email.

You are not going to lose 50 pounds in two days using “This belly busting miracle food!” Nor is there a Nigerian Prince who is going to send you 25 million dollars. Did I mention there is nothing that’s going to make your penis larger?

Your friends mean well, but they’re your friends. They are not journalists.

The Russians managed to send fake stories to over 120 million Americans using Facebook. Mostly because people shared and tweeted those fake stories. Facebook is like the 9-year-old friend who knew everything about everything you had when you were nine. You believed every word he said. And he was always full of shit.

Babies come from Amazon.com

Try this as a general rule on whether or not the story might be true. If you read it on social media, check out where the story actually came from, not who sent it to you. 

News is news. It’s supposed to be factual reporting on what is going on in the world. It’s not supposed to be what you would like to be going on in the world.

P.S.: If you pass this blog along to at least ten people, absolutely nothing good or bad will happen to you, but it sounds like a good idea to me.