How did a probate judge get the power to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Clete Wetli, Contributor

With all of the hypocritical right-wing pearl clutching over ‘activist judges’ making law from the bench, it’s shocking that newly elected Madison County, AL Probate Judge Frank Barger felt like it was in his limited judicial purview to grant an aborted fetus the right to have an estate and an attorney in an obvious underhanded ploy to overturn Roe v. Wade. What’s equally stunning is that Barger doesn’t even have a law degree because it’s not currently a requirement to hold the position. But, he has somehow decided that he can upend centuries of precedent and grant legal rights to an aborted fetus in a clearly misguided attempt to prosecute a woman who simply did not violate the law when she decided to have a legal abortion.

What makes this rogue Probate Judge’s actions so despicable is that he’s using a recently passed Alabama ‘personhood’ statute to justify his blatant, religiously-motivated overreach.  The obviously unconstitutional Alabama law that was passed during the last midterm elections states that a fetus and mother have equal rights under the law and it was a highly partisan political attempt to make abortion illegal in the state in direct defiance of Roe v. Wade. In this particular case, the suit was filed two years after the abortion occurred which suggests that, again, this is a scheme designed to circumvent established constitutional law and precedent.

Sadly, this could lead to an enormous amount of very negative legal consequences if this absurdity is upheld. In short, it implies that all abortions are murder and because murder has no statute of limitations, it would open up legal liability to any woman alive who ever had an abortion. That’s just wrong in every way imaginable. But, that’s been the plan of extremist conservatives all along.

That’s what’s terrifying about Trump stacking the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative white bread frat boys who view their position on the high court as a chance to infuse their religious and extreme conservative beliefs into lasting legal precedent. This is dangerous and this must be stopped. Women should never be criminalized for exercising their right to choose or for making decisions about their own bodies.

The biggest outrage in this pathetic ploy is how conservatives have branded themselves for decades as the ‘law and order’ party, yet they continue to show no regard for the Constitution when it serves their political advantage. Whether it’s equal rights or equal pay for women, extremist Republicans have continued to try to pass laws that ensure women will be treated as second-class citizens. This latest bizarre and unethical plan is just another example of what conservatives and their religious zealot base thinks of women.

It’s time to demand that Probate Judge Frank Barger be impeached for his ignorant judicial malpractice. It’s also time to demand that Probate Judges in Madison County actually have a law degree as a pre-requisite to holding office. Next, people should demand that Alabama rescind its unconstitutional abortion laws because they are in direct conflict with existing federal law. After this horrific fiasco, Republicans have no right whatsoever to utter complaints about ‘activist’ judges.

In this unfortunate case, the woman who had the legal abortion deserves our sincere support She does not deserve public censure, not vengeful prosecution, and certainly not mountains of legal bills so that rabid Republicans can throw more red meat to their far-right religious base as they try to out-conservative each other. This is simply a travesty.

Let’s stand up for women and fight this judicial overreach. Probate judges shouldn’t be making any type of decisions in a legal matter such as this. Shame on you, Probate Judge, with no law degree, Barger. We can only hope you’re looking for another job in the next trimester.

‘Repeatedly and brazenly’- Republicans’ disdain for the law

Franklin, Contributor

While more details emerge about the decades-long white-collar crime spree of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Robert Mueller just released a heavily redacted 800-page memo advocating harsh federal sentencing for Manafort due to his deliberately, ‘repeatedly and brazenly’, violating the law for decades. Repeatedly and brazenly.

It’s a recurring and despicable theme in the dark era of Trump. If you’re a rich older white guy, the rules just don’t apply to you. It’s what happens when extreme capitalism conspires with Machiavellianism whilst having an obsessive affair with status-inspired vanity. It’s the only sensible explanation for Manafort’s $15,000 ostrich-leather jacket or his insane expenditures of over $900,000 in five years on designer suits.

Repeatedly and brazenly.

This outrageous disdain for the law and Constitutional norms is evident in every one of Trump’s appointments or picks for senior level positions. It’s obvious in his bullshit declaration of a national emergency on the southern border; yet, his previous declaration of a national emergency on the American opioid epidemic was simply flaccid and clearly inadequate. It was brash and shamelessly apparent in Trump’s tax plan that shifted more money to those sitting on mountains of cash at the expense of the working-class and poor.

Repeatedly and brazenly; rinse and repeat.

When Republicans consciously and intentionally decided to be Trump’s bitch, they prostituted their party and ideals in a way seldom seen in political history. They did it because they believe crap like Joe diGenova, former U.S. attorney and Kool-Aid drinking Republican, said recently to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, “We are in a civil war in this country. There’s two standards of justice, one for Democrats one for Republicans. The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left. They hate Republicans, they hate Trump. So, the suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. It’s not going to be. It’s going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do two things – I vote and I buy guns.”

Repeatedly and brazenly, they espouse a bizarre amalgam of greed, white supremacy, entitlement, privilege, and xenophobia. And it’s happening because Trump is literally the extreme conservative icon’s dream of an ideal president, as articulated in 2012 by Grover Norquist, who claimed the ideal president would be “a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen.” Republicans sold their souls for a debaucherous grifter, man-child who could do just that to advance their perverse political agenda.

Repeatedly and brazenly.

As we endure the constant and startling atrocities of Trump and his ilk, we should somehow remain optimistic that our nation will survive this assault on our sacred norms and proud institutions. Surely, Republicans are not genuinely proud of Trump or the immoral swamp he represents. Certainly, they will repent and regroup as the inevitable indictments fall and the ugly truth of his corruption and moral bankruptcy is irrefutably exposed. And not just Trump’s, but all his cronies who have engaged in the same type of reprehensible and obviously illegal behavior. We must remain steadfast that they, indeed, are not above the law.

Don’t think that Democrats or others aren’t prone to this sort of repeated and brazen illegality. The difference is that we hold our own responsible. Just ask Al Franken. And, true, there are those like former President Clinton who got away with egregious misconduct, yet liberals can still claim the moral high ground by committing to doing what’s morally right, particularly as we move forward. It matters that Democrats, in spite of their failures, continue to adhere to the highest ethical standards. If we don’t, we become them.

Repeatedly and brazenly and wittingly.

It’s time to remember that the goal of public service isn’t power, it’s all about making our nation a more perfect union. Our adherence to our American values is the only thing we should be doing repeatedly and brazenly.

Oh, and fuck all those greedy, immoral self-indulgent traitors like Paul Manafort… He truly deserves what he’s about to get and we can only hope it’s repeatedly and brazenly in federal prison.

The Sublime Crime of ‘Executive Time’

Contributor, Clete Wetli

In another unsurprising leaked and humiliating revelation this week, some disgruntled senior White House staffer disclosed Trump’s actual presidential work schedule to a salivating media. It turns out that Trump devotes the majority of his day and a good deal of his legendary stamina to a mysterious category called “executive time.”

Alrighty, then. What, pray tell, is this sacred time? Now, the word ‘executive’ is defined as a person having the power to put plans, actions, or laws into effect. In Trump’s case, that may be true in the most superficial of ways. So, maybe, the word ‘executive’ should be looked at in terms of its root word- to execute. That is, to kill. Killing time. Sleeping in and killing time until it’s time for that one afternoon appointment. Can’t let anything interfere with tweet time.

No wonder this got leaked. Anyone who actually works in any sort of real job would be pissed that this tanning bed addicted imbecile gets to just lay around on the clock for over half the day chugging Diet Pepsi and nibbling hamberders while calling his fawning buddies. I mean, this clown barely shows up for work and seems to spend most of his time murdering grammar on Twitter while watching Fox and Friends. But, “executive time” sure sounds a lot better than letting America in on the big secret that our Commander in Chief is simply fucking off all morning.

Well, I asked my boss for some executive time and didn’t get any response except an email from HR that advises me to attend some mandatory seminar or find other employment. Whatever.

Well, we all understand that being POTUS is very demanding and that there should be some flexibility in scheduling and hours. But, folks, Trump is making a mockery of the institution in every way imaginable. Whether it’s the outright violation of the emoluments clause, the shady profiteering and cronyism, the disrespect for traditions and norms, or his juvenile and stubborn refusal to listen to his own intelligence chiefs; it has become clear that Trump is derelict, incompetent, lazy, arrogant, and selfish in the most infantile of ways.

Some pundits have vociferously expressed gratitude for Trump’s excessive use of executive time because they believe it diminishes his preternatural and uncanny ability to harm and embarrass America. They may have a salient point. Yet, others like Cliff Sims, Trump apologist and founder of the propaganda machine Yellowhammer News, are trying to say that Trump’s executive time is just a style choice that is somehow key to his effectiveness. Yeah, right. Ok. Effective at what, exactly? Being an asshole and manufacturing imaginary crises? Making the rich richer and poor poorer? Bring back a bajillion coal jobs? Oh, I guess not so much.

What Trump is doing in the White House would get him fired in any other employment setting. He continually shows that he is purposely ignorant and bent on nothing more than confirming his own prejudices whilst indulging his base desires and instincts. It’s sad that a euphemism, ‘executive time’ had to be created to mislead people about what this deliberately ignorant lazy man-toddler is really up to. We laugh at the covfefe and hamberders, but it’s only because laughing prevents us from rioting in the streets and demanding wholesale revolution. Somehow, we’ve survived half a term with this charlatan.  Hopefully, Mueller has discovered enough to help forcibly remove him. If not, let’s pray that voter’s have had enough of Trump’s malarkey and that they quickly show him the door.

In the meantime, I’m curious to know if people get ‘executive time’ in prison… asking for a friend… wink, wink.

Attack of the Democratic Cannibals!

Well, it’s looking like there’s going to be literally scores of Democratic candidates running against Donald Trump in 2020 and the race is already a fascinating study into why we can’t have nice things.  You could see this clearly when California Senator Kamala Harris announced her candidacy in front of 20,000 adoring supporters because it drew immediate, puerile condemnation from the Bernie-bots on social media. Notwithstanding the obvious irony that Bernie Sanders is not really a member of the Democratic Party, the attacks on Harris were disproportionally vicious and extreme.  Sadly, this scenario will continue to play out as more and more candidates announce their intentions to run. The Democratic Cannibals have been awakened and they are ready to eat other Democrats that fail their fickle tests of ideological purity.

They can’t wait to eat Kirsten Gillibrand and Tulsi Gabbard. They drool when they hear O’Rourke. They can’t wait to rip them to shreds, especially if they have changed their minds on a hot-button issue.

And it’s not just the Democratic Cannibals that are fanatically devoted to a particular candidate who seem to be engaged in eating their own kind. In some cases, it’s the actual candidate that’s ready to eat a pound of liberal flesh and wash it down with a little chianti. In the case of ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, it may be a venti chai latte that he guzzles after metaphorically poisoning his liberal colleagues. Pathetically, that’s all Schultz has rhetorically to draw attention to his lukewarm, no-message, vainglorious, not-a-snowball’s-chance-in-hell-of winning candidacy.

The funny thing is that it’s the Democratic Cannibals that are responsible for bringing us the Orange Stain that is currently occupying the Oval Office. They did it by loudly chewing on Clinton, especially when their candidate didn’t win the nomination, and they spitefully cast their votes for Johnson and Stein. It felt so good to eat other Dems and Liberals, didn’t it?

Look, I’m not saying that Democrats shouldn’t be able to criticize other Democrats, nor am I saying that we shouldn’t have a shared philosophical frame. But, the Democratic Cannibals have taken their derision and divisiveness to a new destructive level. Often, the choice to kill and consume their brethren comes from disagreement over a single controversial issue like abortion, healthcare, or taxation. Instead of engaging in intelligent discourse or debate, they rage and cause indiscriminate damage.  The Democratic Cannibal is the anthropomorphic symbol of political extremism.

So, as we gear up for 2020, let’s try to remember who the real opposition is. Let’s focus our energies on getting a Democrat elected and saving our democracy, not to mention our place on the world stage.  This isn’t the time for us to have an intraparty food fight or to throw support behind people that we know have a zero chance of winning. The stakes are way too high in the aftermath of the Trumpocalypse. We can’t afford to eat our own.

We want a Democratic Party that doesn’t march in lockstep, but we also need to understand that there’s time for debate and a time to be unified. Lately, there’s been no clearer example than Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ability to unite Democrats when it really counted. Yes, there’s also room for upstarts like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even though there are stark difference in substance and tone between the freshman congresswoman and party leadership. Yet, when the chips were down, Democrats effectively united.

So, if you’re going to be a Democrat, then be a loyal member of the Democratic Party. If you can’t play nice, go join the Donner Party, but please quit talking with your mouth full… well, how about just quit talking… hey, have you met Howard Schultz? He’s got a chai latte with your name on it…

No! “Both sides” are not to blame for the shutdown!

Republicans are doing everything they possibly can to convince a disgusted American public that Trump’s partial government shutdown is somehow the result of “both sides” failing to come to an agreement over Trump’s insane border wall.

It’s just not true.

Republicans and Democrats had come to an agreement over government spending that Trump refused to sign only after he succumbed to the influence of right-wing nut jobs like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh at the very last minute.  In fact, Trump’s legislative gimp in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, wouldn’t have allowed a vote on the legislation if Trump hadn’t already said he was going to sign it in advance. Alas, all was going well until Ann Coulter opened her moldy, hateful pie-hole.

Trump wants this shutdown because it’s an effective tool of mass distraction from the Mueller investigation- an investigation that is slowly and surely revealing the many illegal activities of the Orange Imposter and his band of money hungry, ass-kissing sycophants. Trump also knows that his racist base loves that he’s shutting down the government over a border wall because that’ll keep those bad brown-skinned hombres out. Facts don’t matter, they love the symbolism of the wall to keep out rapey, gang-member, drug-dealing, criminal, disease-carrying, every-bad-thing-you-can-possibly-imagine foreigners and don’t care if a bunch of free-loadin’, overpaid federal government workers are hurt by the shutdown.

No! Both sides are not to blame. The blame lies solely with Trump. Well, maybe a little with gimp Mitch for having no human adult gonads. Yeah, this shitstorm is all born out of Trump’s moronic tantrum. Trump can’t find a way to resolve this now because no one in either party trusts him anymore. Trump’s already walked away from other, better deals and, in fact, he’s the one who turned DACA into a huge mess in the first place. Add that to the fact that the Republicans have zero interest in solving the immigration problem because it’s such a useful tool when it comes to firing up their racist, hateful base. If you don’t believe it, just look at how Alabama Congressional mouth-breather Mo Brooks uses it whenever he needs a media jolt to remind his drooling base that he’s still a shill for all things Trumpy.

But you should be enraged by all of the inane commentary that tries to paint the shutdown situation as one in which both sides are being unreasonable. Um, no, not at all. Sorry, the Democrats have been exceedingly reasonable and generously flexible. They just know orange bullshit when they see it and they’re done negotiating with a man-toddler who revels in orange bullshit.

It’s high time that people stop being lazy in their commentary and observations regarding politics in the age of Trump.  It’s okay to assign credit and blame appropriately even if turns out to be disproportional because the facts bear that out. However, it’s terrible to continue this stupefying chant that demands a pox on “both your houses” because both sides are to blame- it’s simply not true and its damaging net effect is to increase voter apathy and/or suppress meaningful civic engagement.

Just because we ended up with reality tv president doesn’t mean we have to lower our standards or pretend that he bears any semblance to his intelligent and opposable-thumb-wielding predecessors. Trump is hopefully an anomaly, a malignant tumor on our democracy that will soon be excised if there is any divinely inspired justice in the universe.

So, let’s follow the lead of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and start telling some inconvenient truths as if we have no more fucks to give! Let’s quit saying both sides are to blame when it’s perfectly clear where the blame lies.

This is Trump’s mess and Democrats are not going to clean his shitty orange diaper- that sounds like a job for Mitch the gimp… if you can find him.

A Letter from the Peter Joffrion for Congress Campaign Trenches

midterms, 2018, political, campaign, twentytwentynews

Clete Wetli, Contributor

You’ve probably been wondering, “Where in the Hell is Franklin, Wetli, Waters, and the rest of the crew at twentytwentynews.com?” In fact, we’ve gotten a ton of emails and messages expressing concern over their recent silence. Some have speculated that Franklin succumbed to his love of bourbon and ran off with that cute shih-tzu that’s been giving him the eye. Others have wondered if Jerry Waters chained himself to an oil pipeline under construction in a last-ditch attempt to help try and save the environment. Some have said that Clete Wetli may have been abducted and shoved into a very deep, dark hole in the hidden basement at WVNN. Several reports have said that all he can hear is Dale Jackson’s voice saying, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again…”

That’s all fake news, my friends. The truth is that they’ve all been working around the clock for the Peter Joffrion for Congress campaign. They promise that they’ll get back to work at twentytwentynews.com in November after the election. But right now, they’re making phone calls, knocking on doors, writing postcards, and do everything they can to make sure that the Fifth Congressional District is represented by someone who doesn’t believe sea levels are on the rise due to rocks falling in the ocean.

Peter Joffrion himself has been working non-stop. He’s going to multiple events per day and his stamina is truly amazing. Peter doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He’s honest, hard-working, sensible, and passionate about the people he wants to represent. Just hanging around Peter and his wife, Kerry, makes you want to be a better person. Everyone who takes a minute to get to know him quickly decides that he should be the one who represents them in Congress.

The campaign has knocked on over ten thousand doors in five counties. They’ve made tens of thousands of phone calls and put out thousands of yard signs. They’ve written almost seven thousand postcards to date. It’s been a tremendous grassroots effort fueled by everyday people in North Alabama who want what’s best for their community. They know they can trust Peter Joffrion to work hard and do what’s right.

Peter Joffrion’s message is simple- Make sure people can afford quality healthcare for themselves and their families, create good paying jobs in rural areas, and ensure that more vocational education and training opportunities are available to people who can’t or don’t want to attend a four-year college. He’s not afraid to take a stand on issues like immigration or guns. Peter doesn’t think children should be incarcerated by ICE in cages or that everyone needs an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He’s not taking money from lobbyists or the NRA. Peter recognizes what it means to serve as a leader and his positions don’t change due to fickle poll numbers.

So, that’s what the gang has been doing. Right now, it’s crunch time and if you’ve got a moment before November 6th, you should come by and help. Go to www.peterjoffrion.com for details on how to get involved. If you hurry, there may be Cheetos available if Clete hasn’t eaten them all already. Regardless, it’s time to stand up to the Trump-loving politicians that are destroying our country. In two years, we’ve seen the damage they can wreak on our democracy. It’s time to get rid of pandering incompetents like Republican hypocrite Mo Brooks.

Rest assured, all the folks at twentytwentynews.com will be back on the job after the election. In the meantime, they’re working hard for Peter Joffrion and are doing everything they can to #FlipTheFifth!

So, my son can download a 3-d printable gun?

3D Printed Gun, Twentytwentynews

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Look, my son can barely be trusted operating a toaster and now I hear that it’s legal for folks to download guns that can be made from a 3-d printer? Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, aside from questionable household appliance operation, this kid can run circles around me when it comes to cyber-technology.  Hell, about the time I finally learned to successfully program a VCR and figure out dial-up, he was hacking through network security at his elementary school; so he could play Minecraft- whatever the hell that is.

It’s not ok to be able to download printable guns that kill people. It will never be ok.

Yeah, the Trump administration lifted the ban on this madness because they’ve turned it into a “free speech” issue. Yep, we need untraceable guns in America like a starving dog needs two assholes…

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you ought to…

Anyway, this whole concept of being able to download a plastic gun that can be assembled without any traceable serial number ought to be horrifyingly disturbing to most Americans.

As I’m writing this, a judge has temporarily suspended the insanity, but it seems like only a brief stopgap measure before Hell’s gates swing wide open.  C’mon, is there anyone with two brain cells to rub together that thought this was a good idea?

First, there are a few practical issues. Primarily, plastic isn’t exactly all that safe for firearm construction and it’s very likely that the first few dipshits who fire their printed weapons may find them exploding in their tiny orange hands. Second, plastic tends to have somewhat adverse reactions to heat, so their newly acquired phallic symbols may turn flaccid after shooting a few rounds- however, that may be something they’re used to already.

I mean, mankind has had some seriously dumb ideas, but this one is even more stupid than the K-cup or the rhythm method or edible toilet paper. Yeah, I know there are big-time geniuses ready to point out that these new-fangled printers cost thousands of dollars and blah, blah, blah. Look, cell phones weighed twenty pounds not too long ago, too.  But, try to buy a semi full of fertilizer and you may be probed in places you never thought possible.

Whether you are a big time 2A person or a tree-hugging peace activist, there’s no one who could possibly think that downloading a printable firearm is a sane, sound idea. Although we are focused on the constant media parade of mass shootings, so many people are dying in domestic violence situations or suicide. Do we really need more firearms out there that can’t be traced or controlled?

There’s already enough stuff on the internet that’s falling into the hands of the wrong people, insane people, murderous people, and there are no easy answers to a lot of these questions. Yet, some of these questions are very simple have pretty damned obvious answers, like- 3d printable guns is a very fucking stupid idea because no good ever will come from it! Yeah, just like that. The dumb fuck promoting this stupidity had about the same marketing forethought as, say, the Tide pods morons or Elon Musk’s affordable flamethrower.

Seriously, it’s time that we get control of the proliferation of guns in our society. It’s time we start thinking proactively to prevent nonsense like 3d printable guns from ever being a real and accessible thing in in the first place.

It’s not enough to bitch and protest every time there is a televised massacre or a heart-wrenching suicide story. It’s time to vote and it’s time to stand up against this kind of insanity. In your heart, you know that printing 3d guns is a horrible idea and it should be stopped right now.

Nothing good will ever come of this and you know it.

Death to the Starving Artist Myth

van, gogh, ear

Elizabeth Dawson, Contributor

Last night I was bemoaning the existence of the starving artist. For those who know me well, this is a common complaint and I am sure I sound like a broken record playing the same scratchy tune. I am also an artist but as I encounter my own kind in the world of business, it baffles me why romanticizing starvation and poverty is a winning strategy. So when I was playing that scratchy tune for my loved ones to listen to for the umpteenth time, I realized something about myself… I am an entrepreneur who happens to be an artist and not an artist dabbling in the world of business. I have some advice for my fellow creatives, entrepreneurs and starving artists: starving isn’t sexy.

I know that TV shows, plays and movies love the idea of impoverished artists struggling to create art at the expense of financial security and creating “art for the sake of art” alone. This idea normalizes the inability to support one’s self and artists have embraced this stereotype. I mean without this stereotype, we wouldn’t have Rent!  I know all throughout our art history lessons, we have heard about Van Gogh and his ear-munching mania and Edgar Alan Poe and his infamous death knell but the only death knell I hear around here is for your career. I understand that creating this idea has helped Hollywood but it is not helping you, my fellow artists.  It is not aiding in you in selling art or for marketing yourself in a winning way so please do us all a favor and step away from the stereotype.

So how do we usher in an age where we stop romanticizing poverty? We start treating your art as an actual business. So, repeat after me: “I am a f*cking entrepreneur.” And now that you have had that self-empowering mantra, you then prepare and plan for your career like you are fortune 500 company, well… because you are. Please follow these helpful hints to rock your art career in a big, bad way:

  • First conquer branding: Come up with your colors, mood, look and narrative that you will sell to the world and implement it. And that narrative had better have nothing to do with ramen noodles and homelessness. I don’t care if you are actually eating ramen noodles, the world needs to never know about it. You are successful, sexy and creative and you need to own it.
  • You will also need consistency, planning and follow-through. Big business, galleries and the general public have no use for your flighty ass. Finish a project before you start another. I understand creative ADHD. I fight it all the time. Find some discipline, rock your career like a Virgo and get it done and get it done on-time.
  • Promote yourself like Picasso. Picasso was the master of self-promotion. No other artist in the 20th century, not even Dali or Warhol, could hold a flame to Picasso’s shameless self-promotion and we all know his name now for his efforts. Take a lesson from history and put yourself out there and do not fear rejection. Get used to wearing rejection like a warm, fuzzy sweater you wear on cold, rainy days. You will be rejected and you will keep on living. The art world needs to know your name before they accept you. They need to know you are financially viable and not one of those starving artist types.

These tips certainly aren’t the answer to everything but it is a good cursory start to kicking that stereotype to the curb and starting to own your career and its subsequent success. I will quietly step-down from my soap box and tell you to rock on self-promoter and make the art world your b*tch!

POO (Party Of One) Part 5- Final Installment

Bernie Morgan, Contributor

A Different America
 
Americans stockpiled millions of weapons before the once-powerful lobby, the National Second Amendment Distortion Association (NSADA), had been exposed for what they really stood for: sucking up to politicians who fanned the flames of a government taking all guns from average citizens to make them VERY SCARED while, at the same time,  making gun manufacturers’ even richer than they were. Plus, with the NATO mandate to not allow conventional weapons to be used in wars, NSADA membership had now dwindled to pitiful numbers. Average citizens began to realize they didn’t need assault rifles lying in every window sill and grenades stashed under their mattresses to be safe. In fact, that type of mentality had kept them less safe because of their availability when arguments broke out, especially when alcohol was involved, and the easy assess that children had to pick one up and accidentally shoot someone.
 
 
Time Is Up
 
Early one afternoon in early June 2040,  as the sun was setting in the west, and as the POO was fighting it out for power in Congress before leaving on their fifth vacation of the session; a vagina shaped spaceship landed on the National Mall in Washington and a large group of armed soldiers  disembarked . . . it wasn’t the Russians we had feared in the 1960s or the Martians we had wondered about and feared forever; it was the RotTots, hoards of now grown discarded babies,  coming down from planet Hypocrisy  to seek revenge on their government, the government that dictated their fates by repealing Roe vs Wade, by making contraception illegal and by secretly transporting thousands of them to that ghastly planet after they were born. The RotTots were mad as hell and they weren’t taking it anymore.
 
As they made their way up the Capitol steps, forging their way to get inside, loaded weapons in hand, they began to quickly fire at will and bombarded the Capitol Police with  water-filled condoms fired from slingshots. Not content with only using that weapon, the RotTots began to throw thousands of plastic models of vaginas and vaginal probes and penises, and soon hundreds of tourists joined in the protest. They all, in unison, then began to chant the words “vagina” and “penis” while simultaneously clapping. The RotTots also played loud recordings of Christian-based religious speech that laid out the sins of using contraception and having abortions and how both “vices” were sure paths to Hell. The taped voices also yelled out the word “fornication” and preached how it was sinful unless for procreation purposes.
 
Using bullhorns, the RotTots then invited and encouraged members of Congress to join them on the Capitol steps. Soon, liberal members of both the House and the Senate, and hundreds of their support staffs, joined the RotTots and others and, as they locked arms singing and swaying back and forth, no thunderbolt came down from Heaven to kill them. The RotTots thanked the liberals for arguing and protesting against the terrible decision to whisk them off to Hypocrisy where out-of-sight out-of-mind was the norm. They also thanked them for fighting for the right to use  contraception to lessen the number of hungry, unwanted babies in America.
 
Conservative members of Congress were notably no shows on the Capitol steps; in fact, they all literally ran out back doors and jumped in their limousines.
 
The RotTots made it clear that they planned to target all members of the current Congress who voted to round them up and send them on their way by qualifying and running for office against them.  (Many members of Congress were so physically and mentally frail they should have already retired on their own anyway, but the money and perks were too damn good for that to happen.)
 
It was, all in all, a good day for America.

POO (Party of One), Part Four

elderly, POO, part of one

Bernie Morgan, Contributor, POO (Party of One), Part Four, Fictional Installment Series

US Home Guard

All assisted living facilities in the US were taken over by the military when the new law was enacted, and the takeover included inducting all citizens living there who were over the age of 65. This made sense because residents in those facilities could be inducted and yet stay right where they were while they guarded the homeland. Many lawmakers saw this tactic as a stroke of genius and definitely a cost saver. Military training for this group consists of light marching on the assisted living facility grounds while carrying mops and brooms. In addition, basic self-defense skills are taught.  Bedpans are stated to be a  weapon of choice;  full for throwing and empty for hitting. Residents are occasionally so battered from training that they have to be moved to a nursing home, but casualties are always expected, even in peacetime, so it’s no biggie. Plus, one or two die periodically from training, and the others quickly ransack their rooms and take their possessions. It’s called survival of the fittest; it’s not a new concept.

When the announcement was made concerning the assisted living takeover by the military, a lawsuit was immediately filed on behalf of other senior citizens who are being forced to leave their home towns  to perform their military service; they want to stay where they are if they are going to be drafted. According to a leaked secret government memo, the hope is that the angry ones will die before their cases come to trial. In addition to that little issue, a surge was noted in new resident assisted living requests; suddenly, thousands of senior citizens have intense desires to live in assisted living facilities in their respective communities. An un-funded federal study is now underway to determine why.

Tony, 72, and living in Wisconsin, has been assigned to the home guard Intelligence unit in his hometown of Menomonie – he has been a resident of the Menomonie assisted living facility  for 6 years. He has been almost totally blind since suffering an injury in an industrial accident 30 years ago – he was working in a large cheese factory  in Eu Claire and was blinded by a large amount of preservative that splashed in his face. He went out on disability with a promise (that was never kept)  of receiving an abundant supply of cheese for the rest of his life in addition to his monthly pension. Each time he’s asked about the cheese, and gets the runaround, his reply is the same: “Lyin’ sons-of-bitches.” Because he has little eyesight, he has a keen sense of hearing and he eavesdrops constantly. He is, therefore, very good where intelligence is concerned. His main task is to report any suspicious conversations that he overhears, and there have been times that he has turned in fellow citizens (and several residents where he lives) when he felt they were being un-American. On one occasion, after ratting a guy out, and lying while doing it, he was able to get that guy’s soon-to-be-vacated large room for himself.

Jared put his name in to go to assisted living when he developed severe arthritis and everyday chores became a burden. Plus, he can’t stand that son of his – or that evil woman he hooked up with – even going to hell is preferable to living with those two and that pack of brats they have running around everywhere. He was one happy guy when he finally got a unit at the Happy Trails assisted living facility in his hometown in Florida. He is not so happy now that he has been inducted and is expected to perform official duties each day, but he is doing his best.

Blanche, who lives in a facility in Mississippi, takes her duties  “in the guard” very seriously. She keeps binoculars around her neck during all waking moments and uses them to periodically scan the horizon. She has no problem at all with walking up to individuals on the street and asking  them to show their identification. She claims to be a descendant of William Faulkner, but says she can’t write worth crap and nobody disputes it. She is known in her assisted living facility for the vivid colors in her wardrobe – she loves bright, large prints even though she is a large woman herself. Her favorite saying is, “Honey, if you’ve got it, you should flaunt it.” Nobody knows exactly what she means by ”it” and nobody has the nerve to ask. Anyway, at 72, she is still spry in spite of her size.

New Fodder

By 2035, it had become apparent that many of the wealthy elderly were finding ways to avoid military service so, basically, the less affluent were serving their country, which was certainly not a new concept in America. As the number of eligible inductees in the general population dwindled, instead of tightening up the rules, and holding people accountable, wise politicians started eyeing prisons throughout the US as a new source of “fodder.” Many of the inmates were poor, and the fake justification the politicians used to release them was that they saw this as a way to make amends: shorten the lengthy sentences the inmates had been given, even for relatively minor crimes. (They made it appear that they were trying to atone for the injustices that had been done, but they didn’t actually give a rat’s ass about that.) The  politicians said they felt that being “on the outside,” even if the inmates were inducted into the military, was preferable to prison.  Thus, many inmates soon found themselves released and in the military; of course, they were never asked whether they wanted to join or not. The southern and western states were the first ones to start releasing inmates, but the northern, central and eastern states all followed within 6 months.

Terry, from Utah, was one of the first to be released. He was serving 10 years in the Utah State Prison for robbing a liquor store with a toy gun. He was one of the really happy ones to be set “free,” and he happily took the loyalty pledge that was required of the newly-freed prison inmates. He swore, under oath, to keep his nose clean and to do his best to support the policies, rules and regulations of the US military. He was soon on his way to patrol the border. Five days after he arrived in Texas, he crossed over to the “other side” and became a citizen of Mexico. The last anyone heard, he had become a banker, joined a mariachi band on the weekends and had married a calypso dancer named CheeChee.

Adam, from Georgia, was also released and he is happy that he’s out of prison and happy that women are also being inducted and made to serve. His attitude is, “Let them also get their asses kicked.” This is a strange position for him because he’s never wanted women to have equal rights – that has never been a cause for him to rally around.  He was raised in a home with no father, but with a domineering mother and a mean older sister, and both of them routinely beat him with belts and whatever else was handy. His opinion never counted, his feelings were never considered, and nothing ever went his way. He learned to hate all women and the few sexual relationships he had been in had turned out badly. One day, when he was 22, he beat both his mother and his sister half to death and, for that offense; he received 20 years in the pen. However, all is forgiven now because his country needs him, and he is happy to answer the call. He is many things, but unpatriotic is not one of them. (Seven weeks after being released, he raped and beat a fellow female recruit while inspecting cargo in Miami; there has been no sighting of him since.)