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

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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.)

POO (Party of One), Part Three

gay, military

Bernie Morgan, Contributor, POO (Party of One) Fictional Series, Part 3

 

US Cargo Inspection

Bill, from Michigan, is complaining  about soon being sent to San Diego to inspect incoming cargo:  “We’re too damn old to be climbing around on ships inspecting cargo. I’ve already  served my country; I want to spend the rest of my life playing shuffleboard and canasta. I don’t give a crap that it’s only a 12-month tour; I don’t know how many more 12 months I have left.  I live in  a huge home on Lake Michigan, but I’m sitting in a stinking barracks in Georgia  waiting to deploy to San Diego. On top of that, I have a colostomy bag and I wear diapers, plus I have a prosthetic arm. If I’m not an example of “relaxing the standards,”  who the hell is?” Bill, and many others, did well in their careers and, due to double and triple dipping,  and stashing their money in offshore accounts, are well off financially – their homes are much nicer than the barracks they are now confined to. They long for the care-free lives they left behind. These inductees are only a small sampling of some of the not–so-happy recruits.

Others, perhaps a minority, are excited about this new chapter in their lives.  Jason, a brick mason from New Hampshire, is certainly one of those. The Don’t  Ask – Don’t Tell policy was finally repealed in 2010, and he is happy that he can finally serve his country and not have to hide his sexual orientation. When the policy was repealed, some of the top brass in the military admitted they were gay. Fine soldiers they were, all of them. Not long after that, the general public realized that all the scare tactics they had heard about what would happen when gays in the military  “came out” were not true. Gay military personnel, both male and female, now continue to serve heroically in peacetime and in war. Jason is proud to add to this tradition.

Evelyn is also happy to serve. As she basks in the warm afternoon sun, she hears someone approaching.

She calls out: “Who goes there?”

“It’s Travis; I’m on duty now – it’s time for you to go back to the barracks.”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“Evelyn – we have this conversation every day. Your shift is over – go find one of the guys and let him “play some poker or something.”

“Smart ass – why don’t you just play with yourself?”

“I don’t have time – I have to inspect cargo – I’ll play with myself later – ha ha.”

Evelyn, a retired jewelry store owner originally  from Iowa, gives him the finger as she picks up her clothes and walks away from the dock. Travis wonders if she’ll remember how to get back to the barracks and back to her own room. He keeps his room locked; a visit from Evelyn is not something he would look forward to. Sexually, he swings both ways – and has forever, but that woman is not on his radar no day, no way.

Evelyn did not wait to be drafted; she signed up. She retired many years ago and tells fellow recruits that she longed for adventure after living a dull, unremarkable life.  However, because of severe memory loss, she has forgotten that, in her younger days, she lived in a commune, traveled to Europe several times and enjoyed a couple of African safaris. Even though she has had both her hips and knees replaced, and she wears  a hearing aid and thick glasses, she qualified to join the “new” military and was soon shipped to San Diego to inspect cargo.

She arrived on a beautiful June morning wearing her Girl Scout leader uniform from 50 years ago. Her top was only buttoned up half way and her beret was hanging off her head, but  no one seemed to notice or care. She wore sturdy brown lace-up shoes and green socks to match her uniform. She now dresses in that same uniform each day as she arrives for her shift. She tells everyone that she is alone in the world – she has forgotten that she has seven family members in Iowa  – and doesn’t know (or possibly care) – that they are frantically searching for her and that her photo is posted all over the little seaside town in South Carolina where she actually lives.

Anyway, she is enjoying inspecting cargo – she has always wanted to take a cruise and this is pretty close to going on one.  The fact that she keeps forgetting what she is inspecting and forgetting how many of each item there is in each carton, and what country the cargo came in from, does not hinder the high marks she is getting for her military service.  In fact, she recently got herself promoted by an old fart from Michigan, Farley, who deems himself in charge. How?  She periodically partially disrobes and enjoys the warm California sun while she stretches out on her chaise lounge. Farley gawks at her with his binoculars as he scans more than the sea. (No one cares that Farley has no authority to promote anyone.)

POO (Party of One)

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Bernie Morgan, Contributor, Part 1 of a Fictional Series

In 2008, after the Presidential election was over and liberals were victorious, conservatives in all 50 states filed petitions to secede from the Union. Their efforts were the result of frustration and unrest because their party lost the Presidency, and many Congressional and Senate seats, and they knew their radical right-wing agendas would not be going forward. However, their petitions to secede were futile. There was to be no rolling back of the clock until the election of 2016 when rabid conservatives came back into power by electing Fronald Chump and they kept their hold until 2032 when our two-party system radically changed.  During Chumps’ Presidency, which only lasted 9 months before he was impeached, we became the laughing stock of the world because of his brash, arrogant persona and his empty unlikable message.  We lost all our longheld allies around the world and we came close to a serious war with Mexico over Chumps’ attempt to bully their President, Enrique Peña Nieto, into building a 20-foot-high wall along the 600-plus miles of border that separates our two countries. Nieto laughed at him and called him out for the buffoon he was. Chumps’ ridiculous obviously fake combover/toupee didn’t earn him any points with sane Americans or other humans living in the rest of the world either. After he was impeached, he was replaced with his Vice President – the far right religious Hike Fence.

In 2017, Wall Street was allowed to run free again when the gains made to rein them in were repealed by the conservatives in power, and personal savings accounts, including 401ks, began to dry up. Social Security was privatized in 2018, and, by 2030, the fund was dry due to bad investments and the fact that the younger workforce had been decimated in the Pakistan/Iran/Syria/Yemen/Iraq/Afghanistan (PISYIA) wars and were, therefore, not paying into the fund. The upper 1 percent, however, continued to see their vast resources grow larger and larger. CEO salaries and bonuses continued to climb, as they had been since the late 1990s.  The government-run programs of Fedicare, Fedicaid and Fricare also disappeared in 2017 because they were  deemed socialist  and the Affordable Care For All Act, which was fully implemented in 2014 and, thus, provided health insurance to millions who had not been covered under any plan previously, was also totally dissolved in 2017. No new government health care system replaced those insurance programs,  and many citizens of all ages died due to being unable to afford expensive private healthcare. Insurance companies  became more and more powerful; they continued raising premiums while lowering benefits, and they dropped millions of citizens from their rolls.  Many Americans relied on dwindling public assistance because their health was bad and good jobs were scarce; they simply couldn’t afford basic necessities, and the money they had set aside over the years was all gone.

In addition, an intense battle was waged by the Republican party beginning in 2012 to outlaw all forms of contraception and all abortions – their tactics included forcing women to undergo medically unnecessary invasive vaginal probes and ultrasounds and they mandated that each woman must listen to a 5-minute Christian-based religious speech before allowing an abortion. In addition, they repeatedly voted down laws, proposed by female members of Congress, to force male members to undergo invasive penile probes before being allowed vasectomies. As a result of this relentless attack on women’s rights, contraception (including vasectomies) and abortions were banned nationwide in 2018 so hundreds of thousands of homeless, hungry children began wandering the streets in the years that followed and many starved because the parents simply could not care for them. In that same year, a law was passed that mandated only males could run for Congress. A new government program then emerged to rid the streets and alleys of these bad public relation symbols so the little ones were rounded up periodically by truckloads and supposedly carted off to a remote camp somewhere. No one seemed to care all that much; and when parents voiced their complaints, their comments fell on deaf ears. To add insult to injury, girls 12 and older were routinely subjected  to mandatory “virgin” tests to determine if they had kept themselves chaste or had “done the dirty.” They were physically examined by “med-techs” who were always male and who needed no qualifications to apply for the positions and no background checks were conducted. Parents who attempted to hide their daughters from that invasive procedure were heavily fined.

Environmental activism to reduce carbon dioxide emissions reached a new intensity in 2014 and beyond. The US Supreme Court was asked to rule on a suit that demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency regulate the release of carbon dioxide as part of its air pollution responsibility, but that effort was fought tooth and nail by those same powerful lobbyists. The conservative judges on the court made sure that law never saw the light of day. In fact, conservatives continued to fight all EPA regulations and the aftermath was a USA that was dirty and nasty and mostly devoid of any wildlife. Plus, many private lands had been seized by the government, in the name of “common good,” and beautiful pastures were destroyed as thousands of miles of pipeline coming down from Canada could be installed. In addition, fracking was at an all time high and thousands of homes simply fell into sinkholes – many had families inside. (Collateral damage – no big deal.) And, to add insult to injury, the “thousands of jobs” that the pipeline was supposed to produce was a no-show. Yes, thousands were hired, but for minimum wage and with no benefits. Plus, the jobs were temporary with no guarantees that workers would have jobs the next week, or the week after that.

Rich people continued to live in gated communities and their attitude toward the poor remained the same, for many of them, as it had always been – poor people were poor because they wanted to be. Meanwhile, congressional budgets were continuously slashed to cut “entitlements” while increasing military spending. By 2025, the US had 1000-plus military bases worldwide, including in numerous countries that didn’t want us inhabiting their homelands. Around the same time, global warming reached a crisis point and extreme climate changes began wreaking serious damage to our environment and to the very air we breathed. Powerful corporate  lobbyists in Washington kept efforts at bay to admit there was a problem and did nothing to stem it.

When the PISYIA war finally ended in 2030, the Democratic and  Republican parties merged, and they became the Party of One (POO). A new national peacekeeping force was then created. Because the majority of healthy men and women between the ages of 20 and  55 who were not offspring of members of Congress had been either killed or maimed in the afore-mentioned wars and were no longer available for military service, the new wise leaders made the decision to draft all eligible US citizens aged 65 and older. Eligibility included all who were not totally bedridden and they were inducted to serve for a base period of 1 year with unlimited 1-year extensions possible after the first year had been served. According to the government, this decision made a lot of sense because many of the “gray grizzlies” needed a place to live, and could not necessarily count on living with grown children because of the wars’ high casualty rate. Plus, it was a proven fact that older people have lots of pent up anger and the government planned to take full advantage of that fact, even though they (as in the government) were a major reason for that anger. According to the pitch made by the government to quell an expected hostile response, US military bases  had excellent barracks and dining facilities,   dental and medical care would be provided because government insurance Fricare had been re-activated, and transportation was furnished, so there was little for the inductees  to complain about, but complain they did.  Hundreds of thousands did not want to be uprooted from their homes, even for 1 year. Also, not everyone thought military barracks were all that great and some of them could afford expensive private insurance and were paying extra dollars in the hopes of not being dropped so Fricare wasn’t a positive enticement for them. They also complained because not all inductees fulfilled  their military service requirements at a government facility; many were sent elsewhere and the conditions were not as good as even being sent to live in barracks. Many of them were mad as hell.

Because of  the overwhelming financial cost, the heavy toll on human life and the mass destruction of property worldwide  during the PISYIA war, NATO issued a mandate in 2031 that all future domestic and/or foreign conflicts would be fought with items found around average homes, such as garden tools, (shovels and rakes, etc.) and pots and pans, can openers,  and spatulas, plus broomsticks, among other acceptable items.  Also, in an effort to placate the millions of golfers (who had money and influence); golf carts were on the acceptable list as military vehicles. A gun was not an allowable weapon while on military duty and/or on government property, even though home gun ownership in America was at an all-time high. Organized groups and individual gun activists fought this no-gun in battle mandate fiercely, but lost in the end.  In addition, it was mandated that no hunting bows, bayonets, hunting knives, etc., were allowed and military artillery and tanks were definitely taboo. It was now a whole different ballgame and there were many unhappy new recruits including PISYIA veterans who didn’t like the new way of fighting and/or were unhappy at being drafted. In fact, a new occupy movement began with thousands of protestors camping out in Washington and across the world to protest the “new” military; specifically, the ban on conventional weapons and the ages of the new recruits. In America and in other countries, protestors shouting “Hell No, We Won’t Go” and like statements were met with fire hoses and billy clubs as they marched in cities and towns. Riots soon followed with some killed and many hurt. Many of the Iraq/Afghanistan veterans and the Vietnam vets still in relatively good health also joined the fray in their hometowns and some made the trek to Washington and the Capitol steps. However, the mandate remained and, after being drafted, inductees were placed in one of three divisions: US Border Patrol, US Cargo Inspection or US Home Guard. Females served side-by-side with males and their job duties were the same.

Manvertising and Why Ads Need to Change

Elizabeth Dawson, Contributor

Since I work in the world of marketing and design, I generally pay attention to ads and T.V. shows, particularly the ones my kids are watching. I have noticed for a while now that ads and shows have been showing men as stupid, inept and incapable of any real contribution to the family life.

Men have gone from the strong, rugged men of the 30s and 40s with suits and fedoras to being portrayed as x-box playing morons in t-shirts that are ignorant of what their wives do on a daily basis. This reminds me of a favorite line in a movie where Anne Hathaway asks how in one generation we could go from Harrison Ford and Jack Nicholson to… well… the likes of Adam Devine or his other sloppy t-shirt wearing cohorts.

As a millennial woman, I am a strong woman but it doesn’t mean I want a weak partner. In fact, my partner will have to be stronger to put up with my stubborn ass. I certainly do not want my son thinking that is an acceptable line of behavior because all of the Disney children’s shows are posing men this way. So why are marketers positioning men as the weaker sex?

Well for one, marketers are trying to harness the buying power of women and appealing to women by making men look stupid. But is it working? One word answer…. No.

This assumption is rooted in the belief that the deep foundation of every marriage is resentment. Not the case folks… time for the advertising agencies to wake the hell up. Advertisers should be showing both sexes towing the line in life because geez, that is what is actually happening these days.

The Advertising Standards Agency is working to combat negative and harmful gender stereotypes from advertising. They are working to prevent ads that show a woman cleaning with her husband lying around but also to prevent ads that make men look incapable of doing simple household tasks. They hope that this initiative will go a long way to successfully selling products in a positive way without the harmful stereotypes. After all, feminism is about being equal but not by belittling others.

Advertising plays a big role in our lives and I hope this move to a more understanding and informed advertising business which will improve the roles for both men and women in the media.

The Eighth of November

Elizabeth Dawson, Contributor

Remember, remember!

The eighth of November,

The obfuscation, treason and plot;

I know of no reason

Why the Russian treason

Should ever be forgot!

Donny Trump and his companions

Did the scheme contrive,

To blow up the Democratic system

All up alive.

Information handed over,

To prove old America’s overthrow.

But, by great providence, him they catch,

With a trail of money, lies and covfefe!

A nation at stake

For Democracy’s sake!

If you won’t give me truth,

Mueller will be the sleuth,

The better for me,

And the worse for you,

Impeach, Impeach

Run him out of town,

A pint of beer to wash the treason down.

Boys! Boys! Make the bells ring!

G-d Bless America! We shall sing!

‘Merica, the deplorable!

A poem by Franklin, twentytwentynews.com poet laureate

Note: As a matter of unplanned and uncanny coincidence, this can be sung to the tune of “America, the beautiful!”

O deplorable for bigly lies

From orange man insane,

For allowing all his travesties-

He’s fruity and that’s plain!

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, ‘Merica!

Your brain abandoned thee,

When you voted for a shyster clown

It’s plain for all to see!

 

O deplorable for tiny hand

That tweets at every turn,

Babbling throughout the land

He’ll make our country burn!

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, ‘Merica!

We hope our children see,

It’s up to them to fix this mess-

What we did so stupidly!

 

O deplorable to build a wall

And think it makes us great.

To heed the orange racist’s call

And revel in his hate!

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, Merica!

Extract thy head from ass!

‘Til we vanquish Tweeting Trump-

His covfefe is too crass!

 

O deplorable for Russia’s hug

And non-disclosure pacts,

You’re lower than a garden slug

When alt-right makes alt-facts!

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, Merica!

How many verses in this song?

You thought you knew

But slept in school

And showed again you’re wrong!

 

O deplorable for doing this

And shooting off thy face!

So, how did this all go amiss

To put Trump in this place?

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, ‘Merica!

Impeach this bloody fool!

We can’t go on

With Two-Scoop Don,

It’s heinous and it’s cruel!

 

O deplorable, your party fail

For electing such a chump!

History will tell the tale

Of lying, corrupt Trump!

Oh, Merica! Oh, Merica!

Let’s hope this lesson sticks!

We led the way

‘Til this ingrate.

Now, the world just thinks we’re dicks!

 

O deplorable, you whining bitch

Your privilege is so white!

You screw the poor to help the rich.

How do you sleep at night?

Oh, ‘Merica! Oh, ‘Merica!

What happened to your pride?

We must resist

And we persist…

We want off this Trump-shit ride!