Prosecuting cross-over voters just more Republican intimidation

voter, suppression

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and the Alabama Republican Party should be ashamed of themselves, but we know that they are incapable of shame. That would infer that they had some degree of political conscious. It would also mean that they wanted more people to participate in the election process given the dismal turn-out numbers, but their actions show that’s clearly not the case.

Last year, Alabama legislators in the Republican supermajority passed a bill making it a felony for voters who participated in a partisan primary to vote later in the runoff of the opposing party. There wasn’t any significant effort to educate voters about the rule change and it appears that 676 Alabama voters, all Democrats, unwittingly violated this absurd law.

John Merrill wants to put them in jail and ruin their lives with a felony conviction.

At every turn, Republicans have tried to make it harder for people in Alabama to vote. Obsessed with the fantasy of rampant voter fraud, they’ve passed voter ID laws which are nothing more than a poll tax. Now, they’re threatening to put in people in jail and label them as lifelong felons just because they may not have understood this new ridiculous law. This is nothing more than intimidation and another Republican ploy to keep poor and minority voters away from the polls.

Perhaps, it would be a much better use of Merrill’s time to expand voting rights. Maybe, we could increase early voting or change the election day to Saturday or Sunday so that people wouldn’t have to take off work to cast a ballot. It may sound crazy, but shouldn’t we be more focused on automatic voter registration instead of creating more barriers to exercising a fundamental American right?

If we’re going to have this stupid cross-over voting law, wouldn’t it make sense to register by party affiliation like they do in other states? Well, it would make sense unless you’re a Republican hoping to put some voters in jail as a way to intimidate Democrats from showing up to the polls.

Their efforts to suppress voting aren’t all that surprising considering the lengths they’ve travelled to implement widespread gerrymandering in Alabama. Since they can’t seem to win with their regressive policies, they’ve taken to rigging the system every chance they get so they can falsely claim they have a huge legislative mandate. It’s time for Alabama Democrats to make this a central campaign issue and call these cheaters out publicly as often as possible.

Alabama Republicans have been hard at work for years trying to suppress voting and gerrymandering districts because they know that demographics are rapidly changing. They know that their predominantly older, white male base is shrinking rapidly. They know that less people are falling for their faux morality and bogus family values platform. They know that if they make it harder to vote, less people will exercise their rights and that plays right into their nefarious plan.

We’ve got to do more than just make legal challenges. We’ve got to make sure that the people of Alabama understand how this is impacting them. We can do that by making sure the media covers this issue. We can also challenge our current leadership to discuss these issues publicly. We can’t be satisfied with voter suppression being third page news. It negatively affects everyone in the state.

John Merrill and his Republican cronies need to quit messing with our voting rights. Instead, he should be focused on doing his job, which should include making it easier for all eligible voters in Alabama to exercise their rights.

Jailing cross-over voters and giving them a felony record is a pathetic waste of taxpayer dollars and a travesty. Stop this insanity.

Drug Companies and Doctors to Blame for Opioid Crisis

opioid crisis

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Since 2000, over 200,000 Americans have died of opioid overdoses. Let that sink in. Yet, Big Pharma is still manufacturing opioids painkillers as fast as they can and doctors may as well be handing them out like bagged candy that goes into Pez dispensers. In the meantime, drug manufacturers have poured millions into lobbying Congress and have hired a slew of former DEA operatives to combat efforts to end the overprescribing of painkillers and their diversion to the street.

In the meantime, Americans are dying at unprecedented rate. If they’re not dying from the legally obtained prescription drugs in their medicine cabinet, they’re dying from cheap heroin obtained on the street often laced with fentanyl.

As Trump attempts to destroy Obamacare, he neglects to mention that one of the mandated, essential health benefits that he wants to abolish is the provision for adequate and affordable mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Prior to Obamacare, many health insurance policies did not cover behavioral health treatment or the coverage was demonstrably inadequate. It seems that the Trump administration’s answer is to levy harsher punishments on addicts rather than attacking the source of the problem- Big Pharma and doctors.

The legal system continues to stigmatize methadone treatment, and other forms of medical maintenance for addiction, in the face of all evidence that proves its effectiveness. Instead, a system has been created that penalizes people for trying to manage their addiction and, ultimately, become drug-free. The real culprits, the corporate pill pushers, are making billions off America’s pain. To them, addiction isn’t a disease, it’s a highly profitable industry.

As the Washington Post recently showed in the stunning article “The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over The DEA”, pharmaceutical giants have figured out how to beat the DEA and Congress at their own game by buying influence and offering high-paying jobs to the government employees who would expose them. The drug industry also looks at multi-million dollar fines as simply the cost of doing business because the fines are only a scant fraction of the enormous profits they make every single year. Obviously, they look at the death toll as just another cost of doing business.

In America, we are still fighting a failed War on Drugs by failing to address the root of the problem. We have resorted to mass incarceration for users, while continuing to allow drug manufacturers to get away with murder. We celebrate rich pharmaceutical company executives as winners and demonize addicts as losers with no chance for redemption. We fail to fund treatment. We spend more on interdiction than education. We impose harsh penalties for drugs like marijuana and equate it with heroin, while simultaneously creating more highly addictive prescription medication. We ignore evidence-based practices and worry more about assigning blame than finding solutions.

It’s clear that the problem will persist until America gets serious about changing the rules that allow drug companies to shower politicians with cash. Obviously, the death toll is something we’ve learned to live with, just like we’ve come to accept higher numbers of casualties in mass shootings. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re somehow helpless and hopeless when it comes to solving these problems.

First, let’s stop the flow of pharmaceutical lobbying money to Congress. Second, let’s change the law so the DEA can stop drug manufacturers from flooding our streets with opioids. Third, let’s prosecute doctors who are overprescribing and making a fortune off addiction. Last, but most important, let’s demand that people have access to affordable mental health and drug treatment in their health insurance plans.

Not all drugs or drug addicts are the same and we’ve got to get smart about America’s drug use, abuse, and addictions. It’s time to go after those who are making the problem worse while laughing all the way to the bank.

Forget the “Just Say No” bullshit and try “Just Say Yes” to giving people an opportunity to recover.

Trump’s Sodomization of Evangelical Christianity

trump, evangelical, christian

Jerry Waters, Contributor

Irony is a weak and wanting description of the raunchy affair that Evangelical Christians are having with a man whose immorality is breathtaking and his ethics groundbreakingly perverse, the boorish Chauvinist, Donald Trump. He’s not simply the political religious hypocrite we’ve come to expect, he’s metaphorically, deliberately, and enthusiastically sodomizing Evangelical Christianity. The sad part is that they love every minute of it and they’re begging for more.

This was obvious at the Value Voters Summit recently that featured keynote speaker, Trump. The Summit was sponsored by the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its relentless and bigoted attacks on the LGBTQ community. In fact, the material handed out at the event featured a pamphlet titled, “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality” designed to stir up animus against people with different gender and sexual identities. In Trumpian fashion, they have attacked the SPLC calling it, wait for it, a hate group.

Trump’s big nugget of wisdom was to announce that in America “We don’t worship government, we worship God” and that thanks to his unmatched covfefe, we can all say, “Merry Christmas” again. He said this malarkey during the same week he yanked insurance subsidies and allowed junk healthcare plans to flood the market. He’s just so Christian and it shows. Michelle Bachman said so when she pointed out that, when religious zealots ask Trump to pray, he unconvincingly says, “Sure”.

Evangelical Christians have invited Trump’s sodomy because they care more about amassing political power than the values they pretend to promote. If they sincerely held these solid, traditional Christian beliefs, then there is no conceivable way they could ever align with Trump. Even under the poor excuse of “all have sinned/ no one is perfect”, Trump remains an repentant heretic on every imaginable level. A cursory examination of his business practices, his personal life, his political agenda, or his media career all show him to be a horny, lying secularist whose only interests are juvenilely selfish and self-aggrandizing. Yet, the most vocally pious beg for him to defile them in the most obscene and public ways.

The Evangelicals are allowing Trump to sodomize their belief system because of their warped interpretation of the meaning of religious liberty and their unquenchable thirst for political power. To them, it is not the right of others to worship or not as they choose, it is, instead, the divinely granted right to discriminate and hate others that do not conform to their rigid religious beliefs and practices. In its most perfunctory form, it is unabashed condescension and, in its most vile form, it is the institutionalization of legal prejudice and enforced inequality.

People of faith should see this unholy tryst with Trump as a clear sign that their church is in peril. They should abhor how Trump has usurped religiosity for his own nefarious purpose. Instead, they seem to be swallowing his gilded bullshit with a long-handled spoon, praying that America will become a white Christian-only summer camp.

As horrible as Trump is as a person, it is diminished by the sins of Evangelical Christian leaders who are eagerly selling out their morality and ethics to an obvious charlatan. They prey upon the stupidity of their followers and they demonize others because they intrinsically know that’s what keeps their coffers full.

The Evangelicals are upset that church attendance keeps falling, but maybe they should look to their own leadership for the answers. Allowing Trump to pretend he is a person of faith may be the single most detrimental event for modern Christianity.

People of faith must open their eyes and say no to Trump. Agnostics and atheists must recognize the real and present danger that Trump and his strange bedfellows pose to America. They must come to the realization that he is the antithesis of all their values and ideals.

In the meantime, the sodomy will continue and the religious right will cherish its role as Trump’s subservient whore.

Let’s move Alabama from Worst to First

alabama, crossroads, worst, first

Charles Miller, Contributor

Every time a new national ranking of education, the economy, or health comes out, a lot of us say, “Thank God for Mississippi”.  We can always find someplace worse, but the fact is that Alabama is being hung out to dry. Our representatives in Montgomery are not doing anything to improve things. We’re the worst, when we should be first. We all know excuses are not good enough – Alabama can do much better.   I think the way we should react to news that students keep failing basic skills tests – it’s not the students that are failing, it’s the schools.  So, it’s apparent that it’s the politicians that are to blame, not the people who are stretched thin, just trying to make ends meet.

Speaking of education, Alabama is at, or near, the bottom in K-12 schools.  Take math scores for instance – the skill that matters most for technical jobs that pay well – Alabama is ranked 50th.  Our schools are also near the bottom in college readiness, leaving most of our students with little hope for a better future. What have our leaders done to Improve that? Nothing that amounts to anything significant.  We know that our students can do much better, and they do when given the opportunity – it’s our education system that is failing, not the students and not the parents.

On economy and jobs, we are at the bottom.  It’s as if Alabama refused to participate in economic recovery.  While the rest of the nation is rising, Alabama lags behind, but it’s not because people aren’t working hard, it’s because of lack of opportunity and a failure of leadership.   Our state is 48th in employment with just over half the potential workforce employed. We rank 48th in business environment, according to the Statistical Atlas, – and most of our representatives say they are “pro-business”.  We are not convinced.

We are being misled when we look at the “unemployment” rate.  Nearly half, who are not employed, are stay-at-home parents. Of course, that can be a good thing when it’s possible for one parent to earn enough to support the family. That’s not what’s happening. When earnings are so low, especially in rural areas, it is difficult for one working parent to make a living wage for their family. When median income is less than $24,000 that can be largely impossible.  Among young adults age 20 – 24, the unemployment rate is staggering at 15 – 13 %. Every day I hear from people who are cobbling together multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet.  So, it’s not surprising that a third of Alabama’s children live in poverty. That makes for a poor economy and a poor future for our state.

In health, we are predictably near the bottom again.  Our healthcare is some of the most expensive and our outcomes the worst. Tragically, Alabama is 50th in infant mortality and near the bottom in healthcare for children and adults.  It’s a bit of a puzzle, isn’t it?  We pay more and get less, live sicker, and die broke.  The worst thing about this is that healthcare is so politicized and our political leaders seem to lack the will to come up with practical solutions to make healthcare affordable and accessible.

Then, there is the grocery tax.  Only a handful of states charge sales tax on groceries and only three, including Alabama, apply the full rate to groceries to be consumed at home.  This unpopular regressive tax that hurts families could be eliminated and replaced by new sources of revenue that have broad public support, but again, our politicians lack the will to implement those solutions.  And that’s just one example of many taxes that hurt all of us.

There are solutions for all these issues and in the coming months I’ll be talking about them. But more importantly, I’ll be listening to the people who live with those kitchen table issues every day.  Too few of our representatives are really listening. Too many representatives are unwilling to discuss, let alone implement, innovative and effective solutions. We need new blood in the legislature to take Alabama from worst to first.

Trump Response to Puerto Rico is Simply Deranged

trump, puerto rico

Clete Wetli, Contributor

It’s tough to accept that there are still so many stupid peoples in our country that worship at the gaudy sham altar of Trump, but even if you’ve only got two brain cells to rub together, then you must admit that his shitty tweets to the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico are literally deranged. There is no justification or excuse for Trump’s words. There’s no apology or media spin that makes it any better.

We’ve painfully endured his obvious incompetence and unbridled narcissism for almost a year. We’ve watched the verbal diarrhea of lies spew from his lips every day since he soiled the oath of office. We’ve gasped as he and his staff have violated every code of ethics and sullied every governmental promise. Yet, his juvenile tweets disparaging the Americans in Puerto Rico has fully shown that his low has no limits, and that his conscience is nonexistent.

Donald Trump is legitimately and irreparably mentally ill. Professionals know this but don’t want to say for fear of political retribution. In your heart, you know this, too. He requires mental health care, and due to his age, it’s not likely to make any substantive difference. He is consumed with pathological narcissism (See DSM-V diagnosis) and he has no real, workable sense of morality. Trump has always been this way in his past and will always be this way until he dies. Aside from his twisted affection for his eldest daughter, Trump shows no love or loyalty to anyone but himself.

People are suffering and dying in Puerto Rico. Trump hasn’t listened to them and he is failing to help them. He’s made excuses and he’s pretended, like always, that his efforts have been a success in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Fuck, he’s angrily blaming the victims of a hurricane that destroyed an entire island. He’s vilifying a leader who’s waded through floodwaters to help her people. He’s beyond disgusting, beyond wrong.

He is ostensibly a fraud and truly a despicable human being. Folks can try to explain away his reprehensible past, but they’ll never be able to justify what he’s doing now. He is not worthy of an ounce of respect and he defiles the presidency. He is nothing more than a bully and nothing less than vulgar entitled prick.

After the charlatan was elected, so many people implored me to give him a chance; swearing that he would rise somehow to the demands of leadership. I honestly had no choice and I watched with deep skepticism. At every turn, he not only failed, he found new ways to profane our democracy and the institutions we hold dear. With Trump, there have been many straws that would break any animal’s back, but Puerto Rico is now the thing that truly shows the deep affliction of his character and the emptiness of his soul.

There is no redemption for Trump. No way to make it better. People are dying and suffering and he could care less about their plight. He is a cruel joke that shows the world the worst of our country and what happens when self-governance is placed in the hands of fools.

Half of our country didn’t even bother to vote. Half don’t even know that the people of Puerto Rico are Americans. They, like Trump, don’t really give a shit about anything but themselves. Trump knows better, but chooses only to do whatever will play to his base and bolster his brand. This is Trump’s America and it shows how fragile our democracy is and why we must never let this happen again.

My heart goes out to Puerto Rico. We must never forget Trump’s response. Hopefully, this is a turning point for our nation.

Saudi women can drive but have a long way to go

saudi, woman, driving

Jerry Waters, Contributor

It’s beyond comprehension that the other day was historic because Saudi Arabia’s king finally decided to let women drive automobiles. Until the royal decree becomes effective in a few months, Saudi Arabia will still hold the ignoble distinction of being the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving. Check your iPhone X and tell me what year this again…

Before you start celebrating a huge victory for women’s equality, it’s critical to note that women are still undoubtedly second-class citizens in that country. Saudi women still must adhere to a strict dress code and aren’t allowed to make their own decisions. They may soon be able to drive, but they have an incredibly long road to travel before they achieve anything remotely resembling equality.

The country’s conservative Wahhabi Muslim establishment is not at all happy about this blow to patriarchy and they see this as a sign that country is about to become a sin-filled Hell hole. They said the same thing in the past about educating women and letting women watch television. To them, women will be driving on the highway to Hell.

Hearing this news really put the issues that women in America face into sharp focus. In the US, we are still dealing with pay inequality and women’s healthcare issues. Although we are not as oppressive as the Saudis, we’re still a patriarchal society. American oppression just takes more subtle forms. Look at how we treat women in business and politics. Look at all the double standards we have that are embedded in our culture.

Yet, Americans love to believe that they are so much more advanced. It wasn’t really that long ago in the history of our nation that women fought men for their right to vote. We never quite could pass an Equal Rights Amendment. Although Obama was able to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Trump is doing everything he can to try to tear it down. Abortion may be legally a woman’s choice, but with all the restrictions imposed by states, good luck finding a clinic or insurance to cover the procedure. Women still don’t have equal representation in any level of our government. Only a sparse handful are CEOs.

Women are routinely discriminated against in America, but we like to pretend that we’re past all that now. Just like having a black president made racism magically disappear.

Globally, young girls are forced into sex or marriage every single day. They are tortured and abused and sold. In some countries, women who have been raped are stoned to death or murdered by family members in “honor” killings.  The ones who aren’t killed often end up disfigured or seriously injured for life.

So, let’s not spend a bunch of time congratulating an asshole king for deciding that women could finally be allowed to drive. Don’t pop the champagne corks thinking that this means that radical reforms in religion and government are coming rapidly to usher in an unprecedented age of equality for women around the world. The Saudi king took a baby step and it’s a very small step in the right direction. But let’s be real, it’s unbelievably overdue and it’s miniscule when compared to all the other changes that will have to be made for women to have true freedom and liberty in that country.

Here in the US, we’re electing misogynist clowns like Trump who will do everything in their power to roll back all of the progress women have fought for and won. Make no mistake, there is a real war against women.

Soon, Saudi women will be driving and that’s a great thing. Let’s not lose sight of the goal and let’s remember how much further we have to go. We’re still not anywhere close to where we need to be.

Not your Mother’s Brand of Feminism

feminism, equal pay

Elizabeth Dawson, Contributor

I grew up with an odd view of the world. My mother was a 60 and 70s era pantsuit wearing feminist but she struggled with addiction and mental health issues so I grew up in my grandmother’s house and she had a very old world view of the woman’s role in society. I came up always wanting to be feminine and I wore vintage clothes before vintage clothes were cool. I harassed my grandmother into giving me money and I would hit the garage sales in the neighborhood and buy the most ridiculous, crazy dresses and sport them around like I was the coolest person on the block. Of course I was the scorn of my friends because I was odd and my family just scratched their heads and put up with it. My grandmother enjoyed it though because at least I liked to dress up. At least I was feminine. I was the antithesis of what my mother stood for and yet I was very head strong and had a very particular view of myself in this world. That view of myself did not include marrying well or allowing a man to support me. I rebelled against both my grandmother’s views and my mother’s version of feminism. I didn’t realize at the time was that I wasn’t alone in this new take of feminism.

As I hit the workforce, I found my mother’s version of feminism quite a bit. Women that wore pantsuits and thought that being a female in a man’s world was literally trying to be a man. I don’t scorn these women. They paved the way for my generation in the workforce yet it wasn’t my style. I did everything a man could do in the workplace and then some but I did it as a feminine woman. I was happy to don the dresses that my predecessors had scorned. I was a millennial feminist before that label was ascribed to my generation and yet I learned some valuable lessons both in my personal and professional life.

Because I didn’t have that nurturing mother type in my life, I learned the value of work and money early. I knew that I would always have to support myself because that safety net didn’t really exist. I did have my father and he helped me but my strength and my resilience came from tough lessons learned. I had men in my life that felt it was an acceptable course of action to remove money I worked for from my accounts to the detriment to myself and my children. I found out first hand about the inequity in the wage gap for women. Though these issues are tough, these are first world problems. I have traveled quite a bit for my job and personally. This experience has shown me that most of the world’s poor and starving are women and their children. Poverty is sexist as Melinda Gates has said and even though here in the United States, we make $.80 to a man’s dollar, outside of the U.S., conditions are far worse. The women of the world make our clothes, our technology and earn a starving wage to do so. I realized then that the millennial feminist cannot just be a state of mind, a law put into place for workplace equality or some heartfelt resistance movement. The real power for us women is in cold hard cash.

The new brand of feminism needs to stand for economic justice and the rest will follow. Martin Luther King said that “civil rights means nothing without economic justice.” So we as millennial women salute our predecessors and their fight for equal rights. We salute the suffragists. Our next fight is the end of slave wages. Women do not need charity but rather understanding. They need the means to invest in education, health care and well-being for their children. If this fight is fought now and won, we as women will have the power to improve the rest. So I implore you to find your own way to fight to improve the global wage gap. Buy products only from companies that pay their employees properly. Purchase with your conscious. Fund non-profits with this purpose in mind. The change will occur by economic means and this change cannot just occur for American women. It must occur for all women.

Protesting is more American than apple pie or the NFL

american, apple, pie, flag

Clete Wetli, Contributor

While the Idiot-in-Chief was visiting Huntsville, AL last week to support Bigly Luther Strange for Senate, he took a moment from his usual and meandering cacophony of self-adulation to encourage the NFL to fire players who engaged in the political protest of kneeling during the National Anthem. Although most Americans use that anthem time to down another beer or have another bong hit before the game begins, Trump thinks that kneeling during the anthem makes athletes traitorous, un-American enemies of the state.

The crowd cheered loudly when they heard Twitler make his proclamation and screamed in approval when he advocated harder hitting in professional football. Perhaps, his supporters already have traumatic brain injury in common with many veteran players and feel that if they must live with it, so should everyone else. Like all of Dolt 45’s experiments in extemporaneous speech it was replete with juvenile insults, fictitious assertions, embarrassing machismo, and enough non-sequiturs to qualify for any number of pathological psychological diagnoses.

However, it was his stance on peaceful protest that had America shaking its head. Of course, no one expected the dolt buffoon to be familiar with laws that explicitly prohibit the President and other government officials from trying to influence the personnel decisions of private companies, like the NFL. The Orange Menace barely speaks in coherent simple sentences as it is. What was amazing was that he didn’t understand why protesting is a sacred constitutionally protected right in our democratic republic.

It never occurred to The Drumpf that America was born in protest. That our country’s greatest achievements are the product of peaceful protests and demonstrations. Protest is the oxygen of our democracy. Some attend rallies and hold signs, some write, some sing, some paint, some seek public office, but protest against politicians and the government is the very real and necessary expression of freedom and independence. More so, when it is a minority opinion or deeply unpopular view.

Tragically, many cities across the US have passed a myriad of ordinances that restrict the right of peaceful protest by charging permit fees and imposing other undue burdens designed solely to quell freedom of speech and expression. Regularly, people seem increasingly ready to advocate censorship if it means being exposed to an opposing view. This is a dangerous trend that diminishes public discourse and threatens our freedom and independence.

For its part, the NFL responded to Trumpzilla by standing in solidarity with the players who chose to take a knee. Many in the NFL may not have the same political views as the protestors, but at least they understood the importance of protecting their right to express themselves.

Ironically, the outrage that’s being expressed by many on the alt-right is humorous since they amass weaponry under the protection of the Second Amendment in case they feel they need to take up arms against the government. That’s patriotic to them, but protesting institutionalized racism and discrimination merits termination from your job?

Too many people believe that because they can block someone on social media that it should be the same way in real life. They also love the algorithms that ensure that they are only fed content that they are sure to like. But that type of groupthink isn’t what makes a representative democracy strong and vibrant. It’s antithetical to progress and growth. Instead, we should be listening to opposing views even more and protecting people’s rights to expression. If you disagree with professional athletes taking a knee during the anthem, then make your case on why they are wrong. We’d love to hear it. Firing them or banning them is what they do in dictatorships.

Protest is as American as apple pie and the NFL. Well, apple pie is as American as French Fries, but that’s another story. In the meantime, Trump really needs to shut his French-fried apple pie hole and figure out a way to keep his soul-mate in bad haircuts, Kim Jung-Un, from starting World War III.

Clete wrote something that offended me- I’m going to my safe place

facebook, censorship, intolerance

Clete Wetli, Contributor

I was incredulous this last week when the morons at Facebook banned me from posting to groups for a week because they claimed my article link had either offended someone or it had been reported as spam. Are you fucking kidding me? Honestly, it could have been Franklin’s piece, our Canine-American editor, but what kind of anencephalic idiot bans a liberal Yorkie, without an opposable thumb, that can type?

Over the last few years, some very fragile and whiny liberals have politely requested that I not post on their groups because they felt my posts were “off-topic”. I’ve complied, even though I felt their polite censorship was counter-productive and ridiculous. Oh, the horrors of having to endure an opinion that isn’t exactly the same as yours…

One of the reasons mainstream Americans can’t stand liberals is because of this kind of stupid shit. When did we get so overly-sensitive that we feel it’s imperative to ban or report someone who doesn’t share the exact same view we have? I know it’s really difficult to just scroll past an opinion article on a Facebook group that was set up for community organizing, but do you really think that it’s a good idea to report or censor that person who’s on your side?

If what I just wrote offends you, then please go to your fucking safe place and watch your puppy video and use your inhaler until you think you can handle more. C’mon folks, we’re better than this. I thought Democrats and liberals were all about free speech. Apparently, that’s only true if people agree with you.

This is exactly why I’ve spent the last several years going on the Dale Jackson Show on WVNN as a weekly guest and hosted my own liberal talk show for a year on that hard-right conservative station. Dale Jackson, unlike some liberals, actually welcomes opposing points of view because it makes for good radio and entertaining, thoughtful, and confrontational debate. Yet, many liberals are too afraid to even talk to Dale and that, my friends, is another big reason we keep losing.

It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and troll and complain about things you don’t like. It takes a little courage to articulately express your opinion and engage in some meaningful debate. So, whoever decided to turn me or Franklin over to the Facebook gestapo- you won for a very brief moment, but we will be back. You can stew in self-righteous anger and indignation and file as many complaints as you like.

Or, maybe you could try writing an opposing opinion or going on a talk show and defending your viewpoint. Maybe, you could do something more than filing an anonymous complaint or showing up to rallies with twenty people sporting clever hand-made signs bitching about the injustices of the world.

Look, I get it, but liberals need to get the fact that you can’t preach tolerance while practicing intolerance. People have written some truly nasty commentary on my work and expressed some morally bankrupt opinions on my Facebook page. You know what? I let them. I heard them. I engaged them. I may not have changed their mind, but I let them talk. I let them because people could then see the folly of their arguments and the flaws in their points. They were self-evident. That’s what free speech is all about. You know what else? I learned a few things from the people I vehemently disagreed with. It made my points stronger and my arguments better.

Enjoy your safe space, my deeply offended friend. When you come out, you’re still going to have to deal with reality and deal with opinions you don’t like. If you’d like to actually start winning some elections, it would be really fucking sensible to quit censoring folks that are on your side and learn how to listen to those you oppose.

If you think I’m offensive now, just wait until my book comes out… Until then, feel free to boldly make your anonymous comments and complaints to Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who sold ads to Russians who posed as fake Americans to meddle in our election for Trump.

That’s all, snowflake, you can go cuddle with your puppy video…

I know you are, but what am I?

trump, strategy, blame

Franklin, Contributor

The imbecile just tweeted a fake GIF of himself hitting Hillary in the head with a golf ball. The moron just flipped on the Paris Accord and flopped back again and may still waffle in the wind depending on his whim. The douche canoe (yes, I heard that pejorative slang once before) is making the entire UN nervous because they think he’s exactly as stupidly unpredictable as Kim Jung Un and no one really wants the war that will ensue over two small penises bragging over which one’s bigger. Oh, the crowd was the biggest ever, regardless of the event, and his hands are bigly huge, the biggest if you look and you know what that really means.

No matter how much time elapses, Trump still epically sucks, he’s blindingly incompetent, grossly thin-skinned, and we know he’s, without one doubt, the very worst we could have elected to lead our great nation.

He just called the pathologically maniacal leader of North Korea “Rocket Man” and taunted him for having long gas lines in his country due to the sanctions we’ve imposed. Of course, that’s the path to mature diplomacy. He embarrasses our nation daily and his supporters find it cause for celebration as they spit on every institution we hold dear.

It makes one wonder if America finally got the president it deserved after decades of celebrating intellectual mediocrity and making excuses for collective complacency. I mean, there’s no still no excuse for Honey Boo Boo or The Apprentice. We’ve yet to figure out that the world doesn’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us for our arrogance, ignorance, and delusional sense of superiority.

I’m a Canine-American, a lowly dog as they say, and even I know better than to shit where I eat. I am amazed at the Trumpster humans and their willingness to blindly follow the Orange one. They believe he is one of them, although he has never felt a day of their struggle or an ounce of their pain. They tuned into his show and think that his ability to fuck people out of their money makes him a successful businessman. Enough time has passed, but it still feels surreal that he won the presidency.

Each day, each hour, he finds new ways to demean the office and to destroy the things that made our nation strong and enviable. He is an open wound that festers and tolerates no ointment or salve. He is the personification of malignancy posing as buffoonery.

What he lacks in wit, he makes up for in juvenile immaturity and reckless, stubborn arbitrary decision making. Thank the Almighty, he doesn’t drink, but he sure makes everyone else have a few more than they had intended.

Somehow, some way, we will survive him. Maybe, it’s the wake-up call our nation needed to put down their over-priced lattes and smart phones and give a real damn about what’s going on that truly matters. Maybe, as we float from one cringing moment to the next, we may again learn to value relevant experience, statesmanship, and wisdom. Maybe, politicians will learn to talk more directly about their genuine values and thoughtful plans instead of worrying about how it will play in the polls. Each time I see Trump snuggle with an evangelical, it makes me want to eat the stuffing in the couch.

Indeed, the anomaly of the asshole we call the Trump should teach us all something about the strengths and fragilities of our republic.

Yet, I can’t help but worry that we are on a dangerous precipice. This is either our moment of existential truth or our moment of inevitable, self-imposed doom.

Somehow, we’ve got to change the conversation and get our country back on track, but not backward. I can’t have another debate with a Trump ass-licker that simply amounts to “I know you are, but what am I?” or “Some Democrat did it, too”.

I need to install a count-down clock before I lose my mind. I never thought we’d see the day where George W. looked like a genius in comparison. Maybe, he just didn’t have Twitter.