Posts by AllenSchmertzler:

    ‘Tweet-Thee and Tweet-Dumb’

    July 10th, 2017

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    Well, how is “Make America Great Again” working for you? Six long and nauseating months into Trump’s presidential circus act and all we have to show for it is insane garbled comments each more contradictory than the previous one and a sickening display of “tweet-thee tweet-dumb” vicious unprecedented executive cyber-statements of verbal attacks against journalists and “enemies of his estate.” In a sick sort of way, these six months Trump has made history and surpassed  expectations of how attention-getting and entertaining his little twitter finger fits might be. Each day I know I wake up wondering “what did he flick now?”
    But, we are still here, despite plenty of harm to our country’s soul and sense of community delightful wonderment. Summer can provide an adequate distraction from our collective angst and for those of us more unsettled, hitting the pharmacy for low doses of opioids to numb the pain can keep us going a bit longer. In Oregon, we can hit the weed stores. They are everywhere and offer fascinating varietals, some even weaponized to counter the worst Trump-tweet-dumb.
    However, mostly Trumpism has been contained, thanks to the career government workers able to hold on to their job, or to those who set off lightening bolts of alert as they were thrown under the D.C. Metro line or professionally drowned in the Potomac wearing “Your Fired” paper weights.
    But, stuff just got dire and real time serious. Trump is now on the international stage, again, his second trip abroad. This time he has to deal with the spymaster KGB Godfather, “Darth-Vladimir Putin” one-on-one. Putin is armed with knowledge and the best intelligence. Trump only has his “tweet-thee tweet-dumb” weaponized 140 characters, a short-handed State Department staff and a religious disbelief of intelligence. The crowd he has to wrestle with is not entertainment photoshopped images of a CNN guy that he viciously smacks down, but players who have real nuclear bombs to wrestle with.
    Some on the world stage happen to be very bad actors. Our worst nightmare has arrived. Trump as Commander-In-ChiefW is now unleashed from our borders and containment protocols, and is responsible to navigate the security and future of America in a nuclear power grabbing global political environment. We can only hope that Trump knows the difference between a tweet-dumb to “Psycho Morning Joe with Crazy-Face-lift Bleeding Mika” and Putin, Kim, and the G-20 gang.

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    “You’re All Fired!”

    February 16th, 2017

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    For our thin-skinned hyper-sensitive-man-baby So-Called President, who believes appearances are bigly and facts are littlely, it isn’t looking too good. Trump’s high octane hot air nuclear-fuelled executive signing decrees, so-called aimed at making America safer, look sadly not bigly, look weakly not strongly, look confusedly not confidently, and his leadership looks increasingly unconstitutionally. It is “unpresidented.”

    Meanwhile, Trump’s swamp is overflowing with toxicity and the emboldened sharks with nukes must be circling the swamp smelling blood. We are only seconds into the first round and already the guy who said “trust me, only I can fix everything and make America Great Again” has black eyes, blood coming out of everywhere, has taken a torrential pounding to the head, babbles, hallucinates alternative universes and may not get footing before the count reaches ten. The Apprentice President needs to be fired. In Trump we not trust.

    The staggering departure of the National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who also has blood coming out of everywhere that is as red as Russian Borscht, strips bare Trump’s demented moral, intellectual and judgment capabilities. As President Obama and others warned, Donald Trump does not possess the temperament to be a President, and the truth will eventually shed light from the cracks. So quickly, the cracks have become plate-shifting earthquakes. Folks are losing sleep. We are more vulnerable now than eight years ago and in a very dangerous moment.

    Here we go again America with this political cliché, but the question must be asked and answered fully and quickly, what did the President know and when did he know it?

    The Republicans need to obsessively apply the same rigorous standards investigating Hillary Clinton and Democrats to this White House and fulfill the oath of their job to quickly unravel the mysteries surrounding Russian ties to Donald Trump. They turned a deaf ear to previous reports of Russian hacking, Trump’s taxes and questions about his nominees, but now with even greater constitutional questions at stake, patriotism requires action.

    We can still hear the hideous shouts rocking the Cleveland arena that housed the Republican Convention, led by Michael Flynn, and celebrated by all, “Lock Her Up!” All across America, I think I am now hearing, “Lock him up,” and,  “You’re all fired!”

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    The 99% Are Closet Trumpsters

    November 7th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    I admit to secretly wanting Donald Trump to become the Republican nominee. I guess that makes me a closet Trumpster. For my personal health I need to “out” myself, admit my mistakes, take responsibility, ask for forgiveness, and to seek therapy with a deprogrammer to unwrap my warped political indiscretions that caused me to lean cultish.

    I wanted to tear down our horribly dysfunctional, elitist, self-serving, morally corrupt, two-party political mafia. I had enough of the lying, hypocritical, conniving, insidious, brillo-tongued, cynical ruling class. I had enough of the oligarchy special interests fix the rules rigged system. I hate the morally bankrupt Republican Evangelical class. I hate the academic Lefty class that thinks they can socially engineer perfection. Until now, I hated even more, the Neocons and the Bushies. It is sickly ironic how they are cast as the sane ones now by freaking out over the orange mutant monster that uprooted from their carefully managed political garden.

    Trump was my nocturnal dream with explosive qualities to terminate the termite Republicans. I regret all of these feelings now. Trump, even if he loses, came way too close, coalesced a coalition of conscious-less conspirators that swarmed like killer bees protecting the “Man-Baby Queen” that the country will never heal from.

    Trumplanders are tough and determined. They have spread, fueled by legitimate grievances. But, I fear they may eat rebar from abandoned factories for breakfast, snort coal dust for evening edge, and for leisure, sharpen their second amendment rights with target practice using a copy of the Social Contract stapled to the constitution.

    I am sorry for what I wished for. A Jeb and Hillary contest would have been so “been-there-done-that-crap” too many times boring and predictable.” The old system would have lamely, benignly limped along until the next presidential cycle, and, now I understand better, the Trump disease would have stayed contained and not gone epidemic. I would be sleeping and eating better and drinking according to my doctor’s recommendation.

    Now that the horror is real, everyone is going to be asking, “how could this have happened, and who is/are to blame?” Well, there is ample blame to spread to the four corners of the country. That is because 99% of us have been disgusted with  “politics as usual.”  We are numb from the safe and sound political slugfest groundhog-day quagmire. We really do not want the drone of grandma Hillary caretaking. Certainly not when we can shoot up with adrenaline high-speed digital pixels with the illusion that change can happen in a nanosecond.

    I had enough of my fantasy of imploding our politics with a Trump. I repent. I am going to relearn how to love “predictable.” Please, politicians, Republicans, Democrats, and the remaining majority, can we slow down, remember that Baseball is the pace of our American pastime and hug each other to save ourselves? Even the Cubs won, eventually, can’t we all.

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    He Who is Left Laughs Last

    October 30th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

     

    Dear Mr. President Obama:

    We love you. We love Michelle. We love seeing you run. We love seeing you left right. We love your wit, it makes us laugh. We love your smart, careful, measured and thoughtful way of expressing a voice for all Americans. We are going to miss you.

    Remember a few years back, during the middle blur of the many dark years post 2010 when your Presidency looked terminal, your ratings tanked, and the Repugnacons thought they had you marginalized into inertia and suppressed by their “make-you-fail” ground game. But you were steady, relentless and self-less.  Look who is left and laughing. You wore holes in your shoes without wearing out your welcome.

    Look who us Americans are lamenting over not having another term in office. This is an amazing and shocking turn of events. It was totally unpredicted. Before the country gets caught up in anticipating the next inauguration, we just needed to thank you before you turn out the lights and turn over your keys. (Can you maybe hide a key in your shoe?) You and your family restored honor, dignity and color to the White House. America has a First Family, again. The world loves you, too.

    We are better off now, way better off than eight years ago. We learned about when President Bill Clinton left, he also had the last laugh. His enemies were diminished and humorless. Many became grumpy older men. Fascinating how some have tried to grab power again by attaching themselves as surrogates to Donald Trump. I guess they never got over it.

    Mr. President, could you please chat with Newt, we are worried about him. He may not make it through his worst nightmare, another eight years of Clintons. Although they seem to have a strong faith, Rudy, Christie, Mitch and McCain may also be in trouble, perhaps you can counsel them as well. But don’t bother with Donald, even we lowly ones can see how beyond help he is. We trust your judgment.

    Thank you again Mr. President. You earned American’s affection, admiration and will exit as a popular icon destined to swell the history books with accolades. You are a transformational figure. You have forever altered the White House, for the better. You kept scandal, pessimism, and political nastiness out of the White House, just as you promised. Change we can believe in.

    You leave office empowered while your enemies have been marginalized, terribly diminished, crippled by their own dark forces of inertia, ineptitude, vindictiveness, hate, and visionless vitriol.

    Thank you, Mr. President for getting stuff done, in your “no drama Obama” way.  So you know, we have your back Mr. President. Hillary, your hand picked successor to protect and enlarge your legacy is going to win and become the first woman president, and she will keep the creeps who secretly hate the real America “honest.” Or, she will at least keep them feeding on their own while they try to figure out what it means to be an elected servant for the people. Wow, it is true, he who is left, lasts. He who laughs last, lasts.

     

    Sincerely and Respectfully yours,

    The Americans Fox News Dissed

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    To View The Madman Across the Water

    October 12th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

     Mark Twain noted, “one must travel, to learn,” and “broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  So, with channeling the dry wit, literary flare and astute wisdom of Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad” I boarded my flight from Portland, Oregon to Barcelona, Spain on September 20, 2016.

    Part of me was unhappy, unnerved, exhausted and dispirited from addictively following the daily Presidential election news cycle and looked forward to a brief respite from the craziness. I especially needed a vacation from the madman Donald Trump and the media’s obsession with him. His vitriol was tamping down my confidence in Democracy, vaporizing my artistic creative innocence and supporting my notion that the Gods must have already abandoned ship. “What a long and strange trip it has been” since Donald Trump began his escalator ride at Trump Tower toward the White House. I always expect my trips abroad to energize me with the freshness of new perspectives and mind-bending shifts that result from being submerged in another time zone and culture.

    However, the timing of this trip was unusual. I have never left the country during the debate season of a presidential election, and I have never missed a presidential debate. It was clear that so much was at stake in this debate and would most likely steady the trajectory of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to electoral victory.

    With this awareness I met up with my Portland Food Adventures, #PFASpain2016 tour group at our Barcelona hotel. We were an intimate group of ten, all currently living in Portland, all enthusiastic to accept the culinary leadership of our Barcelona born Portland master Spanish chef, to begin eating our way through the Spanish regions of Catalonia and Basque. We were all new to each other. My one biggest secret concern was how the trip would go if there were Donald Trump supporters in the group. There was no way this hot bottom topic would not bubble to the surface and I worried about the corrosive potential of expensive and hours long dining as a “family” during such a serious, volatile and delicate political process.

    Apparently, we all secretly shared in that exact concern. This was revealed when on our very first day together, Donald Trump’s name was uttered and all of us reacted with pained caged animal noises of disgust, followed with a volcanic release of seismic laughter as we shared a tribal “Aha” moment. I guess given the demographics of Portland, the odds were the “Clintonians” would out number the “Trumpsters.” But none of us expected a tour full of like-minded politically astute activists against Trump. Now we were off to a fantastic tour, but there remained a dark cloud of menace, a sense of foreboding and separation anxiety with the first debate looming.

    There was an edgy comic quality to our group. We were all consumed with the gravity of Trump and this debate, and upon discovering that our travel bus had superior Wi-Fi coverage than our hotels, every time we boarded, electronic devices were opened and each of us began to frantically collect from our social network sources whatever information and late breaking revelations that could tilt the election one way or the other. We would then compare, discuss, and continue to bond with anti-Trump passion as our common soul.

    Several in the group toyed with challenging their sleep patterns and state of vacation to wake up at 3 in the morning to watch the debate. None did so. But it was not until the post debate feedback reached us with positive news for Hillary, that the dark menacing storm cloud of collective doom evaporated and the temper for the remaining of our trip lightened.

    Interestingly, as common as our Americans abroad hatred and fear of Donald Trump was, the locals we encountered all voiced similar sentiments. The madman across the water has generated a global digestive reflux of bile and acid folks wanted to go away. From across the water, Trump was off to a poor start to “make America great again.” Folks happily offered their loving appreciation for Barack Obama and their turned up lip and bug eyes disdain for Mr. Trump.

    To quote Mark Twain again from his “Innocents Abroad,” “travel is fatal to prejudices, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Perhaps Donald Trump ought to travel to get out of his little 1% corner of earth and travel in the manner of the 99%, to bring a more uplifting and positive message back to help make America continue to be great. Maybe he would learn that the forces of good and love are abounding in greater strength than the dark evil he peddles.

    One can learn plenty from cultural institutions such as museums, cathedrals, and the architectural wonders from Gaudi or Gehry buildings shimmering in the light with deliciousness of melting and folding gelato cones, but from the people, the locals that inhabit the land, there is no better elixir to fill yourself with hope and appreciation. Donald could benefit from an “Innocents Abroad” experience. But I guess he would prefer attending a bullfight pretending in his little mind that he was the Matador Super Hombre lusting to pick his enemy the Toro into a bleeding demise. He would be saddened to discover, bull fighting is no more in this part of Spain. People can grow and change with reflection, for the better, Donald. Can you?

    I returned on October 4th, and although I promised myself to prolong my freshness for a few more days, I could not turn away and so nervously tuned into the Vice Presidential Debate. It was horrible. It was horrible for the two candidates. It was horrible for the moderator, Elaine Quijano. It was horrible for the country and our politics.

    Although not surprised but very distraught over the newly released video from Trump’s 2005 appearance with Billy Bush, I had to wonder why this took so long to become public and if this would finally end the circus ride of the madman, and how would it play into debate number two.  Folks across the water must be scratching their heads.

    To borrow from Roger Cohen’s quote from Marx in his New York Times editorial on the day I left the country for Spain, “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” As this election cycle has remained mostly below the belt going from p—s banter to p—y grabbing we have witnessed a major political party’s nominee for President take us from tragedy to farce. It feels good to be home with my validated view of the madman across the water, but I hurt thinking of the so many who have to relive their pain from being sexual assault survivors because of the words, the behavior and the attitude of the Madman-for-President.

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    Hillary’s Sickness-gate

    September 15th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    Hillary's "Sickness-gate"

    What in the heck is wrong with Hillary!  “Ding dong the witch is sick” and we toldyaso!  Actually, Donald Trump and his alt-right talking points brats told us so. Adding support to the claim was the visceral 15th year 9/11 memorial event with images of Hillary’s rapid unexplained exit with feet dragging like a rag doll as she was being carried to a get-away-to-Chelsea’s vehicle. This image will definitely be in the History Books. We will have to wait to read the accompanying caption.

    Question: If Donald Trump breaks out in self-aggrandizing laughter as his pupils dilate with glee off camera, does it still make a huge sound? I think Trump and his “handlers” must now truly believe in a higher entity that is working on behalf of his quest to seize the Presidency. Trump’s “basket case of deplorables” is going to have a vampire’s feast with Hillary’s “Sickness-gate.”

    This is really bad timing for such “Breaking News” for Hillary Clinton and her fans. As unbelievable as it is, given the Trump seedy baggage that is getting reported daily, the polls are tightening as the candidates begin their final lap. It is still only September before the first gladiatorial debate and the “October surprise” is yet to be unwrapped. “Sickness-gate” can be The Trump Card.

    In our communications revolution where the information feed is seedy and oiled for media nuclear ratings, Steve Bannon,  “Breit-Brat News” and “Sly-as-Fox News” soar with conspiratorial excellence. Their conspiracy machine works around the clock. “Sickness-gate” now has the legs. Hillary is weak. She has been covering it up. Her campaign is co-conspirator. Their clever spin which is probably more truthful, that Hillary did what working women do all the time, that is to power through another workday without calling in sick, will not matter to many. This is Hillary Clinton, so there must be corrupt and darker motivations to it.

    Yet for the country, the only real conspiracy is everything aligned with Trump. What require immediate and deep assessment are the successful hostile takeover of the Republican Party and the possible alt-right takeover of America.

    Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald has hopefully fulfilled his journalistic obligations and factually connected the dots to Trump’s global financial ties. Unless someone hacks Trump’s tax returns, this may be the only reporting that gives light to Trump’s global constellation. It is a world filled with dark characters flush with money in the “pay-to-play” world of political muscle and brand named powerful families. The combined literary capabilities of spymasters, Robert Ludlum, John Le Carre and Ken Follett could not have written a more intricate interconnected darker tale of fiction.

    There have already been plenty of fair and legitimate claims to disqualify Donald Trump as President based on his temperament and lack of experience. Now, with this Newsweek article, the revelations completely disqualify him. The real “Sickness-gate” is the factual global world of Donald Trump.

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    The Way Life Should Be

    September 12th, 2016

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

     

    “Pivot!” he’s going to pivot, look, he’s motioning a pivot, we are so enthralled he’s going to…oops, eek, ouch, he threw another disgusting slimy spitball! And so it goes with “The Great Pretender” manipulating surrogate voices and legions of “talking heads” to pull off another media-captivating news cycle blast with deceit, anger, hatred and bellicosity. Although all things “Trump For President” have great anticipatory entertainment value, even the latest “he said-he said” Montezuma’s Revenge twitter spat over who is going to pay for that glorious border wall, in our beloved world of presidential politics, this is not the way life should be.

    While funny and satisfying on a primal level, the great Democratic political strategist David Plouffe recently attacked Donald Trump by calling him a psychopath. This was inappropriate over-statement and a childish Trumpish tactic of name bombing. Donald Trump is certainly “psycho-something,” but I prefer the Susan Collins approach to derail a Trump Presidency.  It has more dignity and honors the right traditions of political fair play. Name-calling is a form of bullying and only begets more name-calling.

    Susan Collins has been criticized for coming late to the Never Trump parade, but, let’s be fair, disowning one’s political party nominee is rare, takes conviction, courage, makes a nuclear blast statement of disgust, and signals to one’s constituency an unavoidable persuasive argument. Give her credit for purging and washing her Trump soiled values and for being astute and honorable enough to exit the Trumpster-dumpster before his very latest escapade in shamelessness. Over 100 prominent Republicans have done likewise.

    Senator Collins got it already, Trump will not pivot, he is the Great Pretender, and in her home state of Maine, Donald Trump does not represent “The Way Life Should Be.” To her and many of us it is becoming clearer what little we can expect from a “President” Trump. He will be an ill prepared non-medicated “ADHD-type” hothead administrator. It is easy to visualize a typical day of Donald Trump living in the White House. It could go like this:

    Awakening from another REM deprived sleep with his small hands feeling slightly numb from holding a twitter account recharging under his pillow, he leaps out of bed, his impulse control dial switched to “disabled,” and barks to his staff to ready “Trump Air-Fart One” for a quick fly-thru to Mexico for photo-ops of one high ranking handshake that is immediately sterilized as he boards to return, but the gestalt of the media event is an image of him looking presidential.

    Upon debriefing the press, President Trump trumps great deals only he could have negotiated, but within hours a twitter spat unfolds with contradictions over what was really decided and who would pay for what. Trump then blames the crooked press for rigging the system against him, and retaliates by banishing more of the White House Press. Having secured another 24-hour news cycle that is only about him as if there was no other viable news to report, President Trump hears himself talking to himself in his reassuring voice of “I had the greatest Presidential day ever that only I could have had.”

    There is a reason why Maine borders Canada and folks up in that area know “the way life should be,” because it can only be without a Trump Presidency and with enticing taco trucks on enough corners.

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    Trump and the Limited Liability Company He Keeps

    September 1st, 2016

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    Trump and the Limited Liability Company He Keeps

    With less than 80 days until election time, a clear and present danger, oops, I mean pattern, has absolutely emerged. The powerful media world of the right-wing proprietors of conspiracies is sick, toxic, and Neanderthal and exposed for what they have been for decades. This is the same consortium of out-of-shape, uncouth, privileged and sexually-constipated white-is-right group that Donald Trump subscribes to and has used as moving pieces in his quest to colonize another lease, this one on the White House.

    They are the sad mad men, anchored in Foxy “News” and BreitBrat “News,” the gang that loves guns but can’t shoot straight. They are the privileged, surrounded and supported by obscene wealth, an old-boy-network-like-athletes that need adoring gorgeous female cheer leaders-as fixtures to their male ego, whom they encourage to jump high so as to titillate with a quick sneak peak of what lies beneath, and then as if treating them as objects, spread damaging dirty tales to control and diminish them. This limited liability company, rarely caught and held accountable, with its quid-pro-quo-win-by-crushing others methodology may be terminal. Come November, they may be losers with their tails tucked needing to join the 21stCentury sensitivity trained work force.

    Meanwhile, even though still loyal to the messaging of conspiracy bull and Trump-like ignoring of facts, the women of Fox “News” have had enough of their sexual-hostile work environment. The “cheer leaders” are smartly fighting back. Oddly, they are in a similar class-action boat with the fighter for women and children, Hillary Clinton, and ironically, they are turning to the same resources their very own “limited liability company” employers have attacked, belittled, and smeared over the years, the Equal Employment Civil Rights Lawyers, alleged foot-soldiers of the left-wing-liberals that kill jobs through trivial lawsuits.

    Enough dots are now connected. Donald Trump has issues with equality, as does the limited liability company that he keeps.  He has surrounded himself with bullies, some of which have been ousted as sexual bullies. As with his cohort company, Trump offers either an outward lie intended to deceive or a gross exaggeration intended to misrepresent. His way began long ago, from his immigrant family roots born in Germany but thru huckster switch and bait was marketed as Swede, a better brand for business in New York. What tale will these types spin for their own aggrandizement? They are not real-estate tycoons but “real-escape” buffoons.”

    Little else can be said about this company swamp of trumpsters, and can be best summarized by this excerpt from a lawsuit brought by former Fox “News” employee, Andrea Tantaros:

    “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”

    Hillary Clinton is far from perfect. Her husband-partner, former President Bill Clinton is far from perfect. Both have stained wardrobe in their closet that lingers after years of dry cleaning. The Clintons keep their own limited liability company, but at this point only they can save us from the larger, more dangerous, and grotesquely twisted Trump circle of bullies that behave as if they have no liability

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    Wikileaks or Wicked Leaks

    August 19th, 2016

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    Wikileaks or Wicked Leaks

    If you were informed by a physician that your partner was terminal with very little time left and asked you whether s/he should tell the patient the “bad truth or a good lie,” what would you say? This ethical dilemma challenges our cherished belief in transparency and truth telling.

    It also raises the questions, can too much transparency be too destructive, and when does too-much privacy become too secretive and conspiratorial? When applied to the public policy-making arena, these questions carry tremendous weight with possible dire consequences.

    There have been numerous times in our Democracy when politicians have had to balance when and if to tell the “bad truth or a good lie.” The public demands the right-to-know, hates the cover-up more than the ugly fact and demand corruption be disrobed.

    However, when outrage percolates, politicians can be held accountable and voted out. It used to be the sole job of journalists, at times with help from “whistle-blowers” to expose these transgressions. Recently, professional vigilante hackers, such as Julian Assange, have filled in to expose the “bad truths from the good lies.”  This kind of lone wolf can take out an entire power structure.

    At what point does a “Julian Assange” own the moral high ground about insisting on absolute transparency to expose the powerful trampling on us little folks versus their acting in self-interest. When a political party’s private emails are hacked, released in timely, premeditated doses, to manipulate a democratic election as some form of hateful retribution, maybe the wicked leaks are both the bad truth and the good lie.

    When a campaign of innuendo links these wicked leads to nefarious forces in Russia, maybe it is an attempt to kill the message by discrediting the messenger. Maybe, some things are best not learned, but on the other hand, anticipating October surprises can keep things interesting and send glacial shivers thru the mightiest power brokers.

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    The Wrath Of The Khans

    August 5th, 2016

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

    2016-08-01-1470088830-4558412-khizarKhanvtrumpcopy.jpg

    To boldly go where no one would dare, until this election of 2016. Two weeks of the slickest show in two cities are over. The candidates are crowned, millions have been spent, one bazillion red white and blue balloons rained. The preamble is over and the whistle-stop road show to the battleground states begins. Folks can return to the virtues of summer, while our political class doubles-down for the next 100 days. Two diametrically opposed visions of America emerged. There were moments when I had to shake my head, put my red wine in blue glass in the white room down to check reality. I am still a bit rattled thinking maybe I drank too much which beamed me up through a wormhole into another galaxy hosting “Star Trek: The Clash of Khans.”

    On the one hand, we have the fantasy character based on the conqueror, Genghis Khan, who morphs into a genetically altered muscular showman with sexy vixens at his side, a superhuman version but with orange hair and skin and squinty eyes framed in a pasty anemic tone of cerulean. This Khan is pathological, cunning, deceitful, obsessively narcissistic, thin-skinned and completely devoid of empathy. He is wired to defeat, crush and persevere while destroying all who question. Criticism of this Khan carries the penalty of being Twitter-stalked and savaged with relentless impulsive “tongue-fuing,” until banished into the “galaxy” of non-social viability. The wrath of this Khan is full throttle bombast, morally bankrupt, and insanely self-aggrandizing.

    On the other Khan, we have a self-actualized character from ancient Middle-Eastern sands, is the mouse that roared in a soft but thunderous, measured but emotive, non-threatening but killing, plainspoken but moral, painful but respectful tone. The quality of which was deafening. Mr. Khizr Khan, with his pained silent draped wife at his side, drew his wrath out of his coat, a pocket version of the Constitution of the United States. This little pamphlet was nuclear charged, equaled the force of David’s stone that fell Goliath, and will defeat Trump-The-Con.

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    All Press Is Good Press

    July 23rd, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

    For the narcissist, whether delusional or just socially maladjusted, publicity is better than mainlining. I think we all have “addictions,” of some sort, and if being the subject of continuous streams of “whatever” publicity is your thing, this seems to be a relatively harmless obsessive endeavor and victimless addiction. Not so for Donald Trump. For Donald Trump, it means he’s going to win either way because he will sell more stuff, but the harm to those millions spider-webbed into his corner could equal the malaise left from an affect-less drug addict driven to feed their addiction at any cost. The body count left soulless from Trump’s 2016 national narcissistic crusade will be historic.

    I feel so heart-stricken for the thousands of “ethnocentrics” screaming synchronized hatred in the “Donald CONvention” arena. Trump-the-huckster accepts any publicity as a win, even if he is caught as the “Commander-In-Chief-of Cheating.”

    I was a public school secondary level teacher for 34 years. I taught Social Studies, a required subject, considered essential learning. Yet at times, with a chuckle and through my mind’s eye I awoke to the realization that what I was really doing was controlling and socializing young people. This was the hidden agenda of public education, to coerce a sense of order, complacency and belonging, what was celebrated as “citizenship.”

    Playing by the rules was a cherished idea while cheating was seen as horrendous and a template of behavior likely to send someone to prison. Prison was the lowest form of life in this proud pull-yourself-up culture. We teachers employed many stealth strategies to catch cheaters in our classrooms. Students knew we were prowling for transgressors, understanding the energy invested equaled the seriousness of deviance. Getting caught cheating held serious consequences. Cheating once, was only the beginning. Getting caught the first time did not mean it was the first offense.

    Teachers taught about plagiarism, offering meticulous rules to guide students so they avoided the trap of stealing other’s intellectual property. Plagiarism was a despised and insidious form of lying and cheating. It contradicted the honest-laissez-faire-you-make-yourself spirit of American culture.

    What happens to cheaters depends on applicable social variables. Usually, and with precedent, elected officials caught cheating, caught plagiarizing wear a scarlet “P,” indicating serious character flaws. Ask Joe Biden for details. Now that the Trump “Make America Great Again” is tarnished with “make cheating great again” through plagiarism, will all the press be good press resulting in a win for Trump? Or, will finally, Trump fans see their savior without clothes, see him as the fraud he is, see him as plagiarizing the Presidency, plagiarizing American politics, see him as the needy narcissist-cheater who compulsively spins flip-flopping tales to mainline the publicity. To a Trump, all press is good press because all roads lead to more wealth, and more wealth leads to more press, and all press mainlines the narcissist.

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    Summer Convention Of Discontent

    July 14th, 2016

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    “ Little Murders” was a 1967 play written by the “cartoonist” Jules Feiffer, later became a movie, directed by Alan Arkin. The work masterfully depicts an American society spinning out of control with senseless random killings, as the protagonist, a photographer whose sensibilities and art form is reduced to obsessively aiming his camera at dog poop and stained sidewalks. Reality became a stinking-rotten world. Feiffer and Arkin artistically channeled America’s dark mood wedged between the Summer of Love, political assassinations and into the Summer of Rage. The street protests, presidential conventions and election of 1968 gave support to fears that American society was about to implode.

    Today the past meets the future as our Deja vu. With the air still hosting smoke from BBQs and fireworks as part of July 4th celebrations, the four corners of America are spinning out of control and boiled over and convulsed with rage in reaction to a series of “little murderers.” The streets of America are soiled by another week of violence and senseless killings that tilt in the direction of racial and political discord. Law enforcement and those enforced by the law have been gunned-down. Snipers are taking up positions and shooting to kill at street level. The senseless random abundance and mainstreaming of firearms designed to kill are being used to senselessly and randomly kill. Already the senseless shooting has spilled into this week as cameras stream a live feed for 24-hour news.

    Ohio, like Texas, is an open-carry firearms state. The GOP Convention will be held in a week in Cleveland, Ohio. Nominee Mr. Trump has earned the title of “Master Manipulator of Media.” With this advantage he managed to vanquish 16 opponents, curry favor with the disaffected, angry and socially incorrect, massaging hate, and setting up a firestorm of intrigue, speculation, and anxiety about the upcoming convention. There will be lots of folks in the streets, likely too many armed, and confronting a strong militarized security force.

    On Monday, after a weekend of showing silent restraint and respect for the grieving, Mr. Trump, the “man-baby-huckster-divider” spins the shock and grief by declaring, “I am the law and order candidate!” This is the latest coded, hollow and horrific bark from Trump’s Tall Tale Crypt.

    What would “law and order” look like under a President Trump who flames so much rage? Militarized police have dispatched the first use of a robotcop armed with a bomb to kill a wounded, cornered, and unhinged U.S. Veteran-sniper cop killer. Militarized citizens are attending “peace” rallies shouldering legal firearms, causing much confusion for law enforcement on the ground. We may be “one snowball-at-a-Redcoat” away from a massacre where too many edgy folks along with police start cross shooting in the fog of chaos.

    In an attempt to add credibility to Trump’s law and order image, the “bridge-destroyer” from across the river, his desperate “man-servant,” who has become an unelectable political pariah in his home state, but is yet to be defanged, has resurfaced. Two mean verbal tough guys who relish bullying are auditioning as a tag-team to “make America great again” and be great at law and order, like you have never seen before.

    There are three solid measures of electoral success and leadership that precede a vote for President; the candidate’s record on the totality of their life experiences, how they manage the long primary season, and lastly, their pick for Vice President along with the flavor and spirit of their crowning at the convention. Consider the example of Mitt Romney’s failed attempt.

    He pandered too far to the right to win the nomination and lost the win-able narrative honoring his more moderate record as a big state Governor. He became the caricatured 1%, and chose a running mate too inexperienced to lift the load. At his convention, darkness permeated when the invited speaker Clint Eastwood, took the stage and ominously talked to an empty chair in an attempt to trash President Obama.

    Donald Trump now has a record voters can assess. He is on record with a convoluted position on everything, and therefore stands for, well, we are not sure. He spins dark stuff from his crypt to intentionally darken the mood of America and capitalize on divisiveness. He seems energized by violence and wants us to embrace the notion that America is a Jules Feiffer “stinking-rotten world” of little murderers that know-nothing stupid politicians cannot make great again. He has failed miserably at every measurement of being presidential to this point. What remain is whom Mr. Trump picks to be a “heartbeat away,” and what their convention will sow in this summer of convention discontent. Don’t have high expectations.

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    Elie Wiesel Already Restless in His Grave

    July 7th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

     

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    A perplexing question for Sigmund Freud was “when is a cigar not a cigar?” Or, “when is a small hand not a hand?” The easy answer is it depends on the overt flavor of the content. This is similar to, “when is something obscene and offensive?” The easy answer is “you know it when you see it!”

    For Donald Trump and his clueless groupies a perplexing question is, “when is a 6-pointed star not a 5-pointed star?” Or, perhaps more to the point, “when is the use of a 6-pointed star offensively anti-Semitic?” The easy answer is “when David Duke drools over it because Donald Trump tweets it.”

    All is not well in the kingdom. A lowly-rated Reality TV star has usurped politics with sickening suckering and fraudulent sound biting. Our electorate favors raw sewage over calibrated facts and seems to loath educational application to this election discourse. It’s about applying education, stupid! Sheriffs do not wear 6-pointed stars and the declaration that they do is sloppy, disrespectful and dangerously irresponsible. Heaven help America if we do not elect leaders passionately committed to education. There can be no other check against the mainstreaming of Trumpism huckstering. Even if the maligned use of a red Star of David paired with an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet was “innocent,” the vendors of this imagery from Trumpland, have disqualified themselves as being too insensitive and ignorant to inhabit the White House.

    This tawdry episode of a new low in our 2016 election cycle sadly parallels the loss to the world of the gifted teacher, Nobel Peace recipient and Holocaust-Nazi hunter, Elie Wiesel. In my own twisted way, I find relief that Mr. Wiesel passed before he had to suffer and witness yet another anti-Semitic metamorphic atrocity of the yellow Star of David emerging as a red star with “corrupt Hillary” awash in money.

    Elie Wiesel, identified by his tattoo “A-7713” emerged as a 16 year-old survivor of Nazi genocide. He dedicated his life to compiling a preponderance of evidence to educate the world about the Holocaust to “Never Forget” and “Never Again.” His passing personifies the passing of another generation’s first-hand knowledge in the awful experiences of the worst behaviors of humanity. The shoveled earth is still settling on his burial site, as his soul must be convulsing over his inability to be a “first responder” to siren against this latest propaganda assault on Jews. Who better to educate us by fact-checking this hubris?

    Lucky for Republicans that Donald Trump has a loyal Orthodox Jewish son-in-law who can explain away such insensitive indiscretions by vouching for “man-baby’s” bona-fide affection for Jewish people, and who doesn’t appear publicly at least to have any Jewish guilt over this “gelt”-6-pointed star issue. Elie Wiesel may be dead, and many may be too calloused or ignorant to care about petty tweeting issues, but a cigar in one small hand and a tweet of hatred in the other by an ambitious narcissistic huckster will always stink, and require education to nourish understanding why. Thank you Elie Wiesel for opening my mind and I do hope you can rest in peace.

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    Framers Implied Breaking Glass Ceilings

    July 6th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

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    July 4th used to be my favorite national holiday. It was about country, non-partisan and without overt religiosity, and for a kid, the only time blowing stuff up was celebrated by your parents. I loved seeing American Flags everywhere and walking my childhood neighborhood that hosted ghosts from The War of Independence.

    I lived in a two-story red brick row house wedged between Kings Highway, Flatlands and Flatbush, a historic location where British General Cornwallis in 1776 camped his massive troops. I loved the historic church at that location with moss covered cemetery plots. I attended Boy Scout events there as well as walked by this sacred ground going and coming from school at PS119 every day. I loved contemplating how old the dates were on the headstones. Blowing up stuff on July 4th in this neighborhood was cool with history.

    Later in life, living with dogs, my love of fireworks turned into anticipation, anxiety and awkward reminders of the ugliness of war. Yet just as the New York Times proudly posts in its July 4th newspaper a full version of the Declaration of Independence, I have a quiet ritual of reflecting on how lucky I have been to live my life in this country. Today, as I write this, I am aglow with celebrating how many glass ceilings have shattered lately, freeing us all from historic restrictions, and honoring vital words enshrined in our founding documents.

    I lamented most of my educated adult life the fact that our Founders were privileged white men protecting their privilege. Although they were married to women and had daughters, some had slaves, some became biologically interconnected with their slaves, and in the context of their world, despite such intimate experiences, failed to see their own hypocrisy of establishing a society legalizing depriving equal rights to all classes of people.

    Today, because of the stubborn vigilance and unwavering passion of activists relentlessly pushing our society to actualize and legalize the implied spirit of our founding documents, President Barack Obama prepares to become our first Black Ex-President, Hillary Rodham Clinton has become the first woman nominee for the presidency who hopefully will be the first woman president, and the LGBT community has full and equal rights.

    But, there is much more work that needs to be completed. None of which will occur if the guy who broke another glass ceiling by being the first totally non-qualified “man-baby” huckster to win his party’s nomination for president wins in November. In the land of the free and brave on July 4th we celebrate the full scope of “independence” including the risk that “any one” can become president and blow stuff up.

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    When Your Number Is Called

    May 10th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

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    Music is the universal language that shrinks distances between cultures. That music, when offered up by the rare artist who fabricates a stage aura of celestial qualities, offers us a means to transcend daily misery, to heal, and then try to make tomorrow work better. When these iconic figures pass away too young, the loss causes shock waves. None of us will ever see them perform live again, and the best we can do is push replay to re-inject fleeting images and memories etched in our minds in a conditioned stimulus-response dynamic. Two too many iconic personalities have passed away recently that built in the public a sense of belonging to a larger happening while inspiring cultural shifts through their original voice. Of course, I am referring to Prince and David Bowie, to mention two. I felt a simultaneous ripple in the universe and in my cerebral cortex upon learning of their deaths.

     

    However, there has been the recent passing of another who occupies greater real estate in my cortex and who single-handedly did more than make pop trends to try to shift our culture while giving many a sense of belonging and support. He lived life as pedestrian, basic, humble, and morally profound as one could. He has received that mainstream nod of an obituary footnote that admits he stood out, but his story needs to be served up again and again and his passing needs to inspire waves of passionate activism. Like David Bowie and Prince, his message is universal but lacks entertainment value.

    For me, his passing is very personal. I had attended several anti-Vietnam War rallies where the Jesuit Priest, Father Daniel Berrigan spoke. He was the first and the last religious figure to inspire me into political activism. In 1970, I reached legal draft age at 18 years old. On August 5, 1971 all young men born in 1952 were to learn their legal military status from the outcome of the Selective Service Military Draft Lottery. My family and I were gathered around the evening dinner table, with the portable black and white TV rooted on the corner of the kitchen counter, visible to my family of four, close and accessible enough, but not too close as to steal our sense of family. Anxiousness permeated this evening’s ritual as we awaited hearing my birth date called and pondering that reality. We did not have to wait very long; 12/15/1952 was drawn on the third spin. Geez, we all laughed with sardonic irony that I almost “won” first place.

     

    It was soon thereafter disclosed that to keep the U.S. military machine going in the last quarter of the Vietnam War, all eligible males born in 1952 whose lottery numbers were 95 and below would be drafted. I was a short guy at five foot six inches, and the macabre joke in my circle of friends was that guys such as me would become front line gunners because we were harder targets to hit. More disturbing was the sick side note that the average life expectancy for a front line gunner was about 2 minutes. What did I know? I was just a kid released from high school.

    The weight of this insane and pointless drama caused me to feel as though my life was slipping away. No amount of pop-tribal music could console me. I lost sleep, my humanity, dignity, and began to put on lots of anxiety weight from over eating. We all knew this war was ending soon, that it was morally atrocious; that the draft was racist and class-ist and that kids of privilege could bargain for a better deal. We saw the body bag counts every night watching the news with Uncle Walter Cronkite, the most trusted voice in America. Even he started sounding pained. We knew kids that tried desperate things to avoid going to war. Some swallowed aluminum foil after being told it would give them a medical deferment from causing bad x-rays. We heard of kids that cut off a toe, drugged themselves and asked a friend to slam a hammer in their head. There was never a good story connected to the entire Vietnam War machinery. Some tried to and did accept patriotic duty and marched in step. Most of the people I knew found fault in that approach. Of even a greater injustice, it wouldn’t be for another two years before my lottery group got to vote for a president that could send us to kill and maybe die.

    Father Berrigan’s moral voice grounded so many others and me in this struggle. Hope sprang from feeling fraternity with his activism. War is always miserable. It does horrific things to people and places, cultures and spirits, whether directly, indirectly, or in distant epic periods of history, all is torn asunder by it. Hopefully, Father Daniel Berrigan’s voice that gifted us for 94 years with reason, morality, and civic duty to speak and act in non-violent measured media attention gathering methods will continue to guide us.

     

    I fear we are living in dangerous and divisive times, when uneasiness is epidemic over who will be the next Commander-In-Chief President and no amount of cool rock-God musical theatrical antics can calm. Rest in peace Father Daniel Berrigan, you earned and deserve it. The rest of us will need to keep your light on in our cerebral cortex.

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    America’s Degenerate Pornolitics

    April 8th, 2016

    By allen Schmertzler.

     

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    Dear Parents:

    I know you remember helping me understand the hateful and degenerate politics of Democrat George Wallace and how laughable we found his presidential aspirations in 1968. In our hearts we knew Americans were looking into the future and would never vote him into the White House and therefore we were able to check our loathing fear of him. We knew he represented a dying breed of politicians.

    Well, mom and dad I must apologize, but at your current age of 87 and 93 respectively, I need to be your adult now. I need to protect you like you did for me when I was too young. I need to protect you against today’s “pornolitics” and lock you out of the political news channels on your television. The content may be dangerous to your health, sense of security, sense of decency, fairness, and further erode your coming-of-age-during-Hitler-paranoid-view-of-humanity. George Wallace looks like the Wizard of Oz compared to today’s Republican presidential line up. As it is, I can barely take it, and I am a cynical counter-culture anti-establishment baby boomer.

    You are the last generation of “media-innocents,” pre-cable, pre-digital and still land-locked by landlines. For you, Perry Mason and Lawrence Welk are not re-runs but prime time. Social media to you is a Monday afternoon of popcorn and a Bingo game in the dining room at your care-assisted living residency. There is nothing to be gained by allowing you to be “fornitrumped” by exposing you to the digital pornographic feast on Twitter and beyond, where “blood comes out of everywhere” as if it was a cage fight of Thundersome dynamics “two in, one out,” with grown men “testosteroning” over the size of their hands and lust-worthiness of their wives and daughters as credentials for the presidency, while as the same time proposing to punish women who want to control their own bodies.

    These same wannabes have promised that on day one as President they will deport millions living here whom have become their 21st Century “interlopers,” and police their communities as we have never seen in America. People that live beyond the watchful lens of your facility’s surveillance cameras are too hungry for political change of any kind, and too angry for a “Mr. Rogers drives Mr. Smith to Washington” approach.

    Politics is now a bona-fide blood sport supported by cage-fight debates and political rallies too dangerous for dissent and folks of color. This year’s presidential contest is a Mad-Max road trip, with whoever wins quickly discovering the keys cannot unlock the gridlock and that vacations in Baghdad’s Green Zone may be safer than a President’s visitations to Congress.

    Mom, dad, in my simplest language, this election cycle has cycled even seedier than Nixonian, beyond what most of us imagined possible, and I feel so horribly soiled by it that even my Dr. Bronner’s Magical Soap that I have been using ever since the first Woodstock cannot clean me.

    This is the first time since the Kent State University massacre of unarmed students, that the bitter, sour, salty tearful taste in my mouth for government is causing me symptoms of physical illness. I find myself in a state of anxious grieving as the hopeful lights from your generation’s sacrifice darken along with the hopeful spirit that government does matter. Our country is on the verge of losing so much

    I want you to feel secure as possible at this stage of your life. You do not deserve nightmares or night terrors or worries about Republicans destroying your world. No, you did not lose those channels on your remote control, rather, just like in “Mission Impossible,” I self-destructed it to protect you.

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    Oscar, For the 88th Time, Do The Right Thing

    February 17th, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

    An award winning and published political artist specializing in figurative, narrative and caricatured interpretations of current events.

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    Of the twelve calendar months, February is the most idiosyncratic and underrated. Wedged between big holiday festivities and springtime flowering, it is easy to understand why this Leap Year month carries the stigma of ” a month we just need to get through.” This sentiment is especially weighty here in the Pacific Northwest when by now most of us are quite antsy to bathe in more sunlight and take in our moisture from recreational water.

    However in reality, February is the month that parades much of our cultural identity before huge audiences frequently assembled into organized viewing celebrations. This is when most of us speak a common dialect incorporating language specific terminology relative to each event. February brings us Black History Month, Presidential Primaries, Mardi Gras, The Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and the Academy Awards. Each of these events are in part critical agents of our socialization process in that they create, support, validate and inculcate powerful images that define us and establish our cultural icons and self-identity. As well, they collectively whisper dimensions of the unfinished divisive culture wars on the “isms” of social divisiveness.

    We Americans, still very much socially organized into “tribes” are hypersensitive to insensitivity by others in positions of “authority” that borrow their status from the public’s respect. We Americans are now way more astute to the subtleties of discrimination in language and behavior and are far more organized via social media networks to respond to a tribal “call to arms” over an abuse. Injured parties to other’s abuses both real and or overly interpreted are apt to be “smartphoned” and go viral.

    Some criticize this sensitivity as the “political correctness” morass. But in America we have learned that demanding social justice, social equality, and holding elected representatives and the voices of authority that control and disseminate our tax revenues and gain wealth from our paid admissions accountable through vigilant legal means, is the only way to produce positive social change. It is a way more preferred methodology than apathetic complacency and or illegal combustible civil unrest.

    As a society with dramatic shifting demographics, we are now correctly grinding our societal teeth over the fairness politics of everything. It is therefore no surprise that this has spilled over into another one of our February delights, the Motion Picture Industry’s Academy Awards.

    For the second year in a row the Academy Awards are the White only awards. Representation in the “Best Of” lacks the color of diversity, and Spike Lee and other prominent figures in and outside the industry have decided to boycott the event. Their call for reform goes way beyond political correctness. Until leadership in circles of power becomes more representative, it is unlikely that real trickle-down diversification can occur. Therefore, it falls on those who can yield influence to lead with their conscience to create change through activism.

    The Motion Picture Industry as well as the entire media empire must know that the lessons for our children from the images of the penetrating movies they watch, and the power of images of Oscars given honoring the “best” actors, producers, directors, and various artistic contributors carry tremendous weight in how our society gets reflected back to our “looking glass selves.” Images matter, voices matter, lives matter. This does not mean the Academy Awards must become the Affirmative Action Awards.

    However the bulk of America knows better than what the Academy old boy network presents to us, that there is quite enough super talent available to diversify the sharing in the Academy riches. Until that image changes with believable sincerity and commitment for the future, it is completely reasonable to expect and support protest from disaffected groups over the important cultural tradition of the Oscars. When images change, thinking will change, and the Academy Awards with the totality of what they represent can lead the way toward a more post-ism society. In a few weeks, the 88th Academy Awards will air to a huge viewing audience.

    After 88 years, isn’t it fair to expect that a societal shift should have already occurred that would result in better representation of the diverse American family in an industry that is inherent to America? Please, Oscar, do the right thing, already!

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    With Humor And Fear a Choice of History

    January 30th, 2016

     

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

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    Here we go folks, fasten those joy ride seat belts for the greatest showdown money can buy, Iowa is approaching followed by New Hampshire on route to discovering who the 2016 Wizard will become behind the magic White House curtain. It looks as though another historic presidential election is odds on favorite to unfold, as the nation continues to convulse with spasms of disdain for “politics as usual.” Here is the likeliest lineup of history-making finalists.

    We can elect a “New York City values” white guy with a coif like no other who spinsters like a self-made global conqueror in tune with Iowa corn Christian Conservative Republicans. In truth, he inherited silver spoons, boot straps already attached and pulled up and a golden parachute to cushion his crash from each of his failings.

    He plays in the spotlight like a maverick billionaire “Mississippi river boat casino gambler,” slippery enough to maybe hide a Saturday night special up his sleeve with extra aces under his hairdo and a belief he can bluff his competitors into submission.

    He has never held elected office and before even reaching the crowning of the Republican Party choice, the very legitimacy of his opinions had already been debated in the United Kingdom’s Parliament Petitions Committee.

    Although spared being officially banned in Great Britain because of his hate speech, he has been globally marginalized as the leader of the free world with the labels of being a “fool” a “buffoon” and a “wazzock.” This candidate claims he cannot be bought by Wall Street or outside money. His presidency could get very intriguing and be so much food for divisive conspiracy-minded folks.

    We can elect a 74-year-old finger waving fiery white guy whose accent was born Jewish in New York, who later escaped to succeed in Vermont politics as a socialist, and in the eleventh hour converted to the Democratic Party Presidential race as a democratic socialist.

    Although no one has attacked him as a “New York City values guy,” it is probably safe to say he may very well be a sympathizer. Could he become the first President of Jewish faith? Could he become the first real Socialist President? What will happen to the alleged government’s war on Christmas with a President of Jewish faith? Maybe if he wins, he will sign a prenuptial agreement with the country to faithfully keep to the tradition of lighting up a White House Christmas tree, and sequester his Chanukah bush to the second floor Commander-In-Sleep bedroom. This candidate claims he cannot be bought by Wall Street or big outside money. His presidency could get very intriguing and be so much food for divisive conspiracy-minded folks.

    We can elect a woman, finally, white, who lives in and also served as a Senator from New York, and could be a “New York City values gal.” She has already served two terms as the First Lady, and if elected President, would also return her two-term former president husband to the White House in the capacity of the first ever First Ladd, to bake low-fat gluten-free cookies, work to end obesity and binging on pizza and fast food, and improve the living and educational conditions for little boys in need across the globe, and spread the word for aging white guys with health issues due to diet how to make positive changes.

    America’s journalists would sure have a bonanza with never-before-seen photo ops of a First Ladd establishing new traditions. We would see a President in woman’s shoes walking down from Air Force One smiling and waving while being followed by her Ladd. This candidate claims she cannot be bought by Wall Street or big outside money, now. Her presidency could be very intriguing and be so much food for divisive conspiracy-minded folks.

    We can maybe get to elect a third party candidate, a billionaire mogul former NYC Mayor who has straddled the Democratic and Republican political ideological divide and is exploring the feasibility and timeline to get his name on all 50 state ballots to run as an independent willing to spend up to $1 billion of his own money.

    He loathes the tone of the Republican frontrunner and hates the “scandal-ridden” politics of the Democratic frontrunner, and claims centerfold collaborative politics as his preference. Will Americans elect a President offering himself up as an alternative to the sick two-party system to fix America?

    This maybe candidate is yet to claim anything, but it is safe to say he cannot be bought by Wall Street or big outside money, and may also be a “New York City values guy.” His presidency could get very intriguing and be so much food for divisive conspiracy-minded folks.

    With either choice, we appear to be set up for another historical presidential election of “firsts.” But let us never forget one essential and dire dimension that is immediately consequential to who becomes the next President, and can also be historical. It is what happens when this President fills a vacancy or vacancies on the Supreme Court. These are appointments for “life” with direct influences on every facet of our lives.

    It was a smart and visionary NAACP black lawyer named Thurgood Marshall, who had successfully argued to end “separate but equal” American apartheid and broke the historic color barrier on the Supreme Court when then President LBJ appointed him in 1967.

    His presence on the court was a profound constitutional intellectual positive for the country. However, in 1991, when President George H. Bush had the opportunity to pay back conservatives for their support in winning him the presidency, he filled the Supreme Court “black seat” Marshall vacated with Clarence Thomas, perhaps one of the worst Justices ever.

    Although the seat remained as the “historic black seat” with this appointment, Justice Thomas sat in silence for seven years on the bench until finally uttering. He continues to sit mostly in silence, as he continues to serve for “life.” His legacy will be a profound constitutional negative for the country. Let this historical view from the Supreme Court be a factor when electing our next historical President. The results may not be cute and humorous tidbits.

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    The Tibet Occupied Feeling

    January 21st, 2016

    By Allen Schmertzler.

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    I have this unsettling feeling of my being occupied. Life continues, seemingly with familiar fixings, but at the core, near the heart, not the essential physical organ, but the mythological storehouse of one’s “soul” a feeling of a hostile presence in residence ensues. It didn’t take long for seasonal goodwill to sour then morph to acidic acrimony, even before the national feel good MLK Day celebration in diversity. I almost got there in sustained bliss. President Obama gave it his all with a profound rebuttal of Trumpism and a soaring celebration of positives for his eighth and last State of The Union.

    But with less than two days to frolic in those positive potentials, including Obama appointing V.P. Joe Biden to wage an American lead-from-the-front game changing war against cancer, of which Speaker of The House Paul Ryan could not manage to applaud, Fox News hosted the Death Star-Doomsday Republican debate.

    Now I ache from head to toe, from inside out, with distinct worry wrinkles snaking across my facial landscape. Reactionary low information jingoistic machismo has every potential in 2016 to occupy the White House and most essential positions of government, leaving recognizable infrastructure in place, but ousting polite, compassionate, measured, rational and experienced leadership that embodies the spirit of America. American politics is threatened to become “Tibeted,” a country and culture devoid of its spirited leader and occupied by hostile forces.

    My pain is not the kind one might expect from slamming a hammer accidentally on the utilitarian digit known as a thumb, nor like being a 135 pound lineman who just played in their first spring training NCAA qualifying football camp. My pain is more akin to being an idealist contemplating the definition of Humanism along with an image of the aging, country-less but peaceful Dali Lama, offering endless kindness as I sit in the first four star bakery in a gentrifying neighborhood finally peeling its urban decay skin, while hungrily awaiting the last promising freshly baked artisan slice of bread that arrives to my table burnt beyond the menu’s description of “wood fired.” It is a pain of shattering potentials not of shattering body parts. My sense is too many Americans have lost common sense patience and are ready to forsaken hope and “blow up” the baby with the bath water.

    I don’t want my artisan bakery to fail, leaving me with only see-thru white bread that has no wonder. I don’t want my government to fail. I don’t want the past eight years of President Obama’s achievements repealed. I want to see strength and stability built upon the past with continued improvements, experimentation, and research and development based on facts and the best scientific information with an outreach of acceptance and kindness to all Americans and all potential Americans. I don’t want the potentiality of inspiration, kindness, compassion and peacefulness to become values refugees from our country. I want the Dali Lama back in Tibet where he belongs to lead Tibetan potentialities. I want Americans in 2016 to elect a facilitator of positives and vote to oust our occupying hostile dark forces to keep the light of potentialities lit and free us from the Tibet occupied feeling.

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    Je Suis Francais

    November 18th, 2015

    By Allen Schmertzler.

     

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    Words can not express this horror, and therefore there are times when just a raw emotional sketch is worth 1000 words. Have we crossed over into the abyss of World War Three?

     

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