A Simple Straight-Forward Message for a Complex Convoluted Time

I think there should be eleven Commandments.

The existing ten should all slide down a notch to make room for a new, necessary First Commandment.

1st Commandment:  When it comes to others who embrace beliefs different than yours, thou shalt shut up and mind your own business.

I was raised strict Catholic from the late 1940s until July 1961.  I attended Catholic school for six years.  The indoctrination was mind-boggling — literally!  I’m not sure where things stand now.  Allegedly the Catholic Church has made some giant leaps forward.  I find the word ‘leap’ a little hard to swallow.  After all, it took them over 300 years to pardon that wildly insane heretic Galileo for declaring that the sun was at the center of the solar system.  It’s too late for his family to sue.

What I was taught, with no room for interpretation or even the slightest bending of the rules, was that Catholics were true believers, everyone else was a pagan and would burn mercilessly in Hell for it.  This obviously included jungle-dwelling savages with the bones through their noses, anyone with slanted eyes, hairy-chested men on horses who raped and pillaged without pause, witches, witch-doctors, probably acupuncturists.  But it also referred to — brace yourselves — all Jews and Protestants! 

Talk about being exclusive.  The Catholic Church didn’t mess around!

I left that all behind.  I remember the moment well.  Both of my parents were dead.  I was attending a Catholic mass, summer of 1961.  I tried to listen to what the priest was saying.  I looked around.  People were staring at the altar.  The priest droned on, something about the Holy Spirit.  I was 15 and scared to death by a fear of eternal damnation — something which was pounded into my head day-after-day, year-after-year by both priests and nuns — afraid as only a thoroughly brainwashed young man can be, to do anything at odds with the Church or God or the Commandments.  But then suddenly, like that perennial bolt of lightning, it hit me:  None of this made any sense to me anymore.  I walked out and never looked back.  To this day, I’ve never again attended a Catholic mass or Catholic service of any kind, for over 56 years.

I now can look at religion the way someone might look at photos in their high school year book.  Hmm . . . French Club . . . Junior Varsity Football Team . . . Mr. Hunter, chemistry.

When three years ago I wrote the song posted at the head of this rambling monograph, I tried to include Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on.  But it’s just a song.  There’s only so much room without turning the whole thing into a random game of Scrabble.  So . . .

I settled on Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and then gave a nod to atheism in one line.

I hear we’re now in the throes of a new “Clash of Civilizations”.  This refers to a war for hearts, minds, and oil fields, mainly between the Christian West and the Muslim Middle East.  The Jews are in there, since they are allegedly under siege by the Muslims, and they now have a marriage of convenience with the Christians — which is about as convenient as a marriage between a crocodile and a chicken, and makes about as much sense.

First of all, there’s nothing “new” about this epic showdown.  Haven’t any of these idiotic champions of chaos and carnage shilling for this conflict ever heard of the Crusades?

Second, while I can buy “clash”, which seems to be the operating word in just about every interaction between the Western powers and everyone else on the planet, “civilizations” somehow makes me think about “civil” and “civilized”.  Neither apply to those participants who have by choice, with full knowledge, by design, with clear intention, have brought the human species and every other living thing on the planet to the brink of extinction.

One has to ask:  Is this the best we as a product of twisted fibers of DNA and RNA can do?  Are we doomed by some kamikaze gene?  Do we periodically have to self-destruct, tear it all down?  Why do we bother with claiming it’s about ideologies or religions or politics?

Because it’s not.  It’s about hatred.  It’s about selfishness.  It’s about evil, either inherent or manufactured evil.

It’s about either the evil we are, the evil we’ve become, or the evil that we allow to exist in our hearts and our minds.

What’s my song about?  It’s so simple, so naive, so straightforward, so easy to understand.  Maybe that’s what makes it so difficult to take into our hearts, try to weave it in with those strands of DNA and RNA, let it become an antidote to the madness that drives us to reject and demonize others, that allows us to dehumanize those who are different, that feeds our inflated sense of importance, our “exceptionalism”, our grandiosity and rabid delusions of superiority, our ultimately self-destructive rejection of our shared humanity.

Happy New Year!  Yes, we’re starting a new cycle.  365 days to do what?

Yes.  What?

Maybe the whole New Year thing is just silly.

Peace be with us . . .

Hmm.

I’ve got it!  You decide for yourself.  That actually was the idea in the first place.

But I’ve given you a little push in the right direction.

Assuming you’ve gotten this far, here are the lyrics to my song, performed in the video by my extremely talented wife and myself, a simple straightforward message for a complex convoluted time.

It’s a very special time of year
For family and friends holiday cheer
For those no longer with us
We shed a tear
A time to share
A time of feast
A time to care
And pray for peace
A time to give to those
Who have the least

(Chorus)
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Peace be with us
Happy New Year!

This is the time to start anew
Atheist Christian Muslim Jew
To reach within
And find the love inside of you
Discard the old seek out the new
Reject the false embrace the true
To look ahead decide
To bring out the best in you

(Chorus)
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Peace be with us
Happy New Year!

(Chorus – Japanese)
Akemashite
Omedetoo
Peace be with you
Happy New Year!

(Chorus)
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Peace be with you
Happy New Year!

Posted in Creativity, Philosophy, Religion, Social Commentary, Spiritual, Video Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shameless Self-Promotion – Part 2

To put it mildly, with all of the hyperbolic hype, million dollar advertising, sensationalized news, wars, political machinations, terrorist attacks, celebrity scandals, hyperventilating talking heads, and widespread anonymous screaming going on out there these days, it’s very difficult to get anyone’s attention.

Let me be candid . . .

My last shameless self-promotion fell flat on its face.  No one was moved by my lugubrious plea to give my personal Gross Happiness Quotient a much needed boost by buying dozens of my brilliantly entertaining novel as holiday gift.  Indeed, I got up every single morning, faithfully checked the New York Times Bestseller List, and frankly was day-after-day quite shocked to not see it debuting in the Top Ten.  Just yesterday I finally called the Times to suggest there must be some mistake, but for technical reasons got disconnected.  My line must have been crossed with another call because I distinctly heard laughing before the connection went dead.

Anyway . . .

The only conclusion I could draw — since my Shameless Self-Promotion – Part 1 is without any question so persuasive it probably should be registered as a WMD with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security — is that no one saw it.  Like thousands — more like millions! — of extremely vital and noteworthy announcements, it was brutishly swept up and swallowed by the tsunami of nonsensical infotainment being upchucked in copious excess in our world of digital delirium.

So . . .

What can I do?  How can I cut through the cacophonous roar and have my message heard?

I sat for hours pondering this.  I was so totally absorbed by this conundrum, my new cat, Arthur, used me as a scratching post and I had to throw my sweater away.

Then I remembered a phenomenally effective promotion I used back in L.A. one summer to get my indifferent, drug addled, me-generation friends to attend a pool party!

Back in those wild and crazy Hollywood days, I had put together a invitation mailer with a pic just like the one at the top of this page.  In bold letters was this message:

Attend my party or I’ll shoot this dog!

The turnout was spectacular!  I felt loved and respected, people ate all the food and drank all the beer, wine and mixed drinks I provided, and the life of the dog was spared.  What a smashing success!  I assure you, everyone was talking about my Encino pool party bash for weeks afterwards — well, at least a couple days or until their hangovers abated, whichever came first.

So!

The ball is in your court, readers.  You’re all incredibly brilliant people, or you wouldn’t be here at this website.  Just finish this sentence and know deep in your heart where it truly counts, that you stepped up, stood tall, felt the love, and did the right thing:

Buy my book or . . .

And we’re not just talking dogs here, folks.  It’s not just about the whole messy business of dog brains and fragments of canine cranium scattered all over the yard.

We’re also talking $$$!  Meaning, saving $$$ big time!  And what timing!  This excellent bargain arrives just when your out-of-control holiday extravagance has the limits on those credit cards being bludgeoned like Conor McGregor’s sparring partner!

Dig this!

Just for the holidays, ebooks of The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago are specially priced at only $2.99!  Does it get better than that, my loyal and gullible chums?

This adventure in credulity and shock wave to literary sensibilities is available from all of the usual suspects.  You can even walk into your favorite local book store, and after giving you an enigmatic smile, the clerk can order a copy — if it’s not already right there behind the counter with the nudie magazines.


The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1tyIRiw
Amazon (Paperback) . . . amzn.to/1z8F8aD
Apple iBooks . . . apple.co/1nkebQx

Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/ZDnQVO
Kobo (Indigo) . . . bit.ly/1Og3q8g
Kobo (US) . . . bit.ly/2qSmc0J
Powell’s Books . . . bit.ly/1mxVXtS
Tower Books . . . bit.ly/1oyzU7T
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1w62HOX
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1r6qWYQ

Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash.  He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies.  His darling mom did everything to protect him.  But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland!  Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun.  Home life was dismal.  Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting?  And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy?  Golly!  Detroit was sucking the life out of him.  At such a young age.  Then adolescence swirled around him.  Like water in a toilet bowl.  High school was a B movie.  Only without a plot.  So finally he did something about it.  Billy ran away … to college.  Cornell University.  That was a good move for sure!  He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life.  Things were definitely looking up!  What could possibly go wrong?

Posted in Books, Creativity, Satire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shameless Self-Promotion – Part 1

We all know what GDP is, right?

Ever heard of GNH?

GNH stands for Gross National Happiness.  It’s how in Bhutan they measure the progress and well-being of their country.  Meaning they measure happiness by how much happiness there is.

Is that STUPID or what?

Happiness = Happiness?  How ridiculous!

We all know here in the West the only valid way to measure happiness.

Happiness = $$$$!

I’ve been looking at my book sales and it’s clear that I couldn’t possibly be a happy person.  Sales are slumping, meaning the $$$$s just aren’t pouring in.  How can I be happy?

But wait!  Aha!  Eureka!  Voilà!

Christmas is coming!  And yes, that means people are buying gifts and that means they’re going crazy spending $$$$s.  If I can get those $$$$s to come my way, I’ll be very happy!

Now let me be completely candid with you.

I sincerely believe my happiness should be sufficient reason for the tens of thousands of people reading this posting, to each order at least one of my books. 

But which one?

I’m going to focus all of the excitement, all of that highly charged, irrepressible hankering to put $$$$s in my personal banking account by focusing attention — at least for now — on one particular book.

Wondering what to get that special someone for Christmas?

Fret no more!  Just watch this!

Seeing that highly persuasive sales pitch, how could you possibly resist?

But just in case you’re still tottering on the fence, not entirely sure yet, how about a parade to put you in the holiday spirit? 

[ As an aside, I have to be blunt with you.  I’m really wondering why these excellent book trailers weren’t even shortlisted for the annual Clio awardsCronyism! ]

There you have it!  An irresistible force has overwhelmed your better judgement.

The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago is available from all of the usual suspects.  You can even walk into your favorite local book store, and after giving you an enigmatic smile, the clerk can order a copy — if it’s not already right there behind the counter with the nudie magazines.


The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1tyIRiw
Amazon (Paperback) . . . amzn.to/1z8F8aD
Apple iBooks . . . apple.co/1nkebQx

Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/ZDnQVO
Kobo (Indigo) . . . bit.ly/1Og3q8g
Kobo (US) . . . bit.ly/2qSmc0J
Powell’s Books . . . bit.ly/1mxVXtS
Tower Books . . . bit.ly/1oyzU7T
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1w62HOX
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1r6qWYQ

Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash.  He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies.  His darling mom did everything to protect him.  But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland!  Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun.  Home life was dismal.  Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting?  And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy?  Golly!  Detroit was sucking the life out of him.  At such a young age.  Then adolescence swirled around him.  Like water in a toilet bowl.  High school was a B movie.  Only without a plot.  So finally he did something about it.  Billy ran away … to college.  Cornell University.  That was a good move for sure!  He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life.  Things were definitely looking up!  What could possibly go wrong?

Posted in Books, Creativity, Satire | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lizard Brain Has Imposed a No-Fly Zone Over the Cerebral Cortex

What does the title mean?

Who knows?  Great title, though!

I’ve been thinking about Christmas gifts.

Mind you, this occurs despite the fact that here in Japan we have no equivalent to Black Friday, though unfortunately I’m afraid it’s coming.  Japan loves to imitate the U.S. and is about as materialistic and consumer-oriented a society possible.  I keep hearing about the “lagging economy” and give it much thought as I’m on a shuttle bus from a remote parking lot at the mall; because there are so many shoppers, they have to rent distant fields to find parking spaces for those of us who arrived late — that would be anytime more than five minutes after the stores have opened for business.

Last year, I went out on a limb in making a recommendation of a gift for the “person who has everything” — which is just about everybody with a credit card.  To put it mildly, what I personally thought was a great find — the Deluxe Home Lobotomy Kit from Black & Decker — drew a firestorm of criticism.

This stemmed not per se from the calming effects of the lobotomy itself, but from some of the side effects — the uncontrollable, steady drooling and the shameless fixation on genital areas, both those of the lobotomized and anyone in visual range.

Frankly, I recall seeing both of these annoying symptoms almost everywhere I went when I lived in America, and while I’m just ballparking it here, I’d say they afflict way beyond 50% of the population over 25.  It seems unlikely that all of these folks have been lobotomized, not surgically anyway.

But I can take criticism without getting all weepy.  So this year, while my recommendation is somewhat along the same lines, I’m confident that while still tuned into the needs of “people who have everything”, I’m  considerably more sensitive to the need to avoid embarrassing and unattractive side effects.

Along the same lines as a lobotomy?

Quite honestly, considering the abundance of entertainment, diversions, computer games, movies, music, videos, social sites, live shows, virtual shows, virtual reality, reality shows, and every conceivable form of spectacle, stimulation, illusion, fantasy, recreation, getaway, escape, meditation, discovery, rediscovery, relaxation, rejuvenation, regeneration, reboot, invention, reinvention, on and on, I’m genuinely astounded by how much disorientation, distemper, disorder, dismay, dysfunction, anxiety, and fitful frenzy appears to overwhelm the average person, just trying to make it from one end of the day to the other.

We’re talking . . . MAJOR STRESS!

I guess it could be that very abundance of so many ways to bludgeon the brain into being delighted which is the source of the problem.

That’s neither here nor there.  The result is the same.

People are desperate to deal with it and will go to great lengths to do so.  Just look at the opioid epidemic which the U.S. is now confronting.  It’s obvious all these addicts are not popping pills because of tennis elbow.

Which brings me to what I think may be the most ingenious gift anyone could buy for that someone “who has everything” — everything but peace of mind.

Mind you, it’s not available yet.  But it will be in time for Christmas.

So get out those smart phones, that credit card that isn’t over limit yet, and get ready to pre-order this amazing gift, because they’ll be going fast.

This year’s “boy-will-they-be-surprised!” gift recommendation from John Rachel . . .

THE DELUXE HOME ELECTRO-SHOCK THERAPY KIT!

And offering another clue why Jeff Bezos is now personally worth $100 billion, this unique and assuredly invaluable addition to the array of modern home appliances that every family simply must have is exclusively available from Amazon.

Posted in Health Care, Nihilism, Satire, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

P is for popular . . . S is for stupid!

I don’t really know if I’m popular.  I’d like to think so.

But now I feel obligated to let everyone who reads my stuff know how stupid I am!

For over four years running, my article The ‘P’ Word has been drawing in readers from across the globe.

Sometimes when I publish a truly dazzling bit of satire like Putin’s War on America’s Christmas, the hyperbolic U.S. Blames Northern Lights on Russia, Imposes Sanctions, the ridiculous Exploding Hockey Pucks Intercepted at Canadian Border, the surreal Deep-State Doppelgängers, the jeering Trump Makes Russian the Official Language of the U.S. or even the weird, controversial Dachau World — a real solid performer in its own right — The ‘P’ Word gets bumped from the top spot.  But in terms of rock-steady service over the long haul, there’s no contest.  This bit of writing delivers a steady stream of adoring fans.

Or so I thought.

Just looking superficially at the numbers would suggest that.

I have an analytic tool installed here on my website.  It tells me a lot of things:  How many visitors I get, how many are returning, how many are new, what part of the world they hail from, and so on.  Here is a typical daily readout on the most popular of my articles.

Being the ego-inflated person I am, I just assumed that it was the sheer brilliance of my writing, especially apparent in The ‘P’ Word — written back in 2013 when my brain was still functioning optimally — which accounted for the popularity of the article and the resulting spectacular increase in my fan base across all continents.

Then one day recently I made a shocking discovery.  Hope you’re sitting down for this.

I found out that the phrase ‘the P word’ is a euphemism for ‘pussy’.  In other words, the strict rules of contemporary journalism — which as we all know as a profession holds itself to the highest standards of respect for readers, accuracy in reporting, integrity in offering the best the human mind is capable of — based on some arcane but nevertheless ironclad internal protocols, require this substitution.

Yes, the officially sanctioned way to refer to ‘pussy’ is to substitute the phrase ‘the P word’.

I was devastated!

And do I feel stupid!

All this time, I thought it was the poetic wisdom, the graceful prose, the wit, the profundity and humor, the finely-crafted language, which drew so many flocking to my site to read The ‘P’ Word.

But no!  These people are just cat lovers!

Posted in Creativity, Human Sexuality, Nihilism, Satire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

John Rachel poet? Is this a joke?

I’ve made no secret of my lack of understanding of poetry, nor my thus to be expected zero talent for writing poetry. 

I’m not sure why I write poems.  I guess a poem has some vague resemblance to a song at a very superficial level — meaning the way it looks on a page — and I haven’t been writing songs lately.  Let’s call it reverse sublimation, a clumsy surrogation.  My writing poems is like a ping pong player playing tennis blindfolded on a quicksand court.

I even did a tongue-in-cheek piece about the process of creating a poem, one which I’ve tastelessly shared with some serious poets, and made even more enemies than I thought one human could make, with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Now, really strange things are happening.  I just got four poems published!

Apparently I’ve submitted some poems lately.  I say “apparently” because I frankly don’t remember submitting two of them.  But one called Messenger Deranged just appeared in a poetry magazine called Lone Stars, based in San Antonio, Texas.  They even requested more and I submitted two more, One Life and Light and Dark, which my lovely wife then translated into Japanese.  Lone Star will publish both English and Japanese versions in their December issue, the English under my name, the Japanese as poetic works by Masumi Nishida.

Then just today, I got a congratulatory letter from VerbalArt, A Global Journal Devoted to Poets and Poetry.  They are including my poem Tapioca Cyber Trails in their upcoming issue, appropriately splattered across all seven continents like a Cardassian tanker of jellied starch blasted out of the sky by a orbiting rail gun.

Mind you, I barely remember writing this poem, so it was quite a surprise when I read it. They sent me a proof of the coming issue for my approval.  There it was, right on page 17. 

What a pleasant surprise!  It’s actually pretty darn good, i.e. not terribly terrible.  Not to inflate expectations, I actually think this almost qualifies as a credible work.

I’ll let you be the judge.

TAPIOCA CYBER TRAILS

A sweet jest broke water
Birthing artificial intelligence
As if the clusters of CPUs
Marked the non-event event
We reeled and rollicked
In childish mirth-driven panic
Salivating porn-addicted cherubs
Lost in the heavy-breathing fog
Flying the vaporous trails
Of evaporating illusion
We wept but didn’t

You are no more
I’ve remade you
In my image
In your image
I fear meeting you again
I fear disappointment
Shattered expectations
Revulsion and despair
A binary epitaph
Suicide is in our DNA
Zero one zero one

[ DO NOT ask me what it means . . . I haven’t got a clue. ]

They always say when warning against getting too excited or overly optimistic:

“Don’t quit your day job.”

Since I don’t have a day job, night job, weekend job, or any job, I think this is advice I can follow without any risk of failure.

Moreover, I certainly don’t want to let any opportunities for fabulous riches and universal renown slip through my gnarly, hangnail afflicted fingers.  And the poetry track has proven to be a straight shot to the top.  Maybe I should finally call that number on the ad I posted in that article on writing poetry I mentioned.

If all works out as I expect, instead of signing all my letters . . .

John Rachel, Bipolar Humanist

. . . very soon I can proudly — and profitably — stake my claim to untold wealth, fame and adulation as . . .

John Rachel, Poet

 

Posted in Creativity, Nihilism, Satire | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

John Rachel Is A Tedious Bore!

I just looked at my last five posts and they are all about the same topic.

Listen, folks.  I truly get it.  A lot of people think I’m becoming a tedious bore.

But they’re wrong!  I’ve always been a tedious bore.  Sometimes I’m able to disguise it better than others, dress up my dull, monotonous discursives a bit with some clever photo — like the pandering one to the right.

But I can hear the recent cries of anguish from my readers.

“Jesus H. Christ!  Yet another article on candidate contracts?  Is this guy a one-trick pony?”

Actually, the last time I checked I had thousands of tricks.  The thing is, two in particular stand out spectacularly from the rest.  So maybe I’m a two-trick pony?

These particular two stand out, because as far as I can see, both of them offer necessary tactics and solutions to the existential threat ripping our nation apart.  It’s one huge, ugly monster with two heads:  Autocratic rule by a rich and powerful elite and psychotic levels of militarism and imperial aggression.

It’s been a real interesting ride these last five years trying to promote candidate contracts and the Peace Dividend refund concept, both targeting the oligarchy’s sinister, iron-fisted authoritarian grip on our politics — and just about everything else — and the creation of a military/security state to further tighten and reinforce that grip on the American citizenry and any other country which holds valuable resources ripe for plunder.

I’ve made my case in three books, and literally hundreds of articles.  With this much time invested, and a firm belief that despite a lack of much encouragement I’m onto something of value and positive potential, I’m not giving up.  Sometimes you go with your gut.

Both the candidate contract strategy and Peace Dividend concept have had more than their share of detractors.  Yet I forge on like a punch-drunk old boxer because no one — NO ONE — has come up with anything resembling a coherent, decisive reason why either of these detailed battle plans is not viable, why they’re dead ends, why they’re lost causes, why I should pack it in and live in a Yurt with some nomadic tribe in Mongolia.

I’m serious!  Any criticism dances around them like they’re made of depleted uranium.

I get self-assured quips like:  “It’ll never happen.”  Wow!  That crushed five years of hard work in a single blow.

Or:  “I don’t like contracts.”  Which is a semi-literate version of, “Your idea sucks, dude!”

One very famous activist — I won’t name him because everyone who would bother to read this knows this guy — ripped my book, Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy to shreds.  I’ll give him credit for putting a lot of time into his demolition project.  He sent me a long email listing in great detail seven flaws in my approach.  The only problem was, not one of the seven things he targeted were even in my book!  I am dead serious.  Not a single one of the seven gaping holes in my plan were in my plan.  As I suspect happens a lot, he saw ‘candidate contracts’, then proceeded to dissect what he thought a candidate contract strategy would be about.  Talk about arrogant posturing.  And this guy is very famous!  Progressives from all over flock to his side for his sage advice.  God help us!

I beg people to give me constructive criticism, any kind of criticism, a bombshell that takes my ideas out like they’d just been hit by a MOABHey, put me out of my misery!  I’ve got four novels I’d much rather be working on.  PLEASE!  Give me your best shot.  Deliver me from all this yelling in an anechoic chamber at ghosts who are hologram doppelgangers for activists in a coma.

I’m still waiting.  How many articles have I written here, at OpEdNews, The Greanville Post?  Hundreds!  Now go through the comments.  A lot of the real critical stuff is self-aggrandizing bloviating, the rest irrefutable evidence that either they didn’t read the article, or they must have put their brains in a fruit blender before they tried to read it, because obviously they didn’t understand anything of what I was saying.

Often I’ve thought:  Maybe it’s you, John.  Maybe you’re not expressing yourself very clearly and that’s why people don’t get it.  (I spend a lot of time alone, so it’s not that unusual for me to talk to myself, though usually it’s a little more upbeat than this.)

The result has been the vast output of a variety of articles, each coming from a slightly different place, offering a different pitch, trying to find that magic winning formula for getting the ideas across.  I’ve even resorted to doing videos, despite the fact that if I had the money, the first thing I’d do is hire an actor with a great voice and reality show-host good looks to deliver a more seductive version of the message.

Mind you, I have a phenomenal life here in Japan.  Except for the gnawing aggravation and frustration associated with my long-distance dedication to activism, I live a fairy tale life in a beautiful, traditional, rural community situated between Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto — each one of those comes with its own distinct personality and host of urban attractions.  My beautiful, talented Japanese wife and I travel extensively, with her showing me the splendors of this fascinating country which I now embrace as my home.

But when I look back at the “homeland”, I want to scream!  What has happened to the U.S. is a nightmare of a nightmare of a nervous breakdown.  In my worst moments, I see the whole world — including my charming town — being plunged into a nuclear holocaust, a war driven by pride, hubris, arrogance, ignorance, insensitivity, delusion, demagoguery, pathological levels of disregard for decency and human life.  In my better moments — fewer and farther between these days — I just see America being consigned to the septic tank of history, plunged into the dank, degrading stink hole of a Dark Ages Redux.

But there’s three compelling reason why I’ll continue pushing — at least for a while — my two apparently incomprehensible strategies.

  1. There’s a pivotal election coming up.  Forget about 2020.  We might not even make it to 2020.  A lot depends on whether the accelerating implosion of our country and the decline of the fortunes of everyday people continues, or it finally meets its Waterloo.  It’s up to each of us to try to fix the mess and that’s why I keep fighting.
  2. Very recently I’ve had some encouraging breakthroughs.  One gentleman in Lancaster, Pennsylvania bought 20 print copies of my Peace Dividend book, handed them out to all of his friends and fell0w-activists.  Now they regularly discuss the strategy in their peace planning sessions.
  3. I am now on the board of a activist organization called Citizens Against Plutocracy.  This small group of dedicated progressives and its sister organization, Revolt Against Plutocracy, are actively promoting my candidate contract strategy, under the rubric CFAR, which stands for Contract For American Renewal.

[Author stops, spots a frog stuck to the window next to his chair, prompting him to reflect:  Is this as tedious as I think it is?  Maybe I should wrap this up.  Ah!  I’ll throw in the old non-sequitur.  That always gets them where the rubber meets the cerebellum!]

1st Rule of Fight Club:  Don’t talk about fight club.

1st Rule of Propaganda:  Repeat lies so often people eventually believe them.

1st Rule of Activism:  Repeat truth so often people start paying attention.

Alright, enough.  My mind spilleth over . . . and it’s a mess.

Having said all of the foregoing — are you still with me? . . . doubtful but as a tedious bore, I’m used to rejection — I’m going to take a short break.  The next two or three articles will not be hard-core political ravings . . . but instead, family-friendly fluff.

Just because I can.

Or is it by popular demand?

Posted in Deconstruction, Democracy, Peace Dividend, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Revolution, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CFAR Candidates: The Real Deal

I’ve had several people ask me why I do these videos promoting the candidate contract electoral strategy.  I think it’s self-evident:  I like standing outside and talking to a bunch of trees.  Here’s my latest effort.  The text of the presentation follows.

Pathetic!  Yes . . . PATHETIC!

The state of our democracy.  The state of our politics.

There’s no other word for it.

Our politicians?  I’m not an expert on American history but at first glance I think it’s safe to say our current batch of ruling class toadies are among the most mediocre, uncreative, lackluster, uninspiring, duplicitous, hypocritical, ignorant, unprincipled, too often shamelessly malevolent bottom dwellers, ever to appear on our political stage.

The entire Republican Party is evidence enough on that side of the aisle.  Comparing any of them with the real public servants in their rich tradition makes guys like Pence, Ryan, and Trump look like a sick joke.  Ever heard of Abraham Lincoln?

Now look at the latest public relations fiasco by the Democratic Party, a desperate attempt to reverse their flagging fortunes; their catastrophic loss of voter confidence; their loss of the House and Senate, their loss of the majority of state legislatures, and their loss of the majority of governor seats; and to repair their self-inflicted but warranted reputation as the left wing of the Republican Party.

Plagiarizing the Democratic Party of old, thus making a mockery of FDR’s historical and widely admired New Deal, they’ve just assembled a new platter of mildewy cliches, moldy slogans, stale platitudes and empty promises, a decomposing menu of already past-their-expiration-date overtures to their former base — once-loyal working and middle class voters — under the banner of A Better Deal.

Better than what?  The Art of the Deal of Trump?  Or the Raw Deal of the Republicans.

They’re really setting their sights high, eh?  “We’re the better bottom dwellers!”

That anyone pays attention to these master prevaricators is a miracle in its own right.  We must all be masochists or pathologically gullible.

But don’t fret.

There’s hope in the midst of this mass of toxic sludge clogging our electoral machinery!

Along comes the grass-roots voter-based initiative called CFAR.

CFAR stands for Contract For American Renewal.  But it’s more than a contract, much much more than a legal device.  It’s a paradigm-shifting, game-changing way to introduce honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability, into our electoral process, putting people — the vast majority of U.S. citizens — back in the driver’s seat.  It’s government by the people.  It’s real representative democracy.

The CFAR is the new standard by which we judge whether a candidate is worthy for office.

The CFAR includes only initiatives that are supported by a minimum of 62% of citizens. Most are in the 75-80% range.  The CFAR is a citizens-based, populist strategy.

The CFAR requires in writing from any candidate who signs it that they will faithfully serve those who vote them into office.  No questions asked.  They either do the job or they find themselves back on the street.  Just read the contract.  It’s clear and unambiguous.

The CFAR takes the guesswork out of voting.  Every initiative in the CFAR is supported by huge majorities.  If a candidate signs it, they are clearly on the side of the people.  They are guaranteeing in writing that they will be doing the bidding of their constituents from the day they arrive in Washington DC.  Thus they deserve our support and our votes.

The CFAR as a populist electoral strategy targets neoliberal, establishment candidates for defeat.  And more importantly, it decisively positions “people’s candidates” — progressive-populists — to win, arming them with an ironclad strategic weapon to take on and crush their corrupt, pay-for-play opponents.

The CFAR exposes the phonies and frauds.  Voters are tired of shallow campaign rhetoric, vaporous sound bites, empty campaign promises.  If a candidate refuses to sign the CFAR, it means two things:  1) He or she is not on the side of the people.  2) This candidate does not deserve to get elected.  Voters will run from non-CFAR candidates like they’re infected with the plague.

Therefore, Citizens Against Plutocracy and other activist groups are organizing nationally around the CFAR strategy, targeting the coming November 2018 election.  We want this election to mean something.  We want the voice of the people, now silenced by big money and autocratic control of the media and both major parties, to be heard and be instrumental in finally electing a Congress that works for the everyday citizen, not just the ruling elite, corporate kleptocrats, Wall Street, the big banks, and transnational corporations.

Forget about the Better Deal and the Raw Deal.

You want a Congress that works for the people?  You want public servants that serve the public?  You want a Congress which is not in the pockets of fat cat campaign donors, not lapdogs of the ruling class, not doormats of the military-industrial-security complex?

Then only vote for a candidate who has signed the CFAR.

CFAR candidates are the REAL DEAL!

 

Posted in Corporatism, Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Video Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cure For Mad Trump Disease

It used to be that things got worse by the year, the month, the week.

Now things are getting worse by the day, by the hour . . . by the minute!

This is hardly from a lack of outrage, calls to action, shrill cries of desperation.

Having said that, and more importantly, recognizing that none of what we are doing on the genuine progressive left is making one whit of difference, maybe it’s time to admit that our calls to action, our shrill cries, our outrage, are either misdirected, ill-conceived, or lacking necessary focus. 

Another way of saying this . . .

We’re losing the battle!  Time to change tactics!

We have to do something soon.  We’ve lost so much time, momentum, misplaced so much faith and hope, squandered energy and dreams on pointless protests and ill-fated schemes, invested time and trust in unworthy leaders and duplicitous saviors.  Time has run out.

It’s now or never.

And let’s not kid ourselves . . .

As long as we continue on the present course, we will continue to fail to achieve the one and only thing which can make a difference:  POWER!

Here’s a video I just did for Revolt Against Plutocracy summarizing what I believe to be the only viable plan to confront the corporate totalitarianism and tyranny by the ruling elite which is now nearly absolute and irreversible.  The text of the presentation follows.

A CURE FOR MAD TRUMP DISEASE

Practically all I see on the news is Trump did this and Trump said that.  Trump tweeted this and some White House insider has the scoop on Trump’s next outrageous move.

And as probably the most unpopular president in our history, all anyone can talk about is impeaching him.

Well, let me clue you in, folks.  This obsession with the orange autocrat is one huge waste of time.  That’s right.  It’s going nowhere and will end up nowhere — at least in terms of solving our problems and getting some things done for a change.

First off, if we get rid of Trump, then we have Pence.  Next in line of succession is Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.  Good grief!  With both chambers of Congress under control of the Republicans, we can only expect to go from bad to worse.  Don’t push these lunatics or we’ll end up with President Ted Nugent.

But that’s not even the real point.  The simple, brutal fact is even if we had Bernie Sanders or Al Franken or Jesus Christ as president, still nothing would get done.  The Republicans control the show.  Period!  If that wasn’t enough cause for outrage and despair, on most of the things the majority of citizens want done, the Democrats side with the Republicans.

You think I’m making this up?  Just check the record.

So let me cut to the chase.

Forget Trump.  Forget about his Tweets, his pussy-grabbing, his bellicose remarks, his tax returns, his supposed friends in the Kremlin.

You want to get something done?  We need a people’s Congress.  We need to elect legislators who are on the side of the vast majority of U.S. citizens, ones who put people first, not the profits of Wall Street and transnational corporations.

And that means we need to get rid of the corporate lapdogs, our pay-for-play legislators on both sides of the aisle and put some good, honest, hard-working folks in office, ones who we know with certainty will go to Washington DC and represent us, the people who elect them — not their deep-pocketed corporate benefactors, not the rich and powerful, not their country club friends.

That’s exactly what we at Revolt Against Plutocracy are doing.  We’re going for broke in this coming election.  We’re shooting for where the real power is . . . the U.S. Congress.

We have a candidate contract called a CFAR which spells out in black-and-white what we expect a candidate to do.  If they sign it, great.  We’ll get behind them in the November 2018 election.

If they don’t sign it, we’ll find a candidate who will.  We’ll only vote for candidates who have signed the CFAR, even if we have to write them in.

Mind you, this has nothing to do with party or ideology.  We’re fed up with the games.  We’ve had it with party politics, identity politics, divide-and-rule politics.  The major parties along with the media play us off against one another, keep us confused and at each other’s throats.  No more.  We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!  We’re only voting for individuals who will faithfully, honestly, transparently serve us — you and I — the folks who elect them.

We’ve got a bulletproof plan:  In every race this coming November 2018, we’re looking for the right candidate to do the right job for us.  That’s it in a nutshell.  We’ll know it’s the right candidate because he or she will be signing a legally-binding contract to serve the voters of their district.

You can find out more about all of this at citizensagainstplutocracy.wordpress.com.  Look at the CFAR, the Contract For American Renewal.  See how our strategy is going to turn this whole mess on its head, shake up Congress like it’s never been shaken up before.  See how you can be part of regime change in Washington DC next November.

A people’s Congress!

A Congress that works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.

And if you’re still worried about Trump, just remember this …

Congress can impeach the president but the president can’t impeach Congress.

“Who sent this guy? We don’t want him either.”

We get control of Congress and we can ship him off to North Korea, if that’s what we decide to do.

More important is that we can start putting the country back on track, addressing the real issues which are challenging everyday citizens and destroying any hope for a decent future for ourselves and our children.

Make no mistake about it.  We need to get control of the House of Representatives and the Senate to get started setting things straight.

How?

With the Contract For American Renewal.  It’s somewhat similar to the Republicans wildly successful Contract With America in 1994, but with a huge difference.  CFAR is grassroots, it’s from the people, and comes with a tactic activists around the country are using to build pledges of support for CFAR candidates and only CFAR candidates.

No other organization in America has a comprehensive plan for the people of this nation to take control of Congress.

CFAR takes the guesswork out of voting and puts every candidate on notice:  We expect honest and transparent representation and we want it in writing.  No negotiation.  No excuses.  No compromise.

Yes, we’re going to get it right for a change.  Join Revolt Against Plutocracy’s efforts to make 2018 a progressive wave election.

And no, BLUE will NOT DO.

CFAR keeps them on the straight and true.

Please go to our website citizensagainstplutocracy.wordpress.com.  Join this people’s movement for a populist agenda.  We’re doing this right.  We and the CFAR candidates have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Real power for real change.

People power in November 2018!

 

Posted in Corporatism, Democracy, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Revolution, Video Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

My Elevator Pitch for the CFAR Strategy

The folks over at Revolt Against Plutocracy asked me to do a short “elevator pitch” for my CFAR candidate contract strategy, which they’re aggressively promoting.  I thought it went pretty well except for a couple frightened looking people in the elevator.  Here is the video.  The text of the entire presentation follows.

Thirty-second floor, please.

(Barely audible)  ”ヘンなアメリカ人がいてはるわ〜”  [ Translation:  There is the strange American. ]

Are you as fed up with Washington DC as I am?  Nothing gets done for you and I.  Everything gets done for the rich and powerful.

There’s only one solution.  We need a people’s Congress.  That’s where the power is . . .

Congress!

Which means we need to get rid of the pay-for-play legislators on both sides of the aisle and put some good, honest, hard-working folks in office, ones who we know with certainty will go to Washington and represent us, the people who elect them — not their Wall Street donors, not their deep-pocketed corporate benefactors, not their country club friends.

That’s exactly what we at Revolt Against Plutocracy are doing.  We’re going for broke in this coming election.  We’re shooting for where the real power is . . . the U.S. Congress.

We have a candidate contract called a CFAR, which spells out in black-and-white what we expect a candidate to do.  If they sign it, great, we’ll get behind them come the November 2018 election.

If they don’t sign it, we will find a candidate who will.  We’ll only vote for candidates who have signed the CFAR, even if we have to write them in.

Forget about parties, ideologies, labels.  We’re just looking for the right candidate to do the right job — for us!  That’s it in a nutshell.  We’ll know it’s the right candidate because he or she will be signing a legally-binding contract to serve the voters of the district.

You can find out more about all of this at our website.  Just go to citizensagainstplutocracy.wordpress.com.  The link is also posted in the description below.  Look at the CFAR, the Contract For American Renewal.  See how our strategy is going to turn this whole mess on its head, and shake up Congress like it’s never been shook up before.  Sign up to be part of the solution.  See how easy it is for us to achieve real change in Washington DC next November.

A people’s Congress.  A Congress that works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.

Check it out.  The future of our country depends on it.

 

Posted in Democracy, Political Rant, Video Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment