Thursday, December 29, 2016


Memes.  Yes, memes.

On social media, it's the quickest, simplest way to offer evidence that you're an intellectual.  Of course the vast majority of people don't make up their own.  They see them and do a quick drag and drop.  You needn't demonstrate any mental capability whatsoever.  No cognitive reasoning.  No writing.  No creativity.  Just regurgitate some other person's creation.  Hey, why not?  It's easy and you'll likely be praised and congratulated by your circle of friends.  Wow, so and so really encapsulated exactly what I was thinking.  He/she is really at the top of their game on facecrap or twitshit or whatever.

Even though there's no profit to be had, the incessant re-posting of other people's thoughts is definitely a form of plagiarism.  This phenomenon has become so predictably popular that I think it deserves a name of its own.

Well... it's a plagiarized meme.  So I'd term it a "pleme."  Easy enough.

The most heavily recirculated one is probably the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka meme.  The "oh god, you're sooo naive" sentiment.  Let's be honest.  That dreamy Wonka meme works for just about anything imaginable.

Kenny Rogers, Dr. Evil, Grumpy Cat.  It's intriguing how some of these characters have taken off.  While others memes get flushed down the virtual cyber-commode.

My personal favorite is "suspicious black kid" from rural Nigeria or wherever.

Sometimes a successful meme begets yet another meme.  These memes reproduce on an almost biblical scale.  Skeptical black kid begets frustrated Jean-Luc Picard...

Pic of Kim Kardashian's butt begets belligerent turd.  Pic of plane flying into the World Trade Center begets man wearing tin foil hat and so on.

So yeah, memes are all the rage.  I've created about a hundred or so.  Mostly regarding the Sopranos, the NFL, politicians and various faith healers/televangelists.  I just believe that this ongoing ritual deserves a name of its own.  Once again... plagiarism + meme = pleme.

Plenty of new words appear every year.  Brexit, twerking, google, the list goes on.  Just thought I'd throw it out there since I think the concept has merit.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Let's call the whole thing off.

During the yuletide season, as the spirit engulfs me like a Pittsburgh sinkhole, I often think about my dear friends... the god damn Chrisagis Brothers!  What the fuck is up with that coon seducing rat-tail on Brian?  There's good and there's not good.  That is not good.

Anyway, I overheard a little ditty on AM radio and it got me to thinking of our Tiltonsville Titillators.  They really do titillate!  Well, at least my nipples get hard.  Can't really speak to the nips of others.

Do you recall when I led a scorched earth campaign to get every good, god fearing Christian in God's country to say "Chrisagis" instead of "God Bless You?"  You will not respond to a sneeze with "Gesundheit."  You will reply with an obligatory "Chrisagis"... and you will enjoy it.

So anyway, here's the refrain (based on the Potato, Potato... Tomato, Tomato... let's call the whole thing off).

You say God Bless You, I say Chrisagis
You say Gesundheit, I say Chrisagis

God Bless You... Chrisagis
Gesundheit... Chrisagis

Every time your heart skips a beat!

More lyrics to come.  Might debut it at the Del Boca Vista Christmas party!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

the day after

I'm having some difficulty coming to grips with the presidential election result.  At some point, I'll write about it.  But not today.  Instead, let us rehash a couple of memes.  I didn't come up with either of these, but I think they're both exceptionally strong.

Whoever thought up the Comey one is a total bad ass.  I love the Kenny Rogers head substitution.  I might try one based on the Gene Wilder - Willy Wonka "helplessly idealistic" concept.

On an entirely different note, what totally makes this one is Miley's patented tongue drop.  Gene Simmons seems stale and haggard by comparison. 

One quick thought about the election.  It's called CONFIRMATION BIAS.

Trump's campaign manager, the indomitable KellyAnne Conway, said it best.  Not sure about the quote verbatim but it went something like this.  (Regarding the Hillary Clinton organization)  When everyone around you tells you the same exact thing... there's a tendency to believe it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

How Trump Wins

Here's a scenario for Trump winning the 2016 election (Dear... God!!!).

Obviously the new "bombshell" Clinton email scandal is underway.  It's most likely a matter of FBI/federal bureaucracy engaged in high level ass-covering in case of hypothetical future fall-out.  Well I get it. Whatever.  Comey's do what he's gotta do. 

But what's the scandal?  Someone still needs to fill in the blanks.

So here's how I think the Trump campaign gurus are gonna take advantage of it.  I'll even give you the 'when.'  After all, timing is everything.

On November 6, during the Raiders/Broncos Sunday night football game, leak the following narrative to the press. 

We have evidence of an email sent from Huma Abidin to Hillary Clinton.

Huma writes...  I'm concerned that what happened, you know... the thing we discussed, could be detrimental to the campaign.  Please know that I'd be willing to tender my resignation if it's deemed necessary.  Either way, I'm on board for the long haul.

Hillary responds... Sit tight.  We're just going to ride this out.

Well, maybe not those words exactly, but you get the drift.

Alright, now do you recall "the thing we discussed" part?  Hmmm, what the hell was that about?
Well here you go.  It's time for KellyAnne Conway to fill in the blanks.

She's pretty sharp.  Not to mention, probably the author as well.  So here's what I think she'll say.

"We have evidence (possibly from a hack) that Huma Abedin was concerned about the possibility of her husband Anthony Weiner (always stress the weiner) sexting dick pix to underage girls and how it might impact Hillary's presidential bid.   

Okay, clean up the "sexting dick pix."   "Wireless transmission of groin smut" is a bit more tasteful.  I don't know about you, but I kinda like the idea of Conway raising her voice in a single, ultimate last act of defiance... about the groin smut, of course.  Screw Obamacare.  Screw Benghazi.  Screw the Wall.  Screw NAFTA and jobs.  Focus everything on Weiner's dick.  This is Trump's best bet.  He's not going to win on chivalry or policy.  And the orange anus ain't gonna magically win over undecideds and minorities.

His objective should be to exclusively destroy Hillary.  That is all.

By the way, if you didn't figure it out, the email is a political KILLER.  Because it potentially implies that Hillary was cognizant of Weiner's pedophile behavior and chose to purposely remain silent.  She chose her presidential ambition and institutional power over the welfare of a child.

And what's been Hillary's primary talking point for the last few decades?  Well, it's that she cares about the children and their future and their children's future.  Education.  Healthcare.  Anti-bullying.  And oh yeah, like ALL politicians and normal human beings... anti-pedophile.

Think about it.  Here's a couple high profile examples.

1)  Jerry Sandusky.  Didn't kill Penn State, but really damaged 'em for a few years --- Graham Spanier resignation, 60 million fine, drafting, recruiting, bowl games, money literally out the ass, etc.

2)  Catholic priests.  Screwed the Roman Catholic Church --- 2,000 victims for 1.2 billion, sold off assets, tarnished the wholesome image of wrinkled perverted religious fucks, etc.

Do I really need to cite additional examples of how child sexual abuse destroys anything and anyone in its path?  The toll it exacts is irrevocably intransigent.

With a last ditch effort to crush Clinton, Trump needs a new mode of attack. This one doesn't forgive... or forget.  It's a short term weiner.  Oops, I meant to say "winner."  It's a short term winner.

Plus, by leaking "it" on a Sunday night, you steal the entire Monday news cycle.  Whatever the FBI says (they won't have sufficient time to confirm or deny)... whatever the Clinton rapid response (shock, outrage and feigned disgust)... it just doesn't matter.   None of it would be meaningfully consequential.  Because there's not enough time.   Time is the ultimate weapon here. 

All you gotta do is put it out there.  I think enough votes might shift at crunch time.  At least enough to make it interesting. 

So welcome to the swearing in!  Welcome to the inauguration.
Thou shalt submit to Donald Trump (You wouldn't understand.  It's a commandment thing). 
Hey, don't sweat it.  It's only gonna be the next 4 years... or conceivably 8.

E-gad.  America gets what it deserves... I guess.


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Trib

Hockey season is back.  Around Pixburgh, it never really ends.

But something notable happened to kick off the new season.  Consol Energy sold the naming rights to the arena.  Now, and for the foreseeable future, it will be known as PPG Paints Arena.  Some fans want to call it the Paint Can or the Paint Bucket.  How predictably quaint or explicitly taint... depending on your perspective of course. 

But there's another change in the works.  And the vast majority of fans have no idea it's coming.  Along with the transfer of the venue's name, there has been a "hushed push" to get rid of the Penguins beloved mascot.  It's hard to believe but Iceburgh will soon be on the way out.  Gasp.

That's right!  Make room for the new mascot.  Introducing... drum roll please...  THE TRIB!

Yep.  In an attempt to broaden the fan base, Penguins management reached out to hockey enthusiasts in Eastern Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle.  Sure enough, they stumbled upon Patrick Tribbett, the regional paint huffer with a national following.

And the timing couldn't be any better.  Here's how it all unfolded.

Just as the Tribune Review planned to cease operations, their sales department realized that some residual money had been allocated for marketing and future promotional endeavors.  A firm commitment was made to preserve the legacy of this storied publication.

Publisher Richard Mellon Scaife --- "The Trib isn't going down.  Not without a fight."

And what a "golden opportunity" it was.  Most fans seem to agree.  There's a definitive "silver lining" to this exciting new partnership.

Penguins CEO Dave Morehouse --- "The Trib is back!  He's gonna paint the town red.  And to a lesser extent, gold and silver."

Owner Mario Lemieux --- "For the home opener, we rolled out the red carpet.  This wasn't by accident.  Trust me, there's no bigger celebrity than The Trib."

Coach Mike Sullivan --- "The Trib brings with him an intangible quality.  He's going to make our offense, well... more offensive."

Captain Sidney Crosby --- "The Trib offers a unique element of surprise.  He will huff... and he will puff... and he will blow our opponents down." 

Miscellaneous yinzer from Dormont --- "The Trib kicks ass at Pittsburgh Plate Glass."

However, it should be noted.  With Iceburgh getting his walking, er uhh, sliding papers, not all fans are receptive to the transition.

Divorced mother of 4 from Wilkinsburg (correctly pronounced "we'll kill yinz burg") --- "The Trib sends the wrong message to our little 'uns.  I was hoping for a 'less dirty' mascot.  One who relies on a cleaner source of intoxicants.  Maybe nitrous oxide or something along those lines.  It's all about promoting a greener environment.  Think of the children!"

Mark Madden at 105.9 WXDX --- As a spokesman for Dupont, PPG and the petrochemical industry at-large, change can be a good thing.  My combined knowledge of the porn industry and "stripper makeup" means that my opinion here counts.  Yours does not.  In fact, you're a stupid idiot.  With a tested IQ of 160, I say this as a certified super genius. #superpenis

Others fear that the iconic Terrible Towel could fall from grace.  You gotta admit --- it does send a conflicting message.  After all, a towel isn't that far removed from a washcloth.  And what do you use a washcloth for?  To wipe that damn paint off yo face!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trump's Latest Ambition

I've been thinking about Trump's unorthodox presidential campaign.  Exactly what's his true objective here?  Assuming he loses on November 8, will he just accept defeat and call it quits?  Will he gracefully step aside and follow the lead of his predecessors (Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore and so on)?  Will he just terminate his scorched earth campaign and retire?   What about the monetary damage inflicted upon on his economic holdings, not to mention his tarnished brand?  How can he spin everything, bounce back and return to "relevance?" 

I just have this weird hunch he'll try to take advantage of his standing and all that heartland political capital.  How do I think it manifests itself?  Well, hold onto your sloping toupee.  It's called "Trump TV."

Let's face it.  For the past year, he's been railing and raging against corruption and the status quo --- the journalists, the state dept., private industry shipping away yer jobs.  Whether or not there's any merit to those claims is totally irrelevant.  The message has been out 24/7.  The mainstream media is on the Clinton payroll --- They lie.  They distort.  They're untrustworthy.  In essence, they've been "paid off."

This message has unlimited appeal to the extreme right wing.  That's who Trump's targeting.  Not necessarily the right per se.  I'm talking about those who want something beyond Fox News being 'fair and balanced.'  The hardcore base.  That segment of the political spectrum was always there, but now it's extremely public.

These are the low-information white male voters (aged 18-35).  Their minds are pliable and can easily fall prey to emotionally charged, political red meat.  Their issues will never subside regardless of who gets elected.  Jobs, trade, illegal immigration, gun rights, drugs, violent crime, corruption and incompetence in Washington, political correctness, the spiraling debt, the makeup of the Supreme Court, the pitfalls of Obamacare/socialized medicine, and of course, an increase in military spending and getting tough on terrorists (domestic and abroad).  These issues will remain in the public realm in perpetuity.  All you have to do is frame them accordingly.

So let's assume Hillary wins.  Historically, she's 1-1.  50/50 ain't too shabby.  She won the 2000 Senate seat in New York and lost to Obama in the 2008 primary.  Will a skilled, seasoned politician like Hillary go 1-2... or 2-1?  Me thinks the latter.  

Yep, Trump's laying the groundwork for "Trump TV."  This source for news would magically appear after a "rigged" election... out of necessity.  Because those aboard the Trump Train would be morally obligated to share the truth about how they were schemed by the system.  And what better a way to have a grand opening, kick-off for a new media outlet?  It's called justice and justification.

Let's jump ahead a few weeks.  Does anyone think that Trump is going to praise Hillary for a hard fought campaign.  Regaling our Democratic system while celebrating the wisdom of the electoral college and transitioning to a brave new world.  Uhh, I don't think so.  He's going to bitch, whine and throw a temper tantrum... the likes of which you could never fathom.  This will further lay the groundwork for Trump boob tube.  Continue to steal the headlines.

I imagine he'll team up with an existing conservative news outlet, probably Breitbart and a few disjointed social media outlets (Infowars (conspiracy material) and scattered individuals like Rush Limbaugh (social conservatism) / Newt Gingrich (economic conservatism).  This will be Trump's legacy.  A populist base that is permanently hostile.  One that cannot be reasoned with.  One that sees every issue as black or white with no shades of gray.  One that frames every issue as good or bad with no room for compromise.  One that explicitly objectifies every individual --- crooked, lyin', low energy, cheating, ugly, lazy, fat, stupid, etc.

It's an easily digestible ploy.  Not a lot of room for conjecture or debate.  Just demonize the living shit out of anything and everything.  You'll always have 20-25%, and occasionally up to 40%, of America mindlessly following your lead.  That particular segment of the population ain't gonna magically disappear overnight just because Trump loses.  It's the Kenny Chesney lovin, Budweiser can drinkin, truck balls adorning, skoal spittin', flag wavin', national anthem standing, pancake syrup covering, hunchback Hillary haters.  Trust me, these automatons are omnipresent.  And as matter of fact, they'll be seeking guidance.  What do we do now?  Where do we go from here.  Help us.

Think about it for a second.  Trump has put his brand on just about everything imaginable.  Trump Vodka (he doesn't drink).  Trump university (he doesn't teach).  Trump Casino (he lost money).  Trump golf (decent swing).  Trump beauty pageants (he's misogynistic).  Trump clothing (he outsources).  Trump's apprentice (you're fired).  Everything is a straightforward, predictable attempt to increase his leverage.  It's all about fame and fortune.  No substance.  Why not launch Trump TV (low or no information)?

Hence, the perfect opportunity.  I've already figured out the tagline ---

Let's go with The Trump Channel - Big League TV  Yeah, sounds like a winner. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

clown crisis

In lieu of the current creepy clown controversy, I thought a few memes were in order.

As if a nationwide clown crisis is necessary to keep this guy from making public appearances...

Turn that frown... upside down.

Only Eric the Clown would be capable of such deception.  
Bozo would never have resorted to these tactics.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trump Lemonade Stand

Trump is losing.  And if things continue on the anticipated trajectory, he will lose the 2016 election.  Plain and simple.  The electoral college map is just one of those grim realities.  McCain learned about it "big league" in 2008 and Romney found out the hard way in 2012 --- just because Fox pundits claim that Pennsylvania and Ohio are within your grasp, doesn't make it so.

Unless there's a national security "black swan" event (radical illegal immigrants shoot up a maternity ward, North Korea detonates a nuclear weapon, dominipede, gas hike to $5 per gallon, etc.), Hillary's gonna be the next POTUS. 

Trump needs that singular, defining event in his campaign.  One in which everyone reflexively looks back at the 2016 election and says, "That was the moment when the tide shifted.  That's when he caught fire."

If I were a Trump strategist, I would make a concerted effort to shift the entire narrative.

Here's my idea.

Find an adorable sister/brother duo.  I'd prefer the girl to be racially mixed or maybe Hispanic, but that's not entirely necessary.  Probably ages about 10 and 8.  NOT teenagers who come across as arrogant, awkward and obnoxious.  You want some cute kids that classify as "innocent yet impetuous." The female should be the older one.  She's the one who will take the lead with most communication.  Dress them accordingly in Gap or whatever.  Keep their attire simple and understated.  Nothing flamboyant.  Maybe a hippie necklace for the girl and one of those breast cancer awareness wristbands for the boy.  But don't overreach here.  You want them bourgeoisie.   

Here's the deal.  Have them set up a lemonade stand near the entrance to a Hillary Clinton rally, under mom's supervision of course.  Set up about 2-3 cell phones, discreetly hidden, that record all interaction... including crowd response.

Location?  Go right to the source.  A campaign stop on the I-80 corridor smack dab on the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania.  This is the new ground zero.

Utilize one traditional small yard sign (Make America Great Again).  No mammoth banner or flashing lights.  Another sign, this one handwritten --- "$1.00 small glass.  $2.00 large glass."  When the average adult inquires, let the kids do the talking.  Have them say that all proceeds are going to the Trump campaign.  Again, let the children do all the talking.  Prep them, but don't over-prep them.  Let them be the stars.

The main focus here is to get authentic video footage of these kids being condemned and harassed by adult Hillary supporters.  And the ultimate objective would be to get the whole venture shut down by Clinton staff members... or even praytell, the local police.  Imply that it was necessary because their lemonade stand was deemed a "security risk."

You splice the best blips together and it makes some unforgiving, irrevocable drama.  It's one helluva campaign tv ad or viral internet bit.  Play that crappy Lee Greenwood "God Bless the USA" song in the background.

Nothing spells entrepreneurship, capitalism and stimulating the economy better than the good 'ol fashioned lemonade stand.  It's iconic.  And nothing spells government bureaucracy and intrusive police-state overreach than squashing childhood dreams and inspiration.  Such activity makes ordinary people feel helpless, angry and distraught.  Because they're kids, it's an easily exploitable dynamic.

Because when these kids come under attack, for not having a permit, unlawful solicitation, or whatever, people are naturally going to freak out.  Of course, it's all staged, but not really.  The footage will be authentic.  The only downside --- surely, at some point, the kids will face scrutiny and the parents will be mercilessly crucified by the mainstream media.  But if the children can hold their own and mom and dad are plainspoken and forthright, the press would come off looking like an interrogation squad.  Fits right into the anti-media Trump narrative.

Make sure that mom and dad aren't huge Trump fan trying to incite the crowd.  No silly ball caps or t-shirts.  No antagonistic rhetoric.  Keep it about the kids.  The parents must come across as being supportive of their children, but relatively impartial .  Remember, this new agenda isn't about Trump per se.  Its about supporting freedom of expression, human rights and most importantly, that unabashed hunger for capitalism and pumping up the economy.  Hello!!!  It's called the American Dream. 

Then... in comes the Clinton security team to stomp them into the ground.  The script literally writes itself.

This is a winning marketing concept because it takes all the heat away from Trump.  Footage like this, assuming it's decent, literally begs to be re-posted and re-tweeted ad nauseum.

My point --- for every modern election it's important to find a narrative that TRANSCENDS the political bickering.  Some issue or some individual that epitomizes something bigger.  In 2008, we had Joe the Plumber and his courageous fight on behalf of independent contractors and private business.  2012 even gave us Obamagirl (whatever the hell that was about, I still don't know).

The greatest political ad of all-time was the Lyndon Johnson one in 1964.

The premise was brilliant.  It just needs tweaked and modernized, with some red-state/blue state "country-time swagger."

There's a fundamental sentiment out there which appeals to 90% of all registered voters.  The U.S. government is inherently corrupt.  High ranking politicians are bought and paid for.  Congressional approval is at an all-time low.  More people view "child molesters chewing on tin foil" with a higher favorability rating.  This impression ain't going to magically disappear in the next 2 months. This is the frustration you must seize upon.  Carpe diem.

Trump won the primaries by appealing to the far right's sense of nationalism and bitter populism.  Immigration, jobs, trade, guns, etc.  While this may appeal to the hardcore right, these are mostly loser issues for the general election.  Rather than doubling down, he needs to think beyond his boorish personality.  It's called PIVOTING.

Trump will never win against Hillary unless he equates her with the pitfalls of big government... kickbacks, graft, cronyism and the status quo.  She's smarter, wiser, cagier, more professional, has more experience, is more capable, is a vastly superior debater, even better looking (ouch, that hurts)... the list is endless.  She is a politician.  Trump, while he may be a well-positioned outsider, is an egomaniac, carnival-barking windbag with an absurd lack of intellectual curiosity.  He's just not presidential material.  If his campaign's about him, and it currently is, he loses... HUGE.

Hillary's link to big government is her achilles heel.  Clinton and Kaine are total establishment characters.  He needs to portray them as the embodiment of "business as usual" and beholden to a rigged system.  But Trump can't do this personally.  It's just not working for him.  Because his general election campaign skills SUCK.  And his actual campaign machinery is a JOKE.  Even if he could summon the discipline to stay on message, it's just far too late in the game.

So rather than throw the relentless kitchen sink at Hillary...  rather than hurl insults and continue to alienate independent voters...  rather than succumb to his schoolyard bullying instincts...  Like I was sayin', you gotta try "something new... something different."  In 1993, we did this with the West Virginia Troopers Association Bears Against Drugs telemarketing scam.  We offered them, drum roll please.................. FRUIT SYRUPS! 

Trump needs to try something new, something different.  And Mike Pence ain't it.  Neither is Sarah Palin nor Ben Carson nor Krispy Kreme Kristie.  Bobby Knight, David Duke, Ted Nugent?  What the fuck!  The far better bet is on some unknown children, manufactured to take the political world by storm.  They will forever be etched political history as... "the lemonade kids."  TLK!  TLK!  USA!  USA! 

Ironically, there was this local guy who passed away a few years ago.  He could have been Trump's wingman.  He understood messaging.  In a word... 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

additional memes

Two memes I thought were relatively spot-on.  This one really reverberates.

And talk about "brilliant simplicity" during the political season!

And here's my token meme for the day.  I love the idea of equating Trump with the "image of Jesus Christ appeared on my toast."  We are so blessed.

Possibly one of the worst lyrics in the history of the Dead, I think Jerry Garcia said it best...  
"When you get back you better butter my bread!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

a few more memes

This one's pretty obscure, even for Seinfeld aficionados.  But I like it.  
Not sure how Trump would fare in an anti-masturbation contest.  Not sure I'd want to find out.  Hillary too, for that matter.

The physically anonymous Steinbrenner character on Seinfeld is one of my least favorites.  I prefer Kramer's buddies, Bob Sacamano (sells Russian hats down at Battery Park) and Jay Reimenschneider (eats horse meat all the time).

We were having breakfast this morning and the following topic arose --- Does Trump know the definition of xenophobia?  The votes came in at 4-0.  Nay, Nay, Nay and Nay.

Stay tuned for more "poli-Sein" memes.  It's a fantastic term because it plays off the alliteration of "poli-sci."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

political memes

I've decided to venture back into the "meme milieu."  I'll try to do a few every so often.  Mostly my unique take on U.S. presidential politics.  Probably grounded in the material I know well... Seinfeld, Sopranos, the NFL, etc.  We'll see how it goes.

Manya was from the old-country.  
The Bernie Sanders socialistic economic platform would appeal to her geo-politcal sensibilities.

Kruger has his own perspective on the New Jersey governor's involvement with Bridgegate.

Putty strikes me as an informed blue collar voter.

no explanation necessary

Too bad I don't have the desire (or technique) to photo-shop these things.  For example, the one directly above would be vastly more amusing... if the top line was omitted and the pic of Jerry's head and shoulders were Trump's.

Like I said, we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A "Protester's" Reflections on the 2016 RNC/DNC

During the month of July, I went to both national conventions to distribute my propaganda.  My pitch was pretty streamlined and straightforward.

If people demonstrated an interest, I'd ask them where they were from.  In most cases it was the hometown.  So for instance, let's use Cleveland.  I'd introduce myself and tell them I've been working on a public safety/human rights project for several years.  It's actually part of an ongoing cyber-security threat that is by nature... undiscussable.  Usually that would get their attention.

I'm sure you've been to First Energy Stadium.  Right over there (point in a Northerly direction).  Well, on gameday, there are 79,000 people in that venue.  And there are also 79,000 cell phones capable of receiving real-time, false information.  It is a wirelessly hyper-connective environment.

If you were to get a stadium evacuation order over your cell phone, it is part of a hoax designed to create a panic and a stampede.  There's no other logical explanation why something like that would occur. 

I know this to be a fact because if it's necessary to stage an evac, you do NOT use cell phones to deliver the order.  There is an incident command structure in place.  The established protocol requires using the public address, the jumbotron, the video monitors.  You alert the ushers.  There are things you say.  There are things you don't say.  The protocol is very specific.  It does NOT initially include cellular notifications.

But the NFL can't tell you this very generic public safety information because of the catch-22.  If you acknowledge a problem exists, you own it.  And if something bad were to ever happen, you're screwed... because you didn't do enough to prevent it.  It's a classic paradox.  It's about plausible deniability, hypothetical litigation and the lose-lose proposition.  Basically, even though the solution is free... nobody has the courage to tell people the truth.  In a word, it's about money.

I believe the NFL has a moral (and legal) responsibility to just tell fans the absolute bare minimum of public safety information.  They're well aware of this specific security disconnect --- 50,000 - 100,000 cell phones in every stadium capable of receiving real-time, false information.

So there are 2 distinct options here.  You either tell fans the truth or you make a calculated decision to remain silent and deliberately conceal it.  Right now, they're choosing the latter.  Hardly a surprise.  Obviously, this issue extends beyond the NFL.  The U.S. government and private industry have the same responsibility but nobody's allowed to openly discuss the problem.

This strikes me as an obvious cyber-security threat and serious national security issue.  Because if someone had malicious intent, it's reasonable to assume they wouldn't target just one individual stadium, but rather the Sunday 1 o'clock slate of games which normally has 7-10 simultaneous games and stadiums in play.  

Again, there are 2 very distinct choices.  You can do something about it.  In this case, acknowledge the problem and explicitly divulge the truth.  Or you do nothing, maintain the status quo and just hope that something like this never occurs, or at the very least, is attempted.  

Here's my card.  Any questions, gimme a ring.

So that was pretty much the extent of my pitch.  If they required a deeper explanation, I'd engage them further and go into the exhaustive specifics. 

Alright, enough with the stampede crap.  Here we go.

I did a few interviews, here and there, one of which I was told aired on C-Span.  I'm a little suspicious that my concerns were raised on national television.  I'll believe it when I see it.  Also did a few documentary requests, interviews and facebook live stuff.  Did a little "sign sabotage" as well.  Sneaked it into a few local broadcasts.  More importantly, I handed out a ton of cards to some pretty high profile characters --- politicians, reporters and delegates.

The vast majority of people who watched the conventions saw them on live television.  They were broadcast from inside a very restrictive, hermetically sealed environment.  But most observers have no idea about the prevailing atmosphere on the outside, in the city streets.  So that's what I'll mostly focus on.

For the RNC, I made the decision to drive up to Cleveland and back each day.  It was the only plausible option, as Gigi was stationed in Westlake, OH for the duration.  She was inside Quicken Loans Arena for all 4 days/nights.  Hey, someone had to feed the cats and water the plants.  No big deal.  I ended up staying the final night.  2 hours 15 minutes both ways.  Like I said, not a big deal.  Just kind of a pain. 

When I first got to downtown Cleveland, I found a parking lot on the outskirts about 8 blocks away.  I liked the proximity to the 77S exit.  $20 per day was a bit steep, but unusual circumstances call for unusual measures.  Plus, at first, I was I tiny bit concerned about the possibility of looting and smashed windows.

The security perimeter (steel fencing) was a sight to behold.  It started about 4 blocks from the site in all directions.  The E. 9th exit for Quicken Loans/Progressive Field was closed.

I was a bit surprised that you could basically walk right up to the entrance of the venue.  Rows of police were literally everywhere but they were not obtrusive.  If trouble arose, they'd hastily form a protective, impenetrable wall.  I decided to set up "shop" at the intersection of the venue entrance and those attending the convention --- E. 4th and Prospect seemed like the place to be.  It would later be termed as the main "hotspot" for violent confrontations.

For the Cleveland RNC, I made two signs.

I quickly disposed of this one.  It required too much of an explanation, and in retrospect, seemed like a sarcastic joke.  Just not indicative of the serious nature of my prevailing concerns.

Instead, I'd end up using this one for the duration.    

As you might expect, this one garnered far more interest.  It's simply a more startling, provocative question.  It also seemed tailor suited for the crowd (people often indoctrinated with notions of freedom and the desire to bring our enemies to justice).

On the first day, I had an encounter with a fringe politician/activist named "Vermin Supreme."  Yep, that's me and him, the guy with boot on his head. 

Here's one of his more circulated videos. 

It was interesting to watch him in action.  He engaged an ultra born-again/Westboro Baptist Church knock-off/thee shall repent or burn-in-hell crusader.  The man was carrying a mammoth sign which listed a variety of sins.

A large crowd gathered and the bible thumper asked Vermin which sins he was guilty of.  Vermin was more than happy to respond.

"Well, let's see here.  I've stolen.  I've lied.  I've cheated.  I've fornicated.  I've masturbated.  I've taken the lord's name in vain.  Hmm, I'm never had an abortion.  I've never committed murder but there's a lot of people who think I should be committed."

This type of amusing banter went back and forth.  Some of the crowd was laughing to the point where a few were in tears.  I just smiled for most of it.  It was actually some tremendous, poly-street theater.  The conversation reached a climax when the Jesus freak demanded that Vermin "read his bible."

Vermin: "Well, I don't own a bible."

Godboy:  "You could borrow mine."

Vermin:  Hmmm, uh naw.  Whaddya say I just run circles around this giant pile of horseshit instead???"

And with that... he and his buddy started furiously running laps around a mammoth pile of horseshit.  Then, he abruptly finished his exercise routine and violently shook his head back and forth, causing the boot to sway up and down in a mesmerizing, almost hallucinogenic fashion.  He raised his cape and thrust his arm forward like a superhero combination of Captain America meets Mighty Mouse.   Think in terms of "here I come to save the day."

Funny stuff.  I ended up talking to him several times over the next couple weeks.  Just like me, Vermin decided to hit up Philly as well.  He actually showed some tepid interest in my cause, but was also, very easily distracted.  Great guy with a likely smidge of ADD.

I could have taken a ton of pictures with quasi-celebs, but I usually just settle for one or none.  In this case, Vermin got the nod.

There was an air of tension on the second day.  A Communist group put out on social media that they were going to burn a flag.  Naturally, some of the younger Trump fans/patriots (I call them Trumpiots) were not pleased with the prospect.  A few were embracing their open carry rights.  Sure enough, the shit went down.  Kinda surprised this one didn't get totally outta hand.  Lots of pushing and shoving.  Scuffles here and there with some VERY heated exchanges.  But the cops and firefighters quickly engulfed the area.  You may have seen a video on the news.  I heard they ended up making about 15 arrests.

The Black Lives Matter Crew were exceptionally loud, focused and well-coordinated.  They took their march to the main entrance of the arena as well.  Much to my chagrin, the leader of their group was white.  And he was very irate and agitated.  His followers reminded me of the Black Panthers.  Dressed in pseudo-military dissident gear.  This one also got a little heated but the cops formed walls.  They let it go for a good hour or so.

Ironically, it was the Code Pink anti-war women (many of which were on the elderly side) that really upset the cops.  They were all pleasant and engaging, but then a few of them whipped out some pink tennis balls and started tossing them around.  All of a sudden, the mood changed.  One of the commanders flashed me a look of instant ferocity and ventured into the fray.  I remember them hauling away 2 of the girls in cuffs.  But I don't think they arrested them.  Just a hunch.

You see, tennis balls are on the list of banned items outside the conventions.  But our government won't tell anyone why.  Hint: a hand grenade can be effectively designed to resemble a harmless tennis ball.  But nobody's allowed to talk about it.  Tennis anyone?

Sound familiar?  Hint: Maybe a cell phone could be used as a weapon (  Steelers game anyone?  I'll score us some freebies outside Gate A.

I won't bother with a list of the famous people I engaged.  However, I did have a chance encounter with the Transhumanist candidate for POTUS.  His name is Zoltan Istvan and he hails from San Francisco.  I'd had some previous email correspondence with him, trying to engage him with my cause.  While appreciative, he just didn't think it would be a good fit for his platform, possibly a distraction.

I totally disagree as he's the closest thing we have to a "technology candidate."  But that's that.

I caught his attention and introduced myself, "Zoltan, you already know me.  I'm the stampede guy."  He chuckled in disbelief.  "Oh yeah, the stampedes.  It's great to meet you."  We talked for a bit and agreed that we'd likely see each other in Philly.  And of course, we did.  Just for the record, Zoltan is currently running 5th.  Less than 1%... behind 4th place Jill Stein (G) who's also in the 1% range. 

Let there be no mistake.  The RNC was an absolute circus.  There was next-to-zero ethnic minority representation inside the convention, but the streets outside were literally teeming with black salesman.  Mostly selling foam souvenirs, pins and incredibly obnoxious t-shirts.  The content on the shirts even shifted to reflect real-world Republican conditions.  The big seller went from this...

and this...

to this...

TED CRUZ SUCKS (on the front)
HILLARY SWALLOWS (on the back)

Much to my surprise, I couldn't find a picture on the internet.  But  the man selling them had a sizable stack.  It made me wonder what past Republican conventions probably looked like.  I imagine they were Nancy Reagan styled, country club affairs.  Lavish opulence.  The big money, the elegance, the behind-the-scenes cigar-chomping power brokers.  I seriously doubt the politicians of yester-year (the Bob Dole's, the Newt Gingrich's, the Mitt Romeny's)  are on board the Trump Train.  In all honesty, I think they'd find it both confusing and terrifying.  These Trumpiots just don't resemble the Republican party I grew up with.  Long gone are the days of the respectful, grandmotherly Barbara Bush.  Now there's a different rallying cry...  a young pale, ginger kid with bad acne yelling "DONALD MOTHER FUCKIN' TRUMP!!!"  While the guy next to him wears a goofy, ill-fitting ball cap, and smugly holds a sign that reads "MAKE THE BROWNS GREAT AGAIN."

On the final day, I zipped to the hotel and caught the majority of Trump's speech.  To be honest, I thought he outperformed.  A little sparse on details, but his tone, tenor and delivery were pretty spot-on.

I must admit.  I went into Cleveland with the expectation of violence.  Maybe not bullets or bombs, but at the very least, I thought there was going to be some looting, smashed cars, vandalism.  Tear gas and vehicles equipped with water cannons and sound dispersal weapons.  I vaguely remember telling Gigi that "I think we'll be fine, but some people are definitely going to die.  There will be numerous injuries.  This is going to be bad."  Turns out, I was wrong.  That's what happens when you make bold predictions.  Hint: dominipede.

So onto Philly...

And that means one thing.  The dreaded turnpike via Pittsburgh.  $35 both ways.  Cleveland each day was $5.00 up and $7.00 back.  What. A. Racket.  I've been spoiled by all those years on I-70.

I had to drive separately.  No worries though.  I honestly enjoy the Northeastern version of Alabama.  Great stops along the way, as well!  Translation: Exxon, Starbucks, Pizza Hut (by the slice), McDonalds and the occasional Roy Rogers (how on earth has this franchise survived?).  I would think that Kenny Rogers Roasters is a more viable business.

Mess you up!

They probably have a superior marketing strategy as well.

Our Holiday Inn was in the pleasant Philly suburb of Lansdale/Kulpsville.  About 30 minutes north of the Wells Fargo Center.  Nice place.  We shared it with the entire North Carolina delegation.

Eager to get started.  I sped down 476S to I 95N.  Some minor traffic by the airport.  No big deal.  But the weather was a little on the oppressive side.  Very humid and in the 100's.  I entered the fray with my sign.  This one was admittedly more pointed and direct.

Yeah, I'd say that this one was a little less nuanced.

The Bernie Sanders supporters, and those commiserating with his failed candidacy, were out in full force.  They set up shop by the main entrance and screamed at the delegates as they flooded in from the train station.  They also heckled the buses, but the degree of interaction was virtually nonexistent.  It would be the equivalent of me shouting at a departing airplane from Pittsburgh International... from inside the terminal.

Some of them were really pissed off.  Hillary's a war monger!  Lock her up!  Hillary stole the primary!  Like I was saying, the Bernie diehards were fuming.

One younger girl, probably her early 20's, insisted on violently shaking the steel barrier.  The cops tried to get her to to calm down.  But she kept screaming, "Fuck you, I want Bernie!"  After repeated attempts to pacify her, the cop basically had no choice but to arrest her.  As they took her away, a man nearby said, "They'll just cuff her, fine her $50 for disorderly conduct and release her.  She's not going to see the inside of a jail cell."  Apparently, that was the typical protocol in Philly.  In retrospect, I think her main objective was to be able to go back to her sorority and tell her friends, "Yeah, I got arrested at the Democratic National Convention."  Someday, I'm sure she'll regale her grandchildren with tales of her futile heroics. 

An older male protestors was sitting on a curb.  He kind of looked like an overweight version of a haggard Andy Kaufman.

He would scream errant obscenities about Hillary.  Then, he'd methodically lean over and smoke his pipe filled with marijuana.  I thought it was odd how he didn't seem to care about the police standing right next to him.  Needless to say, he was probably a more accurate representation of an old-school, Philly activist.  Maybe New York or New Jersey.  He just didn't give a shit.  He had a large towel and would occasionally wipe off the profuse sweat from his entire head, neck and face.

Jill Stein spoke to a faithful crowd of admirers in Franklin D. Roosevelt park.  I ran into a few of my displaced Pittsburgh news buddies who now work in Philly.  They seemed surprised.  Not by the fact that I was there, complaining about stampedes.  They were just surprised that we stumbled into each other.

Eventually, the storms kicked in around 7pm.  It was an absolute, prolonged torrential downpour.  Thunder, lightning, the works.  I covered up my sign and headed for the car.   The ramp I needed was closed so I briefly ended up in Jersey and then hooked up with 76W.  76 East was at a complete standstill for about 10 miles.  I assumed there must have been a really bad accident with multiple fatalities.  I watched in amazement as people were sitting on the hoods of their cars, wandering around on the opposite side of the highway.  Almost like a cocktail party without the drinks.  Turns out a low lying area of 76 was completely flooded.  I watched it on the news later that night.  They showed a bus and a few cars completely submerged, bobbing around.  Remember, this wasn't some back road.  This was right out of downtown.  Crazy.  Happy hour in Philly I suppose.  Disgruntled and discordant.  Disenchanted and Disgusted.  Reminds me of my ex-neighbor Bill Adel.

As day #2 rolled around, the cops and arena security had taken a more no-nonsense approach.  They stationed these long, protective lines near the subway.  Now it was virtually impossible to engage even the tiniest fraction of delegates. 

Most of the action was in the park.  I roamed around distributing my propaganda as they did the roll call vote over the loudspeakers.  The crowd was still relatively enthusiastic but you could see a marked difference between the first day.  I think the heat and the sequestration had taken a toll.

On day #3, I parked down by the arena and decided to take the subway to City Hall.  There were some ridiculously loud speakers across the street.  Most of it seemed centered around Black Lives Matter movement and the current police-state.   I'd have to say the general reaction to me was mixed.  I mean, you gotta realize that I'm walking around downtown Philadelphia with a sign that reads "Asymmetric Cyber-Security Threat."  This ain't the pro-lifers with their late-term aborted fetus pics.  Yeah... and I'm the weirdo freak?  Still, I'd say most reacted positively or were completely indifferent.

I ventured back down to the Wells Fargo Center.  The cops had set up a knew sub-ground, perimeter barrier and funneled anyone with credentials straight into the cordoned off area.  You couldn't even hang out on the platform and distribute information.  By then, it was around 5pm.  I headed back over to the park and the protests had really died down.

I hung out for a couple more hours and engaged a few people, here and there.  A young guy saw my sign and came running over, "Oh man, I've heard about you!  You're the stampede guy!  This is totally insane.  I really need to hear what you have to say.  Will you tell me about it?"  So I gave him my pitch for a bit.  I know this sounds fucked up, but I don't get many listeners who are authentically "starstruck."  For a brief moment, I felt like Weird Al on Dr. Demento.

Shortly thereafter, I left for the hotel and watched the Day 3 speeches.  Obama (clever), Biden (strong), Leon Panetta (curious), Harry Reid (yawn) and the rest of 'em.

Later that night, I told Gigi that I was going to skip out on the final day.  Get a head start back and go see the cats.  There simply just wasn't anything left for me to do.

And that was the biggest difference between the conventions.  Let me lay it on the line.

The RNC in Cleveland might have been a plagiarized circus, featuring a non-supportive Ted Cruz and these glowing offspring testimonials.  With an abundance of right-wing nutjobs and religious zealots.  Not to mention the Bikers for Trump gun-toting fanatics.  But I'll tell you one thing straight-up.  If you really want to live in a future democracy, the DNC was a complete and utter joke.  Trump might want to build a wall... but it was the Democrats who actually built the walls, or at the very least, erected them until they were no longer "necessary."

But do I have any regrets?  Uh, hell no!

Would I do it all over again?  Uh, hell yeah!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Donald Trump, Rational Behavior and the Nuclear Codes

Hillary has taken aim at Trump over the possibility of him having the authority to launch nuclear weapons.  This is an incredibly powerful statement and strategy.  I expect you'll hear more of it as the campaign lumbers on.

Not many people really understand what it means to have the nuclear codes.  It's often referred to as a "briefcase" or "football" --- terms that help dangerously simplify the notion of nuclear devastation to the American commoner.  Here's what it currently means in the real-world.

510 nuclear weapons aimed at Russia
130 nuclear weapons aimed at China
50 nuclear weapons aimed at North Korea
40 nuclear weapons aimed at Iran
20 nuclear weapons aimed at Syria

Keep in mind, there is no dress rehearsal or "recourse."  If the commander in chief chooses to launches a strike of any kind, the military chain of command has no authority to object or second guess the decision.  This is a big deal.  Especially in the current climate of social media hoaxes, hacking and technological disinformation.  And it's something Hillary should exploit.

The Clinton-Kaine campaign has done a pretty good job of characterizing Trump as mentally unstable and easily provoked.  He lashes out against anyone and everyone... as portrayed in his nonstop twitter crusades.  Nobody is safe.  Fellow Republican presidential candidates, the handicapped, U.S. military generals, prisoners of war, high profile businessmen, celebrities, reporters, women, Mexicans, Muslims, etc.  The list is by-definition ENDLESS.  Because like he always says, whenever he gets personally attacked, he "hits back hard."  Even his most ardent supporters would agree with this assessment.  It's the Trump de facto approach to everything and everyone.

The Clinton campaign should make a commercial about this.  I expect they already have one in the works.  If not, they are absolute fools. 

Here's how I'd frame it.  I would use Trump's personal video and audio statements about his penchant for "destroying his enemies" and how he flippantly likes to "hammer", "slaughter", "massacre" his opponents.  "Take them out at the knees."  And a quick reminder --- these are our fellow Americans.  Imagine what he might do to our economic or geo-political adversaries.  Exactly what is this man capable of doing?  After all, nobody knows for sure what goes on in the mind of The Donald. 

Then, I would specifically reference former presidential candidates who were defeated.  Nobody ever questioned the prospect of Mitt Romney having his finger on the button.  Nobody ever questioned John Kerry's rationality.  Or John McCain's judgement.  Granted, it got a little dicey when you threw Sarah Palin into the mix.  But Al Gore?  Nope.  Bush Sr.?  Nope.  Senator Dole?  Nope.  Go all the way back to Dukakis and Carter.

Why is this effective?  Because you may have disagreed with their style, economic philosophy or political party.  But you didn't fear the prospect of a "madman" at the helm.

Throw out the names of all former candidates for the last 4 decades or so.  These are human beings that people remember... because they personally identified with them and cast votes for them.  They're also candidates that, with the passage of time, people have grown to respect and in some cases, adore.  Nobody still despises Jimmy Carter or Bob Dole.  Draw the distinction.  Compare and contrast pictures of Trump with the people he would eagerly refer to as "losers."  Focus on George Bush Sr. who proudly served... while Trump had 4 deferments from Vietnam.

Then you close out the commercial.  But Donald Trump???  Show a picture of him where he's physically enraged.  And then scroll a fast-forward list of his personal twitter tirades.   Just fast enough where you can't physically discern the content but you know the tweets are real.  Make it so that the viewer would have to actually engage their Tivo and watch the list in slow motion.  In a word... this list is HUGE (and can be very unforgiving).

Why would this be particularly effective?  Because it demonstrates intellectual superiority when it comes to social media... which is supposed to be Trump's biggest strength.  Also, it uses his own words (and streaming tweets) against him.  This is the correct way to demonize an opponent.  Using an individual's own words against them.  Anyone can hurl insults and attacks.  Trump chooses the latter strategy.  Probably because it worked so well for him in the primary.  The general election is an admittedly different animal.  Because everyone gets to vote.  Not just the alabaster skinned Alabamians.

Does anyone recall Obama's ad against Mitt Romney in 2012.  Incredibly effective.  Probably one of the best in the history of presidential campaigns.  At least I thought it was.  I'd take the same approach but construct it on a steroid, blood doping-meth level that literally blows your mind.

Clinton strategists --- gimme a ring.

304-312-1395 and ask for Saf

And the best news of all?  I won't charge you a penny.

If you're heading up the Trump Train, I'm willing to devise an equally effective anti-Hillary ad.  But it's gonna cost ya.  Probably about a million.  Sounds like a pretty good deal if you wanna win the election for President of the United States.

I'd call that a bargain.  The best I ever had.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Big Hillary Speech

Tonight's the night.  Hillary Clinton gives her acceptance speech.  The first ever female presidential candidate.  That's some iconic shit!  Sarah Palin's VP spot on the 2008 ticket doesn't quite match up.  Not as epic.

Not sure of the prevailing theme tonight, but I do have a prediction as to her opening lines (content, style, delivery).  I think I might have nailed this one spot-on.  So naturally, I took a moment to jot down this historic, "expectance" speech.

Hillary walks on stage to some melodramatic, hyperbolic display of god-knows-what.

After the applause subsides, I have a hunch that she'll take on a very different persona, an  "irresistibly, self-deprecating" approach.  Obviously because it provides a perfect contrast to Trump the Narcissist.  They've already done a decent job of portraying him as juvenile and obnoxious, and to some extent, mentally unstable.  So how about we finish the job?  Go after him for being "inhuman."

Hillary: "Thank you, Thank you... Thank you" (6x over a generous period of about 83 seconds)

Hillary: "Have you ever heard the expression... "Well, it looks like they saved the best for last"?  Well, it's the end of the last night and...  HERE. I. AM !!! (bold sarcasm)

"Yeah, uh right. (sheepish, sarcastic admission)

"So I guess the time has arrived for Hillary's big speech!" (deliberately use the first person tense).

"Seriously, that's how I'm going to refer to myself from now on.  Just like my opponent.  You know... The Donald!?!?  From this day forth, you can refer to me as... "The Hillary!" (use a demented, wavy voice)

(pan the crowd for a variety of delegates and their hysterical reaction)

Then, have Hillary do her patented cackle laughter.  (additional self-deprecation)

(make her sound extemporaneous)

Hillary: "You know, a lot of people make fun of me for my funny laugh."  Well, don't worry about me."  (reassuringly)  "Trust me, I can take it."  (subtle reminder that she's tough and Trump picks on people with disabilities)

"But ya wanna know something that's not funny???   It's the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.  (pause) "Because hey, that ain't funny!  

That's just downright terrifying!" (have her intentionally use the Southern colloquial "ain't", not "isn't", while sounding exhausted and appearing exasperated). 

crowd is guaranteed to go nuts

"So yes, I have a big speech to give!"

"But seriously, how on earth am I supposed to compete with our first lady Michelle Obama's speech???" (mention something about Sasha and Malia playing with their dog on the White House lawn).

deafening applause

"And what about last night, uh, her husband... our President of the Untied States of America???  Barack Obama?"  (more applause, continue to push the inclusive unity theme)  Divulge a secret campaign story from their 2008 rivalry.

"And what about my friends Jill and Joe?   You wanna know some people who have a clue?"  (a reference to when Biden said that Trump doesn't have a clue)  Well, I'll tell ya who has clue!  (Wait 5 seconds)  Them!

(applause continues)

"But you wanna know someone who doesn't have a clue?  Well, I'll give you a hint.  His last name rhymes with dump.  We'll say it on three.  One... two... three...  

crowd screams TRUMPPPP (gives the crowd some token involvement)

(calmly) "Trust me Donald... I'm sure you'll tweet about it tomorrow... but THAT WASN'T AN ENDORSEMENT.  (loud Hillary voice)

crowd goes nuts again

"And how about Bill?"

"Let's just say... that in the summer of 1971... I met a boy."  then have her divulge some "secret" that is only known between the two of them... maybe a comical story about Chelsea as a baby.  (everyone loves a baby story)  And show Bill's disbelief and incredulity that she would bring up something so private in front 50 million viewers). 

"And that leads me to my daughter Chelsea and my darling son-in-law (whatever his name is) and our wonderful grandkids X and Y.  I just love you all so much.  And I'm just so proud of the woman you've become."  (if she can force a tear... that would be gold).     

Generous pause.  (show repeated clips of the family and a few heavy hitters in the audience)

"And what about Senator Bernie Sanders from the Green Mountain State of Vermont?!?!? (say something about the heated campaign, but how they share the same vision.  How they're both willing to fight for what's right).

"And what about Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren?  And what Gabby?"  Rattle off a few of the other names of previous dynamic speakers and what led them to the podium.  Especially if they brought the house down.  Stuff like the woman whose only gay son was killed in the Orlando club massacre.   Then you focus on the NRA.  Get the gist?  Can you gather the inference? 

This is how I'd segue-way into a strong policy speech.  Reference the speakers who emotionally moved the audience from the previous 3 nights.  Remind the crowd of those specific, memorable moments.  Speak vicariously through their experiences.  This helps soften the level of unreasonably high expectations.  Also gives Bernie super-fans less incentive to interrupt.  And it's also a continual reminder that the Dems are the party of inclusion.  They're the love party... not the hate party.

Go heavy into a string of policy driven statements and initiatives.  Outline the next 4 years of a Hillary administration... as opposed to the reactionary Trump and his carnival barking.  But don't totally make it about Hillary vs. Trump --- her vs. him.  Don't make it a personality war.  Stick to your bread and butter.  Experience.  Temperament.  Strength.  Judgement.  Offer specific proposals and major priorities for the future... instead of vague rhetoric and infantile trash talk.

Close it with a "My name is Hillary... and granted... my slogan might be 'I'm with her'... but America... lemme tell ya something America. "I'M WITH YOU!!!  AND I WILL ALWAYS FIGHT FOR YOU!!!"  AND I WILL ALWAYS FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR FUTURE!!!  (cue that infinitely repetitive "this is my fight song, take back my life song"). 

Everyone floods the stage to embrace Hillary and her bosomy resolve.

So there ya go.  That's the general gist of my Hillary "expectance" speech.  Curious to see if I'm that far off.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

the redprint

I suppose you could call this a blueprint... err uhh, "redprint" for a 2016 Trump victory.

Obviously, if you're on Team Trump, the goal is to secure the most votes.  But as Al Gore found out in 2000, that doesn't always work.  Hell, he got a half million votes more than W.  Still, George still eked out a narrow victory in the electoral college.  However, votes are good.  Right?

Not necessarily. 

Ralph Nader's presence on the Green Party ticket totally screwed over the founder of the internet.  Had it not been for Nader's decision to run, Gore would have become president and the last 15 years would have likely unfolded in a vastly different way.  Hint: no incentive for ousting Saddam, hence no war in Iraq.

The margins in the 2000 election were so slim that it simply became a matter of numbers and percentages.  A similar dynamic has emerged in this election cycle as well.

So if you're on the Trump Train (a/k/a the Jag-Off Express), the trick is to get diehard Bernie Sanders supporters to NOT cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.

By most estimates, the Sanders vote represents nearly half of the Democratic party.  That's a massive contingency of dedicated, reliable, activist voters.  These aren't the type of people who will voluntarily stay home on election night.  They are by definition "super-voters."  But here's the problem --- the overwhelming majority of these people sure as hell aren't going to vote for Trump.

But if you're a Trumpeter, that's fine and dandy.  And here's why.

Their campaign's mission should be to persuade the greatest number of Sanders supporters to vote Libertarian... by any means possible.  Judging from his behavior on the campaign trail, I seriously doubt Trump (or Hillary for that matter) would have any moral qualms about disingenuously poisoning the popular vote.  The question is --- if a political adviser went to him and said... "Hey, I think the clearest path to victory is to push the Libertarian party and their agenda," well, the question is, "would Donald bite?"  As the biggest egomaniac in the history of presidential politics... the answer is... probably not.  But as a self-professed strategist, polling connoisseur and calculating businessman... the answer becomes... maybe or even quite possibly.

Once again.

The objective:  Do NOT try to get the disaffected Berners to vote for Donald.  Why?  Because it's an exercise in total futility.  They won't do it.  Those Sanders loyalists will NEVER support Trump.  However, a significant percentage might be persuaded to vote Libertarian.  Just enough to fuck with the plurality.  Think of it like George Bush Sr. getting screwed over by Ross Perot in 1992 when Bill Clinton won.  But this time, the third candidate would emerge from the center-left, not the center-right.

So here's the Libertarian ticket: Gary Johnson and William Weld.

Johnson is the former Republican governor of New Mexico (a purple state) and Bill Weld is the former Republican governor of Massachusetts (a solidly blue state).  Both were popular governors and still have generally high approval ratings.  Even though most voters have no idea who the hell they are.  But guess what?  I think that might change.  Especially if they were to squeak into the debates.  Maybe one of the networks will surprise us (that means they think it'll get them higher ratings/increased revenue).  But for the love of Sir Edmund Hillary, it's the accuracy of "the national polling" that determines whether or not they're included in the pinnacle of presidential debates!  Yeah, right.  Gimme a fucking break. 

The Libertarian platform is grounded in economic conservatism (balanced budgets, fair taxation, reduced government) and social liberalism (pro-choice, pro-LGBT, prison reform, equal pay).  This is where most of the country is trending.  Less government, greater personal freedom and restrained use of military power abroad.  It's also where most Sanders supporters are ideologically aligned.  It's a reasonable fit.

So here's how you get Trump into the White House.

Spend big in the key swing states where Hillary is neck and neck or has a slight lead.  Obviously, OH-PA-FL.  But I'd also throw in NH, IA, WI and some of the other rust belt states.

Make targeted anti-Hillary ads about social issuesHit her where it hurts.  Where she derives the greatest amount of political capital.  Where her and the Sanders vote ideologically coincide.

Drugs and crime --- Marijuana legalization and the failed war on drugs.  Focus on incarceration rates among minorities and the private prison monolith.  This stuff resonates with the Sanders contingency.  Those hippies love their dope.  Sour Diesel, Bubblicious, White Rhino, etc.  Trust me, I know whereof I speak.

The Clinton administration (1992-2000) was widely responsible for the massive funding increases of local police departments.  Directly heap blame upon him and Hillary for the current police state and their militarized behavior.  All those internet videos of cops shooting unarmed victims are turbo-charged, emotional whirlpools.  More will surface before the election.  Draw the link.

Gay marriage --- People tend to forget that Hillary (and even Obama) were opposed to gay marriage UNTIL it became politically expedient.  In essence, neither had the moral vision UNTIL it was politically safe.  In the 2008 primary, they couldn't get on board with marriage equality.  Why?  Because they knew the political tide hadn't yet shifted and it might hurt them in the swing states.  A reminder of her calculated hypocrisy on gay marriage would be devastating.  By contrast, to the best of my knowledge, Gary Johnson has always been a supporter of gay marriage.  Play the "queer card."

Fact: 5 - 10% of the population is gay.  Even those weirdo log cabin Republicans are having misgivings about Trump and the party at-large.  And like I've been saying, a vote for Gary Johnson becomes more than a vote against Hillary.  It is a vote FOR Trump.  Lest I remind ye that this whole thing is a numbers game.

I'd also consider going after Hillary on the God issue.  Let's face the facts.  Religion is generally on the decline.  So why not try to carve out a tiny niche of the upscale black vote by making her appear as a phony non-believer?  Johnson is a Lutheran but not particularly religious.  He generally invokes the golden rule (do unto others).  Whereas, Hillary vanquishes her enemies and stomps them into the ground.  Now you don't build yourself up by tearing others down!  It's a narrative that might appeal to disenfranchised Bernie fans.  She already got away with this once... at our expense.  Don't let her do it twice.  Feel the Bern!  Although the mere thought of a Bernie Sanders "gregarious groin groping" is admittedly unappealing.

I just think there's a greater percentage of agnostic undecideds that lean to the left.  Would non-religious blacks and hispanics lean to the left as well?  Well, it's not much of a significant voting bloc.  But it's probably worth a shot, particularly in North Carolina.

Something else to keep in mind.  If you can convince a significant percentage of the Sanders diehards (and trust me, the people at his rallies might look a little suspect with the scalene beards, the dreadlocks, the centrist nose rings, the female armpit hair, and the tye-dyes), but I can assure you of one thing.  They are perpetually pissed off that Bernie got shafted.  Push the narrative that Bernie got fucked over by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  And to a lesser extent, focus on her greasy, caucasian jerry-curl.  Behind the scenes, the Democratic National Committee is more divided than is generally known.  Take advantage of this.  Exploit the rift.

Another thing.  Don't forget about the Jill Stein.  She's the Green Party candidate.  Let her be your source for unlimited estrogen, even though I have a hunch she's well beyond menopause.  I could actually envision the Trump organization casting aspersions upon Hillary for her wilting, decrepit ovaries.  Offer some subtle reminders that she's the resilient, respected alternative female candidate... and more importantly, she's Jewish.  Try to snag away some of that white, wealthy, girlchick vote.  If you really need a woman in the White House, vote for one that isn't crooked and corrupt.  Never forget the Jew vote.

One more thing.  Compete in New York and New Jersey.  This would force the Clinton campaign to spend valuable dollars defending themselves in New York, one of the most expensive ad markets in the country.  Drain the DNC resources.  For the love of Christ, do NOT let Trump abandon his home state.  The vast majority of NYC voters probably despise him, but Manhattan is where he seems to thrive.  Stick with the angry, populist campaign.  But at the same time, don't forget about the opulent optics of Trump hotel, Trump plaza, Trump pokemon, whatever.  If Trump somehow wins New York, he wins it all.  Guaranteed.  I think it's worth a shot.  The voters elect Republican governors with surprising regularity (Jew-liani, Pataki, etc.)  I wanna be a part of it, New York New York!

California is probably too big of a stretch.  Steer clear of the West Coast. 

My point to all of this.  Hillary and Trump both have ridiculously high negatives.  And those negatives are not going to magically dissipate.  So why on earth, would you spend enormous sums of money trying to re-brand the Trump image in a positive light?  Newsflash: The guy is a jag-off and will continue to remain a jag-off, til death do us part... via jagging off (correctly referred to as auto-erotic asphyxiation).  Incidentally, I still think Trump or Hillary is going to get shot in the head.  Our country is just way overdue for a high profile political assassination.

Remember Sun Tzu and The Art of War...
  • When strong, avoid them.  If of high morale, depress them.  Seem humble to fill them with conceit.  If at ease, exhaust them.  If united, separate them.  Attack their weaknesses.  Emerge to their surprise.
  • All warfare is based on deception.  Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Presidential politics is war.  Hillary and Donald are engaged in a political war.  If you can't diminish those high negatives, the only realistic path to victory should be to hurl even greater negatives at your opponent... and deceive as many voters as possible along the way.  But the superior strategy is to "divide and conquer."  Less expensive, too.

If this entire strategy is too complex for team Trump (which is basically just this one guy named Paul Manafort and a hastily assembled crew of political sycophants), here's a simple fallback contingency plan.  I call it the nuclear option.

If Donald's finds himself faltering in late October, drop a Trump-bomb.  Just say... "Hey, if I am elected POTUS... I promise to donate 90% of my fortune to a variety of charitable causes."  I have a weird hunch there's a percentage of voters who would think... well hmm.  Both of them are corrupt and the system is rigged.  Might as well vote for Trump.  Hey, at least something good could come out of this whole election mess.

A final confession --- I absolutely love this political shit.  It's why I'm writing my fourth book.  A book more disturbing than my previous three (the most disturbing book ever written ---, the most dangerous book ever written ---, and the worst book ever written ---  A book that will be the "blueprint" or "redprint" for reshaping the future of voting rights and the state of Democracy as we know it.  One that will significantly alter the course of humanity.  But honestly, it's not a big deal.

I'll release it on the internet.  On election night, of course.  I'm sure everyone will be on pins and needles as the date approacheth.