Tag Archives: Politics

Eating poop. Bon appétit.

As the media storm over David Petraeus’ sex scandal with biographer Paula Broadwell begins to subside, I find myself looking over all the blogs, YouTube videos, magazine articles, tweets, and gazillions of Facebook comments. So why get all riled up about this recent tawdry affair and its related biography? I mean, the fact that the Director of the CIA had (big air quotes) an affair is hardly novel. Get it? Novel … Biography…? (dead silence).


Part of it must be the sheer joy of spanking the monkey grin from (what little remains of) Broadwell’s reputation. I can’t say she doesn’t have it coming. Think about it: She’s great looking, has the bod of a Navy Seal supermodel (if there is such a thing), a toffee-nosed Harvard graduate, and (to top it all off) a New York Times bestselling author of a book she had ghostwritten for her. Jumping jealous Jehoshaphat, Batman! If you could have stepped into her shoes one day before the scandal broke—would you? Don’t lie! This was the kind of person that made every man, woman and child kowtow in respect: It was something we all dreamt about. Well, at least you did, I wager.

But as soon as the scandal broke, didn’t you want to just slug her? Oh, right. It’s not sporting to hit a lady. Well, didn’t you want to send her a nasty anonymous email? That’s perfectly acceptable, right?


But what about Petraeus? The same will not be said about him. Don’t get me wrong: things will be said, but he was at the top of his game, and has hordes of affluent (i.e., people who can make you disappear) supporters who will defend his reputation. In fact, given his status just before his book of revelation was, err, revealed, the ones most motivated to tar and feather him were his immediate family. With the news breaking just a week before thanksgiving, I’m sure they stuck in enough quills to make him look like Gobbler the Turkey. Though unlike that lucky bird, Petraeus was not pardoned by President Obama.

Maybe Gobbler and Petraeus could have switched places? Nah…

Anyway, if history is any indicator of the future, my money is on a quick comeback for Petraeus. No? Take President Clinton’s example. He’s in the same league of (cough, cough) extraordinary gentlemen, someone who needlessly screwed up his life. But look at him now. Other than making himself a top brand name, I see no long-term damage. Sadly, I predict for same jaunty future for our good General.

But the issue in the end is not infidelity, morality, honesty or even imbecilic career suicide. Nope. It’s about simple transparency. See, it’s like this. Young folks out there (you know, generation couch potato) don’t much value a person’s moral character. If you want to be promiscuous or squander relationships willy-nilly, go right ahead. They don’t care. In fact, they’ll jump right in and help you screw things up faster. Just one itsy-bitsy thing is required: you must share your exploits on the Internet. The whole shebang; the whole nine yards; the full metal jacket!  Uhm…you know what I mean. And if you can do that, well, no matter how bad your behavior is, the public will eventually forgive you for being human. Because in the end, you are just that: human.

That’s what our older generation of leaders don’t get (and, by the way, I think Broadwell’s Harvard groomed ego lets her see herself in that class). They want to be human, but portray themselves outwardly as Herculean gods, who don’t even poop like wee little mortals. What, you think you’re some kind of gift to mankind? Sorry, you two, but you’re not. And the public is going to make you eat your own poop over it.

Bon appétit!


So Many Ways – A Study in Euphemisms

Writing a humorous novel has required me to study certain topics, which up until now never ranked high during my college education. Namely, I never studied the wide variety of euphemisms for the male sex organ. I needed just one for a particular line in my book, but a long list published on the internet caught my attention. Chockfull of familiar terms, I found all the basics: weenie, johnson, dipstick, rod, love stick, pocket rocket, shaft. Sure, you’ve encountered these in one form or another. And when I say encountered, I do mean in the literary sense. Though it could be that some of you are more than familiar in the non–

On second thought, we won’t go there.

Nonetheless, I was surprised to come across some that were unknown to me. For example,”Texas trout banger”? I’m can’t imagine how that came about, and I have a pretty good imagination, if I do say so myself. And what about “the purple-helmeted warrior of love”? Okay…I suppose that one makes some sense.

What started as a perfunctory reading turned into greater recognition of general euphemistic patterns. For the edification of all, I decided it was best to share my findings. No, no, don’t thank me all at once. It was no trouble at all.

So without further delay, let’s begin:

Military — It may be too generous to say this, but I think there’s a possibility (a non-trivial one) that military types are responsible for a large number of these. There are many more than what’s listed here, but I do believe a broad spectrum is well represented:

Admiral Winky, bayonet, fun gun, Major Woody, man cannon, pink torpedo, Sergeant Stiffy, weapon of mass destruction, warhead

Animals Farm – Many of these are fairly easy to understand. Just a wee bit of imagination and most make sense in one form or another. However, not all are phallic symbols. Some are indeed quite cryptic, and I would beg anyone who understands “Texas trout banger” to come forward and explain it to me. That one is so bizarre, even Google shrugs with indifference:

Anaconda, beaver buster, bed snake, eel, hog leg, jellyfish, man’s best friend, nightcrawler, Texas trout banger, turtle

The Food Group – This is a quite popular grouping, and I’d guess it’s one of the oldest. You can just imagine dimwitted cavemen waving bananas around their groins while having a royal grunt fest. But with the invention of modern foods came the inevitable. What I found surprising was the use of fast food chains. It’s surprising how a whole new level of abstraction is reached within the minds of modern men (women too, I imagine):

Bacon bazooka, baloney pony, banana, beef stick, breakfast burrito, candy cane, corndog, cornstalk, doughnut holder, flesh Twinkie, Gummi worm, hot tamale, beanstalk, Captain Kielbasa, kosher pickle, lollipop, Jack In The Box, Panda Express, pig in a blanket, quarter pounder, rhubarb, Whopper (assume the Burger King Whopper), yogurt slinger

Fictional Characters – Here we see a sophisticated array of bizarre relations. I’m not sure every name makes complete sense. I take it some are based more on popularity than logic. Still, this list is quite fun to read, if not nostalgic in many ways.

Bilbo Baggins, Captain Hook, Captain Kirk, Curious George, Darth Vader, Donkey Kong, Fat Albert, Free Willy, Godzilla, Hercules, Mighty Joe Young, Mr. Magoo, Mighty Thor, Mini Me, Oliver Twist, Optimus Prime, Popeye, Prince Charming, Willy Wonka, Wookiee

I’m No Doctor But… – For some reason I find this group the most vile. It’s not that these terms aren’t funny, but their creation seems most likely attributed to snickering juvenile delinquents just having taken their 5th grade sex-ed class. If you find yourself laughing at these, please try to grow up by the time you finish reading this blog. I mean, if you’re an adult.

Cervix crusader, ovarian pool stick, pelvis thumb, placenta poker

All Hail The Chief – Nations are led by their leaders just like men are led by their manhood. What can I say? There must be an irresistible urge to compare one’s willy to the head of state. If hubris didn’t ensure such thinking, Richard Nixon made it a sure thing. Though, I believe Dick Cheney (yes, another major Dick) did help keep this tradition alive into the new millennium.

Mr. President, El Presidente, The Governor, His Majesty, The King, Peter the Great

Celebrities – Like fictional characters, I think this category is heavily influenced by temporal popularity. Still, there’s no denying the wondrous perfection with which some of these names fit the part.

Hairy Houdini, Magic Johnson, Monty’s Python, Mr. Rogers, Oh’Henry, Pink Floyd, Pope John Pole III, Tiny Elvis, Tiny Tim, Tom Jones

Anything Goes – This last category comes about from the sheer number that I encountered. At first I thought I might try to list all interesting combinations, but it soon became apparent that I should only offer the prefix, and then allow you — my esteemed readers with grace and good taste – to fill in the euphemisms that follow. My advice? Just use your imagination and see where it takes you.

Bald-headed —–, beef—–, big—–, Captain—–, little—–, love—–, one eye’d—–, mushroom-headed—–, purple-headed—–, trouser—–, Uncle—–, Mr. —–

Well, I hope you enjoyed the fruits (exclude the bananas this time) of my research. And if you got a laugh out of only a small part of this blog, then my work here is done. Just remember, it’s probably more fun to make up new euphemisms if you can. But if your creative juices are running low, pick from the smorgasbord available out there on the Internet. Without doubt, there’s something to suit all occasions and tastes.

Service Corn Dogs

The story on every news correspondent’s lips these days seems to be a scandal involving the President’s Secret Service employees and some members of the armed services who have been accused of schtupping prostitutes while preparing for a summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.

So if I’m listening to those news correspondents correctly, this is how things stand: Both the President of the United States and the respective spouses of the agents involved are ready to fire and/or divorce the accused.

Wow, that sucks! All guys would have to admit that a double whammy like that just ain’t fair. I can’t imagine what’s going through the minds of the accused. Honestly, I feel a bit sorry for those poor schmucks.

Of course, a lot of people will feel differently (and by “a lot of people” I mean every married woman on the planet), but I can’t help it. That’s just the way I am.

Now I’m aware that any number of presidential security matters could have been compromised during a moment of, um, less-than-clear thinking. But come on. Is that really the issue? If we cared mainly about security matters, I think the course of action for such infractions would be a no-brainer: Instant job termination (which has already happened to some degree) and public hearings in a televised courtroom. And while we’re at it, public floggings are an effective and time-tested way of dealing with sloppy job performance and could easily be revived. Problem solved. See how simple that was?

Many pundits are trying to put this story into perspective, though. The Secret Service is, after all, an organization that rarely finds itself in this kind of pickle. Their behavior up till now (at least in the public arena) has been pretty good. And even if the accusations are true, prostitution is legal in Colombia. Assuming no compromising secrets were divulged, we should be able to chalk this up as a minor infraction. In technical terms: No biggie.

But there’s one thing that gets me a bit riled up. It’s the way every sanctimonious bureaucrat responsible for investigating this matter talks about how shocked and disappointed they are to hear about this rumpus. They wonder aloud if this indeed is the first time it’s happened. Are you kidding me? These are, after all, both law enforcement and military organizations we’re talking about here. How could anyone, in all honesty, be surprised? You would have to be either laughably naïve or pathetically dimwitted to be shocked by this (though I suppose a combo of the two would also do the trick).

So how did the Secret Service get swept along with these other gents to the local brothel? Even though details are still forthcoming, let me use my amazing powers of imagination. Ah…there it is! An image is coming into view. I see a bunch of manly men, getting drunk at a Colombian saloon, slurping up every umbrella drink known to South American bartenders, when quite suddenly – from out of the blue – they decide in unison (Go team!) to dip their corndogs in the local batter.

See? I could be the next flipping Nostradamus given my uncanny powers of clairvoyance.

Frankly, I don’t think lax security protocols and cheating really are the issues here. Sorry, folks, I know we all want to put the blame on those schlubs, but deep down it’s about America wrangling with the farcical double standard of its society. Everyone pretends that carnal activities are neatly penned up by strict adherence to moral codes, even though such codes are ephemeral in the best of times. The truth is, our real lives don’t match the sanitized ideal we profess to uphold.

Is that too fancy a way to say it? Okay, then, in simple terms: we’re a nation of hypocrites.

Let me expound upon few more truisms. Is this the first time this has happened. No! Can we enact rules to stop this from happening again? We could try. Will it happen again? My Magic 8-Ball says: Yes!

With that in mind, let’s be more grown up about all this. No matter what euphemism you use — bounce the pogo stick, do the horizontal hustle, vulcanize your whoopee post, ride the baloney pony, or park your Ferrari in the garage of love — it’s all the same.

It’s human nature. It’s been around since they invented butt-scratching, so maybe it’s time we got used to it.

Iran…Iran so far away….

According to the objective and well-meaning press, Iran is one of those countries that is hell-bent on state-sponsored terrorism, the destruction of pesky geopolitical opponents, and the eradication of American influence over the egalitarianly challenged Middle East. In other words:

The Iranians are asking for it.

And by “it,” I do mean some action deemed in military terms as unsympathetic, like a therapeutic dose of shock and awe up the old wazoo.

However, all this rhetoric got me thinking. See, I’ve often found that when finger pointing begins, it pays to look at the history leading up to the kerfuffle. Anyone with kids knows this instinctively. And though a good many of you may already be familiar with the history of American diplomatic relations with Iran, let’s take a quick hippety-hop down memory lane for those who think the Middle East is somewhere between New Jersey and North Carolina.

April 1951: Mosaddeq Elected Prime Minister of Iran – Mosaddeq was of course democratically elected by the Iranian Parliament, but why should we let something as petty as that get in our way? Mosaddeq was dubbed a Communist pig faster than a Texan can whip up an all-you-can-eat barbecue (dry rub). His intent to nationalize Iran’s oil industry might as well have been a cattle call to every CIA agent east of the Mediterranean looking for a fat bonus check. Looking back over our misguided McCarthy-istic goof-ups in this period (and, believe me, “goof-ups” is the polite way of phrasing it), I can’t imagine we could have done a better job of kick-starting a classic cold war cluster-flub.

1952: Mosaddeq Nationalization of Iran’s Oil Industry – You can almost see it coming, can’t you? Mosaddeq might as well have painted a big red target on his buttocks and pranced around singing “Do It Now” by The Clash. And one should interpret the “‘It” part of that title to mean elaborately orchestrated CIA chicanery involving generous servings of propaganda, choreographed public protests worthy of a Bollywood dance number, minor acts of terrorism, and a surprise visit by a tank regiment just to say “Howdy-do, pahdnuh!” By the way, to be fair to my fellow Americans of a bygone era, it looks like the British were more interested in saving their soon-to-be-lost oil interests than the US was. See? We’re not the only ones who consider the Middle East our private oil reserve. And in those Eisenhower-era days of anti-Communist hysteria, John Bull quickly received our benevolent cooperation. Locked and loaded!

August 1953: Iranian Government Overthrown by Rebels and CIA – Iranian rebels with just a wee bit’o help from the CIA succeeded with operation Ajax, a coup planned by CIA operative Kermit (no relation to the frog) Roosevelt. Don’t you just love these names? Various US oil companies soon found themselves – as lady luck would have it – owning a large chunk of Iranian oil production and, before you can say “politics makes strange bedfellows,” a marriage was arranged between anti-Communist warmongers and the petroleum industry. Isn’t it wonderful when love blossoms into something special?

1952 – 1975: Iran Considered a Friendly Ally of the US – Sure, there was some occasional killing of US military personnel, but in the grand scheme of things did it matter? The Shah’s US-trained SAVAK secret police kept things under control using a smorgasbord (not to be confused with a waterboard) of persuasion techniques, mostly of medieval vintage. As long as the oil flowed (think of the spice export industry on Arrakis here) and Commies were kept on the run, it was all good…right? (Sound of crickets chirping in the background.) Right?

1975: US Administration Backs Iran’s Nuclear Plans – How times have changed! It’s hard to believe that there was a time when we were practically wetting our chainmail panties out of eagerness to give Iran nuclear capabilities, but that’s exactly what happened. The primary reason to give the Iranians nukes was to free up more oil for export to the West. And you could almost smell the US oil industry protecting its home market from a new energy source. Who cared if the Middle East glowed like a plutonium-enriched jack-o’-lantern? It’s a barren desert! No spotted owls to worry about there!

November 1978 to February 1979: US Officials Begin Supporting Radical Muslims, Leading to the Shah’s Ouster – Ouch! Once again, in hindsight, it’s amazing to think we actually wanted this. But Radical Islam looked like a crafty way to destabilize Communist advances in the region. I guess this is what you get when you can’t attack a problem the good old-fashioned way, i.e., by sending in the troops. Intelligent minds actually suggested letting right-wing fundamentalist screwballs turn the whole Middle East into a pure crap-storm of diplomatic idiocy. It’s not even clear if this was planned or if we just let a Ouija board determine our foreign policy. Personally, I go with the Ouija board.

November 1979: Alliance with Khomeini’s Iranian Government Ends – A lot of euphemisms come to mind, but from a technical point of view, the expression “we screwed the pooch” seems most apropos. Quite frankly, it’s laughable that the US would have considered the Khomeini regime to be something it might conceivably have been able to control. It was like expecting an elephant to let you hold it by its schlong. President Carter’s administration became a laughingstock for Republican hawks as radical Islamic students stormed the US embassy and took hostages in a fiasco that led, shortly thereafter, to a similar Republican takeover of the White House.

I could go on and on – well, I already have – but starting at this point one could sum up American relations with Iran as the vilest, most belligerent game of tag any group of overgrown children has ever played:

  • September 1980: Start of Iran-Iraq War with support of US for BOTH sides – Tag! You’re it!
  • 1980 – 1984: Iran begins to sponsor terrorism – Tag! You’re it!
  • March 1984: US fights UN condemnation of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons – Tag!You’re it!
  • 1984: More Iran-sponsored terrorism and kidnapping to wrangle arms from the US – Tag! You’re it!
  • 1986: The Iran-Contra scandal – Tag! You’re…it?
  • 1989: US provides more support to Iraq – Tag! You’re it!
  • 1990s: Numerous acts of terrorism are linked to Iran via Hezbollah – Tag! You’re it!
  • January 2002: Bush labels Iran part of the “Axis of Evil” – Tag! You’re it!
  • December 2002: Iran constructs two nuclear facilities – Tag! You’re it!

Tag! You’re it! Tag! You’re it! Tag! You’re it! Tag! You’re it! Tag! You’re it!

Oh, sorry. Had a flashback to the first grade for a moment there. I may need a time-out for milk-and-cookies.

 It goes on and on even today. Who’s the bad guy? Who’s the good guy? Who is Taylor Swift dating…oh, never mind. You can argue until you’re blue in your burqa, but the real question may be: Is the US really innocent in all this? Now that’s a question.

Tag! You’re it!

A Real Big Swinging Dick

Dick Cheney Dr. EvilDick Cheney came across my radar screen while writing Voodoo Robot Chili, my second novel to be published later this year. Yet another political schemer? I groaned to myself. See, researching Iran-Contra as a backdrop for my book provided me with a litany of depraved individuals, all conniving towards slimy self centered goals irrespective of law and common decency.

We didn’t need one more scuzzbag in the mix.

But there was Dick, mastermind of a Republican minority report (amongst other sordid activities). It was leaked to the press one day prior to the publication of the final “legitimate” report by the congressional Iran-Contra committee. And what did this minority report say? In a nutshell (emphasis on the word “nut”) it claimed that there was NO constitutional crisis, NO systematic disrespect for the rule-of-law, NO grandiose conspiracy, and most of all NO administration-wide dishonesty or cover-up…

Bravo, Dick! How time has proven you so right on all those points… NOT!

So now we find that Dick Cheney has had a heart transplant. Seems the old Halliburton refurbished swamp pump finally gave out. Yessirree-bob, the old ticker sprung a leak, blew a gasket, and just after the warranty period ended too. Wouldn’t ya know it!

Still, it may be time to look back and think about all the well-meaning things he’s done in the past. No one can be completely destitute of any and all virtue. For instance there’s…uhm…well, he…uhm…er, there was the time when Dick, uh…

Wow. I’m drawing a blank.

It ain’t amnesia. In fact, as I look through Cheney’s infamous history, going back all the way to the Iran-Contra scandal, I’m hard-pressed to find the eensiet smidgen of moral fiber. Trying to be as fair as possible, I spent four hours reading with blood pouring from my eyes, yet I came up empty handed. I found nothing, zippo, nada, diddly-squat, zilch. The man, as far as I can determine, has been a staunch war-mongering greedy bastard from day one. Maybe even from before birth. But…I don’t want to seem disrespectful to a man who may be dead by the time you read this.

Even when the dead happens to be pond scum.

I suppose not having (nor shall I ever have) the chance to know him first hand, I never shall witness the positive side of a man who made his career planning serpentine schemes on behalf of the American people and our great nation.

To his credit, Dick displays the healthy pluck of a chain-mailed pit-bull. And when asked if he’s ever made a mistake, Cheney has the gonads to defend every controversial decision he’s ever made. Nothing ever went wrong? What chutzpah! Yeah, like history is going to prove him to be the new Mother Theresa as we enter the age of transparent information sharing and enlightenment.

Oh well, I suppose this proves that it may be better to live under the shadow of a doubt than in the light of certainty. Though in Cheney’s case, that shadow is cast by a supermassive black hole of jingoistic machinations.

All right, all right..there’s a chance I could be wrong. Maybe Ronald Reagan might just pop out of his grave singing the Ramones’ punk rock classic, BONZO GOES TO BITBERG, and then take full responsibility for the entire Iran-Contra scandal.

On second thought, the chances of that happening really are zero: Reagan was never a Ramones fan.