Generation X – The Greatest Generation

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Generation X – The Greatest Generation



Apparently it has been decided by our culture that the folks who won World War II are the Greatest Generation.

Well, at the risk of sounding presumptuous and ungrateful, I think my generation – Generation X (aged 39 to 54) – is second to none.

If this were a contest of who suffered and sacrificed more, the WWII generation wins, of course. But they also perpetuated Jim Crow, marginalized women, and dehumanized Japanese people to the point where putting them all in camps/raining fire on their cities seemed like reasonable decisions.

If believing in political causes is a virtue, then Generation X can’t compete. But I argue that it is our quiet, non-judgmental lack of belief that made America a much better place on our watch.

Racial integration doesn’t come from federal laws or National Guard Troops outside of schools; it comes from a generation of people behaving decently. That was Generation X.

As kids, we were the first to embrace a non-white comedian as our official TV dad (no one told us he was a sexual predator). As young adults, we embraced hip-hop and forever blurred the color lines in American music.

While it was Baby Boomers who decriminalized inter-racial marriage and homosexual activity, it was our generation that didn’t care whether our relatives and friends married someone from a different race or came out of the closet. Sometimes not caring is the most wholesome, decent thing you can do.

In the late-60s, Baby Boomers transformed universities into hotbeds of civil unrest and Marxist Utopianism. In 1968, the Boomers pushed the US to the brink of revolution. Today, passionate Generation Z teenagers have turned America’s college campuses back into dens of discord and discontent.

As for Generation X, we quietly got an education and went to work. The Who proclaimed in 1971 that they “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Generation X never got fooled at all.

After Pearl Harbor, an entire generation mobilized to force unconditional surrender on Japan. And they decided to conquer Nazi Europe for good measure. 9/11 was our generation’s Pearl Harbor and the Baby Boomers running the country were eager for another all-out war.

Generation X wasn’t having it, though. When we were kids, Yoda told us that “wars not make one great” and that skepticism is embedded in our DNA.

Baby Boomers had to invent a whole new high-tech method of warfare because they knew that our generation was too sane to island jump or storm beaches for them.

The internet changed everything. But it feels like we are the only people who took the revolution in stride.

Some Baby Boomers are alienated by the speed of change. Others are bewildered by the technology and fall prey to scams like internet free trials and offshore charlatans offering to fix their computers in exchange for a credit card number.

Millennials and Generation Z know nothing but the internet and it rules their lives and their thoughts with an iron fist. To them, truth is found on Google. To them, the events of our world are rendered meaningless if they aren’t promptly posted on Snapchat or Instagram.

Generation Xers are competent with computers but remember a world where they didn’t run our lives. We use the internet as a tool to make our lives easier, but we don’t mistake the online rantings of false-messiahs as the truth.

I’d say that I am proud to be part of Generation X. But…eh…pride is too self-important for my taste.

I’d say that it would be nice if you threw us a ticker-tape parade for being so even-tempered, peaceful, reasonable, and cool. But we probably wouldn’t show up for it, anyway. We’re too busy working.



A Sober Reckoning of George H W Bush’s Presidency

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A Sober Reckoning of George H W Bush’s Presidency


I was disappointed by the overwhelmingly positive bi-partisan coverage of George H W Bush last week.

I know we are not supposed to speak ill of the dead. And, since I didn’t know the guy personally, I will agree that he was a nice guy and a loving family man. For all I know he’s in heaven right now, chatting with the angels about why the Astros couldn’t get the 3rd out in some of those key innings of the ALCS.

But he was a lousy president.

George H W Bush was a one-term president who got 37.7% of the popular vote when he ran for reelection. He left office with the country mired in a recession.

Pat Buchanan was the undisputed intellectual champion of the Republican Primary – successfully attacking President Bush from the Left and paving the way for the Populist direction the GOP would eventually move. In the general election, more than a third of Republican voters jumped ship and voted for Ross Perot.

Americans did not want four more years of President Bush.

“Read my lips, no new taxes.” Politicians lie. I am not going to tear down President Bush because he lied and signed a huge tax increase into law. I am going to tear down President Bush because he was a Republican who raised taxes!

Many of you don’t care for Republicans. I have some serious issues with the Grand Old Party myself. However, we really do need one party to show restraint keep government from taking all of our money. A Republican President who raises taxes is like a homeless shelter with no beds that is just as cold as outside; it’s a deeply troubling surprise.

Politicians talk a good game about making the rich “pay their fair share.” But they don’t want fairness; they want as much money as they can get from whomever they can steal it. $5 per pack cigarette taxes and State Lotteries are aimed squarely at poorer Americans, trying to move as much spare cash from poor pockets into the hands of rich politicians.

A Republican politician who agrees to raise taxes isn’t being responsible, he is being rapacious.

President Bush had a splendid opportunity to usher in a new era of peace after the Cold War. With his imperialist domination plan called New World Order, he eagerly accomplished the exact opposite.

Instead of extending a sincere offer of friendship to Russia, Bush cynically supported drunken buffoon Boris Yeltsen. Instead of doing the right thing and disbanding NATO, President Bush began to extend the belligerent alliance right up to Russia’s doorstep. We have perpetual hostility with Russia and no one deserves more blame than President Bush.

The Bush Administration quietly promised their old buddy Saddam Hussein that the US military wouldn’t interfere in any little Arab wars. When Hussein took the bait and conquered Kuwait in 1990, President Bush reneged on his promise.

Desert Shield is remembered as a splendid little war, wiping away the humiliation of Vietnam. On the battlefield, it was a success. But the blowback was terrible.

The always amoral Saudi monarchy was perfectly happy to let the US military use the Muslim holy land as a staging ground for Desert Shield. Devout Muslims weren’t so keen on the idea.

Have you ever wondered when and why Islamic terrorists like Osama Bin Laden began calling Americans “Crusaders”? This is when and this is why. I am not saying that Desert Shield was a grand evil scheme to lead us into perpetual hostility with the Muslim world. But I do know that no deserves more blame than President Bush.

I am not trying to spread hate here. I honestly hope that Mr. Bush is in heaven right now having a lovely conversation with Saint Michael about Justin Verlander’s slider. But he was clearly a bad President. We agreed on that in 1992, remember?

Tariffs are our Future. And our Past.

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Tariffs are our Future. And our Past.


“The media are a corporate monopoly. They have the same point of view. The two parties are two factions of the business party.”

-Noam Chomsky


Republicans and Democrats, Fox Business and CNN – they are all in agreement that Free Trade is good for the country.

They are all wrong. They know they are wrong. They are all being paid by the same billionaires to defend Free Trade and scare you about Tariffs.

The truth is transparently clear: Tariffs are good for the American worker. They have been since Day 1.

The Revolution was fought in part so Americans could control their own trade policy. Great Britain was dumping manufactured goods on the colonists and suppressing American industry.

The Tariff Act of 1789 – signed by President Washington – was the second bill signed by the US Congress. It placed a 5% tariff on imported goods. The miracle of American industrialization had begun.

As usual, tariffs worked their magic: protecting domestic industry, improving the job security of workers, and providing easy government funding without taxation. By 1820, tariffs on most imports was 40% and Washington DC was running on tariff revenue.

During the first 150 years of US history, protectionist tariffs helped create the largest and most self-sufficient industrial machine in the world. And it helped organized labor grab a share of power, too, since capitalists couldn’t just move their factories to the third world and export cheap goods back to us.


“Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth,” Abraham Lincoln predicted. “The abandonment of the protective policy of the American government must produce want and ruin among our people.”


Mr. Lincoln was right. Twenty-five years ago, the leaders of both parties chose to abandon our history and the welfare their constituencies. Protectionism was tossed aside in favor of a bold new experiment in Free Trade.

Only Free Trade is just a clever propaganda term. There is nothing free or fair about it. Free Trade is intentionally stacked against the American worker.

Without sensible tariffs, other countries have a built-in advantage. Other countries pay their workers less, have lower corporate taxes, have fewer environmental standards to comply with, and have weaker currencies than the US dollar.

The movement of factories from the US to Asia and Mexico was not an honest mistake; it was the inevitable result of Free Trade agreements and the grand design of our globalist overlords. The only beneficiaries of these agreements were the stockholders and CEOs of multi-national companies.

Free Trade snuffed out the positive power of private sector unions. Free Trade left our once self-sufficient nation dangerously dependent on other countries for our basic material needs. Worst of all, Free Trade pushed millions of non-college-educated workers from the comfortable middle class into economic degradation and debt.

And what did blue collar America get in return? Dollar Stores full of Chinese junk, the TV show “Hoarders,” and piles of Amazon boxes full of empty dreams

The Free Trade experiment in globalist evil is nearly at an end. Free Trade remains popular with the leaders of both parties, but increasingly unpopular with the both the populist Left and the populist Right.

The billionaire oligarchs who run our country want an honest debate about pretty much any issue except Free Trade. That’s because they know that the truth about protectionism is unavoidable. It protects workers and hurts Wall Street.

Our past is tariffs. And our future is tariffs.

The Irish Famine               and What it Means to Us

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The Irish Famine

and What it Means to Us


Schoolkids are taught that the United States was founded on freedom and Enlightenment ideals. That’s partially true. But at its heart, the American Revolution was a colonial uprising.

The rich guys in the States thought of themselves as respectable Britons. The problem was, actual British people thought of them as mere colonists. Americans thought of their States as equal to Yorkshire or the West Midlands. London thought of America as a cash register to be taxed and exploited.

Schoolkids are also taught that colonialism is based on race. And while it is true that imperialists have sometimes used race as an excuse for colonialism, the motivation has always been money. The color of the exploited colonists doesn’t matter at all. Blind greed doesn’t discriminate.


One of the most ghastly episodes in colonial history is the Irish Famine.

During the 17th Century, Great Britain reconquered and brutally pacified Ireland. Naturally, the British began to use their colony for selfish profit.

The British took the most fertile farmland in Ireland and used it for raising animals. Soon, wealthy and noble Englishmen were eating like kings, dining on meat from the fields of Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Irish themselves were eating like…Irish people; dining on potatoes.

The parts of Ireland that weren’t deemed suitable for grazing were left to the local peasants to farm. English landlords – some of whom never stepped foot in Ireland – owned large tracts of land and rented out of parcels of it to Irish families.

To maximize profit, the absentee English landlords split their property into smaller and smaller pieces so that they could have as many Irish families paying them rent as possible. Soon, the average farm size in Ireland was so small that peasants didn’t have room for animals or low-yield grains like wheat or barley.

The highest yield staple food that exists is potatoes. So that’s what most every Irish tenant farmer grew and that’s what most every Irish peasant was forced to eat every meal.

In the whitewashed version of history, a potato blight caused crop yields to plummet between 1845 and 1849, leading to the death of a million Irish people and the emigration of a million others. In just a few horrible years, the island’s population dropped by 25%.

In the history books, the Irish Famine was a natural disaster. In reality, it was a colonialist crime.

The blight only effected potatoes. The fertile grazing fields continued to produce meat at pre-blight levels. During the height of famine, imports of livestock, bacon, and butter into Liverpool actually increased.

There was plenty of food to go around in the 1840s, it’s just that the Irish didn’t have any money and the British didn’t have any desire to share.


Colonialism isn’t just an ugly page in history books. Our country is still arbitrarily ruling over territories that we conquered in the 20th Century.

I’m certainly not saying that the American empire is as villainously exploitive as the British. I am saying that colonialism is always wrong and that it is directly repugnant to the spirit of our country’s founding.

I will be especially proud to be an American on the day that our government finally grants Guam, Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico their freedom and independence.

The Black Death and the 1%

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The Black Death and the 1%

1351 England was a great place to be. Sure, it was a bummer that nearly 50% of the English had recently died from bubonic plague. But for the half that survived, life was about to get a lot better.

The Black Death put a swift end to Feudalism. For centuries, English peasants had toiled in virtual slavery on small plots of land owned by a powerful nobleman. Suddenly, there was a lot more arable land per person. Peasants immediately started eating better. There was even land left over to raise sheep, which created a profitable wool export industry.

More importantly, fewer peasants per lord meant that noblemen needed to pay farmers more and give them a greater share of the bounty. Otherwise, the fields would go untended. Lords knew that if they didn’t keep their peasants happy, they would leave and work for a more generous employer.

Under Feudalism, the law mandated that noble houses owned the land. In this new competitive environment, industrious commoners began buying farms for themselves and even hiring their neighbors. A new middle class of landed gentry appeared.

The privileged 1% were shameless about trying to rig the game to stay in power. Sumptuary laws were passed that forbade Gentry from dressing in noble attire. All that did was make new middle class clothing fashionable.

The outrageous 1351 Statute of Laborers made it illegal to pay a peasant more than his 1346 wage. Fortunately, the law of supply and demand trumps any man-made rule. The Statute ultimately failed; ambitious peasants flocked to the fields of landowners who were willing to flout the law.
The lesson for us is that we can’t trust politicians to help workers gain more power and a larger piece of the economic pie. We can pretty much assume that any law they pass will exist to impoverish us and hold us down.

However, we do have one trick up our sleeve: we can reduce the population to increase our value and bargaining power.

We don’t have to wait for a plague. Conveniently, Americans are already choosing to die and retire at a faster rate than we reproduce. Now all we need to do is close the border.

We don’t need to kick anyone out or make any tough decisions on Dreamers. We just need to agree that all immigration ceases right now. And that we won’t open the borders again until the power has shifted and every corporate worker has a private sector union, a living wage, and affordable health care.

Ever wonder why absolutely nobody in the Establishment brings up the option of ending all legal immigration? It’s because they know that it’s the only way they can lose their monopoly on power.


It is 1350 all over again. We are the oppressed peasants. The 1% are the lords. And the open border is the feudal system. That is why Establishment leaders want you to think that real immigration reform is as terrible as the Black Death.

Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond

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Netflix Original

Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond



When I watch something where an actor is playing an insane character, I wonder to myself: is the actor truly crazy? Did he start off sane and lose his mind for the role?

The craziest TV character I can think of is Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison in “Homeland.” When she’s not completely devoted to her dangerous job, she goes home and becomes an immediate danger to herself with booze and pills.

It is possible that Claire Danes is simply a terrific actress who can turn it on and off at will. But I’ll bet no one who watched “Homeland” has ever taken a chance and allowed Ms. Danes to babysit their children.

When it comes to entertainers acting insane, Andy Kaufman is the all-time champion. Kaufman became a celebrity in the late 70s with his goofy appearances on Saturday Night Live and his lovable immigrant character on the sitcom “Taxi.”

For his own artistic vision and amusement, Andy Kaufman decided to take the love America had for him and turn it into hate.

When he would appear on a talk show, Kaufman would come out wearing a one-piece wresting unitard. He would stand in the middle of a makeshift wresting ring and go on a chauvinist rant. Finally, a woman in the audience would become so furious that she was eager to wrestle him.

Andy Kaufman would pin the woman, dance around proudly, hold a golden belt above his head, and gloat that he was the World Intergender Wrestling Champion.

Was he a brave performance artist or was he actually insane? No one knows. But I assure you no one ever allowed Mr. Kaufman to babysit their children.

Most people found Andy Kaufman’s antics weird and troubling. Jim Carrey thought he was amazing.
In 1999, at the height of his popularity, Carrey successfully lobbied to win the role of Andy Kaufman in the biopic “Man in the Moon.”

And Jim Carrey didn’t play Andy Kaufman, he became him. For four months, Carrey remained in character, day and night. Half of the documentary “Jim and Andy” shows us behind the scenes video of Jim Carrey – as Andy Kaufman – causing mischief and making life uncomfortable for everyone around him.

But the star of this film isn’t crazy 1999 Jim Carrey: it’s super crazy 2017 Jim Carrey.

Bearded, haggard, and soft-spoken, Jim Carrey looks and sounds like a homeless New Age poet.

Sometimes he’s smart, sometimes he’s wise, often he’s off in space. It’s as if he’s having a conversation at the psychiatrist’s office but he wrongly thinks he’s the doctor.

Carrey describes the liberating experience of getting to live outside himself and be a jerk for a whole summer. Then he describes the horror and confusion of leaving the character and not remembering who Jim Carrey is.

“Jim and Andy” powerfully underscores the message that becoming a celebrity is a terrible disaster for your identity, self-worth, and happiness.


There is no way of knowing whether becoming a Method Actor and being Andy Kaufman broke Jim Carrey’s brain or if he was messed up already.

All I know is, no one is hiring Jim Carrey to babysit their kids. Man, I wouldn’t even trust him to come over and feed my cats for a weekend.

Second Hand Smoke and the Power of Collective Brainwashing

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Second Hand Smoke and the Power of Collective Brainwashing


We have an ugly habit of judging people of the past as dumber, simpler, or more gullible than us.

We look, for example, at people of the 17th Century who burned witches and we shake our heads. “How could they be so worked up about a threat that doesn’t even exist?” we ask ourselves.

We are in no position to judge. Humanity has a problem. I call it Collective Brainwashing.

I have seen this happen in my own lifetime.


Let me take you back to a simpler time in the United States: 1990.

The war on smoking had been raging for a generation. And the anti-smoking crowd was on a roll. Almost every restaurant in the country had a No Smoking Section. Most airplanes had banned smoking. Even baseball and football stadiums were beginning to go smoke free.

Smokers had become a clear minority. Only half of the American people had ever smoked regularly. And half of them had since quit.

These were huge victories. But the anti-smoking crusaders were not satisfied.

It was right around 1990 that the focus of the anti-smoking movement changed from informing Americans about the real dangers of smoking to demonizing smokers.

But how on earth do you demonize regular, hard-working, law-abiding Americans? You claim that second hand smoke is deadly.


Passive smoking kills 600,000 a year, including 165,000 children

Second Hand Smoke Is MORE Dangerous Than Smoking!

Around 1990, quotes like these began appearing in Western newspapers.

Within a generation, Collective Brainwashing had taken hold; propaganda had evolved into accepted truth.

The anti-smoking propagandists were counting on the fact that younger people listen to the television more than their parents. And they were right.

Older folks like us who lived before 1990 know that second hand smoke isn’t deadly. We all knew non-smokers who worked in smoke-filled offices and restaurants in the 70s and 80s. None of them contracted lung cancer. We all knew non-smokers who lived in smoke-filled houses in the 70s and 80s. None of them developed emphysema. Of course they didn’t.

The truth never mattered to the propagandists. Their goal was to demonize and defeat smokers. And they did a splendid job. Smokers went from a cool, hip minority to a dangerous, hated threat.

(For the record, I am not diminishing the suffering of people who are allergic to cigarette smoke. For them, a smoke-filled room is an immediate buzzkill. I am saying, however, that there is a clear line between second hand smoke ruining one’s night and ending one’s life. The anti-smoking crusaders crossed that line in 1990 and never looked back).


I am not angry at the anti-smoking crusaders. I internalized their propaganda and I’m a better man for it.

I happily smoked for most of my adult life. I never considered quitting. Then, about five years ago, I just stopped. I’m so glad that I did.

I will never smoke a cigarette again. I used to look at smokers as the cool people living in the moment. Now I look at them as oddities. The Smoking Court outside the bar looks like a sad living museum – with actors performing scenes from the 20th Century.


We have been completely brainwashed. We are little different than the gullible fools of the 17th Century.

We have the exact same chance of being killed by second hand smoke as we have of being cursed by a witch. But we are willing to let smokers be treated like criminals, shivering out in the cold while we sip our drinks in comfort.

In the end, the problem isn’t that the propagandists brainwashed us to turn on smokers. The problem is we don’t know which vulnerable minority group they are going to make us turn on next.






 Oklahoma City

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Oklahoma City


          When the media talks about a terrorist, they are supposed to say that he is a brainwashed coward. Yup. According to the talking heads on CNN and Fox, every terrorist is the same: cowardly and crazy.

          I don’t know why it is against the rules of society to be honest about terrorism.

          The truth is that some terrorists are not cowards. They put themselves at risk to be arrested, killed, and/or damned to further a cause that they sincerely believe in.

          The truth is that some terrorists have a well-thought out system of beliefs that they share with a lot of people. It’s just that most people who share those beliefs aren’t willing to kill.

          “Oklahoma City” is a thought-provoking documentary about an American terrorist and gun lover – Timothy McVeigh – who murdered a bunch of people for reasons that are not crazy.

          Director Barak Goodman does an amazing job of showing us the four things that motivated the Oklahoma City bomber.

1.     Operation Desert Shield

What better place for a young gun lover than the US Army? Timothy McVeigh was a proud, happy soldier until he was sent to Middle East.

McVeigh thought that killing enemy soldiers would be thrilling. Instead – he recounts from prison years later – he felt like the Arab men he was murdering were just like him. And it made him sick. McVeigh began to realize that Uncle Sam is a bully.

At least the government wasn’t bullying Americans back home…

2.     Ruby Ridge

In the 80s, Randy Weaver decided to move his family as far away from society as he could. He was living on the top of a mountain in northern Idaho with no electricity or plumbing. It is hard to be less of a menace to society than Mr. Weaver. The Feds had a different idea.

          When Randy Weaver missed a court date in 1992 for weapons charges, the ATF and the FBI moved in. Before the standoff was over, US Marshals had killed Weaver’s wife, his 14 year old son, and his dog.

3.     Waco

Christian minister/cult leader David Koresh and his followers were living apart from society, in an isolated compound outside of Waco, Texas. Their crime was not bothering or hurting any outsiders; it was buying weapons illegally.

Koresh’s followers fought off an ATF raid and killed four federal agents. The government responded by busting in with tanks and tear gas. On April 19, 1993, Koresh’s compound caught fire. 76 people were killed.

4.     The Brady Bill

Looking back, The Brady Bill was little more than a rare, minor legislative loss by the NRA.

To already angry Timothy McVeigh, it was the final straw. First, the government had forced him to murder Arabs for no reason. Then, Uncle Sam had killed a bunch of gun owners who were minding their own business. Now, it seemed , US Marshals were probably going to bust down HIS door and take his guns.

On April 19, 1995 (the anniversary of Waco), Timothy McVeigh detonated a homemade bomb on the bottom floor of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

Timothy McVeigh was proud and unapologetic. He was executed by lethal injection in 2001.

The Oklahoma City bomber’s intentions were as clear as his actions were monstrous. McVeigh was inspired by….White Supremacy!

Wait! What? In the final act, director Barak Goodman throws us an absurd, politically-motivated curve ball. His conclusion is that Timothy McVeigh was a natural culmination of the White Power movement. Never mind that McVeigh never attended a White Power meeting and, based on prison interviews, wasn’t concerned about race at all.

Fortunately for us and unfortunately for Mr. Goodman, he accidentally told the truth for most of his film. The truth is that Timothy McVeigh was furious about Federal overreach and Washington’s willingness to kill whomever it pleases – here and abroad.

I don’t know why the truth about terrorism is so hard to stomach. The truth is that some terrorists are rational people with reasonable anger over legitimate issues. The only difference is: they think it is right to kill for their beliefs while we know it is evil.