Monsters Among Us

If you haven’t heard the story of the man who repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter, you should go read it. A Montana man raped his daughter. A judge handed down what basically is a 43-day sentence, when all was said and done. The man’s wife saw the rape and not only did nothing about it, but wrote to the judge asking for a light sentence, claiming she wanted his “children [to] have an opportunity to heal the relationship with their father.”

The victim’s grandmother echoed this, calling the man’s behavior “horrible” but stating that the man’s children, “especially his sons, will be devastated if their Dad is no longer part of their lives.”

No one spoke for the victim. No one. 

It’s not often that I find myself speechless, but there are no words to describe these monsters. 

The monster who raped his own child. 

The monster who did nothing to protect her daughter and who wanted her husband released back into society to possibly rape children again, and who used her sons as tools to accomplish that end, and who would expose those boys to the twisted fiend who raped their sister. 

The monster who echoed those sentiments and would expose her grandchildren to this bag of rancid shit. 

And the monster who handed down this absurd sentence, who failed to protect the children from this repugnant threat, who refused to protect society by allowing him to exist in it, and not in prison, where the criminals would tear his asshole so hard, you could drive a VW bus filled with illegals through it, and who would not attain justice for one traumatized little girl. This monster will be allowed to retire with full benefits. 

The judge, in response to nationwide outrage, wrote that this was his attempt “to encourage and provide opportunities for an offender’s self-improvement, rehabilitation and reintegration back into a community.”

Let’s get this straight. There’s no rehabilitation for someone who rapes – RAPES – his 12 year old child! 


This is someone you either lock away in a dank dungeon forever, or put down line a rabid animal so that he never walks among people again! 

This is not a mistake. This is not illness. This is evil. Pure, unmitigated evil. And it I had my way, this evil would be eradicated from this world, along with the rancid cunts who supported it and did nothing to protect this innocent child!

My friend Patrick Richardson, the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun, quoted author S.M. Stirling in his column yesterday, “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.”

And he, like the rest of us, is sick and tired of society allowing acts of sheer evil to go unpunished. 

Say a kid catches a shoplifting beef. First time around he gets probation. Probably unsupervised or pretty minimal supervision. Now let’s say he doesn’t have the best parents. So at most he catches hell for the fine, but they’ve caught their own share of cases so they don’t do much — not that they would anyway.

He’ll catch a few more minor misdemeanors while a juvenile, each a little more serious than the last, but still, no real teeth to anything.

Then he turns 18 and that juvie record goes away.

But no one has ever told him “no,” he’s never had any real discipline and has the usual attitude of the habitually criminal “You can’t make me do nothin’!”

So as an adult he catches a few more misdemeanors, at most a few days in the county lockup, fines he won’t pay, and probation.

First felony is probably drugs or minor theft, maybe burglary. Presumptive probation cases and he’s been on probation on and off since he was 13, so who cares?
He’ll catch four or five more of those before he finally commits ENOUGH crimes, or one serious enough that he’s going to prison.

By this time he’s probably in his early 30s. Never held a job that didn’t involve a hair net and saying “would you like fries with that?” and never held one of those for more than a few months, maybe a year, before his boss talked to him in a way he didn’t like and he either quit or got fired because “you can’t make me do nothin’!”

By the time he catches a sanction with any real teeth in it, he’s a lost cause. A habitual criminal, no education, dumb as a post, but with a certain animal cunning, good at manipulating people and the system and no more between him and his will than a wolf has.

Make no mistake – this is very relevant to the situation. 

If we, as a society, continue to make excuses for criminal acts, and don’t hold those among us accountable for their actions, we are sending a message to the youngest and most impressionable among us that intentional criminal acts – from simple theft, to rape, to murder – will be forgiven with little to no consequences. 

If we allow a man who has violated his own child in the most despicable and morally repugnant way, to walk free and go home to play with his boys, and probably rape again, the boys will learn that even an act as odious as the rape of a little child, goes unpunished by society, and is therefore OK. 

If we don’t slap them on the hand as kids, and tell them “NO!” in no uncertain terms, and then show them that every act has a consequence – from small to huge – we will have many more monsters walking among us!

No, seriously – WHAT THE FUCK?

So apparently, this really horrible comedienne (I’ve seen “Trainwreck.” I didn’t find it funny.) Amy Schumer, who was accused of stealing other comics’ material, did some kind of stand-up show at Madison Square Garden, and had Madonna as her opening act.

madonna-youngNow, those of us who grew up in the 80s remember Madonna as a not halfway horrible pop singer that had awful fashion sense, wore a lot of cheap rubber jewelry, and sang about being a virgin or some shit. We also remember that the older she got, the more desperate for attention she became, publishing a coffee table book in 1992 that talked about sex and that included erotic photographs of her and essays she wrote about… oh fuck, I don’t even! I mean, really. She had Vanilla Ice in that book, ferfuckssake!

I also remember her being a decent dancer and choreographer, but with costume tastes that were about as awful as Lady Gaga’s. Meh.

In more recent years, she came out with some kind of skin care line, and basically faded into obscurity…

Until yesterday.

The Material Girl took the stage as the opening standup act for Amy Schumer at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, and joked about a proposition to people who cast their ballot for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“One more thing before I introduce this genius of comedy: If you vote for Hillary Clinton, I will give you a b–job — and I am good,” she said to the crowd.

The 58-year-old singer went on to detail her qualifications for the position.

“I take my time, I have… eye contact and I do swallow,” she added, giving a thumbs up.

madonna_old-451x250Yeah. If you vote for someone who routinely violated diplomatic protocol, spilled classified information, lied about it, and whom diplomatic security agents apparently avoided like a flaming case of the herp, to run this country, you will get a blow job from a 58-year-old, dried up hooker. Oh, and she’ll swallow! There’s incentive for you!

Anyone else want to vomit in their own mouths?

Seriously, do you want to look down and see THAT with your trouser snake in its mouth? She’s past cougar and into perhaps vulture. She’ll swallow, alright. And later she’ll vomit your giblets back up to feed her offspring in their nest!

Realistically, I don’t care what that ancient whore does with her mouth, as long as it doesn’t come anywhere near me. I realize it’s a joke. But let’s get real here. Other than for freak points – are there really guys out there who would allow this tramp, whose mouth has probably seen more dick than a urinal. At Grand Central Station. During tourist season. To tongue tickle their  pickle?

And really… this is what this election has descended into? A desiccated hag, who is quickly approaching 60, offering to fellate any guy stupid enough to vote for the vagoo as President of the United States, and 1992 reports of a current Presidential candidate lasciviously telling 14-year-old kids in a youth group choir that he would date them in a couple of years?

This election can’t end fast enough!

Pieces of the Puzzle

freeholdI wrote the other day, after finishing “Angeleyes” that I enjoy seeing the Freehold war from the perspectives of the different characters – particularly since Mike Williamson does so well at hopping into the characters’ skins and telling their stories from the inside. He’s explored the war from the perspective of a refugee from Earth, a special forces operative, and a human intelligence asset. Two years, a short story explored the war and the asymmetrical tactics employed by the Freeholders from the point of view of a low-level UN troop. (If you haven’t read this one, you absolutely should! It’s really one of his best!)

And now, Mike has written “Starhome.”

There are no battle scenes. There are no disturbingly graphic training or psyops descriptions. It’s written from the perspective of someone who never wanted to get involved in a war in the first place, but was forced into an untenable situation by circumstances far beyond his control. “One didn’t have to be involved in a war to suffer, nor even in line of fire. Collateral economic damage could destroy just as easily.”

Go read it. It’s short and well done, and you’ll enjoy the story for what it is – a short exploration of the situation by someone who just wants to live his life in his home.

I view the Freehold universe and the books written in it so far as a puzzle. They say history is written by the victors, and it’s true. But writing the Freehold war from all different points of view puts together pieces of a much more complete puzzle than the usual black or white, good or bad, honorable or corrupt outlook we get from any one character.

War isn’t easy. It isn’t cheap. Collateral damage doesn’t just include slaughtered women and children, casualties don’t just include troops in combat, and victory sometimes comes at a high cost.

By giving us pieces of the Freehold war puzzle, Mike shows us a more complete picture of warfare and humanity writ large.

Yes, America is great

yard_signI passed a house in Arlington yesterday on my way to physical therapy with a monster yard sign that said “Giant Meteor 2016.” A smaller yard sign closer to the entrance to the home said “Everybody Sucks 2016.” I giggled as I drove by, and lamented not having taken a photo of the place.

I then thought about the signs and breathed a sigh of relief.

See, my parents told me when I was a kid that they voted in the USSR. They voted for the one candidate on the ballot – the one candidate for whom it was acceptable to vote – and a vote for anyone else, or a non-vote could see you tossed in a not so nice, dank place. Not belonging to the Communist Party was also a no-go. No job. No future. No freedom. Being a Jew in the USSR meant no future – at least not in a career of your choice – and near constant abuse at the hands of those in authority.

No, you couldn’t own a business of any size – and even now, unless you have government connections, you ain’t gonna succeed, buddy!

Living in the USSR meant empty store shelves, getting water in buckets from the nearest factory, so you could bathe and make tea, wiping your ass with newspaper, and long lines when stores did get food.

When I first visited a supermarket in the United States, my jaw literally dropped. I was in shock at all the different colored vegetables, the types of cereal, sodas, potato chips, candy, and milk!

So when I hear the drooling acolytes of one of the current presidential contenders screech “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” I really want to laugh at the lack of perspective. I suspect most of these people never left the United States.

And as much as I appreciate our Canadian neighbors – and I do love visiting Canada – reminding us that our country is still great is pretty much unnecessary. Those of us with some perspective already know this, and those without, you’re never going to convince anyway.

Yes, we have nice people, Disney World, the NFL, barbecue, Star Wars, and NASA.

Yes, our Declaration of Independence is sheer poetry. We’re glad you noticed.

But frankly, while these things are neat, that’s not really what makes America great – at least not to my mind, as an immigrant.

What makes us great is that I’m able to write this blog.

What makes America great is that even the douchiest of howler monkeys can have their say (and can be ridiculed when appropriate), without worrying that they’ll be arrested or killed by government agents.

What makes us great is that the right to speak freely, worship as we see fit – or not – write, express ourselves, assemble, and live our lives, as well as the ability to stand up and defend ourselves is actually enshrined in our founding documents.

What makes us great is that we can loudly and passionately espouse our political and social beliefs without fear of government retribution.

constitution-declaration-independence-flag-23487952What makes us great is that each of us has the opportunity to climb higher and achieve more. It may be difficult – harder for some than others – but we can do it, and many of us have.

What makes America great is that media outlets – even the most idiotic ones, like Salon, InfoWars, and *insert every stupid clickbait bullshit site here* – exist and freely publish garbage. We are free to click or not.

What makes America great is that a person who comes here from another country with nothing can become a success story.

What makes us great is that we have voices, and we can implement change by participating in the government processes from local to national. We can vote – or not. We can write in a candidate, or leave the ballot blank, and no one will come knocking at our door, and dragging us away in the middle of the night to the aforementioned not so nice place.

What makes us great is that one douchebag – or several – can show disrespect for our flag and our national anthem, and still keep their job and still be free to make millions at their chosen profession no matter what race they are.

What makes America great is that we’re a team – we’re a family. Yeah, I may not always agree with individuals on my team. I may think they’re uninformed, blithering morons at times. But I have to believe that the majority of us love this dysfunctional family, and when tragedy strikes, we support one another and those whom we entrusted to lead, and we are generous to others. When push comes to shove, we are one nation and one people.

What makes America great is that we actually strive to be better. We may not be perfect, but we work to be more inclusive, provide more opportunities, and to foster understanding among ourselves.

What makes America great is that small percentage of men and women who are willing to stand on that wall and protect America against existential threats. They step up. I have. My kids have. My friends have. For no bigger reason than we understand just how precious and special America is.

What makes America great is that we have the ability to shine a light on corruption and protect those who do. We’re not always perfect at doing so, but at least those protections exist, and people do use them. Try that in Russia or any other world shithole, and you’ll be at best prosecuted, and at worst disappeared.

No, we are not perfect. Yes, we have massive faults. And lest you think some alien kidnapped me and turned me into a twisted Polyanna version of myself… trust me, I’m still me.

I’m just a me that understands that some screeching dickwads and their harpy followers won’t destroy America’s greatness.

I’m a me that understands that some socialist swine who think others are entitled to my efforts will not ultimately change the nature and the ideal of this country – precisely because we’re ultimately a family, and precisely because our rights are enshrined in the founding documents of this country, and precisely because our very nature, our generosity, our strength of vision, and our freedom to make our voices heard, even though sometimes we forget who we are, will not allow us to be anything else.

So while it’s a sweet reminder, Canada, I doubt that we could ever ultimately forget just who we are. We may sometimes sweep it aside in a bout of partisan rancor or outright bitterness about the short-term state of affairs, but America is already great. We’re great because of our people, our potential, our opportunities, and our freedom to be the change we desire, and anyone who tells you otherwise, because America is somehow not living up to his oh-so-lofty, self-important, uber-religious ideal, is free to leave…

…or get fucked by a cactus. Wrapped in rusty barbed wire. Dipped in battery acid.

A Study in Suck

Those who follow me on social media have been privy to my consistent griping about the Washington DC metro. Since ankle surgery, I’ve been able to take my car and park at work, but now that the ankle is healing, I will be back to taking the Metro next month.

You know it’s got to be bad when someone actually created a website entitled “Is Metro On Fire?” Accessing this site allows riders to know whether or not their metro line is actually ablaze. And if you want to know how often this happens…

metro…well, all you have to do is read this. Apparently metro was on fire 73 times in the first three months of 2016. SEVENTY-THREE times. This does include instances of smoke in the subway system, which apparently Metro officials protested as not being incidents of fire, such as malfunctioning train brakes that fill a station with smoke, or a third rail that is arcing so severely that the fire department is called, because apparently there are different definitions of “smoke” and “fire.” Regardless of the quibbling, can you imagine the second largest public transit system in the United States catching fire that many times in the first quarter of the calendar year?

Seriously? What in the everloving, rollerblading, couch-humping hell?

The press is freaking out about alleged Metro under funding. Congress won’t give metro more money, and is actually cutting funding for the ageing system! Metro doesn’t have a dedicated funding stream and has to go begging for money from the jurisdictions it services! Oh NOES!

For metro, it’s all about Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! How can they be expected to run a busy transit system in the nation’s capital on a mere $2.8 billion (based on FY16 numbers)?

Oh, I dunno… perhaps not paying 70 percent of its budget to labor costs would be a good start?

Labor costs constitute over 70% of the 2014 WMATA budget, making it the single largest expenditure WMATA has to worry about. And it’s no wonder why it’s the largest bit. In 2011, during the middle of the recession, Amalgamated Local 689, the WMATA union, dragged a 3 percent annual raise out of management. The agency’s board declined to protect taxpayers and riders by not appealing the arbitration result. Naturally, riders were incensed—but WMATA paid no heed.

Now, I did a fair bit of analyzing of defense spending in my previous days. That’s a lot of labor costs! NATO, our biggest alliance, sets a benchmark that encourages its members to spend no more than 50 percent of their defense budgets on military and civilian personnel costs. There are reasons for that. While the biggest percentage of any budget is normally personnel costs, 70 percent is pretty outrageous and usually indicated bloated salaries – especially for high-ranking or connected personnel. It’s how much Greece spends as a percentage of its defense budget on salaries and benefits, and we know what an economic shit show that country is!

The average salary for a WMATA employee is $78,000 per year! And given the bloated personnel budget, that leaves precious little money for actual maintenance of the equipment that carries hundreds of thousands of passengers to their destinations. There are 488 station managers taking naps working inside glass kiosks at rail stations, and their base salaries are in the high $50,000s. However, given overtime, these guys take home closer to $70,000, and when you factor in overtime, at least 20 station managers took home a six-figure salary, according to a 2012 press report.

And you know what it takes to fire one of these tools? Apparently almost killing a whole lot of people! This douchebag was in such a hurry to get to his break at a location with some good places to stuff his face, that he decided “fuck the red signal!” And this wasn’t his first time being a reckless jackass with other people’s lives!

The operator was on his rail job less than a year after transferring from WMATA’s bus division. As a bus driver for about two years, he racked up three moving violations: two red light overruns and an illegal right turn on red. As a train operator, he added two unspecified safety violations before the potentially disastrous red signal overrun.

And while the system doesn’t have a dedicated funding stream, they do have a nearly guaranteed revenue source in this area – the federal government. Federal employees get transit benefits – $240 per month. You think they won’t use them? And there are quite a few of them. Why not use the benefit, if one can? And it allows the Metro to provide shitty service, because… well… they’re getting that money. It’s not like federal workers are spending their own money on the commute, so it doesn’t hit their wallet.

Thirty-five Metrorail stations serve federal facilities and 42 percent of Metrorail’s peak period commuters are federal employees. On Metrobus, 16 percent of peak period commuters are federal employees. The federal government contributes roughly 56 percent of the capital costs. Fares and other revenue currently fund 56 percent of the daily operations, while state and local governments fund the remaining 44 percent.

So a system that’s on fire so often, there’s a site dedicated to informing riders when they’re in danger of… you know… DYING, that brags its stations are oh so clean (Then why did I actually find a turd on the mezzanine of the Ballston metro station last year? Yes, a real piece of poop. On the floor.), that is running unreliably, or not at all, some days, and that is pissing off riders so badly, they’re losing ridership despite the government transit benefit, wants more money to… do what? It wants to raise fares. Again. It wants to cut service. Even more. And it expects people to just suck it up. At some point, the transit benefit isn’t worth it. It doesn’t matter if it’s free to get to work. When it takes you two hours to ride the orange line 10 stops, it’s just not worth it, and the feds are starting to realize it too, while Congress even tried to pass a bill giving federal employees the option to use the benefit for other options, like Uber.

Overall, Metro is just a study in FAIL.

Shitty employee training.

Preferential racial hiring.

Lack of required annual re-certifications.

Intentional sabotage of equipment.

Poor safety practices.

Political infighting.

Idiotic priorities – no, I don’t think riders care whether some Metro moron is wearing his uniform correctly. They care about getting to their destination in a reasonable amount of time!

Lack of accountability and planning for growth.

Crappy maintenance.

Do I need to go on? No.

If Metro was run like a business, rather than a cushy jobs program for barely literate, incompetent ass clowns, maybe then things would get fixed. But since funding is pretty much guaranteed, there’s no incentive to change.


They can’t fit to allow the door to close. If the door can’t fully close, the train can’t move. If the train can’t move, you’re stuck at the station until several of these people step off the train to allow the door to close.

And it’s the taxpayers, who pay for the system whether they use it or not, and those who wind up stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes in stifling heat with 1000 of their closest buds rubbing up against them in the summer, who suffer most.

I wouldn’t even mind a dedicated funding stream for metro, if we had any faith that the idiots who run the system would actually fix the long list of what’s wrong with it. But considering their track record (no pun intended), and the big, fat fail that has been their “safetrack” repair initiative so far, I can’t trust them to use the money wisely.

Rob says they should shut down the system, fire everyone, and start from scratch. I would be OK with driving to work or taking Uber until they got their shit together.

Maybe metro should stop wondering why riders are abandoning the system and take a long look at the mirror.


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