5 Conversation Starters You Can Use When You Meet A Conservative Republican And Have Nothing In Common.

Have you ever been to a corporate event and found yourself stuck in the corner with a bunch of investment bankers? Did you ever have to go deep into Virginia, or do you have that uncle who voted Republican once the Civil Rights Act passed? Or maybe you’re with a group of white people somewhere, and they get really drunk, and then they start telling you how they really feel about the world. Are you working for a white shoe law firm?

Chances are, you’re likely in the presence of a conservative republican! Not to fear. You don’t need to run away or start sweating profusely. You’ll be just fine with these 5 conversation starters that you can use right now when you have nothing in common with a conservative republican.

1. When in doubt, just shake your head and say, “Hillary Clinton.” If you want to get them really going, just add, “The Clinton Foundation.” You don’t have to provide any supporting evidence. Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation are some of the biggest, if not the biggest talking points after Obama for a conservative republican. They will wax poetic about how Clinton is the biggest criminal since Jack the Ripper, and will go so far as to say that The Clinton Foundation is not only smuggling children from Eastern Europe, but laundering money for their drug dealer friends. When the conversation starts to die down, say, “There should be an indictment by now if Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder didn’t. . .” Don’t worry. You don’t have to finish the thought. The conservative republican will spend the next several minutes finishing the thought for you, as he or she gives you a treatise on how our legal system is supposed to work.

2. “I’m not a big fan of Trump but I’ll tell you this much. I rather have him than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders any day of the week.” There are many never Trumpers among the mostly National-Review-reading-conservative-republican crowd. Further, by saying that you are not a “big fan” of Trump, indicates that you think you’re better than those who wore those stupid Make America Great Again red hats for him, which is what all conservative republicans feel about those who wore those stupid Make America Great Again red hats for him. You’re making a connection, and you also smartly couched that sentiment with two people conservative republicans really despise, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

3. “People kill people. Guns don’t kill people.” You can use this as a canned response for any, and I mean any conversation that invariably comes up about gun control. For instance, if someone says, “The Supreme Court’s Heller decision reaffirmed what we all knew about the Second Amendment.” Just nod your head and say, “That’s right. People kill people. Guns don’t kill people.” You’ll get a lot of, “That’s absolutely right,” and people will start talking about how the “musket” and “militia” examples used by progressive democrats are wrong. They will then go into a philosophical discussion about natural rights, and if things are really good, will contend “if we just could put God back into the schools.”

4.  “Wasn’t Black Panther great?” Conservative republicans are very aware that they are usually portrayed by the media as racists. Whether that is fair or not is beside the point, other than that conservative republicans are very sensitive to charges of being racist. By pointing out that you a) went to go see Black Panther and b) that you thought it was great, is enough to make everyone feel comfortable that you’re definitely not some secret Trump supporter or otherwise a racist. In that regard, you will come to the implicit agreement that you both are enlightened conservative republicans with high degrees of education. This is obviously a good starting point for a conversation with a conservative republican.

5. “Do you think we’ll ever have a president as great as Calvin Coolidge?” Most people think that conservative republicans love Ronald Reagan. For the most part, that is true, but conservative republicans really, really love Calvin Coolidge. He was the only president born on the Fourth of July for Chrissakes. He was a champion of fiscal restraint and small government, two terms that conservative republicans actually had copyrighted. They won’t know a lot of facts about Coolidge other than that he is one of the forefathers of the Conservative movement. Of course, that will provide that person with a springboard in which to talk about how this country was so much better “back then” when there was no government “running our lives.”

Let me know how these conversation starters worked out for you! And if you have any additional conversation starters, please let me know in the comments!

Stay tuned for tomorrow, where I’ll give you 5 conversation starters you can use with a Trump supporter.






5 Conversation Starters You Can Use When You Meet A Progressive Democrat And Have Nothing In Common.

Have you ever been to a dinner party at a neighbor’s house and the host ends up putting you on the side of the table with all the progressive Democrats?

Have you been at a barbeque or some other social event where there are progressive Democrats, who apart from maybe being human, don’t seem to have anything in common with you?

Do you find it hard to strike up a conversation in these kinds of situations? Are you not sure what to say or how to say it?

Fear no more, my loyal readers.

Here are 5 conversation starters you can use immediately when you meet a progressive democrat out in the wild. You’ll be able to fit right in, and you won’t face any fear of being shamed somehow on Twitter for not clearly understanding or even knowing the pressing issues of our time.

1. After asking a progressive democrat how they’re doing, respond first by shaking your head slowly, and then say, “I can’t believe Trump is still in office. It’s just crazy. I wish I could explain it to some of my friends in France.” Bashing Trump is a favorite discussion point for progressive democrats. You don’t even have to bring up what exactly you take issue with about Trump’s conduct. The fact that you declare your general disbelief in the Trump presidency, and that you have friends in France, is enough not only to give you 100 percent legitimacy in their eyes but provides that progressive democrat with a springboard to launch into a multi-count indictment listing all of Trump’s failures. Just nod your head and every so often say, “I didn’t realize it was that bad” or “I can only imagine what Rachel Maddow had to say about that.”

2. “The Second Amendment. Jeez. Do we really need that anymore?” Gun control has always been a hot topic for progressives. But instead of just asking out of the blue, “What are your thoughts on gun control?”, which seems like the kind of question your high school teacher would ask, you want to bring up the constitutional angle, confirming that you are enlightened enough to realize that the Second Amendment is outdated. Nod aggressively when the progressive democrat gives you a history lesson about the meaning of the second amendment, particularly when he or she brings up the “musket” and “militia” points. You can extend the conversation further when the progressive democrat invariably lists the memberships to gun control organizations and/or listservs he or she belongs to. Just ask, “What does ________ organization do, and how can I get involved?”

3.  “Did you hear that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are going to be co-teaching a free online seminar together on economics and equity?” When the progressive democrat asks you whether that’s a joke or not, laugh a little, which shows you understand that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have differing viewpoints. But then go on and tell them you have a close friend at MSNBC, a “senior” editor in fact, who says the seminar is in the works. You citing MSNBC gives your story instant credibility, and for all sakes and purposes, your story has now become true. The progressive democrat will tell you how “interesting” it is that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are teaching a class together, then spend several minutes justifying why he or she either voted for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, or someone else maybe you never heard of. The conversation will then swing back around toward bashing Trump and what a horrible world we live in.

4. “The battery on my Prius is on the fritz.” 84.6 percent of progressive democrats own a Prius, and nothing strikes more fear into their hearts than a dead Prius battery. Progressive Democrats love their Priuses and, more particularly, what a Prius represents. For instance, a progressive democrat will not take their Prius to the local Jiffy Lube, because cheap places like that don’t know how to take care of a Prius’s special and unique electronics. A Prius battery is not like the battery you can get at Sears. It’s a very, very special battery that is ecologically mined from the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean by fair trade workers. That’s why the battery is worth 90 percent of the car’s value, and why it’s so expensive to replace. Alerting a progressive democrat that your Prius battery is in danger will garner you a lot of sympathies. Further, as to the small percentage of progressive democrats you encounter that don’t own a Prius, do not worry, the conversation starter still works. You see, that remaining 15-16 percent of progressive Democrats who don’t own a Prius actually ride bikes or skateboards only. That’s a good segue for them to explain to you why these modes of transportation are not only superior but reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

5. “In the age of Trump, I’m trying to get another yard sign that really tells people how I feel about (choose one: immigration, racism, women’s rights, science, etc.), but I want to make sure the message is on point and produced on recyclable materials by workers being paid a living wage. Do you have any ideas?” This is a softball, open-ended question for a progressive democrat. It’s the kind of question that a progressive democrat dreams of getting, one where they are not only being asked for their expertise, but also to showcase how much knowledge they have that can fit into a line. You don’t have to do anything after this except to nod every so often as the progressive democrat gives you dozens, if not hundreds, of deep quotes that vaguely sound like memes you saw on Facebook.

So there you have it. Never get stuck in silence again when you meet a progressive democrat and have nothing in common!

Do let me know in the comments how these conversation starters worked out for you. And, of course, if you have any other conversation starters you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!

Tomorrow, I’ll share 5 conversation starters you can use when you meet a conservative republican and have nothing in common. Stay tuned!

Everyone stay calm but NYC is going to possibly maybe blow up I think kind of

So you probably all heard the news that there has been some “credible” but “unconfirmed” reports of the possibility that car bombs will explode in New York City in the next couple of days.  Specifically, the New York Times reported, “A White House official said on Thursday evening that while the government has already stepped up its vigilance in advance of the anniversary, ‘the president directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information.’

What does this really mean when you cut through the hyperbole and government talk?  According to Vice President Biden, the threat is “credible,” because there are “specifics”, i.e., “car bombs” were described during what I assume was an intercepted or series of intercepted conversations.  The information in the intercepted conversations was not “confirmed,” according to Biden however, because there is no other evidence — read: not even a scintilla of evidence — that corroborates the intercepted statements that “car bombs” would be used.

In fact, what is telling is that the CIA or the NSA or the DEA or whoever else was doing wiretapping has not even suggested or intimated who they were wiretapping.  I assume the target or targets the three letter acronym agencies were wiretapping weren’t high value or even medium value or even low value. Because, let’s assume this: they were wiretapping a suspected terrorist or it came across an intercepted conversation of an unknown person talking to a suspected terrorist or an associate of a suspected terrorist, then the suggestion could at least be articulated that the intercepted conversations describing the “car bomb” threat are not completely “unconfirmed.”

For all we know, the three letter agencies wiretapped a sheep farmer who said, “Hey, did you hear from Ibrahim that he heard from Muhammed that he believes Al Queda might use car bombs on around Sept 11 in New York City?”

Under the definition and standards given by our government, this would be a “credible” but “unconfirmed” threat.

I think it’s fair to say that I don’t want to get blown up or seen anyone  blown up by a damn car bomb.  But I don’t know what or who the hell these announcements serve, other than to do one or all of the following: raise fear, breed apathy, increase overtime for law enforcement, or provide legitimacy to Homeland Security and other government agencies.  They are not much different than the color threat rating levels.

These announcements provide us with absolutely no information and in my opinion, make us less vigilant, not more.

Team Geotrax

Team Geotrax, a fisher price production, follows the adventures of train operators and their trains in geotown. I’m not sure if the shows are on television, but you can find it on just about any toddler’s DVD collection. I don’t want to get into the details, but I’ve seen several discs and have come to rather a disturbing conclusion.

Geotrax is a racist show that promotes ethnic stereotypes. Here’s just a look at some of their characters:

Googles & Bunsen: they are the “smartest team”. These guys synchronized all of geotown with some special science they invented when they weren’t reciting the quadratic equation in ten different languages. He wears a lab coat and has glasses. They are white.

Bull & Bruno: they are the “toughest team”. Anything that needs to be carried or delivered, they can do it. If it means lifting thirty pallets of heavy wood, you can bet on Bruno and Bull to finish it singlehandedly. Of couse, as Brutes, they have to get some things wrong. For instance, in one show, there was a horse that was blocking them. They then went back a few feet and went on another track. However, beknownst to everyone but them, the track went around in circles. Bull and Bruno nonetheless kept going around and around, seemingly unaware that they were going in circles as they progressively became dizzier. They are heavily muscled, burly, and use copious amounts of some sticky wet substance to keep Bruno’s Sylvester Stallone haircut in the movie, Lords of Flatbush, in place.

Aero & Eric: they are the “fastest team”. They can run down the rails faster than anyone because they are the only trains that have their technology, although clearly he had nothing to do with it’s creation. In fact, we learn that Goggles & Bunsen created Aero the train. Unlike the other characters, who all seem like at least young men, Aero & Eric are without question boys, and pretty ones no less. His slightly sunbleached hair is effortlessly put together like that guy in High School Musical. He wears what essentially is a very form fitting white and blue one-piece leather motorcycle uniform. They are daring and adventerous. They are white and most likely from southern California.

Sheffeld & Genkins: they are the “most refined team”. They don’t do anything before tea. Sheffeld can make toast and then have it shoot it onto Genkins plate. Genkins wears white cardigans and has a strong English accent. They are white.

Woohoo & Ope: they are the “stupidest team”. Ope has a strong southern accent, looks perhaps inbred, walks like a fool, and is missing a few teeth. In one of the first episodes, they collect wood for the new geotown station by removing the wooden parts of their railroad tracks, causing three train derailments. And then at the end of the show when the station finally opens, they drop the big cake before anyone can eat it. They are white and probably smoke meth at nights between swigs of nighttrain.

Loopy & Loco: they are the “stunt flying team”. They are amazing flyers but they have an issue with keeping on their assignments. They have so much fun that they forget what their assignments were and often jeopardize the the geotrax mission. It’s when they get on the geotrax mission, and focus only on that and not themselves, are they able to succeed and gain acceptance. They are Latin American.

Stanley & Steamer:  they are the “hardest working team.”  My investigation reveals that Stanley’s family was the original capitalist owners of geotrax.  During the episode, “Stanley and Steamer Save The Day,” Stanley remarks that of the machines has “been in the family for years.”  He is an older white character.  He exudes confidence and stability and has that all-American, northeastern feel.  Stanley looks a lot like Nelson Rockefeller when he was younger.  Stanley and Steamer never gets angry and are always emotionally even keeled.  When Woohoo and Ope removed the tracks because they thought they were helping out collecting wood, Stanley calmly said, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.”  What a team.

Brutus and Victor: they are the “biggest bullies”. With strong Russian accents and blue and blue and gold imperial wear, they cause havoc to the geotrax team by unplugging the map that geotrax needs to coordinate their movements, puts a huge boulder blocking an important route for geotrax, and even steals cargo. But everytime, his plans, which seemed very creative and evil, fail with the utmost of predictability. Victor, who has a striking resemblance to Joseph Stalin, is white.

There are no women in the show.

There are no African-Americans that have their own trains. I have only seen one African-American on the show. He works with a heavy set white guy. They are maintenance workers who use one of those human powered platforms to move across the tracks. Apparently they don’t have what it tajes to operate real trains. Nor do they have the ability to speak. Everything he says rhymes.

Please write letters to fisher price and let them know that their show has to change.

Roman Polanski should be sentenced

Roman Polanski should be sentenced.  Plain and simple. 

Although some countries have attempted to identify Polanski as the “victim,” not to mention Whoopi Goldberg’s outlandish statement that Polanski’s actions with the 13-year-old girl did not constitute “rape rape,” let’s not forget the facts of Polanski’s case, for which he knowingly and voluntarily pled guilty to.  He drugged a 13-year-old girl and had vaginal and anal sex with her, against her will.   And, “against her will” has two meanings here:  1) she told him “no” multiple times and 2) a 13 year old girl under the law now and under the law then does not have the capacity to legally consent to sex with an adult. 

His actions were heinous.  His actions were despicable.  His actions constituted a sex crime.  And the description of his intentional actions against this young girl indicates in no uncertain terms that this was not some sort of aberrant act in the heat of passion and drugs.  Instead, it shows both a course of conduct and a belief by Polanski that he is above the law.

That sentiment of putting his own interest above that of society is underscored by the fact that shortly after he pled guilty to the felony charge, he knowingly skipped town to avoid justice.  It is one thing to argue that the judge in that case was hell bent on sending him to jail for a very long time.  It is a completely different thing for a criminal defendant to take the law into his own hands and leave the country to avoid the prosecution.  That is not how a system based on the rule of law works.  Imagine if every defendant after pleading guilty or being convicted after a trial skipped the country because, well, he or she did not think he would be treated fairly.  That’s why we have an appellate process.  That’s why we have the law.

I am not going to end my post here advocating that Polanski should be shot or sent to jail for the rest of his life like some others out there.  Serious questions need to be raised about why it took so long for Polanski to be reigned in.  To Polanski and others, their sentiment is, “If the crime were so serious to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, why didn’t they come after me sooner?”  

But those questions are completely separate and apart from whether Polanski should be sentenced and formally convicted (you are “convicted” once you are sentenced, not when you plead guilty).  Those are two separate inquiries that his lawyers and the French government are trying to meld together as one.  Put another way, they are saying because it took so long for the D.A.’s office to “get” Polanski, it means that the charges should be dismissed.  Those type of arguments usually carry more weight when the defendant skipped town before a trial.  With a trial, memories of witnesses fade, evidence is lost, etc.  Here, defendant pled guilty and there is no suggestion that his plea was taken unknowingly and involuntarily.  The minutes tell no lie.  It is irrelevant now that the victim of the sex crime has publically forgiven him. 

His actions of flagrantly skipping town negates any mitigating factor that his guilty plea should be vacated.  Hopefully, the Swiss court should use its good judgment in not releasing Polanski pending the extradition hearing.  And, when all is said and done, the LA County District Attorney’s Office should fashion a sentence that is fair and in proportion to the crime he pled guilty to, and not seek a sentence out of vengeance.

Honduras moves towards total isolation

Since the removal of President Manuel Zelaya in June, the provisional government has steadily and predictably isolated Honduras, both from the international community and, most importantly, from the most basic tenets of democracy.  roberto michelettiIn true Orwellian fashion, the provisional government has justified everything it has done — from removing President Zelaya without the due process required by its own constitution it is purportedly defending to suspending basic civil liberties — in the name of “democracy.”  I am not sure what planet Roberto Micheletti and his provisional government cronies are from, but they are singlehandedly facilitating the tortured history and doublespeak that represented what we all thought was a Honduras goverment of the past.  

If you think Honduras is headed towards a breaking point, you are wrong.  Wake up.  Honduras is already there.

As you probably all know by now, the provisional government shut down Channel 36 and Radio Globo, because they were broadcasting telephone calls from President Zelaya.  “Yeah, we can’t have that,” says Michelletti.  “He has to be out of sight, out of mind!  Let’s sweep it all under the rug and maybe the Honduran people in all their idiocy will forget that we roused him in the middle of the night and forcibly removed him from the country.  Shhhh!  If we don’t talk about it, then it’ll go away!” 

Whether you agree with Zelaya or not is not the issue; the provisional government circumvented democracy when it removed Zelaya and now is trying to tack legitimacy to its actions after the fact.  It doesn’t work that way.  That’s political science 101.  Is it me or is Micheletti trying to become yet another case study in how yet another Latin American government brings down its iron fist in the name of democracy?  What’s in the water over there?

And, to add insult to injury, the provisional government has threatened to shut down the Brazilian embassy within the next 10 days and yesterday expelled four diplomats from the Organization of American States.  The diplomats were apparently members of an advance team trying to negotiate an end to the crisis.  To his defense, I guess Micheletti, who clearly is living in some bubble world on his family finca and is taking massive doses of reality-altering medications, surely sees no need to end a crisis that doesn’t exist in the first place. 

What I find further infuriating is the fact that the United States and many news outlets here have described the “situation” or “crisis” in Honduras as a “political one.”  This label is doublespeak.  To be sure, while the forcible removal of a sitting president is, by definition, a “political situation,” is it also a mere “political situation” when the civil rights of its citizenry, guaranteed by its own constitution, is abrogated for no legitimate reason?  That to me is more than just a “political situation,” but a tragedy that tears the social and civil fabric of Honduras at its roots.  For the United States and other countries to sit idly behind the scenes as Honduras falls deeper and deeper into isolation — against the will of its people — is unacceptable. 

Only by fortune so far, and certainly not because of the actions of the provisional or de facto government of Honduras, has widespread violence not broken out.  But what has broken out is the widespread violence the de facto government of Honduras has lashed against its own citizenry, in the name of some twisted version of democracy.

Chris Behnke: A Twist to his photograph of Obama shirtless

Here’s a brief story about Chris Behnke, a notable paparazzo:

I’m sure most of you have read this story of the photographer who took a photo of Obama shirtless in Hawaii.  There was all this talk of how close photographer Chris Behnke was able to get to take the photo — approximately 200 yards (I can only wonder if the secret service detail has been fired).  I can only imagine how much money Behnke scored for the shot.  But there’s another interesting twist that isn’t reported.

Chris Behnke is a Punahou graduate, class of 1994.  As you may recall, Obama is also a graduate of Punahou, albeit it much earlier.  Coincidence?  Of course not, but it shows at least a Hawaii connection — however minimal — between Behnke and Obama.

Chris Behnke graduated from Punahou High School in 1994.  He then graduated from Loyola Maramount in 1998, with a degree in film production.   He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.  His father is notable stock broker Richard Behnke, who runs Abel-Behnke Corporation, in Hawaii.