GOP Sensitivity Training in the District of Capitalism

It has been announced that the Grand Old Party will be requiring its’ members to undergo ‘sensitivity training’ to aid the party in attracting more women and minority voters. This might be a great success if undergone properly and with the correct supervision. Forget Frank Luntz and the idea of a Weekend at Bernie’s . This entire procedure will require the most rigorous treatment processes not unlike the brainwashing given to the lead character Alex in the famous Stanley Kubrick film, A Clockwork Orange. (Based on the book of the same name by Anthony Burgess.)

Short of being born again here are some suggestions for GOP members:

1. Work in a fast food restaurant. Yes you read that right. Each member shall be required to complete at least 400 hours at a fast food restaurant of the independently appointed therapist’s choosing. They will not receive any special treatment as they must remain incognito for their entire term of employment. During this time their regular pay will go to charity and they will be forced to live on the minimum wage even if it means they will lose their posh DC digs. They will not be allowed to use any outside money during this time to supplement their income. They must undergo the process and humiliation of applying for food stamps and government assistance like a regular American citizen.

2. Pick vegetables with migrant workers. Each member will be assigned to live with a migrant workers family during the growing season. As above they will remain incognito. If language is a barrier they will be required to learn a foreign language. The foreman of each farm will work closely with the independently appointed therapist to make sure that each member makes their quota regardless of age, race or creed. They will not be allowed to join any union or receive any benefits during this part of their sensitivity training since they will be considered to be in the country illegally.

3. They will spend two months living with pensioners who were robbed of their pensions. Perhaps Detroit will be a good city to relocate some of the members to for this next phase of their reprogramming (since nothing short of reprogramming will bring about an epiphany). They will contribute nothing at this point but their advice on how to live on very little. In the event that there are not enough pensioners willing to take in these Beltway Bullies, they will be assigned to live with social security recipients across the country whether they be retired or on permanent disability.

4. Environmental concerns are the next phase of the sensitivity training. Each member will spend at minimum two months assisting in a cleanup of an environmental disaster. Oil spills will be a good place to train the members and give them hands on conditioning, exposure to the toxic sludge as well as a little bit of concern for the environment which they seem more than willing to destroy for the sake of corporate profits and unabated greed. If an oil spill is unavailable which seems highly unlikely they will be assigned to clean up a train wreck. Perhaps then they might see that the expense of automated braking systems for all trains is more than worth the cost of freight and human life.

5. After they complete the above training a crucial phase in the sensitivity process begins. Each member must sit in and assist a rape counselor for a minimum two month time period. They must endure the pain and tears of the victims and begin to empathize with what it feels like to have ones’ dignity and self worth violated in a single act of senseless violence. At this point the rape counselor will keep the sensitivity therapist apprised of the progress or lack thereof of each member. Since this is an especially crucial part of their training, each member will be given a performance evaluation upon completion of this phase. If they are successful they may now return to Capitol Hill.

All records of their training will be made public and posted on the internet. These are our Public Servants and as such there will be complete and utter transparency in all phases of their reintroduction to political life.


“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” — Dr. Carl G. Jung

“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” — Margaret Mead

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

Carl Jung


The Supreme Court Needs an Update

The highest court of the United States is in a dire need of an update. The current process of a justice’s nomination by the President who is in office at time of a justice’s death or retirement, followed by the nominee’s Congressional approval, has left us a court with a diseased and prejudiced mandate. We need to change to a system whereby the justices are elected by a majority of the people. This has become overwhelmingly obvious based on recent decisions. The highest court of the land has been highjacked by angry biased men, perhaps even vindictive men, with a very fixed set of agenda that does not consider the good of the country but only the benefit of a select few.

Jurisprudence, by its’ very definition, implies a common sense interpretation of the law. Instead we have a court in which the majority relies on a sense of exclusion, a catering to the elite, the wealthy, the constrained. No longer is the court basing its’ decisions on the will of the people, it has become the will of the corporate elite, in short an oligarchy. This is leading dangerously to a government teetering between a democracy and a plutocracy. It is said that every one has a price and it has become apparent that the majority of justices have been bought.

Sadly this is evident in recent deplorable decisions that would leave the Founding Father’s literally gobsmacked. We need to carry on the pure ideals of Democracy if we are to survive as a Democracy. The world and the multinational corporations that have usurped control are turning the globe into a giant Monopoly game. If you’ve ever played the game eventually all the resources and money are controlled by the few and everybody else has to pay and pay. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the bold and unflinching senator from Massachusetts has framed this reality quite succintly by stating: “The Game is rigged!”

No longer is the Republican Party the voice of the people. It has become the voice of corporate America. They are not conservative now. They are greedy, prejudice and irresponsible. Be not deceived however, all Democrats are not created equal. There are Democrats who would gladly uphold the corporate oligarchy just as the Republicans are attempting to do. The original purpose of establishing the Supreme Court as a branch of the Federal Government was to safeguard against such an environment. They were to exercise jurisprudence, a practical application of the law based on common sense for the benefit of the majority of the citizens of the United States of America. It is time we hold their feet to the fire before it’s too late!

We need to modernize the nomination process. Make it so that the Presidential appointment is not approved by Congress but instead by a public election. Another possibility is each Justice, upon announcement of their retirement, nominates their own successor, which again would require an election and be subjected to approval by the majority. The courts weild too much power and judges need to be vetted the same way we question our elected officials before the vote. We must amend the Constitution. The Constitution must be able to evolve with the times. The prescience of the Founding Fathers cannot be denied; however there is no way they could have foreseen the current boondoggle we find ourselves in and have written in a precise clause to protect our Democracy. It is up to us now as informed citizens of the United States to amend the Constitution and preserve its’ original intent. A government by the People, of the People and for the People. Not a government by the rich, of the rich and for the rich.

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything!” — Alexander Hamilton

“Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.” —Alexander Hamilton

Get off the cell phone and Drive — Jake Shween

U.S. Constitution Is Like the Bible; Keep What You Like Ignore the Rest!

Ever notice how certain manipulative people edit out parts of books that might endanger their credibility? Take that old glorious manual written by men out in the desert all those thousands of years ago, the Holy Bible. How many times have you heard that book edited and rewritten, misquoted and selectively cited? Usually it is cleverly manipulated in the name of raising more money for one or another ministries that promise to provide you with abundance if you send them some ridiculous tithe of your hard earned cash. Did Moses ever refer to tithes? No. Did Elijah or Elisha ever ask for one tenth of your earnings? No. How about the big guy, the number one, the lord, the Savior, did Jesus Christ himself ever ask for a tithe? No, in fact he turned over the tables of the money changers who were selling sacrifices with which the Jews were using to make atonement. In fact in only one book of the Bible is the tithe ever mentioned and that is in the book of the lesser prophet Malachi but when you listen to the television evangelists or hey, the pastor down the street from your house, more often than not they won’t straight up tell you like it is. They want your hard earned cash to gas up their tax exempt Mercedes Benz!

It seems now the United States Constitution is now open to the same selective interpretation. In light of the recent Boston bombings some would now redefine the rights of United States citizenship and try the one surviving psycho as a “military combatant”. Interestingly, but not coincidentally, these are the very same people who take the second amendment to read that United States citizens have the right to bear arms including Bushmaster rifles and AK-47s which are weapons designed with killing people in mind and nothing else. Thank goodness these very same people, mainly the strange conglomeration of vitriol filled dunces on Fox News, were not the people who drafted the Constitution to begin with. However, they are very reminiscent of these crazy ministries that want you to think their way lest you be ostracized and left out in the cold where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. They support the seedy misinformed party that would manipulate you right into the nineteenth century.

To continue on the idea of tithing it is now past April 15th. We have paid our dues to Uncle Sam. So our sense of nationalism and patriotism is to some degree defined by our willingness to continue to fund the governments of our cities, states and nation. It is up to each of us then, as citizens, to carefully oversee where this money is spent. In a democracy such as ours the majority should rule. How is it that we cannot enact a stricter gun control statute when the majority of people overwhelmingly approve of such a measure? Suddenly we are being taxed without representation! The slick and slimy elected officials are ignoring the demands of the people and trying once again to manipulate our freedom! We need to be sure the money we have paid into the system is well spent and we aren’t being swindled and lied to! Let’s stop paying these fast talking elected officials who ignore the people and serve the plutocracy. Don’t waste our tax money dammit! It is time to change the number of senators elected per state to reflect the population of each state. We’re paying for this!

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” — Margaret Mead

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Lawyers, Onions and Pizza on a Gram Scale

This week we will depart once again from the merry go round of political boondoggles and fantastic stories of redemption to delve into the delicate issues of food offered today by the New York Times food section. Logic and reason are once again at stake and however minute the threat actually is we must work diligently to protect these sacred values from corruption. For what truly is life without an onion and pizza to slice? So forward we forge to ensure our slice of the pie and perhaps a tear in our eye.

Firstly we consider the plight of the Vidalia Onion. According to reports the state legislature in Georgia have strict controls on when their farmers are able to release the Onions into the consumers hands. April 21st is the date that was enacted into law by the “Vidalia Onion Act” of 1986 to apparently “protect the brand”. Far be it from the common sense of the farmer to decide when the fruits of their labors be released into the wild. Recently, despite the pleas from farmers, chefs and grocery store owners, the Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black pronounced there would be no early shipments.

For those of you not familiar with the Vidalia Onion you have been deprived of one of life’s rare treasures. This is an onion that is so mild and sweet one can slice it without fear and use it in place of bologna on a sandwich. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, whatever your favorite condiment is then applied and you have a gourmet treat. The onion is so mild and sweet your taste buds will dance will delight. The ways to prepare this culinary treasure are limited only by your imagination.

This law must be revised it must be abolished! Let the farmer decide when to bring forth the fruits of his labor. To rule otherwise is an abomination to nature!

The second offensive position the food section brought forth was a supposedly simple pizza dough recipe. In this simple recipe great offense was taken that the flour be measured on a gram sensitive scale. Say what!? Ye old cocaine scale!? Are we out of touch and does everyone now have a gram scale in the cupboard? But there it was in black and white. One must measure an exact amount, in grams, of two different types of flours which even had numbers assigned to them apparently correlating to how fine the grind of flour is. The recipe went on to demand that the “sea salt”, yeast and olive oil be measured gram specific as well. This was supposed to be a simple recipe mind you.

Well this is not a chemistry lesson nor is it gluten free. So gird your loins and heretofore is a simple, no fail pizza dough recipe which you can garner with your favorite toppings when you feel so inclined. Try this and you will not be perplexed or disappointed.

Reach for the flour. Four cups of the brand you prefer. If whole wheat is your preference you must temper it with a white type and use half of each. We need the gluten! There is science here but it is not gram specific. So fill one large bowl with four cups of flour. In the other large bowl fill it with one and one half cups of water. Heat the water until it is lukewarm. Use the microwave please fear not the free radicals! A minute usually does it. When it’s warm to your finger add one teaspoon of yeast, more or less, to the water and whisk it in. When it’s dissolved begin sprinkling two cups of your chosen flour to the bodacious mixture. (Yes that will be half of what’s in your other bowl.) Stir it in the same direction for a minute or two. Clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. Just kidding in the same direction will work no matter where you are!

Now cover that bowl. The yeast is happy and beginning to multiply. The feared gluten is developing. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for two or four hours. If it’s bubbling you know the cells are dividing and creating the crust you want. The volume should double more or maybe less. Keep the yeast happy! If you have to…. put on jazz music to make it feel sexy. Maybe you have classical yeast! In that case play Vivaldi or whatever suits you. Rastafarian yeast? Reggae Jah Mon! Marley is good in any climate!

Take that beautiful sexy sponge of mytosis now and add a teaspoon or so of salt and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Get a big stirring device, stir and add the rest of your flour. When it’s too thick to stir turn it out on a well floured surface, something you can stand over and apply leverage to. Start kneading it. Press it down with your knuckles. Put flour on your hands when they get sticky. Fold it over on itself again and again. Do this for eight or ten minutes. Sip on a beer or cocktail or use your blue tooth to call your parole officer this way you can multitask. They’ll wonder what your doing as they hear all those slapping sounds.

Now take the bowl that you’ve emptied of flour and put a splash of olive oil in it. Place the living mass that you’ve created and coat it with that oil. Cover it and let it rise again. Two or four hours, or so in a warm place. When it is ready, you will know because it has doubled or more in mass. Mytosis in the workplace! Isn’t this fun!? Now you’re ready to make the pizza.

Take the dough out and divide it into workable sizes. Two will make two large pies. Be sure to use a floured board. Stretch it into a pan that has been greased with olive oil. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put on your favorite toppings. Cook for ten minutes and check the bottom. Don’t burn it!

“Give me an Onion and Give me breath” — Jake Shween

Get off the cell phone and drive! — Jake Shween

In The Company of Angels (Burning Man 12)

“That must’ve come from a dark place”

Margaret sat up in her seat startled. “Huh”

“That shout I just heard, not sure what you said exactly, sounded scary”

Margaret looked at the young man seated next to her. He had his seat table down and was fumbling with his laptop. He was a young man in his early twenties. Margaret had barely noticed him as she had sat by the window when she had boarded the flight. She had fallen asleep as soon as the flight took off. She looked at him, he smiled shyly.

“What did you hear?” she said in a desperate almost defiant way.

“Oh nothing really. I jumped because you’d been so quiet. I’m sorry my name is Roland, Roland Moffitt.”

“I’m Margaret.” Her voice sounded strange to her. It was probably the cigarettes and lack of sleep.

“I’m sorry if I startled you. I think I jumped just like you did. Long flight, wish I could sleep. Just too excited.”

Margaret lightened up a bit. She didn’t want to seem brooding and offensive. His pleasant tone seemed to temper her strain and sadness. “First time to Paris?” she asked.

“Yes!” Roland replied enthusiastically. “I’ve been accepted at the Sorbonne. Have you been to Paris?”

“Ah oui” Margaret actually smiled. This enthusiasm was somehow contagious. She remembered the first time she had been to ‘La Ville Lumiere’ the City of Lights, as a young girl visiting her Father for the first time. It was also the first time she had been on a plane alone. Her first taste of independence.

“You’ll love it. Will you be studying there?”

“Yes I will. Fine arts and science. My ambition is to be an artistic scientist. My Father thinks I’m crazy.” Roland popped his laptop closed.

“Well I say you should go for it. The world needs more artistic scientists.” Margaret looked at the window and pulled up the shutter. She thought she must look a fright. The flight was full. Only now did she realize most every passenger was awake and talking. The inflight movie was on but no one seemed to be paying any attention. She picked up her cell phone out of habit and checked the time. She had already changed it to Paris time. Now she remembered what she had been dreaming! There was a monster tearing up the wing just like in the old twilight zone episode. She thought about the missing flight in the Indian Ocean. That could be what caused the crazy exhausted dream. She grinned as it occurred to her that William Shatner was now doing those corny travel ads all these years later. From the ‘Twilight Zone’ to Priceline. Ironically that was where she had booked the flight from Dulles to Orly.

The stewards were heading down the aisle. They looked quite sprightly and proper in their British Airways uniforms. “May I get you a beverage?” he politely asking Margaret first.

“Yes may I have water please.” Margaret was parched.

“And you sir?” He smiled as he asked Roland. Margaret wasn’t sure but he looked as if he might ask Roland out for a date.

“May I please have a beer. Just surprise me with the type.” Roland looked back at Margaret as if she needed to give him permission to indulge. She caught herself grinning and half winking at him.

With the care and precision of a magician both a Perrier and Brown Ale were produced without the slightest apparent effort by the obliging steward. “Enjoy your flight and thank you for flying British Air” he remarked as he went on down the aisle.

Margaret held the Perrier to her nose and sniffed it as she had the habit of doing. She didn’t even use the plastic cup, she thought it would denigrate the purity of l’eau. She took a delicious drink and enjoyed the flavor. Roland smiled at her but in a way that made her feel safe. He respected her and she could tell that from his careful expression.

“Are you going to visit relatives?”

Rushing and tumbling. Her thoughts crashed inside her mind. How could she have been so cold? What had happened inside her mind to alienate her Father to such a degree? The teenage rebellion had never left her. She was never equipped to deal with his rejection of her ideas, so she had ventured to reject him entirely. Only now, on a flight to Paris, sitting next to an ‘artistic scientist’ did she realize the running she had been doing.

“Yes my Father.” With a choked enthusiasm now, she suddenly felt reserved.

“Is he retired in Paris?”

“Yes” she now shrank into her seat. She had never felt so small. Margaret who did television ads for the oil oligarchy had shrunk away into her seat on flight 719. She felt insignificant, she was tainted.

Roland sat back. He looked at the passengers around as if they had heard. She felt like he could shield her from their stares. She felt guilty.

“I don’t know why I’m saying this exactly but I think you’ll be okay. People are not as evil as you think, even the darkest person has moments of kindness if only to themselves.”

Margaret sat straight up in her seat. Why did he say this? It struck at the heart of her thoughts, like a song you finally hear and understand. She looked out the window. Blue and clouds. The flight went on.

“I wanted to cry, but I realized that I was too old for that. I would be a woman soon and I would have to learn how to live with a divided heart.”— Anita Diamant,

“Of all life’s pleasures, only love owes no debt to death.”— Anita Diamant

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween