New Conversion Therapy Makes Republicans Gayer!

In a little reported discovery earlier this week doctors in Thailand have isolated a gene which if manipulated carefully by radiation therapy may result in a generation of gayer Republicans. Doctor Poon Tang of Twatyang Institute of Bangkok announced that for several years now his team had been working on a remedy for the typical constipated, small minded, anti-art Republican. After years of intensely secretive research on this particularly frustrating ailment, using primarily voluntary test subjects from various infected red states, areas known for their contamination, Doctor Tang and his team proclaimed satisfactory seminal results from the preliminary reparative therapy.

“We have isolated the ARTGAP1 gene and provided it with ample doses of healing sunshine from the premises of our happy domicile. In this extrusion we have exhibited such effects as are known to provide a well being for the healing process. After several treatments our exceedingly successful subjects have returned to their normal lives with renewed sense of health, vigor and enlightenment. We hope soon to expose this treatment to many more constipated republicans in the hope of causing the gridlock and cultural stink to end in the middle of our great friend country America.” Doctor Tang said through an interpreter.

Rumors are already circulating in Stockholm, Sweden that Doctor Poon Tang and the prestigious Twatyang institute may very well win this years Nobel Prize in medicine. This will be the first such award for a doctor from Thailand. Doctor Poon Tang and his staff announced that they would be thrilled to receive such an award. Doctor Poon Tang also graciously invited any small minded constipated Republicans who wish to seek his treatment free flights and room and board. Lucky participants will get an all expense paid trip to the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel located on the banks of the River of Kings just blocks from the Twatyang Institute. Treatment will be administered over the course of several weeks and entertainment is all included.

In the rare and strange event that this new miraculous treatment does not work; litigate not. There are many vacancies available working with old and crippled lawyers in the dark swampy jungles of nearby Laos.

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” — Jerry Garcia

“Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.” — Alan Watts

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The News, Depression and Reality

Sometimes it’s best to be someone else at least for a moment. This doesn’t mean assuming someone else’s identity and stealing their credentials. No this means assuming a different space and time with a calm meditative mind. In these days of death, bad news, riots and confusion one has to observe simple quiet times of listening to a cricket, perhaps, to keep calm and stay sane. Often nature is an ideal refuge from the confusion which humans are so apt to create.

The immutable logic of the natural world is where to turn when the world casts you into an abyss of confusion. Sometimes all that is necessary is to stop and listen. Not to the television, the radio, the mobile device or the like but instead the sounds of the natural world. One may start with the breath, the bringer of life, the calming feeling and satisfaction of simply drawing in a breath and exhaling at a chosen pace. Yes it is just that simple. If you need to empty your mind begin with a thought of a place outdoors that gave you a particularly calm feeling.

Put yourself back at that spot. Listen to your thoughts as they come and go. Realize your thoughts cannot change that spot. It remains clear and calm, immutable.

Jupiter and it’s volcanic moon Io

“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” — Zhuangzi
“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” — Zhuangzi
Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Seeking the Balance

This occurred to Gautama Buddha on the day of the enlightenment under the Mucalinda tree:

“How blest the happy solitude

of him who hears and knows the truth!

How blest is harmlessness towards all,

And self restraint towards living things!

How blest from passion to be free

All sensuous joys to leave behind!

Yet far the highest bliss of all

To leave the pride which says I am”

Sakyamuni Buddha

“Sometimes we are sad when we lose people that made us happy to be alive” — Jake Shween

“One must have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star” — Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The Burning Man

Picture Taken 14 hours ago from the International Space Station of Australian Outback Fire

Billy Bondi sat on the stoop of his shack gazing into the Outback with his striking steel blue eyes. His face was weatherworn with deep wrinkles where days in the sun had long since taken their toll. His grizzled beard flickered in the breeze as he slowly shook his head with a look of consternation and worry. He sat in absolute silence. He listened with all his being. The boab tree in the distance barely moved in the scorching wind. Barely any of the trees still clung to life. A large beetle stuggled in the gravel in front of the stoop. Billy Bondi listened. The dadirri finally came to him. It came into focus and took shape. He once again had direction and purpose. After a long breath he stood. When he stood he could see the flat lands of the Northern Territory on fire. He turned and went back inside.

Fire was not new to these lands but Billy knew this was the final fire. He gathered up a tattered army backpack that he had roamed the outback with for years. He carefully placed his few belongings into it. A carving of the Wandjina, the creator, that his uncle had given him fifty years before was carefully placed into the sack. He put an old shirt and a pair of shorts and his other pair of shoes inside. He decided against carrying any food with him as it was not necessary for this journey, not this time. Billy picked up his walking stick and turned for the door.

He stopped in front of his government issued shack that had become decrepit years before. With his walking stick he began to draw in the sand. Patiently, carefully he drew several wavy lines one on top of the other, the shamanic symbol for fire or smoke. Next to that he drew a picture of several concentric circles which he finished with several radiating lines on each side much like the spokes of a wheel, the symbol of meeting place. It was a simple message to whomever might find it. The fire had compelled him to go to the meeting place. He was not meeting with humans this time however; he was meeting with the sky gods.

Billy stood up with and with a look of resolution secured the backpack to his person. He knelt down to make sure that the laces of his government boots were secure. He looked back at his home and appeared to wipe a tear off his eyes but perhaps it was just the sweat from his brow. He walked and walked on. Astonishingly Billy did not walk away from the fire, but directly towards it. Soon the buffering winds from the tremendous flames were making his journey even hotter. This did not hinder Billy Bondi. He walked and walked on. Now he began to cough as the purifying smoke reached towards him like the ghosts of many lost ancestors. He shrugged it off. The flames grew nearer. He did not stop or even break his stride practiced by many years of endless journeys. Soon he was stepping on embers. The smoke made him just a silhouette. He blended into the flame and disappeared…..

“The heat was remarkable. It was prolonged. That we beat the record by one degree is quite a big deal.” — Jake Crouch – Scientist with the National Climactic Data Center

“Yes poor insured homeowner, there is a Sandy Clause!” — Jake Shween

Get off the cell phone and drive! — Jake Shween

Breaking News; Christians Can’t Wait for All Out War in the Middle East!

Thank God for all those prophets out in the desert starving, smoking weed and cooking cactus tea. It looks like all their spot on predictions are about to come true. No matter that they made them all those centuries ago under a completely different pretext. Hail Ezekiel! Wow dude you did us all a heavy! Syria is just the beginning! Read more hear about the War of Gog and Magog. Who the hell cares that no countries exist are named that. It’s Gods word dammit! We have free will to misconstrue anything He said!

Imagine if you will that Christ actually returns! Holy smoke there really was people riding those frikkin’ dinosaurs. God created it all like a weird acid trip. Six days to create. One day to rest. And he made a Dame out of that lonely bastard Adam’s rib. Holy smoke! That must have been one hell of a trip! Lucky thing soon we will have a new world and all the bad cocksuckers will be rotting in hell with that old Satan. Couldn’t he have made those dames a little quieter? Seems sometimes they get pretty bitchy! And those apples and that tree with that lousy lying snake. How disappointed God must have been when his lousy, predestined, created creatures ate the apple of knowledge. No wonder he chased their naked asses out of that Garden. Could it have been the same tree that Newton got the idea for gravity from? Hell no fool! Gravity is God’s magic force that keeps us from falling off of the earth.

Christ is coming back and there is no climate change! Damn it’s all a hoax by all those scientists that are under Satan’s control! All made up to cover up the fact that the world is coming to a blessed end and then we’ll get a New Earth. Hoo Haw the seat of paradise will probably be in Texas. Austin will be the heavenly seat. Governor Perry will probably sit at the right hand of the Father. Exciting times these are. Forget Math and forget Science! Just keep that Holy Book handy and read it whenever you’re in doubt. The answers to everything are in that Book. Just twist it around and get that meaning all up in that metaphor.

Holy Smoke, can’t wait. No more work, no more toil, sending the bad ones to boil in oil. Jesus comes back with long hair and a beard. The ultimate Aryan supremacist according to some warped factions. He gets to Perry’s house riding on a donkey. He knocks on the door of the Governor’s mansion and gets his ass shot off by Perry wielding a fully automatic weapon. No way! That means the Devil wins. Jesus don’t come back until these gun happy, pompous asses realize that they’re the fools you were talking about!

“To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and reach greedily  for the Kool-Aid.” — Christopher Hitchens

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” — C.S. Lewis

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween


Thunderstruck (Burning Man 15)

The road rose up and quickly receded in the growing heat as Roy ate it up on his way to Madame Jubal’s shop. He’d been there before with his Uncle after his Father had died. He didn’t remember much except the smell of sandalwood incense, a large parrot and a cornucopia of antiques and curios. His Uncle’s cigar would trigger the memories every once in a while. Like the smell of an outboard motor out on the bayou. The smell of home and childhood. He fiddled with the radio as he rolled on to kill some time.

Boom, Thunderstruck by AC/DC blasted away. He turned it up. It took him back to Desert Storm. He had a vision he was in a Hummer racing across the desert. The .50 caliber machine gun roared as the song blended into the chaos. He saw himself in the Hummer but he wasn’t human. He had transformed into a reptile, a fourteen foot alligator. His helmet was huge and scaley. He felt very protective of his unit. His sense of fealty was overwhelming.

He raced past a state cop in a ditch. The sight snapped him out of his trance. The speedometer read ninety five. The cop looked up at his radar gun, shook it as it beeped, then dozed back off pulling the brim of his hat down over his eyes. For the next ten miles Roy looked in his rear view mirror. The moment was over, Roy got a shiver. He had dreamed of the gator before. In his dreams the gator had the eye of the sun. A circle with a dot in the center. He had no idea what it meant.  It was another question for Madame Jubal, what the hell who else could he ask? Most people would think he was crazy. He reached up and felt for the opal. It felt cold inside his fingers.

He was nearing the exit for the shop. He turned off the radio. He was looking around at the familiar sights. Not far now. He slowed down to a crawl and looked over at the shop. He nearly crashed the truck. The man from the gas station stood in front of the shop. He had a cane and a cigar. He was staring right at Ray. He beckoned with his hand, seeming to say welcome. Ray stepped down and gingerly closed the truck door. The stranger walked right into the shop tipping his hat as he went in. Ray began to hurry across the road, hoping to confirm it was the same man. He heard a noise from over on the corner, a crashing of a garbage can stole his eyes for a moment. When he looked back a stray cat ran around the corner of the building.

Ray threw open the door. Madame Jubal jumped out of her chair as the bells on the door swayed.

“Here now son,” she plead, “Don’t go stormin’ about like dat!”

“Did you see him? The man in black?”

“Son ain’t nobody here but me and dis here parrot Lafitte. Maybe some spirits but I can’t count on dem.”

Roy stood in silence. Madame Jubal could see was he was confused. Roy suddenly became apologetic. The familiar smell of the sandalwood incense brought him back to earth. He looked down at the table with the tarot deck. The image of the fool looked back at him.

“Sorry to freak you out like that, I swear I saw someone come in here!”

“Well me and Lafitte been expectin’ someone. Might be you I expect. Why don’t you sit down here and catch your breath. I have some tea to calm your self down some.”

“Okay. Thank you.” Roy sat down and looked around. Everything was familiar suddenly. It was all as it should be, everything in order. He clutched at the opaline talisman. It was warm. He looked down at the tarot cards again. The card he had seen before had changed. The magician was now in its place. it was a picture of the very same man, a buffoon, in very different circumstances.

“The Prince in his own bed

Going vulture culture

Walking with the Queen

To a Hoodoo Dream”— ‘The Loop Garou’ by Dr. John


































It’s Getting Hot In Here

The phone rang in the Georgetown brownstone. It was the old style ring, the Speaker preferred it to the modern whirring buzzing. Only this night the sound was not welcome at all. He stood up and walked across the creaking boards of the old plank floor. He picked up the receiver and as he did he refilled his glass of scotch from the decanter on the table beside the phone.

“Hello” he said in a ragged scornful voice worn thin from years of blubbering on the house floor and smoking. “It’s late”, he protested in a defeated way.

He listened intently to the voice at the other end. His demeanor dropped. Reaching in his robe pocket he produced a pack of parliament cigarettes. His zippo lighter lit a dirty flame as he inhaled deeply.

“Well they haven’t’ gotten me yet” he said chuckling but his chuckle turned into a hard cough.

“What’s this all about?”

He pressed the receiver into his ear as if he was talking to someone far away. As he listened his face became flushed. He put the cigarette down in a ridiculous floorstand ashtray that looked out of the nineteen twenties. It was in fact an antique from the decade before the great crash. He creaked again to the scotch on the table. The phone was a land line which he had always believed were more secure. While he avoided stepping on the cord his face became engorged with blood and with his spray tan his face became a hideous shade of burnt sienna.

“How did you get this number?”

Miles away in a plantation house the Baron sat in a wicker chair smiling obscenely as he spoke softly to the Speaker of the House. His voice resonated musically above the sounds of the night time tropical forest. He twirled a fine cigar in his fingers. Seated next to him at the table on the veranda sat a beautiful woman with a tarot deck. Carefully she placed a card in front of the Baron. It was the image of the Fool. The Baron smiled and winked at Solitaire. Pouring himself some rum he continued to speak into the antique phone made of bakelite. The candles flickered on the table casting an eerie light on his skeletal features. Even Solitaire could not make out what he was saying. To her his voice was like the ethereal music of the night.

The Speaker looked like he was going to pass out. “No I wont pay the piper whoever you are!” Now he was shouting. “Stop with that stupid mumbo jumbo.” A Secret service agent appeared at the door to the parlor. He shook his head at the dark suited man and waved him away with a dismissive gesture. The Speaker slammed the phone down in irritation. “Just a Goddamned looney tune Bobby. Pay no attention. Don’t know how he got my Goddamned number!”


The Baron silently replaced the receiver down and hung up. With careful precision he extinguished his cigar on the face of the Fool card and nodded, smiling at Solitaire. She drew another card from the deck and as she did a tropical sea breeze caused the wind chime to play a dolorous song. The card was the Magician. The Baron held up his crystal glass to the candle. The flames grew.

The Speaker now collapsed into his chair. He was muttering to himself. He reached up to loosen his collar. Wiping his face with a handkerchief he was shaking his head. He wondered how he had suddenly gotten a fever. He felt faint. He was drained. Drifting off he snored the troubled snore of a man who owed too much.

In New Orleans that night Madame Jubal sat in her shop. The candles before her flickered and even crackled. “The Baron stirs tonight” she said. The clock on the wall chimed three times.

“Any fool can condemn criticize and complain – and most fools do.” — Benjamin Franklin

“Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory” — Bruce Lee

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Grand Old Paralysis

It seems like the Republican Party is now in its’ death throes in these United States. The message of the party is confused and very twisted. What was once the cause of conservatism has become a cause of hatred. None of the proposals of this party benefit the common citizen of the country. A party like this cannot survive. A sad divided party with confused religious principles and a twisted view of science will inevitably implode as it is already showing signs of doing. Educated people will see through the folly of following such a lost cause.

Despite the stupid notions and hate filled lies of Fox News and the likes of Rush Limbaugh eventually common sense and diplomacy will win out. Violence and hatred never solved anything. Violence and hatred cannot nurture life or the earth, two things that humanity needs to survive. The greed of corporations will not win out either. The attempts of a few to direct the political conversation through bullying and large sums of money is doomed as the people hear and know the truth. The population has reached the point of political advertising saturation. The average American’s BS meters have already gone off the charts. It is not the least surprising that in the Republican’s desperate attempt to retain control they who are in power are attempting to quash and control education everywhere. Education and the scientific principle cause people to question everything!

We must be vigilant and voice our disapproval of these crude methods and show up at the polls and vote this hatred away. We must protect the earth now and cease to destroy our home. If they want to hide the chemicals used in the fracking process obviously something is very wrong. We can’t let them poison our water and then sell us water. We can’t let them poison our food by genetically modifying it to carry toxic levels of pesticide. We can’t allow them to control and patent the seeds of the food we plant. These are just some of the ways that backward political parties seek to control and divide us. The Republican mission has become one to create fear and mistrust of each other to further divide us. These ultimately profit and power oriented motives are evil and must be stopped. It is time to act, stand together unified, and be counted.

We need politicians who believe and act on principles for the greater good. We don’t need ‘Corporate Democrats’ just playing a role to fool us! Education and communication are the keys to lift humanity out of its’ current trajectory towards destruction or dystopia. The notion of money controlling everything will be stopped as this world is witness to a change for the worse all around us. We will see the harmful results of profit as the only motivating force. We must evolve to a system of beliefs where the motivating force is life. We must adopt a philosophy of kindness.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — Dalai Lama

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.” — John Steinbeck

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween




































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

Occupy Wall Street Needs to get it’s Mojo Back!

I have noticed lately the Occupy Wall Street movement has been getting no media coverage. This is tragic because this movement was on the right track and should become very powerful. To help the cause I will list some suggestions for a new ultimatum.

Demand Number One: A national health care plan for every citizen of the United States. It’s been done in Canada successfully according to my cousins who actually live there. The issue in the United States is insurance lobbyists putting profits before health care. This practice should be outlawed. Obamacare to use the popular term, has gaps where it leaves some citizens with no care. In addition certain evil republican governors have refused medicaid expansion which exacerbates this situation. These governors do this simply to show that they hate President Obama and refuse to cooperate with him! This type of politics is petty and needs to be disposed of.

Two: Government funded education for everyone. We need an educated society if we are to compete in this age of technology and communication. The system of paying for education with real estate tax is outmoded and needs an overhaul. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn. Furthermore it’s outrageous that the huge banks get to borrow money for little or no interest while student loans are gouging the pockets of young graduates! Senator Warren of Massachusetts put a bill before the Senate simply to let students refinance their loans with more reasonable terms and, you guessed it, the Republican legislators blocked it to illustrate once again their intractable attitudes.

Three: Strict controls on wall street. Junk mortgage derivatives and their disastrous consequences were the reason for the movement to begin with. We can’t let shady bankers and brokers control the destiny of the country let alone the world. Elliot Spitzer was on the right track his libido just made a wrong turn. It’s an enormous injustice that the very legislative bodies that should be enacting legislation for tighter controls on wall street regularly profit from blatant insider trading! We are already heading once again into a “too big to fail” system of regulatory loopholes leading to another redistribution of wealth where the middle class is screwed and eventually eliminated entirely.

Four: Regulations that protect our environment. If you think climate change isn’t real please visit the Northwest Territories and talk to some native Americans. Before we strip mine Canada for oil sands let’s shift our energy needs to renewable resources. We have bowed to the oil companies at our own peril. Look at the never ending debacle in the middle east. Imagine all the good that might have been done if instead of spending four trillion dollars on the war in Iraq we had concentrated that money on the betterment of life for all Americans! Instead we made a huge mess. We now have a religious civil war on our hands. What a shame that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had not read Prince Machiavelli before sending our own sons and daughters off to protect corporate oil. Notice they were both draft dodgers and none of their sons or daughters served in the Armed Forces.

Humans are social creatures by nature. Some socialism is necessary for our own basic survival. What does it profit anyone to pillage the planet and leave little for the next generation? This is not the direction of any sane theology or philosophy I know.  Whether you believe in a higher power is beside the point. Think rationally of the big picture then you’ll get it.

Quite frankly I’d like to give my children’s children an existence where people sojourn in the stars together as opposed to their subsisting on Soylent Green, and worrying about finding water that’s uncontaminated by fracking!

“If I have seen more it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.                               —Sir Isaac Newton

“Contrary to a tenacious myth, France is not owned by California pension funds or the Bank of China, any more than the United States belongs to Japanese and German investors. The fear of getting into such a predicament is so strong today that fantasy often outstrips reality. The reality is that inequality with respect to capital is a far greater domestic issue than it is an international one.”
― Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Get off the cell phone and DRIVE!  —Jake Shween