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Donald Trump is a Terrorist

A middle child of privilege. A man with deep contempt for the majority of Americans and its principles.  A man who used a warped vision of a world religion to produce fanaticism among his followers. A man whose leadership has led to the death of thousands of Americans.  This is a description of Donald Trump, though you could be forgiven for thinking I was referencing Osama bin Laden.  In America, we have become reflexively accustomed to equating terrorist with Muslim and/or Brown, but make no mistake: Donald Trump is a terrorist.  His whole life he has lacked both courage and faith, but do not think of him as a fanatical warrior engaging in actions that strike fear into people. Think of him more as the leader who issues orders and spouts religious platitudes while committing adultery and looking at porn in his private quarters.  Dictionary.com defines terrorism as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” By that definition can there be any doubt?

Religion

I think I need to acknowledge the fact that many people colloquially think of a terrorist as a sort of violent, religious fanatic, or at least someone conducting their terror with religious undertones.  Obviously the definition does not require this, but real life and dictionary definitions can often diverge.  For those more inclined to link terror with religion, I would ask: doesn’t Donald Trump often wed a religious fanaticism to his political objectives? Donald Trump has no religious convictions, but is very happy to weaponize religion to suit his pursuit of power.  As I have often thought of some fundamentalists (I am a Mass-attending Catholic for what it’s worth), faith becomes a post-fact rationalization for desired effects.  For some it is violence. For many it is misogyny. For some it is to repress things about themselves.  For Trump it has been an easy way to weaponize a group of people who want to win more than they want to embody Christ.  He clearly believes in none of it, but he is willing to conduct violence on peaceful protesters just to send signals to his true believers that he is a tip of their religious spear. Combine that with lies and misrepresentations about abortion and inane declarations like “Joe Biden wants to hurt God” or “get rid of Churches” and you have effectively primed your religious fanatics for a Holy War (likely with trademarked merchandise).

Violence For Political Purpose

Donald Trump issues calls to violence repeatedly but because he and his followers are white, “Christian” men they are called patriots instead of armed fanatics following their leader’s fatwas  From claiming “2nd Amendment people” could take care of candidate Hillary Clinton, to demanding Michigan and Virginia be “liberated” (and a non-vague reference to the 2nd Amendment in Virginia’s case) he has consistently encouraged violence on the part of his followers as the way to fight for his cause (himself).  He could not even bring himself to condemn the racists in Charlottesville because it would have contradicted his one and only goal: retaining his most fanatical and solid supporters.  The political aim is always about him and his reelection and he will both encourage violence and ignore violence if it clashes with his sacred purpose of protecting Donald Trump’s power.

But beyond his direct calls for, or ignoring of, actual violence Donald Trump’s self-absorbed “leadership” has also cost tens of thousands of lives.  Not pursuing Russian bounties on U.S. troops, lying about the risks of Covid to protect his economic numbers, failing to properly provide for the American people and then diminishing the risks of Covid again as the election nears he has shown at best, a grave indifference to the lives of American people, especially those in Blue states.  In other words, those who did not support him were expendable.  If “Terrorism by omission” were ever a thing he would be its supreme leader.

In summary, Trump encourages violence, looks the other way when his supporters engage in violence and prioritizes his reelection over the safety of Americans, especially the ones from places that do not support him.  And as the cherry on top, sometimes, “friends” of his like Herman Cain are simply collateral damage. Unwitting suicide bombers in a Trump 2020 jihad.

Donald Trump Serves Donald Trump

These words will come off as sensationalist or incendiary to some, but I mean them.  If Donald Trump were running another Democracy this way we would be encouraging new leadership. If he were in charge of a young democracy or a developing nation I think we would either have the CIA or SEAL Team 6 seeking his ouster and would cheer his downfall as a victory for Democracy. But he is a white, American, self-proclaimed Christian and he is afforded all the protections those labels provide while representing a daily threat to human life, Democracy and the founding principles of this country.  Fans of Trump, like the rabid moron Alex Jones, love to claim that 9/11 was an inside job. Well, Trump actually is an inside job. We put him in office and he is causing more death and lasting damage through commission and omission than any terrorist ever has or ever could.

As heinous as 9/11 it did not break us as a country. In fact it unified the country, at least in the pre-Iraq War days.  Donald Trump’s brand of terror is not an isolated incident. It is a governing strategy and personal philosophy and it is ongoing.  Donald Trump’s terrorism does not profess to serve God or Yahweh or Allah. He serves himself and is willing to sacrifice all in that service and that should earn him at least as much scorn and condemnation as the agents of death and fanaticism that have preceded him.

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Road Comedy Recap: Philadelphia’s Joe DiMaggio of Comedy

Last week (Wednesday thru Saturday) I was performing at one of my two favorite clubs in America: Helium in Philadelphia (the other being the DC Improv, where I will be performing Feb 26th-28th).  The problem was I had to commute all week because I am working a day job and there is no hotel for features at Helium so it is more economically feasible for me to use Amtrak points to commute each day than to get a hotel.  I referred to myself as “the Joe Biden of comedy” on stage 4 times – it killed once, got some applause twice and bombed once (Biden famously, or not so famously according to 75% of crowds in Philly, commuted on Amtrak every day back to Delaware from DC to be with his family). What followed was the most successful merch haul of my comedy career and the most exhausting week of comedy of my life. For those not lucky enough to be in attendance here is the recap:

Wednesday

Run out of work at 4:25 – get on the A train to Penn Station to catch a 5:10 Amtrak to Philly. The single scariest experience of my life on the NYC subway occurred (even scarier than when a 400 lb black woman tries to squeeze into a seat space made for an anorexic dwarf and more scary than the time on my 7th birthday when I got on the 1 train without my mother and had to be comforted by a nice Latin lady, which may explain my life long affinity for Latin women). The train was fairly crowded and then at West 4th Street a man with no shirt on, with the build of Tommy Hearns who may have been high on bath salts (not kidding). I have never been on a subway so quiet because this guy was yelling at the top of his lungs (thankfully to no one in particular) the following (just examples, not a full transcript):

  • Don’t you fu*king look at me
  • You think I am a fu*king ni*ger?
  • If I had a knife I would fu*king slash you (especially scary because there has been a rash of slashings on the NYC subway in the last month)
  • Does this train stop at 59th street? (Ok, this one is a lie)

When I say yelling I mean Samuel L Jackson “I hope they burn in hell” times 10 yelling.  As I sat there I said to myself  “don’t look at him and only get physical if he attacks you or a hot chick sitting near you.” He moved to another car at 14th street, but that was the longest 80 seconds of my entire life.  And with that fun start to the week it was time for Philly comedy!

Nothing too interesting to say about the show other than the fact that I killed, sold CDs and avoided Shake Shack next door.  Also it was my second time opening for Bob Marley (New England comedian, not a hologram of the dead guy with one good song – I am a huge fan of Could You Be Loved), who is a funny guy, really nice and should absolutely be cast as Bill Burr’s nice older brother on a sitcom.

I got home around 12:30 am and fell asleep quickly after setting my alarm for 6 am.

Thursday

I woke up Thursday at 6 and took Cookie (my dog) out for her morning piss. I then made it to work at 8 am, allowing me to get my 8 billable hours in before going to Amtrak again.

There were no homicidal maniacs on the train on my way to Penn Station or Philly (unless I have some inner demons that have not yet surfaced).  The show went great and I sold a lot of CDs.  It was at this time that all the comedy pundits began to realize something special might be happening in Philadelphia.

My personal record for merch in a week is $410 – 6 shows in Philly in 2013 I sold that amount of albums ($10 per album or all 3 that I bring for $20). Well after good sales Wednesday and Thursday the experts began to wonder if this could be the week I break my own modern day record for CD sales by a middle act (these are unofficial stats).  I just told myself to take it one show at a time and not to worry about the week.  Went home same way and when I walked in Cookie did not even greet me, presumably because she already thinks she has a deadbeat dad and because she likes my girlfriend more than me and that is who she was getting quality time with in my absence.

Friday

When I got to the club on Friday, both shows were sold out and I made a killing after the first show.  I also had a guy come up to me and tell me he liked my appearances on The Adam Carolla Show (now the key is to turn my media presence into people who intentionally come to see me perform, not just get pleasantly surprised).  The record looked to be in my sights. But like any no-hitter in baseball – you cannot talk or think about it or you can jinx it. Well, as it turns out the second show started 30 minutes late which meant I would have not be able to sell merch because I had to catch the last train to NYC at 12:10 am.  So I left the club and walked to 30th street station and found out that my train was 40 minutes delayed. So now I had missed my chance to sell and had to sit in majestic 30th Street Station with just a pack of peanut M & Ms and some docile homeless dudes until my train arrived.

Saturday

Now with all attention firmly fixed on me as I entered the last day with a chance to pass $410 (at this point it was the comedy equivalent of DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak – and just so you know, t-shirts and other non-CD/DVD items are like the juiced ball era of merch sales. I am trying to be Hank Aaron, not Barry Bonds #Purist #Hero). I had some good and bad omens.  On the good side there was a third show added on Saturday at midnight. Not that I expected to stay to sell after that, but it meant I would have to stay for the  first two shows, both of which were sold out, since my only transportation option was a 2:20 am Greyhound.  But a bad omen occurred also. My train to Philly was at 5, but my Fresh Direct order, which was supposed to arrive between 1 and 3, was severely delayed due to computer error and would not arrive until 5 at the earliest. So I had to cancel my food order, meaning that Sunday I might not be able to eat, unless I walked two blocks to a local supermarket. But like any great athlete or performer, I blocked out this stress and just focused on having great shows.

I killed with the first crowd and sold a ton of albums and had several repeat fans come up to me saying that they had seen me before and were happy to see me opening (once again, 2016 is the year of the intentional fan support, instead of the accidental). In fact, my total stood at $340 going into the second show.  I went to Shake Shack next door to Helium to take my mind off the historic accomplishment awaiting me and order a burger.  A woman in the kitchen came up to me and said “You really killed it the other night at Helium.” I said thank you and she then told the cashier to punch in a code that gave me $3 off  of my burger.  I then headed back to Helium with the swagger of Steph Curry playing a WNBA team knowing that it was not a matter of if, but when I would break the $410 barrier.

The second show went great and I pushed the total to $450. Confetti came down from the ceiling and I got a call from President Obama.  I then had a good show on the third show despite being in a sleep deprived semi coma. I left the club and made a 1.2 mile walk to the Greyhound bus station, which, surprisingly was fairly clean and did not have the feeling of a Taliban or Crips meeting place like many bus stations around America.  When I boarded my bus at 2:15 am I realized I was on a bus that President Trump might actually drone strike.  It was a few black people, 377 Mexicans and 220 Asians.  I heard almost no English spoken and realized that this Greyhound bus was basically the 2016 Underground Railroad or a Latin/Asian re-boot of Mad Max: Fury Road.

The bus arrived ten minutes early in NYC and I made my way home for a restful night of sleep, probably already awash in the Zika virus from that bus ride, but also swimming in cash like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.  All in all a net gain.

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

A lot of big things in September that can potentially lead to incremental success as a comedian or months of bitter regret.  I have not done any new writing since returning from Denver in a hopes to avoid what is often the death-knell for me in any audition/competition in the past.  It goes something like this: I think of a funny premise, which will be funny in a month, a week before an important show.  I then say to myself – this is my best joke!  I then do it and it ruins part of a set that would have been good, but for the prematurely born joke.  I then punch inanimate objects and write about my frustration.  Not this year.  Here are my upcoming trials:

The Boston Comedy Festival – August 30th-September 6th.  This is aspirational.  If I am performing on September 6th it will have been a success.  If I am not angry on September 7th it will have been a huge success/possible miracle.

I have not made the finals in Boston in 5 years and Aaron Boone no longer comforts me.
I have not made the finals in Boston in 5 years and Aaron Boone no longer comforts me.

An Obamacare Tale– We just finished filming my latest spoof/video and not only do I think this will be the best, but also actually semi-relevant.  Imagine a health care town hall with all the worst elements of Obama haters, then imagine a guy who looks like Beck playing Joe Biden and the best Obama impression you’ve ever seen by a member of my family.  Then model it after the scene in A Bronx Tale where Chazz Palminteri beats up a group of bikers.  What do you have?  A video that should go viral and be on Olberman’s Countdown and launch my new career as SNL’s Obama.  What will it actually get – 14 Facebook comments and 500-600 hits.  But it should be up this week and will make me momentarily happy.

What happens when the town hall gets our of control for Obama?  An Obamacare Tale... coming soon.
What happens when the town hall gets our of control for Obama? An Obamacare Tale... coming soon.

San Francisco Comedy Competition September 9, 2009 – November 4, 2013– This is a prestigious comedy competition that lasts for a very long time if you are good/lucky.  I hope to go far (it actually ends October 3, 2009 – see Boston Comedy Festival above for similar description).   I have never been to San Francisco, but I hear it’s a nice city.  I am sure I will enjoy my friend’s couch and the nearest 24 Hour Fitness club and Starbucks.  But don’t worry, I will tell everyone that it is awesome when I return, the way people returning from Europe trips show how much they were changed by experiencing Europe by saying things like Barthelona.

Hope to have good news to report in September/October.  Probably will be more entertaining if I don’t.  Stay tuned.