Among the Godly

by Akim Reinhardt

Several co-workers, all of whom have Ph.D.s. An old friend who’s a physicist. Scads of family members of both blue and white collar variety. Numerous neighbors. And of course the well dressed, kindly old women who occasionally show up at my door uninvited, pamphlets in hand.

One can point to general trends about the powerless, the vulnerable, and the less-educated as likelier to believe in God than those full of book learnin’ or living the good life. But But when the vast, vast majority believe, the believers represent a thorough cross-section of society. And so my daily existence, and that of many if not most atheists, involves sharing interactions and ideas with all sorts of people, wealthy and poor, old and young, male and female, well educated and not, who embrace magical thinking to one degree or another. Who believe either quite vividly or a bit vaguely in a supreme, celestial being or force with at least some degree of sentience and even an agenda. A god who sees and hears us. And perhaps a soul or spirit within in us that lives on after our bodies have given out, some ethereal expression of immortality, some mechanism of continuity after this go-around is done, some medium of transcendence into a heavenly (or hellish) destiny, or perhaps into another corpus, whether animal or human yet unborn, and from there a fresh start.

We, the atheists, the ones who, if you are anything like me, cannot believe even if we desperately want to because we find it patently unbelievable, are a small minority around the world. Here in the Untied States we number a scant 3%.  All around us, a great majority run the gamut: agnostics (only 4%) who may one day end up like us; a growing number of people who just don’t think about it all that much until they end up in some proverbial foxhole; conscious believers, such as my friend the physicist, who might be like us in countless other ways; hardier believers hungrily gulping up the magic; and ever up the scale eventually peaking with a small number of badly broken and certifiably insane people who think they themselves are this or that saint or such and such deity. Read more »

Is Making Babies Immoral?

by Akim Reinhardt

Image by Per Kolm Knudsen
Image by Per Kolm Knudsen

A wave of friends is having babies. I’m 51 years old so this is nothing new. Friends of mine have been having babies for nearly three decades. However, this time it feels different, and not because I’m now old enough to be a grandfather. Rather, as we approach the year 2020, my ambivalence stems from the indisputable fact that humanity is destroying the planet.

Human beings have initiated a mass extinction. We’re probably closer to the beginning than the ending of the process, but it’s already worse than anything since the dinosaur die-off 65,000,000 years ago. Under normal circumstances, 1-5 animal species go extinct per year. But we’ve so damaged the planet’s ecosystems that on average dozens of species are now dying off every day. Just since 1970 we’ve wiped out 60% of all mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles.

We’re facing a near-future (the mid-21st century) where half of all the planet’s animal species will be gone. And it’s not just animals. Plant extinctions are occurring at a rate 500x faster than we would normally expect, and twice the rate of all mammal, bird, and amphibian extinctions combined. It looks even grimmer going forward. Human activity threatens to render no less than one million animal and plant species, a quarter of all life forms on Earth, extinct.

How are we bringing about this devastation? It’s tempting to point the finger at climate change. But truthfully, to some extent warming temperatures are merely symptomatic of a larger problem. Read more »

Memorial Day: Forever War

by Akim Reinhardt

In 1974, noted science fiction author Joe Haldeman published a novel called The Forever War, which won several awards and spawned sequels, a comic version, and even a board game. The Forever War tells the story of William Mandella, a young physics student drafted into a war that humans are waging against an alien race called the Taurans. The Taurans are thousands of light years away, and traveling there and back at light speed leads Mandella and other soldiers to experience time differently. During two years of battle, decades pass by on Earth. Consequently, the world Mandella returns to each time is increasingly different and foreign to him. He eventually finds his home planet’s culture unrecognizable; even English has changed to the point that he can no longer understand it.

Born in 1943, Joe Haldeman is a Vietnam War veteran. He was drafted in 1967, served two years as a combat engineer, and earned a Purple Heart. Many have speculated that the disaffection William Mandella experiences upon returning home from war reflects Haldeman’s own alienation after Vietnam. But there is another element of The Forever War that has recently proven timely 45 years after its initial publication: its title.

The Donald Trump administration appears to be ramping up for a possible war with Iran even as the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan enter their sixteenth year, and the United States maintains a more indirect but important role in wars in Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Lybia. Indeed, just yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence informed members of the West Point Military Academy graduating class that “it is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life.” Read more »

Why I Said I Don’t Care About the Notre Dame Fire, Who (Understandably) Criticized Me, and Who (Surprisingly) Was Supportive

by Akim Reinhardt

Image: BBC

First things first. Am I happy that Notre Dame Cathedral burned?
Don’t be silly. Of course not.

Do I wish it hadn’t burned?
Absolutely.

If I could wave a wand and undo the fire, would I?
Without hesitation.

This isn’t about my intellectual understanding of the building’s historical or architectural significance, it’s beauty, or what it has meant and continues to mean to millions of people. Rather, It’s about my emotional response, or more specifically, lack thereof, and the surprising reactions I received.

I learned about the fire when I texted a friend about a completely unrelated issue. Coincidentally, she happens to be a Medieval European Art Historian. As you might expect, she was very upset. I was sympathetic to her pain. Yet my own emotional response to the fire was largely nonexistent. I felt nothing.

Then, much as the flames engulfed the church, the story of Notre Dame’s burning engulfed the media. This came about for reasons I understand and really have no problem with. I did not resent the press coverage at all, but it did bring my own emotionless response into even starker relief.

The day continued. I met an old friend who was in from out of town. We had dinner and a couple of drinks. We caught up and talked for about three hours. Neither of us mentioned the fire. I went home and got online. The story was still all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds. At about 11:00 PM, I posted the following self-deprecating joke:

More proof that I’m a horrible person: Don’t really give a shit about Notre Dame.

Despite the late hour, the posting got many responses. Most of it was what I expected. One friend quipped: This is why we need fewer opinions. Others were more aghast. They wanted to know how it is I could feel this way? Some of their comments reflected a sense of betrayal. I get it. I understand that people were deeply touched by the structure and hurt by its burning, and I was sorry for their pain. I just couldn’t find it within myself to care about the building despite understanding its beauty and history. Read more »

Camping in the Desert with Cats

by Akim Reinhardt

Poopster ca. 2003

In early August of 2000, I made my way from Lincoln, Nebraska to Tempe, Arizona. I had recently completed my Ph.D. and was hustling off to begin work as a post-doc at Arizona State University. Everything I owned, including two cats, was jam packed into a red Ford Escort station wagon. As I zig-zagged my way from the Great Plains to the Southwest, I allowed the felines to roam free through its cramped quarters.

That was my first mistake.

Poopster, the sweet gray and white female with tons of charm but not a whole lot upstairs, settled in nicely, nestling on the floor board near my feet. But Shango, the tiger with white socks who was the brains of their operation, freaked out. Somehow he managed to wedge himself underneath the driver’s seat.

My second mistake was letting him stay there.

He’s scared, I thought to myself. If he feels safe, just let him hunker down there. What harm could it do?

Never once did it occur to me that, at some point during this cross-country trip, he would have to relieve himself.

I had that car another three years, but despite my best efforts at detailing and perfuming, the smell never really went away. More than a year later, it was still bad enough that my girlfriend refused to drive with me from Philadelphia to Detroit to attend a wedding.

Funny though. The Colorado state trooper who pulled me over for speeding, when that urine was really fresh and pungent, didn’t seem to notice at all while he was writing me up. Read more »

Improper Nouns

by Akim Reinhardt

I’ve met
Montanas, Dakotas, and Asias
Brooklyns, Chinas, and Indias
Roses and Irises, Lilys and Daisys
Porsches and Lexuses and Mercedes,
Persons turned to Places and Things

I’ve met
Mayas, Gypsys, and Cheyennes
People who were people they’ve never been

I’ve met
Aprils, Mays, and Junes
People defined and consigned to sunny times

I’ve met
Robins, Ravens, and Fawns
Summers, Autumns, and Dawns
People plucked unnaturally from nature

I’ve met
Jubilees and Joys
Faiths and Hopes
Charitys, Serenitys, and Flelicitys
People who were prayed upon

I’ve met
Hazels, Ebonys and Violets
Sapphires, Siennas, and Scarlets
People spilled upon pallets

I’ve met
Olives, Abrosias, and Bries
Candy and Cherrys
Gingers and Sherrys
Clementines, Cocos, Honeys
People gobbled and chewed up

I’ve met
Rubys and Pearls
Crystals and Jewels,
Jades and Goldies
Ambers and Pennys
People pocketed and paid for

No wonder they’re so easily called
Red Heads, Brunettes, and Blondes
Curvy, Skinny, and Fat
Big Titted, Fake Titted, and Flat
Ugly, Hot, and Okay
Bitch and Cunt
Whore and Slut

Instead of
Mother or Daughter
Sister or Wife
or Friend

So many women
labeled as exotic
tasty or erotic
So many women
told not to be women
told to be
calendars, colors, or stones
animals, flowers, or strangers
told to be something
Eaten or visited or tamed
Bought and sold as they’re named
For other people’s emotions
Dreams and devotions
Trinkets and Toys

But boys, it seems, will be boys

Akim Reinhardt’s website is ThePublicProfessor.com

Two Ridiculous Poems

by Akim Reinhardt

Franz Klammer! Franz Klammer!

“In Memory of Franz Klammer”

Franz Klammer soared
down alpine mounts,
His glory assured
by the clock’s count

The lord of Austria,
the king of the hill,
the master of the Alps,
the bringer of thrills

His grace, his speed,
defied laws of nature
His beautiful name
redefined nomenclature

Franz Klammer! Franz Klammer!
you were the best,
sparkling Olympic gold
draped ‘cross your chest.

We shall always remember
how you stormed down the mountains,
and now that you’re gone
we shall always be counting

The hours since you left,
and awaiting the day
when a soothsayer comes
and we all hear him say:

“Look up on the hill,
yonder snowy peak
A young man races hither
Come see him streak

Down the mountain side
like a B-29 bomber
Roaring like thunder,
he looks like dear Klammer!

With the wind in his face,
the mountain in his hands,
such bold, Teutonic grace,
he looks like beloved Franz!”

But alas, I do fear
such a day will not come
during my life
He was the only one

One of a kind
as down the mountains he tread–
What’s that you say?
Franz Klammer’s not dead?

But that must be a mistake,
we visited him just last week
He was rotting at the hospice,
I heard the doctor speak

Jean-Claude Killy.  Ooh la la.

About the ugly brain tumor
the gangrene and gonorrhea,
the lupus, the scurvy,
the heartburn, the diarrhea

They said he was a gonner
just a matter of time–
What? They let him out ?
He’s going home? He feels fine?!

This is ludicrous! I thought–
No, no! I’m not bitter
But between you and me,
Jean-Claude Killy was better. Read more »

Older White Men

by Akim Reinhardt

Old white men wearing ties can do anything they want.
-Mike Cooley, “One of These Days” (2001)

I am more powerful than I used to be, and it unnerves me.

I am a white man. And to be a white man in America is to have more power than women and people with darker skin. Just like rich people are more powerful than the poor, and heterosexuality holds more power than transexuality. I’ve been a white guy all my life, a half-century of it now, and for most of that time I’ve been aware that my skin color and increased testosterone endow me with extra power in our society. It’s been a learning curve, to be sure, one that I continue to climb as best I can. And the first lesson came at the hand of my father the only time he ever struck me.

Both of my parents suffered abuse as children, and when they made me and my sister, they swore they would not beat us. But there was this one time . . .

My father was working at a small, private school in the Bronx on a summer afternoon. The owners had hired him to repair a stone retaining wall. My father ran a small contracting business and often had one or two men working with him. Even though I was perhaps no more than six or seven years old, I knew this because I sometimes tagged along with him on jobs, like I had on this day. And so as I watched him labor and sweat beneath the hot sun, moving earth and lifting heavy stones, it occurred to me that normally he would have another worker to at least help with the worst of this grunt work. And indeed, there was another worker there. A black man who was close by, wearing work clothes and tending to some other manual task. So when my father let out a mild complaint about the weight of the rocks and the heat of the day, I offered what I thought was a perfectly reasonable suggestion:

“Why don’t have you have the black man do it?”

He turned, eyes afire, and slapped me across the face.

He thought I was being racist in a way that reminded him of growing up in segregated North Carolina, where even a white child could openly suggest the ordering around of black people. He would not suffer that in me. He would beat it out of me, if necessary.

But as soon as my tears welled up, he regretted it. He understood. Read more »

April Fools

by Akim Reinhardt

LollipopDonald Trump's first hundred days as president are nearly tallied. Enough time has passed that we can now divide people who voted for him into two groups:

1. Those who: never liked Trump (but made a calculated decision to vote for him); have more recently developed doubts; or will soon become disillusioned when Trump not only fails to deliver on his promises but actually does the opposite in many respects (eg., loses good paying blue collar jobs instead of creating them; contributes to a national healthcare scenario that's worse than ObamaCare; doesn't build a wall or at least doesn't get Mexico to pay for it, etc.)

2. Suckers

Ahh, the sucker.

Most of us like to pretend we're immune to crass charlatanism. I'm not that gullible, you tell yourself, refusing to believe you could be seriously suckered. Surely, someone as smart as you sees through the vulgar farces dangling before us.

The embarrassing truth, however, is that we all get taken for the proverbial ride now and again. It's not easy to admit, but really, there is no shame in it. Everyone has vulnerabilities and prejudices. Even the most skeptical and jaded among us are occasionally susceptible to a snazzy sales pitch. Sharp logicians and clever rhetoricians can still be manipulated by a well aimed guilt trip or melodic seduction. No one is perfect, and a good con artist can size you up, get you to look away, and then go right for your soft spot when you're not paying attention.

It can happen to anyone. All the people, as the old adage states, can get fooled some of the time. That will never change. The important thing is that we recognize and learn from our mistakes.

All of us are wrong on occasion. We can stumble over trivialities, or choose incorrectly on matters of grave import. To err, after all, is human. And if forgiveness is indeed divine, then it is precisely because we all require a pardon now and again. Salvation is a truly universal need.

Genuflect, admit your sins, work to better yourself, and be absolved.

But the gravest sin against the gods of redemption? To deny your guilt. To double down on your errors. To stubbornly roar with hubris, feign righteousness, and insist upon your rectitude. To set yourself up as a false god and never admit the wrongness of your ways.

There is no helping such miscreants. The perverse degenerate who cannot confess sin must be cast out of the temple and banished from the community!
So sayeth this atheist.

Read more »

This Is Not About White People

by Akim Reinhardt

White PersonMaybe one day I'll publish the 2,500 word screed I wrote for this website about how fucking sick I am of white people. And not just the racist, sexist ass holes who eagerly voted for a racist, sexist ass hole flaunting racism and sexism as a central part of his campaign; or the not-racist, sexist ass holes who held their noses and pulled the lever for a racist, sexist ass hole, and in doing so exhibited morally bankruptcy by giving public sanction to racism and sexism; but also the middle class, white liberals ass holes who valiantly fought hard to prevent a racist, sexist ass hole from reaching the White House, but once they lost, became self-centered, self-indulgent turds who had to publicly make everything about themselves, because nobody fucking suffers like white people.

Maybe one day I'll publish that essay.

But not today. Because publishing that essay, ironically enough, would be just one more way in which a white, middle class ass hole (me) found a way to use his privileged platform (this site) to make public declarations about white people. And even though it's a blistering critique which I stand behind every word of, it would just be another example of a white person making this all about white people.

But right now, this is not about white people. This is about what we, as Americans, choose to do amid the horror that some of us have wrought.

So instead of going an angry rant, I am going to write in of support brown people, in support of immigrants, and in support of women, and in support of LGBTQ people.

People are complex, contradictory beings. Despite the absurd fantasies of some economists, we are not like cats, simply licking what we like, clawing what we don't, ignoring all that doesn't matter or captivate us, and always working in our self-interest.

Read more »

The Two Party System is Officially a Nightmare

Teenager For Barryby Akim Reinhardt

Much has been made of the fact that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most loathed presidential candidates since the birth of polling. Each of them has managed to alienate roughly half the country. About a quarter of Americans despise both of them. They make Barry Goldwater, Michael Dukakis, and Mitt Romney look beloved.

There has been a lot of focus on why these two candidates are so widely reviled. Simple partisanship doesn't seem to adequately explain it; fewer than a third of American view either of them favorably.

The Washington Post and ABC News tell us that Clinton-haters typically see her as a corrupt, untrustworthy flip-flopper, while Trump-haters hate too many things about him to list here, but it largely boils down to him being perceived as an inexperienced hatemonger.

Fortune magazine dispenses with the specifics and instead points to Clinton's and Trump's long and choppy resumés as repulsing the masses. Despite whatever accomplishments they may have racked up over the years, the thinking goes, voters simply can't get past the many “bad” things each candidate has done.

However, I'm less concerned with why exactly these two candidates are so widely detested. On some level, the why doesn't really matter; what's more pressing, I believe, is the how. In terms of American political mechanics, how could this happen and what does it mean? How did it get here, and what can we learn from it?

The one common mechanical process in almost every aspect of American politics is the two-party system: an extra-constitutional artifice that long ago hijacked government. And it is through those double swinging doors that we have stumbled into our current political purgatory.

This bi-polar orgy of villainy signifies that America's two-party system itself is badly broken; indeed, odds are that such a scenario would not have emerged if there were additional healthy political parties.

Let's start with Donald Trump.

Read more »

Why You’re Going to Vote for Trump and How You Can Win a Free Ticket to Mexico

by Akim Reinhardt
2+2=5
Hello. My name is Akim Reinhardt, I was very, very wrong, and now it's time for me to pay for my mistakes.

The good news is, when I pay, you just might be the one to collect. My loss can be your windfall.

The catch? You'll have to publicly debase yourself almost as much I am about to do right now.

Sigh.

How did it come to this? You and I publicly shaming ourselves on the internet, each of us desperately hoping to salvage a little bit of joy as the world burns around us?

It's all because of that goddamned Donald Trump.

Trump is about to claim the Republican presidential nomination, and a whole lotta pundits got that one wrong. Legions of professional gabbers, from every corner of the political spectrum, badly missed the mark, assuring you that he'd never be the GOP candidate.

Despite their wishful thinking dressed up in high falutin' gibberish, it's happening anyway; Trump is poised to become leader of the pachyderm pack. And so a lot of the yakkers had to make amends.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post literally ate his words. Pass the salt and pepper.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times and David Byler of Real Clear Politics each created a laundry list of everything they got wrong, which like most analysts, was quite a lot.

Perhaps the oddest mea culpa came from polling wunderkind Nate Silver, who explained away his spectacular failure by saying that he had acted like a barbaric “pundit” instead of staying true to the “scientific method.” Rather than relying on statistical modeling to figure out if Trump would win, Silver says he just made “educated guesses.”

Since Silver never really explains why he traded in true reason for such wild tomfoolery, I'm just gonna assume he went on a months-long bender.

Normally, it would be very easy for me to look down my nose at these losers. After all, I'm not a statistician or a professional talking head. I'm a historian. And if there's one thing studying history has taught me, it's that trying to predict the future is pure folly.

What were these dullards thinking? Guess the future? Good luck with those crystal ball shennanigans. Studying history has shown me, time and time again, that the future is unknowable. The past is a mystery and the future is an illusion. So allow me to haughtily point a sanctimonious finger at these morons.

Except for one thing. It turns out that I'm one of those morons. I, too, am a loser.

I spouted off like all the others, publicly assuring people that Trump would not win the nomination, offering up historically informed ramblings as evidence. And just like the rest of them, I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

It was a fool's errand, of course. So why did I do it?

Read more »

Prince, Bowie, and Glenn Frey: 21st Century Public Mourning as a Rejection of Cold War Culture, or, Why Nobody Really Gives a Shit About that Guy from the Eagles

by Akim Reinhardt

PrinceDavid Bowie was a white Englishman. Prince was a black American. Bowie was deeply rooted in the riffs, major/minor chords, and melody of rock-n-roll. Prince was grounded in the syncopated rhythms and arrangements of funk and R&B.

Prince's and Bowie's careers did overlap to a degree. Their biggest selling albums, Bowie's Let's Dance and Prince's Purple Rain, were released within a year of each other. But of course Let's Dance was Bowie's capstone in many ways, his big pop breakthrough after nearly 15 years of churning out music, whereas Purple Rain came fairly early in Prince's career, establishing him as an international pop icon for decades to come. So despite the kissin' cousin chronology of their biggest albums, the respective heydays of David Bowie and Prince were, in many ways, separated by about a decade. That makes sense since Prince was ten years younger than Bowie.

Despite all these differences, however, their deaths, coming three months apart from each other, produced similar strains of public mourning. In particular, many people confessed how one or the other artist had profoundly affected them during their formative years. And this heartfelt influence, many said, came not just from Bowie's and Prince's music, but especially from their artistic personae.

In between Bowie's and Prince's passing came the death of Glenn Frey, one of the two lead singer/songwriters of the Eagles, one of the most successful bands in the history of recorded music.

I have yet to see anyone write an essay, post a facebook comment, tweet, or make any other public expression of their deep gratitude for the vital role Glenn Frey played in helping them cope during their formative years.

Why? I suspect the answer is the Cold War.

Read more »

Some of the People All of the Time (On Trump’s Legion)

by Akim Reinhardt

You can fool all the people some of the time
and some of the people all the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Lincoln quotesFor example, some people will always believe that Abraham Lincoln first uttered this famous aphorism, even though there is no record of him ever having written or said those words.

A French Protestant named Jacques Abbadie authored an early incarnation of the adage in 1684.

In 1754, the French editors Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert helped cement its popularity.

The phrase doesn't show up in American letters until some Prohibitionist politicians started using it in 1885. Twenty years after Lincoln died.

Until recently, I simply took at face value the common claim that these were Lincoln's words. It's not a very important issue, so what would push me to question it?

My decision to title this article.

A little healthy skepticism is all it took. After all, lots of famous quotes are misattributed to famous people, ergo the Yogi Berra line: “I really didn't say everything I said.” Which he really did say.

So before titling and publishing this essay, I looked up the maxim at a reputable site with citations, just to be sure. And presto: suddenly I am, at least in this regard, all of the people some of the time, and not some of the people all of the time.

You really don't want to be some of those people who get fooled all the time. Which brings us to Donald Trump.

He's very good at fooling people. At the moment, he's successfully fooling millions of Republican voters into thinking he'd be a good president generally, and more specifically, that if elected he could actually do many of the outlandish things he's claiming, like getting Mexico to pay for a wall.

Thus, the question lurks forebodingly: Are we living through “some of the time?”

Is this the moment when Donald Trump fools all of the people, or at least enough of the ones who call themselves Republicans, that he lands the GOP's presidential nomination?

Read more »

On Writing a Coffee Table Book

by Akim Reinhardt

100 Moments coverI wrote my first poem when I was 11 years old. Simple quatrains with an ABCB rhyme scheme, it was a meditation on the 6th grade coming to an end. I enjoyed the work of writing it and was proud of the finished product.

Up until that point, whenever an adult had posed that most rote of questions (What do you want to be when you grow up?), I typically responded “baseball player” or “president of the United States.” The former because I loved playing baseball, even if I wasn't very good at it. The latter because, if you had to make an abstract choice about the far distant future, why not just pick the top thing?

But after assiduously penning that first set of verses into lined loose leaf paper, another idea began to take vague form: Perhaps I could write for a living.

During the next decade-plus, I found various ways to entwine myself with written words. I continued composing lots of poems. I wrote for the 9th grade yearbook. I struggled and failed with short stories. As a freshman in college I took an introductory creative writing class. As a sophomore I began writing about music for the college newspaper. As a junior I took a second writing course. After graduating I did some freelance work for alternative weeklies. Around that time, I began writing songs, and my earlier interest in poems was eventually usurped by the crafting of lyrics. I took another swipe at short stories; they were now a lot better, but highly derivative.

During those years of knock around jobs and cheap rent, I thought very hard about being a writer and put in a fair amount of practice. Could I actually do this?

Read more »

From Andrew Jackson to Donald Trump: Chasing the White Working Class

March 15by Akim Reinhardt

Progressives, moderates, and even many conservatives are aghast at Donald Trump's populist appeal. As this cantankerous oaf flashes ever brighter in the political pan, they fret that his demagoguery might land him the Republican presidential nomination, and perhaps even carry him all the to White House.

I'm not worried about the prospect of a Hail to the Trump scenario and never have been. As far back as August, I opined on this very website that he has virtually no chance of becoming president. I still believe that. He lost to Ted Cruz in Iowa, just like I said he would. And I'm sticking with my prediction that he'll be done by the Ides of March. Should Trump actually make it to the Oval Office, I'll buy you all plane tickets to Canada, as promised.

That being said, it's certainly worth investigating the Trump phenomenon. After all, how are we to explain the dramatic success of this heinous cretin? How could this man, who is not just a walking punch line, but also thoroughly repulsive in almost every way, be so popular, not just on a silly reality TV show with a dumb catch phrase, but also in the supposedly serious world of presidential politics?

Read more »