Monday, March 17, 2014


"False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade." - Christian Nestell Bovee
Like it or not, some of our friends are "frenemies." Many are experts on this subject, and this author spent years surrounding myself with friends from school days, who simply get off on seeing people hurt, between jobs, or otherwise messed up. 

My old school gang was interesting, hilariously quirky, with some destined to be the subject of a literary work or two. I will never be one of the writers. But there is that term "deep background". 

Ideally, our close friends give us a foundation of acceptance and advice, a place from which we can build ourselves into the people we seek to become. But when we choose our friends poorly, the negative energy can consume our self-esteem like a lit cigarette in pure oxygen. 

When we are honest with ourselves, we often see that friend hanging around is using us to make them feel validated. Are they a true friend? Most likely they are a “frenemy”. 

Most "frenemies" don’t intend to hurt us. They simply seek to feel superior at our expense. Their method is to make someone else, stand behind their place in line. Their comments have a demeaning and passive aggressive subtext. Be wary if your friend gives you backhanded compliments that lets you know that they possess lower standards for you than they have for themselves. For being picked at by those we care for, is worse for self-esteem than being insulted by a known enemy. 

A frenemy makes frequent comments that seem helpful in a passive-aggressive way, in order to advance their sense of self-superiority. They suggest that you wear something, and say that they would never wear something like that. They encourage you to date those breathtakingly wrong for you, that is unattractive or boring. The frenemy often advises hint that the person you really care about would never stoop to being with a person like you. However it's framed, frenemies speak in ways that decimate our self-esteem.

Not all criticism is bad. One of the great things about friendship is that we can reveal ourselves to others, and expect some constructive critiques. And yes, our little quirks may annoy others to death, and vice versa. Friends accept us for who we are and try to help anyway. They care about us and want us to make a great impression on the rest of the world while making sure we stay true to ourselves.

The frenemy sees success in your life as an affront, as a disruption to the natural order of things. If you wind up meeting a great person or doing something great professionally, they find a way to negate what you seek to do. Their words are driven by jealousy and defined by self-doubt. 

Our successes serve as a rebuke that they are not really better than you or own all the answers. To correct this, they try to get you feeling bad about yourself so that they can get back into that place in line behind them. If you find your friend attacking you for the things you love about yourself the most, they are often trying to put you down to advance their own self-worth. And that’s not a friend you can count on. 

Unfortunately, the friend vs. frenemy debate is not an apples to oranges comparison. Most of humanity has a bad time once in a while. For those we care for, it's their imperfections we find endearing. Even when we complain, we’ve got big grins on our faces.

With frenemies the calculus differs. If after a phone call , you feel devastated, that’s Red Flag #1. If you talk with other friends and find a dissonance between the way a certain "friend" talks to you and others behaviors, that’s Red Flag #2. 

If you are constantly asking others friends about doubts in your mind planted by someone claiming to care about you, it very well may be a toxic relationship that is holds you back from the promise of joy. If you find yourself wanting to scream, “Why does to me like that, ” make certain that you don’t let yourself get bogged down by the frenemies within. 



Wednesday, March 12, 2014


“There does come a time to pass the torch of leadership, so after completing this term in office I will be doing just that....While I will no longer be governor after this year, I will remain a proud cheerleader and champion for this state that I love so dearly.” -Jan Brewer

"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." ---Revelation 18:2

Thanks to today's retirement of Jan Brewer the days of the "Good Old Boys" ruling Arizona may be dwindling fast. For a strange reason, I will be nostalgic looking back on their reign. They are the real deal, hideous political monsters straight out of Revelation and very dangerous to irritate besides. They have redefined the art of smiling to your face while driving a knife between one's C4 and C5 vertebrae. They have shown that Stockholm Syndrome really can affect entire communities if not states. 

Those of us who have had our own relationship with these extremists over years, should not worry about landing in hell, due to a lack of charity. For we have already been living it. Characters like the Tea Bagging ruling junta in the Arizona legislature, or my favorite recovering bread truck drivers on a certain City Council, have the unique ability to make even extreme opposition seem honorable. 

People in foxholes do develop a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my friends have hated Mayor Kooky of "Everybody's Hometown" since their days "in vitro". It takes a special kind of cynicism to denigrate 19 recent widows asking about death benefits to get re-elected. Mothers hate these guys, for their kids are beaten up in school by their kids, and little girls cry out in fear worried that "the bullies" working in municipal leadership capacities are coming after them. 

And we have not even mentioned the Sheriff of Maricopa County. 

It was this cast who got many of us back into politics, and as they are passing from the scene, we feel nostalgic. Like Saddam, they are titanically evil in a petty and venal way.  As long as they are politically alive -- we can always be sure of finding the enemy underneath a moral manhole cover. 

These may seem shrill words for a cast constantly canonized by a laundry list of AM talk radio hosts and political preachers. -- but to paraphrase Hunter Thompson, "I have written worse things about ....., many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum."

Let there be no mistake in the history books about this. Jan Brewer was not qualified to be a governor, and she partnered with people who caused many to accept for the first time the fact that Satan really prowls the planet. The utter insanity of their anti-gay bill has been disseminated just like the anti-immigrant jihad and the campaign against the MLK Holiday in the late 1980's. 

These are politicians without ethics or morals or a bedrock sense of decency-no matter how many times Christ is invoked as a fig leaf. Honest historians will remember Brewer for many things, and some will give her credit for vetoing the last boycott generator. Given the mass reaction of big business to 1062, her veto was closer to a rodent fighting desperately to get back on a ship sailed by Roosevelt's "malefactors of great wealth." 

Future historians will be hard-pressed to explain why in 21st Century America, pockets of intolerance exist that are even more than the sum of politician's follies. Some say that words like rotten are wrong ways to describe elected officials -- which is true, with one caveat. It is the built-in blind spots of the rules and dogma of our politics that allow a Joe Arpaio to ooze into a Sherrif's office for decades. 

To the "low information voter," these flag-draped politicians appear so good that they vote for them sight unseen. They seem all-American, mouthing the right homilies, and are able to slip through the cracks of rationality. You have to get to an objective place to see politicians clearly, and the insulin shock of creative intelligence is too much for most voters in sparsely populated areas to accept. 

The spirit of intolerance in Arizona will be with us for the rest of our lives -- just as Dallas has never totally recovered from November 1963. This is not a case of blue state snobbishness either. You don't even have to know who Jan Brewer is, to be a victim of the ugly spirit of SB 1070 or SB 1062. The politics of division these bills produced, that she and her allies leveraged so ineptly will fowl the nests of Arizona for almost forever. 


Saturday, March 1, 2014


We could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws."

- Hunter S. Thompson 

One of my guilty pleasures a time back was viewing the entertaining parody of small-town Western life featured in "Prescott Place." In reading the misadventures of a state noted for violating the sensibilities of all those to the left of Richie Incognito and George Zimmerman, I saw a real-life mayor who reminded me of the "Mayor Kooky" featured in that fictional cartoon universe. And I thought what that "Mayor Kooky" would say after being called out by a Federal District Court Judge. for acting "willfully and in bad faith, and thus, with a culpable state of mind. ". If you think Nixon and the eighteen-minute tape erasure in a tape was "Kooky", try claiming that you cannot send or delete your own e-mails in Federal Court. Like "Tricky" himself, someone might need a good resignation speech. Here's one, just in case.

Good Evening:

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Good Old Boy Network running this community as well as myself. Throughout the long and difficult period of Kookygate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which a small handful of registered voters elected me. 

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base amongst the County Republican Party, much less certain rich landowners, to justify continuing my efforts. As long as there was a group of enablers left, I felt it necessary to see if it would blow over, as to do otherwise would be dangerously destabilizing for the future of our petty and venal ruling junta, much less our ability to bully and rule by fear. 

But with the disappearance of my support and a Federal Court finding I am personally liable for my legal fees, due to evidence spoliation, I now believe there's no longer a need for my misery to be prolonged. In addition, I cannot afford to pay my hired gun attorney his six figured legal fees. 

I would have preferred to carry through to the end, whatever agony it involved for my community, and my campaign operatives unanimously urged me to do so. As personal considerations have always come before any consideration of the public interest, I decided to get out before yet another lawsuit comes to pass. 

From discussions I've had with City Leaders (as always in violation of the Open Meetings Act) at the Eagles and several other local watering holes, I have concluded that because of Kookygate, I might not have the support of the rehab house owners, necessary to carry out the duties of this office in the way the special interests of the Good Old Boy's requires. 

To continue to fight through the months ahead without my legal fees being paid by taxpayers, would totally absorb my attention in a period where our focus should be on the great issues of personal asset protection abroad and creation of litigation sheltering LLC’s at home. 

Therefore, I shall resign the Mayor’s office, effective noon tomorrow. The Vice Mayor will be sworn in that hour at the Eagle's’s Fraternal club. 

As I recall the high hopes with which we began this third term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on the behalf of my landowning friends to achieve personal enrichment, over the next 21/2 years. But in turning over the direction of the Government to the Vice Mayor, I know, that the Constitution will be frequently mentioned at Council while securing the unemployment of those exercising the First Amendment behind the scenes.

As he assumes that responsibility, he will deserve the help and the support of the few of us left alive. As we look to our limited actuarial future, it's essential to open the wounds of this city further, to escalate the bitterness and divisions of the past to a higher level, and to rediscover the lack of ideas that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as "Everybody's Hometown". 

To those who are Gay, Hispanic, Black, or a recently widowed “neat little lady, you still had better watch out. Our City Facilities Director is still around to lay down the law along with one very angry recovering bread truck driver on City Council. And our police still have those battering rams as well. Be Scared. BE VERY SCARED. 

I regret the injuries done to me in the course of events that led to this decision. I would say only that none of my judgments have ever been wrong, and they were made in the best interest of the local Republican Party, my donors, and my shielded assets. 

To those who have run from me during these difficult months, my family, my few friends, and those few supporting my cause because it benefited their business interests, I will be eternally grateful for your financial support of my defense fund. And let me say I leave with bitterness and contempt towards all who have opposed me and those concerned with the good of the community. 

For my political career has not been about you. it has always been all about me. Serving as mayor has created a personal sense of hatred towards each and every resident who believes I possess an IQ sufficient to send and delete e-mails. In leaving office, I do so with one prayer: May you all rot in hell.


Remember this famous quote? "....a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government... " 

When he said those words, Ted Kennedy was trying to scare the bejeezus out of us about a scary alternate history if the Senate confirmed Robert Bork. Little did he know it happened anyway. And they really do call one of those places....."Everybody's Hometown." Each day has been an Orwellian Moment since the Civil War.