For the simple, BiteMe is my nickname for our new President, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. I can sort of understand a woman returning to her pimp. The first five years of leaving the life suck. Your whole support system and network of relationships that enabled the life are gone. You have nothing. No job, no home, no friends, no family, and no face. Ours is a material culture. We evaluate face based on who your family is, what you own and who you know. Lose all that and you are nothing.

We didn’t even do that. We left our summer romance with a John for the Pimp Daddy’s bag man–BiteMe. It’s worse than the above paragraph. We went from a John who thought he loved us and we loved him because he had all the things we thought would make us happy to a senile old man who owed everything to our pimp and turns out, also has nothing. Talk about stupid moves. . .

Bag Man

BiteMe is Obama’s bag man. Everything he has came from our Pimp Daddy Obama. So BiteMe doesn’t have any of what he promises. It gets better. BiteMe is a whore whose ass is tattooed with 習近平’s name. Xi Jinping owns BiteMe and a good number of the elites in Washington D.C. Most of our government debt is loans we borrowed from 中國. The big three oligarchy’s, Apple, Google, and Facebook/Twitter are huge clients of 中國. Their culture is a westernized Chinese Communism. It shouldn’t be surprising that BiteMe slips sometimes and we get a glimpse of how deeply Maoist he is.

BiteMe is who we left because the John was being mean to us. The John wanted us to come to Jesus. Our PimpDaddy abused us and we were tired of the work so we fantasized that Donald J. Trump was Richard Gere and we were Julia Roberts. That went well.

Abuse Cycle Bite Me

Again again

It is a sadly too oft-repeated story. An abused woman plots and executes her escape. She does all the right things and spends a half-year recovering from an abusive relationship. Then the abuser contacts her, apologizes, and promises to turn over a new leaf. He says he loves her and that nobody can love her like he does. She melts and goes back to him only to find that the abuse is escalated after a honeymoon period in which he keeps most of his promises to participate in couples therapy and anger management training.

Everyone in the woman’s circle of influence is amazed that she can’t see what a complete ass-hat the man is. He’s got a record, did time, most of it for violent crimes including domestic battery. Yet she loves him and stays in the relationship through repeated cycles of escalating abuse. Even though some victims have kids with their abusers. Actually, having children with this fucker just gives him more victims.

Why go back to BiteMe? I mean, he’s not even our Pimp Daddy. He’s a bitch himself so like, how can he really do anything? Here is the mistake the John made and that we made—we thought we wanted Hope and Change but once we left our PimpDaddy we found out that Change isn’t so Hopeful. John wanted us to behave like a Long Island wife and we were trailer trash. He liked Russian caviar and we liked collard greens. His Spotify featured Nirvana and ours was full of Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, and Toby Keith. At parties, the women talked about their favorite white wine while we asked around for a “Sex in the Woods”. Seriously.

Oh. OH! Church! The John wanted us to go to church. And not even a church with good music. No, he wanted us to go to Old South Haven Presbyterian Church. Twice annoying because Old South Haven is a PCUSA temple to Woke Faith and old AF.

Country Girl in Long Island

It’s one thing to be getting paid to wear Daisy Dukes, cowboy boots and pigtails while sounding like single wide trash from the Delta. Or arrive in a long gown and ballet flats with a Brooklyn accent. But as much as the John wanted to teach us the Queen’s English and have us shop on Fifth Avenue we were still trailer trash and liked our whiskey sours. He took us out of the trailer but the trailer never really left us.

We got into this huge argument with the John because he caught us sitting on his Italian leather couch with a bucket of chicken from Chicken Au GoGo including a side of cole-slaw. He didn’t care about the greasy fingerprints we left. He was mad because we didn’t order take-out from Caviar Russe. Chicken Au GoGo was too lowbrow for him. Yeah . . . uhm . . . there is bougie we can tolerate and then there is bourgeois that is fighting words JOHN.

Jimmy Choos people. Yes, the Pimp Daddy beat us into the hospital and never paid us. Sure, PimpDaddy had babies all over DC and owed child-support to a gaggle of baby-mamas. But PimpDaddy let us shop on his card and never questioned what we bought. Just bring him money and hide the bruises. We loved him. We wanted to go back to him. Why not? He left four years ago to go play golf in Palm Springs and reconnect with his wife. He went legit on us. Asshole.

Just Listen

Then BiteMe hits us up and is all ears and sympathetic. He apologizes for the times he beat us because we didn’t have Pimp Daddy’s money. He confesses that Pimp Daddy beat him too and so he is also a victim. He’s sweet to us, buying us a silver plate pendant from Solid Gold Jewelers. He took us to Golden Corral for breakfast. Tho . . . his debit card didn’t go through at Golden Corral so we paid 😒. So we get with him.

We are in the post-coital bliss, America. We took a beating and heard sweet words of apology, promises of money and promises that we don’t need to be afraid anymore. So we broke up with the John and hooked up with Pimp Daddy’s bag man BiteMe. BiteMe says he always loved us and hated that we had to work for Pimp Daddy. He promises he’ll treat us better than that evil man John. And for now, we are good with that.

Some things to keep in mind. Abuse is a frog-in-the-pot thing. Most of the abuse cycle isn’t bad. We can keep telling ourselves that the abuse won’t happen again through most of it. Then it happens again and it’s rinse/repeat. Also, abusers like to isolate us–gaslight us. It’s a long game where a little bit at a time s/he tells us that the only safe place is in the house with him or her. We are accused of cheating, of contacting the outside world. We get a beating anytime we hint at viewpoints that drift from the opinion of our abuser. And it just grinds at us because each repeat is a little worse.


Another thing–victims remember the abuse. They also remember the increasing peace they experienced when they fled the abuser. Third, and importantly for this essay, some abusers escalate far enough that even though we escaped with a plan and have started a new life, the abuser hunts us down, saying, “if I can’t have you then nobody can. Come home or I will kill you.”

Fourth. Addiction is often mixed up in this. Addiction has a half-life. Early on it’s great but soon enough the entropy ensues. Once we turn that entropic corner things only get worse. Ahead of us are familiar paths of jail, hospital, rehab, and the morgue. Abuse is like that. It only escalates into worsening abuse, hospital, attempts to escape, and for some, the morgue.

BiteMe just got us back. He says the abuse is John’s fault. With him, things will be better. And we want to believe him but we remember the beatings.

BiteMe Dystopia

This is Not the End

This is who we elected. A bag man whose greatest ambition is to collect money for a Pimp Daddy who has retired. His old extortion accounts are refusing to pay. Quite the contrary, they are calling in his debts and he has to pay. He took us to !Fantastic Thrift! to buy clothes and again, his card didn’t go through.

Ahead of us is more blame, that it’s our fault Bag Man BiteMe is in the trouble he’s in. And more beatings. And more isolation because we are accused of stepping out (we didn’t but it doesn’t matter).

We are broke (kind of), homeless, destitute. Now, those familiar with Step Work know that rock bottom is the worst and the best. It’s the worst because our lives are as near death as can be without actual flat-lining. It’s also the best because this is the turning point where we start working toward a clean and sober, healthy life.

I’d like to say that we are at rock bottom. We are not. One of the really ugly things about abuse is that it teaches us to pick abusive partners. Pimp Daddy left us and BiteMe claims he’s not that asshole. We thought we loved John but he’s all Long Island snooty. So what we want most of all is our Snuggie®, chamomile tea and to binge-watch “Sleeping With Other People” on Netflix. We moved in with BiteMe because he has a really nice couch and a big TV.

It’s too early to tell if we made the right move. What’s worrying is that BiteMe’s friends don’t like us and keep posting to his Twitter that we are trouble. Maybe. Mostly we are tired and hungry and don’t want to be Julia Roberts anymore.


Play Smarter

First Posted 15-Apr-2015

I’m one of the good guys. I believe that everyone I deal with will play by basic rules I don’t have to worry about. It makes me very nervous to think about an opponent who isn’t polite, won’t behave in expected ways, and may not be in a mood to be beneficent to me. I love my idea of victory–that I could outmaneuver my opponent in a way that destroys his or her desire to continue the fight. What if, though, my opponent doesn’t care about my little polite, well-ordered and safe world. What if his or her whole strategy is to disrupt mine and destroy my will to continue the fight?
CheckmateI write my ideas assuming cooperation. I am also the one that says I don’t behave. That someone could best me at my game, at being disruptive, is a bit unnerving. For every paradigm, every system, every better way of doing society, there is a way to game it. There is a way to cheat, to mess with it in a way that produces a desired outcome. My rules for victory may be pleasing to me. They don’t protect me from being beaten even under the rules I suggest.

Bad guy with weapon wants whatever. Bad guy assumes we will be afraid of the threat and comply. It’s presented as a binary choice. Do what I say or I’ll hurt you. What if . . . there were other choices that result in some hurt, some pain, but we don’t have to do what he or she says? Could we do something that screws up the situation to our advantage? Well . . . yeah.

You have to understand your opponent. You have to figure out where he or she is weak. You have also know his strengths. If the game is to destroy his or her will to fight, then you have to know what it is that will ruin it for him or her. Since part of the stated game is to preserve his or her ability to fight, you have to gather intelligence so you know going in the sorts of tactics have the best chance at accomplishing the mission. If you don’t know military history well you’ll need to dig into that. Where is the battle? How does the battlefield affect the fight? It’s tough to think that trying to control the rules could be my ruin. But whatever. I’m a poor warrior if I don’t consider the ways that my careful world could be attacked, even if the point of the attack is to destroy my will to fight. A lot of the fun of it is being challenged. If the fight isn’t real, if there isn’t anything truly being contested, then it’s kinda boring. The path is to celebrate my opponent’s ability to win at my game and take each loss as a teachable moment. Then come back and win.


The Big Score

First Posted 26-Feb-2015

This one is as nuts as some of my recent posts, maybe more. A friend of mine, who did a long bit in prison, still wants to hit the big score and dump a bunch of cash into his neighborhood. His idea is that if the score was big enough he could buy off all the poor people and in one fell swoop, fix the problems in his neighborhood. People would love him, he’d get his (new) Cadillac, young women would want to be with him, and so on. It’s a fantasy that only works on TV or in Hollywood. In Real Life, it’s a non-starter.

diamond_dollarThese ideas come up. It’s a popular fantasy that you could dump enough cash into one locality to end poverty there. Let’s play with it for a bit. To make the score big enough we are talking $32.1 billion or so. There are roughly 26,000 people in this guy’s neighborhood. It’s a nice mix, with the median income being about $28,000.00/year. To make the math easy, we’ll say the median income is $30,000.00/year. Median age is 38. So, we are talking about $30,000/year for almost 40 years for 26,000 people. $31,200,000,000 to create enough cash that all 26,000 could spend $30,000.00/year for 40 years and not be broke. Show me a single crime that can pay off 31.2 billion in once score. IMHO, doesn’t exist. So, the size of the score is one problem.

The other concern is 26,000 instant millionaires who may not have the life skills necessary to be disciplined with $1,200,000.00. The feeding frenzy potential here is pretty intense. 26,000 to 1 that everyone would behave with their 1.5 million is lottery odds. If 1,300 (5%) misbehave that’s still $1,560,000,000.00 worth of cash dumped into the grey & black market economies. The possibilities are scary.

that’s the number in play if we are going to give everyone in his neighborhood enough money to retire comfortably. It is that much money. Enough that the size of the wad of cash starts twinkling in the eyes of the politicians and the one holding that bankroll suddenly has friends in high places he didn’t have before. It is a big impact on the social and political scene in which it appears.

That’s enough cash dumped into one zip code that it would change the character of the neighborhood. Before the money Highland Park is perceived as a a ghetto. It isn’t, actually. The medium income is decent and the majority of the folk in the area work. It’s only a small number of bad actors that get the attention and drive the news narrative about this zip code. After dumping $31.2 billion into it and just the cash makes it a desirable place to be. Suddenly lots of folks want to buy the 19th century homes in the area, driving property values and initiating the sort of gentrification that would permanently alter the character of Highland Park.

It would mean my friend could not live there and pay the same rent he currently pays. I reckon he includes himself in the group of folk who would collect their $1.2 million so maybe this doesn’t matter. My friend, in his naiveté, believes that he could do this and it would come out the way he wanted it to. People would behave, invest the money wisely, and be able to afford a reasonable income for the rest of their lives. I disagree.

This is so much cash that it would take on a life of its own. The challenge of mastering it rather than becoming a slave to it is daunting. With this much money in play could he live a disciplined life? He could totally, stupidly indulge every one of the seven deadly sins and have plenty of money left over for his philanthropic largess. Right now, he’s living on Social Security Disability. There isn’t enough money in his life for him to get into much trouble. $31.2 billion, though, is a lot of potential mischief. It’d take a remarkable person not to be drawn into at least a little excessive behavior. He’s not that remarkable. He’d do something and depending on what he did, make a mess of it, maybe a irrecoverable mess. This too, $1,560,000,000.00 given to the drug & crime lords in his neighborhood from a guy whose expressed purpose is to eliminate economic misery and the monetary motivation to commit crime. Somehow, having 1,560,000,000.00 loose in the black market doesn’t seem like a crime reduction plan. It seems like a cash fueled bacchanal that would spike crime and have the opposite result from what is intended. Then, the cash would be gone at some point and what then?

That 5% that fueled the bacchanal would have to deal with a community hangover of prodigious size. The money is gone so the lifestyle it supported would collapse. The support systems that existed before the windfall may have been pushed aside by all that cash and thus, wouldn’t be there when the hangover began. It would be an epic economic crash, an epic community hangover. You can poke around to find stories of lottery winners or others that had a sudden windfall of cash and instead of it solving problems, it creates them. I don’t see any difference here. Even if 95% of the folk who got their $1.5 million dollar gift from my bank robber friend did behave, the other 5% that didn’t would still have a big effect on the community. 2,000 people in a small geographic area who are suddenly rich and then suddenly facing Sunday morning, hungry, broke, hung-over and in trouble. Bad news, I’d say. I made much of Robert Lupton’s, “Toxic Charity“ and Dambisa Moyo’s, “Dead Aid“ last year. These two writers talk about the damage that can be done by ignorant resource dumps of the sort that my friend imagines as the answer. More money isn’t the answer. Intelligent engagement with the community and a long term plan for micro-investment to promote economic development is a better answer than $32,100,000,000.00 dropped into the ghetto he lives in. One last thing. Alongside this wish for the one big score is a core belief that he doesn’t want to do more time. If he did pull off a $32,100,000,000.00 job, he’d be prime beef for the FBI. He’s already done 30 years in prison. He’s in his 60’s. If he did this, he’d die in prison. There is no way they’d let him get away with it. So, the two don’t go together. He can’t have his big score without doing big time. The whole thing is nuts.


Gun Control

This originally posted 08-Nov-2015.

This morning (07-Jan2016) Whoopie Goldberg made news because she said we should ban automatic weapons that were banned in 1934.
In 1989 California banned assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Gun manufacturers modified their semi-automatic rifles so that they could still be sold in California. The main difference? A California AR-15 has a fixed magazine holding no more than 10 rounds.

The headlines which prompted this post have fallen out of the news cycle. The press is bored with the story and has moved on. Lately, it’s Billary & Sanders who have their attention and whether Billary was derelict in her duty as Secretary of State while our embassy in Benghazi, Libya was being attacked. The spin being espoused has a lot to do whether you believe in the orthodoxy of the Republican establishment or the puritanism of the Democrats.

Back to what this post was about—gun control. Several people were killed in the shooting in Wuerenlingen, northern Switzerland.I have a hard time with any phrase that is xxxxx control. Drug control, crime control, gun control, blah blah control. I distrust the success of any law attempting to impose control on us. Somewhere in me is an abiding suspicion that I and those like me are incorrigible. We outliers are the minority exception to the majority rule. Yes, some of us get caught and spend time in jail. Some get tired of the criminal justice system and quit behaving in ways that cause them to catch more cases and time. Some don’t. Some die unrepentant.

Propaganda that pitches the need for gun control as, “there was a person shot to death with a gun today. That’s one too many deaths by guns. We have to ban/control guns to stop this onslaught of gun violence and death“, just annoys me. It sets of a tough to resist impulse to scream and yell at the TV about the stupidity of that problem and solution statement. The blame is placed with the weapon used to commit the crime. The conclusion pitched is that if we remove the weapon we’ll stop the crime. And the sad truth is that humans intent on murder have been rather darkly ingenious when it comes to the means by which murder is committed. Without guns we’ll invent something else, suicide bombs anybody?

As I type this a woman drover her car into the crowd of the Oklahoma State homecoming parade. 4 people are dead and 50 are injured. This may not equate, but I’ll say it anyway. If removing guns from the hands of people who shouldn’t have them will reduce gun crime then can we also say that removing cars from the hands of those who shouldn’t have them reduce car crime? We don’t know yet the status of this woman’s driver’s license. I doubt she was worried about that as she decided to plow into a crowd of innocent people and kill 5 of them. Also, since this post was first drafted some crazy person found a sword and used it in Switzerland to kill two people and injure two others. The optics were earily similar to our mass shootings at public places which were a favorite story of the press for a while.

We are scarily talented when it comes to conceiving of ways to kill each other. A lack of guns isn’t the impediment to violence we wish it would be. Swords can be just as deadly in the wrong hands. We have the logical fallacy of taking the specific instance and trying to generalize from it. One more crazy person shot up another public place, this time a college in Oregon. And so the propaganda that we have to make sure this never happens again by ensuring that no more crazy people can get a gun. My itch to scream at the TV is getting much worse. Us, the outliers, are not dissuaded by laws saying we can’t do what we do. I don’t wish to see another shooting at another public place. I like the idea that we could do something so that this last shooting remains the last shooting. But I’m an outlier and I have friends. There are too many of us who won’t obey the law for me to be comfortable with another iteration of laws attempting to keep us from getting guns.

The problem isn’t the weapon, be it a gun or a sword, or as C.S. Lewis spoke of, a baseball bat. Gun control laws have not prevented the crimes we were promised they would prevent. Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵) won deadly duels against steel katana and trained solders using a red-oak practice sword. The problem is the collective heart of the country reflected in the leadership we have in office. Our collective heart is in a rather dark place and some of the ways this darkness is manifested is through these mass shootings. The solution is not a legal one but a spiritual one. We need a change of heart, a change toward compassion and leadership to help us with that.