Presidential Cup

by L.P. Stribling

    Coffee that morning came early; it was placed in its position (there was practice involved in the placement of its proper position) – just right of the middle of the desk. The lights remained on until Stanley exited the room. He flipped the switch and the room darkened. Stanley left promptly thereafter. The time was 4:30. The president was expected in his office within minutes.

At 6:30, the president nearly threw open his office door and harrumphed in.

“What is it, Derek? You’ve got just a few minutes. I have a conference – morons who think my Twitter account is doing more harm than good. Speak.” He walked toward his desk as the office door behind him snapped up against the wall with the force of being thrown open.

“Well, Mr. President, it’s about your notion of power.” Derek’s quiet suited form followed meekly. His well-groomed manner made him the perfect fit as an intern with the Cabinet. “I think you may need to really reconsider your approach to the Koreas; their history is one which really relies on a certain degree of diplomacy that ~ ”

The president stopped and turned. The wrinkles on his brow under his golden hair cringed at both the tepid cup and his intern’s boldness. He set the coffee back down. It was his favorite cup – one side held the American flag in as majestic a representation any coffee cup could have – with his name emboldened just below that image. On the other side, a solid, but still professional dollar bill symbol. Black and white. He would have much rather preferred the cup in his hand – just a moment with his coffee, but <sigh> his work was never finished.

“What? I’m not diplomatic enough for you?”

The intern’s lips stretched minimally into an attempt of a smile.

“All right, if that’s what you want to do with the few minutes you have with me, that’s what we’ll do.”

He brought a wooden chair from near his desk over and set it down in front of the man, who much younger, seemed a bit timid with the way he pushed his wired no-frame glasses back up on his nose. He spun the wooden chair around on the shiny hardwood floor of the office and straddled the forward-facing chair with his arms crossed the back.

“When I was your age I really wanted to change things. I thought I could do anything, make any kind of change that I wanted in life. All I needed was the drive and the determination. My brother Jake worked delivered papers as a kid. He started on his own, and soon enough, he got his friends into it. There was one kid, though, who was just a lazy fuck. But he was big, so he intimidated. Tommy was his name. And instead of working his part and contributing to the rest of the newspaper. But what he did was different. This kid decided he was going to disappear for a few hours each day, and then when the other kids got back, he was going to trash his own papers and say that he worked the areas he had been assigned.

“And it worked out for a bit. The kid got paid. But my brother found out about it and was about to rat him out. But Tommy found him before he could do it.

“ ‘If you rat on me, I’ll make your life a living hell,’ he said. Jake did not think that he could tell anyone about it – he was afraid. But, since I wasn’t a part of the group, he figured he could tell me. He was older than me, Jake, but only by a few months, so we were basically the same age. I didn’t say anything. I just knew that I had to take care of the situation. Jake had told me that he was too scared to do anything. Tommy was a big kid, and people knew him to be a trouble-starter. He had been nice to Tommy for a few months and they had grown more of a bond that way. That was in the beginning. Tommy heard how much money Jake was making and asked if he could get in on it. Jake agreed, but reluctantly, because he didn’t really know Tommy that well.

Long story short, I found out where this kid lived. Don’t ask me how. I just did. On a week night I snuck out of the house really early in the morning and walked over to Tommy’s house. I have to let you know, and this is of course off the record, but sometimes things happen for very good reasons, you know? I think fear can be a great lesson, and…”

Derek sat there, stilled as the Commander-in-Chief rattled on incessantly and without any rationale as was his usual case. He even pulled back a bit when the man’s politically menacing index finger shot out as he wanted to highlight his next sentence. It was the same index finger that shot out in addresses to the nation, international conferences, and local forums which needed his input on the economy or recent incidents of national interest.

“You can’t reason with bullies, Derek! That’s just the truth of things.” He pulled his finger back and reset his folded arms. “So I killed his dog and left in on his porch. I made sure the last strike brought the blade all the way through the paper from the porch and into the animal’s body. Now look, Derek; are you looking at me? Derek?”

Derek’s expression of shock refocused on the president. “Ah, y-yes. Sir.”

“Good, ‘cause I don’t want to lose you now; this is important. The point is that you just can’t reason with bullies. Sometimes you have to shove all the shit they’re giving out right back in their face so they get a nice good whiff!

“So, what happened the next day? Tommy didn’t show back up to the newspaper business. It was taken care of. Jake got to keep all his earnings, and all was good.” He flashed his yellow smile at Derek then as he stood and straightened his tie and readjusted his national flag pin. “So, don’t you worry your pretty little head about Korea, Derek. You let me take care of that. Where’s a mirror?”

“Mr. President?” The door opened and a skinny man with a clipboard stuck his head into the room.


“You’re expected in the library for the briefing.”

“Be right there, Ryan. Thank you.”

The door closed and the president walked over to Derek and patted him on the shoulder. “I’m glad to have you on my side, Derek. Your job here for the next few months is just to watch at learn.” He walked toward the door as he called back over his shoulder. “Oh, can you have another cup of coffee brought over? The one on the desk is old. And use that same cup, will you?”

The door closed behind the man, and the room, with Derek seated in it, fell quiet again.


Twitter Twitter Tweet

Twitter – almost never use it. Not even sure there’s really a need for it in my life (is there really a need for it in anyone’s life?). But still, it’s something that many of us use for some daily data. Starting out, I wasn’t sure what the hell to do with only 160 (I think it’s 160) spaces. What the hell do you write, anyway? And whatever it is that you do write, what kind of shit do you say to make whatever you write worth reading? I’m thinking at this point it depends on who you are. Either that or what you are. If you’re the Twitter Control Panel for a huge sports team or political party, then my guess is that you’re probably pretty busy with that. If you’re a celebrity – yep, equally as busy. If you’re just an average Josefina, well then you’re probably not getting a lot of hits. But you probably don’t care anyway.

Maybe you use Twitter to just sort of check in with people. Maybe you use it to chat or leave messages with friends. You might even use it for advertising. In fact, that’s mostly what that shit is – advertising.

Think of all these different birds just sitting on a wire and twittering about, blabbering on about bullshit – Trump, Putin, Chinese New Year, Basketball, etc. The only people who you’re trying to tackle there are people you think will be interested – interested in a way that attracts them to you or interested in a way that makes them want to punch you. In any event, it’s a bunch of people just floating their ego around, saying stuff that, in the end, really doesn’t matter.

Yes, I’m on Twitter.

The Man Behind the Mic


L.P. Stribling

    The man who stepped onto the podium in the middle of the last quiet moment of humanity wore a suit which suggested he was the true face of patriotism. The small two-cent flag on his black suit’s lapel was tilted slightly, but would pass for centered for the majority of those he met. His eyes flashed hard at the center camera below him, his gaze rocketing into every living room of the nation; in the following seconds, those same eyes would release into every living hollow on the planet that contained a pulse of human life.

    He smiled and began.

    “My fellow World Order people, today we have shown that…”

    From the back corner of her living room, Dena Metrin’s heartbeat brought itself to her attention as she watched the screen, almost panting.

    “Please tell me you’re close, Rick.“ Her eyes darted over to the man hunched over his computer at her left. His fingers ran across his keyboard as if he were epileptic. White text sprayed across a blue screen. The pencil in his mouth had a body lined with bite marks. He had been rolling it around in his mouth clamping his teeth down slightly as he worked. As long as Dena knew him, it was his own peculiar way of dealing with stress. When he bit all the way through it, he would spit it out and pull a fresh pencil from the pack next to his keyboard and begin anew.

    “Err,” he said through his pencil. “Ah depfinilhee feek ahm gehng crossr.” She reached out and threw the pencil out of his mouth to the ground.


    “I said,” he repeated, still looking at the screen, his fingers not slowing, “that I think I’m getting…closer!” The last word erupted from him as the screen began raining white text as a full download of something was coming in.

    “Good,” Dena said, “because I think we’re about to get to the pretty bad part.”

    “…it’s not that often, and we all know this, that we have an opportunity in our history to really change everything that we’ve done – all the mistakes, all the backwardness, all the evil and wrongdoing.” Pause. “Well now, ladies and gentlemen of this beautiful moment. Now is that time, and you should feel a tingle run through you in knowing that you are alive here to witness it, because..”

    “Okay, so now how long? Remember, we only need the microphone. That’s what he’s going to use.”

    “Eah,” Rick said, another pencil in his mouth being gnawed on at breakneck pace. “Uss a fsheew mor sekns.” The keyboard sounded like each key was being hit with hard rain.

    “…and with that I’d like to begin by saying ‘so long’ to our past.” The man motioned off camera with a nod of his hands. The building behind him, almost half a mile away, the backdrop of every presidential speech in the history of the nation shattered as a missile came from the sky and blew it directly from its center outward.

    The sound rocketed the people; the cameras shook, and screams were heard from every angle off camera. The man’s beady eyes focused on his audience without any emotion; he nodded as if this was the reaction he had expected all along.

    “Okay, I’m going to need you to make those magic seconds happen right now because…”

    “…and you can see,” he went on, his voice stern and heavy, “that we are on the precipice of greatness! We are ready for change, for tomorrow, a bright tomorrow. We are ready for…ladies and gentlemen, we’re ready for a makeover.”

    “Got it!” Rick yelled.

    In their room, the only sound came as the pencil dropped from his mouth and clicked a bit as it hit the floor and came to a roll and then stilled. Three hundred miles away, HBC’s main camera shook slightly as the man behind the mic grabbed it from the podium and tore it free to hold it aloft in one victorious hand.

    “Behold!” He yelled. “Our makeover!” He turned the mic upside down and pressed a button on the bottom.

    The nation, the world watched. Nothing.

    He pressed again twice, three times. Nothing.

    “Fucking thing!” He slammed the microphone down and stood back from the podium reaching into his vest under the pin of the nation.

    “Welcome to the new you!” He yelled, drawing the revolver out and aiming at the audience, pulling the trigger faster than the audience could comprehend.

    BAM! BAM! BAM! “Welcome!” He cried with each shot. BAM! BAM! “Welcome!”

    Bullets riddled his body and the man dropped to the stage. All camera screens went black then.

    Dena slid to the floor and loosed a sigh. She and Rick said nothing for a long time. Rick’s box of pencils lay untouched.

    “Well,” she said breaking the silence. “There’s that. Take us home, Rick.”

Seconds passed before the rain started again.

Another Reason Why I Don’t Vote

Because fuck ’em. Carlin’s words are one reason why I don’t vote. This country wants you to believe that you have a choice. It wants you to believe that you (the people) run this country, that you decide who the leader is. That, when it all comes down to it, you can always get your guns and change things around. Heh, what a joke.

Couldn’t Care Less about What You Think of “the Union”


Barack oBamaDear Barack – Why don’t you address the fact that the U.S. went out on a manhunt for Osama bin Laden and killed him without a trial, or that the U.S. dropped more bombs on Laos and Cambodia than WWI and WWII combined and not one member of the government was convicted for war crimes. The U.S. convicts everyone else but itself. Barack, why don’t you address the fact that the Kennedy Assassination files aren’t being opened until 2017 or expose how many children of U.S. Senators have ever worn a uniform?

Dear Barack, how about you address the fact that a former member of United States National Security Agency can’t come back into the country because he’d be arrested for exposing the fact that the U.S. invades the privacy of its own citizens?

Dear Barack, please address the fact that you don’t work for the people, but for the conglomerates, the media magnates and the business moguls and you read from scripts whose ends favor their best interests, and not those of the masses.

“The President’s on,” they tell me. “State of the Union.”

“Not my president,” I say. “Let him try to tickle the ears of those who actually believe that any of it makes any difference.”

Dear Barack,

You’ll never have my eyes in front of a screen when you’re scheduled for an appearance. What “union?” Count me out. I didn’t vote for you.

Like you won from the free votes of the citizens anyway and not the $$ your future employers.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.”
-George Orwell, 1984

Closing Forests

I heard today that national forests were shut down. Riiiight. Isn’t that one seriously large fence line to cover? Now, I’m no arborist nor do I work in forestry, but I’m pretty sure Uncle Sam doesn’t have the human capital to pull that one off.

‘Nature – Closed Until Further Notice.’

Gotta love human societies.

Pissing Off the System

Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden, I hereby find you guilty of heroism and courage!

I don’t watch the news. So, nine days out of ten, I don’t know what’s going on the world. What I do watch is for language practice, because, frankly, the news is a tool for mass-control via fear and guilt, and that’s just not something I’m into. Call me an Orwellian freak, but if you’ve ever read the book and know how this government (as many governments, I conjecture) functions, it’s no surprise that Big Brother’s agenda is moving along smoothly.

There are times, however, when I do watch the news and find something I like – something like how the media go crazy and judge someone as a terrorist or a federal criminal – as someone who needs to be tried for committing crimes against his nation. I enjoy when things like that aggravate the system. And in this way, I say Edward Snowden is a hero.

This guy’s in the same boat as those whom the church has historically called a heretic, or whom Red China under Mao labeled a counter-revolutionary. What about all those people in the States were being hunted during the McCarthy years for being “communist?”


It’s called pissing off the system. The United States government has been listening to you for years, folks. This isn’t a new thing. No, I don’t have any evidence, nothing on paper, no witnesses, nothing like that. Let’s not get into that bit. Instead, let’s just say that you’re not allowed to ask questions. You know what I mean. I’m not talking stupid questions. They love when you ask those. Just don’t do too much thinking.

There’s a reason why you’re senses are being invaded with distraction upon distraction by the thousands (hundred thousands at least) every day. They don’t want you to think (I recommend the movie Zeitgeist) for more on this. Think about how many commercials there are on television. What about the movies? Remember when you didn’t have to be invaded by commercials when you waited for the feature presentation in a theater? It’s not so much that they want to make a buck. They do. That’s a given. But, they just don’t want you to start thinking and questioning things – things like, What’s FISA? What’s the Patriot Act? How come that no longer applies? How long have you been listening to me? How much of my private life do they have? ETC.

What Snowden did by telling the world what kind of subterfuge and criminal activity the U.S. government partakes in was, in my opinion, a beautiful thing. I mean, wouldn’t you want to know if the government that created “constitutional” amendments (such as those against illegal search and seizure) was breaking those very constitutional amendments (*Read George Orwell’s Animal Farm)?

So, according to the media (fair and balanced, as always), Snowden released national secrets – secrets revealing that you, dear citizen, were being financially sodomized by your corporate management.

I don’t see where the problem is.

It seems to me that it would be more logical to try certain members of the government for treason than it would be to try someone who told on them. Why is this guy in trouble? They’re the slobs who are committing the malfeasance.

By the way, here’s the definition of treason that came from my computer.

Treason |ˈtrēzən|noun (also high treason)

the crime of betraying one’s country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government : they were convicted of treason.


Interesting. The crime of attempting to overthrow one’s country. Or save it from being flushed. Just a thought.


This post could go on, but let’s not protract.


Edward Snowden, you’re the man. Thanks for giving us another reason to question with a stentorian voice. We are serfs living with perhaps too much comfort, and it’s all under a guise of ‘freest country in the world.’


“Four legs good, two legs bad.”

~George Orwell, Animal Farm


America’s First Ever Hindu Congresswoman Will Take the Oath of Office Over the Bhagavad Gita

America’s First Ever Hindu Congresswoman Will Take the Oath of Office Over the Bhagavad Gita

Last night, Hawaii not only elected Japan-born Mazie Hirono to be the first ever Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, they also elected Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as the first ever practicing Hindu to the US House of Representatives.