Category Archives: Manifesto

Not Now Silly Turns To The Dark Arts

I can now reveal what I was only able to hint at last week: I am moving to the dark side of politics. I am collaborating on a book with a politician, Miami District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell.

I became a writer because I wanted to tell stories — because I needed to tell stories. It was less that I chose writing than writing chose me. Words just tumbled out of me. Putting it down on paper was my only outlet. In the beginning, it was fiction and furtive. Short stories that no one ever saw, thankfully.

I look back on my earliest stuff and shudder. However, I’ve worked these past 4 decades honing my craft. From a giveaway music fanzine in the ’70s, to hired wordsmithing for a Canadian trade publication read around the world. By the time I was 25 I could truly call myself a professional writer. Over the years I written everything from Investigative Journalism, Record Reviews, Artist Profiles, Copy Writing, Hollywood Reporter, finally landing at Citytv, Toronto, for a decade as a Tee Vee News Writer. I called myself a ventriloquist because I put the words in the mouths of the meat puppets (a joke that has not endeared me to my former colleagues).

I parlayed my knowledge of tee vee news into writing Fox “News” criticism, first at NewsHounds and, later, PoliticusUSA. I’ve also become an internationally known pundit — if you call what I do on Twitter and the facebookery punditry.

What I’m most proud of is the Not Now Silly Newsroom and my stories about the City of Miami and Coconut Grove. The Grove had more stories to tell than I had time for.

Now there are stories that I will no longer be able to write — some of which are already in the pipeline — because I have to recuse myself from stories about Miami. I’ve joined the other side.

Q: What does Headly Westerfield and Jeffery Beauregard Sessions have in common?
A: They have both recused themselves.

If I’ve written anything at all about politicians in the past 10 years, it’s to call them names and make fun of them. Especially now that we’ve arrived in the Trump Era. However, I’ve long been fascinated by Russell from the day we first met.

He was still a private citizen back then.

I was still trying to land my White Whale: [allegedly] corrupt Miami District 2 Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff. Russell was fighting Sarnoff’s inadequate plan — developed in secret (as many of Sarnoff’s plans were) — to remediate the toxic soil in Merrie Christmas Park, which was across the street from his house.

This was one of 8 parks in the city closed after toxic soil was found in each of them.

Aside from the inadequate remediation, Sarnoff had also ILLEGALLY declared the park and its surrounds a Brownfield site, without any of the proper public hearings and neighbourhood notifications. As one of the first journalists to report on Soilgate, I cold-called Russell to interview him on the toxic soil issue.

We met in a coffee shop and had a pleasant enough interview. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Okay. I get it. He’s worried about the toxic soil, because his kids play in the park, and his own property values.”

However, near the end of the interview, he surprised me. He said something to the effect of, “Now that we’ve hired a lawyer, it appears Merrie Christmas Park will be remediated properly. However, I’m worried about the parks in the neighbourhoods where people don’t have the resources to take on the City of Miami.”

Well, whaddaya know? This guy has a social conscious.

But that’s where it ended. I had no reason to contact Russel again until he decided to run for Miami District 2 Commissioner to replace Sarnoff, who had been termed out. Russell was considered a dark horse in a race that had 8 people vying for the seat, most of whom had better name recognition that he did.

Renewing contact, Russell allowed me to go with him on Door Knocks. Rain or shine, he visited nearly every house and condo in the district, talking to voters in both English and Spanish; 2 of the 6 languages he’s conversant in. In between houses we talked and I got to know him better. More importantly, I got to like him.

I had never liked a politician before.

While Russell didn’t win on the first ballot, he won the run-off against Teresa Sarnoff, the wife of the term limited Commissioner.

On the day he took his Oath of Office to the City of Miami, Russell graciously allowed me to embed myself with him for the entire day. I met his family, who turned out to be one of the most photogenic families I’ve ever seen. Also, one of the more multicultural families.

Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the Ken Russell story.

His father Jack was a a professional Yo Yo Champion. In the ’40s he invented and patented an improvement to yo yos that became the industry standard. If you’ve ever played with a yo yo, it’s likely it was a Genuine Russell Yo Yo.

This took Ken’s father around the world, promoting the Russell Yo Yo. While in Japan he met that country’s Yo Yo Champion, fell in love, and married her. How’s that for a Meet Cute story?

Eventually along came Ken, who also became a professional Yo Yo Champion, traveling the world — and promoting the product — like his father and mother had done before him. Daft Punk has even licensed the Russell Yo Yo for branded merchandise.

While he can still be cajoled into performing yo yo tricks, Ken eventually moved into woodworking and started a paddle/surf board company, which is what he was doing before he found politics. Or. did politics find him?

Coconut Grove, the community I adopted, is a small part of Russell’s District 2, which also includes downtown.

As a result I often found myself contacting Russel’s office for comments and quotes. I watched Ken as he stumbled and made some missteps while trying to wrap his arms around the intricacies of the office. The learning curve in becoming a politician — and understanding the city machinery — has been tremendous. Russell has made some rookie mistakes, which he acknowledges. However, he’s also identified some creative solutions that, if adopted, could address the poverty and systemic racism that has kept West Grove down during the last century.

Recently Russell was approached by some Movers and Shakers to run for Congress in Florida’s 27th District, to replace Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has decided she’s had enough politics for the time being.

He’s still pondering his decision, deciding whether it makes sense to declare as a candidate for the 2018 midterms.

Let this sink in for a second: Russell has been a City of Miami Commissioner — his first elected post ever — less than 2 years. Yet there are already people who think he could go further. The entire concept is a surreal.

However, this got me thinking: If anybody is going to write what I’ve taken to calling The Ken Russell Story (for the lack of a better name), I wanted it to be me.

About a month ago I approached Russell with the idea to collaborate on a book. Miraculously, he didn’t tell me to GTFO. In fact, he listened carefully as I outlined several different approaches such a book could take. After pondering it for a while, Russell agreed to collaborate.

That’s why I have now recused myself from writing about Miami politics.

I have officially crossed over to the other side. I am excited about being able to watch the sausage being made. Whether Russell decides to run for Congress, and win or lose, we’ve agreed that this book will go forward.

I’ll still publish various kinds of stories in the Not Now Silly Newsroom (several of which are already in the pipeline). However, now that I am shadowing the Commissioner, I have signed a non-disclosure agreement. I can’t use anything I learn while being a fly-on-the-wall in meetings until the book is published, or I am released from this agreement, whichever comes first.

This is a brand new adventure for me. Wish me luck.

The Post-Truth Twitterer Emperor

I think we can all agree, no matter what side of the political spectrum, that everything Emperor Trump learned about communication, he learned from Twitter.

And, he learned it well:

On Twitter some profiles have words to the effect of “A retweet is not an endorsement”.

I get that. I share stuff all the time I don’t condone. I share it because it’s funny, absurd, hateful, or demonstrative of Reich Wing idiocy. I would hate for people to think I signed onto any of that.

However, I’m not the Twitter President. Everything Emperor Trump retweets is an endorsement of the idea contained therein, unless he specifically debunks it. He doesn’t. SAD!

So, for him to say that he gave no opinion, but read it somewhere or heard it on the Fox “”News” Channel, and is just repeating it is totally DISINGENUOUS!!! It’s laughable on its face. Here’s what he told TIME Magazine:

Q: But I grant you some of those. But you would agree also that some of the things you have said haven’t been true. You say that Ted Cruz’s father was with Lee Harvey Oswald.

A: Well that was in a newspaper. No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper. I wasn’t, I didn’t say that. I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast.

Q: That gets close to the heart…

A: Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano, I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.

Q: But traditionally people in your position in the Oval Office have not said things unless they can verify they are true.

A: Well, I’m not, well, I think, I’m not saying, I’m quoting, Michael, I’m quoting highly respected people and sources from major television networks.

This is not just laughable and disingenuous. It’s also reckless. Emperor Trump knows full well his BRAIN DEAD supporters will believe anything he spews on his Twitter feed. He also knows they will never even see the truth because they only watch the Fox “News” Channel.

This Is Not Watergate! This Is Treason!!!

Today’s Trump Twitter Tirade

Emperor Trump sent out a series of deranged tweets this morning that not only upped the ante, but — IRONY ALERT! — just ensured never-ending investigations up his colon all the way to his lyin’ mouth.

First things first: Because Emperor Trump is always deflecting from the bad news he knows is coming, we need to ask, “What’s next?” If you’ve been paying attention, you know the answer. More Russian bombshells. However, while we’re waiting for that shoe to drop (how many shoes does this crazy MoFo have?), let’s examine the overarching, grand irony in this series of tweets, fresh this morning from the Trump Toilet.

[For greater context, read Did Roger Ailes Dupe James Rosen, Or Did Rosen Dupe ‘Merka? and Is Michael Flynn A Traitor? Is Trump? The GOP? Watergate Redux?, found elsewhere in the Not Now Silly Newsroom.]

Let’s take Trump’s Tweets one by one in chronological order followed by the Truth Trump Won’t Tell™:

IRONY #1: Strange that Emperor Trump would jump to McCarthyism because 1). McCarthyism is defined as the wild accusation against someone without a shred of proof; 2). Roy Cohn — Trump’s lawyer and mentor — taught him that a good defense is a nuclear offense, a trait we’ve seen from this tweeting man/boy over and over again. Additionally, Cohn was McCarthy’s chief counsel when that drunkard was destroying good people during the McCarthy hearings without a shred of evidence. See the parallel?

What else you got, you mendacious piece of horse manure?

IRONY #2: He was the fucking President, you idiot — a job you don’t seem to understand. It was his job to meet with the Russians. It was not the job of Jared Kushner, General Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Casey Page, Paul Manafort, or Roger Stone. (Did I leave anyone out?)

What else you got, you soon-to-be-former Emperor?

IRONY #3: Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Not only did Emperor Trump just admit that a court gave law enforcement permission for “wire tapping”, which makes it legal, but this is hardly the first time.

In those stories linked above NNS tells the inside baseball story of how President Lyndon Baines Johnson tapped the campaign plane of candidate Richard Nixon to determine whether treason had been committed.

The short answer is yes. Treason was committed when Nixon used Anna Chennault to approach the South Vietnamese — where U.S. soldiers were dying — and tell them to hold out to get a better deal from Nixon after he was elected. The South Vietnamese walked away from the Paris Peace Talks and people on all sides of this war continued to die.

See the parallel? Was Trump using many people, not just a single Anna Chennault, to go around President Obama and tell them not to worry about the sanctions just imposed because Emperor Trump could make them all go away?

If so, this would be treason.

LBJ obtained audio evidence of Nixon’s treason, but decided it would be hard to explain why he had tapped Nixon’s plane, so he gave the information to Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey to use as an October Surprise. Humphrey was too honourable to do so and eventually lost to Nixon (who, in case you need reminding,  eventually quit rather than face impeachment).

See the parallel? We have already learned from previous leaks that President Obama’s administration had a ton of info on Trump/Russian connections. However, Obama was too honourable to use it against him and didn’t want to be seen meddling in the election (unlike the F.B.I., but that’s another story for another day).

Does Cheetos Jesus have anything else?

IRONY #4: Lawyers can make a good case out of anything. However, they need proof to win. Where’s the proof, you lying sumnabitch?

We already know your spelling is atrocious, but it’s “tap” not “tapp”.

IRONY #5: Spelling aside, for Trump to thumb the words “very sacred election process” is the height of hypocrisy. Trump did nothing but shit all over the “very sacred election process” from the minute he threw his toupee into the ring, through the rest of the campaign, and beyond his inauguration.

That during this “very sacred election process” he also got all that extra help from the Ruskies [allegedly, of course], is the ALMOST the biggest irony of all.

IRONY #6: The biggest irony is that Emperor Trump just guaranteed there will be Senate and Congressional hearings about all these issues until the cows come home, or the pigeons come home to roost, whichever comes first. Pass the popcorn.


The Twitterer-in-Chief also had time for some serious business this morning:


Not My President – Not Even My Country ► A Manifesto

There’s no way to sugarcoat this — not that I would want to — but ‘Merka has made itself the laughing stock of the entire world by electing former-reality tee vee personality and crooked businessman Donald J. Trump.

Mea culpa. I’m partially to blame. Aside from calling him a demagogue twice last year [Read: Donald Trump, Demagoguery, and The National Shrine of the Little Flower and Donald’s Demagoguery Dilemma], I treated the entire Trump candidacy as a joke, for the most part. So did far too many of us. No one took him seriously because he wasn’t a serious candidate.

No longer. He’s as serious as a heart attack. As serious as a KKK rally. As serious as an atom bomb.

Everything old is new again!!!

I’m serious. I am going to fight the Emperor Trump Regime with everything I have: WORDS! Let’s see what this First Amendment is really made of.

I’ve seen a lot of crazy political shit in my lifetime, from placid Ike, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, to Kennedy’s assassination. From a live televised murder to Four Dead in Ohio. From Nixon’s Paris Peace Talk Treason to his Watergate; from Trickle Down Reaganomics to all the revenue rising to the Top 1%. From a former-peanut farmer battling wild rabbits to the Iran-Contra Dealie, which flooded the inner cities with cocaine. From a semen stained dress to invading countries that never attacked ‘Merka. And, that’s just scratching the surface.

However, nothing you could name holds a candle to the unmitigated CRAZY that is Donald J. Trump…and every last one of those racists who voted for him.

I’m not prepared to make nice, nor will I. This is my angry manifesto against The Trump Era, which actually began when those Foxy Friends on the Curvy Couch at Fox “News” started taking Agent Orange’s phone calls. That was the beginning of the normalization of this fascist by treating him as a serious pundit at a time when he was pushing his Birther Bullshit™. There’s a lot of Trump blame to go around, but at the top of any list you’d like to make would be the Fox “News” Channel.

To recap:

Emperor Trump opened his campaign attacking Mexicans: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” In anywhere other than Bizarro World, this would have ended a political campaign. But Cheetos Jesus was just getting started and ‘Merkins were just getting more stupid.

This draft dodger attacked war hero John McCain for getting captured. He mocked a reporter’s disability. He said Hillary Clinton got schlonged. Then he [Freud, where are you now that we need you?] laughingly couldn’t say she used the washroom because he found that natural body function disgusting. Still he hinted the only reason Megyn Kelly had asked him tough questions at a debate was because she was menstruating.

He was going to build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Those living in the newly declared state of Xenophobia chanted BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL!! BUILD THE WALL!!!

He said he would ignore the Constitution by banning all Muslims from entering the country.

He called his opponent Crooked Hillary and all of Xenophobia chanted LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!! LOCK HER UP!!!

He also had choice names for his spineless GOP opponents, who have all now sucked up to him to get a seat at the table: Little Marco; claimed Dr. Ben Carson, now his pick for HUD, had a pathological temper that could not be cured; said Carly Fiorina didn’t have a presidential face; and even attacked Rand Paul’s looks, even tho’ he’s a man.

He was slow to disavow the support of David Duke and the KKK. When he did so it was with a tepid “Stop it.” However, he has used his Twitter Toilet™ to eviscerate Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin over their comedic portrayal of him. Furthermore, he tweeted attacks at media outlets that report accurately about him.

He falsely claimed to have seen thousand of people in New Jersey cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11; that he warned against the War in Iraq — despite recorded evidence to the contrary — and though the only proof he offered was a private conversation with sycophant Sean Hannity. To cheers he vowed to bring back the illegal tactic of waterboarding. Then he claimed to know more about ISIS than the generals.

He’s had nothing but praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though (or maybe because) he’s suspected of leaking negative info about Clinton during the campaign.

Trump urged supporters to attack protestors — which they did — and offered to pay for their legal defense, which he didn’t. That was his first broken election promise. He also claimed — possibly correctly seeing as how things turned out — that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and wouldn’t lose a single vote.

Donald Trump told the vast viewing audience of a debate that he had a big dick. No. Really.

His non-thinking sheep cheered him on at every turn. Then they voted for him.

The system IS rigged, because Hillary Clinton received almost 3 million more votes than Emperor Trump. Just imagine how many more she would have recieved if not for the steady drip of Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Email! Email! Email! WikiLeaks! WikiLeaks! WikiLeaks!

Let’s face facts: Clinton wasn’t a perfect candidate, but is there anyone reading these words that truly thinks she’s not a better human being than Trump?

Make no mistake: This vote was essentially a giant middle finger to the establishment. People voted for this dumpster fire knowing all of the above. You can’t blame Emperor Trump for that. Whenever you flip someone the bird, it’s always done in a non-thinking, reflexive manner, even if you only did it in your head.

Zakly like what far too many ‘Merkins did in the election, ‘cept they didn’t just do it in their heads. They did it in the ballot box. They were not thinking, just acting reflexively to something they didn’t even understand. People were not even looking for the truth, because the truth was out there for anyone who wanted to look. The real Donald Trump (ironic, eh?) should have been well-known to everyone who entered the voting booth, but far too many chose to ignore it. Which is how we get this:

CAPSULE HEADLY HISTORY: I was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1952, . That made me a ‘Merkin at birth. In 1971 I moved to Canada where I lived for 35 years, becoming a Canadian, having taken a test and then an oath to Queen Elizabeth. I returned to the States 11 years ago after the death of my mother (R.I.P.) to take care of Pops (R.I.P.). Just before I returned to ‘Merka, I promised family and friends that I would become a nationally known pundit under the nom de troll Aunty Em Ericann. And, I would have succeeded if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.

Here’s something with which I agree with wholeheartedly:


On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a sizeable minority of the U.S. electorate chose to send billionaire Donald Trump, an avowed sexist and an unrepentant racist, who has spent nearly forty years antagonizing vulnerable people, to the White House. Spewing hatred at women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and those with disabilities is Trump’s most consistent, and well-documented form of public engagement. Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women because, as he quipped, his celebrity made it easy for him to do so. We can only assume that the hostile climate and anxiety about what is to come were contributing factors. The political shift we are witnessing, including the appointment of open bigots to the president-elect’s cabinet, reaffirms the structural disposability and systemic disregard for every person who is not white, male, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and middle or upper class.

As a community of feminist scholars, activists and artists, we affirm that the time to act is now. We cannot endure four years of a Trump presidency without a plan. We must protect reproductive justice, fight for Black lives, defend the rights of LGBTQIA people, disrupt the displacement of indigenous people and the stealing of their resources, advocate and provide safe havens for the undocumented, stridently reject Islamophobia, and oppose the acceleration of neoliberal policies that divert resources to the top 1% and abandon those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. We must also denounce militarization at home and abroad, and climate change denial that threatens to destroy the entire planet.

There’s more. Make sure you read the rest. Also read this:

At this point last year all thinking people knew Donald Trump was a 3-Ring Circus, good for nothing but laughs and the entertainment value. So, we continued to make fun of him. We pointed out every stupidly funny thing he said or did. We treated him like the joke he truly is. Who could have predicted that we should have stopped stopped making fun of him and taken The Orange Bowel seriously? Because people actually voted for this dumpster fire. Lots of people. Enough to make him the Emperor-elect. Enough to make ‘Merka the laughing stock of the entire world, ‘cepting Putin’s World, of course.

Trump is no longer a joke. He’s a nightmare. The Emperor elect. And, unless he’s impeached — and we get the even-worse Mike Pence — it’s a nightmare we won’t wake up from for the next 4 years, if ever. SAD!

This proud Canadian won’t be happy until I am thrown out of this crazy country for telling the truth about Trump.

2017 is the year of RESISTANCE!!!

The Not Now Silly Newsroom will
be on the front lines all the way.

Who’s with me?

CLEARLY PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL:  230 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be PresidentThe 155 Craziest Things Trump Said This Election153 things Donald Trump has said and done that, in a normal election, would disqualify a nomineeDonald Trump quotes: The man behind the mouth2005 Video Shows Donald Trump Saying Lewd Things About WomenDonald Trump sexism tracker: Every offensive comment in one placeA running list of all the worst things Donald Trump has said about women. It’s long.51 things Donald Trump has said about womenThese 49 quotes are all things Trump has actually said16 Real Things Trump Has Said About Women While Running For President32 worst things Donald Trump has ever said17 other things Trump said that didn’t stop Republicans from supporting himHere Are 13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being RacistThe 11 worst things Donald Trump has said about womenDonald Trump quotes: The 10 scariest things the presumptive Republican nominee has ever said9 (More) Offensive Things Donald Trump Has Said About LatinosThe 7 craziest things Trump has said • And, ad infinitum…