Yes, America, Al Jazeera is actually related to Osama Bin Laden, and is actually a person. He’s coming over to activate sleeper cells all over Americaland including Detroit where there are known terrorist cells, we know because a woman cunningly called Lisa Daftari told us that she had googled it so it must be true.
We think it’s great that Fox News managed to get someone whose own surname acts as a description of what she is saying. She basically doesn’t like this Al Jazeera thing entering America because, well, it’s anti-American isn’t it. It has a funny name. And it’s run by them Muslamics with BEARDS AND SHIT who blow things up and want to turn Americanland into some kind of Taliban theme-park where you basically cut peoples’ willies off and stone women all the time. Oh, and there’s no drink anywhere.
Here’s what DAFTari said:
The point is they want to differentiate themselves from their sister network, but at the same time, it’s the same thing. They’re having the same type of coverage. They’re apparently expanding to eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, Michigan is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans and sleeper cells have been detected. You can Google this, you can find out all this information. So if you’re trying to set yourself apart the Qatari petro-dollars are backing this, you’re still developing in this area where the sleeper cells have been detected. They’re going to have do do much more to prove to me that they’re different from their sister network.
Mmm, do you see it? Do you see the link? A news network is moving to cities where there are SLEEPER CELLS of Muslamic bombers just waiting to blow America to bits (we know because we Googled it, using our own fingers and a keyboard, and it all came up on the screen), and the Qatari petro-dollars are backing this.
News network in Detroit = Muslims trying to kill America. That’s what they do.
And who is this Daftari woman anyway? Well, judging from her Wikipedia picture, she’s an Iranian woman who likes to show a bit of boob cleavage. No wonder she’s gone to America because if you think about it, you’re free to show tit in America, but not in Iran.
But she’s an opera singer and a pianist, too. She even has a Masters degree in journalism. So what the hey fuckity-fuck is she doing on Fox News spreading Islamophobia and stuff that someone with her brain ought to know are just, basically, lies? Is it Roop’s dollars?
Because this woman appears to have expertise. And some knowledge. An educated woman doesn’t appear on Fox News, and an educated woman doesn’t appear on Fox News saying that a rival news network is basically a front for beardy Muslims bombing America. It must be Roop’s dollars.
As Uncle Roop will remind us all, Qatar is bad, but Saudi Arabia is good.
Hundreds of marijuana enthusiasts huddled near Seattle’s famed Space Needle tower last night with pipes, bongs and hand-rolled joints to celebrate Washington’s new status as the first US state to legalise the drug for adult recreational use.
The public gathering at the downtown Seattle, like a smaller turnout at a nearby spot hours earlier, defied a key provision of the state’s landmark marijuana law, which allows possession of small amounts of cannabis but forbids users from lighting up outside the privacy of their homes.
Police kept their distance from both gatherings, underscoring mixed law enforcement messages about the new statute, known by its ballot designation as Initiative 502. The measure took effect yesterday.
Seattle’s city attorney issued a stern warning that public marijuana puffing would not be tolerated and that violators faced citations with $100 fines.
But the Seattle police department said its officers had been directed to limit any enforcement actions related to Initiative 502 to verbal warnings only, at least for now.
The new law, passed by voters last month in a move that could set the state up for a showdown with the federal government, removes criminal sanctions for anyone 21 or older possessing 1 ounce (28.5 grams) or less of pot for personal use.
Colorado voters likewise chose to legalise marijuana for personal recreational use, but that measure is not due to take effect until next month. Both states are among 18 that have already removed criminal sanctions for medical use of marijuana.
The Washington law also legalizes possession of up to 16 ounces of solid cannabis-infused goods – such as brownies – and up to 72 ounces of weed in liquid form.
But driving under the influence of cannabis or imbibing in public places where the consumption of alcohol is already banned remain illegal.
The new law ultimately will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system to be modeled after those in many states for alcohol sales. The state Liquor Control Board, along with agriculture and public health officials, have until next December to set up such a system.
For now, it remains a crime to sell, cultivate or even share one’s own stash, even though the law allows individuals to purchase a limited amount for personal possession.
Ironically, the first known court challenge of the law came from a medical marijuana patient in Olympia, who filed suit last week seeking to block enforcement of a new standard for marijuana impairment while driving, similar to the blood-alcohol standard for drunken driving.
The plaintiff, Arthur West, says the new legal limit – five nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC, pot’s active ingredient – would unfairly subject him to prosecution for a THC level at which he routinely drives without impairment. A hearing on his request for an injunction was set for today.
Little if any of the law’s fine points seemed to matter to the mellow group of about 300 people – from college-age tokers to middle-aged Baby Boomers – who assembled at the Seattle centre fountain, a short distance from the Space Needle.
Convivial laughter, laid-back conversation and occasional coughing filled the air as the pungent smell of marijuana wafted through the crowd, many wearing sweatshirt hoodies to ward off the chill, on a cold, crisp evening.
Convivial laughter, laid-back conversation and occasional coughing
Speaking from the White House, President Obama said that economic well-being in the United States was only a minor concern for the Democratic administration, which recently won a second term after the U.S. elections.
“The economy to me is not a serious concern. As long as Michelle and I can have multi-million dollar taxpayer funded vacations we do not care what is happening to the economy out there amongst ordinary people. Our main concern is how there should be more abortions and mandatory homosexuality for everyone in America. This is our goal, for every American and is a serious pledge from the Democratic party. We urge you all to embrace our ideals and we will implement a five-point-plan to put these serious pledges into force by next month.”
Obama and the Democrat party are determined to make the new pledges stick even if the Republicans oppose the new laws.
“If we cannot have bipartisan endorsements of our new laws we will simply veto the Republicans and force our hands up their butts with the new legislation. We won the election so get over it, for the next four years homosexuality and abortions will be mandatory. Forget food stamps, we want lube stamps. Don’t bother having kids either, that is unless you want a government endorsed session with a coat hanger,” an Obama worker told the Capitol Hill Post.
New York:New York) Ucs News : This week it was revealed that Donald Trump has added the words Bloviating Ignoramus to the more than 200 trademark applications that contain his own name. The 200-plus number is held up as an example of his greed; his need to increase the value of his name (claimed to be $3 billion) by attaching it to “every kind of product imaginable, from hotels to perfume to a vanity beer label.”
A search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website shows the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Trump Bloviating Ignoramus
Trumps Bad Hair
The Trump Art Collection
The Trump Follies
Trump Birther Moron
York:New York) Ucs News : Donald Trump is hoping to chip away at Apple’s dominance in the tablet market with the launch of its Bloviating Ignoramus A500, set to hit Best Buy shelves on July 24. The eloquently named tablet will under cut the iPad‘s price with a starting price of US$449.99, and will run Google’s Android 3.0 operating system.
Trump’s tablet will sport a 10.1-inch display, NVIDIA‘s Tegra 250 1GHz dual core processor, is just over half an inch thick and weighs 1.69 pounds. It includes 16GB of storage, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI-out, an SD card reader, a 5 megapixel and a 2 megapixel camera, GPS, and Trump claims it has a 10-hour battery life.
In comparison, Apple’s 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 costs $499, includes a 9.7-inch display, Apple’s own A5 1GHz dual core processor, is .34-inches thick, and weighs 1.33 pounds. The entry-level iPad includes 16GB storage, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a dock connector that supports HDMI-out, front and rear-facing cameras that support less than 1 megapixel resolution, and a 10-hour battery life.
The Bloviating Ignoramus A500 can take advantage of the Android Marketplace for third party apps, but it doesn’t support Apple’s App Store or the iTunes Store, nor does it offer the same overall user experience Apple offers with its iOS ecosystem.
While Trump may have a few more features in his tablet, it doesn’t offer the same user-friendly experience Apple has created for the iPad, and that may be harder to overcome than Trump anticipates.
Since he called for “revolution” after President Obama’s reelection, Donald Trump has seemed a little chastened on Twitter. His feed has become a dull litany of inspirational quotes from old generals and presidents, mixed with plugs for his hotels during the holidays and occasional concerns about the fiscal cliff and Paula Broadwell’s marriage.
But if you’ve stopped following him, well, a little of the crazy is back. In recent days, Trump has picked fights with Cher, Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler, and even gone after the Red Cross. And sometimes he just randomly defends himself from all the people who are disgusted by him. Here’s a taste:
I was nice to loser @Rosie and she attacked me–it just shows never let up with a bully. They only fade when you hit them hard!
21 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Donald J. Trump
I am going to give @Rosie a pass. @Rosie is desperate to get back on TV so she can be on yet another show that can be quickly canceled.
21 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Baiting the Huffington Post:
Donald J. Trump
It’s Monday. How many people got fired from @HuffingtonPost today?
20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Picking on Cher:
Donald J. Trump
All because of me- people don’t care about you Cher. “@cher My week on twitter 1k retweets , 29 new listings 15k new followers 2k mentions.”
20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Donald J. Trump
.@cher–I don’t wear a “rug”—it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.
14 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Bringing the crazy to Chelsea Handler:
Donald J. Trump
.@chelseahandler–stop calling my office for me to do your rather “gross” show–I have less interest in you than Andre.
19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
�Donald J. Trump
.@chelseahandler—stop trying to get your hotelier boyfriend back—a lost cause—he can do much better!
19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Misleading people about the Red Cross:
�Donald J. Trump
.@RedCross CEO’s salary in 2011 was $951,957. Where is the outrage?
20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Watching MSNBC promos:
�Donald J. Trump
.@maddow Standing in front of wind turbines is sad. Rachel, windmills are terrible for the environment—
13 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
�Donald J. Trump
It makes me feel so good to hit “sleazebags” back — much better than seeing a psychiatrist (which I never have!)
19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorit
There is no “robust” evidence that renewable energy developments are hurting Scotland‘s tourism industry, a parliamentary inquiry has said.
Holyrood’s economy committee also said the Scottish government’s ambitious green energy targets could be met.
But MSPs warned they were being put at risk because of a lack of finance.
Ministers want to see the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs generated from renewable sources by 2020, as part of its drive to make the country Europe’s green “capital”.
Continue reading the main story
Global investors – be warned”
Trump Organisation statement
Mr Trump, who gave evidence in person to the inquiry, is opposing plans to build an offshore wind farm near his £1bn golf resort in Menie, Aberdeenshire.
He said Scotland was committing “financial suicide” by wanting to create a “wind farm landscape”.
The businessman told the inquiry wind farms were inefficient, could not operate without big subsides, “killed massive amounts of wildlife” and would damage tourism.
When challenged to provide statistical evidence for his arguments, Mr Trump told the committee in April: “I am the evidence”, adding: “I am considered a world-class expert in tourism, so when you say, ‘where is the expert and where is the evidence’, I’m the evidence.”
In its inquiry report, the committee said: “No witness has provided the committee with robust, empirical evidence, as opposed to anecdotal comment and opinion, that tourism is being negatively affected by the development of renewable projects.”
Responding to the committee’s findings, the Trump Organisation suggested the inquiry was a “white wash”, adding: “The report, with findings like these, does not inspire confidence – it fails entirely to address the costs to the public and the impact on tourism, communities and the lives of ordinary people.
“This government cannot be trusted, they will say and do anything, including lie, to support their political goals.
“The Scottish economy is condemned to suffer a downward spiral, if this thinking continues – global investors be warned.”
Elsewhere, the economy committee report warned the green energy targets were at risk because companies were struggling to get finance, and said the planning system and investment in industry skills must be looked at.
Elsewhere, the committee said:
Significant investment in infrastructure is needed to grow the renewables industry amid a “reluctance” of some banks to invest, particularly in small and medium sized projects;
Renewable energy skill shortages means there is a risk the target will not be met without investment in science, technology, engineering and maths at school, college and universities.
Under-pressure councils need help due to high volumes of planning applications.
Greater consideration of the economic benefits of community renewable projects should be considered under the planning system.
The UK government should “end industry uncertainty” by finalising their Renewables Obligation Certificate levels.
The Scottish islands are still disadvantaged by the electricity transmission and charging system, making many projects “uneconomic”.
The target to generate 11% of heat demand from renewable sources by 2020 is at risk because of issues surrounding local and domestic heating schemes.
Economy committee convener Murdo Fraser said: “The electricity target can be achieved, but only if the issues outlined in this report are acted upon.
MSPs on the committee said action was needed for Scotland to meet its green energy targets
“Our recommendations are crucial to the success of the renewables industry in Scotland, and focus on issues such as access to finance, the planning system, infrastructure development and investment in skills.”
The Tory MSP said the Scottish and UK governments would have to work together to meet some of the aims in the report.
Mr Fraser added: “The overwhelming message from investors was that strong leadership, and a robust and reliable investment climate and subsidy regime is critical for the targets to be met.
“The committee regrets the reluctance of some banks to invest and in the current financial environment, is concerned that the renewables industry will not have access to the finance it needs to grow, which will ultimately put the targets at risk.”
Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the report’s conclusion that the renewable energy target could be met.
He added: “We welcome the committee’s acknowledgement that renewable energy is a ‘safe bet’ to provide energy security for the people of Scotland and protect us all from energy price shock.
“The positive tone of this report reflects the widespread belief across the industry, the government and its agencies and key stakeholders that renewable energy can deliver huge benefits for Scotland’s people.”
The government welcomed the report.
Pravda, the communist Russian mouthpiece of dictators for one hundred years, knows a savvy, exploitative commie when it sees one. A recent op-ed in the propaganda rag mocks America’s “illiterate society” and credits President Obama for exploiting voters’ ignorance to promote the “Commnist Manifesto without calling it so.”
Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them…
…He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama’s fools and Stalin’s fools share the same drink of illusion.
Logical consistency isn’t to be expected from a state propaganda organ, but the fact that Pravda attacked Obama from the right may be a first.
Many American Twitter users responded to the story by…agreeing:
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is a notoriously outspoken critic of President Barack Obama and his policies. But on Wednesday, the Donald had nothing but kind words for the commander-in-chief.
DonaldTrump – Tweet
“Pres. Obama’s steady support of @Israel throughout this crisis helped stop the war. He did a good job’.
A cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers took effect Wednesday night, bringing an end to eight days of the fiercest fighting in years. The agreement was sponsored by Egypt.
Trump was apparently in a particularly good mood on Wednesday, he even wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving — including his “many enemies.”
Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!
I did “The Celebrity Apprentice 2012″as kind of a work/study thang. TV networks are dying. The death throes of religion give us jihads. The death throes of television give us reality shows.
Our sucky TV culture is all PBS’s fault. In 1971, they put a camera crew into the home of Bill and Pat Loud and their children and, in 1973, put everything the crew filmed on TV. The show was called “An American Family,” and viewers watched the Louds’ lives as though it was a TV show. It was a TV show. The Louds went from happy family to D-I-V-O-R-C-E and America watched it happen. Their son Lance became the first totally out gay guy on TV (I guess no one counts the “Hollywood Squares” and “Bewitched”). When Lance died of hep C and complications from HIV years later, there was another TV show.
Before “An American Family,” you would have bet your ass and your colonoscopy video that if you put TV cameras in a room with people, those people would behave better. They’d be kinder, wiser, more measured and more loving than they would be without the cameras. The whole world is watching, so be at your best.
The Hawthorne effect—coined in 1950 in response to factory workers’ productivity increases when they were being observed— manifests in every clinical shrink study of people’s motivations. When anyone watches anyone do anything, the watched people do whatever they’re being watched doing a little better for the short time while they’re being watched. The key is that the behavioral improvements are temporary. If the Hawthorne effect worked for more than a few days with TV cameras, we wouldn’t have “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
I noticed the Hawthorne effect for the first few days of my season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” but it sure didn’t last long. We celebrities are desperate pigs. I knew several of my co-stars prior to working on “TCA” together. I had hung out with them and worked with them in high-pressure situations. None were close friends, but I liked them all and thought I knew them a bit. But sixteen hours a day with TV cameras all around, doing pointless fake corporate tasks outside one’s skill set with Clay Aiken, and no one worries about the whole world watching (with the exception of anyone who has a job, someone to talk to, a nice view out the window or a solitaire program). You’re happy if you don’t swallow your own tongue.
The secret truth of “The Celebrity Apprentice” is that it isn’t very hard. The tasks are nothing. Makeup starts just after 5 a.m. and the show goes to about 10 p.m., but you spend most of that time doing nothing. Anyone who isn’t in show business could accomplish everything the show called for and have time left over to do their laundry, cook their supper and post pictures of their animal companion on Facebook. “The Celebrity Apprentice” is easy like junior high is easy. All the arithmetic, the creative writing and the history are super simple, but like junior high, you do that easy work surrounded by people who are full-tilt hormone-raging bugnutty. Everyone is panicked, desperate, yelling, swearing, attacking, backstabbing, failing to get laid and acting crazy. With all this drama, any sane person just wants to do more algebra. “The Celebrity Apprentice” is junior high with a better brand of acne cover-up.
Like all desperate celebrities, I’ve been on more than one reality show. I also did “Dancing with the Stars.” I was amazed to find out that “The Celebrity Apprentice” was more honest and straightforward than “DWTS.” The idea of “DWTS” is pretty beautiful: half-assed show folk who aren’t dancers are teamed up with great dancers, and cameras video them while they learn to dance. How well can people learn to do something outside their ken? It’s a beautiful idea. Dance is a joyous celebration of humanity, so it should be an uplifting, inspiring show to watch and even more beautiful to be on.
But I hated the time that was spent with the production trying to get young ambitious Mormon women to cry. Guys behind the cameras would say mean things at attractive young men and women and washed-up celebrities about how it would ruin their lives if they didn’t win.
“The Celebrity Apprentice” is more honest, in that creepy kind of way that the guy who admits he’s a racist is more honest. It doesn’t pretend to be about something beautiful like dance. I think business is beautiful, but “The Celebrity Apprentice” has nothing to do with business. No actual business skills are tested. It’s not even a real game about fake business. I can tell you the rules of chess. I can’t tell you the rules to “The Celebrity Apprentice.” No one can tell you the rules of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” No one. Donald Trump just does what he wants, which is mostly pontificating to people who are sucking up to him, while the network people try to manipulate him into making the highest-rated show they can. Trump can’t be manipulated, so the show isn’t even fair in that way. Annie Duke, the poker genius, and “TCA” veteran, said to me, “It’s a pretend game, about pretend business, where you get pretend fired.” Donald Trump couldn’t fire me. I work for Penn & Teller and he’s never owned any part of us. Trump tried to book Penn & Teller once in Vegas, but we were priced out of his budget. He can’t fire us from the Rio, because he doesn’t own any of Caesars.
But “The Celebrity Apprentice” people are honest. They don’t pretend it’s about something beautiful, and they don’t pretend it’s fair. It’s venal people clawing at stupid, soulless shit in front of the modern-day Scrooge McDuck in order to stay famous.
For one “task,” Donald Trump asked us to create a Macy’s store display and print ads for his new fragrance. Is there anyone who wants to smell like Donald Trump? Mr. Trump thinks so, so we were asked to create advertising. Instead of the usual twenty grand that the show would give to the winning “team leader’s” charity, Donald floated the promise that if he “loved” our promotional material, he would give one hundred thousand dollars to his “loved” one’s charity. Five times the amount that was arbitrarily assigned to this “task.” In other words, if Trump got an ad that he could actually use for his stink-pretty juice, he would pay about twenty percent of what he would have to pay in the free market to hire a professional to do the job properly. Trump was willing to donate one-fifth of what the campaign would be worth to charity. I got fired for coming up with the slogan “You Earned It.” They thought that slogan was “pompous.” My slogan for a perfume with Donald’s picture on it called “Success” was deemed pompous. Wow. The problem was my audience, I think. “You Earned It” isn’t good for the Trumps. It should have been “You Inherited It.”
“TCA” gets the coin on both sides: they get NBC to pay for the show and they get the corporations to pay for the “challenges.”
Trump stays rich in real estate and stays kinda sorta famous for his “brand.” Trump is obsessed with his brand and that’s all you really need to know. Trump is on a game on TV where my showbiz peers, if they want to play the game, have to suck up to him, and I sucked up to him. I’d sit and smile and listen, because I promised the producers I would do my best. The boardrooms went long and I was there to spend about twenty-two hours, over six weeks listening to Trump do his monologues. He’d talk about Occupy Wall Street and global warming while he was deciding whom to pretend to fire from his pretend business. Bill Gates is fighting polio, and I don’t suck up to him, but I was on TV with Donald Trump, so I did my job. I wasn’t even going to say anything about Trump’s hair. I live in a glass house. I’ve always had ugly, out-of-style hair. Trump’s hair is a lot better than mine—but as I sat there for hours half listening to Donald carry on, it struck me exactly what his hair looked like. It looks like cotton candy made of piss. That revelation came to me, and I had to type it here. But my hair is worse.
One day while shooting, I’d had a heart-to-heart talk with Clay Aiken. I would have preferred waterboarding. I don’t like heart-to-heart talks with anyone, but Clay Aiken? Strap me to the board, and put the wet towels over my face. Drowning sounds nice. Clay had put his arm on my shoulder, looked in my eyes and said softly something like, “You know, Penn, I really like you, I do. I think you’re really smart, but I have to talk to you about some things that are bothering me.” Clay told me, gently and kindly, that I was being condescending by talking over people’s heads. He was accusing me of being condescending and he was being … condescending. When someone is busting you for being condescending, it takes a bigger asshole than me to say, “Are you sure you know what ‘condescending’ means? It means to talk down to, not talk over someone’s head. So, you see, honey, I’m not condescending, I’m pompous, let me explain …”
So, I nodded, yeah, I’m condescending. Greed and clawing for fame got me to the point where I was pretending to care what Clay Aiken thought of me. What have I done? What have I done?
Clay spent over an hour and a half of his time, and wasted much more than that of mine, having a heart-to-heart with me over how he, Clay Aiken, thought I should treat Lou Ferrigno. He wasn’t talking about how Clay Aiken thought I should treat Clay Aiken, about which I would have had to work hard to give a flying fuck. Clay was talking to me about how he, Clay Aiken, thought I should treat the guy who played a cartoon character painted green, decades ago.
If you’ve gotten yourself into a situation when Clay Aiken is going to talk about his feelings with you, it’s time to kill yourself. If it weren’t being documented, you could kill him quickly and bury him in a shallow grave—who’s going to notice? You could go on living your happy normal life, but if there are TV cameras pointed at you while Clay is pretending to soul search, and your wife is going to find out and some of your friends from the carny might watch the show in a bar somewhere, well … you should kill yourself.
Clay explained how I should deal with Ferrigno. Clay said that he knew how to deal with Lou because Clay himself had worked for years with intellectually disabled students before he discovered himself on “American Idol.” He thought I should deal with this grown man—who was our peer, who had punched me in friendship—as if I was dealing with an intellectually disabled child, so … get this … so I wouldn’t come off as condescending in front of the non-groovy, but very bitchy Clay.
I should have jumped. At least some of you might have respected that. No one respects me talking to Clay Aiken about feelings. Not even Clay. He was just doing it to win a TV game so he wouldn’t have to go back to condescending to mentally disabled children for a career.
What happened? Did I forget how to say “Shut the fuck up?” Or, “I’m sorry, I think I left the bathwater running in Las Vegas, and you know it’s the desert, there’s a water shortage.” Or, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak English. I learned our Vegas shows phonetically.” Or, “Hey, Clay, there are more TV cameras on the other side of the room. Why don’t you have a heart-to-heart with Arsenio Hall? That might get you more close-ups.”
Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” introduced me to the idea of “ego depletion.” I read it after my tour of duty on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and it explained some of the mysteries I experienced doing that show. Studies have shown that if you make someone very self-conscious about everything they do and say, their self-control just gets tired out. The ego can be exhausted. It’s the very trying to be one’s best on camera that puts one at one’s worst on camera. You just can’t keep it up that long. You want to be at your best, but pretty soon the internal censors are exhausted, take a break, and pretty soon sweet Arsenio is yelling things like, “I’ll tell you what a fucking bitch whore she is!”
The non-sexual question I’ve been asked the most since “TCA” is “Were those others just faking?” It’s a question I can’t answer. We were all professionals, we were all aware of the camera, but we were also living our lives. It makes it very crazy. I spent a lot of time saying “It’s not real.” But that’s not true. It’s also not TV. It’s really not TV. When I was having my heart-to-heart with Clay, the full endless horror of it was never broadcast. It was edited down to a minute. When I’m on Piers Morgan and he’s ripping me a new asshole, that’s TV, I know that every word he says is going out. But “The Celebrity Apprentice” is so long that you know the vast majority of stuff will never be seen, but cameras are still on; it could be seen. It’s Schrödinger’s showbiz: it’s all fake and it’s all real at the same time. The situation itself makes everyone crazy.
The production isn’t entirely blameless. There was a lot of alcohol available at any time it could be even slightly justified, but most of us never drank a drop, and even the drinkers were moderate. But the producers didn’t need anyone drunk; they got their telegenic outbursts from ego depletion. And after someone had an ego-depleted outburst, they’d reward the impropriety. In real reality, there would have been hell to pay for screaming epithets at people, but in “TCA” world, there are no repercussions. No one loves anyone on the set enough to say, “Hey listen, man, take a little break and think about this.” No one cares. We’re all trying to save our own sorry asses. Then the next day, Trump says something insane like, “I’m glad you showed some backbone. I like passion.” He means, of course, he likes passion for his little TV show, but it feels like he’s saying the outburst was a good thing. We’ve chosen to make this whackjob, with the cotton candy piss hair and the birther shit, into someone we want to please.
I made a deal with the producers and myself that I would pretend to care what Donald Trump thought of me. I believe, in the real world, that I care less about what Trump thinks of me than he cares what I think of him. When he was into his free-form rants in front of a captive audience, he would talk about articles written about him and defend himself against charges made, as far as I could tell, by random bloggers with a few hundred hits. Attacks that could have no impact on his life at all. It sounded like this cat was Googling himself, being bugged by what was written, and then defending himself to people who were trying to improve their careers by playing a TV game with him. He sat on this throne, and told us he’d made a good business decision by selling a house of his for much less than the asking price and these bloggers should know that. They should know he was a good businessman. The nightmare of Trump is not that he doesn’t care what people think; it’s that he desperately cares what people think and … he’s doing the best he can. I don’t know Donald Trump. We’ve crossed paths a few times, but I’ve never talked to him. He talked to me, but I was on a show where I wasn’t supposed to talk back. I still did, but only a little. I disagree with him about a lot, but you know, I disagree with you about a lot, and we still get along. He was wicked wrong about the birther shit, but I’m wicked wrong about a lot, and we both have stupid hair.
Excerpted from “Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday” by Penn Jillette. Published by Blue Rider Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher and author.
HOUSTON — In the weeks since President Obama’s re-election, Republicans around the country have been wondering how to proceed. Some conservatives in Texas have been asking a far more pointed question: how to secede.
Secession fever has struck parts of Texas, which Mitt Romney won by nearly 1.3 million votes.
Sales of bumper stickers reading “Secede” — one for $2, or three for $5 — have increased at TexasSecede.com. In East Texas, a Republican official sent out an e-mail newsletter saying it was time for Texas and Vermont to each “go her own way in peace” and sign a free-trade agreement among the states.
A petition calling for secession that was filed by a Texas man on a White House Web site has received tens of thousands of signatures, and the Obama administration must now issue a response. And Larry Scott Kilgore, a perennial Republican candidate from Arlington, a Dallas suburb, announced that he was running for governor in 2014 and would legally change his name to Larry Secede Kilgore, with Secede in capital letters. As his Web page, secedekilgore.com, puts it: “Secession! All other issues can be dealt with later.”
In Texas, talk of secession in recent years has steadily shifted to the center from the fringe right. It has emerged as an echo of the state Republican leadership’s anti-Washington, pro-Texas-sovereignty mantra on a variety of issues, including health care and environmental regulations. For some Texans, the renewed interest in the subject serves simply as comic relief after a crushing election defeat.
But for other proponents of secession and its sister ideology, Texas nationalism — a focus of the Texas Nationalist Movement and other groups that want the state to become an independent nation, as it was in the 1830s and 1840s — it is a far more serious matter.
The official in East Texas, Peter Morrison, the treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, said in a statement that he had received overwhelming support from conservative Texans and overwhelming opposition from liberals outside the state in response to his comments in his newsletter. He said that it may take time for “people to appreciate that the fundamental cultural differences between Texas and other parts of the United States may be best addressed by an amicable divorce, a peaceful separation.”
The online petitions — created on the We the People platform at petitions.whitehouse.gov — are required to receive 25,000 signatures in 30 days for the White House to respond. The Texas petition, created Nov. 9 by a man identified as Micah H. of Arlington, had received more than 116,000 signatures by Friday. It asks the Obama administration to “peacefully grant” the withdrawal of Texas, and describes doing so as “practically feasible,” given the state’s large economy.
Residents in other states, including Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma, have submitted similar petitions, though none have received as many signatures as the one from Texas.
A White House official said every petition that crossed the signature threshold would be reviewed and would receive a response, though it was unclear precisely when Micah H. would receive his answer.
Gov. Rick Perry, who twice made public remarks in 2009 suggesting that he was sympathetic to the secessionist cause, will not be signing the petition. “Governor Perry believes in the greatness of our union, and nothing should be done to change it,” a spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said in a statement. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”
The secession movement in Texas is divergent, with differences in goals and tactics. One group, the Republic of Texas, says that secession is unnecessary because, it claims, Texas is an independent nation that was illegally annexed by the United States in 1845. (The group’s leader and other followers waged a weeklong standoff with the Texas Rangers in 1997 that left one of its members dead.) Mr. Kilgore, the candidate who is changing his middle name, said he had not signed the White House petition because he did not believe that Texans needed to ask Washington for permission to leave.
“Our economy is about 30 percent larger than that of Australia,” said Mr. Kilgore, 48, a telecommunications contractor. “Australia can survive on their own, and I don’t think we’ll have any problem at all surviving on our own in Texas.”
Few of the public calls for secession have addressed the messy details, like what would happen to the state’s many federal courthouses, prisons, military bases and parklands. No one has said what would become of Kevin Patteson, the director of the state’s Office of State-Federal Relations, and no one has asked the Texas residents who received tens of millions of dollars in federal aid after destructive wildfires last year for their thoughts on the subject.
But all the secession talk has intrigued liberals as well. Caleb M. of Austin started his own petition on the White House Web site. He asked the federal government to allow Austin to withdraw from Texas and remain part of the United States, “in the event that Texas is successful in the current bid to secede.” It had more than 8,000 signatures as of Friday.
A version of this article appeared in print on November 24, 2011
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