Leif M. Wright
Author, Journalist, Musician, Programmer, Daddy
"You feel uncomfortable, wincing and crying as you read. The daring style is comparable to Chuck Palahniuk’s novels" — Amy O'Hara

Leif M. Wright's Blog

Thoughts and prayers: Turns out, God doesn't answer the prayers of Republicans

Filed under God, Republicans
One good thing has come from all the mass shootings America endures on seemingly an almost-daily basis: with all the Republicans offering their thoughts and prayers for the shootings to stop (instead of, you know, enacting laws and stuff), we now have empirical evidence that God does not listen to Republican prayers.
I'd say that's progress.
Since God doesn't care what you want, GOP, how about stop basing so much of your policies on your misunderstanding of what you think he wants?
Good plan.

You're probably not a Christian

Filed under Fake News, Religion
The "Christianity" in America is nothing like the Bible's version of Christianity. I know; I was part of making it so. 
Here's a test for you:
• Do you believe poor people need to get off their asses and work to receive help?
• Do you believe sinners need to repent (quit sinning) before (or after) they can be saved?
• Do you believe abortion is a worse sin in the eyes of God than lying is?
• Do you believe God financially blesses believers, and that if you're not blessed, something is wrong in your life?
      ° Sub-question: do you believe the richest among us are blessed because they're righteous?
• Do you believe calamities in your life are a result of sin?
• Do you believe people from other religions are going to hell?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, a) you're not a Christian, and b) you probably voted for Donald Trump and think he's a Christian.
• Never, in the entire time he was helping the poor, did Jesus first ask them to get off their asses and help themselves. 
• The Bible is clear that Jesus died to cleanse every human of the guilt of sin, and even goes so far as to say "and believers too".
• The Bible goes on and on about how horrible and evil liars are, but never once mentions abortion.
• Jesus was clear that rich people are the hardest to reach with the good news, because they worship their possessions. Never did he promise to shower his followers with wealth.
• Poverty, sickness and trouble are no indication of spirituality at all. Some people just have bad days, weeks, years or lives, but that doesn't indicate any failing on their parts.
• Jesus proclaimed salvation to all people. Period. Anyone who tells you differently has an agenda and probably wants money from you.

I say all that because of this abomination. Trump saying anything aligning himself with Christianity is like Pepsi saying it is Coke. 

Looks like we're finally starting to enter the Trump economy

Filed under Bullshit, Donald Trump
The orange idiot has been in office for a year now, so maybe we can actually start attributing some of the performance of the economy to him and his policies instead of him constantly taking credit for the Obama economy.
Let's see: biggest daily point fall since the December 2008 financial crisis that Obama rescued us from? 
Yep, Trump is finally making a difference.

Meanwhile, you're missing the BEST SHOW ON TV!

Filed under TV, Happy
A disgraced cop teams up with his previously-unknown daughter's imaginary friend (a blue unicorn) to find the methed-out Santa who has kidnapped her.
Not the best idea ever for a TV show?
I disagree. The BEST ever idea for a TV show. 
Based on the graphic novel of the same name from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, the Happy! TV show centers on a former cop, Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni). Now a hitman, Nick finds himself unmoored in a treacherous world full of murder and meaningless hook-ups. One day, though, his drunken, depressing existence is turned upside down by Happy (my favorite comedian Patton Oswalt), an imaginary unicorn.
As a big city police detective, Nick was something of a superstar. After losing everything, he finds himself pretty much on the skids. Now working as a killer for hire, Nick blows what little cash he earns on drugs and booze. Until Happy finds him and enlists him in a quest to find a daughter he conceived while he was cheating on his wife, who now is raising the girl by himself.
I know, sounds like a dumb concept. But believe me. You are missing out if you're not watching this show on the SciFi channel (or, like me, on AppleTV).
I wish I had written this concept and the execution of it. It's brilliant. OK, I could write more, but I have to get back to watching.

It is what I say it is

Filed under Bad Jokes, Trump
Me: All of my books are New York Times bestsellers. They're the best books. Incredible books. Everyone loves them. All the best people tell me that.
Fact checker: Not they're not. No one ever says that.
Me: I never said my books were bestsellers.
I guess this is my way of declaring my candidacy for president, the office whose only qualification seems to be inventing your own reality and then denying you did.

Trickle-down economics looks a lot like this

Filed under Bizarre, Bullshit, Devious Bastards, Rants
Here's an interesting fact: Last year, the world's billionaires saw their collective wealth increase by 762 BILLION dollars. If those 2,000 people had donated just the increase in their wealth from that year, world poverty could have been completely eradicated.
They would all still be billionaires. With a B. 
No billionaire will ever have to worry about money ever again. Ever. 
In trickle-down economic theory, the more money we send the way of the ultra rich, the more they pass it on to the poor by creating jobs. But the truth is, they don't pass it on. They hoard it. 
If they did pass it on, no one — read that again, NO ONE — would be poor.
Billionaires would all still be billionaires. They wouldn't miss a penny of it, because they'd still have more money than they could ever spend in their lifetimes. But we could eliminate poverty.
That is the most disgusting fact I could cite today. 

Fuck the Internet. Seriously

Filed under Donald Trump, I Was RIGHT!, Politics
I'm going to say something that will sound really weird coming from a guy who has been online longer than Facebook, Google and Amazon.com: Fuck the Internet.
It will be even weirder when you realize I make my living from the Internet. 
So maybe I should dial it back to "Fuck Facebook." And other social media.
All social media has done is, oh, I dunno, rig a fucking Presidential election and convince me that, though everyone has an opinion, most of those opinions deserve to never be heard by anyone. Anywhere. Ever.
I could post a story about Mother Theresa rescuing an emaciated dog that had pulled three starving kids out of a river and fed them with its dying breast milk and some fucknut on the Internet would find a way to say "Fuck Mother Theresa, that priest-fucking whore" about the whole thing.
There are something like seven, eight, nine billion people on the planet, I lose track. And 98 percent (PFA) of them are full of shit and the complete lack of actual ideas. (PFA stands for Pulled From Ass).
In a world where 50 percent of American voters can be convinced to vote for a Cheeto with a bad hairpiece who proclaims that he can "grab them by the pussy" because he's famous and that Mexico will pay for a wall dividing it from the US and that one of the wealthiest men in America* is actually standing for the rights of the working man, I say fuck everyone. Or at least fuck everyone who voted for that brain-damaged man child with no impulse control.
* (Donald Trump is wealthy because his father intelligently invested in trusts and other financial instruments to ensure his son would be set for the rest of his life. Truth be told, the only things Donald has done have diminished his father's monetary vision and driven him into numerous bankruptcies)
I hate people. I hate white people. I hate black people. I hate Asians. I hate Native Americans. I sincerely, honestly and intensely hate a world where Kim Kardashian can have a bestselling book, while talented and inventive authors languish in self-published puddles of mediocrity. I hate that Jack Mound (a pseudonym closely related to the perpetrator's actual name) has a platform from which to espouse racism, anti-intellectualism and outright Trump-foisting lies in his defense of the fucking dumbest and most corrupt politician to ever squat in the oval office while blaming all the fat baldy's foibles on his predecessor, the greatest statesman and patriot this country has seen since before the 20th century dawned.
FUCK FUCK FUCK social media. Fuck the conservafucks led by Fox News and fucking drug-addicted Rush Limbaugh. Hey, guys, seriously, trickle-down economics DOES NOT WORK. Reagan was a senile actor pretending to be president, and his policies have been exposed for DECADES as completely delusional.
But I would worship Ronald Reagan a thousand times over if we could just wake up in a world where Donald Fucking Trump was not the president, where the Russians hadn't bought his votes in Wisconsin and Michigan, where the president of Russia hadn't used Facebook and other social media to convince you fucking retards (forgive the politically incorrect word) to vote for a moron who couldn't describe even one policy position without first using the words "incredible" and "awesome".
The internet is a tool for tools who vote for tools. 

The two greatest comedians of all time. Or at least recent time. Whatever

Filed under Comedy, I Was RIGHT!
I know a lot of people say Richard Pryor is the greatest standup comedian of all time. And I get it. Dude was fucking hilarious. And the two people I'm about to mention wouldn't exist without him. Call him Number Three.
But I will say right now (and because there are no comments on this site, you have to just suffer through my opinion) Greg Giraldo was the greatest comedian of all time. Period. End of sentence. Full Stop. 
Greg died in 2010 of a drug overdose. 
But he was, beyond doubt, the greatest comedian of all time. Full stop. (Again)
Watch this and you will know why.
Never before or since has a comedian been able to dial directly into the soul of everything that was wrong and everything that was right about modern society.
But Number Two comedian is almost as good, and completely worthy of consideration. 

Sarah Silverman
My wife hates Sarah Silverman. Thinks she's gross and inappropriate. 
And she's right. Sarah is gross. And inappropriate.
And that makes her hilarious.
She is, perhaps, the greatest comedian alive, because she does not care one bit what you think about her. Instead, she cares what is true and what is funny, which oftentimes are the same things. 
I am a huge fan of Patton Oswalt, who I would pay any amount of money to see live, but the truth is, among living comedians, I would see Sarah first, then Patton, then Anthony Jeselnik and then Daniel Tosh. 
Wrong is often right. And these comedians make it easy to love. Sarah, come to Oklahoma so I can see you. Also, Patton. And Anthony. And Daniel.
I'm sorry to say Greg Giraldo will never make it here. But he would find me in the front row.

Oh, come on

Filed under Fake News, Let, Trump
This is everything that is wrong with American politics.
Let me just establish my liberal creds right here: I am embarrassed by the fact that there are enough assholes and fucknuts in our country to elect Donald Trump president. A year later, I'm still struggling with the idea that this petulant, half-tard orange child is actually our president.
But we (and by "we," I mean the opposition) are doing ourselves no favors by swimming in the same "fake media" pool as the president, by promoting non-news as actual news, by supporting misleading headlines. 
Melania Trump is removing a tree that needs to be removed. The tree she's removing was planted by Andrew Jackson (which, if you are an Indian like me, is enough fucking reason to have it removed), and it's falling down, held up by a complicated system of pulleys and cables, which are all failing. She's doing the right thing. The tree needs to come down.
But I'm not writing about the tree. I'm writing about the political discourse. Specifically, on what I'm now viewing as the ultimate evil: Facebook. If you want to stir liberals up, the formula is simple: take something they already hate (Trump) and add it to something liberals hold dear (antiques and trees) and stir in a little bit of patriarchal feelings (liberals wanting to "protect" the mail-order first lady) and you have the perfect storm: Oh, my god, Trump is forcing his purchased wife to remove A HISTORIC AND BEAUTIFUL TREE!
And this is what's wrong with American political discourse. Yes, we hate Trump. Yes, we think Melania is a sex-trafficked victim of his white supremacist, homophobic and oligarchic administration. Yes, we love foliage. 
But come on. Sometimes, it's just the end of the road, even for trees.
Cut the old fucker down and let it rest in peace. In fact, chop it up into kindling and burn Andrew Jackson's Indian-fucking corpse to ashes. 
American politics will never move forward positively until we isolate the discourse to the things that matter: a president who seemingly colluded with a hostile foreign power to destroy the American political system, a president who hates people of color, gender orientation other than heterosexual, and a president who is emotionally, physically and mentally unfit to lead a scout troop, much less the most powerful and rich nation in the history of the planet. We don't need to be bitching about fake scandals to hate and want to remove the orangest and most pedantic president in history. 
Facebook enables us to indulge in our most horrible and basest conceits. 
And you can quote me on this:
Facebook is a place for inane and vapid sentiments devoid of emotion or depth, fake news, self-aggrandizement and for assholes to bleat gobs of shit at people who’d never otherwise have to smell it.

The morality of our political parties has never been more clear

Filed under Fuck Donald Trump, I Was RIGHT!, Politics
Here's the thing. I'm about to tell you one of my most shameful secrets: I used to be a fundamentalist Christian, Rush Limbaugh-quoting Republican.
There, I've said it. Man, that's a weight off my chest.
First, I became a Christian, diving in headlong and wholeheartedly. You can read about it in my book, Deadly Vows. Which, apparently, is cheaper in hardback than it is in Kindle version now:
I'm not sure what that means.
Anyway, once I was a Christian, I fell for the two-pronged demon that is the sole recruiting tool for the Republican Party: Abortion and Gay-bashing. Abortion is murder, I was told, and homosexuality is anti-God and the way the gay agenda sucks people (literally) into the pit of hell. 
So, without giving a thought about what the Bible actually said about poor people, the sick, the underprivileged, gay people or how women were supposed to be treated, I dove headfirst into Republican propaganda. Before I knew it, I was bashing gays (verbally, not literally, though I'm not sure the distinction matters), suppressing women, because men are supposed to be the bosses, and espousing the virtues of supply-side economics.
But around 1999, I started questioning things. I'd been a Christian for about 10 years by that point, always in a leadership position, including pastor, which is what I was in '99. I had read the Bible, cover-to-cover, more than two dozen times, and I was responsible for the theological training of literally millions of people through my ghost writing efforts for highly-paid televangelists. 
One day, I was telling someone not to do something (the years that have passed since then have clouded my memory to the specifics of what it was), and I heard a voice in my head. Call it my conscience. Call it God. Call it mystical fairies. Whatever. I heard a voice. Clear as day, the voice said this to me: "You're a hypocrite. You're telling this guy to not do something that you really want to do. At least he's honest enough to do it."
Again, I forget what it was. But I'm sure it wasn't nearly as deviant as whatever you have in your head right now. But that voice woke me up. And it immediately called to mind a verse spoken by Jesus in the New Testament: "You have heard it said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28)
Jesus was basically saying it's the thought that counts; the action is just a symptom of the disease. So right then and there, I made a decision. If God was real, If he really possessed the power to change people, he would have to change me. 
"God," I said, unironically. "I'm going to do whatever I want to do from now on. If you don't want me doing something, and you're real, you're going to have to stop me. Because I will not be a hypocrite. You want honesty? Integrity? I'm going to be honest and do whatever comes into my head to do. If you're God and you don't want me doing something, stop me from doing it."
And from that day to this, I have never wavered from that.
I said all that to say this: Fundamentalist Christianity is fundamentally dishonest. It is composed of people who want to do all the bad shit they preach against, but who don't do it—not because they don't want to, but because they fear the eternal punishment of a pedantic god who would make humans roast in hell for eternity for something as fucking dumb as sexually desiring a person of the opposite sex. Or the same sex. Or some permutation that couldn't possibly have been predicted in a document written thousands of years ago.
The point is, I think, that fear drives Christianity. Fear of hell. Fear of displeasing God. Fear of being caught thinking the things people can't help thinking. And the Republican party is driven by the same fear.
"By God, if Roy Moore doesn't get elected to the Senate in Alabama, we will lose the majority and then abortion will remain legal, the queers will take over everything, the Muslims will push the Jews out of Israel and our rich donors might have to give up some of their money to help the poor and the sick!" So the Republican Party throws its support behind a racist, homophobic, xenophobic hate monger, who, by the way, likes to fuck 14-year-old girls. They don't support him because they like him. They support him because they fear losing their majority more than they fear God.
I don't fear God, by the way. I have a deep-seated hope that there is a God and that he rewards those who try their best to follow that God, but fear is reserved for people who are terrible. I don't want my kids to fear me, and if God really is our father, I don't think he wants us to fear him either. Don't go quoting Bible verses to me. Believe me, I've read it. You misunderstand and misquote it, but I'm not about to get into that debate here.
Al Franken, a rising star in the Democratic party, was pressured to resign from Democrats who feared that his past of allegedly disrespecting women compromised his moral authority to craft policy. And, realizing that pressure was legitimate, Franken resigned from the senate and threw away a very good chance at becoming the president. Even though he denied all the sexual allegations against him. He realized that the party he loves and the women he claims to serve were all disgusted and hurt by the allegations, and rather than foment more of the same, he removed himself from the picture. 
Contrast that with Donald Trump, the president who has been accused of raping more than a dozen women, who is being litigated now for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl, who himself proclaimed that if a woman didn't want to have sex with him, he could convince them to by simply "grabbing them by the pussy," because he was famous. The Republican party supports him wholeheartedly. And Roy Moore, who, as I mentioned above, likes to fuck barely-teen girls. The GOP not only supports him, but they're throwing a ton of money into his campaign. 
And there you have the fundamental moral divide: One party, realizing that even the appearance of supporting the sexual abuse of women is too much to bear, loses a powerful senator. The other party, realizing the loss of power is too much to bear, not only harbors, but encourages its sexual predators.
As a former Fundamentalist, I'm disgusted. As a former Republican, I'm appalled. The Republican Party is the party of Nazi protests, neo-fascist dictators, collusion with Russia, foisting cash on the rich at the expense of the poor, denial of health care to the needy, protecting the gun manufacturers at the expense of thousands of victims. 
The Democratic party is the party of falling on the sword instead of risking the perpetuation of fear on the behalf of women, of caring for the poor and the needy, of healing the sick, of opposing the encroachment of foreign powers on American politics. 
The choice has never been more clear.
Democrats are now the party of Jesus. They always have been, but at least now the distinction is clear.