Why I Changed My Mind about Nunberg

Yesterday morning, I watched the entire half-hour video of Sam Nunberg’s interview with Erin Burnett on live television, which may have been a questionable use of my time.

However, I learned a lot — about the effects of being honest and unscripted on live television.
At first, it seemed like totally self-defeating, out of control blather – Nunberg’s repeated assertion that he wasn’t going to sit for 80 hours had me in stitches. He’s going to sit for however many hours they want him to sit for — thinking he was above the legal system, I thought, was really ignorant.

However, in the aftermath, Nunberg clarified to reporters later today that he would spend a couple of days in jail just to sweat everybody, and then produce the material that he’s been asked for.

The more I thought about it, the more Nunberg’s outrage that took over the media cycle resembled my own rant later in the morning to a rep from the extended warranty company that robocalls me every other day — a fierce, sometimes profane protection of one’s productive capabilities and resentment for intrusions that seem labor-intensive and unfair.

“I have work to do,” Nunberg kept saying. “I’m not going to sit for 80 hours.” I feel your pain, fella.
When he talked about the labor-intensive process of going through introducing his past e-mails to the Mueller investigation, he was right about the labor-intensive part of it.

Maybe I’ll just give them my password,” Nunberg said at one point, echoing, perhaps, legions of those audited by the IRS in the past who came up with this kind of passive acquiescence that puts the labor burden on someone else. You want my records? Go get them.

I’ve come to a different perspective about a lot of the rest of it, too.

My first thought on Nunberg admitting blatantly that Donald Trump “probably knew” about the Trump Tower meeting Russians and his assertion that Trump “probably did something” also seemed reckless, erratic and self-defeating. Isn’t Trump going to hit him back? I thought.

In the light of day, though, it seems like maybe he’ll get away with it, and maybe it wasn’t such a bad call after all.

Think about all of these shady personalities who are getting targeted by the federal investigation. One of the commonalities between them is that they’re not talking. Manafort or Kushner or any of those guys wouldn’t come out and start blabbing on live TV about what they think about Donald Trump – and maybe if they did, we would respect them a little more.

They wouldn’t do that partly because any continued defense against the special product prosecutor hinges on taking the fifth in a lot of very specific ways. Of course Trump himself is all about blurting, but even he has some limits and some filters that work in the sense of self-preservation to keep him from spilling his own beans in ways that reporters and law enforcement would jump on.

As I continued to think about what Nunberg read into the public record today, I started seeing the spate of news articles coming out around this problematic daily news cycle — calling Nunberg things like bizarre and erratic and disturbed.

I even saw some journalists politely wringing their hands about the airing of Nunberg’s statements — questions around whether or not he was being exploited or whether there is a sense of decorum that should exist in the press.

This seems particularly disingenuous to me and furthers my interest in promoting the kind of transparency that Nunberg brought to the table.

No, there shouldn’t be decorum, and there shouldn’t be any kind of curtailing of this kind of public testimony. If a person is willing to say those things on the record — you should let them — actually, that’s part of your responsibility to let them, to get those words out there – because that’s really what’s up, not the whitewashed spin coming from White House press flacks. Why do you think everybody read Wolff’s book?

Another thing that the Nunberg case brought to mind is how damnably reticent our print and broadcast media are about reporting anything that’s sensational at all. So much of our news is rigidly curated — drained of all cadence and color, scripted to a T. A quote that makes somebody look bad will be pulled out — because it’s bad for business. Acrimonious exchanges are edited in the interest of not inflaming the readership.

Meanwhile, the civic fabric of our country is in flames. Everybody’s messing with everybody else, and chaos is the order of the day. But you won’t really get that from TV, and you definitely will not get it from most local newspapers. Oh, you’ll get headlines with a two second sound bite – but you won’t get the kinds of backbiting, huckstering and all-out melee that are the hallmark of this administration. They’re usually behind the curtain.

Maybe Nunberg, the political trickster, was onto something. He just doesn’t want to hurt his friend Roger who, as he points out, he’s been through a lot with. He doesn’t feel like being bothered with a bullshit subpoena. He decided to put it all out there – even though it makes him look kind of like a moron. In the jaded halls of Washington, there are worse ways to go.

Just the Tip of the Spear

(Note — with the unanticipated incarceration of our man Ken West in Charlottesville, Leading the Horse has been forced to go further afield in search of prophecy. What we’ve found may surprise you!)

A new report from Jonathan Kleck makes some startling revelations about the supernatural reality of our world.

“Okay, guys, here we go.” Kleck starts, sitting in a living room wearing a knit cap and headset and matching turquoise shirt. “This video is — they have announced the coming of the Antichrist. They announced it publicly three times already — right in front of your face.”

Directly after this startling announcement, Kleck shows a short video of the 2016 Super Bowl performance by Prince, referencing “the Twins,” two “beautiful dancers” who are on stage with the now-departed superstar, and pointing out the hive or hexagonal patterns created by stage lights in the video.
Having dispensed with this bit of knowledge, Kleck moves on to another video by youtube user Dave Shadow showing that what he calls a “tip of the spear” seems to be superimposed over the down markers in the game.

Kleck notes several times that his friend ‘Billy Skywalker,’ who is seen as Billy Montoya on the youtube channel shown on screen, has a tip of the spear on his desk, and apparently served in Okinawa.
The general message, obfuscated by Kleck’s repeated recitation of simple facts and names, seems to be that a mysterious spear has been injected into the televised rout of the New England Patriots this past February by the underdog Philadelphia Eagles.

(see background below)
In his own tip of the spear narrative, Kleck repeats the words “tip of the spear” several dozen times, to rather annoying effect.

“The Lord told me to do separate tip of the spear videos,” Kleck said. “Don’t do them all at once — do repetitive.”

Kleck narrated an incident in which he called Billy, who told him he had not called, even though the number was in red on his phone, and said Billy had a tip of the spear sitting on his desk at the time.
“Let’s just talk — what are the odds?” Kleck asked, noting that as he drove, he saw the words “spear spear spear spear” on a set of political posters.

In an interesting heightening of Kleck’s verbal repetition, the picture shown of a tip of the spear from Okinawa actually has the words “tip of the spear” written on it, engraved in its forged surface.
“Three times — they have announced the arrival of the Antichrist,” Kleck said. “I will prove it — I’ll use absolute empirical, irrefutable data to prove it.”

Telling his audience to ‘sit tight’, Kleck said it’s important not to hurry but to be ‘slow and steady’ in the deliberate revealing of the prophecy.

“To the people who are going hey, why do you keep going over the same material?” Kleck said, “I do it because … has anybody else on planet earth been able to show everybody what Original Sin was?”
He then answers his own question with a muted shake of the head and a soft “no.”
“It’s because the Lord is delivering it,” Kleck continues. “I’m just a conduit…so when you question it … why do you keep sharing it? … well, I guess it’s because the Lord keeps using me to show it … that’s the answer.”


Background — the ‘spear of Longinus’ or ‘spear of destiny’ is a name for the historical spear that was said to end the life of the Messiah Jesus Christ at his crucifixion at Golgotha. Historians believe that the use of the spear by Cassius Gaius, the tenured centurion, angered the authorities in Rome, as it was done without prior authorization. Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea secreted the spear away, and that it was subsequently used by various world powers, starting with Constantine, to acquire broad territories in battle.
In more recent history, it is claimed that a young Adolf Hitler was much enamored with the spear as it was displayed in the Hofbrau Museum in Austria. During the ‘Anschluss’ or annexation of Austria by the Germans, Hitler allegedly liberated the spear of destiny and brought it to his headquarters, the ‘wolf’s lair.’
It is said that whoever wields the spear of destiny will take over the world.
Hitler didn’t take over the world — but he came pretty damn close.
More of the history of the spear of destiny can be found in an obscure book by Trevor Ravenscroft, which we have acquired.

The Memo

When I finally got to lay eyes on the Nunes memo, one of my first thoughts was “Oh no, these people are going to have to read (or pretend to read) — a lot!”

Disclaimer — this is not a post about the illiteracy of pig farmers in Alabama, although as a dirty libtard, you might think that I would be inclined toward those. This is an honest look at the mental struggle that it will take to present the memo as anything other than a ridiculous and desperate power play. In the immortal words of Alec Baldwin as the Grim Reaper in Glen Garry Glen Ross: “You think I’m f—king with you? — I’m not f–king you. I’m here from downtown and I’m here on a mission of mercy…”

Getting back to the original point — anyone who wants to suggest that the largely Republican leadership of the FBI and DOJ are corrupt or in a tank or anything else like that will have to memorize key words and catch phrases like “Fusion GPS” and “Christopher Steele” and, well hell, “Devin Nunes” – none of those trip easily off the tongue — but beyond that, they’ll have to read a document that, to our amazement, has been entirely de-classified from top secret — but reads more like a Verizon contract than a spy novel. If you like Tom Clancy, you’re still going to hate the memo.

If you really want to get to the bottom of this, listen to Jacob Weisberg and Dahlia Lithwick on Trumpcast as they discuss what all of this really is — Lithwick says the memo reads like a Fox news report — to me, at first reading, it reads like a bunch of what will be incomprehensible legalese to the majority of the Trump base. Unlike the words of our great fearless leader, the memo doesn’t have a lot of simple action verbs and four or five letter words. It’s quite a dense chronicling of a very bureaucratic procedure that’s really not very exciting, and at the heart of it, not very straightforward.

One of the points that I would most like to make is that we’ve spent years talking about how all FISA court orders are rubber-stamped. We’ve spent years talking about how the Patriot Act lets the government spy on us. Even Rand Paul, that perennial Paul Revere of the Republican arena, routinely tells his followers how intrusive government surveillance is wrong — but we don’t go cherry-picking some random FISA warrant to make our case. Instead, we rely upon that stoic cynicism that has always characterized many red-blooded Americans on the right and the left. We just don’t like being spied on, but we know that we’re being spied on, and we know that the bureaucratic spooks are doing their work behind the scenes. We don’t demand to lift the curtain, and certainly the central question is: why the hell would we lift the curtain in this specific individual case? The answer is not because somebody like Andrew McCabe, who is as white bread middle of the road as it gets, is somehow embarking on some Machiavellian conspiracy to deny a good man his due. The answer is because so many of us have bought into the clownish lies of this fool president that we’re willing to go down this garden path with him. At least some people are. I’m not.

Lithwick and Weisberg also talk about what I feel is the textbook example of how this is going to play “in the heartland” — how people like to use simple phrases and names out of context to try to support opinions that are pure bullshit. They intimate how the name ‘Rod Rosenstein’ sounds vaguely Jewish, and how an uninformed base (really the uninformed base par excellance) might try to paint Rosenstein as a Democrat. All of this also gets into the strange fusion of the traditional right and neo-Nazis by someone who, oddly enough, has Jews in his family, which is also part of his cabinet (see Michael Wolff’s book.) But that’s beside the point. The point is that in the heartland, Rod Rosenstein is going to become shorthand for a pointy-headed Jew, and not known for the actual bureaucratic record that the bureaucrat possesses.

And to get back to the process — the process is going to, in this particular instance, be seen as “corrupt,” (gasp) although anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that the FISA process is always sketchy, and that when it comes to trying to parse the ways that our government surveills us, it goes no further than something our grandpas always said — you can’t fight City Hall.

Mr. Trump went bravely out to fight City Hall, and his team is marching behind him with pitchforks, but they really don’t want to read the memo. Many of them will not read it — they will parrot phrases that their pastors or somebody told them in some kind of warped or declined context, phrases like Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele and Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein. They will speak these names and events and places as if they were some liturgical sacrum of the medieval age, without knowing what they mean, but with all the passion of a 13th century chorister. I’m getting really tired of this bullshit — how about you?

Two Waterworlds

Ken West is excited about a new idea that he has added to his plan for “the best science fiction movie ever.”
In order to guard his secrets from anyone who has not signed a non-disclosure agreement, West is “being coy” but it has something to do with the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, in which, he says, he has identified “two waterworlds.”

West has also been suggesting that North Korea is due to develop nuclear weapons, and that the United States will attack the peninsula on the morning of Feb. 4 – so if that happens, well, it’s been nice to know y’all.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Joanie Part II

24 hours after his initial dire report of shady goings-on within his household, Ken West reconnected to provide an update, finding himself “back with his woman” and only a few feet from an “evil humanoid” in the next room.

“He rants and raves,” West said of the interloper, who his girlfriend has been renting to for several weeks. “He is of the dark matter.”

West, who has been trying to evict the third party from the house, noted in quiet tones that he is “being coy” to avoid further conflict.

“He’s a door away,” West said. “I’m a few heartbeats away from him – he’s absolutely evil. He killed a man’s bull.”

Last night, West said, an undercover cop showed up at the 7/11 to “parlay” after which West himself retired to a hill above chicken alley, where it subsequently rained.

“All my shit got wet,” West said.

At 2:00 am, he said, he was on the hill behind KFC drinking a beer when his girlfriend, who has a restraining order against him, showed up.

“We connected again,” West said, speaking of a serendipitous happening just after their reunion.

The woman, he said, lost her glasses in the ivy.

“Her glasses fell into my hands out of the sky – as I was praying for her glasses,” West said.

West took the coincidence as a good omen for the plan to oust the “white supremacist” and tauricidal maniac.

“When she does (evict,) we’ll get the Internet back on, and turn this back into a peaceful house.” West said.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Joanie

Someone is “breaking bad” in Ken West’s house.

Appalachia’s premiere itinerant carpenter is “roughing it” tonight to avoid a legal dragnet or other unpleasant circumstances, as a career criminal and alleged white supremacist mixes up a batch of one of Virginia’s biggest exports, hanging plastic over the windows to mask the smell of the caustic chemicals that produce methamphetamine.

That’s according to the latest third-party word on the street, delivered with a dose of West’s usual savoir-faire.

“It’s pretty twisted,” West said Jan. 27.

Providing a tangential history of the chef’s relationship with an unnamed woman, West seemed to imply that as both paramour and careerist, the man currently practicing enterpreneurial dark arts in the home West previously shared with a woman he used to call “the female Jesus” has leaned toward chaos for many years.

“He killed a bull and spent 20 years in prison for it,” West said, describing the value of this type of livestock relative to its genitalia. “That’s a prize project on the farm – the one that produces more, more, more.”

In somewhat Lebowskian fashion, West assured this reporter that the aggression will not stand.

“I’m having this shit shut down,” West said.

Having delivered this news, West moved back into an appeal to national disarmament of a kind, reminding his audience that in many parts of Europe, as well as Great Britain, police carry batons instead of guns. Citing tasers and pepper spray as non-lethal alternatives, West slammed Americans for clinging to their guns in an age of mass shootings, mass hysteria and ultimate tragedy that is all around us nearly every day. Mixing up news of a single Kentucky homicide of past days with a larger school shooting emerging in today’s national media, West implored the people of America to think more carefully about gun culture, and the possibility of preserving the right to bear traditional shotguns and .22 rifles rather than AR-15s. Cautioning the youth of America on the danger of treating guns like toys, West recalled the sad story of a boy in the neighborhood of his youth known as “Bobbie Beard” who, after improperly testing a pellet gun, suffered some loss of vision and “became a recluse.” West invited the public to look up the incident in “the history of Lexington Virginia.”

Ending his report with a story from his days of being “shang-haied” into the conflict in Vietnam, in which he got no further than basic training stateside, West described a man with indisputably simian features who he chose to call “Neanderthal-man,” who he said acted out of a mysterious hostility towards him during drills where the “platoon” of 48 men were practicing hand to hand combat with sticks, preparing to fight “chinamen, vietnamese or whatever.”

Some of the grunts, West said, were taking bets as he and the Neanderthal-man fought to an eventual draw where both sustained significant injuries.

At “graduation time,” West said, his opponent came at him for a rematch, and was rewarded with a hard right to the face.

West declined to confirm whether his platoon dropped acid or listened to Credence Clearwater Revival in the barracks.

Returning to news of the present day, West refered to himself as a “master snitch,” indicated he has been an informant for many years, and said he has a number of friends in the local police department who know him by his first name. Repeating that he is “very popular with the police” and “very popular in the neighborhood” West said he is always on the lookout for methamphetamine abuse.

“When I see these bad dogs that ruin their teeth,” he said, “I take them out. This dog is going down.”

West said the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement team is coming on Monday.

One of those individuals in collusion with the lab runners, West said, has a restraining order against him after a religious argument in which he tried unsuccessfully to convince her that Muslims have the same religious rights as Christians.

“I told her specifically: we’re all right with God,” West said, claiming he got a court judgement for his trouble.

West also said the female of the group was aggressively pursuing him to use his food stamp card, and that the whole gang wasted a refrigerator of good food because “it wasn’t potato chips.”

In the meantime, West, who likes to cook when he has access to a kitchen, has found a place in what he calls “chicken alley” where a KFC, a Popeye’s and a Bojangles serve adjacent customers, where he can get sustenance. Earlier this evening, he said, he was offered some children’s leftovers, and then received a large meal free of charge from some other patrons. “I ate what I could,” West said. “I wanted to give the rest away.” Eventually, he said, he found a man outside who has hungry, and “paid forward” the good deed.

“I’m so popular in the neighborhood,” West said. “I want to be popular in the world. I want to see the children of the world fed.”

Your Neighbor, What a Guy

“Modern globalization
Coupled with condemnations
Unnecessary death
Matador corporations
Puppeting your frustrations with a blinded flag
Manufacturing consent is the name of the game
The bottom line is money …
Boom, Boom, Boom,
Every time you drop a bomb
You kill the god your child has born
Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom …BOOM”


After a lengthy hiatus in honor of a very special woman, Leading the Horse has returned to chronicle the life and times of Ken West, America’s Premier Itinerant Carpenter, to find our intrepid source preparing to take on the Virginia chill.
“I’m sleeping outside tonight,” West said, while wearing four layers of clothing and wrapping leaves around his legs. “I’ve made arrangements – I got a cardboard house. Cardboard is good – it’s only 32 degrees. It’s only gonna snow 3 inches. I’m gonna get my ass up tomorrow and go do something exceptional.”
Going “back to square one,” West began with the usual screed on North Korea and its legacy of constructing underground tunnels.
“They’ve got all their military underground,” West said before contrasting the Hermit Kingdom with its neighbor to the south.
“South Korea is a christian nation,” West said. “They live in apartment buildings, they all eat the same rice … South Korea is like a super-organism.”
West renewed his often-repeated calls for peace on the Korean peninsula in the form of food aid.
“We don’t need to be starving humanoids,” West said. “They’re militarily prepared to not be threatened anymore – let them be unified – that’s the solution. Rice – we got plenty of it, don’t we? Send them a barge of rice – and olive oil – and some vegetables … they’d probably like to eat roast beef – they wouldn’t be puny people no more.”
West called for disarmament of a radical kind and dismantling the nuclear stockpiles, turning today’s swords to plowshares.
“The only thing the bomb is good for is destroying the flesh,” West said.

Just hours later, in a follow up interview, West reported from the interior of a Best Buy, while watching the seven wonders of the world displayed on many large screens.
“Do they know that there are so many souls buried under that wall?” West said, describing a scene depicting the Great Wall of China. “You died while you were building that wall – they put your bones under the wall – you became part of the wall.”
While explaining to a salesman on the floor that he was contemplating a purchase, West made several disjointed analogies between the Chinese wall and the new border wall promoted by former WWF personality turned president Donald Trump.
West then turned his thoughts toward home, reporting on “the latest from Charlottesville” and quoting an unnamed former Virginia governor.
“He said that Charlottesville made a bad boo-boo,” West said. “Everybody’s busting on Charlottesville right now. They busted on me. They broke my teeth out.”
West described his plans for reparations.
“I’ve started the process,” he said. “I’ve got names and numbers.”

In addition, West plans to market a “snap on” product for car windshields, and a set of instructional videos for DIY house painters.
Before signing off, West mentioned his need to confide “a peculiar thing” to the people of the world, describing a theoretical spiritual process.
“What if Jesus asked the Creator to do it all again?” West said. “But not to die – just to experience life in this crazy world we live in?”

After several asides, West ended with another stab at autobiography.
“Who am I? I used to skateboard in Hollywood … Guess who I am? I will not brag. I’ll just be.”


This morning I had an epiphany.
Much has been made of the far right’s destructive power in national politics — for example Thomas Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” and other tomes, pamphlets and essays that remind us of how a party out of control has taken a monkey wrench to the levers of power in American politics.
There’s a simple solution that many of us have been overlooking — people who don’t like politics, and don’t like politicians, and don’t really believe in civic micromanagement, maybe shouldn’t be involved in evaluating politics at all.
The Republican Party at this point is like a child who’s been asked to come to the board and do a math problem, and he does it badly, because he doesn’t want to.
Johnny and Susie went up to the board to figure out 2+2. Susie went primly up to the board and neatly wrote a well-contoured “four” under the chalk line. Johnny swaggered up, ripped a loud fart, and angrily scrawled a five.
The tragedy of the situation is that enough students voted for Johnny’s “2+2=5” mostly to spite the teacher, who in this metaphor is either Lady iberty or the individual holds the scales of justice. Sorry folks – Susie’s a suck-up.
The evidence is all around us — incompetent and mean-spirited individuals being promoted to posts which they have in the past wanted to eliminate entirely; the rampant defunding and mismanagement of various federal agencies, etc.
There is a very easy fix to this — people who don’t like the job of providing for others and finding a way to steer the ship of democracy in the right direction should simply go do something else instead of voting and giving money to candidates and all that stuff.
In other words, as a country we been trying to desperately meld the values of the far right with the idea of civic good. The problem is that these two things are not inherently mixable — an ideology that alienates millions of people and up to half of the entire electorate isn’t going to be oriented towards working toward that civic good. It’s going to be inherently oriented towards a divisive and radically disruptive goal that has nothing to do with the civic good, and is extremely toxic to its intentions. This has been played out instructively in the “states rights” civil rights battles of the last century. The federal government’s job was to protect all citizens – and the state houses didn’t like it.
To put it yet another way — many of the individual constituents of the far right base do have values and ways of life that are worth preserving. They are abundantly steeped in the ways of traditional America — which is probably not a bad thing in many, many ways, but again, may be somewhat toxic to the job of federal statesmanship.
Many of these individuals take pride in being hard-working people of the land and people who do not choose to spend their time scribbling in pages or squinting at a computer screen, or dealing with the inherent bureaucracy of the federal system. Let these individuals do what they do best, whether it’s farming or ranching or blacksmithing or whatever gets their hands dirty and provides needed services for a population. Do not force them to, like recalcitrant students, go up to the chalkboard and try to participate in the evaluation of civic and public administration.
Many of them have no interest, and frankly very little aptitude, and have not practiced the inherent skills needed to do this in any meaningful way. Let’s be very clear that this is not to state that these individuals are inferior in any way, or that they lack the intellectual stamina in general to govern — instead, my view is that they lack the will and the sensitivity and the general disciplines needed to participate in these civic exercises – simply because they have not invested in them. Aas exhibit one, look at the marginalization of any realistic voices in the Republican party – the marginalization of “mavericks” like McCain and deficit hawks like Ron and Rand Paul. The base has chosen “apolitical” operatives whose platforms don’t make sense – partly because they dislike government so much that they don’t care if it makes sense or not.
As a result, they can simply give to God what is God’s, and to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and cease to try to steer the ship directly into the iceberg. We will be left with a set of technocrats and statespeople who will calmly and cleverly run the American ship as it has run for many years, largely as a system acquiescent to big business, but which has at least a veneer of normalcy.
Will they be the best people? No. They may not be entirely responsive to the needs of the population, but they will at least apply that responsiveness or unresponsiveness fairly broadly and universally, because having been trained in the sensibilities of civic administration, they understand how not to alienate. They understand how not to divide.
This doesn’t suggest, again, that they have in general superior moral or ethical premises when it comes to wealth redistribution, family values or anything else — although the case can be made that their social sensibilities fit better with the needs of today’s electorate.
The point is that they can bring a basic level of organization and brinksmanship to the job — which they will need, because the efforts of the right can be again focused on simply hating the federal government and everything that it stands for. The only remaining job will be to keep the peace between the federal government and the states, as we have done these many years since 1865.
The above is one of those ideas that might yet have its day — it seems simple, but stated out loud, just scratches the surface of the roiling morass of political turmoil that has now seeped into every aspect of our lives. We owe it to ourselves to explore these ideas, and to try to explore them, not with the bias inherent to each of us in this polarized society, but instead more conceptually, as individual scholars and again — those of us who don’t want to do this can simply leave the whole dirty issue of politics alone, instead of trying to struggle with something they hate.

The N.O.S.H.ling

“And that’s nuclear, that’s hysteria / Ahmedinejad, North Korea
You getting money? Watch your paper chase / Every third or fourth person is CIA
Every fifth and sixth person is DEA / Your best friend will turn snitch to put you away

I’m – I’m – I’m just tryna show a better way / Every other day when your A.K. sprays
April Showers, lookin like they fallin every day / April Showers, lookin like they fallin every day…”

  • Wyclef Jean, April Showers


Ken West’s newest update on North Korea Dec. 4 takes into account some of the natural resources of that part of the world.

“I’ve got good news,” West said, reversing many of his prophesies regarding the imminence of nuclear war.

West said the North Koreans have 6 to 10 billion U.S. dollars worth of rare earth minerals in the ground, and that if the nation were to be attacked, Americans would have a hard time getting batteries for their smart phones.

“The whole planet needs (the resources),” West said. “There is not to be war.”

Later, in an uncharacteristic foray into his own identity, West described more about his identity as a “N.O.S.H.ling,” an alien presence that walks among humanity.

“I fear nothing — because my essence comes from a world beyond human imagination,” West said.

West started to describe his own origins by stating that the universe is 13.2 billion years old.

“It’s inevitable that there are humanoids in the universe that are way advanced,” he said.

West referred to an esoteric force behind these individuals as “God planets,” describing them as intelligent entities that have evolved to a plane above the average human experience.

“They have overcome greed, and have empathy for every living creature,” West said, adding that the entities in question do not eat meat.

“They are not carnivorous,” West said. “They can eat mushrooms — because mushrooms are sex organs of a thing that is in the ground.”

In fact, he said, many kinds of mushrooms are good food for the “God-planets,” as well as both N.O.S.H.lings and humans. The key to eating “puffballs,” he said, is to get to them before they start to release spores.

“They’re good raw,” West said. “They’re like portobellos.”

Describing the “God-Planets” and their origins further, West also spoke about an advanced civilization’s ability to capture solar energy and convert it into biomass.

“The science is so beyond humanity,” West said.

In describing an article that he recently read a Christian magazine, West also talked about the future of humanity with artificial intelligence.

“It’s coming,” West said. “If I get rich enough, I’ll be able to download my mind.”

West spoke about putting a chip in a cloned human body, but suggested the science is much more complicated than can currently be accommodated.

“You have to give the cloned one a chance to be himself,” West said.


T.J. and the Question of Original Sin

“I never go to bed without an hour or half an hour’s reading of something moral, whereon to ruminate in the intervals of sleep” – Thomas Jefferson, 1819



While having caffeinated drinks and smoking cigars with some friends at the Haven on the evening of November 28, and waiting to receive an “Obamaphone” that apparently comes with enrollment in Virginia’s food stamps program, Ken West weighed in on the idea of original sin, and its treatment throughout American history.

The concept of original sin, West said, is actually part of the basis for a novelette that he has finished but has not yet published.

“God said: ‘don’t eat off the tree of life,” West said. “It wasn’t apples … it was an old ancient tree – it had psychedelic mushrooms under it.”

Although a snake is commonly figured in the biblical tale, West says, that part is a myth.

“They went on a really cool trip,” West said of the two human characters in the Genesis story. “They saw the face of God in the trip – they weren’t supposed to. They were supposed to be innocent. They hallucinated the snake.”

West briefly remarked on his own situation, noting that he is “in abstract poverty” and “living among the vagrants of the world,” before re-orienting the conversation toward his efforts to build a rhetorical case for bullet control.

“Let’s get back to square one,” West said. “I like square one.”

In going about laying the groundwork for an essay on how to curb gun violence, West said, he has found some important literary and historic ballast in the form of a book about a founding father who, like himself, was critical of various elements of the Christian faith.

West is reading Henry Wilder Foote’s “The Religion of Thomas Jefferson,” which, he said, sheds light on some of the guiding principles of a man who founded the University of Virginia, and, in West’s words, separated church and state in the U.S.

“He hated Christianity,” West said of Jefferson. “He was an atheist and a deist. He fought against the Christians because they were narrow-minded – he was a scientist.”

Jefferson, he said, valued education in a time when many wanted to control the masses through the promulgation of ignorance.

“In his time, you could be executed for heresy against the Christian doctrine,” West said. “They didn’t want people to be educated – they could kill you.”

Some of the backwards ideas that found fertile ground in Christianity, West said, go much further back, for example, to the time of the crusades.

“They didn’t take baths,” West said of many Christians of that era. “They were nasty-ass Europeans – they were stupid as dirt – they let dirt cake up on them because they thought diseases could get through your pores. When they took over the Muslims – they abolished baths.”

West feels that the European Christian’s aversion to bath water marked them as one of the low points on modern human society.

“The Romans were dirty ********,” West said, “but at least they took baths.”

However, describing Jefferson’s moral trajectory throughout his life, West said that Jefferson was only opposed to some aspects of Christianity, not rejecting it entirely – and West himself doesn’t, either.

“As he was passing,” West said of Jefferson, “In his old age – he found God. He loved Jesus. He rewrote the bible.”

Of what West called “rumors” of Jefferson’s despicable ill-treatment of slaves, West said the allegations are probably true.

“We know he had his sins behind him,” West said, “but (Wilder’s book) is the best of Thomas Jefferson. It will enlighten you – it’ll wake you up to what’s happening in Charlottesville right now.”

What’s happening in Charlottesville, West said, is that residents are prevailing over a recent invasion by neo-nazis and assorted white nationalists, who, despite converging and sowing chaos, have not changed the fundamental character of the community.

“We’re defeating them here,” West said.

In closing the interview, West mentioned the mysterious man named Silverman, who, West said, can’t figure him out. West said Silverman recently called him “insane”.

“He picked on the words I use,” West said. “I told him a song I wrote. It was a little on the nefarious side – Silverman couldn’t figure it out, because he didn’t have the music with it.”

West then sang an excerpt of the song, which has been very roughly transcribed due to poor cellular communication signals:

“Adonis, Venus, snow / the devil sheets take way / our sins and sheets / yes, it will be sweet / like honeybees …”

“It has to be done with a piano – and I’m accomplishing it,” West said.