Mike Cornelison

Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Oppose not rage while rage is in its force, but give it way a while and let it waste.
- Shakespeare, English Dramatist and Poet (1564-1616)

No offense to the swimmers and the gymnasts and the sprinters and the marathon runners, but when I think of all the events in the Olympics, there’s only one event which truly crowns the greatest athlete in the world, and that event is the decathlon.

The Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words: Citius – Altius – Fortius.

Translated: Faster – Higher – Stronger.

No Olympic event exemplifies faster, higher, strong better than the decathlon.

* Day 1 *

100 meters
Long jump
Shot put
High jump
400 meters

* Day 2 *

110 meters hurdles
Discus throw
Pole vault
Javelin throw
1500 meters

1976 Olympics JennerMy first memory of watching the Olympics was when I was 7-years-old in 1976. Googling back on it, the Soviets took home more medals than the US, and looking strictly at the golds, the US came in third behind the Soviets and East Germany.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that the Cold War gave a whole new significance to the Olympics in my mind. But back in 1976, there were two only words that defined the Olympics in my mind: BRUCE FREAKIN’ JENNER.

Ten events, rooting for Bruce Jenner on every single event, I can remember that quite clearly. The final 1500 meters and the triumphant arms in the air as he crossed the finish line, I remember that so clearly. The year is 1976 and you, Bruce Jenner, are the greatest athlete on the face of the earth.

My neighbor Fred Huddleston was a budding painter, still working in oil before he found his true calling as a watercolor artist. He must have seen me running around the neighborhood pretending I was Bruce going for the gold, and God bless him, he gave me a giant canvas montage of the 1976 Olympics with the focal point being Bruce Jenner belting out a big, “ALLLLLRIGHT!”

For all the iconic Wheaties boxes that have ever filled the shelves of every grocery store in America, I still don’t think any of those Wheaties boxes have ever equaled the emotional impact on America than when we, as a collective nation, saw Bruce Jenner triumphant on the cover of the Wheaties box.

Which is all a prelude to saying that at one moment in history, Bruce Jenner was the manliest man on the face of the Earth.

So how do you reconcile that with the Bruce of today, who obviously feels like he’s a woman trapped in a man’s body? You are Bruce Jenner, you can age gracefully as a man and say, yeah, I may be getting older, but no one can take away from me the fact that at one point in my life, I was the living embodiment of manliness.

So how can I possibly reconcile this with the fact that in an interview with Dianne Sawyer last night, Jenner said he first started becoming aware of the female soul inside his body when he was 8-years-old, though he didn’t understand what it meant when he was trying on his mother and sister’s dresses and said, “It just made me feel good.” This was the 8-year-old version of the man who would become the champion of the Olympic decathlon???

Jenner has admitted he’s been taking female hormones since the 1980s, so this has been a long time coming.

Part of me wonders, are more people flipping their sexes on a whim just because science has made it relatively easy if you have the money to bank roll it? The other part of me wonders, maybe we’re living in a better age, a time where science has made it possible for people who feel they’re trapped in the wrong gender to have their transgender wishes come true.

I really have no idea because I was born a man and there hasn’t been a day in my life that I didn’t enjoy having a penis.

I can tell you this, however, it fills my heart with pride to know we’ve got the highest profile transgender in America and he is and she will continue to be a Republican. I for one would be proud to have you, Bruce Jenner, as the highest profile LGBT member of the Republican party.

But if we’re honest, no sex change is complete without a name change to match. If you really want to be a woman, there’s no way you can walk around introducing yourself to people as a woman named Bruce. So if you’re going to go through with the penectomy, you’re going to have to change the name, too.

Beatrice Jenner is kind of nice, although it has a bit of an early 20th century ring to it. Brittany Jenner? Brittney was the seventh most popular name of the 1990s, so that’s already just a little bit dated. Brianna Jenner – eighteenth most popular name of the 2000s, and I think that name is still on the rise.

If you really want to change your sex, you have to have the name change to go with it. My vote is for Brianna Jenner. What do you say?

Once Bruce Jenner gets his sex change, it's going to have to involve a name change to match. You just can't have a girl named Bruce.

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100 years ago today, began the slaughter of the Armenians from the hands of the Turkish Muslims. The death toll is said to be at 1.5 million. To put that in raw numbers, that would be 1,500,000 people slaughtered for no other reason than their ethnicity. 1.5 million people is a hard number for anyone to wrap their head around. Let’s try to really, honestly comprehend what a slaughter of 1.5 million people looks like.

Have you every been to Dodger Stadium with a pretty full house? It looks like this:

dodger-stadium

That’s a whole heck of a lot of people. 50,000 people is a number you can comprehend as you sit there in the stands and look around you and see 50,000 people of all shapes and sizes and creeds and colors and types. 50,000 people is a number you can comprehend as the game comes to an end and you see 50,000 trying to make it to the exits. I can comprehend 50,000 people.

Now try to imagine a million people. Joseph Stalin once said this:

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.

Yes, it’s very hard to imagine what a million dead people look like. It’s almost impossible for the human brain to imagine one million people, so I go back to my analogy of Dodger Stadium.

Picture the horror of a packed house at Dodger Stadium and every single member in attendance slaughtered by whatever means imaginable – machine gun fire, a bomb, a gas cloud of chemical weapons that detonated and left all the people in attendance slumped over from their chairs and laying as corpses in the aisles.

That’s the one and only way I can try to wrap my head around 50,000 dead, which would be approximately sixteen times the death toll of 9/11.

Now here were are on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by the Muslim Turks. When the news reports tell you about the genocide of 1.5 million people, there’s just no way we can wrap our heads around that number. How can our brains truly grasp the slaughter of 1.5 million people? So I take it back to Dodger Stadium, because I can visualize the massive amount of humanity in Dodger Stadium when we’re 50,000 strong. Just try to visualize this with me, if you really want to know what the horror of 1.5 Armenians killed by Muslim Turks was, just imagine an entire Dodger stadium worth of people, and then beside it, another Dodger Stadium worth of corpses, and then a third, and a fourth, and a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, an eighth, a ninth, and a tenth and that would make for half-a-million corpses. Now imagine three times that, thirty full houses at Dodger Stadium, thirty packed houses worth of dead people, and that might give you a vidual of what 1.5 million dead people looks like.

If I recite to you the dry fact that the Muslim Turks slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago, you can’t be blamed if it doesn’t register in your head, because it’s beyond my comprehension as well, but if I told you they took 30 Dodger Stadiums full of people and slaughtered everyone in those 30 stadiums, maybe that might help bring home the slaughter that it really was.

And oh by the way, a big fuck you to Barack Obama to NOT CALL IT A GENOCIDE. Once again, the president will do anything he can to minimize and understate the horrors of history perpetrated by his Muslim brothers.

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Here is an actual quote from this . . . oh I am so trying to avoid that c-word, but this Jamilah Lemieux woman who somehow landed a talking head job on MSNBC:

Nothing says let's kill Muslims like country music.

Nothing says let’s go kill some Muslims like country music.” – Jamilah Lemieux

I don’t remember hearing about any country music concerts or song lyrics where country music stars urged people to go out and kill some Muslims, and you can bet for damn sure, if that had happened, we’d have heard about it.

All the recent headlines I heard about rowdiness at country music concerts involved country music stars who looked into the audience and saw some guy getting a little rough with his date and stopped the concert and humiliated these clowns out for not properly treating a lady like a lady. Tim McGrawJake Owen and Chris Young are three stories of country music gentlemen that spring to mind.

To be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of country music, but I can tell you for damn sure there’s no country music song out there calling for Muslims to get killed or even speaking bad about the religion or you know it would be all over the news. As a woman, shouldn’t Jamilah be much more concerned about the rap music which regularly spews rhymes about how “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks“?

If this redneck-hating bigot Jamilah Lemieux is so concerned about Muslims being threatened by country music fans, it seems she’s completely forgotten that more than half the Muslims in this world are women. Maybe she should worry about all of those Muslims and they’re being treated in their own countries first and foremost.

While Jamilah Lemieux focuses her bigotry against rednecks, Muslim countries across the world believe in “honor killings” where Muslim women are stoned to death for being victims of rape.

If you’re worried about Muslims, how about turning your focus to the majority of Muslims who happen to be female? I think Jamilah would be well served to check out the worst of the worst on the list of countries and women’s rights:

100. El Salvador
Overall score (out of 100): 64.0
Justice: 73.8
Health: 63.2
Education: 82.3
Economics: 70.6
Politics: 47.4
101. Kuwait
Overall score: 62.9 / 100
Justice: 64.6
Health: 80.7
Education: 93.7
Economics: 65.8
Politics: 19.9
102. Bahrain
Overall score: 62.2 / 100
Justice: 48.0
Health: 86.8
Education: 87.5
Economics: 71.2
Politics: 33.9
103. Ecuador
Overall score: 61.8 / 100
Justice: 67.9
Health: 64.3
Education: 87.6
Economics: 63.8
Politics: 54.7
104. Bolivia
Overall score: 61.2 / 100
Justice: 76.2
Health: 53.2
Education: 86.5
Economics: 62.9
Politics: 57.9
105. Gabon
Overall score: 61.1 / 100
Justice: 36.1
Health: 44.0
Education: 87.6
Economics: 93.3
Politics: 39.5
106. Bhutan
Overall score: 60.2 / 100
Justice: 69.8
Health: 60.9
Education: 77.2
Economics: 75.8
Politics: 26.7
107. Zimbabwe
Overall score: 60.1 / 100
Justice: 58.1
Health: 38.5
Education: 89.6
Economics: 80.7
Politics: 38.6
108. Gambia
Overall score: 59.8 / 100
Justice: 43.9
Health: 45.1
Education: 66.3
Economics: 100.0
Politics: 38.6
109. United Arab Emirates
Overall score: 59.6 / 100
Justice: 46.2
Health: 73.5
Education: 93.6
Economics: 68.0
Politics: 39.0
110. Jordan
Overall score: 59.3 / 100
Justice: 66.0
Health: 79.4
Education: 92.4
Economics: 60.3
Politics: 19.2
111. Madagascar
Overall score: 58.0 / 100
Justice: 64.5
Health: 38.5
Education: 62.3
Economics: 89.4
Politics: 44.7
112. Hungary
Overall score: 58.0 / 100
Justice: 19.3
Health: 91.9
Education: 96.9
Economics: 70.2
Politics: 36.0
113. People’s Democratic Republic of Lao
Overall score: 57.4 / 100
Justice: 56.9
Health: 30.0
Education: 62.6
Economics: 94.7
Politics: 48.9
114. Turkey
Overall score: 56.2 / 100
Justice: 64.4
Health: 87.8
Education: 84.8
Economics: 54.2
Politics: 28.0
115. Algeria
Overall score: 55.5 / 100
Justice: 62.9
Health: 76.8
Education: 72.2
Economics: 71.1
Politics: 12.0
116. Kenya
Overall score: 53.6 / 100
Justice: 50.2
Health: 44.6
Education: 85.7
Economics: 75.2
Politics: 30.1
117. Liberia
Overall score: 52.8 / 100
Justice: 42.4
Health: 34.5
Education: 57.9
Economics: 90.2
Politics: 68.1
118. Malawi
Overall score: 51.9 / 100
Justice: 49.9
Health: 26.1
Education: 61.6
Economics: 93.3
Politics: 40.7
119. United Republic of Tanzania
Overall score: 51.9 / 100
Justice: 44.6
Health: 17.1
Education: 69.9
Economics: 90.7
Politics: 55.6
120. Egypt
Overall score: 51.9 / 100
Justice: 67.2
Health: 69.6
Education: 67.7
Economics: 63.6
Politics: 29.3
121. Lebanon
Overall score: 50.7 / 100
Justice: 43.7
Health: 73.9
Education: 91.1
Economics: 56.2
Politics: 32.9
122. Uganda
Overall score: 50.7 / 100
Justice: 32.2
Health: 22.4
Education: 61.4
Economics: 95.8
Politics: 65.0
123. Oman
Overall score: 50.6 / 100
Justice: 48.5
Health: 71.2
Education: 86.1
Economics: 61.4
Politics: 20.1
124. Morocco
Overall score: 50.4 / 100
Justice: 81.2
Health: 72.2
Education: 57.9
Economics: 61.6
Politics: 17.8
125. Iran
Overall score: 50.1 / 100
Justice: 54.9
Health: 77.9
Education: 76.8
Economics: 62.2
Politics: 12.1
126. Suriname
Overall score: 48.4 / 100
Justice: 46.2
Health: 55.1
Education: 87.0
Economics: 61.5
Politics: 33.8
127. Zambia
Overall score: 47.5 / 100
Justice: 40.1
Health: 29.7
Education: 67.4
Economics: 85.7
Politics: 38.9
128. Mozambique
Overall score: 47.3 / 100
Justice: 42.5
Health: 32.8
Education: 41.4
Economics: 92.6
Politics: 64.4
129. Swaziland
Overall score: 46.0 / 100
Justice: 49.8
Health: 30.5
Education: 78.1
Economics: 66.8
Politics: 51.7
130. Syrian Arab Republic
Overall score: 45.8 / 100
Justice: 45.6
Health: 67.7
Education: 83.1
Economics: 56.0
Politics: 26.4
131. Eritrea
Overall score: 44.5 / 100
Justice: 43.6
Health: 39.2
Education: 52.9
Economics: 86.1
Politics: 29.4
132. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Overall score: 44.3 / 100
Justice: 55.9
Health: 72.3
Education: 86.5
Economics: 47.1
Politics: 12.6
133. Nepal
Overall score: 43.5 / 100
Justice: 44.3
Health: 48.7
Education: 68.4
Economics: 67.2
Politics: 37.8
134. Burkina Faso
Overall score: 43.4 / 100
Justice: 47.0
Health: 33.0
Education: 44.5
Economics: 90.7
Politics: 28.3
135. Senegal
Overall score: 43.2 / 100
Justice: 60.5
Health: 36.4
Education: 43.3
Economics: 76.8
Politics: 47.8
136. Guatemala
Overall score: 43.0 / 100
Justice: 61.6
Health: 42.0
Education: 65.2
Economics: 63.0
Politics: 33.6
137. Togo
Overall score: 42.7 / 100
Justice: 37.6
Health: 41.8
Education: 46.7
Economics: 87.5
Politics: 34.7
138. Equatorial Guinea
Overall score: 42.6 / 100
Justice: 45.9
Health: 36.8
Education: 87.8
Economics: 62.5
Politics: 19.8
139. Bangladesh
Overall score: 42.1 / 100
Justice: 35.5
Health: 45.7
Education: 69.2
Economics: 75.1
Politics: 20.4
140. Papua New Guinea
Overall score: 42.0 / 100
Justice: 57.6
Health: 56.7
Education: 47.4
Economics: 75.5
Politics: 7.7
141. India
Overall score: 41.9 / 100
Justice: 54.0
Health: 64.1
Education: 64.9
Economics: 60.7
Politics: 14.8
142. Angola
Overall score: 41.1 / 100
Justice: 41.2
Health: 20.0
Education: 42.8
Economics: 87.4
Politics: 61.1
143. Congo
Overall score: 40.5 / 100
Justice: 18.2
Health: 34.7
Education: 63.7
Economics: 86.1
Politics: 35.4
144. Djibouti
Overall score: 40.4 / 100
Justice: 19.3
Health: 37.2
Education: 63.2
Economics: 85.1
Politics: 33.0
145. Serbia
Overall score: 38.4 / 100
Justice: 82.8
Health: 86.7
Education: 96.4
Economics: 56.2
Politics: 44.2
146. Mauritania
Overall score: 38.0 / 100
Justice: 43.3
Health: 39.0
Education: 71.5
Economics: 61.4
Politics: 32.8
147. Saudi Arabia
Overall score: 35.5 / 100
Justice: 40.6
Health: 68.1
Education: 79.6
Economics: 47.8
Politics: 5.0
148. Central African Republic
Overall score: 34.3 / 100
Justice: 46.7
Health: 16.6
Education: 20.7
Economics: 95.3
Politics: 34.0
149. Cameroon
Overall score: 33.1 / 100
Justice: 34.4
Health: 31.7
Education: 57.8
Economics: 72.6
Politics: 21.8
150. Côte d’Ivoire
Overall score: 30.9 / 100
Justice: 50.6
Health: 30.4
Education: 33.1
Economics: 68.2
Politics: 50.5
151. Benin
Overall score: 30.0 / 100
Justice: 43.6
Health: 43.6
Education: 21.0
Economics: 74.7
Politics: 42.3
152. Guinea-Bissau
Overall score: 29.9 / 100
Justice: 26.1
Health: 31.0
Education: 34.6
Economics: 83.0
Politics: 34.3
153. Nigeria
Overall score: 29.3 / 100
Justice: 54.8
Health: 37.2
Education: 35.9
Economics: 66.2
Politics: 21.1
154. Sierra Leone
Overall score: 29.0 / 100
Justice: 22.2
Health: 38.0
Education: 30.9
Economics: 88.2
Politics: 14.9
155. Guinea
Overall score: 28.5 / 100
Justice: 25.7
Health: 40.7
Education: 29.7
Economics: 79.1
Politics: 35.6
156. Sudan
Overall score: 26.1 / 100
Justice: 21.1
Health: 29.4
Education: 70.6
Economics: 54.5
Politics: 40.8
157. Ethiopia
Overall score: 23.7 / 100
Justice: 18.6
Health: 27.2
Education: 29.9
Economics: 79.7
Politics: 37.4
158. Pakistan
Overall score: 21.4 / 100
Justice: 49.7
Health: 49.6
Education: 34.0
Economics: 50.7
Politics: 19.3
159. Niger
Overall score: 21.2 / 100
Justice: 26.5
Health: 32.9
Education: 47.5
Economics: 58.6
Politics: 31.3
160. Solomon Islands
Overall score: 20.8 / 100
Justice: 0.0
Health: 53.6
Education: 86.5
Economics: 46.0
Politics: 1.9
161. Mali
Overall score: 17.6 / 100
Justice: 22.7
Health: 29.9
Education: 25.8
Economics: 64.3
Politics: 49.8
162. Democratic Republic of the Congo
Overall score: 13.6 / 100
Justice: 6.5
Health: 11.4
Education: 45.1
Economics: 67.8
Politics: 27.2
163. Yemen
Overall score: 12.1 / 100
Justice: 36.2
Health: 44.4
Education: 34.1
Economics: 48.8
Politics: 0.0
164. Afghanistan
Overall score: 2.0 / 100
Justice: 8.4
Health: 2.0
Education: 41.1
Economics: 55.3
Politics: 16.6
165. Chad
Overall score: 0.0 / 100
Justice: 20.7
Health: 0.0
Education: 0.0
Economics: 70.9
Politics: 22.2

Sources: The Daily Beast & Newsweek

I see a couple Central American Hispanic countries, but the farther you get down the list, the darker and more Muslim it gets.

Because nothing says female genital mutilation like African and Muslim countries. Last time I checked, there were no country music stars calling for innocent little baby girls to have clitorectomies performed on them.

Stop hating white people, Jamilah, and stop imagining that it’s white people listening to country music who are trading Muslim women from father to husband like property with a deed of ownership.

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For those on the list, sorry for the multiple email notifications on this, just had a few technical issues to work out.

So for my seventh album, the days of performing all the tracks myself are over, mainly because of the vocals. There are a few songs I think my voice fits perfectly, but there are other songs like this one, which is in desperate need of someone who can belt it out with a heavy duty rock ‘n roll voice.

So I’m looking for a singer. If you’re a singer, you’ll know what I’m saying when I’m also looking for the vocal line to be brought up an octave to where you can really belt it out.

If you’re just listening for fun, just try to picture whatever metal singer first comes to mind.

I’ll be reproducing the whole recording (guitars are a bit swampy and too heavy on the effects, the bass is a bit too clackity-clack) but I hope you can dig it for the riffs and the message of a man who is convinced there’s a Creator but who finds nothing but the devil in the details.

      Spun-Honey-Soul-Fishing.mp3

Soul Fishing

Borne here to this world with no view behind
Aware and conscious through this unknown mind
I view His Landscapes and they fill my eyes
But to his nature I am truly blind

And the preachers gone fishing
Finding souls lost swimming
Promise Fate to the river
But She doesn’t deliver

I’m just a blind dog, baby
Howlin’ with my heart and soul
Forever thankful for this
And what this is I do not know
Some dogs have all the answers
In the light they’re truly blind
But The One Who Put This World Here
Lies beyond the realm of mind

Religious zealots have no fucking clue
They speak for God when they preach to you
All man’s religions speak the minds that dream him
I love my Master though I’ve never seen him

And the preachers gone fishing
Finding souls lost swimming
Promise Fate to the river
But She doesn’t deliver

I’m just a blind dog, baby
Howlin’ with my heart and soul
Forever thankful for this
And what this is I do not know
Some dogs have all the answers
In the light they’re truly blind
But The One Who Put This World Here
Lies beyond the realm of mind

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In March of last year, well-aware that in a few months, another Republican sweep in the upcoming mid-season elections was more than likely, president Obama said this about having secured a small-scale agreement to station military forces in the Philippines:

That may not always attract a lot of attention, and it doesn’t make for good argument on Sunday morning shows. But it avoids errors. You hit singles; you hit doubles. Every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run. But we steadily advance the interests of the American people and our partnership with folks around the world.

source: NPR

The president got a lot of flack for the comment, which fit in with the narrative of the Obamian strategy for America “leading from behind.”

Obama throws . . . awkwardlyI must admit, as soon as you invoke Obama and baseball, certain videos of presidential first pitches spring immediately to mind. I’ll edit my first thought here because after we saw Mo’ne Davis rock the Little League World Series, I vowed never again to use the phrase “throws like a girl.” Lets just say then that our current president has thrown the most awkward-looking first pitches in presidential history.

But in pitching his foreign policy strategy for his final two years, let me also say this – President Obama’s baseball analogy is right on the money.

Normalizing relations with Cuba is a solid single. Maybe in hindsight, history will say he stretched it out for two.

When we speak of the U.S. embargo of the Castro communist dictators, we’re speaking of a policy that was never even second-guessed by presidents of either party, from Eisenhower to Kennedy to Johnson to Nixon to Ford to Carter to Reagan with two Bushes and a Clinton to boot.

Havana street with colorful old cars in a raw

 

Fifty years later, what’s the greatest thing the American embargo has accomplished? It’s made the wealthier parts of Cuba look like a classic car show. On the one hand, we won, Cuba’s economy sucks, if a Cuban wants a nice car, they’re going to have to rely on those American cars that came over pre-revolution, but on the other hand, I bet you there’s no one in the world who knows how to keep the American classic cars running better than the mechanics of Cuba.

I know Obama doesn’t believe this, but all the aforementioned presidents really did see America as this bright, shining beacon of freedom for the rest of the world to see. In each of their minds, to not embargo the ruthless despotic Castros would have been a slap in the face to every political dissident who ever was raped, tortured or imprisoned by the communist authoritarian regime.

Cuban car boat.Under the threat of imprisonment and torture, how much would a person have to hate the communist regime to work for years to turn one of those cars into a sea worthy vessel that could make the 90 miles from Cuba to American freedom? Check this car boat out, can you imagine being so sick of the oppression that you would be willing to work for years in complete and total secrecy to make a car into a sea-worthy vessel?

But fifty years is long enough. The time has come and it’s time to engage and as the Castro brothers croak, the best way to engage with our neighboring island paradise 90 miles south is to open the doors and let them have a full taste of what life can be like when you join the ranks of the Capitalist West.

It’s unfortunate because on the one hand, it’s like you are giving a stamp of legitimacy to the same evil kooks who lock up anyone who dare speak out against the regime, but on the other hand, it’s time to switch strategies and show the Cubans first hand how rich the capitalist system has made our tourists and yes, you can have this standard of living yourselves if you unshackle yourselves from the dictators who became your island’s overlords.

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Team of Rivals
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Doris Kearns Goodwin