Tag Archives: funny

The Beasts from the Shadows

29 Aug

I thought I was safe. I thought the monsters from my past had stayed behind as I embarked on my college adventure.

I thought wrong.

Somewhere, in my heart of hearts, I knew the beasts were there. They were lurking in the shadows. Waiting. Mocking. Laughing at the false sense of security their temporary absence was filling me with.

They were waiting to fill my soul with dread. And I was foolish enough to think that I had escaped them.

No one escapes the beasts of their past. The timeline, after all, is continuous in both directions. I couldn’t have a future at all without having a past (although, I could run out of time ahead without losing time behind. That is the definition of Death). I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging these creatures I feared so much. I thought that I was just limited to acknowledgement. I wouldn’t have to face them anymore, I had done so for eleven years.

God, that’s how long it was, wasn’t it? Eleven years since the nightmare. Eleven years since it all began. It was incredible to think that it had been that long. Fear made it feel shorter.

You may have heard otherwise. Fear is supposed to elongate time. Yes, in small qualities. Sometimes, the adrenaline rush will allow time to freeze, hummingbirds’ wings to materialize, and bullets to sit still in the air. But life works on a system of equality and balance. Gain time to fear, lose it to paranoia. I have lost many hours.

Can I be blamed? Even now I hear them, sense them, fuckin’ feel them outside the comforts of my immediate presence. Taunting me, laughing at my fear. Those conniving little bastards are just waiting now that I know they have returned. Since the nightmares, I’ve been afraid of the waking world. They manifest themselves plentifully back home in Oviedo. My salvation was in dreams. At best, I could survive if they confronted me in the presence of another person. Others don’t fear my demons. They brush them off, step over them, treat them like they’re diminutive, and continue on with their day. I wish I had their strength. I wish the nightmares weren’t becoming realized in reality.

But I can hope, I can dream, that my fear won’t fracture me. I know better. The presence of the beasts leaves me mentally shattered and physically petrified. Especially when they’re big.

See, like normal animals, they come in many sizes, colors, hues, and potencies. I consider it Hells consortium. But I’ve managed to make my peace with the smaller ones. But this is mostly out of necessity. If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be aware of the bigger ones. Those monsters, those slimy, disgusting creatures emerging from the swampy waters of the damned!

I learned that I couldn’t avoid them any longer, for I had seen a little one today. I was stepping off the track and from the unseen depths of the shadows, it bolted in front of me. My heart jumped. I knew conflict with my fears were to be inevitable.

“So then,” I said, “I see that you are here after all.”

It looked up at me in silence. It’s eyes staring into my soul. Those empty, glistening eyes; like glossed glass refracting my own likeness. Reflecting my fears.  It just sat and stared. My heart quickened and dove from my throat into my stomach at each rapid beat. I started to shake. The air around me seemed to thicken and darkness was closing in. It still just stared with its soulless eyes until I shattered the silence.

“Answer me! Where are the rest of you?! Why won’t you leave me alone?!”

And then, from the depths of its hellish throat, came its sole response before departing again into the darkness:


“Seriously man, fuck frogs” I swore as I departed to my room.

I know these damnable amphibians are out there now. Maybe this time, when they emerge from the shadows, I will conquer the beasts and leave my fear with them as broken as their will to terrorize me.


I am the zombie… I am exhausted…

23 Aug

Koo-koo catchoo, right?

Whew, I couldn’t have ever anticipated how tiring college orientation could be. It’s been a few days and I feel like I’ve been run into the ground. Plus, I’ve been happily busy with a new freelance project, as well as a special, super secret project I’ve been doing for Caustic Cookies. The Caustic Cookies project is going to be revealed on the first of September. I guarantee, it’ll be something you guys will find to be incredibly awesome!

One of those things will be an RSS feed. Right now I don’t have a newsletter or an email thing going around. That’ll change in September. But I really can’t explain too much more! It’s a secret. A super secret awesome present to you guys! Think of it as an early birthday present. And if it’s already been your birthday, think of it as a REALLY early present for next year. Am I on the ball or what?

Today is the resuming of the two to three a day posts here on the site. I’ve been looking around campus for places for wi-fi connections so I can do them if I have any downtime in class. Turns out that the entire campus is pretty much a wi-fi hotspot, so I should be fine! Get ready for some awesomely caustic cookies!

I have been living as the walking dead for the last 72 hours. Exhaustion has plagued me like acne on a prom queen. I keep downing coffee, hoping for my next fix. I’m considering electroshock directly into the radial nerve. Maybe then I’ll be awake enough to laugh.

I am Jack’s tired eyes, barely seeing the ground as I shuffle through existence like some ancient Floridian grandfather, waiting for the next portal, the next realm. Hell, maybe even death. I’m so tired I don’t even care.

I black in. I realize that I’m now sitting next to a blond chick from my cross-country team. Her name is Tori. Nice enough girl I think. She laughs at the jokes I make during the campus showing of the Avengers. Either that or she’s just as mesmerized by Robert Downy Jr.’s beard as I am. What a magnificent creature. The beard not the girl. Although, she seems like she’s cool enough I guess. We were both just clumped in with the rest of the freshmen and were just mutually relieved to find a familiar face.

The last thing I remember is sitting zombified during the Honors orientation. I was asking for a bunch of xanax to take a nap during the yawning lecture. I get a buzz in my shorts. I fantasize that it’s an electrode jolting me awake. No. It’s a text from my girlfriend, Stephanie. I smile. It’s probably the only thing that makes me smile  in the entire presentation.

Snap back to the theater. Tori’s now fixated on Thor’s biceps when she’s not texting her boyfriend. I roll my eyes. I’m about to leave the theater and this freshman congregation anyways. I have somewhere to be, but where? Where?

Next thing I realize is that I’m walking towards the Rathskeller. I have a faint memory of telling Tori that I was ducking out to go do something else I planned. I was composing a message to Stephanie. She had texted me back. I smiled again. Love can make a zombie smile after all. I don’t remember if I sent a reply or not.  I think I did, looking back on it. I kept walking.

I am Jack’s forgetful mind. Filled with dementia like a Floridian…


That sounded familiar…

“Congratulations!” I hear. I look around. I’m in a dinky little dank room that had to have been an old speakeasy. I look down and I see a bunch of papers with trivia information on it as well as a pencil.

I am Jack’s fucking confused Grandfather. From Florida. Who relies on the familiarity in redundancy because I am utterly lost.

“Here’s your $50 dollar gift Visa Gift card! Congratulations on winning round two of the trivia with your perfect score of 125!”

A camera flashes. My confusion is now at a boiling point.

I wake up with the weird desire to turn on my TV and pop in fight club. I shrug it off, go back to bed, and hope that I won’t wake up as disjointed.

Anime Addiction

21 Aug

I think I have a problem. I am seriously addicted to anime…

First, don’t even assume I’m talking about hentai That’s a completely separate addiction and I really don’t feel the need to get an intervention for that one.

*Note: Author does not really watch hentai. He sticks to the same flesh and blood, unrealistic garbage that floats around the Internet instead of the animated, unrealistic garbage that floats around the Internet.

I realized that I had a problem when I started watching Full Metal Alchemist. Full Metal is my second favorite anime of all time. Bleach is my favorite, by the way. But FMA is seriously awesome! It had been years since I had seen an episode of the show and I remembered bits and pieces of the plot but I couldn’t remember the intricacies. Hell, I couldn’t even remember Alfred Elric’s name. I just remembered Edwards because everyone called him a midget and he always flipped a shit. I thought it was hysterical.

But I started watching and not only did the memories start coming back to me, but something new started to arise within me. I started appreciating the show for the story itself, not just for the kick-ass alchemical reactions.

Within 5 days, I had watched 12 episodes. Not bad, right? In the next 3, I finished the series. A whopping 40 fucking episodes. I think the only thing stopping me from watching more is the fact that I thought it was the end. I thought I had kicked my addiction…

But now I just learned that there were two more series following the FMA idea! So my addiction was less of a triumphant story about a man’s last drink in his house and him never going out to buy another as it was a darkly comical story of a man’s last drink before realizing he had another friggen keg in the kitchen.

Two series, a bunch of questions, and only 24 hours in a day!

It’s going to be a while until I go into withdrawal, I can promise that!

…But Ne’er a Drop to Drink

19 Aug

For some reason, today seems to be following an aquaphilic pattern…

I went out to the trail with the rest of the UT cross country team and the first thing I knew is that it was going to be wet. Very. Very. Wet. The grass didn’t so much glisten with the dew of dawn as much as it was inundated with the flood of Noah. Giant puddles filled spaces where Earth naturally belonged, water dripped from the trees with the annoying predictability off a leaking faucet. I looked around and knew that I sure as hell wasn’t in Kansas anymore…but I could’ve definetely ridden a hurricane into the everglades.

Stretch out. Do a few plyometric drills. Stretch out some more. All the while I used the dripping of the trees as a metronome. Three drips for a stretch, two for a plyometric move, only one to set me on the path to early morning insanity.

My teammate Tori (at least I think that’s how you spell his name. Hell if I actually know. I’ve only been here for roughly 48 hours) mentioned something about a pond that could’ve sheltered a megaladon. He has a way of summing something up in a facile manner:

“Shit. Trail’s going to be wet.”

But unlike this morning, there wouldn’t be any to drink. I don’t care how thirsty I am, I would rather guzzle the tap water back at home than drink from one of those puddles. So I guess I’ll rescind my statement about it being the worst water ever. *Note. There is now a new qualifier. Worst Drinking Water Ever. 

The run got underway. Surprisingly, it was pretty dry. I mean, as dry as it gets in Florida. We’re talking about a state that you could probably drown in if the humidity approached the right density. But other than that, yeah, it was the Floridian equivalent to the Mojave desert.

It left me confused. How could this be? Was this water just a mass hallucination? Maybe the downhill location of the start made it worse than it really was? Of the two, the latter is the most probable. But I wouldn’t put it passed a few guys to slip something into the Gatorade (Kidding!…Kidding…sure….kidding……) 

We continued a slight ascent until we reached the wooded area. My expectation was for the humidity to just erupt, but it didn’t. It was a marginal increase, but the overall saturation wasn’t unbearable. We continued onward for about two miles.

And nothing happened. Still dry.

A mile after that though, that’s when muck hit the fans. Or at the least, the bottom of our trainers. But the spatter was still horrendous. Halfway through the run, we all looked like we had just murdered a mud-walker. I don’t know if mud-walkers are actual creatures- if not I’m inventing it. I still have no idea how some of the stuff got to where it did. I mean some things are meant to be non-intruded in the span of a man’s life…

My inner ear. Perverts. Get your minds out of the gutter. Seriously though, I need a physicist who’s an expert in scatter-theory to explain how this glop could fly into the depths of my ear canal. If it hit the external acoustic meatus (big, outside flappy thing that we commonly call the “ear”) I would understand. No. This went straight into the ear!

We sullied through the mud and through the standing water. In theory, the mud should dirty us, the water should clean us. Endless repeat. Except the mud dirtied us, the water merely spread it, and it repeated over the course of thousands of steps. Man, reality’s a bitch. But we trudged through because we’re distance runners. You may also have heard of us called something different: total badasses. We accept either moniker. 

Eventually, we approached a boardwalk. 

“Finally!” I thought. “Some relief for my aching quads!” 

For those who haven’t had the pleasant experience of moving through water, it becomes unpleasant because of your shoes and socks. Like all absorbent matter, it has a saturation point. The mass of the liquid combines with that of the fabric and presto! Through simple adhesion, you now feel like you’re carrying Gabriel Igleasias’ fluff. 

“Solid land” I thought fervently. “Solid land! Solid-“

Slip! I had to recover my balance, barely stumbling into a guide rail. I had completely forgotten what happens when you mix wet wood and soaked, worn down running shoes. Congratulations! You’ve taken up ice-skating!

If I had the will and a few moments to spare, I could’ve slid along without lifting my feet. Would it have been impracticle? Of course? Would it have been totally bitchin’ as I completed a triple sow-cow? Oh yeah.

And now we were halfway.

On the way back, I knew we had to face the same kind of condition as before. I might enjoy a challenge, but on long runs the weight of an extra ounce alone causes a lot of wear and tear. Bill Bowerman once theorized that an extra ounce on a shoe equated to 55 extra POUNDS of lifting power over the course of a mile. I was going 13 and there was a hell of a lot more than an ounce in my shoes. 

I was stuck in a dilemma. But then, as it oddly does, physics came to my rescue.

A man who wasn’t associated with my team was running right in front of me, sloshing through water without regard for how wet he got. It appeared that, magically, he was all out of fucks to give. His stride was heavy, his cadence was quick, he struck the ground with his heel, transporting a force equivalent to four times his body weight into the water covered earth. I knew that if I followed close enough behind him, matched his stride length and rhythm perfectly, I could harness the forces he used and Fucking run on water! That’s right! I could achieve running Jesus!

Ok. So maybe I wouldn’t be running on water exactly, but that’s the point. I could seriously save some energy and effort if I exploited the natural tendencies of water while utilizing the force of the gentleman in front of me. 

Water in incompressible. Now to make sure you read that right, I will first explain that it is not incomprehensible. Phonetically somewhat similar; however their denotations are completely different. We comprehend and understand water just fine. It’s because of this knowledge that I understood that it is incompressible. Meaning, it can’t be compressed. Due to the molecular structure of water, you can’t compress it down like you could with a cornmeal water mixture. When that happens, you can compress that and, if done quickly, it’ll become a temporary solid! Neat, huh?


Due to this attribute, water is merely displaced when you try to stand on it. I.e, it is moved out of the spot that you’re standing in. Now, let’s say something the size of a foot tries to move on water; and this foot-shaped item (that may or not be an actual foot), is coming down with a tremendous force (maybe, 4 times a certain front runner’s body-weight). What would you think happens? 

Water freaking explodes up and out. In fact, these homophones will adequately explain the process:

splash, woosh, gurgle, shit-bro-that-got-in-my-mouth!

Now water will return to that location within a split second, it’s just the nature of the downhill slope. But for that fraction of a second, just after impact, there’s nothing there but dry ground. So for a good half-mile, I followed this man’s every footstep through the water, moving close to him so as to get that slight relief from the flood. 

Perhaps a little too close because he took off after that. I think that having someone mirror your steps for a half-mile, shadowing you closer than your actual shadow, might be a bit unnerving for some. But still. My shoes were a bit drier and my sole (soul) a bit lighter. 

After the run was over, I thought I was done with this new-found nemesis that is undrinkable Tampa water. But no…it resurected into a form I couldn’t possibly resist…

Watermelon! Hey, I never said inedible Tampa water.

And might I say, it was delicious. After it’s all been said and done, I think it’s better to be acquainted with the filtered liquid to my right. It’s better than just having water…water everywhere-

But ne’er a drop to drink!

I am the Master of Electricity!

16 Aug

I write this confidently on my Macbook pro as my iPod plays my Pandora station bursting with auto-tuned and synthesized music. I am the Master of Electricity. I have…


Alright. Perhaps I should explain my power-trip of the power-strip.

See, today seemed to be going entirely my way when it came to electronics and electricity. I was packing my stuff away for college when I came across a hardly-used PSP my little brother owned. It was in great condition, buttons aren’t too jammed, battery works fine, but I’ve never seen him play it. I asked him why.

“I don’t know. I can’t get the internet to work. If you can than it’s yours.”

Cue a two-minute montage and wham! I am now the proud owner of a new PSP!

Sure enough that would be enough to classify it as a pretty awesome day. But no. No today, technology must have decided that it was time to temporarily halt being an inconsiderate douchebag and actually let me enjoy myself.

For weeks, this very computer was unable to accept disks and DVD’s. Normally, I really wouldn’t care; I could just look online for movies and entertainment. Except an issue arose when my criminology textbook was, unsurprisingly, entirely on a CD. So I was forced with having to put down about a hundred dollars or more to get that fixed. Until…

Until I managed to find a screwdriver, some tweezers, and a website full of helpful command prompts. Within 15 minutes, I had fixed the issue. Turns out, there was a tiny CD that was never full inserted. It was kind of just in a disk-drive limbo. So like technology Jesus, I rescued it from that netherworld and brought it back into the light of day. I was the salvation of my labored bank-account.

To top the day off, the sheer power of nature decided to just prove that electricity really was on my side. I was stepping out for my second run of the day and the skies were a little dark and gloomy. Oh well, no big deal, right? I’ve certainly run in worse. So I get started and there’s a little rumble. I mull it over and think about how much it would suck to come home with a messed up nervous system and half a head of smoldering hair. So I just kind of jogged it in. Ten seconds after I reached the safety of my garage, it started. The rain came down with the pummeling force of a hurricane and thunder was ringing off so frequently, Thor had to be on crack-cocaine. Lightning strikes were hurled down within 50 meters of where I decided to turn around. In case anyone cares to know, yes, 50 meters does qualify as “piss yourself proximity” in regards to lightning.

Hell, even the battery life for the Macbook has decided to cooperate with me. Normally it lasts all of about two hours by itself. It’s still holding strong after three. I’m flabbergasted. I’m amazed. I’ve run out of adjectives, I’m so speechless!

I half-expect tomorrow to be one of those days where my Spartan commits suicide during a forge creation session in Halo: Reach for the verifiable reason of “Fuck you Peter, that’s why.” So maybe t would be a great time to create an artificial intelligence program tonight, seeing my surely temporal success. Worse comes to worse: the robot apocalypse happens. And I’m positive I would be able to negotiate world peace with my “10 people exist in regards to understanding binary” joke.

(Ready for a bad joke to end the post?)

I mean, how could I possibly have a negative attitude with this electricity  involved? I’m just so positively energized about today!

Golf Course Misadventures

12 Aug

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the clouds were white and fluffy. and I wanted nothing to do with it. Chirping birds and shining sun invariably means early rising. I roused myself out of bed, looked out to the beautiful day. As the clouds gave me a smile, I flipped them the bird.

Fuck mornings, I am not an early riser.

Today, though, I had to make an exception. This was my bi-monthly attempt at excelling at a sport other than long-distance running. Of course, I had to raise the gauntlet by choosing one of the most coordinated sports on the planet: golf.

See, I love golf. I have fun with it. I go out with my little brother and my father, and today since he’s home on leave, my older brother was out there to join us. My mother tagged along to make it one dysfunctional happy family. But if there’s something that my older brother and I absolutely abhor, it’s early mornings.

“Dude,” he said to me as we left the house to play golf, the clock reading just shy of seven “this blows.”

Little did I know, but that would come to encapsulate the entire round.

When we got to the course, my mood had improved markedly. I saw deer prancing, hawks swooping, and nature manages to always take my morning grumpiness and eventually make me smile. And then came the one species I wish was endangered: wild frat boys.

We all know the ones. Screaming out at the top of their lungs, maxing out their jaw muscles and stomachs with what has to be gallons of shitty beer. The kind of people who are even hated in environments where that kind of crap is expected. Yep. They had invaded the golf course.

Swing. Clunk. “FUCK!”

Woosh. Crackle. “CUNT!”

We got to witness the entire foul-mouthed debauchery. I could imagine doe fawning (Get it?! hah!) over their young with earmuffs- hawks screeching just because it sounded better than the rancid words pouring out like a tsunami of New York sewage.

Despite it all, however, I can actually say we had a good time. The course was actually rather pretty, and the parade of pickle-livered imbeciles left after nine holes. My older brother pretty much acted as a dousing rod, finding water in places that weren’t even mentioned on the score card. My little brother talked a lot of trash and came up short (such is puberty), but actually had a decent round all-around. My mother was our unrelenting cheerleader.

“Great shot!”

“Mom, that was total crap!”

“No it wasn’t.”

“Mom, I appreciate it, but it went five yards, somehow managed to levitate, pillaged a small village, shot an adventurer in the knee, and double-dog-dared Charlie Sheen to relapse just for the pure-t hell of it!”

“Well at least it went straight.”

God bless my mother and her optimism.

My dad succeeded in sufficiently kicking the shit out of all of our scores. I’m sure my poor score-card would have felt less violated at Neverland Ranch. We suspect he might have had an advantage since he naturally wakes up at the unholy hour of 4:30 every blooming morning.

Me? Well I proved once and for all that I am about as coordinated as a blind-folded dog in the back of a moving van because I shot a 109. About 37 over par. I’m sure I won’t be getting any invitations to play on the PGA tour anytime soon.

How about you guys? Have any of you had an oddly dichotomous round of golf before? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email at peterlicari13@gmail.com


Caustic Countdown: 3 Ways To Recognize Empty Political Promises

24 Jul

We have again reached a critical point in our perpetual political cycle. Men and women are vying for positions of power within our governmental structure, utilizing every possible technique of persuasion to appeal to their potential constituents. Sort of like super-villians, except that they’re supposed to be helping us. Within their super-villianous arsenal of politic firepower are the usual attack ads, glorification campaigns, and subtle subconscious appeals that many of us have come to both love and loathe. But one particular technique stands out as one of the most disdainful to Americans today: the false promise.

Every individual regardless of political affiliation can cite an occasion of empty promises built upon manipulated hope. We couldn’t agree if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are delicious if we put it to a vote (they are. Vote PB&J 2012), but Americans come together against these powerful but ultimately empty words. Cynicism is rampant in the voting population because many learned of the fallaciousness of these promises after they cast their ballot. Most voters would have at least debated their choice more intently if they had recognized an empty political oath beforehand. In the spirit of promoting a better future for our country by the ballot box, here are three ways to determine whether a candidate is being honest or playing the political game.



1) Guaranteeing a Power Play


America could easily be mistaken as being engulfed in an ideological civil war. Republicans and Democrats are constantly at each-other’s throats in an attempt to force a submission. If you were to scan the comment section on any major news site, your eyes would practically be seared by the acrid comments both parties are making in reference to the other. Our discourse falls well beyond the boundaries of polite debate, landing somewhere near the border of obsessive insanity. This vehement hatred is found even in the esteemed halls in the Capitol, because people still follow the petty patterns of the populace regardless of social position. Politicians refuse to work together, creating a stagnate system nearly devoid of compromise. While this in itself is a tragic issue, the nature of the beast can alert you to the existence of empty words.


The Promise:

“I will repeal Obamacare…” – Mitt Romney


Although Former Governor Romney is neither the first or last person to ever guarantee a power play, his statement best represents a potentially empty promise. It is impossible to say currently whether or not this particular promise is truly empty, but most analysts say that it’s not going to happen. Why? Because Romney would have to contend against a senate that still currently holds a Democratic majority. He’d be like an insect trying to pass through a parade of anteaters. The only way for him to actually repeal Obamacare is to have legislation sent through this partisan gauntlet. Judging by the ludicrously hostile nature of congress today, it doesn’t take a genius or political insider to know that there is no way that such a repeal will pass through (apparently, the anteaters are hungry). Sure, if elected, Romney will most likely fight tooth-and-nail to combat certain provisions of the law. He may certainly try to repeal it, but we know that such an effort will prove futile. If one is voting for an individual solely based upon a power play such as this, it might be wise to look for other aspects within the candidate you may deem favorable or consider alternative options.


2) Jurisdiction Issues


Many people assume that if elected to a prominent national office, the candidate will wield incredible political power. The problem though, is that our federal government exists within a system of checks and balances that separate powers to select branches. This division of power has been set in stone for over 2 centuries, paradoxically having been written down on an incredibly important piece of paper. The different responsibilities of certain branches are enumerated within the text of the US Constitution. There has never been an occasion where one branch can just encroach on the powers of the others without reprisal. They’re like siblings fighting for mommy’s attention. If one pushes, the other will scream “stop pushing me” while the other one starts to kick saying “Mom! The court’s pushing the executive branch!” It’s only a matter of time before mom (which I guess is us, in this weird metaphor?) says “Quit the bickering before I turn this damn car around!”  With this extensive pushing and shoving in mind, it’s incredibly interesting how many Americans are misled into believing a candidate’s eventual power will actually go beyond their constitutional limitations.


The Promise:

This sort of faux oath is so terribly common, it would actually be limiting the scope of the problem to post an example!


How often do we hear congressional candidates swear that their administration will work to directly reduce the crime rate? How about when Presidents or Governors promise to have a certain law passed or eliminate a certain social program? What’s incredible is that, by the endemic separation of powers, both of these are truly impossible to follow through with!

Take our hypothetical congressman for example. Legislators can write the text of a law, can set down the penalty for breaking said law, and they can even write exemptions within the text to clarify for certain circumstances. Other than that, however, they cannot actively fight to decrease the number of law-breakers. They are not a policing agency; they can’t patrol the streets and arrest someone for littering or running a red light. Unless they became a vigilante superhero (my bet is that they’d call themselves CongressMan and where a white wig to conceal their identity). They have no actual executive power that extends beyond the halls they debate in. Their responsibility is to write the laws.

Similarly, when those running for executive office often promise to have a law passed, they are just blowing  up a column of smoke with a very small flame. The President cannot actively present a bill to congress. He’s just not allowed to, it’s that simple. He can ask a member of the party to do so on his behalf, but his abilities to create new legislation is limited. That includes proposing cuts or increases in the budgets of government programs.


3) Time

Finally, we need to recognize the tremendous impact the passage of time has on our political system. This isn’t just alluding back to our perpetual election cycle. It has everything to do with a distinct, inherent limitation our government has. Contrary to the movies, our government doesn’t move with remarkable quickness with every issue. We prioritize, and even then certain “imperative” things are placed on the back-burner. We’ve been putting off rebuilding our infrastructure for years, and even important military maneuvers can take months to accomplish. Our nation isn’t like a motorcycle that can stop on a dime and shift directions based upon the whims of the current administration. We’re more analogous to a semi-truck: it may take a while to pick up speed but once we start moving, we move with incredible force and momentum. The layman, however, believes that certain grievances can be recognized and fixed within a single term. The reality demonstrates much less celerity.


The Promise:

“I will reduce the federal deficit by 50% in my first term”- President Barack Obama


Say what you will about the President’s term and policies, but we can’t deny that he was an extremely ambitious candidate. That sort of promise gave hope to a populous turned bitter by an increasing national debt and prolonged conflict overseas. The problem is, as it’s become clear now, that this was an extremely unrealistic goal. The national debt during the final years of the Bush presidency hovered around 8 trillion dollars. Truly an incomprehensible and jaw dropping deficit. Now, we live in a nation inundated with nearly 16 trillion dollars in debt according to the office of the treasury. Now, President Obama is promising that he simply needs more time in order for him to reduce the debt by a significant amount. The problem is that something that monstrously huge can’t possibly be significantly diminished in so brief a period. We would have to take our entire GDP, liquidate it, and put it directly towards our debt in order to make an impact. Something that actually does sound super-villanous if a politician were to propose it.

We live in an era where entertainment and communication is updated by the second. Our gratification is inching ever closer to instant. The nation as a whole, however, isn’t even close to that extreme of spontaneity. It takes time to correct past mistakes and change direction. Anyone promising otherwise suffers either from naïveté, or is trying to play off of our own.