Reviewing life in Florida

Years ago, living in Los Angeles, I dated a girl from central Florida who could not stop talking about how much she hated California. I couldn't get her to shut up about it. Disney World is better than Disneyland. Universal Orlando is better than Universal Hollywood. Why are all the buildings here painted brown? What's with the homeless peeing in the schoolyard? Leave the kids alone during recess.

It was not meant to be with her. Not because of her love of the Sunshine State, but because her nickname was "badonkadonk." Guys love a girl with a badonkadonk, and she sure had one, but her personality was just as badonkadonk as her actual badonkadonk. A girl nicknamed "badonkadonk" possesses the mentality to turn your life into what comes out of a badonkadonk.

And I damn sure didn't move to Altamonte Springs to find her, but it's time to leave. I just don't want to make this a bitter departure, so I figured I'd tell you what it's like to live here.

I left California because that state is completely out of control. Even worse, the people there are oblivious to how chaotic it actually is. Florida, despite the weird articles you see posted on Facebook about a crocodile suing a hillbilly for child support for her crocobilly triplets, is a much better state than you think. Floridians want those weird stories online because it will keep more Californians from moving in.

I was told I'd return to SoCal within six months because of humidity. I didn't. That's what air conditioning is for. Unlike California Gov. Jerry Brown, Florida Gov. Rick Scott makes sure the air conditioner switch works. Scott also has managed to figure out that a state next to an ocean should have water, something Brown hasn't deduced. And Scott has figured out how to do this without swiping 13 percent of your paycheck.

But this isn't totally about politics. That would be a stupid reason to move across the country.

Or is it? Because for all the talk we've heard for generations about laid-back California cool… Many Floridians are actually more tolerant of diversity than Californians, open to polite discourse and approachable. You don't get shouted down for being liberal or conservative here, let alone face an uprising of antifa or open Klan demonstrations.

The Beach Boys sang about wishing they all could be California girls. I sing about wishing California girls would STFU about how plastic bags are the destroying the planet.

Florida is neither Republican red or Democrat blue. It is the most purple state in the union, which is a blessing. Like California, Florida is so large that you could split it into regions. Out west, it's the extremely liberal coastline with a conservative inland swath. Here, north Florida is pretty damn redneck. Southern Florida is deep blue.

Here near Orlando? Perhaps being near a worldwide travel destination such as Disney World plays into it, but you have no choice but to accept those around you. I have never met so many different cultures and creeds in my life. California mandates you to accept everybody by governmental fiat. Here, you observe people, talk to them and appreciate who they are without getting beaten down on social media.

I've broken bread with Haitians, worked one block away from the Pulse night club, learned a little Arabic and Portuguese, watched Wrestlemania with Indians — both native and from Asia. Many of the people here have been delightful.

What is the difference between government-forced diversity and just getting to know people? Take the Pulse night club. The reaction across the state was inspiring. While many Californians tried to spin this into a political issue on social media, Floridians lined up in droves to donate blood or contribute to LGBTQ causes. That included Trump supporters. That also included people from the Islamic community. I know it. I witnessed it. Californians went to their smartphones to complain, but Floridians rolled up their sleeves to help.

The problem is, I haven't made lasting connections. I haven't had a girlfriend since I've been here. I don't have people I can call up and hang out with. To say I have been lonesome is an understatement. If you want to know how I can write multiple novels in two years and get published in such a short time, that's how.

When I was a child, particularly my teenage years, I was in the same boat. I wasn't hated — I hope — but I was working for a daily newspaper in my time away from high school. At that time in my life, that was my dream. I was called a prodigy. It came at a cost. I was emotionally running on empty because I was so isolated from people.

Isolation damages the soul. There's a saying about all work and no play making Jack a dull boy, so I did play. I traveled. I went to Magic games, Orlando City soccer, NFL, Cape Canaveral, the everglades, South Beach and Tampa. I volunteered for local charities, brought dozens of doughnuts for my coworkers and worked out like a man possessed. I never went to Disney World, though. A middle-aged man walking alone in Disney World is a one-way ticket to being posted on the Megan's Law website.

The other bridge I would not cross was listening to Jimmy Buffett. To hell with that creep. If you ever see me in a Hawaiian-print shirt and cargo shorts, humming "Margaritaville" in a Mustang convertible and cruising the local junior college for chicks, please take my life in the most disgusting way possible. But I digress…

None of what I did mattered. Hard work, lots of play and no friends to share it with makes Jack a depressed boy.

I worked at two diagnostic imaging centers. Life reached a nadir with my latter job, which I will not mention so that the coworkers still there will not be further brutalized just from knowing me. Most of the regular employees were nice people. Current management was bitter, cold and gossipy to the point of unethical. I could detail much of what went on if I chose to, but I will put it simply: I have never seen so many people openly weeping while they work in my life.

You're not supposed to be crying on the job. And people are supposed to care if you are crying on the job, but management didn't. The numbers did.

So about 40 hours of my week were spent around people wiping their eyes, and when I got home I had noone to hang out with.

I have no choice but to leave. The health of my soul depends on it.

When I got into diagnostic imaging, I knew it was a profession that could take me anywhere I chose. There are 50 states in the union. I've got 48 to go.

Let's see if Las Vegas is a better fit.

I will miss the girls, though. Turns out they all have badonkadonks.

Don’t read too much into the Gold Cup

Jordan Morris fired an expertly placed strike into the back of the net in the 89th minute to lift the United States to a 2-1 victory over Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in Santa Clara last night, thus making sure The Yanks became the soccer equivalent of the valedictorians at summer school.
Don't get me wrong. You want to lift trophies under a confetti flurry on national television. That's quite the ego stroke. Girls love that stuff.
However, this tournament might have exposed the divide that separates our continent from Europe and South America in the world's beautiful game.
Keep in mind that Honduras reached the semifinals of the tournament without scoring a single goal.
Or that Jamaica reached the finals and it had already been eliminated from qualifying for the World Cup.
What can be discerned from the tournament, in my opinion, are two things:
1) Don't overreact about Mexico getting steamrolled by the Reggae Boys in the semifinals. El Tri stretched itself pretty thin in the last month or so, having sent its top players to Russia for a tournament of grander scale. I believe Mexico didn't take this tournament that seriously and got what it deserved.
El Tri has a comfortable lead in World Cup qualifying. That's not going to change.
Having said that, I wish the team had told its fans so that they wouldn't treat the tournament as life and death.
Hell, the USMNT had the same approach. It's the only reason I didn't travel to see the team play in Tampa. You send your B team to play in a downpour and want me to sit through a driving rainstorm? I'll pass.
2) Andre Blake needs to get out of MLS.
The Jamaicans are young, quick and well-organized on the back line. Tournament organizers called Blake — who plays for the Philadelphia Union — the best goalie. I agree.
He's also too good for MLS. For his good and the benefit of his national team, he needs to take his talents overseas against the best in the world.
3) Juergen Klinsmann was right. The United States needed to change its approach. Only his execution of that change stunk and current coach Bruce Arena has a clear vision of what the team will look like.
What do I mean? I think Clint Dempsey's days as a starter are numbered. Dempsey, who tied Landon Donovan for most goals in USMNT history during the tourney, was sidelined with a heart condition last season. As desirable as scoring is in any sport, a coach has to be able to rely on his players to stay alive.
I know that reads like a sick joke. Look at the men and women who play the game. It's a different body type. Soccer players are cardiovascular machines, built to run for more than 90 minutes. Can a man with a heart condition be expected to run at top speed for 90 minutes?
Which players acquitted themselves for a shot at the World Cup team, should the USMNT qualify? Morris, for one. I think midfielder Darlington Nagbe played with more creativity and intellect than the much-hyped Kellyn Acosta.
Anyone else? To be frank, no. Dom Dwyer got a look, but a missed penalty shot likely killed his future. How can anyone argue that his upside is greater than Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood, both of whom have played for superior European teams?
Simply put, if you follow soccer on our humble continent, you know who the better players are for both Mexico and the United States. You'll also see the difference when they play in World Cup qualifying in September.

But the Lakers aren’t supposed to be the boys of summer

For a fan base seeking any ray of optimism to bask under, I understand Lakers fans rejoicing that the newbies won NBA Summer League in Vegas last night. I’m in the same boat. I’d rather feel good than to remember the disaster the franchise became since the passing of Jerry Buss. Swaggy P? Buss family legal infighting? #TheLakersAreSoWhite? Timofey Mosgov?

But you do realize this is akin to being the valedictorian in summer school, right? No student applying to Harvard would include that on the application.

True, the Lakers are right now better than they were at any point in the last four years. However, that’s an indication of how low the bar was set.

Any improvement by the Lakers in the last few weeks had nothing to do with a handful of games near a casino. You just haven’t been able to see that yet because with the exception of Lonzo Ball, most of those Summer League players will not make an impact during the upcoming season.

The Lakers upgraded in at least two, and as many as four, positions in the starting lineup. That’s what should make you happier.

Brook Lopez at center and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard are genuine improvements over Mosgov and Jordan Clarkson. They are simply more versatile, particularly at the defensive end. This matters because in the NBA, defense is suspect. In Los Angeles, defense was nonexistent. 

Further, second-year forward Brandon Ingram was the one untouchable player in a tsunami of Lakers trade rumors, meaning his future is far brighter than Luol Deng’s anything.

And Ball appears to be better right now than D’Angelo Russell ever was. True, analysts took Ball to task for his poor shooting and defense. People took Magic Johnson to task for poor shooting as a rookie, too. I have no problem giving Ball time to develop accuracy in his shot because if those Summer League games proved anything, it’s that the kid is a sniper in terms of passing.

Now for the reasons to curb your enthusiasm: Any other names from the Lakers summer team that you throw at me and I’ll give you the same reply. Maybe they make the team, but the only remaining starting player on the hot seat is Julius Randle.

Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma aren’t starting. They’re guards. Thomas Bryant is a center. He’s probably third on the depth chart behind Lopez and Ivica Zubac. Maybe Zubac or Bryant or Larry Nance Jr. pry the inconsistent and undersized Randle from the lineup. I wouldn’t mind seeing that. I’d miss Randle about as much as any of you pine for Russell right now.

Does this column read a little cold? It should. When you haven’t won 30 games in a few years, that’s a frigid reality. Johnson was right when he took over the team. Only Ingram was an untouchable. If Johnson didn’t fall in love with the Lakers youth movement of the last few years, why should you? The results aren’t there.

As for the results this year? The smart money is LA winds up with about 35 wins, forfeits its first-round draft pick as the result of horrible trades you don’t remember them making and possibly firing Luke Walton to lure top tier free agents.

There’s no gold standard in this soccer tourney

After more than a week of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, suffice it to say this soccer tournament is indicative of everything going on in North America right now. In other words, it sucks.

This is not one of those “I hate soccer” columns. It’s an “I love international soccer” one. No, it’s a “For soccer to continue to grow in popularity in the United States, you can’t expect people to watch this schlock” opinion. Gold is simply too precious a metal for a cup that clearly none of the bigger countries care about.

Of the 12 nations invited to participate in this alleged showcase of North American soccer, the United States and Mexico purposefully didn’t include their top players in pool play. They had reasons that made some sense. The Mexicans sent their best players last month to Russia for the Confederations Cup, a precursor to the World Cup. The Confederation Cup finished July 2. Mexico started Gold Cup on July 9.

Oh wait. That’s plenty of time to get over jet lag.

The Americans, meanwhile, sent their B team because they didn’t want to tucker out the first unit for World Cup qualifying later this year.

Golly, the more I think about it, these are craptacular excuses.

You know what’s also craptacular? The fact that only four of 12 teams were eliminated in pool play. Two-thirds advancing is similar to allowing the Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1) into the NFL playoffs. The four “nations” that were eliminated? Two of them are so insignificant they played the French national anthem before their games. If nobody cares enough to write a song about your country, you have no business on the stage, Johan.

Oh sure. Now that the knockout round kicks off Wednesday — with eight countries that you’ve heard of — CONCACAF has allowed the surviving teams to reboot their rosters. The Mexicans and the United States were too happy to do so, with players you’ve heard of. The Americans swapped six front liners.

They shouldn’t get to do that. It’s kind of a punk move and I root for the U.S.

If the Gold Cup is merely a minor league version of World Cup qualifying, that’s fine. There are soccer junkies like me willing to see the next generation of players from Mexico and the U.S. who will get stomped by the Germans or Brazilians.

But at least be up front about it. Send your best or develop new talent. You don’t get to do both.

The problem with girl puppies

People who tell you that you can’t buy your friends have never been to a pet store.

I would’ve considered an animal shelter, but I left my job Saturday after the adoption centers were closed. Let’s not make this a political statement. Besides, even if the little rascal dozing off in my seat did come from a puppy mill, she wanted a home, too.

So I’d like to introduce you to my new beagle buddy:


We’ve been inseparable for 37 hours and I have no idea what to name her because she is a her.

I went expecting to get a male puppy. I had a male beagle before. I named him Underdog. This one, maybe I’d use the name again. I was also considering Regal. If you’ve watched “Three’s Company,” you’d get the pun.

The two boy beagles weren’t really a match. The first didn’t look like he wanted to bond. The second was eight weeks and already baying those ear-splitting beagle howls. Good luck training him. 

This one? Teething. I can work with that.

What I can’t do, though, is name her. I can’t name her easily because I know a lot of women and they would assume I named the puppy after her. You can’t name a dog after a girl you know. I’m not claiming it’s as bad as white people dropping n-bombs. Kelsey is not going to get her girlfriends and beat you to within an inch of your life. Dropping an n-bomb will get you beaten to within an inch of your life.

But in both cases, you will get the misery you deserve. Don’t name a girl puppy after a girl you know.

So far, I’ve crossed off my family, not that I’d name a dog Mom, either. There goes Miki, Margot and Chantelle. Then came failure at marriage. Why insult a puppy with Veronica or Tonya?

Next came the homecoming queens from my high school: Ann, Laura and Renea.

Let’s see. I was a reporter. Cross off Katie, Leah, Monica, Barbara, Jenny, Natalie, Gayle, Andrell, Kathy, Patricia, Pam, Nelsy, Nicole, Warisa, Paula, Holly, Amanda, Cindy, Karina. There are more. Maybe their names escape me because I’m a misogynist.

I was a comic. Many male comics act like female comics don’t exist. Wrong. There goes Ro, Ashley, Rosie, Monrok, Jenna, Punkie, Ali, Ricki, Edi, Kristine, Jules, Kimberly, Klee, Tammy, Robin, Kennelia, Cate, Amy, Henrietta, Malia, April, Lang, Denise, Aiko, Sierra, Sandy, Molly. I lost two in one shot because her name is Olivia Grace.

I’m in health care now. Strike Debbie, Mina, Tahira, Lubna (Lubna? I know), Angela, Joni, Susan, Vicki, Bernice, Eva, Allande, Ramona, Christine, Stacey.

I’m also an author. Many authors are so self-absorbed they don’t even like their own names. J.K. Rowling? You’ve sold enough books. People like you. Use your first name, my dear.

I’m not even mentioning names of girls I actually was in love with.

Some of you might be thinking: We get the point, jerk. You need a girl who is super cool to where she wouldn’t take it the wrong way. There’s got to be one girl out there like that. Oh, there is. Her name is Kitten.

So there’s pretty much only one name left.

Condoleezza.

Psst! While everyone was obsessing over Mika’s face…

A prescript before punditry: I’ve been called ugly all my life. 

When I was 13, I finally received a compliment from a pretty girl. She said, “You have the prettiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen, but the rest of you ain’t sh-t.”

When you get called unattractive as often as I have, you gain a different perspective on things. 

At 8 p.m. on the East Coast last night, the temporary travel ban that once had legions of liberals in hysterics went into effect. The timing was impeccable, because on the west coast, all of the hacks on the comedy scene were hitting up open mics at 5 p.m. No time to react politically when you’re furiously polishing up your penis jokes.

A couple of hours before, the House of Representatives passed two bills regarding how we treat illegal immigrants. “Kate’s Law” — which should have passed long ago because we reflexively approve of bills named after pretty girls — increased penalties on illegal immigrant felons. It was a favored cause of former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who is a former Fox News host because his approval of pretty girls bordered on civil liability.

The other bill denies federal money to sanctuary cities, municipalities who refuse to cooperate with immigration officials. The bill has stalled because it’s authors didn’t remember to look through a book of cute names first.

All three proposals once had my liberal friends furious, but that’s no longer the case. Not because they approve. No, they cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war about this…


To be honest, I don’t like that face, either. She looks like the hatchet lady who handed severance checks to a dozen of my coworkers when the news industry contracted.

It was probably once a very pretty face. And the president of the United States tweeted that he believed liberal TV pundit Mika Brzezinski had surgery to maintain its comeliness. I’m being nice. Basically, the dude said she desperately needed plastic surgery.

Now, how does this play to a guy like me? I know it’s inappropriate, but I’m also immune to it. You’re ugly, too? You’re not OG ugly like me, but whatever. Welcome to the club. There’s plenty of room.

The benefits of being inoculated from “yo face so ugly” jokes means I can see the bigger picture with sober eyes:

President Trump’s tweets don’t limit his agenda. If anything, they provide him cover while he advances. Three priorities of his moved on while social media blew up over somebody’s face. You think he cares? He was probably laughing his ass off in the Lincoln bedroom and asking the First Lady to parade around in a purple teddy.

None of this is to tell you that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is a swell guy. Politicians insulting pundits over their looks didn’t start yesterday. Al Franken wrote a book called “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot” and he’s in the U.S. Senate.

It surely isn’t to defend Mika and her beta male soon-to-be husband. I don’t believe they’re to be trusted and besides, if the XFL drew better ratings, you’re not that important, anyway.

It’s to let you know whenever cable news and your social feed rages with the intensity of 1,000 burning suns over the latest comment from @realDonaldTrump, reel in your self-righteous indignation and cast your line elsewhere in the lake of political fire. Something more impactful is being done elsewhere.

Take it from an ugly guy.

It’s time to realize what the Lakers don’t have

I’m about to marginally insult people I’ve never met — namely, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. I don’t like doing it, because they don’t seem like horrible people. And it’s kind of a cheap shot.

It has to be done in the name of tough love.

Not for their sakes. They don’t give a damn about me.

It has to be done for Lakers fans — who have started to see this roster get torn asunder by the new leadership team of Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka. It had to be ripped to pieces because what was put together by the scatterbrained Jim Buss looked like a quilt for puppies. It looks cute in a photo, but in real life it’s a rag that stinks up the entire house.

But you’re wrong, James. This is a young core that needs to develop! Give them time!

Um, how much time? Especially when you can clear salary cap room for players in the prime of their career who have already developed. You have no idea if Randle will be better than Paul Pierce. I wouldn’t wager on it. And don’t insult my intelligence by saying Clarkson will ever approach Russell Westbrook.

Not that I believe both Pierce and Westbrook, or Pierce and LeBron James, or Pierce and insert-megastar-here are sure to come to LA. But maximum contracts in exciting cities with player-friendly ownership groups go a long way.

How can anyone argue that wagering on the future of inconsistent players is superior to the certainty of perennial all-stars? True, Russell scored 40 points in a game against the Cavaliers. He is also the 17th-most turnover prone player in a league of about 450 people. He averaged 2.8 per game. Considering when a point guard turns a ball over, it is often at midcourt, that’s the equivalent of about three breakaway layups every game.

You can’t have that. Even worse came public feuds with coaches, a breach of trust with his teammates by posting an embarrassing video to social media and telling Lakers fans that they expect too much.

Lonzo Ball is unlikely to blast his coaches, tell Lakers fans to pipe down or betray the fellas in the locker room. … OK, maybe his father, but let’s withhold judgment.

So why Randle and Clarkson? Well, Clarkson doesn’t even start. There is no such thing as an indispensable reserve on a team that can’t win 30 games. As for Randle, how can I put this?

Consider that the Lakers had no leadership last year. That was, in my opinion, by design. First-year coach Luke Walton inherited a team of young players and — like Phil Jackson used to do — let his players try to figure it out. That whole thing you hear about “whose team it is”? How the Wizards are John Wall’s team. The Cavaliers are LeBron’s team? Well, if those younger players were worth the hassle, one of them would have taken the reins. One would have busted his rear, produced big numbers and insisted his teammates follow his lead.

Randle didn’t. He, too, was as inconsistent as Russell. Given a chance to make a name for himself, Randle scored 13.2 points per game — a mere two points better than his first full season. Even worse, his rebounds per game dropped. And this guy is supposed to be a power forward?

Now, he’s still on the roster, for now. But Lakers fans need to catch up to me. No, better stated, they need to jump off the “next gen” bandwagon and look with sober eyes at players that might mature. They have been affirming a future that his little discipline. 

And affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.

Keep big money in politics

If you want to make the world a better place, and I believe many of you do, you have better things to do with your money than politics.

I learned that the hard way. I’d tell you about it, but I’d only feel embarrassed and I’d like to keep my self-esteem intact, thank you.

Right now, I have some friends who are down in the dumps that #TheResistance hasn’t produced results commensurate with their hatred for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. To be real, it hasn’t produced any positive results at all, but I don’t want to gloat. Why should I? Georgia’s 6th District has been blood-dripping red for four decades. Jon Ossoff was going to change that? Please.

Gloat? No way. I want my friends to feel good.

Stop donating to Democrats, as I have stopped donating to Republicans.

Let the wealthy bastards cut the checks. Hell, don’t have campaign finance reform. Let them spend money on losing causes or horrible side deals. The question is not whether politicians are corrupt. The question tends to be how corrupt. It’s not going to change. Citizens United wouldn’t change that. Neither would McCain-Feingold.

But James, you’re telling me not to give so Republicans can win. I can see through you, Trump lover.

No, I’m just saying if you want to make an impact, invest it properly. I didn’t give money to the GOP. I gave it to a food bank. I didn’t buy a red “MAGA” cap. I gave my change to The Salvation Army, bought Girl Scout cookies, dropped money to an animal rescue shelter.

I’m not saying this to claim I’m a better person than you. I’m an asshole. I admit it.

I’m saying it because I know you want to make somebody’s day a little better. I believe that in the marrow of my bones, despite how you vote. Most of us cast votes not just for our own self-interest. We hope — or have blind faith — that our candidates will not only serve us but change the nation and the planet.

That candidate is not going to miss your 20 bucks, no matter how many mass emails you get.

The vibe I get after dropping off a couple of bags of nonperishables at a food bank is far more pleasurable than any I get watching election night results come in. You know what it’s like, especially if you cut a candidate a check. There you are, watching the news like a gambling junkie watches a roulette table: “Come on, red! Hit red! Hit red! Hit reeeeddddd…? … Dammit.”

Sure, argue your political beliefs. Vote on Election Day. But when it comes to your money, make sure your debit card is still in your back pocket and get the hell off of that candidate’s website. Let George Soros, the Koch Brothers, “Big Banking” or “Big Hollywood” handle that.

I had to humble down, so too should #TheResistance

Yesterday, my iPhone shuffled through reasons you can’t corral “the left” for damnation in the court of public opinion after U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise was shot.

It’s impossible to listen to the voices of Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, etc., and think “all liberals are bad.” Same for watching movies with Kevin Spacey, Don Cheadle or Leonardo DiCaprio. Or art, comedy, poetry, etc.

These are some of the reasons I keep a level head when people on my side of the aisle want to blame “the left.” Part of me wants to, because Wednesday morning’s attack by a former Bernie Sanders volunteer, plus riots in Portland and Berkeley, plus Kathy Griffin juggling severed Trump heads plus colleges banning conservative speakers plus Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” refashioned as a Trump assassination in New York plus plus plus plus plus plus…

Then people like me — who have no personal animus toward those who hold different political beliefs — force myself to take a deep breath and repeat it like a mantra, “It’s intellectually stupid to think what you’re thinking.” I don’t mean that as an empty platitude. A friend is a friend. They’re more valuable than you’re political philosophy.

Besides, it is intellectually stupid to lump “the left” into this cauldron of hate, this basket of deplorables. 

But this is what makes it important for #TheResistance to tone down its act.

Because these violent spasms force me to remind myself that I have cherished liberal friends. What about the people who don’t remind themselves they have many friends on the left? Provided they don’t seek vengeance, they’re going to keep their beliefs silent, but they’re also going to become stubborn, tune you out and take the strident unbending screeds of Ann Coulter to the ballot box. 

The “silent Trump voter” is how we got President Donald Trump in the first place.

In Freudian terms, #TheResistance is the id run wild. It’s a hissy fit so extreme that it makes Sean Hannity look like the superego by comparison.

You want to know why I never hated President Barack Obama? It’s because people have the right to vote in their own self-interest and frankly, President George W. Bush had a horrible second term. How can I look you in the eye and tell you that the response to Hurricane Katrina was appropriate? I can’t. Hate Obama? No, sir. I was embarrassed by those on my side of the aisle who used race to describe their hatred of Obama’s policies or the man.

I had to humble down. It’s not fun to admit when “your guy” screwed up on a catastrophic scale, but Bush did. I had to disavow and condemn pointless, sickening hatred.

Well, friends, buddies, ol’ pals, #TheResistance is screwing up on a massive scale. Don’t spin this as an argument for gun control. Don’t tell me the Republicans started it first. Nancy Pelosi didn’t get shot. Gabby Giffords did, but that wasn’t from a conservative.

Simply put, #TheResistance is fucked up. I can’t correct it, but you can.

You have to humble down. You have to condemn this because it’s the right thing to do. Or if the word “right” makes your skin crawl, it’s the morally correct choice.

You don’t have to like Trump. You don’t have to accept blame for the shooting because you didn’t do it, but you can’t deflect it, either. You have to condemn the extremists on your side. Maybe even think before you speak or post.

Go listen to some Simon & Garfunkel while you’re at it.

A hunch the Cavs repeat

There are some wagers you take because of logic and some because of emotion. I know this to be true because many of my friends are gambling addicts.

The Warriors are supposed to be unstoppable, logic suggests, because they had the best record in the NBA. They almost won the title last year and upgraded the team during the offseason by landing the top prize of free agency in Kevin Durant. This season, four of them made the all-star team.

Put it all together and it sounds as if Oracle Arena sits atop Mount Olympus.

I can’t buy into that. Here’s why:

Emotion. Not my emotions. Theirs. I’m not convinced the Warriors are mentally tough enough to withstand adversity. If they were, they would not have tanked a 3-1 lead in last year’s NBA Finals when they lost to Cleveland.

In that series, Warriors forward Draymond Green was suspended in part because, despite numerous requests by the league and repeated “bro, that’s not cool” complaints from men across the planet, he couldn’t stop punching opponents in the nuts. Granted, he didn’t punch LeBron “King” James in the Crown Jewels, but when you’re on notice that one more flagrant foul will kick you out of the game you have to use your head. Green didn’t.

Have the Warriors matured since then? I can’t say so. Starting center JaVale McGee was frustrated by jokes about his bonehead plays on “Shaqtin’ A Fool,” the popular bloopers segment on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” He complained so much that the team reportedly protested to the network about Shaquille O’Neal. Dude, what is this, junior high? You’re a grown man on a blooper reel. Maybe you have to take the joke. At least, you should bring up your beef with O’Neal in private.

In my opinion, you can’t rely on the mental toughness of 40 percent of the Warriors starting lineup.

Not to mention the fact that head coach Steve Kerr hasn’t been on the bench since the first round of the playoffs due to complications from spinal surgery. As for the afore-mentioned Durant, last year his Oklahoma City Thunder blew a 3-1 playoff lead.

Fine. Steph Curry makes 3-pointers look like layups, but overall this isn’t a group that should be linked to the phrase “indomitable will to win.”

True, the Cavs didn’t have four all-stars on the roster. They sent a mere three to the All-Star Game, including the current reigning best player in the planet in James. Cleveland has lost one game in the postseason and should the series stretch to a Game 7, the Cavs took out Golden State in Oracle last year.

There are reasons to believe the Warriors are better with Durant.

There is no reason to believe the Cavs got any worse since last offseason.

I’m taking the champs to successfully defend the title.

Fortunately, though, I don’t gamble.