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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Skinny Dipping or Double Dipping

What has sex got to do with economics?

I’ve come to the conclusion that swimming naked in the pool is a lot more fun than having my portfolio of stocks live through a double dip. I wonder if I jump in the pool naked twice would that constitute a double dip? Now that I’ve been stripped of all my assets I guess it really doesn’t matter.

I was kind of hoping that the government would change the rules so that I could use the funds in my 401K to pay off my mortgage, but now I no longer need that option. I also no longer have a pool because they are taking my house away so I can’t skinny dip anymore and will have to rely on the ocean if I want to get my kicks and face the risk of getting kicked off the beach for swimming naked in public.

It’s not just the economy that’s in a shambles; it’s my self-esteem. How could I have been so stupid? All the signs were there. Even the water in my pool had started to evaporate. I should have bought gold, but with what?

I think I’ll move to a foreign country and follow the jobs. Oh, did I forget to tell you, I lost my job too. I was very happy being a greeter in a big department store, but when the traffic started to disappear so did I.

Everything seems to be going in the wrong direction or is that simply the depressed state of mind I’m in? Maybe I’m imagining all this double dip stuff. Somebody must be making money. Must be the shorts. That’s my problem—since I started skinny-dipping I don’t wear shorts any more.

Here they come. I better prepare myself. The thought police have arrived to change the way I think. I can’t help it if I’m pessimistic. I’m worried. I’m scared I may end up losing all the good stuff I imagined I had. I guess none of what I thought I had was real. I think I forgot the part about working for a living and concentrated too much on dreaming and believing in what all the pundits were telling me. “Don’t worry about it, corporations have a fortune, our money is overseas, better days are coming, don’t look at the statistics, they are just a bunch of numbers, double dip—never happen.”

What was I thinking or wasn’t I? Now I’ve been stripped of all my assets. All I have left is myself. Time to skinny dip again and hope that better days are coming.

What’s that thought police? That’s the spirit? How come you’re so happy? You want to go skinny-dipping with me?

Hi, this is Arthur Levine the author of the novel Johnny Oops. To find out more about Skinny Dipping and Double Dipping please check out my blog

Thursday, September 22, 2011

America On The Brink of Despair & Recession

The first ever downgrade of America’s triple A credit rating, Stock Markets in turmoil, Thirty marines killed in Afghanistan, Consumer sentiment hits lowest level in thirty years, what is happening to our America?

We live in a Country where nearly forty five million people rely on food stamps and fifty-one percent of people pay no federal income taxes. Is this what the founders of our nation had in mind when they proposed that everyone be free and equal?

More than seventy million people including seniors rely on subsidies from the federal government. We are now saddled with a health care program that mandates that we have to buy insurance whether we want it or not. Is this what the constitution had in mind when it comes to individual liberties?

An over abundance of regulation and high corporate taxes have forced much of our industrial and manufacturing jobs overseas, We no longer manufacture much of what we consume and are dependant on China to meet our needs and lend us money to finance our debtor economy. We don’t even make our own sewer covers any more. Is this the type of independence you want for America?

We are a debtor nation owing over fifteen trillion dollars that we recognize and much more that we don’t with a debt to gross national product that is quickly approaching one hundred percent. We are going bankrupt. Is this the type of future you want to leave to your children and grandchildren?

We are a nation in despair. What happened to our once proud past? We are swiftly becoming a third rate and perhaps soon a third world Country. What happened to us? What is happening to us? Can we reverse the trend and become great again?

Our major political parties are deadlocked over ideological differences as our creditworthiness wanes. Our Administration and congress are participating in a blame the other side game. Is there an answer? How do we get out of this dilemma?

The answer is don’t give into the politics of despair. Don’t give up hope. We have pulled this Country of ours back from the brink of despair before and we can do it again. We just need to have faith.

What we need is a leader, a statesman who is willing to cross party lines for the benefit of the Nation and who isn’t scared of jeopardizing his own political future. The people will know the difference. We have an innate sense that lets us know when someone real is in our midst who has our best interests at heart.

The search is on. Don’t despair. All through our history in times of our greatest need, great leaders have appeared to guide us to a better future. We are listening. We are watching. We are hoping but whatever you do, don’t follow a false prophet.

Hi, I’m the author of the novel Johnny Oops, to read more about what’s happening to our country please visit

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Porn or Pancakes

If you are looking for porn, you are definitely in the wrong place. If you are looking for food for though, you have found a home.

Have you ever wondered why headlines have to titillate our senses in order to draw a lot of viewers?

Is it because we lust for that which we cannot have, or because virtual stimulation is all we think we can allow ourselves without giving offense to God?

Is virtual porn or sex on the Internet replacing our faith in all that we hold holy?

Are we so bored with the mundane of our every day lives that we seek to find excitement in the illicit and immoral?

Are we tired of being inhibited by tradition and custom?

Do we crave more excitement in our lives, in our jobs, and in our relationships?

If you are like me, the answers to all these questions can provide the food for thought that we need to justify our urges, and help us stop short of fulfilling our desires virtually on the Web. It isn’t really fulfilling to be a voyeur.

I need to exercise some control, what about you? Are you tempted to deviate from the respectable? Do you want to sneak a peak at things that are best-left unseen?

Maybe we should stop worrying so much about our actions or inaction. Maybe we should spend more time cherishing the real and hopefully normal relationships we do have. Perhaps if we need a little excitement in our lives we should try and find it with the ones we love.

It’s okay to want something more out of life. It’s okay to want to explore new things. But let’s do it in a context that is in keeping with our faith and our traditions.

Putting the simple syrup of our love on the pancakes of our every day existence can provide us with all the stimulation we really need. Let’s not forget who we really are, and what we believe in. Let’s turn off the computer for a while, and turn on to life.

Arthur Levine is the author of the novel Johnny Oops. To find out more about Johnny please visit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reality Time

Hi folks, I think it's time for a little dose of reality. So I'm going to ask you the following question.

How do you know you are real?

Maybe you're just the product of some alien game master's imagination.

Maybe you're the product of your own imagination.

Do you ever get the feeling that you've been there and done that before?

Maybe you're just a pawn in a software program and some superior entity is pushing the pieces around for his or her own amusement.

Sound familiar?

Get real.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

5 Star review for Johnny Oops

Hi everyone, here is a new 5 star review for Johnny Oops

This review is from:
Johnny Oops (Kindle Edition)
`Johnny Oops' took me to a place I felt that I had been before growing up as a youth filled with questions and anxieties about what was important and what I believed in. At times I would laugh out loud so hard I went into a coughing fit, at other times, the dialogue was so real, I wondered if the author had been able to watch my life unfold from a short distance. This is an extremely well written and witty story, filled with characters most of us know and perhaps some we wished we didn't.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be held captive by engaging storytelling. Arthur Levine's `Johnny Oops' will keep you mesmerized by the very realistic characters portrayed throughout the book, their charm and his ability to weave the main characters' sociopathic personalities flawlessly. Do not miss this tale as it is sure to become a favorite on your bookshelf. I look forward to the further adventures of `Johnny Oops' and hope Mr. Levine continues to keep us as well entertained as he did here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Excerpt - Johnny Oops - In the beginning


You can’t stop the future from happening. You can only alter your concept of reality. That’s where I come in. I’m a philosopher genius. I can effect change.

My name is Jonathan Wilbert, but my Mom and Dad, and all my friends, call me Johnny Oops because I’m a clumsy fourteen-year-old.

I may have the body of a 5 foot 2 inch tall, 95-pound awkward boy, but I have the mind of a true genius. My I. Q. is off the wall. I’m not one of those nerdy math wizards or a piano impresario. I’m a philosopher on the style of Nietzsche or perhaps Freud. He hated mothers too, didn’t he?

My father is a political science professor at Yale University. He holds some kind of Chair or something. I say why bother? I know who I am. I don’t need any furniture for proof.

My mother has a PHD from Radcliff College in Behavioral Science. She hates me because I interrupted her career, fat chance of that being true. She thinks I’m strange. I’m not strange, just different.

I try to act like a normal fourteen-year-old boy, but it isn’t working. I hate soccer. Playing the trumpet in the school band makes my lips swell, and the idea of watching cartoons with the other kids on the block really turns me off.

When I grow up, I’m going to be one of the leading intellects of my time. For now, I have more important things to do than watch Bugs Bunny say, “What’s Up, Doc?” What does that silly passé children’s colloquialism mean? That phrase will do nothing to change the chaotic state of the world in which I have to grow up. Don’t expect me to diddle away my precious time on such trivial pursuits like my friend Billy.

Speaking of diddling away my time, I just had my first experience with sex. Wow, was that great. The best part is I can do the deed alone. I don’t need any girl to help out. I certainly don’t want to make any girl a mother. I read how that works. What if the baby turned out like my mother. I don’t want that kind of guilt on my hands. That would be awful. One genius prophet in the family is enough I hope.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Excerpt - Homegrown Terrorist

Homegrown Terrorists

By Arthur Levine


A thin young man in a dirty khaki colored raincoat and badly scuffed faded brown shoe pushed his way through the crowd propelling a baby carriage in front of him like a weapon. He was sweating profusely.

“Get out of my way,” he shouted. “I have to get through, get away, move out of my way damn people. It’s your fault,” he cursed in a hoarse voice. The smell of liqueur reeked from his breath as he continued up an entrance ramp spewing saliva and curses.

The two security guards lounging against the railing on the far wall of the entry way started to run toward him to see what the commotion was about yelling, “Stop, stay where you are. Don’t move.”

The thin young man hunched over the baby carriage, screamed, “Allah Akbar—God is great,” and the bomb went off.

The bomb blast killed twenty-one children and their parents lined up for a free ride on an in store miniature railroad train all decked out in Christmas tinsel glitter and plastic sugar canes. Another sixty-two, many of whom were children, were injured as the blast slammed its way full of shrapnel and nails to the fourth floor atrium. The sheer force of the bomb blew a five-foot wide hole in the roof as acrid black smoke forced its way out into a cold rainy night at the Bangles and Bows Toy Store in New York City. The stench of blood and burning flesh was everywhere.

It was the first suicide bomb detonated in New York City by a homegrown terrorist, and things would never be the same.

You could see it in the eyes of the people. Fear griped the inhabitants of the City of New York and the Nation as a wave of copycat bombings took place in retail department stores, malls, sports arenas, railroad and bus terminals, and anywhere else these terrorists could strike terror into the hearts of the people.

The first attacks were designed to scare the population, and convince them that no one was safe and nobody was sacred, not even the children. Sometimes the bomber blew himself up with the bomb and sometimes a remote triggering devise was used, but in all the cases where a suicide bomber caused the explosion, the police and the Federal Bureau of Arrests (FBA) had determined that the terrorists were homegrown natives and citizens of the USA. It was almost too much to fathom. Someone crying, “Allah Akbar—God is great,” was enough to send people running in fear and crowds panic as they pushed to get out of whatever venue they were at. The first thing you checked when you went to a show or a movie was the exits.

Who were these horrible ingrates that hated this Country so that they would sacrifice themselves to kill innocent strangers and children? What have we done to create such hatred for our Country by people who grew up and lived here? How can we fight terrorists who don’t even value their own lives? Who would be next on the terrorists list? Where and when would they strike again? Did they all belong to one terrorist network or were they working in cells, or alone as self radicalized extremists? How did they communicate with each other if they did? Who or what organization was teaching them how to make bombs? Who was in charge? Someone was masterminding this. All these bombings couldn’t be happening independently of each other.

John Stamper, the assistant head of the FBA in New York, had a nervous habit of stroking hid nose with the first finger of his right hand and he was stroking away like crazy.

Suddenly John slammed his fists on his desk and shouted half out loud, “Too many questions.” A brass based pen stand clattered to the floor. It was a Christmas present from the head of the FBA in Washington. When he bent down to pick it up he noticed the base had cracked and the pen no longer fit properly in the holder. That’s how he felt, cracked and not a proper fit for the task at hand.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Timeless excerpt from Johnny Oops ll


This is impossible. I’m trying to bring the committee together, but everyone wants to go their own way. Most of the humans say they like being White and the Blacks and Browns and yellows want no part of any diversity program. The Chameleon Magentas say they can change color anytime they want so why should they change. Johnworld made a hasty appearance to let the Tom, Toms and me know that they had no intention of changing colors or anything else and I could be head of the committee as long as I promise not to do anything of any importance. He left abruptly as the grandparents of the numerous children he had conceived who all wanted their grandchildren to have equal time were chasing him. Ala and Ilo representing the Indolts made it very evident that they liked being Blue and that’s why they left their home planet to begin with.

“Ala, I heard you. You are going to stay Blue no matter what.”

To make matters worse, the Tom, Toms are very emotionally distressed at the total lack of progress of the committee. Evidently when they get emotional they resort to satisfying themselves sexually to relieve the stress. I don’t know where their women are. Erick and his gang of five said something about them staying home on their seven planets and protecting their babies from the Purple Passion Zum, Zum birds who like to swoop down from their cloud shrouded mountains and steal their eggs. Evidently they have babies by developing eggs in nests. It’s a long process taking some six of our years. I don’t know who carries the eggs or fertilizes them, as Eric isn’t talking. He says we have enough to think about without getting into the mating habits of his people. I can relate to that.”

“I know how they do it, Johnny. Sounds like fun.”

“Ala, I’m happy to hear that you know how they make babies. Could you please keep that information to yourself? I need a clear head.”

“No, Ala, I don’t need to relieve my stress and I don’t need to mimic a Tom, Tom beat. I just need a little peace and quiet.”

“Johnny, you have to make your desires more transparent if you want to succeed as leader of this committee. I don’t think it would hurt you to get a little release from all the pressure you are under.”

“I have my own way of doing things, Eric.”

"That’s the problem.”

“Shut up, Outy.”

You’re in charge. Now do something.

Is that you, Dear God?


Are you talking to me?