arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, July 25, 2014

Snort Bites – July 2014


This month: political leaders behaving badly.

MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT SHOT DOWN OVER PRO-RUSSIAN UKRAINE TERRITORY 

This much of the tragedy is irrevocably true. Any other language confirming who actually did the shooting - pro-Russian rebels, Ukrainian authorities or whomever - has yet to be determined. So far, public opinion has shifted against the rebels and their seeming indifference to their treatment of the dead and the scene of the crime.

So as the Netherlands - the country which suffered the greatest loss of life - mourns their dead, the rest of the world weighs its next option (economic sanctions?) against the most likely suspect, Vladimir Putin.

Gross understatement: Putin has a public relations problem. Yes, he has sold his own people on the notion that the rebels are trying to overthrow a fascist regime, but how does he explain away mass murder of innocents traveling through disputed air space for a vacation in an exotic locale? Editors in the western media have simplified it: he can’t justify it and news outlets are free to portray the Russian leader as someone akin to the next Adolf Hitler.

Somewhere, HuffPo found a photo of Putin clutching a tiny bird in his hand and placed it under a headline which read “No Smoking Gun”. Perhaps the website editors meant it to be ironic. In any case, the undated photo in the context of this week’s events is ludicrous! 
 
After all, who’s to say that once the photographers stopped clicking their cameras, Putin didn’t rip his own shirt off his back and proclaim, “Hey, get me!  I’m Ozzy Osbourne!”

Poor Tweety! What am I saying? Poor humanity!

POLITCAL PUNDIT AND PROFESSIONAL PITA SARAH PALIN RELEASES VIDEO CALLING FOR OBAMA’S REMOVAL FOR MANY “IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES” 

Awww, isn’t that cute! Ms. Palin is showing us what she’s learned since being unleashed on an unsuspecting American public in 2008. She can say big three syllable words now, like “impeachment”.

I’ll admit to using the concept ad nauseum during the W administration (and I had fun doing it), but now it’s been talked to death. There used to be a time when, if we disagreed with the other guy, then we would debate and work through our differences. Now why should we do something as detrimental to our viewpoint as working with the other side, when we can simply just throw the offender out of office? 
 
Answer: because it takes time and resources away from what should be our primary goal - solving our problems.

Grow up, Sarah! 

SENATOR TED CRUZ CRITICIZES THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S BAN ON FLIGHTS TO TEL AVIV WHILE FIGHTING CONTINUES IN THE REGION 

In an obvious desperate move to win over Jewish voters, Cruz equated the FAA ruling (since lifted) as a sanction against Israel. The FAA based their decision on the fact that several missiles exploded near the Tel Aviv airport.

No Ted, it was not politically motivated. It was something called “safety” and “security”. Don’t you read the papers, Ted? Didn’t you see the report about the Malaysian airliner shot down over the Ukraine (see above)?

Hellllooooooooo!!!!!

(Thanks for reading! Don’t fly if you don’t have to. The world wide political rhetoric makes travel by air too dangerous at this time.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Head Stone Tributes



I’m thinking ahead again to the inevitable; sorry, can’t help it. I’ve been mulling over ideas for my head stone. What follows is my current list of finalists. No doubt I’ll get more ideas in the future which I will post here. After all, I don’t expect to have to use any of these for years to come.

Here are some inscriptions I’ve considered - and rejected most of these for being too wordy - for my head stone.

1.  I don’t see any ketchup here. What kind of hell am I in?

2.     Come on in! The dirt is fine!

3.     I’m spending eternity with the souls of every shrimp I’ve consumed at a Chinese buffet…and man, do they look pissed!

4.     Okay, God, you can stop laughing now!

5.    If you’re reading this and eating peel ‘n’ eat shrimp without me, then I must be dead.

6.     You’re wrong! I’m not pining for the fjords.

7.     If you’re reading this and enjoying kettle chips with California onion dip without me, then I am definitely dead.

8.     No, no, no! This can’t be heaven! Afternoon Delight is being played on an eternal loop! No, no, no!

9.     If you always look down, you’ll never see the sun shine.

(Thank you for reading. And I’m not resting after a prolonged squawk!)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Glenn Beck Passes to Jesus Who Kicks…SCORES!


By all rights, my lower jaw should be aching after it hit the floor this week when I heard one right wing political pundit announce his intentions to do something about the humanitarian crisis on our own border. This week, Glenn Beck stated that he would take tractor trailer loads of water, food, teddy bears and soccer balls to alleviate the suffering of an estimated 60,000 Central American children who have crossed our border illegally to seek asylum. http://www.theblaze.com details that he will be accompanied by two Congressmen (both Republicans!), clergy, and rabbis to the border.

I actually saw the clip of Beck making this announcement. I can personally attest to the fact that he was not screaming at the camera as he spoke or wearing any semblance of a tin foil chapeau. 
 
My lower jaw is aching.

The most interesting part of this story is the reaction from his base followers, the conservative, allegedly Christian right. They are, oh how would the French put it, pissed. Beck is being called a traitor to the republic after he made his announcement. Many people in the middle and to the left of the political spectrum are not surprised at this hypocrisy.

The children - refugees not massing somewhere in some far-flung region like the Iraqi desert, but here in the US - are escaping the violent atmosphere of their Central American homelands. The boys as young as 14 are pressed into local militias to fight. Many fear that young girls are sold as sex slaves. And we wonder why they’re seeking asylum at our border?

These right wing Christians who are lambasting Beck for acting “Christ-like” (MSNBC’s host Joe Scarborough’s words), should ask themselves the question they live by: What Would Jesus Do?
  
Beck is guessing that Jesus would appear within the mass of prepubescent humanity, hand out bottled water, grill burgers for lunch, then tell the children, “Rest a half hour before you play. I’ll be setting up the soccer nets over here.  Oh, and don’t forget your complimentary teddy bears.”

At this point, the well nourished, rested and entertained children will have a rude awakening. They will find out that they won’t be welcomed into their new country as people working towards citizenship, but rather sent back to their own countries quicker than Quasimodo can shout “Sanctuary”. The Obama administration is requesting millions to set up procedures which will expedite these children’s deportation.

In past conflicts, minors escaping political persecution would be welcomed to our shores. European refugees during WWII were actually adopted by families in the United States. Given the current mood of America today, I don’t see that happening this time.

At least this time the children will have teddy bears to use as shields once they return home.

Glenn Beck’s actions are not just the Christian thing to do. It’s the right thing to do, and should be recognized as a great humanitarian gesture in our troubled and hypocritical times. 

(Thank you for reading! There! I’ve said something nice about Glenn Beck and I don’t feel at all dirty!)

Friday, July 04, 2014

A Quiet Fourth at Home with Batman



The Fourth of July this year has been quiet for us. Vague plans to run a few errands and maybe take in a movie were abandoned early in the day. Instead, we stayed home to spend time with our cats. It was an easy decision since we will be away for the remainder of the holiday weekend.

While visiting our basement cat, Oreo, this morning I discovered that one of the cable networks was running a marathon of the old Batman television shows. Ah, I basked in the glory of my childhood for a few hours! I lived to see this show each week when it premiered at the height of the 60s.

I never read the comic books, but I got caught up in the Batmania that overtook the country. For many of us, the television was our introduction to camp, and by camp I am not referring to some remote place where children were sent at least once a year (usually summer) with only a thin canvas cloth to protect them from the elements, which could include intense heat and humidity, torrential rains, and, of course, mosquitoes. This was our parents idea of letting us have fun. When camping season was over in the fall, then we had Batman twice a week in the fall and winter.

Of course, at that time, we youngsters didn’t “get” the subtle, perhaps satirical, nuances of comic book superheroes supplanting our respect for what passed for political leadership in America at that time. For example: can any one of us imagine our Batman punching and kapowing the bejesus out of the Vietcong in Saigon? The mind reels at the possibilities!

Next week, Batman meets Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four!

All we knew was that there were bad guys in the world and our Caped Crusader would pose a serious threat to them amid a torrent of slapstick fights accentuated by sound effects and cartoon balloons and outrageously clichéd dialogue. How, I now wonder, did our parents overcome the intense waves of nausea they must have felt while their progeny planted themselves in front of the television each week to worship their hero.  

The situations in each episode were comical, which made sense since the source material sprang from comic books. Each week, our hero and his teenage sidekick (Robin the Boy Wonder, for those of you playing along at home) would summarily take on the villain and at least three henchmen, and fisticuff the entire mob into submission. And, oh yeah, the criminal element never thought to exercise their Second Amendment rights and arm themselves with guns. They always showed up ready to duke it out after their boss failed to kill the dynamic duo with some sort of plot device that surely originated with The Perils of Pauline.  In other words, Batman was not only campy, but it was creaky as well.

Then, after a hard day of protecting the good citizens of Gotham City and sending the bad guys back to prison, our heroes would return home and assume their day-to-day identities of millionaire capitalist Bruce Wayne and  his youthful ward Dick Grayson. The elderly Aunt Harriet - clueless and naïve about their lives - and the wiser and even older (like Methuselah-old) butler Alfred completed their family at “stately” (always “stately”) Wayne Manor.   

Here Bruce/Batman would muse on their recent adventure and Dick/Robin would nosh on milk and cookies offered to him by Alfred. Of course, everyone over-acted like there was no tomorrow!

Yes, I lived to watch this series when I was a child.

Watching a few of these episodes today brought back a flood of memories and gave me an excuse to spend more time with Oreo. I spent the entire afternoon with Oreo as I engaged in my annual Fourth of July ritual: watching 1776.  Not the greatest musical produced in Hollywood, but still a lot of fun and played more or less straight (except for the singing). The film recounts the story of our Founding Fathers debating and declaring our independence from the tyrannical King George III without resorting to bat capes, bat mobiles, opening secret passages in stately manors via a split top bust of Shakespeare, answering bat signals in the sky, climbing up the sides of buildings, or having elderly men creep up behind them and whisper into their ear, “It’s the batphone, sir!” Go figure!

Picnics and fireworks on the Fourth of July? Who needs them when we’ve got 60s camp to warm the cockles of our hearts?

(Thank you for reading and hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Again, for those playing along at home, here is another memory from Batman: “Atomic batteries to power…turbines to speed…blah, blah, blah!)

Friday, June 27, 2014

SNORT BITES – JUNE 2014



SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO SUE PRESIDENT OBAMA OVER HIS USE OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS

This doesn’t sound like the actions of a mature adult, but rather a cranky child who isn’t getting his way. Perhaps the President needs to travel to Capitol Hill and give Boehner a nice, old-fashioned bear hug like he gave to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Then maybe they’ll work together again for the good of the American people.

Ha ha! The White House and Congress working together for the good of the American people! That’s got to be the funniest punch line I’ve ever written on this blog!

Actually, bear hugs in politics aren’t fool proof. Even Christie has been slamming Obama lately. Yep, it looks like their bromance is over!

Boehner’s announcement is seen as an overture to the tea partiers in the Republican Party. No one has said this out loud, but perhaps Boehner has been spooked that his close ally Eric Cantor has lost the chance to keep his house seat in the mid-term elections. It’s as if Boehner is saying to his tea party, “There, I can be just as anti-Obama as you people!”

Whatever! The tea party may be riding high in Virginia, but their man lost to the Republican establishment in the Mississippi primary race between incumbent Thad Cochran and some tea party sore loser. A few tea partiers (i.e., Sarah Palin) are talking about the possibility of breaking away from the GOP if the party insists on “acting like Democrats”. It’s enough to make a certain tea party spokeswoman close her eyes, tap her heels together three times, and wish out loud, “There’s no place like Wasilla! There’s no place like Wasilla...” 

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE DICK CHENEY LAUNCHES NEW GROUP, ALLIANCE FOR A STRONG AMERICA, TO OPPOSE PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY

Who Let the Cheney Out? (woof woof woof woof woof)

Former Vice President Darth Chaney is on the warpath again. He’s whipping up a lot of hostile notions towards the Obama administration because the situation in Iraq is deteriorating - to no one’s surprise - into civil war between the Sunni and Shiite factions. He’s even put on his white cowboy hat to complete the image of a riled-up white guy!

Look out world! There’s nothing more dangerous than a scorned delusional hypocrite.

Even as Cheney and  his daughter drum  up (financial) support for their new found political ire group via a video and a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, the liberal media are happily replaying remarks Sheriff Dick made years ago when people were questioning the wisdom of invading Iraq full tilt boogie. The old news clips show a confident Chaney stating that the war will be over within weeks, and hinting that all feuding sides of Iraqi society will embrace American style democracy.

Now, 12 years and 4,500 American casualties later, he responds to his critics that he has a “fundamental disagreement” with those who don’t peer at the world through his rose-colored glasses. Cheney’s fundamental disagreement is both pathetic and tragic. His new movement will likely draw a lot of support from the right; hopefully the media will continue to expose his hypocrisy of his latest assault on the Obama administration.

CAT UPDATE

We’ve had our new felines for about five weeks now. Gigi is settling in nicely; she’s allowed the run of the house in the mornings and evenings. Nyla spends a lot of time on the porch during these time periods. She seems more agreeable to the notion that she is sharing her house with a younger cat – no hissing. Now Gigi is the one who seems hostile to Nyla. We’ll work on that.

Oreo is still in our basement, although she is getting braver and is actually spending a few minutes in the kitchen before she scurries back to the sanctuary of the basement. Progress is slow, but we’re confident that things will eventually work themselves out.

I’m not saying that we’re Dick Cheney confident about our cats. I’d like to think that Warrior Queen and I have a realistic optimism about our children getting along. 

(Thanks for reading.)