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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snort Bites – February 2014


The winter games in Russia have ended and, if medal counts are the only measure of success, then the US did well, but we didn’t come out on top. The honor of most medals won goes to the host country, Russia. Whether or not these figures are final - there was a doping scandal or two during the last two weeks, and there may be further investigation into the judging for figure skating - the games will probably be best remembered for events which happened away from the Olympic venues.


America won the gold hands down in the Amenities Annihilation competition for its impressive destruction of a hotel room when one of our athletes could not escape the toilet facilities in his room. Somewhere Keith Moon is smiling! USA! USA! USA! USA!

Russian premier Vladimir Putin won an unprecedented Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the Tyrannical, Despotic, and Totalitarian Regime competition due to his ongoing war on civil rights. He barely won over now exiled and hiding Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

On a related note, the plucky citizens of Kiev took the gold in the civil disobedience competition. UKRAINE! UKRAINE! UKRAINE! UKRAINE!


Promise? Cross your heart and hope to die?


I know the calendar says that it is nearing the end of February (yes, my calendar talks to me), but the sight of the slowly retreating glaciers are little comfort. 

Nice to know: the Affordable Care Act now numbers 4 million enrollees.

The anti-gay legislation in Arizona may be vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer due to objections by the business community, state and national legislators, and after being exposed as an affront to common sense and decency in general. So hooray for all that!

On the other hand, conservatives are showing themselves to be the kings of dickwads, and that’s never good. Example: the Virginia legislator who, in an e-mail rant justifying his anti abortion stance, referred to pregnant women as hosts as in, maybe, host organism? Really? Wouldn’t this then make the fetus a parasite? Does he really want to couch his ideas in such terms?

Ah well! We can only hope that the frigid ignorance of our fellow men will thaw and expose the warm glow of brotherhood. Everyone, time to break out your rose-colored glasses!

(Thank you for reading. Are you still here, Alec? Get lost already!)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Butterflies Are Not Free

Good news everyone! According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, Americans will be free from being locked into an unfulfilling job because of the healthcare benefits. In a few years, the report surmises, workers will choose to work less hours, or give up their jobs altogether.  The loss of man hours are being expressed in the report as a loss of 2.3 million jobs.

Naturally, opponents of the Affordable Care Act are not seeing Americans freed of job lock as a good thing. Freedom from this occupational hazard could mean that many people will start their own businesses. Or, if acid-tongued conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer is accurate, they will become butterfly collectors who will thrive on the taxpayer’s dole.

His full critique “Obamacare’s War on Jobs” is available in all of its full view, propaganda splendor at

Krauthammer insists that Americans have always had the freedom to voluntarily give up their jobs for other pursuits. In his view, the subsidies available to Americans for their newly acquired health care insurance policies are a disincentive to work. I’m sure this is news to every worker who still has such incentives as mortgage, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to keep their jobs.

He jumped on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s statement that workers would be freed to pursue their passions in the arts, photography or writing when they would not have to hold onto their day jobs for the sake of healthcare coverage. Krauthammer goes on to quote Marx (Karl, the least amusing of the Marx Brothers) who philosophized in The German Ideology about a Communist society where he ‘could “hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner.” 
His Marx quotation doesn’t necessarily aid his argument of a person dependent on others to meet his basic needs. The “hunt in the morning” is a food gathering concept common to all cultures and a tribute to the concept of self sufficiency. "Fish in the afternoon” - more food gathering, more self sufficiency!  “Rear cattle in the evening,” which I would be willing to bet can be a lucrative business venture even in a communist society; and “criticize after dinner.” Okay, many of us do engage in this activity, but only because we don’t have the luxury of writing blistering statements in The Washington Post and getting paid for the honor!

Then, strangely for a conservative commentator, Krauthammer continues his proletariat tirade by coming to the defense of the American factory worker. He mourns: “The taxes of the American factory worker — grinding dutifully at his repetitive mind-numbing job — will be subsidizing the voluntary unemployment of the artiste in search of his muse.”

Oh, how heart-warming! Krauthammer is now so concerned about the lives of the American factory worker! Where was your concern when your Wall Street brethren shipped the factory workers jobs off to China? And the jobs that are still here are most likely unionized labor, which your ilk is so fond of criticizing (and in some states legislating) out of existence, before, during, and after dinner!
Krauthammer and his conservative company love to paint Obama’s signature piece of legislation as some sort of job crushing behemoth. In actuality, many workers will undoubtedly voluntarily quit their jobs to pursue other opportunities, but this should in turn create vacancies in the job market which would be a godsend to the 7% still unemployed from the last recession.    

Regardless if liberals are painting silver linings on the clouds of big government or the strength of Nancy Pelosi’s rose-colored glasses, the conservatives are sure to shield their eyes from the luster of social progress. In any event, someone will have to quit their job and start a business producing butterfly nets, for the millions of Americans who will suddenly chuck it all for the sheer sake of collecting…that is, if Krauthammer’s prediction comes true… 

(Thank you for reading.  EDITOR’S NOTE: Karl Marx was not related to the Marx Brothers comedy team. However, we are still trying to substantiate a rumor that he did tour with The Floradora Sextette.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feeling Nostalgic?

Recently, several waves of nostalgia have washed up over our collective cultural consciousness. To wit or t’wit if you prefer:

The 90s have been resurrected with comments from Republican Congressman Rand Paul referencing the Monica Lewinsky scandal that plagued the last years of Bill Clinton’s second term as President. Paul’s wife had earlier commented that Clinton exhibited predatory behavior in dealing with White House intern Lewinsky. She intended it as a warning for voters who might want to elect Hillary president and thus return Bill as first spouse. Her husband seemed to double down on her comments more recently on NBC’s Meet the Press.

A second wave of 90s nostalgia hit with a replay of the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow scandal. This time, their adopted daughter Dylan wrote an open letter to the New York Times, wherein she accused her former stepfather of molesting her. Allen denied the accusations, which prompted another retort from mother Mia…and happy 1992 all over again, people!

In both cases, I am struck with one thought: why am I being subjected to these traumas again? What did I ever do to the Pauls and Allen-Farrow to deserve witnessing a rewashing of all this dirty laundry? This is not the purpose of nostalgia!

When we want to get nostalgic about a certain time or place or person, we like the warm fuzzy feelings of reminiscing. In fact, the Little River Band’s song of the same name specifically mentions the Porter tunes, as in Cole Porter, whose songs were bursting with the sentimentality that pangs of nostalgia are made for.

We look back with fondness at good times. For example, I’ve never heard someone release a whistful sigh with a smile and say something like, “I was just thinking about the Hindenburg! Ah the humanity!”

See, it doesn’t work! So why we we’re getting sentimental about predatory sexual abuse is beyond my comprehension. And I like to think I have a rather vivid comprehension, if I do say so myself.

In the 70s we looked back at the 50s and created an entire industry around what we recognized to be a simpler time. Simpler time? I don’t know about that. In the 50s, America lived in fear that the Soviet Union would reduce us to radioactive rubble for a good portion of the decade. Many Americans even prepared for the event that never happened by constructing bomb shelters in their backyards. At least one congressman was running amok in Washington in his determination to reveal the identity of every Communist who dared to breathe the air of American freedom and democracy. Yet, in the 70s, we tuned in to a representation of this time period every week and watched a show with the ironic title Happy Days.  

Living in fear was a sign of happiness? Go figure!

I doubt that we will see a Happy Days version of the 90s any time soon. Motivation for Paul’s comments about Clinton may not be obvious. The liberals among us may see it as the opening salvo in an effort to discredit a Hillary Clinton candidacy years before it happens and long before any American voters care to think about the 2016 election. At this point, the furthest thought from our minds is the next election. Can we get through the 2014 Congressional mid-terms first, please?

As for the Allen-Farrow rematch, I find myself not caring either way. Full disclosure: I am a fan of Woody Allen and would hate to see any scandal taint his legacy. However, if Dylan’s accusations are true, then shame on him and shame on our justice system for allowing him to escape unscathed. If they aren’t true, then shame on Dylan and Mia for opening up old wounds and pouring an entire container of salt on them. If Dylan’s motives of airing her experiences - real, or as Allen has claimed, psychologically suggested by her adoptive mother - was to put a spotlight on child abuse, then more power to her.
However, if her motive was to destroy Allen’s reputation, then she needs help, professional help. In fact, all three of them need the kind of help that someone like me cannot give them. I got tired of this story 20 years ago and I cannot work up the energy to give a damn about it now. Anyway, Dylan’s motives of career destruction for her stepfather will probably fail: Sir Charles Chaplin weathered accusations which were certainly the Victorian era equivalent of the Farrow stories. Chaplin’s legacy remains untarnished.

Nostalgia got another ride this week with the passing of child actress Shirley Temple. For a few days, we were reminded of her performances (circa 1934 through 1938) when millions were unemployed, many went without food, and drought conditions in the Midwest uprooted an entire way of agrarian life. Again, Happy Days, everyone! Yet there she was, on the big screen, singing and dancing cheerfully (usually as an orphan or near orphan), and making everyone forget their troubles for an hour.

The box office totals from her films are even credited with saving the studio, 20th Century Fox, from bankruptcy. Just imagine for a moment what we would not have seen if Fox had gone out of business. We would not have watched the Batman television series in the 60s. The Planet of the Apes franchise would never have been produced; ditto for the Star Wars series and the new generation of motion picture special effects that it ushered in. We also would not have seen the founding of Fox News in the 90s.

Oh, um, hmmm. Surely we can’t blame Ms. Temple for the journalism disaster that is Fox News. But we can call her Shirley, because after all that was her name.

Monica Lewinsky, Allen-Farrow, and Fox News! Yes sir, a 90s version of Happy Days will definitely not happen anytime soon!

(Thank you for reading. RIP, Shirley Temple; and oh yes, Happy Valentine’s Day!)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Kill Phil!

In my last post, I declared January to be a bitch because of several high accumulation snow storms that occurred. At the same time, I welcomed February in the midst of a most spring like weekend when temperatures climbed into the mid 50s. Now Monday comes, and true to predictions we got another 4-6 or 6-8 inches of snow.

I now declare the month of February to be Queen Bitch!

During this last weekend, our collective gazes were focused on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA for the annual Ground Hog Day celebration, or the annual rousting of the critter from its den and forcing it to tell us what the weather will be for the next six weeks, despite the fact that we are technologically advanced and spend about a gazillion dollars a year on this technology that tells us what to expect for our weather in the foreseeable future. Yes, we have the intelligence and the wherewithal to predict whether we should dress comfortably when it is sunny, or crawl back into our holes when the snow is falling at the rate of an inch an hour. Despite this, we look to a hapless rodent to do our bidding.

This year, Groundhog Day was prefaced with a report that Phil’s predictions have not always been accurate. The bad news: Phil is correct only 39% of the time when he predicts a shortened winter season. The good news: Phil is correct only 39% of the time when he predicts a longer, colder winter. It’s another case of the glass being half full/half empty, or, in this case, a glass 39% full or, um, 39% empty.

Fun Phil Fact: Punxsutawney Phil is not a certified meteorologist.

If you think this is confusing, think of poor Phil. One minute he is sleeping off a winter nap in the comfort of his den, and the next minute he is literally dragged out and held aloft to the adoring mantra of thousands of people who obviously have a twisted notion of organized religion. It’s at this point that they demand a weather report. And we do this without offering him so much as a Grand Latte from Starbucks!

He probably thinks these people are seriously effed in the head! Praising a groundhog? Wow, talk about spiritual starvation!

These same people are probably cursing Phil this week as more storms hit the northeast. A few more aggressive individuals may go a bit further than cursing out Phil, and may fantasize what they might do if they happen to ever meet our bewildered beast. I dare say that these same people might peruse the Internet for cooking recipes which require the meat of a woodchuck or whistlepig. The bad news for Phil: there is no shortage of groundhog recipes on the Internet.

You can stew him, slow cook him or shred him into bite size chunks mixed with teriyaki sauce. The recipes all start - or so my friends tell me - with the same instructions: skin and soak the meat in a brine/vinegar solution for a few hours, or, even better, overnight. This points up the fact that groundhog meat is not marketed by any of our supermarket chains, neatly weighed and packaged between Styrofoam trays and cellophane wrap.

Diplomatically speaking, these recipes would be found under the heading delicacy. Now we all know what the meaning of delicacy is. It is synonymous with what we would stereotypically consider to be good eatin’ in the Ozarks and the more rural parts of West Virginia…or so my friends tell me.

Fortunately for Phil, he has what I believe to be a full time security detail to protect him from what is probably becoming an annual threat to turn him into croquettes. Yes, he will live another year and perchance make our lives miserable or happy next February. In the meantime, we have joker prognosticators who seized upon one weather computer model last weekend and disseminated the prediction that this coming weekend we’ll see a blizzard dumping 24 inches of white crap on the northeast. Accredited meteorologists (are you reading this, Phil?) have discredited that prediction. 

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of recipes on the Internet calling for the meat of Internet jokesters. Pity…

(Thank you for reading. Whistlepig serving tip: the best wine to serve with your woodchuck casserole is Coors!)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Adios, January!

Here’s to you, January 2014!  How revolting!  Oh reviled winter month!

Your record cold and freezing temperatures did plague many parts of our nation.

Even the south!

Oh horrible, wretched time!

How hated are you?  Let’s just say that if you were a teenage pop star, we’d name you Bieber (His current tour is coming soon to a police station near you!)

Oh, disgusting waste of four weeks!

How awful were you to us?  Your snow storms at two and a half week intervals caused mayhem on our highways and with our overall economic prosperity!

Oh foul, cruel temptress!  Your howling winds and polar vortexes vexed us to no end!

How unpopular will you be in our memory?  Let’s just say that if you were a town in New Jersey, we’d arrange for Governor Christie’s inner circle to go George Washington Bridge on yo ass!

I’m not quite sure what that means, but trust me, it’s bad!

So long!  Farewell!  Auf wiedersehen…aw, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE ALREADY!

Eff you and the sucky days you rode in on!

Aye, you will not be missed!  So go now!  Get out!  Leave!  Scram!  Never again darken our calendars!

And by all means don’t let the sands of time hit you in the 31st as you leave!
January, you were a bitch!

Welcome, February!  We long for your balmy embrace with its 40 degree temperatures, mild winds and predictions of 3-6 inches of snow for Monday...

Eff you.


(Thank you for reading.  With apologies to my father who always taught me that if I could not say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!)