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, June 27, 2014



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...” 


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.


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.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Out of the Basement

My favorite baseball team, the fightin’ Phillies, is enjoying a nice road trip. They are now on a 4-game winning streak, having swept the first place (!) Atlanta Braves. The Braves are now out of first place in the very tight Eastern Division of the National League.  

How tight is the division? The Phillies had been only six games back from the Braves for the last few weeks, and that put them in the basement. Two of the other teams were tied for second place at one game back. That’s tight! The division basement may mean last place to many teams, but it’s something else to us. It’s home!

The Phillies have been in last place for so many years of their franchise history that we consider it our man cave. It’s not No Man’s Land to us. It’s a place for us to take stock of our recent performances, review what we need to do better, and (most importantly) keep the Mets out of our man cave.

Seriously, the last time the Mets vacated last place, it took the Phillies weeks just to clean out the empty beer cans. As you may already know, we have an intense rivalry with New York’s National League franchise. The first major league baseball game I attended was a game between the Phillies and the Mets. It was at Connie Mack Stadium sometime in the 1960s. I’ll figure out the exact date one of these days just to satisfy my own sense of personal history.

BTW – New York won that game, 3-0. That part I definitely did not forget!

Of course, there was a time not too long ago when the Phillies were at the opposite end of the division – on top! We finished five seasons or so in first place, and even made it to the World Series a few times. From 2007 to 2011 the Eastern Division was our bitch, and boy did we have our way with it!

Ah, good times!

So we’re climbing out now, and hopefully we can make a decent showing for the rest of the season. I don’t expect another pennant this year; our team is too old and (dare I say) overpaid. We the fans will most likely experience some sort of withdrawal when the mid-season trade deadline approaches and some of our favorite players are sent to play for other teams. So be it! If we can survive the heartache of ending season after season in our man cave, then we can surely endure this annual heartbreak.

(Thank you for reading! We are [clap clap] on fire!)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Quick One Before I Go…

I am away this weekend staying with mother while my brother and his family travel to Boston for a few days.  

Warrior Queen will stay home to watch over the cats. Each one of our three felines is still largely confined to their own floor, but the second floor cat, Gigi, is getting more comfortable with her first floor surroundings. The great meeting between Gigi and older sister Nyla has yet to happen:  Warrior Queen is confident that their relationship will move forward this weekend…without me to referee. I can only hope that the meeting will be at worse awkward, but not become violent.

Oreo, on the other hand, is still cooling her paws in our basement. She’s getting a little more confident coming up the stairs, but has not ventured up to our kitchen when the door is open. We will have to be patient with her progress.

Speaking of leaving…ADIOS ERIC, as in Cantor! Shocking, but true, that a tea party leaning Republican defeated the House Majority leader in their primary. In the days since the primary, Cantor has resigned his leadership position, but will serve out the remaining months of his term.

Liberals should have mixed feelings about this. Yes, he was a thorn in our side because of his old-fashioned conservative views, but he was a known quantity. Obviously, he wasn’t conservative enough for those in the tea party. Perhaps if he rounded up Hispanics and shipped them back to the border via boxcars, or personally burned down all of the abortion clinics in the country, he might have survived the primary. (DISCLAIMER:  we at arteejee do not advocate for either of these extremist actions, but we dare say that such measures seem to be emblematic of the tea party’s position.)

Also…another week in America and another school shooting. Ho hum! Also another shooting of two police officers, gunned down while they enjoyed their lunch. The shooters, political extremists (there does seem to be a lot of that going around), ended their brief spree by killing themselves.  

The latest shootings coupled with an incident here in Philadelphia - where two gun buyers were robbed of cash and their latest purchases totaling 7 guns at (wait for it) gun point - is drenched in irony. Mr. LaPierre, what were you saying about good guys with guns going up against the bad guys with guns? The problem is that the bad guys don’t wear uniforms. And how is it that two people armed to the teeth are unable to protect themselves from robbers?

Everyone is dismayed that our country has witnessed an average of 1.37 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook, but nothing will get done until Congress is held accountable for the carnage. That won’t happen until our legislators stop believing in the unwritten commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before Wayne LaPierre.

AND…Hillary Clinton is back in the news! Excerpts from her biography reveal that the Clintons were nearly broke when they left the White House, mostly due to Bill’s legal bills due to his impeachment. Clinton raised eyebrows when she revealed that they could barely afford the mortgages on their two houses.

Really, Hillary? What a Romneyesque observation you made! I have something for this…let’s see…oh, yeah! “We feel your pain!” I know…cheap shot!

So off I go to aid and assist my mother, relax, read a few books, and allow my sentiments to get saturated by the Hallmark channel.

It’s going to be a looooong weekend!

(Thank you for reading. Eric, come back! We don’t need you, but …oh well, see you later!).

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Classic Kasem

Our Saturday morning routine for the last four or five years has been to tune in the local oldies station for rebroadcasts of “classic” episodes of Casey Kasem’s American Top Forty. The programs let us relive our youth when we did not have the responsibilities we have today, remind us of songs we haven’t heard in eons, and hear music that is new to our ears since they did not get played that much even when they were on the charts. The aural tastes of our past years can be invigorating, which is more than can be said for Kasem himself these days.

The long time radio announcer's health is in decline, or (as he might say) he’s slipping down the charts. I know, cheap shot! Unfortunately, the ongoing squabbles between his current wife and Casey’s grown children - who desire to visit their father before he dies - is not affording him the dignity of living out his final days in peace. The stepmother has recently been reported flinging hamburger at the daughter. Yes, boys and girls, this is how grown-ups resolve their differences! I’m willing to bet that even the lawyers for both sides have thrown their hands up in despair.

Even as Casey Kasem’s deteriorating health and family conditions become ongoing tabloid fodder, we can still enjoy rebroadcasts of his American Top Forty radio show on our local oldies station. Some weeks the broadcast will be from the 80s, while most weeks a 70s show is heard again.

Warrior Queen is always finding new songs to add to her Saturday Night Dance Party List, usually from the 80s shows. She has not had much luck with the episodes from the 70s, unless they occurred in 1979 when disco seemed to eat up the music charts like a cancer (or so die-hard rock and rollers thought at the time). I myself learned to loathe anything from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack since the top 40 stations were devoting 48 hours/day for their programming. I know each day only contains 24 hours, but top 40 radio back in that day had the power to compound one’s musical pleasure/misery and make it appear that every day lasted 48 hours. If you remember that time, you know what I am talking about.

Little known fact (that I just made up): the decade known as the 70s only seemed to last 20 years because it actually was 20 years long.
Now, with the passage of time, my tastes have mellowed and I find myself enjoying such hits as How Deep Is Your Love. I appreciate the rest of the soundtrack too, but I still don’t care enough to trek down a shop that will sell me platform shoes and bell bottom pants. I never was and never will be a dancer.

I’m talking about the days when music was delivered via a vinyl disc, a needle, and bodacious sound systems. The discs would have to be carried in your arms, extending the length of your forearm, and not the wimpy compact discs which are carried in a space one extends the fingers of their hands.   

Nowadays, kids aren’t even using discs, preferring to hear the expressions of melodic emotions through the use of buds.

Buds! Harrumph! Back when I was young, we either drank or smoked buds, but never shoved them in our ears. I know, I know, pipe down, middle-aged man!

As we listen to the shows, Warrior Queen and I can’t help but try to peg each song with a certain label. We can all agree that songs by groups like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath can be classified as hard rock and heavy metal. Barry Manilow? Definitely soft rock! Bee Gees, late 70s disco, naturally!

Then there is some music we hear which doesn’t easily fit into any established genres. No matter! We make up new genres as we go. Such as…
You’ve heard of SOFT ROCK? How about FLACCID ROCK – for those songs that emote on and on about true romantic love, yet can’t get it up to act on it. Prime example: any song by Air Supply

Or PRETENTIOUS ROCK, filled with bombastic rhythms, lyrics filled with complicated metaphors, and soaring orchestral passages. Example: anything written, produced, and/or performed by Jim Steinman, who peaked with Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell.

Then, walking back farther down Memory Lane, we have songs that don’t even reach up to the level of flaccidity. I’m talking about songs such as Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree, or Charlene’s I’ve Never Been to Me. These songs have earned spots in a genre which we like to call PUT-A-GUN-TO-OUR-HEADS-AND-BLOW-OUR-BRAINS-OUT ROCK.

Seriously, if these songs do goad you to this extreme behavior, then please seek help.

Casey Kasem may soon be gone, but we’ll have our memories of his shows to get us through our own elder years.

(Thank you for reading! And now, on the Victrola, Dawn singing Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?)

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Buy a Cup of Lemonade

This weekend is National Lemonade Days (June 6-8), sponsored by the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Proceeds from every cup sold will benefit research and treatment of childhood cancer. The founder of this non-profit, Alexandra Scott, was a remarkable child.

Born in 1996, she was diagnosed with the childhood cancer condition neuroblastoma before her first birthday. Alex seemed determined even at this young age to beat the disease fate had dealt her. At the age of four, she underwent a stem cell transplant, and at that time told her mother that she wanted to sell lemonade to help the doctors help other kids like herself. With the support of her family, the first annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer in West Hartford CT raised over $2,000. Alex continued to hold her annual fund raisers after the family moved to Wynnewood PA, where she was being treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Within the next few years, the fund raiser gathered more media attention, fulfilling one of Alex’s goals to raise awareness of childhood cancer. In the meantime, her efforts raised millions of dollars for research. Today it is estimated that her “lemonade stand” has raised nearly $80 million and funded over 400 medical research projects.

One of the beneficiaries of that research is the featured hero on the foundation’s website, Edie Gilger. A youngster from Virginia, Edie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2009. She underwent an aggressive regime of chemotherapy, which ultimately did not shrink her tumors. Edie was approved for a drug therapy trial at Children’s Hospital.  So far, the results have been encouraging:  her cancer has disappeared with no side effects associated with the traditional chemotherapy treatments. Her parents credit research funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand with saving their daughter’s life.

Alex would have been 18 this year, and most likely working towards her career goal as a fashion designer. Sadly, Alex passed away in 2004, but her family continues her fund raising efforts through the foundation named after her. 

Her incredible life story is very humbling to me. Alex accomplished more in her life of 8 years then I can ever hope to accomplish in my lifetime of 54 years and counting.

The Lemonade Days fund raiser this weekend is nationwide. Seek out an Alex’s Lemonade Stand near you and raise a cup for awareness and research for childhood cancer. Also remember a little girl who got a very bad break.

(Thank you for reading…and drinking!)