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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dear Iowa

This week, you embark on your most unique role of political gatekeeper for the rest of the country with your quadrennial caucuses. As you know, this is when you take a break from feeding your hogs, husking your corn, and do whatever else it is you do when the Hawkeyes aren’t playing.

(Okay, fine intro, but I started to doze halfway through…and I’m the writer. Make your point!)

We realize that you face a considerable challenge, since the pickings for the next president are slim. On one hand, you have Donald Trump, an egotistical, narcissistic bully, who is a wuss at heart. Yes, wuss! He sat out this week’s debate because the head of Fox News would not take his star anchor away from the proceedings, a star anchor who happens to be a girl! “Please, Roger,” Trump begged, “Don’t make me stand up in front of Megyn! She was mean to me!” Seriously, Iowa, this is the guy you expect to go up against ISIS? Against Putin? He’s afraid of girls!

(Better, but a bit wordy. Let’s keep it simple.)

Then, on the other hand, you have a Hispanic fellow from Canada, who claims he is eligible to be elected president, and vows to take away the ability of millions to pay for their healthcare. Then, on the other hand (I know, this is the third hand), there is another Hispanic fellow, handsome and charismatic in nature, who can’t seem to make up his mind whether to let other Hispanics into the country and share in the same opportunities that he enjoys.

And you, good people of Iowa, are giving these three the top positions in your political polls? Are you leading the country with your political choices, or allowing yourselves to be led by a certain news organization, or should I say alleged news organization? Or should I just come out and accuse you of understanding only Fox News sound bites and nothing more?

(Okay, fine so far, but let’s make it simpler. It’s one thing to look down our liberal, condescending noses at them, but quite another to engage in wholesale ethnocentrism.)


There, I said it!

Iowa, what in tarnation are you effin cornhuskers thinking????

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio? Seriously????

Think carefully, Iowa. We will be watching, but we don’t have to follow your lead. 

Oh yeah, Iowa. Maybe you didn’t notice, but another week passed and another classic rock and roller died. This is an epidemic!

So, in memory of Paul Kantner, here is a video with images of a willowy woman whirling her threadbare clad body along a beach while Jefferson Airplane gives us their version of Alice In Wonderland. Warning: drugs were involved.

(Thank you for reading, and that goes for you, Iowa. "Hookah smoking caterpillars”? Yes, drugs were involved.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

So Much Political Stupidity, So Little Time

The political circus that will be the presidential election of 2016 is coming at us quickly. The Iowa caucuses in a few weeks will be followed almost immediately by the New Hampshire primaries. The months long nominating process will begin in earnest.

So, how to assess the candidates? Thus far, it appears to be that the candidate who utters the most outrageous (read: stupid) statements gets most of the press and the lion’s share of the poll numbers. The Donald clearly has the advantage since he is a showman…and little more than that. The most alarming thing about his campaign is that people actually believe him to be the best candidate. 

In the meantime, the others who have obviously not said anything stupid in weeks are watching their poll numbers slip into single digits and eventual political oblivion. We have already bid adios to Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsay Graham. They were very astute in quitting when they did because they saw the writing on the wall.

The others still trying the electorate’s patience - Huckabee, Christie, Santorum, Minnie the Moocher, Paul, Fiorina, Bush, Tillie the Toiler, Kasich, Carson, and Gilmore - by being stubborn about this whole nominating business. Apparently, they are actually serious about running for President, because it has been weeks since they have done or said anything so outrageous that it gets the attention of the (liberal) media.

Okay, so maybe they have not said anything stupid, but a few of them have done something stupid. Such as…Carly Fiorina having an anti-abortion rally at an arboretum and shanghaiing a group of children on a class trip to the arboretum for the purpose of displaying them in front of gruesome baby images just to score political points. First of all, what nitwit schedules a political rally for an arboretum? Also, what other nitwit believes that a group of young school children would remember any beneficial lessons from their day with plants and flowers?

Dinosaur bones in a natural history museum, yes; live plants, no.

For the record, the children’s parents were not smiling when they learned that their offspring had been snatched away from their intended trip for political means.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (yes, officially he is still the leader of the Garden State) took time out from campaigning in New Hampshire to return home to answer critics that he abandoned the state during last weekend’s blizzard. Residents along the coast noted that the storm produced flooding as bad as Hurricane Sandy, and howled at their governor’s chronic absenteeism. Christie responded that the state was left in the capable hands of the lieutenant governor, but he still missed the point of being an elected leader expected to finish his term in office before he chases after another position.

At least Sarah Palin had the honesty to tell the people of Alaska to bugger off half way through her term as their governor. She left the moose and glaciers behind to make a difference in the lower 48 states. I only mention her because - yes, blogger fans - she’s baaaaaaack!!!  She has made herself relevant again by endorsing Donald Trump.

Oh my God! That last sentence makes me feel so…dirty!

In a widely broadcast, publicized, and ridiculed appearance, Palin threw her support behind The Donald in Iowa. Trump welcomed her with a broad grin, talk show host Stephen Colbert welcomed Palin’s return as a source of good comedy material, and Tina Fey (God bless her) returned as Palin for last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. So, in retrospect for a few people, Palin’s return was a good thing, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

I’ll admit I had a few laughs over Palin’s latest attempt to speak intelligible English, but suppose, just suppose, that her endorsement seals Trump's nomination. Cooler heads may fail to depose his ascension at the Republican National Convention. Keep in mind that the wisdom at large believed last summer that Trump would be a candidate has-been by this time.  Yet here he is, stronger than ever.

Only the likes of Colbert and Fey may get us through the political debacle to come.

(Thank you for reading.  Ah, satire!)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

And It Ain’t a Fit Day Out for Man Nor Beast

Ah, the weekend! That 48 hour break from the 9-5 routine to complete the chores we can’t find the time to do the other five days of the week. This weekend, Mother Nature is throwing a serious crimp into everyone’s normal Saturday routine, or at least those of us on the east coast of the United States.

We are in the middle of a blizzard, complete with multiple feet of frozen water accumulation, high winds, and drifts everywhere. If this were a weekday (read: workday) it would be a wonderful snow day. This would be a good thing…if it were a weekday.

Ah, the weekend! What a waste of a perfectly good snow day!

No matter. We heard the warnings early in the week and planned accordingly. Knowing that we would be running out of necessities (cat litter and cat food) by the time the storm was scheduled to hit, we took steps to split the shopping duties. I got a few things I wanted for the weekend at our nearby Aldi. Warrior Queen went to the nearest Weis Market the next day for enough cat food to get us through the weekend. And we were totally out of Heinz Ketchup, but I’ll come back to that later.

This way, we avoided the crush of humanity packing the grocery stores on Friday afternoon just hours before the storm hit. These are probably the same people who have to be the first ones in the stores on Black Friday (November 27 or thereabouts) by camping out in front of the stores as early as Labor Day. These super consumers need help, but I digress.

We normally do our shopping on the weekend, so I was not terribly concerned when I tapped out our last bottle of ketchup early in the week. I figured I could wait until the weekend for a fresh supply. Then news of the storm threatened to postpone our shopping trip and my expected, nay anticipated, replenishment of my favorite condiment. Those who know me can probably guess what the prospective postponement of our shopping trip did to me.

Yes, withdrawal symptoms set in.

This had all the earmarks of a crisis, relative to other crises faced by humanity. ISIS may be gaining ground in the middle east? The disaffected young people drawn to its promises will eventually abandon it and the movement should collapse. Donald Trump may be our next president? Shrug our shoulders and know that the republic will survive. No Heinz Ketchup in the house? Now we have a problem.

Well, there is a happy ending. The cats have food to eat and a place to put it when it comes out the other end. I have my precious condiment again. And we are hunkered down as the snow blows sideways, our cats amuse themselves watching the chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, and mourning doves gorge themselves at the bird feeder, and the birds at the feeder stare back at the cats with expressions of WTF? on their little bird faces.

Again, a terrible waste of a snow day, but the republic will survive!


Oh, yes, another Monday came and went and another classic rocker went to the great concert venue in the sky. So, in memory of Glenn Frey, here is what I consider the definitive version of Hotel California.

(Thank you for reading and listening. Stay warm wherever you are!)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Icons in Black and White

Once again, we honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a visionary who devoted his short life to eradicating the inequities of American social justice. Many Americans used the day off in a constructive manner to extend his legacy through volunteer work. He has become an icon for social justice, but we should be wary of making demigods out of mere mortals.

Take (for example) an icon of the Democratic Party, Woodrow Wilson, who served as president of Princeton University, then governor of New Jersey, and finally President of the United States. He was also a visionary for world peace. His idea of a regular meeting of sovereign states, The League of Nations, survived him and became the United Nations. His vision is honored with a school for international studies named after him on the Princeton campus.

In recent months, there has been a movement at the university to remove his name from the campus. The charge: contributing to the inequities of social justice which Dr. King fought against. The movement leaders believe that given Wilson’s racist attitudes he should not be so honored with a school dedicated to international relations named after him. The movement has good intentions, but I hope the school remains unchanged with its intentions and the man for whom it is named.

Wilson’s place in history has been challenged because stories of his racism have been widely circulated in recent years. A product of the south - a region of America which has received the historical reputation of being racist towards African-Americans - Wilson chose like-minded individuals to help run the government. The result was the segregation of government agencies, which had been desegregated for decades.  

In private, Wilson was equally loathsome. Allegedly, he and his wife told “darkie” jokes at the White House dinner table. The President embraced the historical telling of the Reconstruction Period in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, which (like it or not) forever put to rest the idea that this new movie medium was solely for entertainment. Yet this same man envisioned an entity which would enable people from different cultures the opportunity to resolve their difference through peaceable means. Go figure!

In some ways, Wilson was like many of us: a complex character whose ultimate legacy can’t be defined in simple terms. Yes, he was devoted to the idea of world peace. On the other hand, if I had the opportunity to meet Woodrow Wilson, I would thank him for his efforts on the world stage, then ask him to remove his glasses so I could punch him in the face for his offensive attitudes towards other races.

Okay, obviously I have a thing or two to learn about peace; but hey, that’s me.

The movement at Princeton obviously wants to enact some sort of historical revenge on Wilson. Their goal is tantamount to erasing history, an action which inevitably always comes back to haunt humanity sooner or later. The movement’s leaders should be content with the job they’ve done so far - raising awareness about the other side of Wilson’s character - and call it a day.

In any case, karma exacted its own revenge on Wilson. The President suffered a debilitating stroke in the midst of a rail stop tour of America to promote his League of Nations idea. He served out the remainder of his presidency in physical paralysis, with his wife Edith acting as a gatekeeper from political Washington, and the rest of the world for that matter. They retired to a house in DC, where on a good day he could walk ten feet between two doors in his house foyer.

Wilson had hopes of writing his memoirs after he left the White House. He completed little more than the dedication page. Yes, karma is a bitch.

History has been kind to Wilson - and King for that matter - until recently. Some unseemly rumors have been heard about King’s extra marital affairs in recent years.   

This is the luxury history affords us: we can learn about those people we cherish if we just dig deep enough. The lessons we learn should not affect their respective legacies, but should remind us that these men were just mere mortals.

Think about that! Mere mortals! Not gods! Not demigods! 

If we are disappointed about Wilson’s racism or King’s running around, then perhaps we should adjust our standards so we aren’t so shocked when we learn more about how they lived their lives. We are the ones who set ourselves up for the pain and disappointment we inevitably feel.

We can look back at the past and pass judgment on the actions of others. It isn’t quite fair for us to use our values, which we like to think are more developed today, than the values of yesterday. Yet we do it anyway. 

We believe our icons should always be in terms of black and white. We should know better. We should always allow for all the shades of gray in our heroes.

In any event, karma will come back and bite our legacies in the ass. Just think what people in 2116 will think about us! “My God,” they’ll say, “What the eff were those people thinking when they put Donald Trump in the White House?”

(Thank you for reading. I love you, karma!)