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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #16) – President Petty and Vindictive Strikes Again*

How is it that many of us could see what the 2016 election of a grifter to the Presidency would mean for American democracy, and yet how could we not be able to imagine the depths which he is taking this country?

We realized rather early one that the Orange One was not suitable for high office.  His record as a business man should have tipped us all off: six bankruptcies in his career and driving countless other contractors out of business when he refused to pay his bills. This idea or casino didn’t work out?  Oh well, have the lawyer draw up papers to pay creditors some of what was owed, shrug the shoulders and walk away.

Bankruptcy is usually more devastating for a typical middle-class American.  Aside from the stigma of failure (in America no less) comes the loss of available credit for years.  The average American cannot just walk away from losing all that they have worked for. Millionaires and billionaires can afford to smile and wave.
Yet that appears to be what the President is preparing to do as he drives America into the ground.

Never mind his vendetta against WHO at a time when all countries need to cooperate with each other to conquer the common enemy.  President P&V's actions will only exacerbate the pandemic, which will only complicate the recovery of the America economy.

Congress leapt into action with passing a few, dare we say borderline socialistic, measures to alleviate the economic pain most American workers.  This is all well and good, except that President P&V has specifically singled out the US Postal Service as not eligible for an economic rescue to stave off bankruptcy unless they agree to raise shipping rates for Amazon, which is owned by one of the President’s arch enemies, Jeff Bezos.

The President is actually suggesting a raise in parcel shipping of four times what they are now.  The trouble is that when the US Postal Service raises rates, they don’t do it scatter shot to affect just one sector of the economy.  They have in the past raised rates uniformly across the board to be fair to everyone.  This would mean a fourfold rate increase of not only shipping packages, but also regular mail services.

Currently the cost of a single postage stamp is 50 cents.  My Fellow Americans, are you prepared to pay $2.00 for a single postage stamp???

So, let’s imagine the worst-case scenario of this maneuver.  The US Postal Service does not get aid they need, they declare bankruptcy, and they are forced to lay off their entire force of postal workers: all 600,000 postal workers.

More people on unemployment who eventually may have to declare bankruptcy and default on their mortgages, which will hit the banks, which will create a potentially endless series of ripple effects on other sections of the economy.  

And that is just the economic effect.   What about the interruption of mail delivery on which the US has become dependent for the last 200 plus years? Grandmom and granddad won’t get their catalogs to order necessary items or their magazines to inform and entertain them if they do not have computers or internet service for the online versions.  The Post Office’s competitors at FedEx and USPS allegedly do not have the infrastructure in place to take up the slack.

The exchange of Christmas and birthday cards will become nothing more than a quaint reminder of America’s Norman Rockwellian past.   Local politicians have used the Postal Service to send out flyers and pamphlets about upcoming elections and the issues which a well-educated electorate has a right to know.  That will stop.  Putting the Postal Service out of business will put a serious crimp in political parties ability to reach out to the voters.

Are you listening, GOP? Think about these consequences carefully. You’re only hurting yourselves when you allow President P&V to shrug his shoulders and walk away from the disaster he created for America.

*Or How About a $2 Postage Stamp, America?

(Thank you for reading.  For the record, I adore Rockwell and all that he immortalized in his work.)

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #15) - RIP, Lady Constance

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary that Warrior Queen and I made settlement on our present abode in Southeast Pennsylvania.  We moved in on April 18, 2000 and our first meal in our forever home was a cheesesteak from a local pizza shop. This started a tradition for our moving in anniversary: a cheesesteak dinner. 

We returned to the same pizza shop for years until I discovered one time that they microwaved the meat instead of frying it fresh on the grill.  I was shocked, shocked I tell you.  Warrior Queen was even more shocked and determined that we would never return to that pizza shop.  So, the tradition continues, but at a different location.

The ensuing years have been, overall, good to us.  We don’t have as many trees as we used to have on our 1/3-acre property.  At least two blew down, one died by lightning strike, and at least four others had to be cut down when they died by disease.  The house hasn’t fared as well, but this is normal for an aging structure.  We still have four sturdy walls and a roof over our heads.  The appliance death toll goes something like this: we are on our third water heater (hard water in our area); second heating system; second refrigerator; fourth dishwasher; and now in the market for our second cd player.

Most importantly, we are still able to stand each other and, if we manage to survive this current leadership and health crisis, we look forward to paying off our mortgage in 2040!

The weekend is not all cheesesteaks and cheers.  I learned that we lost British comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor to the Covid19 pandemic earlier this week.

Bummer and Drat!

I first became a fan of Brooke-Taylor’s when our local Public Radio station (WVIA in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA) played reruns of I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again. In ISIRTA, he had a wide range of characters from the young, slightly prissy male (Timsey Whimsey) to the over-sexed septuagenarian/octogenarian Lady Constance de Coverlet.  Later cast member John Cleese and occasional script contributors Graham Chapman and Eric Idle found fame as Pythons.  Taylor, Graeme Garden, and “Wee” Bill Oddie formed The Goodies.  America was able to see The Goodies for a few years, but in the ensuing years we were able to watch Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Benny Hill, Fry and Laurie, and more recently in the 1990’s Ab Fab.  I seldom watched these later shows, but I always made time to view the pioneers of surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy.

I found this sketch featuring Brooke-Taylor and three other pioneers in the At Last, The 1948 Show.   Farewell Lady Constance!

(Thank you for reading.  In this space next week: even more tidings of great depression.)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2 #14) - My Kingdom for A CD Player

It is the end of the third week of work from home isolation and we have two crises to deal with.  One: it’s been two weeks and our nearest grocer still cannot get any toilet paper in for their customers.  A bit of hardship for me and Warrior Queen to be sure, but when one considers the bigger picture it is really a very minor inconvenience.  That bigger picture includes all of the grocery store workers who are still working and reporting for minimum wage, less than full time hours duty (sans benefits) in what is now possibly a life or death environment.

For them I am most grateful for their dedication.  I also should not fail to mention all of the health care workers in the hospitals fighting this pandemic and risking their own health.

Two: the CD changer in my 30-year-old stereo system has decided to stop working.  To be fair, we have not played compact discs in this player for years. The system is part of a larger system with an ancient turntable (also not used in years despite my massive vinyl collection) and radio receiver.  We really have only used the system in recent years to listen to baseball games and our favorite radio show on Sunday nights.   Alas there is no baseball game to listen to yet and the radio station with our favorite show is signing off at the end of the month.

I considered it a miracle that I was able to play any of the discs from the Nat King Cole box set I got for Christmas.  They played very well considering the player was inactive for so long, but when it came time to remove the changer from the unit, the player would not push the changer cartridge forward so I can pull it out.  The auto open and control door appear to be out of whack.

I assume the first remedy would be to apply WD40 to the insides, but I don’t want to get any of this wonder spray on the actual CDs.  I foresee unhooking the unit from the stereo receiver and taking it to a professional electronics expert who may have to dismantle the whole unit to extricate my Nat King Cole CDs.  I realize that this will not happen anytime soon since we are still on lockdown and only allowed to venture out for groceries and prescriptions.  Moot point anyway.  The electronics shop is likewise closed for the duration since, I believe, they would be considered non-essential.

In the meantime, Warrior Queen will contact our favorite neighborhood tech geek who has been very helpful with our computer problems in the past. I’m guessing that there is only so much he can do at the moment beyond offer an online consultation.  Any help from him would be appreciated. 

Likewise, I’ll throw this out to any blog readers who may know a thing or two about my electronics problem.  Why should our local tech geek have all the fun?  Let me know if you can advise me what can or can’t be done, even as I know I have given you very limited information about my problem.  I’ll consider any suggestion up and including administering last rites to the player.

In the meantime, everyone stay safe.

(Thank you for reading. And oh yes, Happy Easter!)