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, November 29, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #47) - Kitschy Christmas Decorations

A fellow blogger has been bemoaning the fact that he does not have any Christmas lights up yet, while some of his other neighbors have already completed their over-the-top holiday decorating.  This reminded me of an entry I originally wrote for the Christmas season in 2007.  Talk about kitschy Christmas decorations!

Just two caveats about this reprint:  I have not seen the house in King of Prussia in about 10 years.  I have no idea what new displays the owner has erected in those years.  Also, spoiler alert, we never got around to having an outdoor receptacle installed.  Doubtful that we will ever do it now. 

I think it is interesting to see where my mind was in 2007 and see where my mind is today.  I don’t believe much has changed.  Oh, perhaps a few hundred thousand neurons have passed on to that great brain in the sky.  Otherwise I am as demented as ever.  Please enjoy!


Now is the time of year that everyone puts up his or her holiday decorations.  The main official holiday is Christmas, but hey, with the retail season starting sooner and sooner, we might as well include Halloween, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.  Our decorations are very modest: a green candle in every window.  We’ve bought an outdoor string of lights, but we haven’t used them yet.  We bought the string before we realized that we didn’t have an outdoor socket.  So, we’ll keep them stored away until we can afford an electrician to install an outdoor power source.

Ours are modest, but some people go way over the top with their decorations.  One in particular is in King of Prussia.  The property is a very nice parcel of land with tall pine trees and a number of shrubs in front of the house.  At holiday time you can’t see any of this for all the strings of lights draped the entire length of the trees from the top to the bottom.  Then there are the plywood cutouts.

The cutouts at one end of the yard commemorate the Nativity scene.  There’s a manger with Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child.  All this is fine, but there are other plywood cutouts commemorating another little-known holiday which I’ll call Pixars Greatest Hits. There are cutouts of Monsters, Inc, The Incredibles, and Chicken Little – all with cutesy dialogue balloons that tie them in with Christmas.  Then there are cutouts of The Simpsons and Harry Potter.  The Harry Potter portion is particularly poignant with the three main characters wishing season’s greetings from everyone at Hogwarts.

Okay, let’s dwell on this last one for a moment.  Basically, here we have three little Wiccans extending holiday wishes from their school where they study witchcraft, the supernatural arts and sciences.  THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS!! IT DOESN’T WORK!!!

Where is the plywood cutouts for the cast from The Jazz Singer?  Granted the pop culture references may be lost on a 78-year-old movie, but it makes as much sense as Harry Potter.  Yes, yes, I can see it now, cutouts of Warner Oland as the Rabbi father, Eugenie Besserer as Momma Rabinowitz, and Al Jolson as Jackie, down on one knee with arms outstretched!  Yes, yes, and their dialogue balloon could have Jackie saying, “Oy vey! It’s Christmas!”

This could work!  Maybe I could do it at my house…once I get the electrician to install the outside power outlet.

(Thank you for reading.  Come back neurons, come back!)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #46) - RINO, DINO, Meet AINO

So far, the President is proving to be every bit a pain-in-the-ass as he promised to be.  It is inevitable that Joe Biden will be inaugurated in January.  The current President will have no choice but to leave office or be dragged out kicking and screaming.

That will be one down and only all of his numerous enablers to go.  We know who they are: the elected officials too cowardly to withstand the President’s temper or - heaven forbid — a negative review on his Twitter feed! 

Up until now, we have heard various elected officials labeled with some sort of scurrilous name that sums up their present ideology when that current idea doesn’t mesh with what they were traditionally thought to be. Example: Mitt Romney.  Lifelong Republican who came out against the current President and ipso facto Republican Party standard bearer.  He is now known as a RINO: Republican In Name Only.

A few Democrats have also expressed ideas that don’t jive with the party platform or align with the ideas of the progressive wing of the party.  They have been denounced as DINOs: Democrats In Name Only.  This has nothing to do with the character on The Flintstones or that good-time Charlie member of the Rat Pack.  It does have everything to do with committing partisan heresy.

We now introduce a third label for politicians in today’s climate.  These are the ones who choose to support party ideology over preservation of the institutions which have allowed said party and ideology to thrive.  The institution of democracy is crumbling around them, but they pledge allegiance to their political ambitions. 

RINO, DINO, meet AINO:  Americans In Name Only.

These are our fellow citizens who show symptoms of committing treason, but have not committed acts which satisfy the criminal definition of treason.  They must be intelligent enough to recognize the threat to the Constitution which they swore to uphold even as they try to undo the norms of democracy which we have cherished for over 240 years. This means you, Rudy Giuliani.   If they aren’t intelligent enough to recognize the threat then how the hell did they get elected in the first place?

Oh right, stupidity of the masses!    

So, the label of treason won’t stick and we can’t prosecute them.  We can saddle them with a label in social media which should hang like an albatross from their necks until they recant their ideas to be more in line with the American way of life.  Let me offer the following nominees for AINO status:


He has for years exhibited signs of doing all he can to maintain his power and the power of the Republican Party.   To that end he was an obstructionist to everything Barack Obama tried to do even if it would benefit the American electorate.  Late in Obama’s term he adopted the notion that a Supreme Court Justice could not be confirmed when the President was essentially a lame duck.  At that time, he and a few other Republican leaders argued that the voters should decide who gets to pick the next President who will then nominate the next Justice candidate.

Lo and behold, this year power was on the other foot and there was a sudden rush to nominate and confirm a conservative justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 

Let the voters decide?  What?  No, never heard of that idea.

McConnell and the Republican leadership lucked out when Ginsberg died.  They greedily accepted this gift from the political gods, and precedent — which they themselves set — be damned!


These elected officials have chosen to remain silent while the current faux voter recount crisis rages on.  The main casualty at this time is the Biden transition.  We do have a precedent when the last voting controversy in 2000 caused a delay in the peaceful transfer of power from Clinton to Bush.  We didn’t know it at the time, but the delay was later found to be partly to blame for a breach in our national security.  We paid the price on 9/11.

These Senators fear one man more than all else.  To that end they’ll keep any objections to his unconstitutional actions to themselves, ignoring any precedent from a higher authority.  I thought there was once a commandment about putting no other Gods before the Almighty.  When was that commandment repealed?

I realize I am letting my prejudices show when I limit this designation to just the GOP.  So be it!  To be fair they have more than shown their willingness to subvert the rights of American citizens just to maintain their slippery grasp on power.

Let’s be clear on naming anyone AINO.  This designation is not intended to question anyone’s patriotism or love of country.  It only questions their commitment to the rule of law.   This is a rule which very few will recognize once the current President is gone.

(Thank you for reading.  Any other nominations, readers?)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #45) - The Meaning of 2020

I have heard more than one commentator whine how horrible a year that 2020 has been to us.  I’m quite sure there will be an unlimited number of post mortems at the end of the year, but my comments should not be construed as taking aim at this year in particular.  No, I have bigger fish to fry, namely life and modern society itself.

It basically boils down to this:  these horrible things happening to us now are not the result of rotten luck or karma necessarily.  They are happening because we asked for it to happen.  Mind you we didn’t ask for it directly, but we did ask for it nonetheless by taking our lives for granted.

I realize that this may be hard medicine to swallow, but it’s medicine which in the end will be good for us.

Our parents – that generation who knew deprivation due to the Great Depression and World War II — were able to take advantage of a great economic boon beginning in the 50s.  The mainline white culture benefited better than other groups.  Not surprisingly and rightfully, the other groups (Blacks, Latinx, and others) raised “Hey, what about us?” objections.   That struggle continues, but members of both sides had the same dream: to provide better opportunity for their children.

My generation has been benefiting from the hard work and sacrifice of our parents ever since.  Our parents made sure that we would never want for anything:  food on the table; roof over our heads; clothes to keep us warm; and good education so we can (theoretically) get the best opportunities to prosper. Therein lies the problem.  They meant well, but eliminating sacrifice from our life experience is having a boomerang effect on us now.

Many of us in the middle class growing up in the 60s did not have to trudge through the snow to get to school like our grandparents.  Many of us never had to experience our parent’s disappointment at the lack of food on their dinner tables because of rationing restrictions put into place while the country battled fascism in Europe and Asia.  As a consequence, many of us did grow from being spoiled brats to spoiled adults. 

In all that time, we grew to be too comfortable in living our lives.  Life was good. Too good for too long.  Granted we got some taste of sacrifice after the 9/11 attacks and the 2008 recession, but neither could compare to the Great Depression and World War II. 

Gradually, we lost faith in our institutions and ourselves. Too many of us sat out a few elections, giving up on the idea that our democracy was working even when it did not directly benefit us. In 2016, many Americans believed that our lives would be better if they were run like a business.  Too many of us bought into the myth of Donald Trump as a successful entrepreneur who could turn our lives around.  He and his brand came to power in this vacuum of faith.  Ironically, his ascension to power gave us a glimpse of the fascism that our parent’s generation defeated.

This business man did not see any need for science and began cutting programs which he deemed unnecessary for his purposes.  One of those programs had the resources and potential to research and develop medicines for any and all viruses which could destroy our lives.  COVID-19 proliferated in this vacuum created by Donald Trump. 

This should forever disprove the notion that people’s lives can be governed like a business.  When a business deems certain employees are expendable, they are laid off, and those people are free to pursue other opportunities.  When a government determines that certain people are expendable, those people usually die. 

All of the bad things from 2020 — from the pandemic to America’s flirtation with fascist anarchy - are happening for a reason.  Fortunately, a correction has started and America is taking a step away from the authoritarian abyss.  A few of us numbering about 77 million or so have seen fit to reject the dictatorship bearing down on us. 

I like to think that these same 77 million people have recognized that life, however we chose to live it, should not be taken for granted.  Time will tell...

(Thank you for reading.  Please forgive this old cranky curmudgeon.)

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #44) - Ahhhhhhhh!

I first heard the wonderful news once I punched out from my job at noon.  I immediately went to my AOL account to see if our vote count in Pennsylvania had been updated. Praise be!  Not only had someone called Pennsylvania into Joe Biden’s column, but the state of Nevada was added as icing on the cake.

See, Warrior Queen, there is a God.

So, one drama concludes and another will soon unfold. The current tenant in the White House is vowing to fight the most recent results of American democracy in action.  He has already sent his lawyers to the swing states to sniff out/find/conjure out of thin air examples of voter malfeasance.  They hope that any examples of wide spread voter fraud they find will allow the whole election to be overturned in favor of their client. 

Good luck, lawyers!  Don’t kill yourselves in this assignment.  You won’t see a cent of your billable hours since your client has a very long reputation of being a cheat and cheapskate.

My advice: hang out in the hotel bar for a few days and charge everything to the current President.

The current President keeps spreading horrible rumors that the Democrats have stolen the election through fraudulent ballots.   Really, Mr. President?  The Democrats stole an election by committing fraud in only 5 swing states. It seems to me that if the Democrats wanted to commit fraud, then we would see 45 states going for Biden, all 100 seats in the Senate and all seats in the house would have had Democrats sitting in them. 

If all of that had happened then yes, even I would be suspicious that voting fraud happened.  Democrats got the White House, but disappointingly, little else.  The gains were qualitativly significant, but quantifiably small.  If Democrats wanted to cheat, they should have thought bigger.   Go big or go home, as the Mistress would say.

To that end this whole President denying the outcome reminds me a bit of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  (Editor’s Note: in today’s performance the part of Joe Biden is being played by Graham Chapman.)

This is a great moment for a native Pennsylvanian like myself.  Biden is only the second American from Pennsylvania to ever be elected President.  The first was James Buchanan.  Never heard of him?  It’s just as well.  There are a number of good reasons why people don’t remember him.  Until #45 was elected, Buchanan had the reputation among many historians of being the worst President in our history.

I sincerely hope Biden will make us Pennsylvanians so proud that we forget Buchanan and ole what’s his name.

(Thank you for reading.  And now the real work begins...)

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #43) – Just When We Needed Him The Most…

It was an iconic film entrance, and it wasn’t even a proper entrance involving any movement of his legs.  The camera just picked him out of a crowd at a casino.  There, seated at a baccarat table and lighting a cigarette that dangles phallic-like from his lips, he introduced himself to the world:

“Bond, James Bond.” 

The tone of his voice made it sound more like a command, then answering someone’s question about his identity.  He barked out the words and we can almost hear him hissing under his breath, “And don’t make me say it again.” No problem about never repeating it.  Film audiences have excellent memories of the first time they see a character stare them down from the silver screen.

Ian Fleming's fictional intelligence bureaucrat serving under Her Majesty’s Secret Service had existed on best sellers lists for over a decade before Bond got his proper film introduction when a tuxedo-clad Sean Connery starred in Dr. No (1962). Oh, right he was more than just a bureaucrat.  He was bureaucrat with a license to kill.  Please pardon that oversight, Mr. Bond.

In the ensuing years Connery (and his successors) fought the bad guys on the streets, under the sea, inside volcanoes, and even outer space for God’s sake!  No villain bent on world domination — and those were the only ones who seemed to come into Bond’s view — was safe.  Then when the fighting was done there would be other tasks like seducing the villain’s comely hench persons, or his allies from other services, or pretty much any member of the opposite sex who crossed his path.

Did I forget to mention that today’s entry is not #MeToo friendly? Hey, welcome back to the 1960’s, which too many people believe is the last time America was great.

Connery was wise enough to step away from Bond before it got to be too overwhelming for a mere mortal.  Others have come along and stepped into his shoes, but damn, somehow we still like the first one the best of all of them.  This afforded the actor the luxury to build up an impressive filmography, not least of which is his Oscar-winning performance in Brian dePalma’s The Untouchables.  And after that he had a nice, long, (we hope) well deserved retirement before his passing this weekend at the age of 90.

It may seem he left us at a most inopportune time.  American democracy is eroding and, by extension, global civilization is crumbling.  The world is shaken AND stirred at the moment! With all this happening now, the cosmos chose now to take our favorite Bond from us?  It may not seem fair, but it is the way life is meant to be.

So, we pay tribute with two iconic moments from Sean Connery’s career.

(Thank you for reading.  R.I.P., Sir Sean.)