Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Wild Reception for Columbus


As Columbus Day, the day set aside to honor the great explorer, who is said to have discovered America but really didn’t (he was too late)., approached I began wondering what it would have been like for Chris and his pals when they landed in America that day in October, 1492. What kind of day was it? What sort of inhabitants greeted him? Were they happy to see Chris or upset about him and his crew being there? What if he landed there today? Since, as we all know most anything of importance can be found in the Wimodaughsian Library in Canisteo. I went there and, sure enough, found a DVD of Columbus’ historic landing.  The first scene shows the intrepid captain and his sidekick Amerigo debarking a ship’s dinghy and striding up the beach to parley with a welcoming committee of six rather strangely attired natives.

     “Wha’choo wont here, sucka?” demanded a black resident.

     “I’m Christopher Columbus, the great explorer, and I’m sailing to the West Indies to find gold, spices and slaves for Queen Isabella. If this is the West Indies, then you must be an Indian.”

     “Oo-oo-oo,” crooned a gay blade, “a real queen! I wonder what sheth like.”

     “Naw, man, I ain’t no Inin,” said the black guy. “That there’s an Inin,” hooking a thumb at a short, chubby guy with long hair. “Only they ain’t called Inins no mo’, they called Native Americans.”

     “And what do they call you?” Chris wanted to know.

     “I’m African-American.”

     “Would you now where Africa is?”

     “Naw, I dunno, man. It’s not my thing, ya know?” shrugging. “Somewhere.”

     “Why are you all called different things?” asks Chris. “You all live here together, don’t you?” He looked over each one of the group. “So what’s he?” nodding toward the gay guy.

     “He’s gay.”

     “Is that so? Does that mean he’s a happy American?” thinking he was getting the hang of this diversity business

     “Oh, we can be made happy,” giving Chris an appraising eye but not missing the sword slung from his left hip. “But, alas, we’re not happy now,” looking dejected.

     “You poor thing! One wonders what it would take to make you happy,” remarked the explorer.

     “You don’t want to go there!” sneered a member of NOW.

     “Oh, shusth, you, you woman,” angry now, standing arms akimbo. “We have rights, too, you know!” stamping his/her foot.”

     “Wow,” marveled the environmentalist commie, “ you come across pretty strong for a guy who gets his panties from an egg.”

     “What a drag, man, what rights do you think you have? We the ones that need rights. We need reparations, man,” says the black guy.

     “And we’ll make sure you get them, too,” smirked the chick from the ACLU, “just as soon as we get all the pictures of Jesus out of the schools.”

     “And what will that accomplish?” asks the Catholic captain.

     “Ah, I don’t know,” the chick replied, shrugged her scrawny shoulders, “It’s just what we do. If we didn’t have that to do, we would have to find real jobs.”

     “You make a career of removing from schools pictures of the greatest teacher in the history of the word? What a remarkable way to spend your life,” said Chris. “And what irrelevant matters occupy your mind, my dear,” directing the question to the environmental chick.

     “I was wondering, sir, how many little fish you murdered when you walked ashore a few minutes ago. And there you stand, thoughtlessly swatting at indigent bugs that land on you. It’s not their fault you’re here. A typical white male bully, that’s what you are,” eyes narrowed, a sneer showing a mouthful of crooked, yellow teeth appears.

     “Sorry I asked,” says Chris.

     “Hey, Captain,” yelled a mouth from the NOW crowd. “how many women do you have working on those ships out there?” pointing to the Pinta, the Nina and the Santa Maria bobbing in the bay.

     “What do you want to know for?” asked the captain, suspicious of the NAG’S motives, leaning toward her, getting in her face.

     “My group is interested in knowing if women are getting paid the same as men,” spitting the last word, “and that they aren’t being sexually harassed in the kitchen.”

     “If we allowed women on board, Miss Mouth, we would sexually harass them when and where we damned well pleased. I assume women who yammer of such things are attempting to extort doubloons from the people they work for. We respond to that with a good flogging. They never cause us men any trouble after that. Oh, by the way, the space to which you refer is called a galley.”

     “No women on board? What’s the matter, Captain, don’t think women can hoist them sails, coil them ropes, weigh that anchor?” sneering into his face.

     “I’ll bet therth no gay people either,” whimpered the gay Bermudan, “We can hoist and coil and weigh, too,” dabbing some snot off his/her nose and a tear from his/her eye.

     “Lady, the last woman who spoke to me like that ended up as an anchor,” Chris’ face crimson now. “I’m tired of this crap. You!” pointing to the black guy. “Get some men together, chop down some of the those trees over there and build me a cabin.”

     “Whoa, hold on there,” yipped the chick from the EPA. “You can’t be chopping down those trees for houses. Owls and canaries live there. Where will they go?”

     “How about a different tree? There’s a whole forest of them further down the beach.” Amerigo Vespucci chiming in for the first time”

     “Wha’chu mean, sucka, build a cabin? I ain’t buildin’ no damn cabin. No way! My gub’ment check don’t cover no manual labor.”

     “Mine edder. Me no build no damn cabin, edder,” said the Indian guy.

     “This is some bunch of crackpots, Captain,” whispers Amerigo. “We should toss ‘em all in irons, put gags on them mouthy women, chain Tinkerbell there to the bow in case we lose an anchor.”

     The environmentalist wasn’t done yet: “Whatsa matter, MisterConqueror, don’t think owls and canaries should have rights too? And trees?”

     “Trees? Trees have rights?” stammered Chris.

     “And fetuses.”

     “No they don’t!” howled the nag from NOW.

     “Do so!”

     “Do not!”

     “All animals have rights, too,” insisted the tree hugger.

     “Oh, for chrissakes,” howled Chris.

     “So do black folks.”

     ‘’And gayths,” lisped Tinkerbell.

     “So do Innins.”

     “So do criminals. And victims.”

     “Victims? Victims of what?”

     “Anything.”

     “We need rules for tranthexuals. It’s not fair …”

     “Transexuals had better learn to use properly designated restrooms,” said a huge man standing on hillside nearby. He leaned against a tree pounding the side of a double-bitted ax into his palm. “I see one of them fellers that should be taking a leak in the Men’s Room dangling his bidness in the Girl’s Room, I know just how to make him the girl he wants to be,” he said, spinning the ax in his hand.

      “Watch it, buster,” said the ACLU chick, pointing a finger at the big man. “You take the law into your own hands and …”

      “Don’t worry, lady. I won’t be taking anything into my own hands, eh, eh,” spinning the ax.

     “Ah-ah-ah-ah, let me outta here,” howled the crazed explorer. He and Amerigo parted company with America’s natives and sprinted down the beach to their dinghy. “Ho, ho, gotta go!” he yelled as they pushed off and hastily rowed into the waves. “Let’s head further down the coast,” suggested Chris, “maybe we can find a kinder, gentler place to discover … maybe someplace with an abortion factory … or having a mass execution … or maybe even a Nazi demonstration. All of which would be friendlier places to discover. Hurry, Amerigo! Don’t look back!”

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Stumblin' over "His" and "Hers"


I promised myself I was not going to write about religion, politics, or football this week. So I had to think over what was left to write about.

I was skunked until I somehow got into an article on MSN.com news about a Russian girl who went all out to acquire the looks and the physique of a Barbie doll – doll-like face, long blonde hair, exciting breasts, ultra-thin waist, long, slim legs with no cellulite. You get the picture.

 According to the pictures shown with the article, she came real close to looking exactly like a Barbie.  The part about her I didn’t get was that she was very rude to people less attractive than she (she compared Sarah Jessica Parker to a horse. While I never considered Parker a raving beauty, I don’t think “horse” was an apt, or a kind, description, especially coming from someone who spent every minute of the day trying to look more beautiful. Personally I think the Russian babe missed the mark. Up close, she appeared too “made up” to be beautiful.)

Apparently, this chick, who is heavy into spirituality, has a large following of Russian dames trying to look and act as she does. It’s good to know that there are at least some girls trying to look fit. There sure aren’t too many of them around here with the same mind set.  I’ve seen far too many young women walking around with rolls of fat protruding from under their tank tops and with thighs of the dimensions of a Russian weight lifter. When these gals bend over, we’re all treated to the “plumber’s view” of their butts.  This kind of body is a gift from sitting around with a video game, eating potato chips and drinking Pepsi, and avoiding the gym like the plague.

While the girls strive not to look their best, modern-day boys tend to emulate them. I’ve never seen so many effeminate guys. They walk with a bit of a swish, and lisp as though there is something caught between two front teeth. When the girls at least remember to comb their hair, the boys don’t bother. There are none who own a comb or a brush, that or they’ve not been taught how to use them.

Over the years there have been many different dolls –some, stare into space, some cry ‘Mama” when moved, some go”wee-wee” when properly stimulated. I always figured these to be “girl” dolls, though they could have been any gender. The first dolls I remember being of different sexes were Raggedy Anne and Andy.

Now I see where Mattel (the maker of Barbi and her boy pal, Ken) have expanded their idea of the “all-American male.” Only from the looks of things, “all-American” is a bit of a stretch. I grew up in a time when men were men (remember that part of the “All in the Family” theme song that went, “Girls were girls, and men were men; Mr. we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.” Men looked like men, men talked like men, men dressed like men, and they knew how to comb their hair. We are surrounded now by what has come to be known as “metrosexuals.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think it has to do with a mix of heterosexual and homosexual, metros being the guys that sort of look like guys but swish when they walk and lisp when they talk, and haven’t made up their minds who to sleep with yet (Maybe they never will).

 Mattel’s new metrosex dolls possess different skin tones , different hairstyles, different heights and builds, but from the looks of things manliness is passé. There are no dolls with beards or baseball caps. No bald heads. None are carrying a fishing pole or, God forbid, a rifle.

The average man in the East is a man by nature, the average man in the West is a man by culture. Western tradition held that a man needed to be a man: act like man, dress like a man, (which meant combing your hair before coming to the dinner table), and not taking any crap off anybody. And going hunting and fishing, playing football. (Soccer was out‒it was considered a girls’ game.) Much like it was here in the East, but wearing a cowboy hat and boots, and driving a pickup truck.
 I’m thinking we manly mendare I say macho menwill in a few years be replaced by “guys” that aren’t quite

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Taking $ from FDA Bad for Public Health


Sometimes I get a little weary about the laxity in standards in this country. I really wonder if there is a companyanywherewho wouldn’t do anything it takes to sell its products. Legal or illegal, moral or immoral, whatever it takes, as long they didn’t get caught.

For instance, there is a popular soda pop company that started selling its beverage in the 1800s. To insure a steady stream of customers, the company laced its drink with cocaine, which company officials knew was addicting. After addiction became epidemic, and hospital wards were swarming with newly minted cocaine addicts, the government stepped in and put a stop to the practice of drugging Americans in an attempt to get them to buy more of the company’s  soft drinks. Question: Do you think for a minute this company would not again begin the practice of lacing its beverages with cocaine if it was thought they could get away with it? And how do we know it’s not happening now? Can government agencies be trusted to periodically check the products of the beverage companies for addicting drugs. How can we be sure that a fat check sent to, say, the FDA couldn’t persuade one of its officers to turn the other way when samples of drug-laced beverages are submitted for testing?

You would likely think, Well, aren’t there rules to prevent such a practice?

The answer is, yes there are.

You might ask, Don’t American taxpayers pay the government (through taxation), which in turn pays the salaries of FDA officials to enforce the rules to protect those who eat, drink, and use medications approved by this department of the government?

You would think the answer would be an unequivocal Yes! But you would be only half right.

You see, the government pays only a part of the money that supports the FDA. Guess who pays the other part. If you said the industry that the FDA was created to oversee, you would be right.

Unbelieveable, given the sleezy reputation of the pharmaceutical companies, but absolutely true.

Since the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992, which says companies seeking approval for new drugs or drug updates must fork over user fees to the FDA, the pharmaceutical companies pay half the support for the agency. Before 1992, we taxpayers paid the whole bill, which, it would seem, makes the process much safer.  Remember, the drug companies are the ones who publicly say they will finance the testing of such-and-such experimental drug, but when the results don’t support the theory, they secretly discontinue testing, rearrange the data and submit bogus results for approval. The 1992 law says forget all the expensive preparation and just submit the crapola. We’ll take care of everything. Doesn’t that make you feel safe, though?

As this report is a bit out of sync with what I usually write, perhaps an explanation is in order. The reason I bring this up (seeing as the law has been in effect for 25 years) is that, according to statnews.com  Trump budgeteers plan to reduce the FDA’s budget by one billion dollars in the 2018 budget. The plan will mean that drug companies cough up higher user fees than in the past. Big Pharma is not accustomed to losing money via reduced profits and so can be expected to recoop what they can. Higher product prices, of course, but the most disturbing aspect is the possibility of “buying” the approval of a drug that may not be ready just yet. Or ever be ready.

I don’t think reducing the funding available for the proper inspection of medicines sold to the public is a safe and proper way to save money. There must be other places from which money can be removed that isn’t so potentially deleterious to public health.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How "Her"icanes Got Their Names


I’ve been wondering about all of these hurricanes and I’m pretty happy we don’t live anywhere near where hurricanes are.

If you thought Katrina was bad, back in ’05, Harvey was a complete disaster and it appears Irma was no pussy cat.

I began wondering about the names of hurricanes, so I did what most citizens in the Internet world do: I googled it. ( Google is, as you must know, the most important verb in the English language. It is the answer to almost any question and has been known to open up the whole world for those who avail themselves of it. But you must be sure not to let Google know too much about you, as the company has an intimate relationship with the feds.)

My first question regarding the names of hurricanes is where the names came from. Before 1979 all hurricanes had female names (a system begun in 1953)Gloria, Agnes, Hermione(?)but a group of women with nothing better to do with themselves, probably the NOW gang, thought it sexist that “her”icanes all were given women’s names. The issue was brought up in Congress (who very seldom has enough to do or when it does, very seldom does anything appropriate about it.) and a law was passed that made it a requirement that half of the she-named storms had to have boys names. So now we have Andrew, George, Rico and Jose and so on and on.

Something I didn’t know (or suspect)is that storms are named six years in advance. There are lists for the next six years. For example, this year hurricanes with such names as Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, and Gert have blown through someplace, and then as we by now know, Harvey, Irma, and perhaps, Katia, and if there are more storms, they’ll be called Lee, Maria, Nate and Ophelia, etc. I didn’t know hurricanes were prenamed. I had always thought some guy at the weather service said, “Okay, folks, here comes another one. Let’s put our heads together and think up a name. U-m-m let's see, we need a female name that begins with an “R”. Okay?” Next year the first three storms will be tagged Alberto, Beryl and Chris; in 2019, Andrea, Barry and Chantel. In 2023, a rotation of the same names used from 2017 through 2022 starts all over again.

There is, of course, an exception to the rule. If a storm is so deadly or costly that the use of its name for future storms would be considered inappropriate for (now hold onto your hats!) reasons of insensitivity, its name will be deleted from upcoming  lists. Yep. I hadn’t realized we needed to be concerned with the feelings of storms, but as we are so sympathetic to almost every other thing, it wasn’t hard to see it coming. (Yeah, I know what they meant, but it's fun to make fun of.)

For example, the name Camille (1969) was stricken from the list; Agnes has been stricken (as per the storm of 1972), Andrew because of its devastation in 1992; and Catrina, Dennis, Rita, Stan and Wilma (as per the storms of ’05); Sandy in 2012; Just last year the names Matthew and Otto were erased. There are many others (as our sensitivity increases). I just discovered my own namesakeFredericwas scratched in 1979, but I have no weepy feelings about it (but I’ll bet it got a bum rap).

There no doubt that we will never hear about another Harvey again. Or an Irma. It’s said Jose may linger for several days before assailing the Atlantic coast at some point. And “Katia” is out there someplace, destination unknown. Whether we’ll see either of the latter two on a list again is, at this point, a question mark. Let’s just say we hope not.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

From CNN to Congress, the BS Gets Deeper

As we are all aware, President Trump is being given a rough time. Not only foot-and-soldier Liberals (Progressives, whatever) hate the man because HRC lost the election, the warped media and even members of his own party, want to oust him from office. It's easy to understand the reasoning of Liberals (Progressives, whatever) and the liberal media, but why are fellow Republicans wanting him out? It doesn't make sense, unless, of course, the motives of the Right are known: President Trump wants to drain the swamp, the swamp likes things just the way they are.
When we parted company last week Red-State Louie, Pud Politico and I were sloshing through the halls and offices of the Center for Nitwitty News (CNN). As we progressed along it became necessary to exchange sneakers for knee-high galoshes, and a nice, young Republican entrepreneur out to make a few dollars, provided us with gas masks, in order to allow us to breathe; the stench was really getting bad.
We left the Center for Nitwitty News through a back door and crossed the street toward the Halls of Congress. The sloshing was becoming more and more difficult as the BS become outlandishly deep. Luckily another young Republican entrepreneur had a booth set up on the corner, selling hip waders. The BS was sneaking in over the tops of the knee-highs as we approached to look over the many styles and colors of hip waders on display. They came in pink and yellow, the most popular were those in variegated color patterns (for the ladies, I presume, but we were mildly shocked at the number of frilly patterns being chosen by frilly men).
Red State and I chose a pair of unfrilly black waders with white mermaid glued on the sides; Pud selected a pair of light green and chartreuse boots patterned in a series of ornate question marks, which caused the young entrepreneur to raise his eyebrows. He relaxed a bit when we explained that Pud was a Liberal (progressive, whatever) twit. The guy smiles and says he sees quite a lot of that around here.
We were given a nominal trade-in allowance for our knee boots. We slipped on the waders, making sure to fasten the shoulder straps (the guy recommended that we do so because the "excrement is very deep in the Halls of Congress."
And, boy, he wasn't kidding. It wasn't so much the depth of stuff at normal levels, but those lapping waves are a bitch. Seeing everyone in hip waders and a gas mask yondering through the poop was a rip.
We hadn't traveled far when we came upon a man trekking along clutching a stack of folders to his chest, and not wearing boots or a gas mask. He was headed somewhere talking on a cell phone and laughing about something. I stopped and asked him where were his boots and mask.
"Why would I need those things," he asked, his face an amused question.
"Because of the really bad smell and the hip deep BS we are walking through," says I.
"Funny, I don't smell anything bad, and we in the Senate refuse to lower our work to the level of BS."
"What would you call what you do?"
"We call it the important work of the people," says he.
"Is that so?"
"Yep."
"What was the last important thing you did?"
"Actually, we have a lot of important legislation we're holding back, until we get rid of Trump," he said with a smirk. "We're for a lot of things the president doesn't like."
"Let me guess," says I, "you guys want to spend more money foolishly and Trump won't go for it. Right?"
The guy offers up an embarrassed shrug, and with a red face, says, "Well, er, I wouldn't call it 'foolish', exactly."
"What exactly would you call what Congress does? I mean other than approve the policy of asset forfeiture, effectively allowing offices of the federal government to steal the belongings from homes in the private sector."
"Well, you see ... um, we didn't think the time was right for a, uh,  tax increase, and as we like to spend money and needed more of it ..."
"You thought it would be okay to just take it from the people. That's theft!"
"But when Congress steals, er, that is, takes the money, it's okay."
"It may be legal, but it ain't okay. Not all of that money is used for legitimate purposes, I hear; what happens to the rest?"
"Well, eh, eh, I'm not supposed to say."
"I hear Congress threw an incredible Christmas bash last year using forfeiture money. And did ATFB actually use a chunk to buy a luxury yacht to play around in?"
"I wouldn't know anything about that." Clutching the folders tighter, he said, "I really have to go. Duty calls."
"And there's still money to be spent?"
"Of course. And you know something, smart ass, there ain't a damn thing you can do about it"
And that's exactly why we were wearing hip boots and gas masks.






















Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Inside the Center for Nitwitty News


Have you been wondering what the big fuss over Confederate monuments is all about? Since we talked together last week, there has been a huge upheaval in interest about the monuments, most of which were raised more than a century ago.

There’s something fishy going on here.

Something diabolical is happening.

It sure enough has to be a cabal of Progressive rabble-rousers attempting to cause problems for the president. Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? George Soros? Or any number of other low-lying creatures (say, the national media) trying to have President Trump impeached (for who knows what? He’s done nothing illegal.)We should applaud the man for hanging in there in opposing the slings and potshots flung his way.

No member of the media that I have heard has had a single decent thing to say about Donald Trump, although the man has set an ambitious agenda that would Make America Great Again. It appears he’s not getting very much help from anywhere, left or right. It could be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got something right when he stated that perhaps the president was not accustomed to the slower pace that legislation in D.C. takes. I’m sure there are no successful CEOs who would tolerate such a pace in business. It doesn’t work that way in the world of industry – you get it done yesterday !

I must admit that I don’t have much time for watching CNN, MSNBC and other crappy stations of that kind. The few times I have listened, I quickly got the gist of the conversations ‒ Everything is Trump’s fault. Trump won the election because of the Russians. Impeach Trump! Never once have I heard a satisfactory reason for impeaching the president, other than these networks don’t like him and they’re mad as hell that Hillary lost the election.

Tough shit, I say. I didn’t like it when Barack O. won back in ’08, either.

The truth is, though, there’s still good and bad news. The good news is the House leader has chosen not to censure the president – the reason being, there is no reason to. Much more disturbing is that the LGBTQ (it’s getting more and more difficult not to be represented by one of those letters) is considering suing for reparations for fat, black, oddball chicks. (Do not doubt me – if this baloney is brought forward for legislative debate (especially in New York), we will be supporting fat, black, queer chicks. It’s a done deal. Politicians do not have the cojones to vote it down.)

 

Meanwhile, back to our investigation of the roots of the latest social turmoil. Me and my buddy Red State Louie and our not-too-bright Progressive hanger-on, Pud Politico, were cracking back a few at the Gurglin’ Hen and Psuedo-Rooster House of Cocktails, near Democrat headquarters in D.C.

“Didja hear,” says our erudite Liberal colleague, “where Virginia Governor McAuliffe has stepped forward to propose profound anti-gun legislation again. He’s a hell of a man, that McAuliffe, ain’t he?” Pud raised a glass of green beer to toast the governor. “Although I don’t suppose you two will think much of it.”

Red State slugged down a shot of barleycorn neat, and says, “We don’t think nothing of it because McAuliffe’s an idiot, just like the retard in the governor’s office in New York.

“Tell us something, Pud, if nobody was shot at at Charlottesville, why does the governor think it’s necessary to bring up the gun issue again?”

“But, er …”

“Shut up, Pud,” says I. Let’s take a walk over to the CNN building. I’ll bet we can get some real poop on social turmoil over there.”

“CNN? Why are you picking on CNN?” asked Pud.

“It’s the Center for Nitwitty News. If there’s any behind-the-scenes crapola going on to foment riots in the country, the Center for Nitwitty News is the right place to start looking.”

It didn’t take long to verify my observation. An unpleasant odor wafted on the afternoon D.C. breeze. The closer we strode the stinkier the smell roiled to greet our nostrils. At the entrance some enterprising young fellow, obviously a Conservative entrepreneur trying to make a buck, was selling disposable oxygen masks. The only people not breathing through such an apparatus were obviously Liberal employees, who did not recognize the stink as stink. For them, everything was fine.

We each bought a mask and quickly slipped it on. What a relief! We then progressed to the back of the lobby to wait for an elevator.  We stopped at the first floor.

As the doors slid open we viewed the Center for Nitwitty News newsroom. The place was huge and, by the looks of things, there was a lot of smelly stuff happening in the news‒or maybe just the newsroom.

“Look at the monitor,” yelled one reporter, obviously a novice, “there’s a triple murder in Baltimore! Three cops shot down!”

“Never mind that,” yelped an editor, “here’s a report that came from someplace that says an anonymous email was sent to somebody that says that maybe President Trump got help from the Russians in the election  … Get right on it; I want it for the 6 o’clock news.”

“You see there,” yelped Politico, “now that’s real investigative reporting. That editor should be up for a Pulitzer. I’m notifying the committee right now,” he said reaching for his phone.

Red State and I progressed on through the room, leaving Pud in his tracks. The floors became slippery with a smelly brown substance that we soon recognized as bullshit. As it began slopping over the tops of our sneakers we stumbled into a closet and found, to our everlasting relief, a box of knee-high galoshes. We quickly slipped into a pair and continued our walk through the dark halls of pernicious, Progressive  rumors.

There were offices on either side of a long hallway. From well down the hall a voice rang out, “Halleluyah, lookee here! A government truck collided with a bus that had a donkey painted on the side in Hollywood.  An obvious political smackdown on Progressive ideas and ideals. I think we can blame it on Trump and demand impeachment. Get on it, People!”

“Now there you go,” howls Pud, “Progressives doing their jobs. I love it.!”

“Doing their jobs?” asks Red State. “Whatever do you mean? Since when have Progressives had any Ideas and ideals? It’s just a bunch of jackasses braying at the moon.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What? There are Nuts in California?


While sitting back this morning, enjoying a magazine and a cup of joe, wondering what to put into this space, I encountered a story about my boyhood hometown.

Now you might wonder why I would think a story about my boyhood hometown would interest you (and maybe it won’t), but give me few lines to make my case.

A couple of years ago, while beginning a memoir, I went on Google Earth to find the place of my youth. I hardly recognized the place; it is quite a bit bigger than when I left there many years ago. At that time the population of Los Molinos, California was around 500; now it’s upwards of 3,000. Quite a difference. As there is not much by way of job opportunities in the village, I thought it might be a bedroom community for Red Bluff, a town about 16 miles north. Then I noticed one of those popup websites that said Red Bluff was one of the 10 most redneck towns in Californiajust like Hornell, Bath and Penn Yan are in New York. After scanning around with the online satellite, I began wondering why Los Molinos wasn’t designated a redneck town. Must not have had a Walmart, which really is one of the criteria.

Anyway, I scanned south in order to find the old homestead. It would have been mostly unrecognizable except for the two streams running through it that flow in a recognizable pattern. The old farmhouse was gone, burned down according to one source then replaced with an equipment shed. The biggest difference was a half mile north at the site of the farm buildings. Nothing there was the same; similar but different, causing a twinge of nostalgia to pass through me, a longing for what had been.

The item in the magazine that seized my eye spoke of Los Molinos, now a mecca for nut growers, as the site for a major theft of walnuts.

Los Molinos is situated on the northern edge of California’s Central Valley, the agricultural center of the state and one of the largest of food production areas in the United States. The northern area, in which the old homestead rests, has been turned over to the production of walnuts. Not entirely, of course, but mostly. Most of the land east of US99E was in walnuts.

Tehama County, where the village sits, has always been an agricultural community; every kind of edible product was grown there. We had a dairy farm, next door to the north cropsoats, barley, alfalfa were grown, next it was pigs; further north were prune orchards. The farm to the south grew peaches and grapes and pigs (An adventure of mine on each of these places can be read in the memoir, which will be out in the few months). A friend’s dad had honey bees. And on and on. Now it was mostly nuts.

The way things are going in California, I would have thought all of the nuts would be found in Sacramento (the capital) or Beverly Hills (where the movie stars live.) This became a paramount idea when it was announced that California was seceding from the union. You had to know there were nuts behind that idea. Then they doubled down by making every town a sanctuary for illegal aliens, even though the state would lose most of its federal funding for doing so. I’m sure they were incensed at the audacity of Republican President Trump’s making such a suggestion, but the sages of Sacramento simply said they would raise taxes to cover the loss. Now most of us know that California is one of the highest taxed states in the union already. Right? But the nuts, and there are lots and lots of nuts in California, said “Ah, go ahead and tax us some more. We’d like it!”

Whadya expect? These are mostly Liberals, you know. Most of the state’s Conservatives have already left the Nut State for less nutty places to live. The move became imperative when it was divulged that the loss of federal money far exceeded the state’s GDP. But that was only Reason Numero Uno. Numero DosThe legislation sanctioning sanctuary to people who should not be allowed in the United States did not address those with criminals records. So not only do California Nuts have to support welfare-bound illegals, they will have to fork over more of their pay in order to punish evil-doers.

But what the heck? These are nutty Liberals we’re talking about. You can just hear them, now: “Taxes? More taxes? Heck, man, bring ‘em on! We’re stupid-assed Liberals. We’d enjoy that!”
But please keep in mind, oh readers of mine, the ones saying this are Southern Nuts. We from the North are much smarteralthough we are known to use an illegal to pick a few nuts from time to time. And milk the cows and feed the pigs and harvest the grapes and the apples and the

Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump Effect Not a Bad Thing


About half of the people in the US approve of President Trump’s job performance for the first half of the year. There are, however, about an equal number that disapprove. Most of the detractors, as you would think, are Liberals, mostly the anti-American media. These schlubs will never, ever approve of anything that Trump accomplishes.

During the Trump campaign in 2016, there was a phenomenon known as the “Trump Effect” which was suppose to describe the effect of Trump’s prognostications on school bullying. It was, of course, Liberal tripe. I have a better idea: why not refer to some of the nice things happening because of the influence of Trump as the “Trump Effect”? For example, protections for the unborn are gaining across the country, and there is a determined effort to secure religious liberty.

To wit:

A movement against committing murder in the womb is gaining strength in Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky may become the first state to do away with abortion clinics completely. Efforts by Planned Parenthood to construct new abortion clinics have been stopped, and it is now illegal to kill children who have reached 20 weeks of development. Requiring doctors to show pregnant women ultrasounds of their maturing babies is required by law.

The state of Tennessee followed suit by making it illegal to kill an unborn baby beyond viability (able to survive outside the womb).

Indiana tightened parental consent laws by allowing a judge to inform the parents of underage girls when she is considering an abortion. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are going crazy trying to eliminate this unprecedented expansion of parental rights. Previously parents had no say in what went on behind the hallowed doors of the abortionists.

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill that denies reimbursement to abortion clinics relying on Medicaid. The law went into effect July 1. Health servicesunrelated to killingwill still be refunded.

Catholics have sued the city of St. Louis for disrespecting the religious liberty rights of employers and landlords opposed to abortion. The law mandates that all employersincluding catholic institutionsmust respect the reproductive health decisions of it employees. This could mean that pro-abortion teachers may have grounds to sue if denied a teaching job at a Catholic school. Such a charge against the school would, of course, require proof on the part of plaintiff.

The Texas legislature passed a bill that respects the autonomy of foster care and adoption agencies that receive public funding. As might be expected, radical homosexuals, as well as men and women who have undergone surgery to acquire the genitals of the opposite sex, are hugely unhappy with this move toward religious liberty. What’s good news for the ninety-plus percent is sour grapes for those who have been behind the pushing of deviant legislation down our throats for so long. Perhaps someday we’ll see the end of allowing whatcha-ma-callits into the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with President Trump. He said earlier this year it was not his intention to see Roe v. Wade ditched, then have the consequent abortion laws overseen by the federal government. Mr. Trump as well as the majority of Conservatives in America believe personal issues should be legislated by the states, not Washington. That the above states are leading the way in relieving the nation of some egregious laws without the fear of Washington interfering might truly be called the “Trump Effect.”

 This kind of thing does of course have the ACLU and Planned Parenthood screaming, with much pulling out of hair and gnashing of teeth, and crowing about how unfair it all is. Tough stuff. Tell that to the 60-plus-million tiny souls condemned to death without a life. These assholes need to get a heart, and forget about this “it’s a woman’s right” crap. We’ve seen what happens when women get a choice. Sixty million killings in 44 yearsone million three hundred fifty thousand babies per year who never got a chance to live so the mother could have the convenience of not being pregnant.

Way to go, ladies!

Congrats!

That’s real close to the total number of people killed in the whole world during World War II. What you’ve done is shown, that when given a choice, what your priorities are. Death over inconvenience.

You should be so proud.
The time is past (and has been for a long time) for this insanity to end. And hopefully it will, but, sadly, probably not in New York. Our Democrat politiciansnamely, Shumer, Gillibrand and Crowmowill assure the time-honored tradition abortion-on-demand persists in our state. Time to consider replacements

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People III


It sometimes bothers me, and I would be willing to bet it bothers most of you, that there seems to be no “divine” exceptions when it comes to pain and misery for nice people. Most nice people, if asked, would cast their vote for catching a break when suffering is involved. (Now that I think about it, most not-so-nice people would also vote that way – but good people are more deserving, right?)

My wife is one of the nicest people God ever put on earth. There is no one who knows her would disagree - even those who don’t know her personally but have heard of her kindnesses would agree. It would seem that if God were truly on the ball when it comes to dishing out fair treatment where pain and suffering are concerned, Mary would catch a break. That God would be nicer to her, if for no other reason, so she can keep doing for people the way she does. But no, that’s not the case. She battles neck pain, back pain, and really bad pain in her legs most every day. Then there’s the pain in her shoulders and the arthritis in her hands … well, you get my drift. She is just one of many good people who suffer the aches and pains of growing older.

But Mary does not blame God for the pain she suffers. Quite the contrary. She attributes the pain she doesn’t have to God. She’ll have a good day, one without much pain, and she thanks God for it. She also thanks God for being otherwise healthy. (In fact, at this very minute, she can’t wait for the grass to dry so she can mow.)

I only bring this up because, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a way of looking at God that’s a bit different. Too many of us blame God for things that befall usa crippling injury, a terminal illness, the loss of a job, a financial setback, etc.but seem to forget about Him when perhaps a bit of praise is due. I often complain about my physical problems, but as painful as they are at times, they do not compare to cancer or Alsheimers  or the many other serious maladies that afflict mankind. I always thank God for my lack of such illnesses (I often wonder why I bother. It would seem that if he can keep cancer away, he could fix a bad back, but He doesn’t bother).

Ever think what it would be like to live forever? Of course, as mortals living forever isn’t possible. But what if it was? Would people who suffer from pain suffer forever? Or would the pain go away at some point? Would people who suffer from cancer or Alsheimers  be afflicted until the end of time? It would seem that would be a suitable punishment for really bad people.

Have you ever read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? Goes something like this: In Swift’s land of Luggnaggians, occasionally a child was born with a red spot on his forehead. This red spot was a sign that the child would never die. Gulliver, our traveler, believes these people to be the most fortunate people imaginable, being born exempt from that most fearsome of human maladies, death. But the longer Gulliver stays in Luggnaggia, he comes to realize the inhabitants are the most miserable of creatures. The immortals grow old and feeble; their friends die off. At the age of eighty, their property is confiscated and given to their children, who would never, otherwise, inherit from them. Their bodies acquire various ailments, they accumulate grudges and grievances, they grow weary of living, and they can never look forward to being released from the drudgery of life.

The reader of Gulliver’s Travels comes to pity the person who cannot die. A person who lives with pain might agree with that assessment. At some point, death would be agreeable.

If people lived forever the world would become impossibly crowded. The amassed throngs would likely not be allowed to have children. In fact, you and I may never have been born. The way things are, the way God designed the world(?), is an efficient way for the old to make way for the new. It is never good that the new make way for the new. The death of a child is a sad, sad affair.

Although there are instances when death is agreeable, it is something else again to try to tell a person who has lost a parent, a spouse, or a child that death is appropriate. We have seen instances of this, and it is a thoughtless practice to try to convince parents that their little boy who was run down in the street chasing a ball that the little fellow is in a better place. It’s a callus practice, still in use by many priests, in an effort to make us feel better.

Thing is, we can’t explain untimely death any more than we can explain life itself.

And nobody has been able to offer a satisfactory explanation for that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People II


As a result of our last meeting, it is right to say that life ain’t fair.

That’s odd. I was always told, as a kid, life is fair; life is what you make it. It was only later I starting hearing something closer to the truth: Life’s a bitch and then you die.

True, it’s not that way for everybody. Some people get through life without major calamity befalling them. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not fair to the rest of us who have suffered to some degree, or a lot, whatever we believe God has stricken us with.

But is all the pain in the world really God’s fault?

Some say yes, because is he not all-powerful and is he not responsible for everything that happens in the world? Some are a little kinder in their assessment of God; they say, God is just and fair and wants people to get what they deservethe good will prosper and the bad are punished. Into this we must add a plea for ourselves: We are good people. (If you’re not good; if you sell drugs, molest children, kill people, are a thief, this applies to you also, as there is no guarantee God will punish you. For some reason, the rules break down here.)

If God is both just and powerful then we deserve whatever he deems is fitting and should consider it our due. But we’ve agreed that God is not fair in His treatment of us. So perhaps we need to erase the word “just” and just think of God as powerful. Like one of the kings of olden times who held the power of life and death of all their subjects in their hands. Think about that. Having that kind of power and not even being gods. They just thought they were. You can bet their subjects had other words for them.

So now God is not “just”, he’s just powerful. We can pray for interventions on our behalf, or the behalf of others, but God is free to ignore them. Or is He just so busy He doesn’t hear us? At any rate, even with all his power, he chooses not to alleviate our suffering.

No matter what, we are still asked to believe God is good and has control of everything in the universe. But the one thing I’ve never been able to understand is why God chose to not reveal himself in the past two thousand years. It is precisely that he does not respond to prayers and never appears that he loses fans. Millions of people still flock to church and pray to him simply because humans need a supreme being to pray to. If He showed up just once and let us know He really and truly exists, you can bet the world would be a more moral place in which to live. You know the TV commercial in which two guys are mooning over a couch. One guy is holding a crowbar (we suspect he used the tool to gain entry) and he says, “I gotta have it,” meaning he plans to steal the couch. I wonder if he’d dare do it if he thought God might be watching.

But of course, it is God’s sympathy, accountability, and fairness that are at issue, not His existence. Most of us would not deny the existence of Godof course, there is a god; the universe, the earth, the human race all had to come from someplace.

 Of course, with a god we believe to be all-powerful but not just, we must recognize that with those creds he doesn’t have to be fair. All we can do is hope … and pray, just don’t count on it doing any good.

I would think that God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but it’s pretty obvious he cannot always bring it off. On a planet with 6 billion people, how could it be possible for even an all-powerful god to keep cruelty and terrorism and disease from claiming innocent victims. But you must ask yourself, would a world without at least the concept of God be better off? There are a lot of good people in the world who are good only because of their belief in and their fear of God. How the others avoided God is beyond me. He’s supposed to be everywhere.

So now if we swap out all-powerful for just and fair, where does that leave us? Our usual response to a diagnosis of disease or a crippling injury is to blame God. But we have just absolved God from blame for such things. He simply doesn’t have the time or, when you think about it, the motivation to pick you out of all the people on earth to hammer with a bad disease or injury. (Let’s face it, kiddo, no matter how bad you are or have been, there is someone out there much worse than you) And let’s get serious, is there any way He could keep an eye on the hundreds of trillions of chemical reactions going on in the bodies of every human being, every second of every day?

We have all (well, most of us anyway) grown up believing in an all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing God and it will be very hard for us to change our way of thinking about Him. To change our thinking on any of these ideals of Him is, well, unthinkable. We want to hold on to our thoughts about what God is, just as we wanted to hold on to our conceptions about our parents when we were childrenall-powerful, all-knowing. Remember? Dad with his know-how and magic hands could fix anything and Mom could fix the most painful boo-boo with a peck on the nose and a hug. Later, however, we discovered the fallibility of our parentsbroken toys had to be thrown out because they could not be fixed, not because Dad didn’t want to fix them. And there were some boo-boos Mom could not kiss away. Just as these things were realized, we must come to grips with the knowledge there are some things God does not control. With this knowledge we can afford him the same consideration we gave our parents when we had to change our minds about them.

 We can then quell our anger, and maintain our self-respect and sense of goodness about ourselves, without feeling that God has judged us and condemned us because we were bad in this or a previous life. That bad things happen to good people and God isn’t picking on just you.

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People


Today’s topic will upset some people; some, probably most, will agree. It has been in the forefront of my mind for some time as I am reminded of past friends who had not completed their lives peaceably, and recently met some new ones with debilitating ailments.

From time to time I read on Facebook comments made by a, seemingly, young woman who is suffering from cancer. I do not know her but I know about her, as I have known many under such circumstances. When I read her comments and those of others, I ask myself why is this happening? Why does this young woman, who I believe has young children, and my many friends and acquaintances have to suffer before they die?

I had always thought the reason for pain was to inform the body there was something wrong, so it could be fixed. But what is the reason for ongoing pain, which is what most of us experience?

The woman on Facebook’s words echo the pain she suffers from cancer every day, long after she is aware of the condition. Her words are pleas for a release of her suffering. She must know, as we all know, there is only One with power to help her. All of us in pain, all who suffer some sort of grief, pray that He will response in a kind and gentle way. After all, is He not kind and gentle?

Why is it then I’ve never seen an instance where He has shown a suffering person His mercy? Suffering people continue to suffer. Family and friends stricken by the tragedy wait for their prayers to be answered, but they never are. They must come to terms in whatever way they can. It’s best not to wait for God’s help.

Throughout our formative years, listening to sermons or homilies, we are reminded of God’s promise to reward those people who behave well and do good things and to punish those who stray and do evil. But is this really the way it works? Looked at with an objective eye, God’s system of reward and punishment seems arbitrary, or more appropriately, totally unfair. By all accounts Lou Gehrig was a nice man, but he ended his days suffering from the horribly debilitating disease that bears his name. One of the greatest Yankee hitters of all time is remembered more for the disease God would not take away than for his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. Where’s the justice in that? Pointless suffering seems more the rule than the exception.

There are thoseand I’m acquainted with severalwho believe those that suffer are being punished for some foul deed committed either as an adult or as a child, in this life or a previous one.

I don’t know about you, but I would have a terrible time attending services sponsored by a god who caused a tiny child to bear the ravages of leukemia or would lay the burden of cancer on a young mother for a morally wrong deed committed in a previous life.

If this belief were not a part of the fiber of some religious ideal and thought of as sacrosanct, it would be considered ludicrous.  Yet when you tell these people that it cannot be, that a kind and sensible God doesn’t work that way, they look at you with wide, round eyes that say, “That’s what we believe. Nothing you say (no matter how much sense you make) is going to change that. So there!” They stop a bit short of sticking their tongues out at you.

I’ve wondered if the severity of the punishment is intended to reflect the degree of naughtiness committed. If so, the poor soul on Facebook must have been a monster. But somehow I don’t believe that to be the case. She doesn’r come across as a Stalin or a Hitler or a Ma Barker, for that matter.

My friend Don Terry, a truly wonderful man, died of Alsheimers at age 56. Don suffered the ravages of dementia , as did his family and friends, from age 51. Suffered, died, and was buried in only five years. I’m not aware of any offense that deserves that fate.

Sometimes it’s not the afflicted who suffer. By wife’s brother John drown in Long Island Sound at age 19. No one knows the exact circumstances, he was found in the water by his cousin (who, by the way, is currently dying from a brain tumor). The “compassion” of some members of the NYC police department was on full display when John’s parents returned home from work to find a note stuck to their front door. The note said, “Your son DOA, Bronx Hospital.” That’s it. Nothing more. The shock to these two kind and gentle souls, and John’s two brothers and his sister, was profound. John was a really good kid and surely didn’t deserve to die at such a young age.

As an additional kick in the teeth, the priest, during the funeral, spoke of how God does not lay heavier burdens on us than we can bear.  My father-in-law responded to this hoi polloi by saying, “I wish He hadn’t thought we were so tough.”

It’s odd, isn’t it, that so many people who have had burdens laid on them, burdens they were supposed to be able to bear, thought the burdens were almost too much. Many lives were ruined by such burdens.

I once heard a homily in which the priest did his best to make a case for pain and suffering as educational. I paraphrase his closing remark: “The purpose of suffering is to repair that which is faulty in a man’s personality.”

What?

He was saying that just as a parent must punish a child whom he loves, for the child’s sake, so the child will learn an important lesson, God must punish us for being “bad men and women.” When God’s in a good mood he gives us a bad cold or the flu. When He’s feeling a bit crotchety, he hits us with cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease or MS in place of a slap on the butt for being naughty.

I don’t buy it, not a bit of it.

How can a kind and merciful god belabor good folks with unbearable suffering (never offering a bit of relief) and allow those who bring unspeakable misery to the rest of us to live long lives unscathed?  It makes no sense. And if it makes sense to God, he’s wrong

I don’t believe God has anything to do with any of this. He doesn’t prevent and he doesn’t promote.  I’m not even sure He can make suffering disappear. Keeping track of hundreds of trillions of chemical reactions wouldn’t be possible for even God. He’d have to goof up someplace.

The conundrum is this: If God is all-powerful then he should be able to cure our suffering; if he can’t (or won’t) then he’s not the kind and merciful God he’s made out to be. What are we going to do about that?

I haven’t the faintest idea.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Building a Worthwhile Liberal


I was exploring the origins of political types when I happen to wander into the pits of Hell.

Well, come to think of it, I wasn’t quite to Hell just yet, but, judging by the heat, I knew I was close.

I stumbled into a large room. There were two human-like people there, one in a gown and sported a pair of wings and a halo. The other was all red and naked, had a long tail with a spear point at the end and a set of horns. The two were making plans to work on a project together.

“So what are we going to make,” asked the winged one.

“A humanoid political type, replied the one in red.

“Sounds interesting. Where do we start?”

“First, we fill these molds,” sweeping an arm to direct attention to several thousand more or less human-shaped molds scattered throughout the room, “with this mixture of sludge and muck dare we call it schmuck, for shortand allow it to harden. This, of course, is the concoction for building Liberal types.”

“The mixture is different for Conservatives?”

“Oh, gosh yes. For the Conservative political type, we will use a much more refined, but as yet undetermined, mold full of muck.”

“But where do we find more refined political muck?’

“Don’t forget, we are in the early stages of our experiment. There will be mistakes. It’s best to make all our mistakes with Liberals. Then when we get to making Conservatives, we’ll have worked out all the kinks, and have a blueprint for fine, upstanding human beings. Worthwhile people.”

“Liberals aren’t worthwhile?”

“Nah, not by a long shot. So far we just have prototypes with a half a brain. They really shouldn’t have any legitimate standing in the human community. But crap happens. Look, you can’t realistically expect us to get it right the first time. Maybe after cooking up a few more batches of schmuck, we’ll get the hang of it.” He said this while pouring a large chunk of schmuck into a mold, lowering the lid, and turning up the heat. 

“Whoa, boy, does that stuff stink,” waving her hand in front of her nose.

“Yep, that’s liberals for you. A smelly bunch.”

“Will these Liberals talk and think?”

“Oh, boy, will they ever talk. Yak, yak, yakety yak, all the time.  Mouths going a mile a minute. Never shutting up, especially if one feels he’s been offended, then they all chime in to protect the damned fool. Thing is, for the most part, they’ll make no sense.”

“That’s strange, human-types are usually pretty smart.”

“Not so with Liberals. Brains are a scant commodity in Liberalville. Ones with brains are hugely rare and highly regarded because of their rareness.”

“Can you name a highly regarded Liberal?”

“I can’t, no. But if you ask Liberals, they’ll name some, I’m sure. For instance, Liberals think Barack Obama is the cat’s ass, as well as Slick Willie Clinton and his wife, Nutty Nancy, and Cherokee Elizabeth Warren.”

“Conservatives don’t believe these are worthwhile people?’

“Let’s just say Conservatives think we’d all be better off if they weren’t around.”

“You were saying Liberals don’t think very well. Don’t you think they will be upset about that and demand more brains?”

“Hell, these fools think they have all the brains, now. They criticize Conservatives no end for being stupid. Hillary called Conservatives despicable, when it is Liberals that are despicable because of their total disregard for the truth, and the lies they spread about other people.”
“If these are the prototypes of Liberals, how is it we have such horrible examples of liberalism already?”

“There is batch of early protoLiberals out there. We didn’t do anything right with that bunch. The group includes all the usual suspectsDingy Harry Reid, HRC, Nutty Nancy, Cherokee Liz, Chucky Shumer. And, of course, BHO. The project nearly fell apart when he came along. The Boss was tempted to move up the Second Coming and smite the Liberal population. But, being the good guy that he is, he relented. Conservatives howled, sure the Boss left them here to irritate the hell out of decent people, making them more suitable for Heaven.”

“Tell me. What went wrong with the early prototypes and is likely to go wrong with this bunch we’re cooking up, now?”

“Well, to make a really good human political type you need lots of really good glue. One of the problems we had was that the glue we received was substandard. We didn’t know this and went and made quite a number of substandard Liberal political typesNutty Nancy, Dingy Harry, HRC, to name a fewall of whom became unglued at one time or another. It was an ugly thing for regular Liberals to see their political leaders lose their freaking minds.”

“Doesn’t that ever happen to Conservatives?”

“Never!”

“What else can happen to Liberals to cause them to lose their sloppily designed minds?”

“Many things, actually, but the most important thing is that we were so anxious to release our invention, we got into too much of a hurry and released them too soon.”

“What on earth happened?”

“We were using apprentice mechanics, to save some money, and, of course, come Friday afternoons and Monday mornings, we weren’t seeing their best work.”

“Oh, yes, the long weekend syndrome.”

“Exactly. Those little devils got in a hurry and released onto the world massive numbers of Liberals with loose screws. Some had light bulbs in their heads that flickered out. And there were those walking around strumming their lips and making goo-goo sounds. Somehow there were an inordinate number of these who got spots on cable television.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gaggle Has Ruined Major Media


As a member of the press for many years, I am understandably upset with the shenanigans of major media.
While I was writing news for The Evening Tribune there was a concerted effort on the part of the editorial staff to assure the news was reported in a fair and straight-forward manner. Both Managing Editor Kelly Luvison and City Editor Neil Coombs read every submission for publication with a practiced and critical eye.  Facts had to be checked. If possible, the item had to be balanced, with both sides of the story told (at times this was not possible as there were times when one of the parties refused comment. This was noted in the item so readers would know attempts were made to convey a fair and balanced piece.)The item, of, course, had to be truefiction had no place in a newspaper (unless it was labeled as such). Editorializing (the writer inserting his own opinion) was not allowed in a news story (although opinion pieces could be submitted for the Editorial Page.) And there was no such thing as an ‘Unnamed Source’. If there was a citation, there was a source. Period. All of these criteria fell under the rubric of responsible journalism.
It’s not like that anymore.
Somewhere along the line “fair and balanced’’ was tossed aside and replaced with the swill currently being presented as “news.”
Where does it say it’s okay to call the President of the United States a liar – not just once but routinely? Most of the nation’s major newspapers and news agencies have made a habit of besmirching the name and character of the rightly and unanimously elected leader of our country. The New York Times and the Washington Post are leading the way. Neither of these organs ever called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Bengazi attack was caused by an internet video.”  Indeed, the Times and the Post, along with the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the BO administration, never seeing even an iota of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tough on Hillary Clinton at times, but they never called her a liar, despite such lulus as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” Apparently only Donald Trump is fair game to be called a liar, although there has been no reason to do so. But then the Donald has an R after his name.
The New York Times at one time had a reputation for the highest standards of journalism. The standards stated above were reinforced over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain the public trust. Many times during my college years I referenced the Times to research an article or for a paper I was writing. I also used the Times as a journalist to verify certain information to use in a piece for the paper. The Times was, after all, the newspaper of record. You could count on everything in it being true and factual. Not anymore.
Years ago, the editorial staff of the paper was run by managing editor Abe Rosenthal. Reportedly, Rosenthal was a tough but fair taskmaster when handling the reporters in his charge. He set the rules and they were followedor else.  Rosenthal was an adherent of responsible journalism, as were Luvison and Coombs. Abe Rosenthal is no longer with us and with him went the high standards of the Times. Its true that the journalistic standards of many of the country’s major newspapers took a licking as the leanings of editors and reporters went Left and there were no Rosenthals to put a stop to it.
The current editor of the Times, a guy named Dean Baquet, sees no harm in allowing his writers to trample the standards the paper was noted for for decades. He relishes the practice of calling the president a liar and freely prints that whatever the president says is false. Under his dominion the age-old standards of determining who, what, where, how, and why has been added the reporters’ opinion. Baquet has decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship can be abandoned in favor of Liberalism, apparently without consequence.
I don’t believe that is possible. I think that not only the public trust shared by the Times but many of the other major newspapers that have deemed to abandon sound journalistic standards has been lost, not to be recovered. The internet will provide truth seekers with their news

The Flip Side