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satire on the campaign trail
The Republican Party confirmed Wednesday that George Bush was once President of the United States.
“We’re just trying to clear the air and make it clear we’re all about transparency,” said GOP spokesman Frank Billingham. “There have been all these press reports that he was president and, rather than fan more speculation, we confirm that he was, indeed, President of the United States – but, let me emphasize, for the point of absolute clarity, it was a long, long, LOOOOOONG time ago.”
ice cream trucks
As the northern hemisphere sinks slowly into increased darkness and a long cold winter the southern hemisphere is waking up to the sounds of spring and summer. The birds and the bees are happy, the gardens have come alive and the grass has started growing again. Families are heading for the parks and beaches to enjoy the warm days. The sounds of lawn mowers, edge trimmers, leaf blowers and chain saws fill the air.
poor school districts
You might not get much in your morning newspaper if reporters didn’t turn in stories by a certain time. Deadlines keep reporters — and columnists — on task. If there were not a specific time limit to submit a story for publication, the story might never get written. There’s always somebody else you can call or interview.
Like newspapers, courts set deadlines frequently. Time limits provide some certainty in the often long, convoluted judicial process and move cases along toward conclusions…
we got this one
Joe, we love ya, but please don’t run for president.
You are the man when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. You were there for the Bosniaks in 1994 when Clinton was timid, but you were wrong in 2006 when you voted for the Iraq war. Yet, we should have listened in 2006 when you wanted Iraq split into the three ethnic areas as it is today. Our troops might be home, the Islamic State probably wouldn’t exist and millions of refugees might be at home.
You were the man on justice for victims of domestic violence, against Bork and Thomas, assault weapons, hate and sex crimes, and privacy, but…
boys of summer
We are closing in on the start of the Fall Classic, only we’re not. It’s more like the beginning of the Winter Routine.
Through the years the World Series has slowly been pushed further and further back on the calendar until the point we can now hear Christmas commercials sprinkled in with reports of ERA and batting averages.
It doesn’t matter which of the current teams make the big dance.
“Give yourself a round of applause.” My wife Jody and I laughed as we read this equivalent to a Chinese fortune cookie phrase printed on the inside of a small Dove chocolate wrapper. In this after-dinner treat, we both saw the pompous face of a local blowhard passing out verbal unsavories that he had convinced himself were bite-sized bon mots. Pity the poor dinner partner or driving companion strapped in beside him and unable to escape.
As it turns out, you haven’t really ‘arrived’ in today’s world unless the Internet has declared you dead, defunct or ‘discontinued’ at least once. The reportage of death – or some other rite of passage – on the ‘Net is mostly unreliable. Often an Internet obit is a hoax. So when I first hear the latest rumor about PLAYBOY, it could only be that some digital-age scamps – some knuckle-brains — were screwing around on the Internet…
he has a dream
Fifty-two summers ago, Martin Luther King challenged our nation with these words: “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”
Today, some dream of placing a freedom bell on that mountain.
I have another dream today:
I have a dream that one fine day a little black boy and a little white boy will stand together side by side on top of Stone Mountain;
on the campaign trail:
Republicans expressed anger and resentment at the “lack of hate” in the Democratic debate Tuesday night that pitted front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton against self-declared socialist candidate, Bernie Sanders.
“I’ve heard all this talk on the radio about how they are destroying this country, how he’s such a socialist, and she’s such a liar, I just expected fireworks and a meltdown, the kind of hatred and vitriol we take for granted at Republican debates and campaign rallies,” said Ted Fletcher, who watched the debate with his family at their home in Satsuma, Ala.
dressed for success
Today something happened that rocked my world. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it wasn’t due to jamming knitting needles in my ears to prevent listening to the sea of stupid rolling from the mouth of Donald Trump. It wasn’t due to the reports of Ben Carson digging his way into another intellectual manure pile by saying all you have to do to stop a mass shooter is to for everyone to agree to rush the shooter all at once…
My wife Jody likes rocks. All kinds of rocks, small rocks to big rocks. Gravel to boulders. She loves to search for special rocks in creek beds where the flowing water has worn them smooth and brought out colors and nooks and crannies worn away by time and motion.
For years now, she’s coveted one such boulder that once just poked its head out of our road the way the iceberg did that proved fatal to the Titantic…
let freedom ring
Every now and then something comes down the pike that you know immediately it’s the proper thing to do, and that it just plains makes sense. You also wonder why no one has come up with this obvious idea before.
We refer to the story of this week that the Stone Mountain Memorial Association is planning to build a memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. atop the granite mountain. Not only that, but the Association has already earmarked monies to build it…
everyone has a story
Walk into any bar and begin telling a Comcast story. Within minutes it will escalate to violence. Each person topping the next with customer disservice and their loathing of one of our least favorite monopolies.
Everyone has a story. Most have more than one.
Mine began when I naively thought I could move my “service” with just a phone call…
worrying about fear
Sooner or later you have to face your fears.
You have to confront Goliath,’ the thing that’s always loomed large over your existence – the dead of night dark… the soaring heights… the closed-in spaces… flying … or circus clowns. Goliath bullies you, taunts you and then talks about your Mama. Mainly Goliath means to have his way with you, to beat you up, take your lunch money — and whatever esteem you have left.
a national treasure
Planning a trip to Michigan, we had heard about the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, so that was our first stop in a week’s trip to Michigan. It is adjacent to Greenfield Village, which we strolled around one morning, then took in the Museum in the afternoon. Both are stellar places to visit. The Village was created by Henry Ford to showcase many of America’s original historic homes.
on the campaign trail
To fend off the inevitable criticism from Democrats, liberals and the media that the next GOP Speaker of the House is so delusional he or she must be on drugs, the new Speaker will first have to pass a urine test. “That should settle the matter that they’re not on drugs, even all those guys in the Tea Party Freedom Caucus,” said a GOP insider, who compared the plan to being pulled over by a cop. “So you’re weaving like crazy, and blowing…
the way i see it
My eyes are super-sensitive, as I discovered fifty years ago when, walking on a gusty day on an unfamiliar city street, a piece of grit flew into my eye. I was in instant agony: blinking, holding the eyelid, eye watering and conscious of time changing. Seconds became nanoseconds of excruciation. I looked around with the good eye for help. In one of the most fortuitous coincidences of my life I was passing an optician’s shop…
“A new mentality is needed, and this implies above all a recovery of ancient and original wisdom. And a real contact with what is right under our noses.” — Thomas Merton, in a letter to Thich Nhat Hanh
On Thursday, September 24, I saw Pope Francis with my own eyes. That’s the gospel truth. Now the confession. I was attending the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate rally — organized to support the Pope’s call to action on climate change. That’s me on the right of the photo. That’s Doug, my Buddhist friend and climate troubadour, on the left.
Having returned from his trip to the U.S. where he addressed Congress, Pope Francis on Tuesday issued an encyclical from the Vatican warning of “man-made Global Dumbing.” “It disturbs me beyond belief the level of intelligence quotient that I encountered during my visit to the U.S., especially in the Republican-led Congress, where I’m guessing the average IQ must be in the high 70s or low 80s, at best,” Francis said, through an interpreter. “That’s unacceptable.”
no reason or compromise
I once worked for an abusive boss, a man who proved impossible to please. Congenitally mean, and though he wore no eye-patch, he had all of the charm, charisma and management style of your average, garden-variety Bond villain.
After three days on the new job, I knew I’d made a mistake. A year on the job, my misery factor was so high, I prayed (I was a church-goer in those days) one of us would either get a better job and move on — or that one of us would die, though preferably not me!
Despite the seeming endless number of deficiencies the South can lay claim too, there have always been two aspects which have set the South apart: writers and football. Southern writers, when they are good, are very, very good. From Tennessee Williams to William Faulkner to Erskine Caldwell, Southern writers tap into a part of the human equation at a singular depth of understanding…
the water is rising
An old Jewish curse says, “May Your Life Be Filled With Lawyers.” Better lawyers than bedpans. Unlike actors in televised medical fables, real people who work at hospitals, while sometimes angelic, are mainly natural-born Homo sapiens, just like the rest of us –- part devil, part saint, but all too human. They mostly mean well, but many days, they just do not give a flip. And some, like former President Dubya Bush, obviously chose the wrong line of work.
Talk about coincidence, I was thinking just the other day how popular song lyrics have changed over the years – and not for the better, I fear – when I stumbled into an odd kind of research online that supported my suspicion and set me to thinking about language in general. The research. Believe it or not, somebody has gone to the trouble – brace yourself – to count the words that have shown up most often in popular songs in every decade since the 1890s!
With the season upon us again my mind drifted back to my first year of NFL football. I had just arrived in New York and settled into a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn. After finding a job and a place to live I decided to watch this new game. I didn’t have television so went to the Irish bar below the apartment to watch the away games. Home games were blacked out in the New York area…
on the campaign trail:
Opp, Ala. – For the first time since announcing his run for president, Donald Trump spoke in tongues on Monday and told evangelicals gathered at a tent revival and barbecue he plans to get baptized in a creek before the next presidential debate.
The announcement at a rural Alabama Baptist church caught GOP observers by surprise as well as evangelicals gathered to hear the usual Trump stump speech denouncing Mexicans and insulting women.
my head hurts
It is just a matter of time until Medicare recipients are forced to wear a bell around their necks like Biblical lepers. Already, in some doctors’ offices, Medicare patients are as unwelcome as dog poo on a white Sunday shoe. Even some TV faith-healing evangelists no longer treat senior citizens.
There have always been some who loathed and despised poor sick people – not only Republicans…
a tender mercy
My heart like wax is melted. –Psalm 22:14
When I first met Allie and Ida, my wife Jody’s uncle and aunt, back in the late 1990s, Allie looked across the table at me and asked in his quiet and gentle way, “Are you a farmer, too?” I appreciated quickly that it would have been an honor to have been anything that Allie was. Ida was a treat, too, and became an e-mail buddy even before Jody and I were married.