Friday, December 29, 2017

Resolutions You Can Keep

    No doubt you’re all caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season what with present-buying, tree-trimming and eye-gouging. So it’s easy to forget that New Year’s is almost upon us.
     That’s why it’s a good idea to get a jump on that annual celebration and make your plans now including New Year’s resolutions. Remember last year when you resolved to lose weight, quit smoking or stop arguing about politics? If you’re like most folks, that resolution lasted about as long as the Christmas turkey leftovers.
     So spare yourself the shame and disappointment of again failing to stick to your resolutions beyond January 2nd and take some tips from an experienced resolver like me. Don’t set goals you know you’re not going to meet.
     Instead plan now to create a handful of resolutions, each of which will be a breeze to stick to. Resolutions like these:
Gain five pounds
     Instead of pointlessly resolving to lose weight, check your historical weight fluctuations and come up with a reasonable estimate of where you’re likely to be one year from now. Adding on five pounds should be eminently doable but, if you’re having doubts, just double it to ten.
Watch more TV
     You may wonder if you’re up to this challenge but, let’s face it, it’s not that hard. With today’s wealth of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Chromecast, you won’t just be watching TV, you’ll be binge-watching TV. Mission (and resolution) accomplished.
Become an oenophile
     Not to worry; this isn’t a call to become a book lover or a car enthusiast or anything like that. It’s just a fancy way of saying you’re going to drink more wine this coming year. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?
Tell more people to screw off
     Once you’ve made this resolution, you’ve got carte blanche to tell annoying folks to get lost. If they question your wisdom, just tell them you’re simply trying to satisfy one of your New Year’s resolutions.
Eat more ice cream
     You know you want to. The only thing holding you back has been your silly goal to lose weight. But remember; you’re actually looking to gain weight this year and what better way to do that than to keep your freezer full of ice cream.
Vote less
     With everyone badgering you to get out and cast your ballot, it’s time to take a personal stance and stop voting. After all, what has voting ever done for you? If you vote for the loser, you feel bad and if you vote for the winner, you feel responsible. It’s a no-win situation. If you feel you absolutely have to exercise your franchise, just spoil your ballot.
Exercise less
     Rather than drive yourself crazy trying to meet unrealistic goals, why not resolve to exercise less? For those serious about this resolution, keep a diary and record all the times you felt an urge to work out and were able to immediately squelch it.
Stop smelling roses
     Stopping to smell the roses is highly overrated. First of all, roses are expensive. Second, they tend to have thorns which can be painful. Finally, smelling roses usually involves bending over which means you can easily throw out your back. If you need to smell something, try a nice steak on the barbecue.
Continue not running for President
     Just because it has now been demonstrated that anyone can become President is no reason for you to abandon your goal of never doing so. Experience the joy and satisfaction of meeting your New Year’s expectation year after year with a minimum of effort.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dear Santa

     It’s the holiday season and that means boys and girls everywhere are writing letters to Santa Claus telling him what they want for Christmas. Here are just a few of those letters:

Dear Santa,
     First of all, Santa, I want to thank you bigly for last year’s presents, especially that enormous electoral win and that record-breaking Inaugural crowd. I know it was mostly due to me but I do appreciate your help, however limited.
     This year, my Christmas list is a little different.  I wish I had written you earlier and let you know that I really wanted a Senate seat in Alabama but it looks like that one will have to wait until 2020.
     What I could use, however, is a legislative victory or two. I’m having lots of fun trashing all kinds of regulations but I really need to get something, anything, passed by Congress. I’m thinking possibly a giant tax cut for me and my friends or maybe even a repeal of that horrible Obamacare.
     Number one on my wish list this year is to get rid of that Russia investigation. I’m hoping you can get Rod Rosenstein to fire that naughty Bob Mueller or maybe just loosen a lug nut or two on one of his tires.
     If any of this is too much, you can always bring me what you’ve brought in years past. Given my electoral promises, I can never get too much coal in my stocking.
Donnie T.

Dear Santa,
     I don’t mean to start off by complaining, Santa, but you didn’t bring me everything I asked for last Christmas. I wrote you nice and early in the fall and asked for a popular vote victory and admittedly you did bring me that. However, I thought it went without saying that I also wanted an Electoral College win.
      This year, I really, really want to have a do-over or a recount or at least a White House Chatty Cathy doll that would spill the beans on Donald Trump. Or maybe you could leave an incriminating e-mail or two in Bob Mueller’s Christmas stocking.
     If nothing else, please tell that annoying Bernie Sanders to shut up. And, if it’s not too much to ask, could you find a job for my husband Bill? I’m really tired of him hanging around the house explaining what I did wrong in last year’s election.
Hillary C.

Dorogoy Santa,   (translation)
     Is time to thank you many, many times, Santa, for last year’s presents. What with all you brought me, there was very little room left under Christmas tree.
     Is hard to think what more you could bring me this year but I will try. Maybe you could have Mueller investigation drag on for many more months so my friend Donald will be distracted and I can do whatever I want to.
     Again, thank you very much, Santa, especially for last year’s Junior Computer Hacking kit and Trump Collusion board game. I hope to receive continued use and joy from these for many years to come.
Vladimir P.

Dear Santa,
     Looking back, Santa, I wish I hadn’t been so selfish in my Christmas gift requests last year. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have asked for all those tax cuts and that Mexican Wall. Now that I’ve seen what that Mr. Trump is like, the best thing you can give me this year is something to help me become an informed voter, a newspaper subscription say or maybe just an enquiring mind. I guess that won’t help right away but it might make a big difference come 2018 or 2020.

John Q. Public

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Night Before Christmas

(with apologies to Clement C. Moore)

       ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through D.C.

                All the lobbyists were hoping to get something for free;

                Their stockings hung outside The White House with care,

                In hopes that The Donald soon would be there.

                The CEOs were nestled all snug in their beds,

                While visions of tax cuts danced in their heads;

                And the House and the Senate and I in my cap,

                Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

                When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

                I called Sarah Sanders to ask what was the matter.
                But the press secretary knew nothing of this strange event,

                Much less the workings of the Trump government.    

                 So I ventured outside to have a quick look,

                And to see if I’d find there a thief or a crook.

                 When, what to my wondering eyes should I view,

                 But a pork barrel wagon for the elite chosen few.

                 With a cagey head driver with one true belief,

                 I knew in a moment it was the Commander in Chief.

                 More rapid than eagles his rightwing friends came,

                 And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
                 “Now Sessions! Now Carson! Now, Bannon and Ross!
                 On, Jared! On, Ivanka! On, Mnuchin and DeVos!
                 To the top of The White House! to the top of the wall!

                  Now give away! give away! give away all!”

                  With alt-right donations to help pave the way,

                  The President guided the patronage sleigh.

                  So out to the hustings his gang of friends flew,

                  With the sleigh full of goodies and Donald Trump, too.

                  And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the land

                  The gleeful outstretching of each corporate hand.

                  As I drew in my breath, and was turning around,

                  The government’s finances came tumbling down.

                  Donald Trump managed in the blink of both eyes,

                  To give away billions to just the right guys. 

                  Repealed regulations he gave with one hand,

                  Plus coal mining permits on government land.

                  His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

                  His philosophy simple; his speech quite contrary!

                  He viewed the world only as good versus evil,

                  And tweeted out lies in a manner most gleeful.

                  He duped enough voters with a simple refrain,

                  By saying he’d “Make America Great Again.”
                  He chastised our allies in language quite plain,
                  In pursuit of a brand new nationalist reign.
                  He also spoke harshly of Korea’s Jong-un,
                  And repeatedly called him “Little Rocket Man.”

                  A wink of his eye and a slight verbal quirk,

                  Soon gave me to know what was really at work.

                  This guy was no dummy, no amiable dunce,

                  It was just a big cover to fool all the chumps.

                  And fool them he did wherever he went,

                  While doling out goodies to those of his bent.

                  He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

                  And away they all flew like an Exocet missile.

                  But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,

                  “Merry Christmas to some, and to the rest - serves you right.” 

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Private In The War On Christmas

The Chicago Tribune - November 13, 2015

"A private in the war on Christmas"
 By David Martin
It was a gray November dawn as Sarge and I found ourselves manning the downtown barricades in the war on Christmas. I won't lie; I was scared, real scared, but Sarge was a grizzled veteran of this conflict and I trusted him to get me through this alive.
"It's only November, kid," he said. "So don't worry; the real battles haven't begun."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Don't be alarmed by the lack of Christmas decorations on the streets," he said. "It's still early. Hell, I remember a time when you didn't see Christmas stuff in the stores until December."
That set my mind at ease. Just because not all the stores had elves or angels or Christmas trees didn't mean the enemy was winning. Sarge assured me that it wouldn't be long before we heard nonstop Christmas music wherever we went.
"Look, kid," Sarge said. "I'm not saying you can ever let your guard down, but I wouldn't be too worried about some secular humanist springing a 'Happy Holidays' on you quite yet."
Just then, we turned the corner and Sarge pushed me toward the wall and yelled, "Get down! Incoming!”
Without thinking, I crouched down and raised my weapon just in time to see two enemy combatants, their arms loaded with trays of red coffee cups.
"Hold your fire," Sarge said. "They're crossing the street. Don't want to hit any innocents."
"What's happening, Sarge?" I said.
"Kid, you just saw your first action in the war on Christmas. Did you see those red coffee cups? Those were heathen holiday cups stripped bare of any signs of Christmas. No holly, no tinsel, no wreaths. Be careful; that means there's gotta be a secular coffee shop nearby."
Sarge was right, of course. Just around the corner was an innocent-looking Starbucks, a place a grunt like me might easily have walked into blindly.
"Just back up," Sarge said. "I've got you covered. Sometimes you have to retreat. That doesn't mean we're giving up. It just means we'll live to fight another day."
They say war is hell, but until you're right there on the battlefield facing down a phalanx of troops bearing anti-Christmas coffee cups, you can't really understand the fear that courses through your veins.
"It's horrible, Sarge," I said. "I've never seen anything like it."
"That's OK, kid. I've seen worse."
"Like what?" I said.
"Never mind, kid. I don't want to scare you. All I'm saying is I hope you never have to listen to seasonal songs or look at a holiday tree or watch a secular festive school play."
"I sure hope not, Sarge," I said, shaking with fear. "I sure hope not."
David Martin lives in Ottawa, Ontario. He is the author of "Screams & Whispers," a humor collection.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Are You A Sexual Harasser?

     With all the recent allegations of sexual abuse and harassment in the news, you may be wondering if you are also guilty of such offenses. Well now there’s an easy quiz you can take to determine whether or not you are a sexual offender:

Are you a male ____ or a female _____?
If you are a female, then it’s highly unlikely you are a sexual offender. Good news; it’s also highly unlikely you are a pedophile, a mass shooter or a practitioner of genocide. The quiz is basically over for you. Congratulations on your non-harasser status. If you are a male, please proceed to the next question.
 Are your initials H. Weinstein, B. O’Reilly, C. Rose, R. Moore or A. Franken?
If you answered “yes” then chances are you are a sexual miscreant although you may just be unfortunate enough to share a surname and first initial with an offender. If in doubt, try a Google search and see if you recognize yourself.
In the context of sexual activity, what does “no” mean?
If you answered “no means no”, skip to the next question. If you answered “yes”, you are a sexual predator. If you answered “maybe”, you’re likely one, too. If you gave a detailed answer explaining the post-feminist implications of saying “no”, you are probably a professor of gender studies at an elite East Coast university.
Do you feel comfortable presenting yourself naked or masturbating in front of non-consenting adults?
If you said “yes”, are you Louis C. K.? If you said “yes” and you are not Louis C. K. then you are probably Harvey Weinstein or Charlie Rose. If you are none of these three individuals and you still said “yes”, you need a lawyer right now. If you said “no”, don’t expect lots of praise simply for complying with the most basic rule of human interaction; simply go on to the next question.
When you see a woman wearing a revealing outfit, do you think that she is “asking for it”?
You said “yes”? Seriously? You know this is the 21st century, right? The only “it” she is asking for is respect and common courtesy which does not include pictures of your genitalia. If you said “no”, congratulations; you still qualify as a basic human being.
Do you objectify women?
“Yes” means you have a proclivity towards sexual misconduct. If you have to ask what “objectify” means, that’s also not a good sign. “No” is a good answer but you’re still not off the hook.
Are you a current or former U. S. president?
If “no”, carry on to the next question. If you said “yes”, did you know that there’s a 50-50 chance you are a sexual offender? Remember, grabbing women by the ass still counts even if you’re in a wheelchair and say that “David Cop-a-feel” is your favorite book. Speaking of books, handing out copies of Leaves of Grass does not excuse sexual harassment even if your wife repeatedly excuses your behavior.
Have you ever said: “You can do anything. You can grab them by the p**sy”?
If “yes”, you might be president of the United States. If so, you are likely a sexual offender but apparently have the power to pardon yourself. If “yes” and you are not the president, you will not have that self-pardoning power. If “no”, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement but you do get a pass for now.
Have you ever touched a woman at work without consent, commented inappropriately on her appearance or intimated workplace advancement in return for sexual favors?
Yes? Well, just because millions before you have done so doesn’t make it right. You are guilty of sexual misconduct.
Have you ever intervened when a male co-worker did one of those things?
If not, technically you’re not a sexual offender but if you did, you not only get a pass; you may actually deserve a gold star. 

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Donnie's Diary

Folks might be wondering about President Trump’s commitment to the Mexican border wall since he rarely tweets about the subject. However, it looks like he actually does give it top priority if the following leaked entries from his secret diary can be believed:
May 22, 2017

     My pal Benji came to visit me at the White House. He’s the leader of Israel and he said he’s got one of the bestest, most fabulous walls in the world. It’s called the West Bank Barrier and it’s huge. Benji says he’d love to sell it to me but he still needs it to keep the terrorists out. I asked him when he thinks he might be able to unload it and he said roughly around the time when hell freezes over.
July 6, 2017
     That Angela Merkel broad from Germany may have a used wall that we can buy. My people tell me that there used to be a big concrete barrier in Berlin that stood for close to thirty years. The trouble is Ronnie Reagan told some guy named Gorbachev to tear it down and that’s what happened. Even if we could find the pieces, the wall was only about a hundred miles long so it would probably only block off Tijuana.
July 13, 2017
    Met with that little French guy Macron again. I can’t understand a word he says but his wife sure is a looker. Anyway, I finally buttonholed a translator and he said that Macron was babbling on about a proposed wall for me. He said France had a fabulous wall called the Maginot Line that France apparently built after World War I to keep out the krauts. I’m not sure why but apparently he’s willing to take a loss on it and sell it to me for pennies on the franc. I’ll ask my engineers to look into it.
July 20, 2017
     Donnie, Jr. checked out my new golf course in Scotland. It’s a beauty complete with lots of berms to block out my nasty Scottish neighbors. For people who invented golf, they can be real idiots. Anyway, the manager of my new course told Donnie, Jr. all about this wall in Scotland which no one is using because apparently no one’s trying to get into Scotland. Go figure. It’s called Hadrian’s Wall but it’s not for me as it is way too short and has been fully depreciated for centuries. Like most things Scottish, it’s crap and my son should have known better.
November 7, 2017
     Visited South Korea today and took a few more shots at that clown Kim Jong-un. Turned down a chance to visit the DMZ which I assumed was a big department store or something. Mike Pence already visited it back in April and told me I missed a great barrier. Apparently DMZ stands for demilitarized zone and it’s a two-and-a-half mile buffer area complete with weapons, fences and walls. I made some discrete enquiries as to whether it’s currently on the market but surprisingly no one has gotten back to me yet.
November 10, 2017

     Had a great meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. We discussed all kinds of things like trade deficits and North Korea. What I didn’t expect was Xi cleverly taking Melania on a tour of his wall while I headed off to Vietnam. I had no idea he had such a long, tall, fabulous structure. It’s just what I’m looking for. I think Xi is playing it coy and not mentioning a possible sale but instead just teasing us with a quick view. The thing is he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. If he thinks he can out-deal a dealer, he’s sadly mistaken. I’ll pay a fair price but I’m no chump. Still, it’s definitely a great wall and I want it. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Narcissist of the Year

Donald Trump tweeted that Time Magazine had conditionally offered him their title of “Person of the Year” but he “took a pass.” However, it looks like the president simply misinterpreted his recent conversation with the magazine, a leaked transcript of which follows:
Time Magazine:  Hello, sir. I’m calling on behalf of Time Magazine. As a valued subscriber, we want to offer you a renewal of your subscription at a very special price.

Donald Trump:  Yes, of course I must be a valued subscriber since you made me “Person of the Year” last year. I assume you want to renew that honor for this year.
Time Magazine:  I don’t know, sir. I’m just calling from our customer service call center. Your name came up on my screen. You are Mr. D. Trump, correct?
Donald Trump:  That’s President Donald Trump, current “Person of the Year.” Look, I’m going to make this easy for you. You want to make me “Person of the Year” and I’m quite happy to accept. After all, most people are saying that I’m a slam dunk for the cover.
Time Magazine:  Mr. Trump, I don’t know anything about that. If, as you say, you are president, I’m sure you’re in the running but that’s not my department.
Donald Trump:  I know you “fake media” folks like to play coy but either I’m on the cover or not. There’s no maybe about it so what are you offering me?
Time Magazine:  Well, sir, I can offer you a full year renewal for the low, low price of $9.99 plus tax. Or, if you really want to save, we can renew you for three years for only $20.19.
Donald Trump:  “Person of the Year” for 2018 and 2019? Fine with me but I resent that you want to charge me for this.
Time Magazine:  No, sir, I have nothing to do with “Person of the Year.” I’m just offering you an extension of your magazine subscription.
Donald Trump:  Forget it. Either I’m “Man of the Year” or I’m not. No guarantee, no deal. Otherwise I’ll just print my own cover. Let me speak to your supervisor.
Time Magazine:  Mr. Trump? I’m José, the call center supervisor. I understand you’re not happy with our renewal offer.
Donald Trump:  That’s right, José or whatever your name is. I was “Person of the Year” last year, I should be “Person of the Year” this year and I should be again next year and the year after that. Even that loser Obama was named twice.
Time Magazine:  I don’t know anything about that, Mr. Trump, except to say that, in my experience, a sitting president only gets a second cover if he does something extraordinary like get reelected, start a war, cause a scandal or get impeached.
Donald Trump:  OK. Give me a few days. I’ve got your number. I’ll get back to you.

(dial tone)