Sunday, February 14, 2021

My Work Is Now On Medium

 I recently joined the platform Medium and am posting most of my work there. Check it out here.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Humor Times

I've been negligent in updating this blog as most of my pieces are now getting posted to the site Humor Times.  To have a look at my posts on that site, click on this link to my author page.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Open Carry

     When it comes to Canada, most Americans assume that there aren’t that many differences between our two countries. Sure, we have socialized medicine, recognize the Queen of England, use the metric system and say “Sorry” and “eh” a little too much. But beyond that, Americans figure we’re basically just like them.     

     Well, not so fast, Americans. Looking beyond Mounties, maple syrup and poutine, there are lots of subtle linguistic differences that mark us as distinctly Canadian. Take the following examples:
packing heat:  In the U. S., packing heat means carrying a firearm. In Canada, on the other hand, packing heat means carrying a couple of hand warmers inside your gloves.
double-double:  In the U. S., double-double means two life sentences for a capital crime. In Canada, it means a coffee with two sugars and two creams.
cold one:  South of the border, it’s a name for a stiff in the morgue. Up north, it’s a chilled bottle of beer.
rouge:  Americans recognize this as a cosmetic for lips or cheeks. Canadians know it as a single point in Canadian football.
open carry:  In the U. S., this means carrying your firearm in public. In Canada, it means carrying your marijuana in public.
loonie:  Americans use this word to describe a crazy person. Canadians use it to describe our one-dollar coin.
trump:  In the U. S., trump means the President. In Canada, it means the chosen wild suit for a hand of bridge.
25 degrees:  For Americans, this is really cold. For Canadians, it’s pretty hot.
stars and bars:  Diehard southerners recognize this as the first national flag of the Confederacy. Canadians, however, know it as a northern midwinter pub crawl.
homo:  A pejorative term in the U. S. for someone who is gay. Not in Canada where it’s shorthand for whole milk.
HMO:  Throughout the U. S., this stands for a health maintenance organization. For Canadians, it’s a bit puzzling, perhaps a capitalized misspelling of the name for whole milk?
healthcare:  Americans recognize this as a type of expensive insurance carried by some. Canadians see it as a free service available to all.
heavy duty battery:  South of the border, this is a form of serious physical assault. North of the border, it’s an essential car part for winter driving.
senator:  In the U. S., a senator is an elected federal officeholder who can do significant damage. A Canadian senator, on the other hand, is an appointed federal officeholder who is generally harmless.
extra magazine:  A sometimes illegal extension for handguns to dramatically increase the number of rounds an American gun owner can fire. In Canada, an extra magazine is an additional periodical located on the table in a doctor’s waiting room.
locked and loaded:  An American uses this phrase to indicate that his firearms are ready for action. For a Canadian, it means spending the night in the drunk tank for public intoxication.
melting pot:  Americans recognize this term as a description of their country’s immigration philosophy. Canadians know it as a cooking appliance for making weed brownies.
stand-your-ground:  In some parts of the U. S., stand-your-ground refers to a legal doctrine justifying the shooting of unarmed individuals. In Canada, it means the right to argue your point of view in the face of a strong counterargument. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Letters To Santa

    It’s December and that means boys and girls everywhere are writing to Santa to let him know what they want for Christmas:
     Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Santa Claus here and I’ve got bags of mail from children all over the world including some special letters from those living in Washington, D. C.
     One little boy named Donnie T. seems to be really interested in construction toys. He asked for a wall and wants Mexico to pay for it. He also wants that new toy called Space Force and a new Attorney-General who can pull the plug on any nasty enquiries. Unlike most kids, Donnie says he wouldn’t even mind a little coal in his stocking.
     A little girl named Melania T., who has the same address as Donnie T., asks me to keep her Christmas gift requests confidential. She’d like some blood red Christmas trees but number one on her list is a special Ken voodoo doll with an orange face, a blond wig and some extra-long needles.
     Mikey P. also lives in Washington, apparently very near Donnie and Melania. Unlike Donnie, however, Mikey is not hoping for a new Attorney-General. What he’d like instead are some new drapes and furniture for something he calls the Oval Office.
     Joey B. says he’s originally from Delaware but has worked in Washington for many years. What he’d really like is a new white house centrally located in D. C. that he can call his own. To get that house, Joey says he also needs some anti-aging cream, a bit of plastic surgery and a whole lot of luck.
     Bernie S. hails from Vermont but, like Joey B., he’d like a shot at that centrally-located white house in Washington as well. Bernie says he also wouldn’t mind the anti-aging cream, some plastic surgery and maybe a new haircut.
     Bobby M. is writing to me for the first time and says that he has never asked Santa for anything before but this year he really, really, really needs a few more months to finish up his collusion report. Bobby M. added a P. S. to his letter asking for a couple more cooperating witnesses and a big batch of blank subpoena forms.
     Ivanka T. says she’s a little uncomfortable writing to Santa since, strictly speaking, she’s Jewish. However, she says she used to be a shiksa and therefore feels that I still owe her a wish or two from past Christmases. Anyway, all Ivanka wants is a new hubby if hers should somehow end up in prison in the coming year.
     Hillary C. apparently lives in two houses but she’s not happy with the one she has in Washington. She’d really like to move into the big centrally-located white one everybody’s talking about but in order to do that, she needs Santa to give her a do-over for 2016 and maybe a ball gag for her husband.
     Billy C. seems to be related to Hillary C. and apparently used to live in that big white house, too, but has some bad memories related to it and would rather not move back in. What Billy really wants from Santa is a giant can of “Image Polisher” and a big bottle of “Brain Washer” to make people forget about what he did when he lived in that white house.   
     Vladi P. doesn’t live in Washington but seems to have a lot of friends in the city. Vladi writes me to say that he’s really happy with the Kollusion Kit® I gave him a few years ago so he doesn’t really need a new one. What he’d really like instead is a resignation letter from Bobby M. and another chance to play with his kit in 2020.  

Saturday, December 08, 2018

U. S. Constitution's Medical Record

Patient Medical Record
Patient name:  Constitution, U. S.
DOB:  September 17, 1787
Place of birth:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Location:  Intensive care unit
     The patient is old and frail and presented with a number of serious ailments. The fact that the patient is well over 200 years old is remarkable but it appears that it may not survive much longer.
     The most apparent sickness has been found in Constitution’s first amendment. Apparently the patient’s immune system has weakened to the point where executive attacks on its guarantee of free speech and a free press can no longer be defended against.
     Constitution’s second amendment is also in poor shape. What was initially a limited right to bear arms has been inexplicably expanded again and again so that the patient now suffers from an acute inability to regulate and curtail the use of all manner of weapons.
     A thorough examination of Constitution revealed evidence of some previous medical errors being inflicted on the patient. For example, it was seriously harmed by something called prohibition via its eighteenth amendment although luckily that was subsequently rectified by a twenty-first amendment.
     Some past medical procedures appeared to have strengthened the patient’s Constitution such as the right to vote irrespective of race or sex (amendments fifteen and nineteen) and to directly elect senators (amendment seventeen). But little has been done to take further remedial steps in recent decades as evidenced by the shredded remains of a failed procedure called the equal rights amendment.
     Instead, Constitution has been threatened with the possibility of harmful amendments to prohibit gay marriage, outlaw abortion, allow school prayer and insist on a balanced federal budget. The various attacks on Constitution’s corpus have weakened it so much that recently a Mr. West even urged the amputation of its thirteenth amendment in order to reinstate the possibility of slavery.
     A detailed examination of the patient’s body politic revealed a serious growth in clause 2 of section 2 of its article 2, namely a slow-growing cancer that has been eating away at the appointment process of its Supreme Court. What was once a fairly civilized practice of advice and consent by the Senate requiring at least sixty affirmative votes has deteriorated into a highly partisan procedure.
     Checking the patient’s medical history over the last fifty years reveals that a virulent judicial interpretative strain called originalism has infected the Court. This nasty bug has severely hampered Constitution’s ability to grow and change over time in order to adapt to new circumstances that were unimaginable 230 years ago.  
     In recent years, it appears that Constitution’s executive powers have grown appreciably beyond what was intended and have possibly metastasized into a national tumor. The current executive has become a cancer upon the patient who has been so weakened that it cannot exercise its inherent self-protective powers to impeach under article 2, section 4 or to remove under amendment 25.
     Sadly, it appears that one major contributor to Constitution’s ill health is a congenital disorder called the Electoral College which was there at birth in the form of clauses 2, 3 and 4 of section 1 of article 2. This birth defect has apparently been exacerbated by such contagions as voter suppression and gerrymandering. In the patient’s five previous executive elections, two were won without a majority or even a plurality of the popular vote.
     In the past, the patient suffered through many trials and tribulations and it was common for political doctors to say that Constitution had an inner strength and balance that allowed it to always pull through. Presently the patient is in the intensive care unit and its prognosis is uncertain. After we run some additional Congressional tests and surveys, we may have a better picture of Constitution’s possible recovery.    

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The New Trump Shopping Plaza

      Welcome to the grand opening of the fantastic new Trump Shopping Plaza. Located next door to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump Plaza has all the retail outlets you’re ever likely to need. Check out these great new businesses:
Trump Hairstylists and Weavers
     If you’ve got an elaborate head of hair that requires the best in styling and interweaving, Trump Hairstylists is the place for you. Experts in comb-overs and hair weaving for more than forty years, we can turn your bald spot and rat’s nest of hair into a dazzling hirsute crown. We also specialize in hair growth medications and tonics like Rogaine and Propecia which we will administer in strict confidence so that even your doctor won’t know. Drop in within the next ten days for a hair styling or weaving and we’ll include absolutely free a skin-bronzing treatment in one of our amazing new fall colors: Harvest Orange, Pumpkin Puree or Corn Cob Gold.
Trump Legal Services
     Instead of searching far and wide for legal services, now you can come on down to Trump Shopping Plaza and find the right lawyer for you. Drop in and we’ll quickly assess your needs and pair you up with just the right attorney. Whether you’re dealing with a tricky conflict of interest situation, a questionable offshore financial transaction or a complicated personal non-disclosure agreement, we’ve got you covered. We even have aging politicos on staff specializing in spin and dissembling who can confuse just about any fake news practitioner.
Trump Electronics
     This is the place for all your electronic goods shopping. You name it; we’ve got it. From high-speed, high-volume paper shredders to the latest in sophisticated listening and recording devices, Trump Electronics is your one-stop location for today’s self-protecting electronic gizmos. We’ve even got outdated, non-secure smart phones if that’s your preference although we strongly advise against using them. Plus, if you act now and spend $200 or more, we’ll provide you with a $100 discount at Trump Legal Services to ensure you know the law in your jurisdiction regarding the recording of your conversations by others.
Trump Laundromat
     Whether you’ve got bedding, clothes or questionable currency to clean, come on down to Trump Laundromat where we’ll take care of all of your laundering needs. We can help launder your dirty sheets, underwear or foreign bills and instantly turn them into shiny new bedding, skivvies or currency in no time. For your convenience, our coin-operated machines accept various denominations including quarters and Russian rubles. You can do your own laundering or, if you don’t have time, leave everything with us and we’ll clean up your clothes and cash with our famous same-day service.
The Bank of Trump
     Let’s face it; not every bank is capable of dealing with your unique financial needs. But we here at the Bank of Trump are sensitive to your peculiar business arrangements and can help you achieve the kind of financing that other banks legally can’t provide. Whether you need to temporarily hide some of your money offshore or you just need some extra cash to stay solvent, we’re there for you. Most importantly, we’re the bank that can loan you lots and lots of money even when so-called traditional banks won’t. With branch offices around the world including in Moscow and St. Petersburg, we can find you enough cash to underwrite whatever shaky venture you have in mind. 
Trump Election Services
     Running for elected office but unsure where to start? Looking to unseat a Congressional incumbent but afraid you just don’t have the votes? Then make Trump Election Services the first stop on your voyage to electoral success. We can help you dip into huge pools of anonymously-donated election funds to help swamp your opponent with negative ads. We’re also experts in gerrymandering and voter suppression to ensure you get at least a plurality of votes in your chosen district. And for those who need a little help from manipulated social media, we have some eastern-based operatives who will be glad to help you out for no cost at all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CEO Job Opening

Position:  Chief Executive Officer, Washington, D. C.
     The Republican Party is urgently looking for a new CEO to head up the nation’s executive branch. The successful candidate must be at least 35 years old and a natural born citizen. Preference will be given to those individuals who already live in or near the Washington, D. C. area and are thus able to assume the job as soon as possible.
Role Description:
     The nation’s CEO is responsible for the entire executive branch of the federal government. He will carefully formulate detailed policy initiatives to be presented to the legislative branch for possible passage into law. The CEO works closely with the other branches to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of all aspects of the government. He will coordinate with elected officials at the state and local levels to implement domestic policy. At the same time, he will liaise with foreign national leaders to ensure smooth international trade arrangements and peaceful foreign relations.
Skills required:
     The position of the nation’s top executive requires an individual skilled in legislative implementation, policy formulation and international diplomacy. The successful candidate will be someone with highly developed written and verbal skills, keen discretion and an ability to think before speaking. Preferably, he will have extensive experience in one or more elected positions or, at a minimum, ten or more years in a high level military position.
     Ideally, the new CEO will be a lifelong member of the Republican Party and willing and able to listen to the views of Congressional members of his party. He will know the difference between true and false and will be skilled in the diplomatic arts such that he will not alienate the nation’s allies and will not give aid and comfort to its enemies. It is of utmost importance that he not be beholden to any foreign power or be smitten with autocrats and oligarchs of any kind.
     The CEO position includes significant health and dental benefits. The incumbent is also entitled to Secret Service protection and has diplomatic immunity. He will be provided with free transportation within and beyond the Washington area although it is preferred that he not use such transportation to travel to his own properties.
     Housing is provided. The successful candidate will live rent-free in one of Washington’s premier residences for anywhere from two to six years. Thus, there should be no need to spend money traveling to other residences except for his nearby country retreat at Camp David.
     The salary is $400,000 per year with a $50,000 non-taxable expense account. There is a post-employment annual pension of $207,800. Although there are no stock options or bonuses, upon retirement, the CEO will be able to set up his own library in the location of his choice.         
Application process:    
     Any interested candidate should submit his CV together with at least three letters of reference from non-family members attesting to his honesty, integrity and intelligence. A detailed listing of skills should be provided including technical and computer skills. However, it is preferred that no candidate should have any involvement with social media in general and Twitter in particular.
     The successful candidate should be available immediately subject to a potential minor Constitutional impediment in the 25th Amendment and in the Presidential Succession Act. For the sake of the nation and the Republican Party, the employer anticipates the cooperation of anyone in the CEO line of succession to step aside and make way for the winner of this competition.
     The Republican Party requests that all applications be made and kept in confidence and, in particular, that no applicant inform the current CEO of this competition.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


“Several of President Donald Trump’s outside advisers have told him over the past week he requires neither a chief of staff nor a communications director….”

                                                                        - CNN – March 30, 2018

     Communications Director Hope Hicks is long gone so can Chief of Staff John Kelly be far behind? Look for these upcoming tweets from the President:

@realDonaldTrump:  Goodbye John Kelly. Just like Jimmy Carter, I don’t need a chief of staff or a communications director. No one does these jobs better than me. Let Donald be Donald and let’s make the White House Great Again.

@realDonaldTrump:  Don’t forget; your taxes are due on April 15th. Why does the IRS make it so difficult? I’m now the head of the agency because I’m great at doing taxes. Nobody avoids paying taxes better than me because I know the system so well.

@realDonaldTrump:  A big thanks to Betsy DeVos for her efforts at the Department of Education. She gets a solid C+ but America deserves an A+ and that means me. I’m the smartest guy, a real stable genius who has a real degree from an Ivy League business school so I’ll fix our schools like real quick.

@realDonaldTrump:  Sad Scott Pruitt had to go at the EPA. Sure he loves coal and doesn’t believe in climate change just like me but he couldn’t keep his hand out of the till. DT for EPA and let’s get back to coal-burning steam locomotives and a coal-fired furnace in the White House. Make America Dark Again.

@realDonaldTrump:  I appreciate your efforts as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, but I no longer need your services. After all, who arranged that+ meeting with Little Rocket Man and threatened nuclear war against Iran? The Donald, that’s who.

@realDonaldTrump:  A big thank-you and goodbye to John Bolton for his service as National Security Adviser but I’ll take it from here and without an ugly mustache (it’s gotta go, John; so ugly). I know national security better than anyone so I’ll do it alone and brief myself. You’ll be so secure you’ll be tired of being secure.

@realDonaldTrump:  Ben Carson knows nothing about housing and I know everything about housing so, no surprise, I’m the new Secretary of Housing. Plus Ben blamed his wife for that $31,000 dining set purchase. I would never blame my wife for anything although maybe my ex-wives. LOL.

@realDonaldTrump:  I’ve always said Jeff Sessions shouldn’t have recused himself. Well now Stupid Jeff is gone and I’m the new Attorney General. I’m not a lawyer but I know more than any lawyer since I’ve used so many of them over the years. If anyone disagrees, you’re sued!

@realDonaldTrump:  Hey, Rod Rosenstein, I don’t need you anymore since I’m now the AG so, guess what, you’re fired. And while I’m at it, Robert Mueller, you’re fired, too. No collusion. Fake news. Witch hunt over.

@realDonaldTrump:  I’m firing any remaining cabinet members and I appoint myself to any vacant positions although maybe Jared can be Chief Vassal or Court Jester or something. Since I’m like really smart, stupendously smart, I can do it all.

@EmperorDonald:  That’s right. I’ve changed my Twitter handle. I now run the whole show. I don’t need anyone’s help except I still can’t seem to find the nuclear football.

@EmperorDonald:  Found it. I’m going to attack Iran and North Korea. MAGA and KYAG (kiss your ass goodbye).

Twitter blows up. Trump blows up Twitter and who knows what else.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

D. C. Trick-or-treating

     It’s almost Halloween and that means children everywhere will be scouting nearby neighborhoods for the best homes to visit for treats. As a public service for kids living in the Washington, D. C. area, here’s a list of the best addresses for trick-or-treating and those to avoid:
Bob Mueller’s house
     Mr. Mueller will answer the door but will neither confirm nor deny that he has any tricks up his sleeve. However, rumor has it that he will be handing out goodies in the form of Russian nesting dolls and criminal subpoenas.
Rod Rosenstein’s house
     Deputy Attorney-General Rosenstein is a very busy man. So don’t expect many treats at his residence. In fact, Mr. Rosenstein may not even be home or, if he is, he will likely be hiding in the basement with the lights out and not answering the phone especially any calls from White House numbers.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
     Leaked reports suggest that the resident/president will be handling front door duties himself this year with a seasonal pumpkin-orange face and corn-silk woven yellow hair. Those reports also warn that the only treats to be given will be autographed copies of The Art of the Deal and tax cuts to children of the one percent. As in past years, the President will not be handing out any of his tax returns.  
Number One Observatory Circle
     This is the home of Mike Pence who, along with his wife “Mother”, will be distributing delicious candy treats. Although the Vice President denies it, last year he reportedly wrapped each treat bag in a copy of the 25th Amendment.
Democratic National Committee
     Best to give this place a pass since the residents can’t seem to get their act together. Rather than decorate the front door and pass out treats, they tend to spend all their time navel gazing and arguing over who’s going to run in 2020.
Brett Kavanaugh’s house
     Brett will not, repeat not, be having a Halloween kegger at his house this year. If anyone says otherwise, he’ll deny it and refer doubters to the daily calendar app on his iPhone.
Bernie Sanders’s house
     With his wispy white hair and disheveled clothing, he looks harmless enough. But this part New York City Jew, part Vermont senator, part democratic socialist is really a scary Frankenstein creation who wants to give your kids free healthcare and free tuition.
Ted Cruz’s house
     He’s a strange bird - Canadian-born, Texas-raised and Tea Party-funded - and the only senator up for re-election with two right wings. It should be easy pickings for kids visiting the Cruz household since he has already given up his self-respect seeking the support of President Trump in his attempt to defeat newcomer Beto O’Rourke.
The Senate
     Senior Senators Chuck Grassley, Orin Hatch and Richard Shelby will be manning the Senate’s front door but not to hand out Halloween treats. Instead, they will take turns yelling at kids to “Get off my lawn!”
The House
     The House of Representatives will be closed on Halloween and will not reopen until after November 6th. It is hoped that it will then be in a better position to make some actual decisions.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Modern Know-Nothings

It's time for a serious piece of political commentary:

     Throughout my lifetime, there has been a rough divide nationally between the Republican and Democratic parties when it comes to presidential candidates. The Democrats have been the party of ideas, intellectualism and detailed policy prescriptions. The Republicans, on the other hand, are the anti-intellectual party of the common man.
     The two presidential elections of the 1950s illustrate this divide. Adlai Stevenson was the brilliant egghead with a detailed knowledge of policy and the workings of government. Dwight Eisenhower, on the other hand, was the competent everyman who cared little for academics and intellectuals.
     Although the truth was far more nuanced (Eisenhower was a smart, highly organized tactician), the public images suited the Republican Party well as they managed to exploit the anti-intellectual image over and over again until Americans now have an honest-to-God proud anti-intellectual in the White House.
     Republicans have consistently appealed to the uneducated electorate, be that Richard Nixon’s silent majority or Trump proclaiming “I love the poorly educated.” The problem is that they have played this card so often and so skilfully that instead of having a president pretending to be a know-nothing friend of the common man, the U. S. now has a bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool leader who proudly displays his wide-ranging ignorance.
     This trend towards anti-intellectualism gained speed with the elevation of Ronald Reagan to the office of president. Although clearly more experienced and knowledgeable than the current incumbent, Reagan was not the best and the brightest. The stories are legend of his mistakes, failures and screw-ups. Yet he, or those next to him, had the good sense to choose capable, competent individuals to run his administration.
     The Republicans savored the successes achieved by touting anti-intellectualism and doubled down on this approach with the selection of George W. Bush as their candidate in 2000. Bush proudly purported to be an anti-elite everyman notwithstanding his lifetime of privilege. As Jim Hightower once said of Bush’s dad, he “...was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.”
     In fairness, George W. Bush was not the stupid man that many portrayed him to be. Whatever one’s intellectual shortcomings, it still takes some brains to pick up an M.B.A. from Harvard.
     Many voters supported him simply because he seemed like the kind of guy they could sit down and have a beer with. Voters who thought things through realized that they didn’t need a drinking buddy; they needed someone more intelligent and experienced than themselves to lead the country. Sadly, there weren’t enough of the latter to keep Bush away from the levers of power.
     What this history of anti-intellectualism has wrought is an electorate that decries political experience and academic enquiry and is willing to vote for anyone who trashes the elites. What those voters don’t seem to realize is that such a knee-jerk reaction is not helpful to them but instead consistently results in Republican presidents who do little more than serve the rich.
     This approach has delivered big time to the wealthy but at the same time has widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots to the point where the uneducated voter has no respect for political experience whatsoever and is willing to vote in the least experienced, least knowledgeable, least competent and least truthful candidate based solely on his faux-populist appeal.
     The Republicans have unthinkingly reaped what they have sown over the years in the person of Donald Trump. Right wing conservatives have gotten the tax cuts they wanted from Trump but now, too late, they have come to realize that they have let loose an anti-intellectual bull in the political china shop. His nativist, anti-free trade, know-nothing approach threatens the entire world economy.
     It remains to be seen if congressional Republicans are prepared to put a stop to the dumpster fire started by President Trump, admit the hypocrisy of their anti-intellectual approach and show Mr. Trump the door. Given that this would mean the decimation of their ranks in Congress, it seems unlikely but if they choose not to act, America’s future appears bleak indeed.