Friday, March 24, 2017

Still Crushed Under Plymouth Rock

Q. Why is this the only civilized country without universal healthcare?
A. Because it's the only country founded by radical Calvinists, the descendants of whom can't sleep at night for fear that someone might be getting something for nothing. They would rather see millions, including themselves, suffer than allow one single person to scam the system and get something he doesn't deserve.

Okay. This is America, and our Pilgrim legacy demands free-enterprise medicine. No one is gettin' healthcare without payin' for it! But how about this: Instead of paying monthly premiums to useless insurance companies, why not make the payments to your local medical provider? When you're sick, you're taken care of. When you're well, the money goes to nurses' salaries, hospital maintenance, new medical equipment, etc. rather than lining the pockets of this guy:

"Hi, I'm Mark Bartolini. Remember me? I appeared in the Report back on Jan. 4th--check it out. As the CEO of Aetna Health Insurance, I take your hard-earned money and use it to pay myself $48,000.00 per day. Have a nice day--I'm sure I will!"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sorry, But Here's One More Thing That You MUST Boycott

Given the current administration's disregard for the environment and an emperor lacking both clothes and taste (the presidential palate tends toward the world's most expensive cuts of meat cooked well-done and slathered in ketchup), there is faint hope for an official ban on the twin horrors of farmed and GMO ("Frankenfish") salmon.

It's up to the public at large to BOYCOTT these two species of "salmon." (Alaskans, including women, would be shorn of their beards and plaid shirts before purchasing these abominations.) Despite the threat to the environment, the fishing industry, and consumer health, these products are probably already in your fish store or supermarket. Tell your local fishmonger that you will only buy REAL salmon and that if he insists on selling Frankenfish, he might get a visit from a couple of those guys he's seen on The Deadliest Catch--and, trust me, these are not always guys that you might wish to encounter on dry land.

Like Big Oil, Big Fish doesn't care about the planet or its people. That's why we have to hit these folks in the only place that matters to them--their wallets!

Please, resist the effort to turn salmon into the same tasteless, unhealthy, crap that passes for chicken and beef in most supermarkets. Buy only the REAL THING. If you're not eating wild-caught salmon, you're not eating salmon.

We already have REAL salmon. If genetic engineers want to invent something useful, how about an avocado without the pit or a turkey with more drumsticks-- OR AN AGRI-BUSINESS EXECUTIVE WITH A CONSCIENCE!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DeVos, Pence, And Sessions: A Holy Trinity For Trashing The Constitution

Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos have been outspoken in their opposition to the strict separation of Church and state established by the U.S. Constitution. They both believe that their religion supersedes the law.

This is troubling enough. But their radical views are shared by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the man entrusted with our nation's highest office for--enforcing the law!

Sessions claims that the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the Constitution has been "overinterpreted." (The Attorney General speaking in tongues?)  That it is an "extra-constitutional doctrine" and "a recent thing that is unhistorical and unconstitutional."

Really, Jeff? Let's look at some Constitutional doctrine and history:

"The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."--John Adams
"I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another."--Thomas Jefferson
"The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State."--James Madison

Sessions has gone so far as to mix religion with policy by declaring Trump's illegal Muslim ban to be "Biblical."
Mr. Sessions, the test for legality in this country is the Constitution--not the Bible. Upholding the Constitution is your job. If that job conflicts with your religious views, perhaps you would be happier in some other line of work. I'm sure it could be arranged.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Attention Patriots:

This week we celebrated the birthday of James Madison, Founding Father and our fourth President. Present-day patriots, who claim the words of the Founders for support, should heed those of Madison.

"The separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."

"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief, nor shall any national religion be established."

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

"The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended."

"To the press alone, the world is indebted for all the triumphs gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression."

"The executive has no right to decide whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

"War should only be declared by the authority of the people, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits."

Friday, March 17, 2017

Snakes--Are They Really So Bad?

Happy St. Patrick's Day--the holiday celebrating the man who drove the snakes from Ireland  in exchange for converting the island to Christianity.

I don't know if this transaction can be accomplished in reverse, but as a resident of America's only snake-free state, I sometimes fantasize about it.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

American School Children Denied 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week Non-Stop Prayer. The Persecution Continues!

To Betsy DeVos and her fellow evangelists who have either neglected to read the Constitution or chosen to ignore it:

Let's do some math.
Kids in America attend public school approximately 30 hours out of the 168-hour, 7-day week. Considering official vacations and unexpected absences, this means that on the worst possible week for school prayer, your kids still have 138 out-of-school hours to pray--an average of 19.7 hrs./day or 82% of their free time that can be devoted to full-voiced communion, recitation, chanting, ululation, genuflecting, speaking in tongues, snake-handling, gargling with poison, self-flagellation, or any other outward display of worship without risk of offense to others.

If your sons or daughters still need to cut into school hours for sufficient prayer time, they are probably beyond being helped by even divine intervention

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rogue Enough Yet?

I'd like to offer a challenge to the leadership of the NRA:

For eight years, the NRA rallied to your claim that President Obama was "the greatest threat to gun ownership in American history"--even though he did nothing during that time to restrict gun ownership. Nothing. He never signed one single bill restricting gun ownership. No guns were confiscated under his presidency.

Clearly, your members will believe anything you tell them. How about telling them that there is more to the U.S. Constitution than the Second Amendment? There are twenty-six other amendments and the current administration in DC is doing an excellent job of trampling on nearly all of them.

Your organization wields a tremendous amount of influence. Could you possibly address this real threat to our freedom with some of the passion you have exercised in tackling the non-existent threats to gun ownership? Maybe something along the lines of giving up the Bill of Rights "when they pry it from my cold, dead hands." Do you think you could do that, huh?

The NRA has presented itself as protection against a government "gone rogue." Okay. The President of the United States is a paranoid, delusional megalomaniac and pathological liar so detached from reality that he is still campaigning two months after being elected. His closest advisors, including the Jewish ones (!), are Nazis. The head of EPA wants to abolish the EPA, the Secretary of State is an oil tycoon with ties to Russia, the country's chief law-enforcement officer just committed felonies, the Secretary of the Treasury is a notorious Wall Street predator once celebrated as the "Foreclosure King," the Secretary of Education wants to turn the U.S. into an Iranian-style theocracy, the head of Housing and Urban Renewal thinks that his black ancestors arrived in America on a holiday cruise, and Congress has officially declared healthcare to be a luxury reserved for the rich.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


What's with the Catholic Church these days? Back when popes were racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialists, they were infallible.

Now that we have a pope who supports LGBTQ rights, religious freedom, income equality, environmentalism, climate science, and Evolution, he's just another guy with an opinion.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sole Music: When Bad Music Happens To Good People

I woke up this morning humming a horrible pop song that I must have accidentally heard somewhere. Ever happen to you? Have you ever found yourself humming some mindless jingle or a song that you actually hate?

I am constantly struck by the similarity between hearing bad music and stepping in shit--you pick up the stuff by accident, and then can't get rid of it.

Lately, I feel as though I'm walking through the musical countryside in Vibram-sole boots.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Contemplating Upon Some Quotes During A March Blizzard In Juneau . . .

"March comes in like a lion, leaves like a lamb" Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

"Liars should have good memories" Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (35-100 )

"I have a plan, a very secret plan to defeat ISIS in thirty days." Donald Trump (1946-)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Riches To Rags, Alaska's How-To Formula

Q. What happens if you turn a government over to anti-science religious fanatics, extreme right-wing ideologues, and corporate stooges?

I live in Alaska. We tried that here, so I can tell you.

A. You get the biggest crisis in your history.

Under the leadership of the above-mentioned lawmakers, Alaska went from being the nation's wealthiest state to a financial basket-case facing a deficit in the billions, and cuts to education, infrastructure, employment, healthcare, social services, and everything else that matters.

This needs to be a warning to the rest of the country. The people who did this to Alaska are doing it to America. Our new administration in DC is dismantling everything that has served us well in the past--and replacing it with whatever puts more money into the pockets of our richest 1%, or serves ultra-conservative ideologues that care only about their own agenda. As in Alaska, this is leading to disaster on every level.

The solution is in the hands of We The Voters. No administration can succeed without the support of Congress. If your representatives support the radical high-jacking of our democracy currently taking place in DC, confront them--AND VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

Something needs to be done. If it doesn't happen at the ballot box, it's going to happen in the street. And it's not going to be pretty.