Stevieslaw: The world we live in.

Stevieslaw: The world we live in.

I imagine MSNBC spent the night barking the news that the Health Care bill was likely to fail to pass the Senate. Learned panels met to discuss the National, International and Universal repercussions of its likely demise.


Four conservative Senators oppose the bill—Rand Paul (Kentucky), Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson Wisconsin) and Mike Lee (Utah)—for damned good reasons. Their joint statement simply said that the bill does not go far enough.

When questioned, Rand Paul was quick to clarify the essence of the their opposition. “Quite frankly,” said Paul, “We are concerned that the bill, as written, might help someone. Although obviously not the intent of the bill, it is still possible that someone might slip through and benefit from the legislation.”

“This is not acceptable,” concluded Senator Paul.



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Stevieslaw: Poor to Die Young

Stevieslaw: Poor to Die Young

The Senate version of the health care bill, like the version passed by the House, will cut funding for Medicaid in order to provide tax cuts for the affluent. Said McConnell spokesperson, Grime Reper, “This legislation will allow the poor to reunite with their loved ones in heaven much, much sooner. The affluent, to whom heaven is not a guarantee, have a duty to enjoy their lives on earth.”

“In addition, continued Mr. Reper, the poor are an embarrassment. Slums and hungry children, for example, can give tourists a poor impression of the country. And, the one-percent of the one-percent who retain a conscience are terribly bothered by poverty. This bill goes a long way toward ended the problem of the poor in America.”

“It’s a win-win for all of us,” he concluded.

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Stevieslaw: Those despicable folks from Lehrerian VI

Stevieslaw: Those despicable folks from Lehrerian VI

In 1934, the National Council for Christians and Jews invented National Brotherhood Week. It was celebrated during the third week of February and survived through the 1980’s, when brotherhood was finally achieved. Sadly, the thing most of us, who recall National Brotherhood Week at all, remember is the Tom Lehrer song by that title. It went:

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks.
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
Lena Horne and Sheriff Clarke are dancing cheek to cheek.
It’s fun to eulogize
The people you despise,
As long as you don’t let ’em in your school.

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It’s American as apple pie.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans ’cause it’s very chic.
Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can’t stand.
You can tolerate him if you try.

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
It’s National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It’s only for a week, so have no fear.
Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

Often it seems as if the distinguishing characteristic of being human is the hatred of anyone and everyone in any way different from us. For centuries, we have only been able to hate “fellow humans.” But now, NASA through its Kepler telescope has provided us an exciting way to change all that. Kepler has found 10 planets that might support life—and the list keeps growing. I propose that we name one of those planets Lehrerian VI. We can all agree that the beings of Lehrerian IV (Lehreys) are thoroughly despicable. Sure, they live about a million light years from us. But if we aren’t careful, the Lehreys will be using our toilets, breathing our air and marrying our children. They will be forcing their religion, Lehrerism, upon us. It is happening in some places already. Hate them!

We are human. We have such fined tuned consciences that during one week in the 1300’s we completely stopped slaughtering each other. So I further propose that we set aside a time to celebrate Universe Brotherhood Week and honor all things Lehrerian. We can eat that smelly tasting stuff they call food, wear their funny hats and parade down Fifth Avenue. Then, the rest of the year, we can hate them is peace.

Now all we need is a song.

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Stevieslaw: Father’s Day

I first posted this is 2011, when my blog was young. I’ve been thinking about my father a lot lately. He was a kind and generous man who approached life with a great, good humor he was more than willing to share.

Stevie's Law

Father’s Day

Your song sang in my mind today.

I longed so to sing it with you.

It was one of your sillier songs,

and it rolled round and round,

like that toy train you bought for me

once, when I was five or six.

It was more than you could afford

and I soon disposed of it, as a child does.

I see you still, on that morning

you first walked with me to school.

New York City so slyly proud of

Autumn, it cackled in the painted trees. 

We sang together then and loud

and made a spectacle of us, you’d say,

like Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments,

screened in Technicolor at our theatre

by the elevated train. We made so little

 from it dad—I have  just the memory.

My cousins, my children paraded to your

songs.  I suppose they sing them still.

But time sings in…

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From Sarah Russell.

Sarah Russell Poetry

Start with a kiln-dry summer day,
when the earth cracks with longing,
and sweat makes tracks between your breasts.

The air’s so still you hear a beetle scuttle
on the screen, the sun dims in a sullen sky,
and crickets stop chirping. Maybe they know
what’s coming, or they’re tired of asking.

Then it starts – the first lazy drops –
and when the wooden porch step’s dappled,
you go out and lift your face to the embrace
and breathe in the mix of dust and rain
like a lover’s musk.

– Sarah Russell
First published in The Houseboat
Painting by  Rafaelll90 Digital Art

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Stevieslaw: Mitch McConnell’s Magical Bus

Stevieslaw: Mitch McConnell’s Magical Bus

Who would have ever guessed there would be a strong connection between Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and author and counterculture guru, Ken Kesey? In 1964, Kesey purchased an old International Harvester School bus to take his band of drug-infused Merry Pranksters on a cross-country tour. The bus was nicknamed “Further” (or Furthor), which we take in the sense of promoting the counter-culture cause.

Now, just over 50 years later, Mitch McConnell is also seeking a bus—a magical bus. I suppose he will name it something like Lesser or perhaps Destroyer. Republicans, being Republicans, are helping him find something suitable.

Why magical, you ask? Well, it has to be large enough to throw 23 million people under it.

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Stevieslaw: Pinkie Swear

Stevieslaw: Pinkie Swear
While everyone was watching Donald Trump parade through Washington without any clothes on, House Republicans have been doing the heavy lifting of overturning all things Obama. This past week they voted to gut the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulations. The Republicans claim that the regulations are so onerous on the banks, that they are holding the economy back in its recovery from the Great Recession. You probably recall that the origin of the Great Recession resided principally in the greed of the large banks.
“That won’t happen again,” said Paul Ryan to our financial reporter, Smokey Diamond. “I demanded that each of the leaders of the major U.S. Banks come to my office and swear that they wouldn’t destroy the economy again.” “And, it wasn’t just any promise,” continued Ryan, “it was a pinkie promise.” “In fact, a full color photo of Jamie Dimon—Chairman of JPMorganChase, and me as we make a pinkie swear is available on my website.”
Stevieslaw is, unfortunately, not able to provide a definitive statement on what you should do with your pittance while waiting for the Greater Recession. Expert opinion differs strongly on whether it is best to hide it under the bed or to bury it under a rock. But, isn’t that the essence of modern Republicanism. You—and not your government, get to choose where to hide your remaining shekels from the banks they’ve allowed to come and to get it.

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