Stevieslaw: Let’s get real

Stevieslaw: Get Real
They came for my Uncle Arthur in the middle of the night. They came, dressed in body armor, with guns drawn. All of my relatives agreed that both of those precautions were sensible. Uncle Arthur could be on occasion difficult to deal with.
Months before, Arthur had been arrested for usury—an old and rare term for what we now call banking. His trial had just begun. But what prompted his visit from local and federal law officials on that March night in Southern Florida was a fresh charge of jury tampering and obstruction of justice. Uncle Arthur had met with two of the jurors, to inform them in his most mannered style that it would be much healthier for them if he were to be found innocent. They are both healing nicely.
Arthur’s lawyer, my young cousin Jerry, pleaded him on ignorance of the law. When the judge had finished laughing—Jerry often ran into this—he informed the two of them that, “ignorance of the law excuses no one (ignorantia juris non excusal).” Arthur might have gone to jail had he not had political connections.
To be fair, my Uncle Arthur had only a fourth grade education and Cousin Jerry was an acknowledged airhead, but it was interesting to hear Speaker Ryan—aka, the smart one, plead Trump on the same defense yesterday.
If you still believe that the Republicans will somehow impeach Trump, I can get you in touch with my Uncle Arthur who will be happy to loan you the money to buy the bridge I would like to sell you. The tooth fairy will deliver the loan directly to your door.
Sure, the Russian attempt to hijack our election(s) is serious business, for all the reasons that James Comey cited in his testimony. And, sure the Trump campaign was involved in making this happen. And, sure someone will be indicted, found guilty and placed in a Federal minimum security prison for a few months. And, sure you will have never have heard of this person—some third or fourth level political hack with even less pull than my Uncle Arthur.
It will dominate the media for months—occupying the expertise of never ending panels of never ending experts arguing the fine points, among themselves, of something that will not matter at all.

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Stevieslaw: How the Centre Daily Times is Undermining Trump

Stevieslaw: Sly Subversion and The Centre Daily Times
Ask most people in Central Pennsylvania and they will agree that our local newspaper, The Centre Daily Times, leans way to the right. Once a week, we are treated to an incoherence by Cal Thomas—you know, the preacher man who claims on his web site to resemble god. Then, there are the endless full page debates in the Op-ed section, which pit, for example, a finance major funded by the Heritage Foundation against a Nobel Prize winning climate scientist on the scientific background of global warming, as if they had an equal knowledge of the topic.
But, if you look beyond the editorials that claim Obama was much worse and even beyond the individual articles, there is something striking about how they choose to present the news. The juxtaposition of articles is what interests me. It seems that every time they present an article about, say, an NRA statement on the benefits of arming toddlers, there is also an article about a gun massacre somewhere. Statements by Vietnam Vets on why interfering in countries for which we have no appreciation of the people or the culture should be taboo is often accompanied by a piece about an increase in American troops in Somewherestan.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But if I wanted to convince people about the evil absurdity of Trump’s climate policy, I could use the headline: Donald Trump is a Empty Headed Moron—which is certainly true, or I could do what the CDT did today. They put two short articles on top of one another. The first was a piece about the Secretary General of the U.N., Antonio Gutteres, who said that “the oceans are under threat as never before.” The second was a piece about the Trump administration seeking permission to use seismic air guns to find oil and gas deep under the Atlantic Ocean. Gutteres noted that, if nothing is done, discarded plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, while the Trump Administration forgot to mention that these guns are so loud that they can kill whales and other marine life.
Subtle? Perhaps. But way to go Centre Daily Times!

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Is That What’s Bothering You, Bunkie?

An old LAGuide from Voices of Central PA to spread some cheer.

Stevie's Law

Is That What’s Bothering You, Bunkie? The LAGuide to Never Giving Up.
By Steve Deutsch
At Stevieslaw, we believe the first law of parenting is to give your child a locally recognizable name and, if at all possible, one that can be easily shortened without evoking thoughts of body parts. This was certainly true in Brooklyn in the 50’s, when what we knew of bullying was primitive. If you told your mother that “Miss so and so” and “Mr. this and that” had held your head under water for two hours at Betsyhead pool, she would tell you to, “Hit them with a brick.” Although I’m sure Aunt Edith and Uncle Arthur, of British heritage, meant well by naming their first born, Wilberforce (which you and I both know was, in the Wodehouse Jeeves novels, the middle name of Bertie Wooster) it did not play well in the streets. Wilberforce…

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Another from mr friend Sarah Russell.–a fine poet.

Sarah Russell Poetry

The finches are courting
outside our window, a warbled
discussion of real estate and love.
Like last year and the year before,
they want to lease the flower wreath
on our front door. It’s always a dilemma:
discourage their rapture or detour
through the garage?

The finches always win. So
for a month we’ll wake to overtures
at dawn – so cheerful, so loud –
show pictures of pin-feathered babies
to friends, recall demands
and pleasures of our own brood,
the bittersweet fledging.

– Sarah Russell
First published by Your Daily Poem
The photo is of their nest last year.

Thought this was apropos since Mr. and Mrs. Finch are back and are quite excited about our new wreath this year.  They were both tucked into a niche behind the blossoms, discussing the furnishings when I opened the door this morning.  The nest was almost complete this afternoon.  Can’t deny…

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Stevieslaw: Seismic activity rocks Quincy, Massachusetts

Stevieslaw: Seismic activity rocks Quincy Massachusetts
Residents of Quincy were awakened last night by an earthquake that measured nearly 5.5 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake continues and is accompanied by a sound of muffled moaning.
MIT scientists we’re initially baffled by the seismic signal as it seemed oddly periodic. Dr. Abe D. Hope said, “We have tracked the origin of the quake to the gravesite of John Adams. Clearly, President Adams is rolling over and over in his grave while screaming “no, no—who put an orange headed monster in my house.”
We were reminded today by Writer’s Almanac that John Adams, the first resident of the White House, wrote to his wife Abigail after his first night there:
I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”
Reports of quakes near other Presidential burial sites have been drifting in all night.
A good night’s sleep seems unlikely for much of the nation.

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Stevieslaw: The Meaning of Trump’s Covfefe

Stevieslaw: Trump’s Covfefe
Contrary to Donald Trump’s assertion, covfefe was not the first word invented or promoted by a President, nor is it likely to be the most bigly or huge ever. Harding gave us “normalcy,” Lincoln “Michigander,” Washington “moment” and “out of the way” and Jefferson “belittle.”
But the hidden meaning of Presidential doodles, meanders and mistakes has been the lifelong work of Library of Congress researcher, Dr. James Dictionnaire. Dr. D. as he is called by his colleagues and friends told our own Smokey Diamond that “there is a rich history of Presidential doodles having significant, though hidden, meaning. Often in fact, the typo or doodle has meaning in a foreign language—one that the doodler is not familiar with.”
“For example,” he continued, “Lincoln gave us “freedom” scribbled in nearly perfect Esperanto on the edge of the Gettysburg Address. Franklin Roosevelt had “security” in Turkish, Medieval Hungarian, and Finnish on his desk blotter.” A Nixon typo had “I am a crook” spelled out perfectly in Portuguese, while John Kennedy had “peace” written in fourteen languages—some ancient– in typed notes to his brother Bobby during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
“And covfefe,” asked Smokey?
“Ah, that was a hard one,” admitted Dr. D. “But after years and years of tracking these words and expressions down, I was able to find it.” It means “I am an empty-headed moron” in the language of Atlantis.”
“High five,” said Smokey with a grin.


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Stevieslaw: Kushie saves the day.

Stevieslaw: Kushie Saves the Day
Air Force One was already in the air when the President’s party found out that the Air Force Marching Band would be unable to play at Trump’s arrival because they had to practice for their performance at the Army-Navy game next February. Jared Kushner sprang into action. Using his deep contacts in the contemporary music scene, Jared was able to line up The Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band, to play at the President’s arrival home.
The band began to play as the President’s plane taxied to its hangar. They timed the performance perfectly and began to play the Beatle’s hit from the White Album, “Back in the U.S.S.R” just at Mr Trump exited the plane. Chief son-in-law Kushner was so taken by the song that he grabbed a mike and sang along to the last stanza:
Show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy’s farm
Let me hear your balalaika’s ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm.
I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
You don’t know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Senator, John McCain, said of the arrival and the performance, “I am truly horrified.”

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