WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STEYER

 

December 4 is SANTA’S LIST DAY. Yours truly having been a good boy this year, what better time than now to make out my Christmas wish list and tell Santa that I deserve everything on it? That gives me three weeks to be naughty while the old fart is busy browbeating and driving his elves to peak toy production before D-Day (Delivery Day) — or should I say, before Delivery Night. The way I see it, it’s not my fault that Santa won’t have time to check up on me — he should be a more adept despot.

Just kidding,of course. I don’t really plan on being a bad boy from now until Christmas…. and to prove it, my list will consist entirely of wishes for someone much more in need than I — a child so spoiled and naughty, he may soon be locked out of his WHITE HOUSE (depending on who holds the key to the outcome). The name of that over-privileged child is Don-Don (known as THE DONALD by those in awe of him — and who isn’t?).

But why leave to chance the chances that my wishes for Don-Don come true?

If not upon a star, maybe I could wish upon a STEYER: Tom-Tom STEYER, the billionaire liberal activist, philanthropist, and Trump ingrate, for help in suggesting gifts that Santa (perhaps with coaxing from Mrs. Claus, who could probably use a Steyer-donated fur coat) might deliver to the needy Don-Don. But it seems Tom-Tom is too-too busy donating  to causes instead of Clauses, so I’m stuck doing the dirty work all by myself. Fortunately, I have a pretty good idea of the toys it will take to get little Don-Don to straighten up and fly right, see himself for who he really is, and mend his lying ways:

Here, then, is my Don-Don wish list to Santa (additional suggestions welcomed):

1. A self-administered lie detector kit which gives $ for every truth and an electrical shock for every lie.

2. Smelling salts and a first aid kit to recover from daily attempts (which Don-Don can never resist) to sneak lies past #1.

3. A game of Trump Monopoly, which is just like regular Monopoly except: only Don-Don and family can play, there are numerous GO-TO-JAIL spaces, and there are no GET-OUT-OF-JAIL-FREE cards. 

4. A bully pulpit, complete with a bully who calls Don-Don a “loser” whenever something doesn’t go Don-Don’s way.

5. Don-Don finds Jesus on Fox News, has a revelation that he’s supposed to do unto others as he would have them do unto him, takes the Golden Rule to heart, astounds the world, and gives Sean Hannity a heart attack.

6. A new law permitting any President named Trump to be above the law (but only with the approval of any Special Counsel named Mueller).

7. A Presidential pardon for himself, enough enablers to keep him in office two more years, and a country gone to moral indifference and re-electing him in 2020. Hey, how did that wish slip in here? Could it be written in the stars?

 

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WHO KNEW?

Who knew that….

JACK LEMMON COULD SING?

BRIGITTE BARDOT COULD DANCE?

RONALD REAGAN COULD ACT? Really.

DONALD TRUMP COULD LIE? Well, only whenever he talks or tweets. And, in his defense (as the aforementioned Jack Lemmon discovered),

 

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE, THAT IS THE QUESTION*

To see or not to see, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to look past
The slings and arrows of outrageous tweets
And excuse the lies and insults of our imperial Don,
So long as such doth advance our noble cause
And lead us back to the glory of righteous times,
Devoutly to be wish’d. Ay, there’s the rub:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’opressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the unworthy spurns,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus devil-deals doth make cowards of us all
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
Lie paraded, bare and exposed for all but us to see.

*with appreciation, but no apologies, to Shakespeare

 

 

 

IT ISN’T BECAUSE IT ISN’T (VARIATIONS ON A THEME)

I don’t see it as a safety issue because it isn’t.” –Bill Kaeppner, president of Ohio Motorized Trails Assn., speaking in favor of the State Division of Forestry’s proposal to allow all-purpose vehicle trails to cross hiking trails in Ohio State Parks

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Reading the foregoing quote in a local newspaper article a few weeks ago, the possible applications of its incontrovertible logic struck me like the twaddle in a Trump tweet. Think of the implications for settling all manner of opposing positions. Think of all the cross-purposes which could be brought to a screeching stop, like trail traffic in a forest, by a simple red light at a crossing intersection. Friends, Romans, Fishermen, the solution is as obvious as the nose on your face: IT ISN’T BECAUSE IT ISN’T. End of de bait.

Let us take a look at a few of of Trump’s favorite declarations as examples of settling matters by simple fiat (it is or isn’t, because he says it is or isn’t):

WITCH HUNT — which is to say, do I look like a witch? (well, he’s got us there–no self-respecting witch would look like him)

THERE’S NO COLLUSION — and even if there was, it ain’t illegal. (just ask Putin–your Russian to judgment)

FAKE NEWS — any news not viewed through the fair and balanced lens of Fox News. (not to crow, but the allegory here is a piece of cake):

CHOKED LIKE A DOG —in other words, a loser. (spoken like a man who’s the only President never to have owned a dog since McKinley)

BELIEVE ME — would I lie? (like a sleeping dog, Donald–like a sleeping dog)

LIAR, LIAR, RANTS ON FIRE

One of my readers, who is obviously a glutton for punishment, recently expressed disappointment that I haven’t posted more of my poems lately. At the risk of triggering that old axiom BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, I thank her for having inspired me to address the deficiency thusly:

DECEIT DON’T STAND

As the twig is bent,
so grows the tree.
As the die is cast,
so shall it be.

If these be true,
why is it wise:
The Donald gets a pass
when he tells those lies?

Of course, I should also thank the President, without whose daily rants my inspiration for this poem would doubtless lie dormant. And now for a word from the truly wise about lies:

Carlyle said, “A lie cannot live”; it shows he did not know how to tell them. –Mark Twain

A man comes to believe in the end the lies he tells about himself to himself. –George Bernard Shaw

I admire liars, but surely not liars so clumsy they cannot fool even themselves. –H. L. Mencken

Pretending that you believe a lie is also a lie. –Arthur Schnitzler

If at first you’re not believed, lie, lie again. –Evan Esar

Not sure why the video is black. Maybe because the lies it laments aren’t white ones. But the sound is clear, and the voice shines through the darkness.

 

 

 

LIAR, LIAR, RANTS ON FIRE

All sin is a kind of lying.
— St. Augustine

Would that some of those ranters who have been casting “liar” charges all over the political landscape lately pause to consider the real meaning of the word. My dictionary defines “liar” simply as someone who tells a lie, which is in turn defined as a false statement purposefully put forward as truth. The key word here is “purposefully.” When either left or right wing purists put forward false statements as truth, do they do it purposefully, or do they believe that their “lies” are the truth?

I see idealogues as true believers who truly believe what they’ve been led to believe. If so, the average “amateur” true believers aren’t liars when they say what they say (as opposed to “professional” true believers who not only believe, but have no qualms about, shall we charitably say, stretching the truth for their cause).

If we reflect on the literal meaning of “liar”, we may be more careful about putting that label on those who say things we find obnoxious. Chances are they not only believe those things, but they have been pathetically misled by their “professional” soulmates.

As journalist and writer Walter Lippman pointed out over 80 years ago (and which is still true today), public opinion is easily manipulated and “the mass of the reading public is not interested in learning….the results of accurate investigation.” Thus, once an ideologue is manipulated by half truths and untruths, (s)he is usually manipulated for good (or should I say, for bad).

Have a good (or should I say, bad) day.