Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The " ? " Word

A short time ago some idiotic small minded hecklers shouted at and belittled our Congressmen and women as they walked up the Capitol steps.  One in particular used the ‘N’ word.

Say what?

Actually it is amazing how well we know exactly what is meant by the above.  It’s a euphemism and they have been in our lives forever.

They are in the lingo used by waitresses to make sure the BLT is ‘down’ or when it is ‘86’ and by the street-wise youths wanting their own private language, yo. 

But when you mix euphemisms and politically correct speech together much may end up lost in translation.  A is no longer just for Apple!

We have reached the point in America where we must stop and think before using any words that could be construed or misconstrued as offensive.  But while there are words that have been replaced by kinder gentler terms the meanings behind them are still quite clear.

So in the interest of a stress free society I have prepared the following list of possible slur substitutes for your consideration.  And so that you may find the insult of your choice quickly they are in alphabetical order.  Feel free to add your own but be kind. Study hard - There will be a test.

The “A” word – Usually followed by ‘hole’ or proceeded by ‘Jack’ - Biblically this one has a jawbone!

The “B” word – Men have an itch to use this word all too often.

The “C” word – Now we’re getting nasty – It’s not aunt and it’s not bunt…

The “D” word – Another word men use to describe some women. It’s also a popular TV personality and friend of Mary Tyler Moore.

The “E” word – Well, euphemisms or if you are religious, THEE word!

The “F” word – Homophobic repressed and closeted individuals sling this one.

The “F” bomb – Notice the switch from ‘word’ to ‘bomb?’  Mr. Biden does!

The “G” word – The nineties were!

The “H” word – Where I’ll probably end up for writing this piece

The “I” word – Used by jealous Republicans during the Clinton years. But they caught on to his fun and started getting their own rather regularly

The “J” word – I am familiar with this as are many who celebrate Hanukah during Christmas or Passover around Easter time.

The “K” word – Ditto the above but nastier

The “L” word – Another one of the words men love to toss around – and some women as well

The “M” word – This was a movie in 2004 and also wedded bliss but sadly in my country only for “opposites”

The “N” word – ‘Nuff said

The “O” word – In Hollywood it’s used around awards time but may also signify territories under foreign rule, not that we would know about such stuff

The “P” word – Something you can do to your finger if you handle roses improperly

The “Q” word – In a ‘break a leg’ sort of way believe it or not this is a ‘kin ahora’ for nurses and doctors who work in an ER and will never say, “Gosh it’s a Quiet day!” Poo poo poo.

The “R” word – Generally only people who are this use this

The “S” word – Something to ‘get together’ and many extremists are brimming over with

The “T” word – During the reign of Bush 43 we never did any of this to detainees! (Honorable mention – something for Tat)

The “U” word – Management and large corporations consider this one a 4 letter word but it’s actually 5, right Norma Rae?

The “V” word – I could do a whole monologue on this one but Grey’s Anatomy said it best – “Vuh-Jay-Jay”

The “W” word – As if illegal alien wasn’t a good enough slur this moist word hangs on them like a monkey. (Honorable mention – Edwin Starr’s, “What’s good for absolutely nothin’”) (Another honorable mention if spelled wrong – Don Imus’ basketball ladies)

The “X” word – It marks the spot but put together with a few other characters can be any ‘x$&#%’ curse you like!

The “Y” word – Sorry but nothing comes to mind except Fred Gwynne’s query to Joe Pesce. And a “Damn” baseball team from one of the boroughs of New York.

And finally the “Z” word – Surprisingly many allusions such as the mark of that Spanish swordsman or George Romero’s brain eaters.

Test: A Neanderthal type just said, ‘She’s an ‘F’ bomb ‘B word’ ‘L’ word!’
Aside from being an ‘A word,’ what did this ‘H word’ bound ‘P word’ try to say?

I’m “rotflmao” but that’s for another time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


No matter what you do if you do it it will get someone else upset!
And with our 24 hour news cycle and sound-bite mentality this tension is here to stay.  And since our attention span is so short our objections must be made in acronyms.
For example, in order to get better cell phone service the phone companies must build more cell towers - NIMBY!
With the revival of Hair on Broadway we all remember the song about LBJ taking the IRT and the youth of the USA on LSD.  In the song it was cute and acronyms were fun for a while but now?
Facts are facts.
If we want to get our point across we must come up with a catchy abbreviation.
New York, like many States is in financial trouble.  We have terrific shortfalls in many areas and there are really only 3 ways to make it better. (I am purposely leaving out the loss of funds due to corruption and bribes because ending those should be a no-brainer.)
1 - Cut spending and stop the appropriate services.
2 - Raise taxes to pay for continuation of the services upon which we have come to rely.
3 - Renege on some of the ill-conceived contracts the City and State made in the past and stop giving raises to municipal workers while others are being sent into the poor house.
(Please don't send me hate mail on point #3.)
Naturally we can come up with a fourth solution which would be a combination of the first three but who in our government has the political will to do so?
The only time we see a politician do the right thing these days is when they are not running for office any more. Perhaps we should limit all terms to 1!
The Long Island Railroad (appropriately AKA LIRR) is facing a serious budget shortfall.  But traffic on the island is also horrendous.  A small solution to eventually alleviate both problems would be the construction of a third rail between two towns and the addition of the East Side Tunnel linking the LIRR to Grand Central Station.
This idea has been stopped in it's tracks by Democratic State Senator Craig Johnson of Port Washington. You see Pt. Washington will not personally benefit by either of the two proposed fixes.
NFMBP! (Not From My Back Pocket)
And so in order to appease one town on Long Island and one small minded politician who does not believe in the spirit of the 'United' part of United States nearly 8,000,000 people will have to suffer.
Bravo Johnson!
I have a suggestion - Since the good Senator does not wish to be a part of the system privatize the Pt. Washington branch and ask the riders to pay the LIRR for access to the common tracks.
The facts are simple! We can no longer expect a free ride.
If we wish to continue the services we are used we must find a way to pay for them.  And that means EVERYONE!
For a period of time we will all have to tighten our belts. EVERYONE! - Even the people IMBY.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Different Day, I Mean Night

President Obama will once again be answering questions tonight.

So, this is news?  What's the big deal?

Wait, let me finish.  What's your hurry?

This time his grilling will be at the hands of his daughters when they ask, "Why is tonight different from all other nights?"

Okay, get it?

For the second time in his presidency and sadly only the second time in US history a Passover Seder will be performed in the White House.  And while it may seem a bit odd to some to have the traditional questions read aloud by Sasha and Malia it is nevertheless a welcome event and one they have done before.

This nation was after all founded on tolerance and freedom.  We are a melting pot of nationalities and religions and ideas and beliefs.  We embrace all and respect all, most of the time.

The Passover Seder which celebrates or rather commemorates the exodus from Egypt of the newly freed Israeli slaves usually ends with the declaration and desire to meet, 'next year in Jerusalem.'  But like the Brooklyn Dodgers the wait till next year thing didn't happen all that quickly.  The tribes of Israel spent forty years in the desert before finally crossing the River Jordan and entering the land of milk and honey.

While a very religious Seder may seem to last about that long luckily it takes slightly less time than that for our President to fly for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And that makes this seder a most intriguing one as only time will tell what Jerusalem will look like next year, and who will be there.  Hopefully it will be a peaceful place.

But what are you doing going off an a tangent already?  You always do that!
Get back to the story.

Alright, sorry, relax.

So tonight the spirits of the President, his family, staff and close friends will rise even if the bread does not.  The atmosphere should be calm and the wine sweet (grape juice for the first children please.)

So to those at the White House Seder I say, may your parsley be crisp, and your shmaltz be tasty and don't forget to leave a plate for the Salahis, I mean Elijah.

And Mr. President, may I suggest a couple of prunes for dessert.  I'm just sayin...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mother Knows Best

With apologies to Robert Young and his 1950 TV cast members mother does actually know best.
Mother Nature that is.

At times she is the strong silent type but when she is upset she can take it out on her children with a swiftness and fury unsurpassed by father.

Of course Father Time does come into the picture but only after his bride has changed the playing field.  And don't we often say that 'time heals all wounds?'  So daddy tends to soften the blows after a while.

But occasionally we forget who's in control and think we know better than mom.  She is forgiving for she realizes we are flawed.  We are given many chances to fix our mistakes and as long as they are not disastrous all will be well.

We are currently in a struggle with ourselves on the subject of 'Global Climate Change' nee Global Warming' (from here on to be called 'GW.')  Although scientists around the world know GW to be true a handful of politically motivated ostriches are trying to muddy the waters.

Pundits (aptly pronounced PUN-DITZ) point to studies based on shaky short-sighted studies such as snowstorms and unusually cold weather in the North East this past winter as proof that there is no GW.  The studies are generally funded and backed by organizations that would lose money if they had to stop polluting the Earth.

Mother Nature quietly sits in judgment of these sad sacks and silently sends soft signals that they are wrong.

For example, the coral reefs around the globe are disappearing due to higher water temperatures and increased pollution in the oceans.  Some are even postulating that the current increase in earthquake activity could be related to GW as well.

But another more visible signal has been taking place over a rather short period of time. By comparing photographs of glaciers around the globe we can see the diminution thereof.  What once was is no more.

Some politicians love to throw around numbers and statistics to phony up conclusions or rile up their base in an effort to gain support.  These half-truths become talking points such as the current one about health care being "one sixth of our economy!"  Well if they are so worried about one sixth of our economy then why not be worried about NINETY to NINETY FIVE PERCENT of the world's glaciers?

According to even skeptical scientists that is the number of glaciers succumbing to the increased heat of the planet, aka GW.

But even this is not enough for the leaders of our country to sit up and take notice.

We all know it's not nice to fool Mother Nature but it's also not wise.

So trust mom to come up with another subtle hint.  In her infinite wisdom she has settled a dispute between two Asian nations just as surely as any mother would and she did it in a King Solomon way.

When children fight over a toy if it cannot be cut in half then the toy is removed and no one gets to play with it.

India and Bangladesh have been fighting, literally over a tiny speck of land in the Bay of Bengal since the 1980s.  Each side claims the land as its own.

The island that once boasted only 1.5 square miles and was called New Moore Island by India or South Talpatti by the Bangladeshis has ceased to exist!  Mother Nature has reclaimed it.

You see those glaciers that are not melting due to the not increasing temperatures of the Earth may just have sent enough water into the oceans to cause a global rise in the sea level.
And thus New Moore is no more and South Talpatti has gone way south!

It is now father time's turn to heal the military tensions of the two combatant countries while the rest of us are left to ponder, What's Next?

Personally I hope it's not Long Island or Manhattan.
We've suffered enough.
Okay mom?
Pretty please?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Change is good!
We all know that.
And we should praise those who have seen the error of their ways and have been able to effect a change.

So I hereby praise the entire Republican Party for their recent morphing act.  Almost to a person the entire "Party of NO" has become "THE PARTY OF NO, RETROACTIVELY!"

After a one hundred year fight to tear down the wall between the tax paying citizen of America and affordable fair healthcare the Democrats mustered enough scrotum content to pass a milquetoast beginning.

The Republicans and their handlers fought a tough battle to stop this affront to everything Conservative.  Shouting Armageddon and Waterloo they walked lockstep together arm in arm but in the end fell short of their goal.

The law is being changed, albeit in a tiny way and for a tiny amount of people but it is a start.

Now the Republicans, every man, woman and talk show jack-ass are gearing up for the repeal fight!  They will not stop until the "NO" can be placed retroactively on anything that will save a life but cost a corporation a dollar!

They used to say that the human body was worth 78¢.  Unfortunately that is still how much the insurance companies are willing to pay out if you get sick or die.  I'm sorry, that's a bit harsh, with inflation it's up to a buck eighty.

But when I said change was good I did not mean the type of change that jingles in your pocket.

Income and Outgo

In order to pay for some of the necessary social programs being put in place the government will have to find the money somewhere.  Traditionally this is done by implementing a new tax or raising the rate on an old one.

Another way to raise the capital would be to cut or scale down other programs but that is rarer than the Holy Grail.  And having said that I am sure the IRS will target me for an audit.  So the taxes will have to provide for the greater good.

One of the areas the government always likes to target is the so-called 'unearned income.' This is generally money an investor makes when he risks his own cash in the hopes of getting into a higher tax bracket.  It is the carrot that is held in front of those of us on the outside looking in.

In the show and movie, "1776" John Dickinson, a Republican representative put it best when he quipped that, "most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor."  He used this as the reason why the people will follow his side.

On the face of it a tax on the money we make investing seems fair.  After all it is income of sorts and we tax all income, right?

But it is not right.  And I also have a bone to pick with the term 'unearned.'  When I am lucky enough to make some small amount of money in the stock market it is only after hours of research.  The amount of time spent and money risked versus the reward is usually not that impressive but always earned.

And the money I do risk has already been taxed!  But I am not complaining about that part as long as the tax is paid by everyone in the same boat.  In fact one of my lifelong dreams remains intact to this day; I want to owe a million dollars in taxes - Sweet!

If we wish to really use the term of unearned income properly we must start calling the salary paid to our Congress men and women unearned for surely they do very little real work for it!

With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the passage of the 'do very little' health care reform bill one would think this law will save the world.  But a closer look will note all the blemishes on the new law that does far less than it should have.

This is because most of the time spent on ironing out an acceptable bill in Congress was not in committees but in the offices of the lobbyists who must make sure they maintain their obscene incomes.

Over the course of the next 3½ years the insurance industry will pay their sleaze bags, I mean lawyers inordinate amounts of cash to find the loopholes in the law.  They will continue to raise the premiums and lower the coverages before the law takes effect so that they can hold onto as much ill-gotten gains as possible.

You wish to talk about UNEARNED INCOME?

It is a simple fact that if the insurance industry had just given the cash spent to stop the bill in the past along with what they are about to spend in the next four years to their customers we'd all be better off.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We're Knee Deep in Needy

‘United we stand.’  What does that mean?
How about, ‘Divided we fall?’
On their own the statements are fairly clear but together they are quite compelling.

The more people who unite in a common cause the better the chance for a favorable outcome.  And conversely if we all go off in different directions then we stand a better than 50-50 chance of failing.

Naturally there are exceptions to every rule but as Spock once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

But an alarming number of people in this country say they hate those Vulcan words and want to reverse their meaning.

In order to further their small group’s needs they subvert the truth in favor of some skewed view of life, not as we know it but as they’d like it to be.  They change history by omitting items not favorable to their cause and inserting falsities as facts.

One may assume that one or two revisions down the road and Texas’ school books will list President Bush and his evil companion as heads of the best administration the country ever had.

In this ever increasingly complex world what we need is more education and not less.  And in keeping with the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt we seem to have forgotten many truths.

For example, in order for the United States to have armed forces (this includes the army, navy etc.) we all must chip in.  The question of how much should be spent on said forces may rage on but the fact that we need them is not up for debate.  We, as in EVERYONE pay for our nation’s security out of our tax dollars!

When it comes to a police force or the firemen or education or our fantastic system of National Highways the funding also comes from our tax dollars.

Another old adage states that you are okay, "As long as you have your health."

But somewhere along the path to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness we seem to have removed health from the equation and replaced it with corporate greed.

They say that money can't buy happiness, and four kids from Liverpool once told us that it can't buy me love but it sure comes in handy when you are sick.

The strange fact is that when a poor person gets sick and cannot pay for health care he or she may wind up in a hospital emergency room.  All the costs involved in taking care of that person will be absorbed by the facility and figured into their operating expenses.

These operating expenses are then totaled and divided among those of us who can afford to pay for the service.  This is only fair since the hospital could and would go out of business otherwise.

So in a very real sense our costs would be lower if that poor person was covered by insurance, or better yet had a job that offered coverage.

But at this very moment in our country jobs are not that easy to come by and the “haves” are not willing to share a farthing with the “have nots.”

This is not how our country was founded.  And it goes against the “U” in our country’s name!

Frank Capra’s movies are considered hokey and tremendously idealistic but once in a while we should remember Jimmy Stewarts’ line from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

He was holding off the mass hysteria that caused the run on the bank.  His customers were crowded into the Bailey Savings and Loan demanding their money and he saved the day by reminding them that, “You’re thinking of this place all wrong…  Your money’s in Joe’s house…right next to yours…And in Kennedy’s house… and a hundred others.  Now what are you going to do, foreclose on them?”

One of these days we all could find ourselves in a bad place.  One of these days something unforeseen could sneak up and bite us on our rear ends and threaten our cozy comfort.  Suddenly we are the ones being transported through the swinging doors of the emergency room.

Now what are you going to do?

The idea is a simple one that we seem to have lost sight of but it can be found in the first three words at the top of this article!