Category Archives: politics

Don’t Do What I Say…

If you tell a middle-school child not to do something, do you know what the only thing they are thinking about doing is? Yes, you know it. The thing you told them not to do is the only thing they desire to do. Republicans in general, old white guys with lots of money, and everybody who follows their lead will be exactly the same. If you want to see middle-school kids try coming to school naked, tell them the dress code specifically requires them to wear clothes. And it won’t be the pretty ones, the smart ones, or the poor ones who try to become in-school nudists. It will be the fat, ugly, wealthy ones. In fact, it is the reason private schools for the rich concentrate on telling them what they must wear, like ascots, diamond cufflinks, and polo shirts in school colors. And they never have a rule that states, “You must wear clothes.”

So, let’s see if we can really confuse the disobedient and contrary masses of the world by telling them not to do what we really want them to do. But don’t tell them we want them to do what we are telling them not to do. Make them figure it out for themselves. It’s the only way to get them to do what you want. Make them think it’s not what you want and forbid it.

(Is the king wearing his new clothes? Not if you can see them, peasant!)

Let’s start with the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSaniflush. Do not vote him out of office. Only support those ideas that benefit his political career no matter how badly they will hurt the people of Florida. Happily pay the extra tax burden he has laid on Florida residents because he rescinded the special deal Disney has as a major employer and corporate entity in the Orlando area. The Disney corporation is guilty of a terrible thing, not wishing to demean any of its LGBTQ employees by following his “Don’t Say Gay” law, and don’t deserve to have the special deal where they have the right to maintain their own roads and county services in the Disney World region of Florida. Those Floridians need to assert their rights by paying for those same maintenance and service issues with their own tax burden. That will show those Mickey-on-Pluto-going-at-it perverts.

Get what I really mean? Listen very carefully. Some of those words are dog-whistles and bell-ringers, and Floridians are too stupid to figure out what we really want them to do. They will never prove us wrong. Am I right?

This honorable gentleman, current Emperor of Texas, Greg “Gunslinger” Abbott, also should never be voted out of office. After all, he is the anointed successor to the former Emperor of Texas, Rick “I’m Smarter With My Glasses On” Perry. You don’t become Emperor of Texas by being voted in, but, rather, by preventing certain people from possibly voting against you.

You see, what Emperor Abbott wants to protect us from is something called Critical Race Theory. This is an evil cloud of educational ideas intended to make innocent white children, specifically rich innocent white children, feel guilty and ashamed by knowing about things like civil rights abuses, inequality, slavery, racially-motivated lynchings, the South losing the Civil War, and Jim Crow laws not being about birds. This will be achieved by accusing and firing teachers and principals, especially teachers and principals of color, for promoting CRT through books like the ones about Ruby Bridges.

Here are the kinds of books CRT police want to ban;

For the good of white children in America, regardless of how children of color will feel about it, you should not buy these books to read them and risk liking the story of how young Ruby passed the test as a kindergartner in 1959 that allowed her to integrate William Franz Elementary as a first-grader, the only black child in her first-grade class in the previously all-white school, escorted to and from school every day by four U.S. Marshals and her mother, running a gauntlet of foul-mouthed racist protesters that threatened her, and attended an empty classroom where white children had been removed by their white parents in order to break the color barrier in Southern schools as a sort of heroine for the ages at seven years old. No, you should only buy these books to use as evidence against teachers or to burn them in a public display of CRT contempt.

So, here are the things you should not be doing. (And remember, you are not supposed to do what I say in this article.)

  1. Do not develop tolerance for people and cultures that are different than your own. We are not stronger when we are diverse. That is a lie the bad guys tell.
  2. Conservative and Republican are words that mean, “the good guys.”
  3. Democrats, liberals, progressives, fascists, communists, socialists, and terrorists are all the same thing. They are all “bad guys” and all the same.
  4. It is more important to hate the “bad guys” than it is even to love the “good guys.” After all you never know when a “good guy” will develop a conscience and become a RINO, socialist, or some other kind of “bad guy.”
  5. “Bad guys” never have ideas worth listening to. What you don’t learn about can’t hurt you. So just ignore them… or better yet, hurt them.
  6. Loving one another without conditions only works for perfect people like Republican Jesus. Don’t try it. Hating everyone works better.

So, these are the things I am saying when I say, “Don’t Do What I Say.” So, now you should go out and NOT do them.

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, Disney, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, Paffooney, politics

The Straw Man

In debate and discourse the “Straw Man” is the character the debater draws up in his narrative that he will use to represent his opponent which he will then be able to knock down as easily as if he were a scarecrow made of straw.

So, Mickey will make a straw man to represent Republicans. He is looking forward to knocking that straw man down to the ground or below.

And Mickey will make the scarecrow out of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. Made out of corn husks is almost the same as made out of straw, right? And Grassley is around nine hundred years old, so if there is any of the old iron left in his soul, it has long since dissolved into rust. Mickey’s verbal fists will not get broken bones in them.

I once shook Charles Grassley’s hand back in the 1970’s at the Wright County Fair in Eagle Grove, Iowa. He asked me to vote for him because I lived in his district, and he meant to do the right thing in Washington for the average hard-working farm family. So, I voted for him in 1976. And I did not regret that vote. Of course, that was the real Grassley. Not the corn-husk man Mickey is making for this essay.

I used to respect Republicans. Certain Republicans, anyway. The ones that still stood for something good. The ones who supported the Eisenhower Administration’s platform.

This was the Republican Party in the year that I was born. These were some of the principles that Mickey’s corn-husk man promised to uphold.

But then came Ronny Ray-Gun.

And the Republican Party got remade. They became the party of rich people. Ronny Ray-Gun introduced Voodoo Economics (a theory given its name by George HW Bush.)

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” said Ronny.

Of course, he meant, “If you’re not rich enough to own a boat, you can drown and we won’t care.”

And the corn-husk man, Mickey’s Straw Man in this argument, could’ve objected, and insisted Congress did not go down the yellow-brick road that Ronny laid out for the GOP. Instead, he said Ray-Gun was a truly great President, and he proceeded to make himself rich enough to buy a boat, something his average farmer-constituents did not have.

And when the conservatives on the Supreme Court handed an election victory to Lonesome George the Rodeo Clown that he probably didn’t actually win, Mickey’s corn-husk-filled Straw Man thought, “Isn’t it wonderful that we get to be in power without winning an election first!”

And the Straw Man went on to help the GOP faithful (now less the Grand Old Party, and more the Greedy Old Poopheads) put a justice on the Supreme Court who sexually harassed a black woman and never apologized for it, and a justice who likes beer enough to not remember trying to rape a teenage girl at a party when he was also a teen and caused Mickey’s Straw Man to be outraged… not at the Justice’s attempted crime, but at the fact that Democrats wanted to investigate the crime he committed.

And then came the years of The Donald, allegedly born of an orangutan and allegedly the winner of the 2016 election, and all the monkey poo that the king of all monkeys could fling. And Mickey’s Straw Man failed to remove him after he was impeached…. twice in fact.

Such is the nature of Straw Men. All of the Republican Straw Men are pretty much the same. I have a grudging respect for Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowsky, Jeff Flake, and Liz Cheney. And I haven’t made up my mind about Susan Collins… because she, like any Straw Man, can’t make up her own mind. But even those few believe in Ronny Ray-Gun’s boat theory.

So, now Mickey should deliver a haymaker or two on the corn-husk-filled Straw Man. He should be easy to knock down. But all the Iowa voters… and Texas voters too… have straw where their brains ought to be. This is why the party of the farmers was once-upon-a-time known as the Know-Nothing Party. So, knocking down the Straw Man has no visible effect on the votes of any of them. Oh, well… Mickey tried.

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Filed under angry rant, humor, Iowa, Paffooney, politics

Complaining by the Irritable Complainer

Today is nothing but a crotchety old man complaining. Not the clown in the picture. He’s one of the complaints I have to get out of my system. I just need to vent and take out my bilious spleen on the world (not by surgery, but by complaining.) So, I will make a list of the things that chaps the skin on my donkey (that’s the word, isn’t it? Not the Biblical word for a donkey, but you get the idea. Teachers train themselves to never directly use the word “ass” in a way that makes middle school kids hoot and laugh.)

…..

  1. Why is the pumpkin-headed orange clown NOT in prison? I could make a list of countries that would’ve executed him directly after the coup attempt on far less evidence than we get daily in the news. How can he still be in contention for the nomination of the Republican Presidential candidate who will probably win the next election because Republicans cheat?
  2. Why do Republicans who committed crimes that they describe in detail in their books about the insurrection and Trump’s coup attempt get to make money on their books hand over fist and never get investigated by the FBI and put on trial? I didn’t commit crimes and my books get ignored. (I only gave away one book on my last free-book promotion.)

3. Why do we have to pay so much for health insurance, doctor’s bills not covered by the insurance because of a technicality, Medicare fees every three months, and still have to cover eye-doctor bills and dental bills completely out of pocket with no help from insurance?

4. Each of the last two Republican administrations gave tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and left office with the economy in free-fall crashes, making a mess for the next administrations to clean up. Why then do the Democrats not only get none of the credit for fixing the problems, but also get blamed for the painful things like inflation that come with the efforts to recover?

5. Why is it an insult to be called a Liberal (since they favor labor unions, have empathy for the poor, are slightly kinder to immigrants,, and want to do sensible things like build solar-energy infrastructure to save the planet from global extinction of life on Earth?) And why is it a complement to call somebody a Conservative (when they make laws that the majority of people don’t want, to make teachers unable to say certain words they don’t like in school like gay, straight, slavery, discrimination, and activism, and to make it harder for people to vote if they are not rich, white, and Republican, and to crack down on crimes that poor people might commit while giving a free pass on bigger crimes to corporate overlords, CEOs, and Congressmen who are Republican?)

6. Five things to complain about are not enough, but I have to stop before sour stomachs become ulcers. Okay, so that makes six… technically.

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Politics Are Doodoo, not Voodoo

President Ronny Ray-Gun

In the Republican primaries in 1980 it was Republican candidate George HW Bush who gave the old Gipper’s economic policy the accurate nickname of “Voodoo Economics.” Then when the Gipper defeated the last American President to have an administration without a war in it, that Voodoo became the things we do.

Banks became predatory, using credit card ploys to turn us into a nation of debtors where wealth defies gravity and trickles upward instead of down. To help that along, Republicans deregulated things, killed off the Savings-and-Loan industry through scandal to reduce competition. Wall Street learned to make greed good by building bubbles that allow profits to inflate them and eventually explode them. When the business moguls at the top of economic food chain went through the Great Depression (the ones who didn’t jump out of windows) they learned there are ways to turn recessions into profitable ventures for the wealthy elite. Income inequality grew fat on the raw meat of recession after recession.

And wars became a popular pastime again. Every president from Reagan onward had to manage a war they either started or inherited from their predecessor.

Gorbachev became the Premiere of the USSR. He attempted to modify Russia with Glasnost, opening up about the Russian past and the contemporary state of Russia’s economy. By opening up the ban on criticism, he caused the USSR to fall and the Cold War basically ended when they fell. Still, Republicans managed to always increase military spending, and use any excuse (in fact, making up some excuses) to declare war on somebody, especially little guys who were easy to beat up and bully. The Gipper did his happy dance and declared that Republicans had defeated evil. And stupid people gave him so much credit that two of the next three Republican Presidents got there with fewer popular votes than their opponents. And this was all okay because some voters count bigger than the rest of us.

And so the era of elections being decided by angry people and stupid people who want to punish the rest of us began.

Somehow a rodeo clown from Texas who dodged serving in combat during the Vietnam War became a war President, starting two wars, one against the wrong country. The Republicans deregulated more. Corporations cut down trees in National Forests more. They burned more coal. They fracked up the place and got more oil. And they looted and polluted more and more during the time when we could’ve done something to reverse the worst of climate change. They crashed the economy again. They made more money. They left a mess in the economy for Obama to clean up. And when he cleaned it up, they blamed him for not doing it right, and even for causing it all somehow before he took the oath of office.

And when Obama was done, and we were hoping we could return to breathing safely in the atmosphere that was quickly overheating and being filled with doodoo smells, the angry and stupid people elected an orange guy (seen above with the green guy he tried to help destroy the world.)

And now I cannot watch the news without getting steamed, or crying over pictures of dead children in Ukraine. And all of this Voodoo doodoo is deep-rooted in the Republican poopoo, growing in horrific power and doodoo smells since the time of Ronny Ray-gun. (Why can’t Star Wars Anti-Missile Systems take out Russian missiles over Ukraine? Did we not pay enough for them?)

If you are wondering why I do less and less political humor anymore, well… It really stopped being funny.

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The Doofus Divide

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I am trying to cut down on political notions and noodling in this blog.  It is like sugar to a humor writer.  The easy laughs are sweet, but if you are diabetic, they will eventually build up and kill you.

But between Twitter-tweeting twit-wits and Facebook false-fact fools, I keep getting drawn back in.  The gang of kids I grew up with in Iowa are seriously infected with Tea Party propaganda now that they are old coots like me, and continue to vote for Teabagger trolls (And I mean literal trolls.  Steve King, Congressman from Iowa, has green skin and lives under a bridge… and maybe eats foolish children when they try to cross) for public office.  And of course, I live now in Texas where gun-toting cowboys look at you intently to find any possible reason to shoot you and then thank Jesus if you are fool enough to give them one (like admitting to be mostly a Democrat in your political persuasion).  They want to argue anything and everything I post on Facebook.  Apparently even my bird pictures and cat videos politically offend them.

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Oooh!  This one really offends Teabaggers… especially the ones who make $25/hr or less.

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Can you pick out the Trump voters in this line?  All of them maybe?

And I am not suggesting that people who voted Republican in the last election aren’t as smart as my side.  I waited until now in this essay to say that, because the childhood friends and family members in that group who read my blog will have all stopped reading by this point.  I really don’t need to give them any more ammunition for Facebook and dinner table arguments.

But my side of the table are not wholly guilt free.

 

I regularly tweet or post things like these, innocently believing these heroes of the heart and mind have universal appeal because they champion truth and science and facts.  But I become alarmed when I learn how much Bill Nye offends them.  They tell me, “That guy is not a scientist!  He has no right to argue for climate change issues or the non-existence of God.  He’s just a TV guy.”  And, I suppose they have a point.  I mean, his extensive education and background in engineering, or his years in television promoting science to kids in research-based creative ways, doesn’t necessarily make him an expert on all science.  And Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist.  He doesn’t have a degree in EVERYTHING.  And when I point out that their so-called experts on climate-change denial from Fox News cannot even claim to be TV weathermen, they are further put out by my brain-bashing bullying way of using my superior knowledge of science to put them down.  Okay, I get it.  I am not being careful enough of your feelings.  (Oh, I forgot, you stopped reading this a while back.)

But the point of this is, we have to stop listening to and electing stupid people, while at the same time being a bit nicer to each other.  We have to approach the discussion with the notion that you yourself may not be totally right about everything, and you may actually learn something by talking about it.  (Which is, of course, no problem for me since I really don’t know anything for certain and need to learn practically everything as if I were still four years old.)

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Okay, Bill, I get it.  I am probably wrong about that too.

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Banned Breakfast-Table Talking

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At Mother’s breakfast table we were always encouraged to talk about stuff.  That was a given.  It was how families operated in the 60’s and 70’s.  Mom and Dad not only listened to the mindless drivel coming out of the childish mouths of me, my two sisters, and my stinky little brother, but they also tended to hold forth about things they wished to teach us. We learned Methodist-Church-flavored Christianity and Eisenhower-Republican values.  Ike had been president when I was born and got most of the credit for the post-war boom in the economy.  We were middle-class people with solid middle-class values.

And then I had the bad sense to grow up and start thinking for myself.  Nixon had let me down big-time when I was in high school.  I had defended him against my McGovern-leaning loony liberal friends.  My best friend was a preacher’s kid, a Methodist preacher’s kid.  His father actually believed in progressive nonsense about sex-education for children and helping to feed the poor.  And then Nixon turned out to be a liar, a coverer-upper, a cheat, and a bad-word-user.  I suspect, though my Dad never admitted it, that he may have voted for Carter over Ford.  It was my first time voting, and it actually felt good to use my vote to strike back at the party that betrayed my trust.

Religion, too.  In the late seventies a man named Carl Sagan put on a TV show called Cosmos.  The man bedazzled my father and I with Science.  He taught us that every molecule of us was composed of atoms that could only have been forged in the cosmic furnaces in the centers of stars.  He showed us how spectroscopy of the stars could show us what they were made of.  He showed us the meaning of Einstein’s special Theory of Relativity.  He pulled the universe together for us in a way that could not be undone.  And he did it without calling upon the name and blessings of God.  But he pointed out that we are connected to everything in the universe and everything is connected to us.  To me, that seemed to define God.  My religion was changing from Christianity to Saganism.  Of course, Mom heard that as “paganism”.  Breakfast table talking changed into early morning arguments.  We didn’t exactly throw chairs at each other, but some pretty heated and pretty large ideas went flying through the air.   Religion and politics became the banned topics at the breakfast table.

tedcruz  So that brings me to the Paffooney points for today.  This blog has turned into a place where a disobedient son, a horrible sort of “free-thinker” type of radical hippie pinko goofball, can talk about the loony-liberal progressive ideas that have taken over his good-little Eisenhower-Republican little-boy mind.    I spent the last post talking existentially about my religious beliefs.  My conservative, old-fashioned friends and family call me an atheist now, but I truly believe in God.  It’s just, I recognize the factors behind Christian myths.  I bow to the wisdom of Scientists like Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Stephen Hawking… as well as hippie psychologists like Alan Watts… and literary heroes like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S, Lewis.

Will_Rogers_1922I am proud to be an Iowegian (a Mickian word for being from Iowa), yet my birth-State produces gawd-awful Tea Party politicians like Steve King and Joni Ernst.  The stuff that comes out of their mouths doesn’t even make good fertilizer.  But they are comedy gold.  Will Rogers would have pointed out that the jokes will write themselves.  All the humorist would have to do is consult the front page of the newspaper.  I also live in Texas where the debate over secession from the United States still goes on with new Governor Greg Abbott, a man who is a Rick Perry clone, except that he hasn’t bothered to put on glasses as much to make him smarter.  And Texans are looking forward to the next Republican president in 2016.  Both Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are running.  That doubles Texas’ chances, right?  With Global Warming not being accepted as a real thing, the need for giving all our money to the Koch brothers and the Walton family being recognized by both parties in Congress, and looming war with foreign nations that have the bad sense to be “Muslim in nature”, the future looks kinda bleak.   But it is a great time to be a humorist, and I am guessing I won’t be doing very much talking at the breakfast table for a while.

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Damn Lies, White Lies, Stretchers, and Wild Hoo-Haws

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**This is a classic post from January, 2015 that is still somewhat relevant… Unless I’m lying.**

There are limits to what people will believe.  No really, there are, I promise.  You can believe me because I’m a fiction writer, a story-teller, and I therefore tell lies all the time.  I was a teacher for thirty-one years, so I not only tell kids how wonderful they are in order to get good behavior and real learning out of them, but I have been told some of the most convoluted, inside-out, purple-in-the-face hoo-haws that are ever told anywhere in human culture throughout human history, and told them by a child with a straight face, perfectly seriously, and with little red horns holding up their crooked golden halos.  We are taught to misrepresent the truth from early childhood on.

“Do you have to go potty, sweetheart?”

“No, mommy, I jest like to dance.”

“Do you love me, Mortimer?  Or do you just want to get me alone in a car after the prom?”

“Oh, I love you, Alicia.  Really I do!”

“So are you in favor of taxing the oil companies at a fair and balanced rate, Senator, so we have more money to spend on Education and public works?”

“Why, I most certainly do, young voter.  Ignore that man with the “I Love Exxon” button trying to bash me over the head with that Tea Party campaign sign.  Let me kiss that darling little baby of yours.”

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This post was inspired by all the lies told in the State of the Union speech last night by President O’Bama (He’s Irish and a conservative like Bill O’Reilly, isn’t he?)  Now, I am well aware of the white lies the President buttered our bread with.  The economy has actually improved, but not nearly as much as was claimed.  And not nearly enough for someone like me, a white male retired educator with significant health problems living in a Red State under Republican-Nazi governor/emperors who want to privatize education and spend my pension money on tax breaks for billionaires.  But those lies are nothing compared to the damn lies told by the Republican response lady, Ernst from Iowa.  She laid out a plan for undoing everything that’s been done to improve my life by the government since 2008.  The Affordable Care Act is to be repealed.  Tax breaks for “job creators” are going to be re-instituted.  We are going to heal the middle class by deregulating industry and predatory banks and by giving more benefits and goodies to the rich folks who will treat us better than those horrible Democratic liberals who want to turn us all into socialists.  This is coming from the Iowa Senator who won her seat by promising your average pork-eating Iowan to use her “hog-castrating skills” to motivate Democrats in congress to see things her way.  Iowans (of which I once was one of) know good fertilizer when they smell it.  It makes you want to shout, “Hoo-Haw!”  (Yes, it’s true, I once knew an old farm hand that, when he heard a ridiculously contorted lie, would shout “Hoo-Haw!” as a sort of derisive laughter to hear such a funny truth-twister.)

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Lies are our way of life.  We lie about what we think.  We lie about what we feel.  We lie about how we view the world.  We lie about whether or not we tell lies.  Could we live a life without ever lying?  I hate to tell you this, but if I say, “yes”, then it might not be entirely truthful of me.

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The Oxford Obfuscation

queen-elizabeth-iIf you are going to entertain a completely absurd notion like, “Shakespeare wasn’t really written by Shakespeare”, then you have to have some knowledge of the times and the context within which such a profoundly counter-intuitive thing could possibly be true.  And it also helps to understand more precisely what the “writing of Shakespeare” actually means.  Now, I know it is not particularly fair to confuse you, dear reader, right before I try to dazzle you with my complicated and over-thunk lackwit conspiracy theory, but that is, after all, what obfuscation actually means.

The plays, sonnets, and other poetry of William Shakespeare reveal the mind of a genius.  Whoever wrote the works has to be a complicated man living a complicated life.  He has to be a sensitive, empathetic, highly intelligent, observant, and troubled man.  You don’t write the dark and deeply troubled suicidal tragedy of Hamlet without ever having thought of taking your own life.  You cannot portray the madness of King Lear without ever having experienced the turmoil of the mind that threatens to tear your soul apart.  And you don’t write about the complexities of love found in As You Like It or Romeo and Juliet without ever having experienced the massive thunderstorms of the mind that go along with falling in love.  And we are talking true love, not necessarily the domestic love you have for the wife you are stuck with.   You see what I did just there?  I put you into the head of the writer, and started you thinking like you yourself are Shakespeare.  As goofy a mental gymnastic exercise as that is, bear with me and keep thinking it.

At the time of Shakespeare’s ascendancy as the Bard Laureate of English Literature, England was not a safe place to be either a noble or a playwright.  Queen Elizabeth’s mother had her head cut off for bad politics even though she was married to the King of England at the time.  Lady Jane Gray, one of Elizabeth’s predecessors, lost her head when she was no more than a sixteen-year-old girl.  During Elizabeth’s reign, one of her court favorites, Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, attempted to seize the queen herself after a riot fomented by a performance of Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, at which eleven of Essex’s noble supporters were said to be present stirring up the emotions of the crowd.  It was a near thing for the writer of the play (about the life of a king whose reign ended in controversy about succession and which led eventually to the War of the Roses) to escape without also being caught up in the rebellion’s failure and round of executions that separated Essex from his head.  Elizabeth banned numbers of plays with religious or political content, bans that never seemed to touch the writer of Shakespeare’s plays, even when they touched on political themes.  You didn’t have to rebel against the Queen to lose your head either.  Elizabeth was trying to reinstate Anglican Protestantism against the critical tides of Catholic Europe.  You could be banished, put to death, or impressed  by force into the English Navy for being suspected of ideas that were too Catholic.  And witchcraft, or consulting with witches, as Macbeth depicts, earned you a nice warm fire in the public square to cleanse your immortal soul.

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Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

So, if one were to be both a playwright and a nobleman, known to and beloved by Queen Elizabeth, might there not be good reason to write under a pseudonym?  And numerous people who write about Edward de Vere mention the fact that he wrote poetry and plays, and the plays were very popular.  Some scraps of poetry by the Earl of Oxford still exist, but whatever happened to the manuscripts of his plays?  It is a conspiracy theory so delicious, that I have to take at least one more bite.  (You understand, I try to stick to a 500-word target for these posts, and even this 600+ is really too long.  So that means there has to be an Earl of Oxford Part II at least.)

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The Cowboy Code

When I was a boy playing cowboys and Indians with cap pistols and rubber tomahawks, we all knew that cowboys had a code.  The guy in the white hat always shoots straight.  He knows right from wrong.  He only shoots the bad guy.  He even shoots the gun out of the bad guy’s hand if he can.  Westerns are about right and wrong, good and bad, and the unyieldingly good knights of the plains.

And boys believe what they see on TV and in the movie theaters.  People who make television shows never lie, do they?  In fact, Wyatt Earp was based on a real guy who really lived and really shot the bad guys at the gosh-darn real OK Corral.

Daniel Boone was a real guy too.  He faced the opening up of new lands full of deadly dangers.  And when Fess Parker played him in 1964, wearing Davy Crockett’s coonskin hat, he walked the earth like a guardian angel, making everyone safe by the end of the episode.  He even knew which Indians were good and which were bad.  Mingo was always on Daniel’s side.  And when they spoke to each other about the dangers they faced, it was never about killing the people they feared.  It was about doing what is was right, about helping the community at Boonesboro to survive.  Being encouraging… looking forward to a more settled future created by following the cowboy frontier code.

So, I am left wondering what ever happened to the cowboy code?  I listen to Republican presidential candidates talking about dipping bullets in pig’s blood to kill Muslims, and building walls against Mexican immigrants, and why our right to carry assault rifles is sacred, and I wonder what happened.  Didn’t they experience the same education from the television versions of the Great American Mythology?  Didn’t they learn the code too?

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I am old enough now to know that cap guns are not real guns and you cannot solve problems by shooting somebody.  But that was never the point of the cowboy code.  We need straight-shooters again in our lives, not to shoot people, but to tell the unvarnished truth.  We need wise people who can tell who are the good Indians and who are the bad   We need them to shoot the weapons out of the bad guys’ hands.  And I know that’s asking for leaders to be larger than life and be more perfect than a man can actually be.  But Daniel Boone was a real man.  Myths and legends start with a fundamental truth.

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Filed under autobiography, commentary, cowboys, humor, insight, philosophy, politics, Uncategorized

Mr. Grumpy Holds Forth

(This is an idea that comes from Bruce the Bottle Imp, so, don’t blame me if this humor blog-post isn’t really very funny.)

The thing I am grumpy about today, besides the dog chewing up last night’s pizza box and spreading the shreds all over the kitchen before I had a chance to take it to the trash barrel, is the fact that it seems like the world is ending.

I know, the “How can you say that?” crowd are going to argue with me if I say it’s because we let Adam Sandler get away with making too damn many movies. But in spite of the existence of Jack and Jill, I actually kinda like the cartoons where he plays Dracula and Selena Gomez plays his daughter. So, Sandler doesn’t give me the feelings of existential dread his movies used to provide.

No, I think the reason is because when I went out to walk the dog this morning on a sunshiny and blue-skyed dawn, and took a deep breath of fresh air, I nearly coughed up a lung thanks to that yellow-gray patina delicately painting the horizon.

We are running out of time.

President Grandpa Joe, the mildly confused one, is proposing a huge infrastructure bill that is even larger than the one he rammed through congress without a single Republican vote in order to keep the poor and the middle class from starving and becoming homeless… and potential fuel for the zombie apocalypse. The infrastructure bill will provide a starting point for building green-energy projects, providing thousands of green-energy jobs to an ailing economy, bullet trains and healthcare improvements, and life-changing transformations to rival FDR’s New Deal, which Republicans will also vote against. And he might actually do it if Senator Turtle McConnell doesn’t convince Senator Grumbly-Grampa Joe Manchin to vote against his own party in dismantling the foofy filibuster and then voting down the infrastructure bill both to fully insure the extinction of the human race.

For some reason, probably involving dark money, Republicans want so badly to see all middle class and poor people die a horrible death that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of their own grandchildren and great grandchildren. After all, they will mostly all be undead and undying critters by that time, and they won’t want pesky younger generations to support using money from their treasure hordes that they are planning to swim in like Scrooge McDuck for eternity.

I am also deeply grumpified by the whole Congressman Eddy Munster… er, I mean… Matt Gaetz thing (seen pictured in the Vampyr Paffooney above.) That happy-go-lucky blood-sucker is facing child sex-trafficking charges involving a 17-year-old girl, and the investigation was started under Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump’s Fred-Flintstone-impersonating, Yabba-dabba-doo collusion-denier. Senator Al Franken(berry) of Minnesota, a leading Democrat, had to resign from the Senate over a picture where he wasn’t actually touching the sleeping Republican-lady’s boobs, just making a crude joke-photo the way former Saturday Night Live comedians will often do… er, well… doo doo. But Eddy Matt Gaetz doesn’t have to resign, or even give up his assignment to the Judiciary Committee. And that’s because we’re okay with unindicted criminals running our country, just not Democrats.

I hate to say it, but, now that we have gotten rid of the Orange Prexydent at long last, if we still can’t prevent human extinction, we deserve what’s coming to us. We have work to do…. and things to grumble about… and Republicans have acts of vampire-evil to commit.

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, politics, satire