Fun with words and words for fun

Monthly Archives: August 2016

B SMurph was truly disappointed. He sat looking out at the harbor and directly at the Mayflower II. His first thought was “This is what we come to?” Two men even older than him were sitting on the next bench saying how it isn’t what it was and things are all messed up.

Murph’d seen the morning news. Doctors were suing the president over transgender rules he’d put in place which they said forced them to perform procedures that conflicted with patients’ well being, procedures that were medically unsound for their patients. States were suing the Feds over the President’s transgender bathroom imposition on schools, that he bullied through by threatening to withhold Title IX funds. ISIS took credit for a child suicide bomber at a wedding in Turkey, killing more than fifty people. Iran was purposefully harassing American ships and Russia was poised for invading Crimea.

The president had finally gotten down south after having golfed through another vacation while Louisiana suffered the devastation of a flood that destroyed more than a hundred thousand homes and caused more than a billion dollars in damage. This was the president who wouldn’t articulate the name of our enemy, whose staff doctored or bullied intelligence people to doctor intelligence reports, who skipped the majority of his intelligence briefings and who began his political career in the home of a known terrorist reputed to have been responsible for killing two police officers.

And on and on.

Both Presidential candidates topped the charts with unfavorability and untrustworthiness. One of them appeared to be protected by the State Department, the lack-of-justice Department and the president himself. The other was a wild card that threatened the status quo. The first one was supported and protected by a biased media which   no longer hid the fact that it was biased and was in the tank for that candidate. The other was being continually chastised by that same media.

It’s all disgraceful, Murph thought. Our founding fathers must be turning in their graves. He laughed to himself, not because it was funny but because of what we’d come to. They’ve made a sham of our system, he thought. They’ve made a farce of it all.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it was the BS Nation we’d become. No one could trust the  State Department or the FBI anymore. The lack-of-justice department was even more untrustworthy, especially after that meeting on the tarmac with  that one candidate’s husband. The BS explanation said the department would follow the FBI’s recommendations, so it did in one instance, the one favorable to the candidate, but not in the other, the one unfavorable. The IRS was even worse than the other  agencies, political now and used like a mafia hit man.

BS,BS, BS, Murph thought. One hundred-ten million dollars BS, because that’s how much that candidate had made peddling…what? And the scandals and lies continue. The president golfs, the candidate sloughs it off and the media covers it up.

Murph stood up and looked out over the beauty of the harbor. He remembered when everyone drank water from the backyard hose. They didn’t sell bottled water back then. They didn’t openly peddle the BS back then. But it was there, he thought, as he pondered how widespread the BS was now, how far we seemed to have sold our politics and our highest offices to the highest bidders and most corrupt. Nixon had to resign because of Watergate. This all made Watergate Mickey Mouse.

 

Butterflies cover final

Available on Amazon Kindle Thursday

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African beheading sword

African Beheading Sword

When he kissed her, she slapped him. He thought that couldn’t be right. So he kissed her harder. This time she punched him and blackened his eye. Love wins out in the end, he thought, so he gave her flowers and candy. She gladly accepted these. Then he went to kiss her again and she shot him. She ate the candy, stole his wallet and threw the flowers on his corpse. She walked off laughing at his silliness and naiveté.

My father was a POW in Nazi Germany in WWII for three and a half years. Lots of people today don’t remember that war. When they study it in school it is simply part of a Social Studies unit, something in a book with pictures and statistics and even disputed theories of how it started. The Iranians would have us believe that The Holocaust never happened, and many others want to believe that too. Try telling those few remaining survivors it never occurred. Try telling it to their families, those survivors lucky enough to have been able to salvage a family or create a new one.

Hitler wanted “to cleanse” the German race. Jews were only one of their targets. Does Will Smith ever wonder when he talks about America “cleansing” itself of Donald Trump that he might not even be here if we had offered the Nazis love and jobs instead of fighting them with bullets? How insulting of Mr. Smith to invoke that comparison. How utterly shortsighted and equally insulting of him and the liberals to make Hitler comparisons and Facist intimations.

So let’s talk about that liberal idea of offering the terrorists love and sanctuary and jobs. Did the Nazis worry about such things? They took whatever they wanted. The Red Cross sent aid to the POWs, but the Germans stole anything and everything. Hitler let the world appease him at first and then he used that appeasement as a sign of weakness or reticence or both and went on to kill eleven million people. Oppressors will take every act of kindness and charity and love with a smile and then they will kill you. If you’ve never been in jeopardy or have not intimately known someone who has faced oppressors, you can believe a hug and a job will work. If you understand that oppressors, especially ideologically driven ones, are intent upon having only what they want and will not stop until they get it or are dead, you better have a weapon and be prepared to use it.

When the Nazis were being overrun and the Russians were closing in on them, they took the POWs on The Death March, marching them in blizzard conditions toward Berlin so the Russians and the rest of the world could not see what they had done. They had stolen everything of value from the POWs.  Some POWs had no coats, no shoes, no hats or gloves. Many, many POWs died from frostbite. Those who fell were left to die, the Nazis not even wasting bullets on them. This is the Islamic Jihadist Terrorist mentality and MO.

Love thy neighbor is meaningless when thy neighbor is beheading thy brothers.

 

Butterflies cover final

Coming in the next few days 


Butterflies cover finalMinnie Katz is shy and sexually inexperienced. Arthur Goldman is recently retired, recently divorced and socially maladjusted.

When she sits next to him in the McDonald’s and smiles directly at him, he smiles back. She says “Good morning.” He responds in kind. This begins an encounter between the Ugly Old Butterflies, and what follows is a tender, heartwarming moment of hope and healing.

Ugly Old Butterflies is a life-affirming short story about how you never know what’s to come, no matter how old you are, no matter what your stage in life.

 

Coming within the next week on Amazon Kindle


WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Got
WYSIWYG NOT: What You See Is Not What You Got

wysiwyg not 2

While no specific Federal Law prohibiting bullying exists, anti-bullying is enforced by the DOJ (which is usually referred to here as the lack-of-Justice department) and by the US Department of Education when it overlaps with discriminatory harassment which is covered by Federal Civil Rights Statutes. The point is that all schools now have anti-bullying policies and the powers that be make a big deal, a very big deal, in fact, about how wrong and bad bullying is. We hear about bullying mostly in regard to discrimination against members of the LBGT community now, but bullying goes on all over the place. In today’s world which is all political, however, we only hear about it when it involves a political issue where the Democrats can show themselves to be champions of the downtrodden, where they can use the issue to garner votes.

They, the New American Politburo (NAP), profess to being anti-bullying. Nevertheless, they are the biggest bullies of all.  WYSIWYG NOT!

Start with Harry Reid, one of the most despicable politicians ever, a total disgrace to his party and to America overall. Like a mafia Don or a Czarist dictator, he bullied his party in the Senate, forcing his underling colleagues to not allow any bills to come to the floor for votes. Yes, he’s the one who lied about Mitt Romney’s not paying taxes and proudly admitted it after Romney lost, saying he was proud of what he’d done, proud of lying, since Romney lost.

Go next to you-have-to-sign-it-to-see-what’s-in-it Pelosi, the one whose personal wealth skyrocketed from about 13 million when she came into office to well over 100 million today. She bullied her colleagues into passing Obamacare and many other things despite knowing the realities of the bill and the fraudulent claims being made about it, all of which have come to light in the last few years.

She and Harry Reid will decry bullying whenever, wherever and however they can when they can make it seem that the GOP is bullying Gays, Lesbians, women, minorities, etc., yet they will bully the media, their party and the groups they represent (by threatening to end their freebies) into attacking political opponents even when they know the attacks are without merit.

Those wonderful, wonderfully hypocritical, Donkeys regarding anti-bullying: WYSIWYG NOT.

And of course the best  is   last. It’s really hard to know where to start with Obama, the anti-bullying-preaching bully-in-chief. Maybe we should start with his directing Eric Holder not to prosecute blacks by policy and by letting the Black Panthers go, even though  caught on tape bullying white voters at the polls. Then move on to the IRS and allowing Lois Lerner to bully conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. There are so many instances of his bullying that it’s mind boggling. Shoot ahead to using the lack-of-justice department to force that group of nuns to provide birth control, or that baker to participate in a wedding that went against his religious beliefs, or go back to his forcing the auto industry to capitulate to the Federal Government: all examples of his bullying.

Or maybe we should talk about forcing his advisers to doctor the intelligence reports or using Loretta Lynch to bully the FBI. Of course the best of all is the bullying of schools and the states to capitulate to the whole transgender bathroom fiasco. Never mind personal beliefs. You will do what they say or they will withhold Federal funding. If that’s not bullying what is? And one last one,  another doozy, is the prosecuting of researchers who do not support the government position on climate change. That one takes the cake: bullying scientists to alter science.

And so it goes. WYSIWYG NOT regarding bullying when the government that so strongly preaches no bullying is the biggest bully of all.


wysiwyg not 2WYSIWYG came about in regard to computers, referring to the notion that what was displayed on the computer screen was exactly what would be printed out. What you see is what you get. Computers programs did not always produce this, so around 1982, when they began to, it was a pretty cool thing.

Overall, it’s nice to know that when you are looking at something it is what it’s supposed to be. Similarly, when you’re looking at someone, it’s nice to know he or she is what they appear to be. WYSIWYG.

Most often, however, this is not the case. Most often language is coded, ideas are couched in innuendo or inference, and people are not what they appear to be. It’s sad, but it’s true.

So let’s start with the media. News reporters are supposed to be unbiased. That was why the press was protected in the Constitution. When the media are puppets for governments, we in America look at them with scorn and derision. Remember the 1950s and 1960s, particularly regarding the Soviet Union, when we viewed their propaganda-spewing press as despicable agents for the government hiding the truth from the Soviet people? When a coup occurs, the first thing a new power does is knock out the broadcast media. It is only restored when controlled by the new government.

We were supposed to be free of that propaganda stuff here in America. We were supposed to be free of a biased press. That’s why the press was protected from the get-go, in the First Amendment to the Constitution. But  the media is no longer WYSIWYG. Most of the media is in the tank for Dem Dems and these days they make no bones about it. Two newspapers come to mind, The Washington Post and the New York Times, both of which lean really far left. It’s okay to lean one way or the other, but the particular bent is supposed to be expressed editorially, not through the news itself. The news is supposed to be sacrosanct. But it’s not. The first, by the way, is owned by the owner of Amazon. His personal holding company bought it in 2013. Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man and Mexico’s major cellphone controller, is the major stock holder in the other. Since he’s a shady character, it’s alleged he became top owner in the Times to prevent negative press about himself.

WYSIWYG NOT.

It gets better.  We knew where the real media bias was pretty early on in the Obama presidency. GE owned NBC  when Obama invited GE’s CEO into the White House and made him a major player in Obama’s green energy transformation of America. GE got sweet lightbulb deals and alot more, especially some major contracts in China. NBC, a major media player, was fully in bed with the POTUS.

WYSIWYG NOT. But at least Obama was transparent in his corruption.

We now have what we were never supposed to have, the APN, the American Propaganda News. It purports to be unbiased but we know it isn’t. It pretends to be fair, but study after study shows it leans heavily left, and this year in particular it isn’t even trying to hide it much. A lot of it is owned by big moguls whose private interests control much of what it does.

Unbiased, First Amendment protected, free press?  WYSIWYG NOT.

 

 

 

 

 

 


quill-pen-300x300On some level, it doesn’t matter all that much if private corporations succumb to Social Darwinism by making profit their bottom line. That’s capitalism! Of course the product must not be compromised and the employees must not be abused. Work conditions and wages must be appropriate. But there are always decisions to be made and very often there are trade-offs. For example, sometimes everyone must make a sacrifice for the sake of a business to remain in existence. Sometimes it’s better to make a small sacrifice and remain employed than refuse to do so and become unemployed.

In the private sector, unions can only get away with what the market will bear. Through the union era, labor unions pushed for wages and benefits. When demands became too great, businesses pushed back, very often threatening to close and reorganize while protected under bankruptcy laws. Obama’s seizure of the auto industry short-circuited this process, not for the better since taxpayers were burdened where they shouldn’t have been and non-favored, perhaps not-paying-off businesses, were forced under. Left to its own devices, Ford survived wholly on its own, surely making a mockery of Obama’s claim of saving the industry and underscoring the fact that when government intervenes in the free market both the market and the taxpayers suffer.

Public service unions whose contracts are with governments are different animals. Governments do not go bankrupt, though perhaps they should. Their funds are unlimited and the unions know this, the politicians know this, and the taxpayers know this since it is always their money that is taken. Unions in this sector continually demand, politicians promise, and governments routinely borrow to meet the demands. In big cities like New York, the government is held hostage by the sanitation workers union in the hot summer when their contract expires. Ever wonder why their contract expires in the summer? Garbage not picked up for a few weeks doesn’t really stink in the freezing winter. But it’s pretty gross in the summer swelter. Some genius union leader got really smart.

Overall, private sector union membership has significantly decline since the 1980s but currently public service union membership is approximately five times that of private sector union membership. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership is nearly half what it was in the 80s. In 2015 total union membership rate was 11.1 percent. It was 20.1 percent in 1983 when records started being kept. Currently, private sector membership is about 6.5 percent while public sector membership is over 35 percent. BLS News Release 1/2016.

This is all part of Social Darwinism. The primary purpose of unions originally was to protect the worker. Now, in an era where unions are somewhat outdated and even extraneous, the unions’ key goal is survival. Following sanitation’s lead, generally the police and fire unions get quid pro quo. Often, the teachers get less since in America teachers are considered tantamount to babysitters. But the teachers went national and have grown to epic proportions. Today, the AFT is a key player in elections, national and local, and in similar form so are the police and firefighters.

National municipal unions in today’s America do very little to protect and serve their rank and file. We hear about the high profile cases but seldom see the routine and mundane lack of services provided the general membership. Continual expansion, collecting dues and supporting political candidates for the purposes of union survival is now the primary function of public service unions. About 900 million dollars of union money went to, you guessed it, Democrats in 2004. That was to swell the size of government or increase union dues base. More than that went out in 2011 and 2016 is a municipal back-Hillary priority for the same purpose.

Public service employees must join their unions and must pay dues. They have no say where their union donates, so union members very often contribute to a candidate not of their choice. More important, the unions no longer exist to serve the rank and file. Having succumbed to Social Darwinism, they now exist to exert political capital to expand their membership base through swelling government. This is with no concern whatsoever for whether expanding government is beneficial or detrimental to the union members and the clientele they serve.

Survival at any cost has usurped their original purpose. Survival, not benefiting the people they are supposed to serve or even their clientele, is now their prime directive. They have succumbed to Social Darwinism.


quill-pen-300x300Darwin’s survival of the fittest is the essence of evolution and humankind has become top dog on our planet not so much because we are the most physically fit but because we have opposable thumbs and are capable of reasoning. Those attributes make us superior to all other species. It doesn’t necessarily make us smart and since we’ve developed the weapons we have, it also doesn’t mean that the best of us or even the most fit of us survive. Nevertheless, here we are.

Barnard (The Functions of the Executive) wrote extensively about the characteristics of organizations, likening them to living beings and concluding that, like living beings, they have to adjust and adapt in order to survive.  The theory of evolution as applied to organizations is Social Darwinism, and unfortunately, once organizations succumb to the notion that only the fittest of them survive, they cease being the organization they were created for. In business, where profit is the ultimate end and bottom line determines survival, bottom line is the goal and the original reasons for the organization’s creation become secondary. They become byproducts.

Apply this to widgets. Widget company A sells its widgets to the navy. As long as there is no competition and no real hassle over the cost, the company can concentrate solely on its widgets making them the best they can. The company can take pride in its product and everyone is happy.

But along comes widget company B. Initially company B makes a comparable widget and then it undercuts company A’s price and bids for the contract with the Navy. It wins with the same product produced less expensively. Company A is now at risk of extinction. It must get new customers, maybe advertise, hire another salesman or two. This costs money and drives up the price   of the widgets. Greater expenses cause concerns and suddenly making the best widget is no longer company A’s primary concern. Staying alive has usurped making the best widgets as the primary directive for company A.

Company A has some key choices to make. One, of course, is to make a new and better widget to sell to the Navy. A second choice is to skimp on the original widgets and undercut Company B’ s price, hoping it will not be found out. A third choice is to sabotage company B by screwing up their shipments or manufacturing a malfunction report, etc.

The point is clear. Making the best widget so naval ships do not have  any widget-related malfunctions should be the prime directive of both widget companies. Once company A enters the survival mode, its moves will force company B to do the same and both companies will have lost their direction. They will adapt and adjust repeatedly in their quest for survival and making a great widget is no longer their prime directive, which of course it should be.

Sometimes social Darwinism is good. When a company’s adaptations cause adjustments that bring forth technological advancements, like Kodak, for example, who moved into digital imaging, this is a good thing. Mostly, though, company A or company B puts the other out of business and then spends its efforts making sure the same thing doesn’t happen to itself.

Honest competition is healthy. Theoretically, competition should spur better products at better rates. But more often than not, by far, organizations are forced into survival of the fittest mode, and once they succumb to the demands of social Darwinism, they no longer function as they were meant to. They lose their way, abandon their purpose, and while they may survive, they no longer are what they set out to be, nor generally are their products.

Upcoming:  Social Darwinism and public service unions