THE MARTIANS

The meeting was called for “time”. Unlike on Earth, time and date are not concepts that control Martian behavior. The Elders and the Youngers were gathered at the “place”. Similarly, to time and date, location is a notion that needs no specificity. All Elders and Youngers are aware of all that matters.

Elder 1: We are faced with a situation that no longer allows for delay. There is no room for unnecessary deliberation or frankly any discussion.

Younger 1: I understand completely.

Elder 1: You do?

Younger 2: Yes. The situation has been a long time in coming.

Elder 2: We are all in total agreement.

Elder 1: The specifics are not yet formulated.

Younger 3: What specifics?

Elder 1: We must determine the nature of our commitment.

Younger 3: Do we have any choice?

Elder 4: Yes, consideration of the potential harm, we must be absolutely clear as to what we are to do.

Elder 1: I for one request a unanimous agreement among all of you.

Younger 4: You certainly have my vote.

Elder 2: Me too.

Younger 3: I am also in total agreement, but I have one question.

Elder 1: Speak.

Younger 3: If we go ahead with the complete plan, do we have a fallback position.

Elder: 3: What are you talking about. What fallback position?

Younger 3: If we are not successful in the mission. What do we do?

Elder 1: There will only be success if we act now. Right now!
All the Elders and Youngers shout agreement.

Elder 1: Now we will have Elder 2 read out plan.

Elder 2: Yes sir! Proclamation of the Elders and Youngers: On this day and at this time and location, We The Elders and The Youngers have authorized the total invasion of the Planet Earth. The invasion will involve the complete array of our interplanetary forces. We are obliged to take this extraordinary action as we can no longer delay the total conquest of the Planet Earth. Our latest intelligence has confirmed that activity on the Planet Earth has reached such intolerable conditions, and the threat of such activity to our wellbeing is undeniable. The Earthlings interplanetary capacity is advanced as evidenced by their popular, though somewhat unrealistic film, The Martian.

For many years we have witnessed the total dissolution of peace and tranquility on Planet Earth. There is no area on that planet that is not in constant warfare, pestilence, poverty, and total disregard for life. They have destroyed their land, sea, and air. We are not absolutely certain of their plans for planetary exploration, but we will not allow our planet to be infested by their ethics, morals, scientific ignorance, economic systems, and most of all their dangerous religious proclivities.

We have evolved to a level of sophistication that we will not allow to be jeopardized by a species that has not evolved in thousands of years. In fact, their planet has regressed to a point of no return. For many eons we have tried to communicate to the Planet Earth, but they have steadfastly refused to believe in life beyond their simplistic universe. All attempts at contact with Planet Earth are terminated. This proclamation is made in good fellowship and good will. We will prevail!

Do You Swear to Tell the Whole Truth

Bailiff: Will Bank of America please come to the bench.
(no activity in the courtroom)

Bailiff: Will Bank of America please stand and come to the bench.
(still no movement in the courtroom)

Judge: Is there a Bank of America in the room?
(no response)

Judge: (quite firm) I will ask just one more time. I have a judgment that I am going to announce, and I must have Bank of America come to the bench and be sworn in.
(no response)

Judge: All right, I assume that absent…
(interruption. A man in a gray suit – gray hair, approximately 50 years of age, slim, well groomed)

Man: Your Honor. I am representing Bank of America for this hearing.

Judge: I appreciate your willingness to represent the Bank of America, but this judgement of 19 billion dollars must be rendered to Bank of America, and not a representative.

Man: Your honor, I am hesitant to inform the Court, but there is no individual named Bank of America.

Judge: Sir, excuse me. Your name.

Man: Cutler, Mr. Harry Cutler, Your Honor.

Judge: Thank you, Mr. Cutler. Understand, I am fully aware that the Bank of America is a United States Corporation. I am also aware that the United States Supreme Court has declared that corporations have the same first amendment rights as do individual citizens. With that in mind, despite my distaste for that decision, I insist on having before me the Bank of America. Is that clear, Mr. Cutler?

Mr. Cutler: Yes Your Honor, but I understand that it is somewhat difficult to accept that the guilty party is a Corporation, but honestly that is who – I mean that is what is being punished, honestly.

Judge: Mr. Cutler, I do not want to discuss the issue of Bank of America, the real, or make-believe person. What I am much more concerned about is, or was there any person, male or female, that resembles most of the persons in this courtroom that was responsible for any illegal behavior as regards the mortgage loans in question. Anyone-did any human being do anything that would suggest he or she was involved in such illegal actions? I would like someone with a name, social security number, or Facebook account. Please answer my question.

Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, it is Bank of America that is totally responsible for any actions that have resulted in the mortgage irregularities.

Judge: Sir, I have allowed you to finish your statement, but I must tell you that I am at the point of charging you with contempt, but I will not, seeing that you are willing to talk to me. I know that you are in a difficult position in that Bank of America will not face this Court.

Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, I was…
(Mr. Cutler is interrupted)

Judge: Do not say another word. Not another word. I know this. On a particular day or days, in some location a real red blooded person did somethings that have resulted in harm to other red blooded persons. I promise you that I will not require you, or any other red blooded person to pay damages of 19 billion dollars, but, I am determined to hold some person or persons accountable. I believe by all that’s holy that someone did something, and Bank of America is holding the bag!

Mr. Cutler: Your Honor I do not understand.

Judge: (vexed) Bank of America, this thing, this company, this name-tag is willing to pay a lot of money, and in fact Bank of America did nothing wrong. Do you understand me?

Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, I have told you that Bank of America is totally responsible for any damages. The Bank really means to make good.

Judge: Mr. Cutler, just stop with this silly talk about Bank of America. Listen to me, does Bank of America drive a car, sweep a floor, flush a toilet, eat chow mien, or watch Beavis and Butthead? Does it? Of course not. But there is someone who works for Bank of America and does some or all of what I just mentioned, and many more things. In addition, someone at Bank of America screwed up, excuse my language. I demand to know who that was. I will not close this case until I find out. Do you understand Mr. Cutler!

Mr. Cutler: But sir, if I can just explain how the process works at the Bank?

Judge: (more relaxed) Mr. Cutler take it easy. Let me tell you a story. Let us say that you and your family, the Cutler’s live next to a neighbor who grows roses – beautiful roses. One day the man notices that his rose bushes have been cut down. All the stems are resting on your lawn – right alongside the remaining rose bushes. Your neighbor, formerly a good neighbor, calls the Police and he presses charges. He believes that someone in the Cutler family destroyed his rose bushes.

Your neighbor presses a charge against, THE CUTLERS. All six members of your family, but not any one person, just the CUTLERS. Perhaps you as the Father of the family or perhaps your wife, Mrs. Cutler know who cut down the roses, or perhaps the culprit is for the moment unknown. The likelihood that the entire Cutler family went together and cut the roses is rather slim, but the Police and a Court will be obliged to punish the entire clan absent identifying the rose cutter.

Mr. Cutler:(upset) But Your Honor…

Judge: Just shut up, Mr. Cutler. Is it right that each of you, including your 12 month old infant, and your 4 year old daughter should be held guilty?

Mr. Cutler: (flustered) Your Honor, I have no wife, nor children. I am not married.

Judge: So what! I am just telling a story. Can’t you get with the program? I mean, I am getting disgusted with this entire case. It is plain and simple. I want the names of the guilty party or parties, and I do not want to hear it was a company foul-up nor clerical error, or case of PTSD! This case is adjourned until sanity returns to this court house!  (bangs the gavel)

And Then I Smile

A melody, a meringue dancer, collage peppers, elbow macaroni with gruyere, or a glass of Gallo Hearty Burgundy, and the tears gather behind my eyes.

Our garden, your stock of silks, wool’s, bobbins and Vogue Patterns.

All provoke images of your face. Images that are rarely complete yet totally consuming.

The bird feeder, the marauding squirrels, and the wall of photos all command your presence.

Our meals are yours – your taste, your mouth and your style.

Your clothes fill the dresser and closet, and I smell them. I remember your smell.

How I love your smell, and the incredible softness of your skin.

The tears gather just behind my eyes.

And France is you. And music and your voice and your laugh bring tears to my eyes.

But only for me to feel and no one to see.

The tears pool and search for release. They flow back and forth behind my eyes.

And then…and then I smile. I don’t see you, but I feel you, and I smile.

My tears leave the back of my eyes and I smile.

Shinny Rocks (a.k.a. Sea Glass)

Joshua lived by the shores of Lake Erie. Every morning he walked with his friends along the shore and they searched for shinny rocks. The shinny rocks that they found were pieces of beautiful colored glass. The glass was made so smooth by the waters of the lake.

Joshua saved his rocks in an empty Skippy Butter jar that he had on his dresser. Every evening before going to bed Joshua separated the shinny rocks into piles. Some piles had the same color, and other piles were small shinny rocks, and others were bigger rocks. Before he went to sleep, Joshua placed the most beautiful shinny rocks in an old sock that his Grandpa gave to him. Each one was like a jewel, and so hard to find. Purple, orange, red, and black were the best but, blue and green were also special. The rocks in the sock were his favorites, and he would never give them away, or even trade them with his friends.

Many children who lived by the lakefront collected the shiny rocks, except for his neighbor, Francis. Francis couldn’t walk along the shore, because Francis was bound to a wheel chair. When Francis was born he had a disease and he was never able to walk like the other children. Every morning, Francis would sit on his porch, and watch the other children search for shinny rocks.

Francis had a pet goldfish. The goldfish was a beautiful orange color – just like a Halloween pumpkin. The goldfish was named Pumpkin. Each morning, Francis would take Pumpkin in the fish bowl and sit and watch the children searching the shore for shinny rocks. Francis really wanted to go down to the shore and search for the rocks with his friends.

Each morning when Joshua came back from the beach, he would stop to show Francis the rocks that Joshua collected. Francis was so happy to see, and touch the shiny rocks. The boys were such good friends.

One day when Joshua was walking back from the beach, he saw that Francis was not sitting on the front porch. Joshua went to the rear of Francis’s house. Seated in his wheelchair under a big oak tree was Francis. Joshua walked over to say good morning. Joshua saw that Francis was crying. As Joshua got closer, he noticed that the fish bowl was empty. On Francis’s lap was Pumpkin the goldfish. Francis told Joshua that Pumpkin died last night. Joshua said that he was very sorry. Francis wanted to bury Pumpkin in the yard, and Joshua offered to help. Joshua went into his garage and got a small garden shovel. Joshua dug a small hole next to the trunk of a big oak tree. Joshua took Pumpkin from Francis and placed Pumpkin in the hole. Joshua put the soil on top of
Pumpkin. Francis was crying so hard. Joshua told Francis that he had a big surprise and that he would return in a minute

Joshua went into his house, and returned in a few minutes to Francis. Joshua had his Grandpa’s sock in his hand. Joshua opened the sock and poured several of the very best of the jewel-like rocks on top of the grave. Joshua put his best : blue, orange, pink and peach on the soil. Francis stopped crying, and he smiled such a big smile. He never saw such beautiful shinny rocks. Joshua also smiled, and he held the hand of Francis.

The next day, Francis’ father decided to bring Francis down to the water’s edge to be with his friends. The wheelchair became stuck in the sand, and all the children helped carry the chair to the water’s edge. Joshua came over to Francis and when Francis was not looking, Joshua took a green rock out of his pocket, and secretly dropped the rock in front of the wheelchair. Soon Francis noticed the rock and reached for it, and as he did he fell out of the chair onto the sand. Francis was so excited; he wasn’t even hurt by the fall.

Seeing how happy Francis was, Joshua once again secretly dropped another shinny rock a few feet away from Francis. Francis saw the rock and he crawled over to the rock. He shouted for joy. All the children were watching. Francis’s Father was so happy for Francis. Joshua continued to secretly place his rocks further down the beach, and Francis excitedly crawled to collect his new found treasure. He never saw that it was Joshua who was placing the rocks for Francis to find.

On the beach was a very big tree trunk that had been swept to shore by a storm. Joshua placed a magnificent bright red shinny rock on the top of the trunk. The rock was high up on the trunk. Francis saw the beautiful red rock. To get the rock, Francis had to grab onto the branches on the tree trunk and pull himself up to a standing position. He had to use all of his strength to pull himself up. With all his might, he finally reached the shiny rock. Francis was fully standing for the first time in his life. His Father, and all the children cheered for Francis. Joshua cheered the loudest, and the longest. He truly loved his friend Francis.

Honey, It’s Time To Go To Sleep

Marriage changes many lifelong preferences and habits. We change the food we eat, and the clothing we wear. We change our hairstyles, and we even change our friends. Oh, but habits in the bedroom are difficult to change. Conflicts arise about the amount of window to leave open, the number of pillows and who gets them, and even blanket control. When to close the lights, and go to sleep can disrupt the most beloved marriage…

The evening wore on, and I decided that I was not going to read in the t.v. room, den, kitchen, living room, carport, bathroom or the greenhouse. I was going to read in my bed. What’s more I was going to read on my side of the bed. I was going to read until I felt sleepy and then I would close my reading lamp and go to sleep. Regardless of how nicely my wife requested that I close my light, or read in another room, or stop reading and “just go to sleep”, I was determined to read in my bed. I was being stubborn, but if I left the room with my book, our marriage might have been wounded forever.

“Darling, let’s go to sleep.,” she cooed.

“O.K. As soon as I’m done reading.”

“But I’m tired, let’s go to sleep honey,” she sighed.

“I’m not sleepy yet, I’ll soon be finished.”

“It’s late, darling,” she declared.

“I know, soon honey, soon.”

“It’s 11:30,” she snapped.

“Yes, I know.”

“I’m really very tired, Frank,” she pleaded.

“Go to sleep honey.”

“I can’t,” she moaned.

“I’ll turn the light down, just try to sleep.”

“You know I can’t sleep with a light on,” she said between clenched teeth.

“Try,try. I’ll be done soon.”
My wife pulled the covers over her head, and turned her back to me. I turned the light down. I could hardly read the words.

“Frank, are you done yet,” she gently asked.

“Soon,just a few more pages.”

“Aren’t you tired?” She sat up in bed, and stared at me.

“No!”

“It’s late!” She was angry. It was now 11:35 p.m.

“Listen honey, I’m going to read downstairs.”

“But it’s late aren’t you going to sleep?” She truly couldn’t understand me. She actually was dumbfounded at my lack of desire for sleep.

“No. I’m not sleepy. I want to read.”

“But I want to go to sleep!”

I wished she did go to sleep. I was beginning to feel guilty for staying awake.

“So go to sleep I’ll be downstairs.”

“I can’t sleep.” My wife was near tears.

“But you said that you were tired.”

“I am, but I can’t sleep if you’re not in bed.”

I wondered if that was a trap. My quilt was turning fast toward anger.

“Sarah, I’m not tired and I want to read. Go to sleep! ”
I started to leave the bed…

“Frank you’ll never get up in the morning,” she said as a devils curse.

“Don’t worry.”

“Where are you going?” she said with fearful voice.

“Just downstairs to the living room.”

“But I can’t sleep I’m exhausted Frank. Why can’t you just go to sleep? Why do you fight sleep? It’s late.”

I looked at her pleading eyes. I caught a glimpse of the clock. It was 11:50 p.m. She was right. It was late. I closed the book, and I closed the light. I was exhausted.

A Modest Proposal…

Dear Mr. Putin:
It appears that you and your financial oligarchs are under the impression that you are immune to the economic sanctions that are being instituted by the United States and members of the EU. I am quite certain that there are a significant number of Russian citizens who do not approve of your policies regarding the Ukraine and specifically the illegal annexation of the Crimea.

Last week, it was reported that approximately 50 thousand Russians took to the streets of Moscow to protest your policy in Crimea. Perhaps small in numbers, there is clearly a population of Russian citizens who do not support your current stance. I sincerely suggest that you re-evaluate your current aggressive stance. Absent such an assessment, on September 1, at 12:00pm EST, all internet programmers will close access throughout Russia to the social media, particularly Facebook. In addition, all stored data of users will be permanently deleted. At the present time there are approximately 7 million Facebook users in Russia. The deadline that I am proposing is irreversible. I anticipate that with the closure of internet access to the primary social internet resource, Facebook, you will take notice. I await your response.
Respectfully,
SUPERVISING INTERNET STAFF

The Burden of Primary Residence…

During the divorce proceedings one parent may be designated as the Parent of Primary Residence. The other Parent will have some form of parenting time with the children. Surely there are court decisions wherein both Parents will share residency custody, but such a decision is less frequent.

The Parent who is awarded primary residence is now in an extremely powerful position as regards the life of the children. Daily decisions about schooling, health, and social activities are in large part mediated by the residential parent. Depending upon the age of the children, the Parent with whom they reside has not only extensive decision making power, but can significantly affect the quality of the child relationship with the ‘visiting’ parent.

As a simple example, the residential parent determines whether the child is well enough to have visitation with the non-residential parent. A simple cold, or tooth-ache can be used as the reason for cancelling a visit with the absent parent. Another typical situation involves access to phone calls from the ‘visiting’ parent. Often the non-residential parent will not be able to fulfill court ordered phone time with their child, and the gate keeper is the residential parent. Why not allow the phone call? The answer may be that the child is doing homework, punished, sick, busy on a computer game, or the child just does not want to speak with the calling parent. What is the actual case? Is the denial of phone contact due to malice, or a child suffering flu symptoms?

It is critical that when ordering a residential decision that the Parent awarded primary residence be advised that the role is not one of ownership, and ultimate control. The Parent of primary residence bears the responsibility to advance the child’s relationship with the non-residential parent.

The designation of Parent of Primary Residence does not necessarily mean a determination of ‘better’ parent. The decision has various determinants, such as age of the children, nature of the physical residences, and the work schedule of the parents.

Any existing alienation and bitterness felt by the residential parent must be suppressed so that the children can prosper with the non-residential parent. If the child support payment is late, or short-changed, the residential parent is not to use access to the children as retribution. If the non-residential parent must change the schedule, or comes late, or returns the children late, availability of the children cannot be used as punishment. It is important to appreciate that many children would not agree to the court’s decision regarding primary residence, and as such the residential parent bears an additional burden of having to deal with disgruntled children.

The consequences of divorce are fraught with anguish in the best of circumstances, and that is particularly true when children are involved. Faced with the loss of an intact home, and the comfort of knowing that both Parents are present, the artificial, but necessary fracturing of that life space requires a level of parental maturity that is all too often inadequate.

I Don’t Know

Man: What do you mean you don’t know?

Woman: I just don’t know.

Man: You always say that!

Woman: Well, it’s true!

Man: What’s true?

Woman: I don’t know. It’s true that I really don’t know.

Man: Wait a second. You mean you don’t know, or you just won’t even try.

Woman: No not at all. It’s that I don’t know. Trying won’t help.

Man:  What don’t you know about it?

Woman: I told you. I just don’t know!!

Man:  Okay, I’m sorry let’s forget it.

Woman: Forget what? That’s just like you.

Man:  What do you mean?

Woman: You are always ready to dismiss me.

Man:  That’s not true.

Woman: Well, you just did!!

Man:  Why do you say that? Just because I said `forget it’?

Woman: Yes, that’s right. You always do that.

Man:  I don’t always do that, or anything else.

Woman: Oh, yes you do.

Man:  Cut it out! I don’t always do something. Forget that always thing!

Woman: Sure.

Man:  No, it’s true. I said `forget it’ because I didn’t want to have an argument.

Woman: I’ve had it! I can’t even tell you I don’t know, without you getting disgusted and then cutting me off.

Man:  What do you want me to do?

Woman: Nothing!

Man: That can’t be true. Tell me, just tell me what to do when you say, `I don’t know’.

Woman: Nothing. Don’t say anything.

Man: You mean that I shouldn’t answer you at all?

Woman: Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

Man:  I’ve never done that in my entire life.

Woman: Done what?

Man: I have never said nothing when someone told me that they didn’t know something’.

Woman: What do you say?

Man: Well, sometimes I say `What don’t you know, or how come you don’t know, or why don’t you know?’ Many times I say, `What do you mean you don’t know?’

Woman: And what do they usually say?

Man:  I don’t know.

Woman: Don’t be cute.

Man:  No you know what I mean. They usually say, I don’t know.

Woman: Is that so bad?

Man:  No.

Woman: But you looked confused. You looked bewildered.

Man:  Well, it’s just that I’m not sure how to continue after           someone says `I don’t know’. If I don’t answer them, then what do I do?

Woman: Nothing!

Man:  Just be silent and not say a word?

Woman: Yes. Then forget it and go on to something else.

Man:  But earlier I said forget it, and you jumped down my throat.

Woman: I know, but that was because I was angry at you.

Man:  For what?? Why were you so angry?

Woman: I was angry because you wanted me to talk about something I was unsure about. Do you know how difficult it is to talk about something you are unsure of or confused about?

Man:  But I was asking about you. I wanted to know what you were thinking – your feelings.

Woman: I know what you wanted, but sometimes I don’t know me!

Man:  And that’s why you said `I don’t know’?

Woman: Exactly… I think.
Fine

Bring It Home…

There is a constant drum beat to allow the States to control various decisions for residents, e.g. abortion rulings. The assumption is that any one state is so homogenous that decisions would be reflective of a popular agreement. Maybe yes, but maybe no. Let’s use New York State as an example. Were we to offer a state-wide referendum on abortion, we may find a great divide between folks in New Berlin , New York and East New York, Brooklyn.  Perhaps we would do better to have such decisions closer to home rule and have the decision made at a county level.  Better yet, any town, hamlet, or village could  possibly offer the most agreement on just about any issue. If all else fails, we could appeal to the basic family unit, and then before we go to sleep just ask the pregnant woman sleeping next to you what the hell she wants to do.

A Case for Incinerators

“Take out the garbage”

A command that brings shudders to all within earshot. In a split second the kitchen is empty. Not a soul is in sight.

Mother cries out: “ Take out the garbage, please. “

Once again the house echoes with an earnest appeal to health and sanitation.

Mother hears some movement in the living room and she pleadingly says, “ Peter, will you take out the garbage? “

No answer. She puts down the neatly packaged Hefty bag, and she looks into the living room. It is only the cat she heard. The cat is eating the leaves of the poinsettia plant. The leaves of the poinsettia plant are supposedly quite poisonous, yet the cat has spent the last two months defoliating the remains of the Christmas season. We have looked for signs of illness in the cat, but none have surfaced. Perhaps the plant becomes non-toxic as spring approaches. Mother knows there is no time to worry about the cats’ health – the garbage waits. Besides the cat has nine lifes.

The distance between the packaged garbage and the outdoor garbage can is approximately 15 feet. It might as well be 15 miles. Mother shouts again, “Susan, would you come down here?” Susan is glued to her television. She is studying the Alpo commercial. Susan has never been so focused, so concentrated, and so deaf. Her room is on the second floor, just near the stairwell. With a slight movement of her left foot, she gently closes her bedroom door. A muffled sound comes through the door, and sifts through the barks of twelve Alpo satisfied Cocker Spaniels.

Peter is in the basement trying desperately to find his homework assignment. Peter is resolved not to take out the garbage. Peter is convinced that he is the unofficial house garbageman. In fact, he rarely takes out the garbage. He thinks about it the most, and he worries about it the most, but he also avoids it the most. Nonetheless, Peter is convinced that he has disposed of more Hefty bags than anyone in the family.

When Sigmund Freud wrote,“ Civilization and its Discontents” he must have been thinking about family garbage and Peter. Peters’ development was progressing quite well, until he discovered the meaning of, “Peter will you take out the garbage. “  At that critical moment, Peters’ bonds to the family were forever weakened. Peter was, for the first time, aware of the enormous demands of family living. He would never be the same obedient son.

What is it about the phrase, “take out the garbage,” that can so undermine the unity of a family? How can one common chore cause such personal and group havoc?

At one time the problem with garbage may have been the messiness of the plain, brown, union made garbage bag. Refuse such as sauces, grease, and egg yolks would melt the paper and cover your hands, clothes and stairways. Today we are blessed with the Hefty bag. The plastic garbage bags of today insure cleanliness in the home: garbage can, sanitation truck and in the dump!

If messiness is not the problem, perhaps the word garbage is the cause of such disunity. Said with either an American accent, or an English accent, e.g. Garrrbaaaage, the word is rather unappealing.

No, I am certain that it isn’t the word, garbage. I believe that the core issue is the act of, “ taking out,” the garbage. “ Taking out “ means finding shoes, putting on pants, coping with rain and snow, stuffing an already overflowing garbage can, missing the final touchdown, hanging up the phone, and in general disturbing the peace and tranquility of the home. After a day of work, school or play, home is where the heart is, and not in the garbage can.

 

What’s It All About Alfie…

Sequester: To segregate, to set apart…

So when the Congress voted to sequester some money, they actually set aside dollars, for guns, for TSA and for other things. When the news first spoke of the Sequester I didn’t know the meaning of the word. I wondered why they used the term Sequester.  It seemed rather pompous.  Who knew what the term meant? Was I the only citizen out of 350 million that didn’t know the word? Did all others know the word, and not I?

Just prior to writing this evening I went to Webster to find the definition. How many other persons looked for, or asked for a definition of Sequester. It’s like when Rachel Maddow says ‘redound’ in one of her public service ads. What the hell is she talking about? My bell rings every time she says ‘redound’, and I think am I the only listener who finds the word awkward, and archaic.  Rachel, why not just say, ‘to give to me’, as in my folks gave me their home.

And furthermore, what is wrong or right about immigration? What is the problem? Why is it an issue? Throughout my life I believed that immigration was a good thing – actually a natural thing for people to do. People loved to immigrate to the United States.  If you loved in a village in Russia, and you got bored you immigrated. Tired of eating potato in Ireland, you backed an old suitcase and immigrated.

For most it was quite an adventure, and fraught with hardship, but they did it anyway. Foreign born were thrilled to float on by the Statue of Liberty, and they thanked their God that they arrived safely. My neighborhood was full of immigrants, or at least the children of immigrants. To be an immigrant suggested courage, industry and the ability to speak a foreign language.

Aside from some left over Indians, the rest of the nation were immigrants. Well maybe the Pilgrims were not immigrants, but there were none in my neighborhood. Eleven million illegal, mostly Latin immigrants and the nation is aghast. Well not the entire nation, but at least a bunch.

Real immigrants like Jewish, Irish, Italian, German, and Dutch, had an Ellis Island. A not so modest proposal: Round up all of the illegal Latins and bus them to Ellis Island. Delouse them, check their teeth, and even change their names if their name is hard to pronounce and be done with the problem. One caveat! Do not round them up at the same time, because who will be left to pick the lettuce in Yuma, Arizona, or wash the pots and pans at Le Cirque, or clean the toilets at Kennedy Airport.

Now for the mentally ill who are killing Americans, or intend to kill Americans, or might be inclined to kill Americans. As a clinical psychologist of 46 years, I have consulted with several thousand patients, and not one of them fits the bill as an assassin. Perhaps one might turn sour, but as of April 26, 2016, not one of those thousands should be denied their Second Amendment rights.

It is relatively easy to identify a mentally ill killer. Wait until he or she (rare if ever a she) gets a gun, or a bomb or multiples of both, and kills one or more persons without a visible motive. There you’ve got them. That person is most likely mentally ill or at least mean spirited. Maybe you will discover a motive and whether you do or not – they are very disturbed and not to be trusted with a gun or a bomb.

I am only one of thousands of psychologists, and psychiatrists, and as such some amongst us might be  able to pinpoint a potential killer, that is a mentally ill killer. But with privacy laws, and possible law suits, one must be careful not to pinpoint wrongly. A diagnostic classification of bi-polar disorder, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, sociopath, or aggressive personality may be the guideline for Second Amendment denial.

Using such a screening would require the professional, or perhaps the insurance company to reveal the identity of the potential killer, and we could then refuse them the right to bear arms, or bombs. One of the benefits of scanning the nation for potential mentally ill killers is that it gets almost hysterical, unanimous support from both ‘sides of the aisle.’ With such support our mentally ill will now be given more treatment services, more grants for the study of mental illness, and more drugs.

The mass murders have little saving grace, but for the current frenzy to open the treasury, find the mentally ill and cure them, or if necessary lock them up. The reason I suggest to lock some of them up is that as has been repeated over and over again, if someone wants to get a gun or a bomb they can get one. It is pretty easy. That applies to the mentally ill, as well as to the Mafia.

It is just not easy being a Black President!!!

I have never been in favor of grading children in Physical Ed. I am in favor of Physical Ed or just gym in my day, but no more grades. The physical requirements, and athletic skills that would earn an A, are only available to Jocks.

Could you earn an A for just attending on time, with sneakers, proper attire and civil behavior? Perhaps a B if you are consistently wearing pants, or jeans, but all else is acceptable. If it were possible to teach a child how to hit better, or shoot a jump shot, or run faster, or do 50 perfect push-ups or at least 6 chin –ups, then I say go for it. But Phys. Ed doesn’t do that. There is little or no teaching of athletic skills in the typical gym class.

Why not begin every school day with 30 minutes of calisthenics, or maybe just 15 minutes. That is the exercise portion of the school curriculum. If a child chooses to go to the gym to play a sport, or learn to shoot a bow and arrow, that is their choice.

But what about the Phys. Ed teacher – what are they to do? Nowadays the Phys.Ed teacher is trained in the curriculum of Sex Education, and that class should be required of all students, except for the student who is too embarrassed, or already promiscuous. No, all kidding aside, I am in favor of teaching students about their anatomy, sexuality, STD’s, safe sex, sexual abuse and even abstinence ( at least for awhile). For most students their primary schooling regarding their sexual needs and behavior takes place in their bedroom and bathroom. Advance training typically occurs at a party, or in a car, or in someone else’s bedroom or bathroom.

Are You Listening

They were standing on Main Street in New Berlin just in front of the Big M market.

It was a late Fall day. A light drizzle and the wind circled one’s body and carried the first bite of early winter. Muriel and Helen were just about to enter the shop.

Muriel: Hello Helen. How are you?

Helen: Not so good.

Muriel: How is your sister?

Helen: Oh, she’s fine.

Muriel: I’m so exhausted. I’ve been running all morning.

Helen: I know how you feel. I’ve been very tired lately.

Muriel: I hope the rain holds off till Saturday. I’ve got guests coming for lunch tomorrow.

Helen: Muriel you know I’ve been getting more exhausted lately.

Muriel: I plan for four for lunch, but Harriet usually calls at the last minute to tell me she is too tired to eat at lunch, so she never comes.

Helen: I think I should make an appointment at Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Muriel: That Harriet she makes me so mad, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

Helen: The outpatient clinic is so busy nowadays.

Muriel: Even if Harriet doesn’t come, I’m going to make my special peach pie.

Helen: Muriel do you ever feel whoosy whenever you stand up?

Muriel: What?

Helen: Did you ever feel real dizzy when you stand up?

Muriel: Sometimes. Helen, I can’t understand…

Helen: I’m sorry Muriel, but I don’t how to explain myself, but the dizziness is really annoying.

Muriel: Helen, you know if you use fresh peaches, the pie takes one hour to bake.

Helen: I know.

Muriel: Have you ever used fresh peaches for pie ?

Helen: Many times Muriel, but nowadays I find it hard to stand on my feet.

Muriel: Well I’ll tell you. I’m not going to kill myself.

Helen: Is it really so much trouble?

Muriel: No, but I’m really annoyed with Harriet.

Helen: Is it getting colder? I feel a chill.

Page 2….

Muriel: Can you believe it? Harriet has never made a lunch at her house.

Helen: Muriel, I’m so cold. I’d best get going.

Muriel: Where are you going?

Helen: Muriel, my legs feel weak.

Muriel: Helen maybe you’d like to come over for lunch.

Helen: Oh thanks but I’d best…..

Muriel: Everyone is coming about 12:30.

Helen: Where is my car? Muriel do you see my car?

Muriel: I walked downtown today.

Helen: I can’t see my car.

Muriel: Where did you park it?

Helen: Muriel, my legs are so cold. I think I’m gonna……..

Muriel: It is getting a bit chilly. Well I’ve got to buy some Crisco and a pie tin.(Muriel enters Big M.)

Helen: Bye Muriel, I’ll……..( Helen falls to the ground, just as Muriel enters the store. It starts to rain. Across the street, a man comes out of the NBT bank. He runs to Helen who is lying on the ground. The rain falls even harder.)

 

DNA and Guilt

You said that you felt guilty not having responded to my last correspondence. David, this is important. As to your feeling guilty, you have no choice. Many years ago, and I mean many – like several thousand years there was an earth shattering event. Much more calamitous than meteor effects, or black out of the sun, or even Genesis. The most significant effect of that event was a dramatic change in the DNA of the human species.

It may have effected other species, but we do not have evidence of such an effect on dinosaurs, elephants, ants, etc. You wonder what event could have so dramatically modified the DNA of mankind. Well I will tell you. Simply put it was a very subtle genetic modification that produced GUILT. I need not tell you the clinical symptoms of GUILT, but what was so remarkable was that the modification initially only manifested in Jews!!!

Obviously, after thousands of years of cross-breeding the symptoms of GUILT have crossed ethnic boundaries, but never with the clarity and intensity that effects Jews. Jews carry the original DNA structure with little modifications. Yet me make it clear, there are some modifications as to the causes of GUILT, and that has been the province of Jewish Mothers. No other parent has the capacity to modify the GUILT DNA  as do Jewish Mothers.  I leave you with one final thought – bo-ruch a-toh ado-noi e-lo-hei-nu etc.etc.etc.

We live in the Cuckoos Nest…

“For a long time, the negotiations went nowhere. The diplomats spent months simply arguing over the shape of the negotiating table. The US wanted to have two sides: US and Saigon on one side, Communists on the other. The Communists wanted to have four sides: 1) the US, 2) Republic of Vietnam (the Saigon government), 3) the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the Hanoi government), and 4) the guerrilla movement in South Vietnam which had originally called itself the National Liberation Front and was by this time calling itself the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG). Many people have criticized this as a remarkable piece of stupidity, a case of diplomats wasting time on trivialities. They are mistaken; the debate over the shape of the negotiating table was perfectly rational.

The US wanted a peace settlement in which the Saigon government would win full control of South Vietnam. If this happened the PRG, and the South Vietnamese Communist apparatus which formed the guiding core of the PRG, would be wiped from the face of the earth. What the US wanted was, in effect, an agreement under which the North Vietnamese Communists would sell out their southern comrades. The PRG was not likely to approve of any such agreement. As long as the North Vietnamese were demanding that the PRG have its own separate delegation at the conference and speak for itself, rather than being included in a combined Communist delegation where the North Vietnamese could speak for it, it was obvious that the North Vietnamese were not willing to sign an agreement satisfactory to the US. On the other side, the Communists were determined to get an agreement that would bring South Vietnam under Communist rule. If the US were not even willing to have a separate delegation of South Vietnamese Communists at the conference, the US was obviously not willing to sign any such agreement. It would have made no sense for either side to accept the other’s view as to proper shape of the conference table and then expect anything useful to come out of the conference. A compromise was finally reached involving one large circular table and two smaller rectangular ones, arranged in a way that the United States could interpret as representing a two-sided negotiation, and the Communists could interpret as representing a four-sided negotiation.”(from a Google site.)

The latest “perfectly rational “ diplomatic distress involved the “hand-shake” between Obama and Rouhani. Fortunately an aside from one of the kitchen staff of the White House was heard to say, “ why doesn’t the Man make a call?” After the cook received a brief reprimand from a Secret Service officer, the President’s press secretary was informed of the notion. Carney liked the idea but then he was concerned about NSA and Wikileaks and at a minimum Verizon long distance operators. Into the breach came VP Biden. Good ole train riding, home lovin Biden immediately contacted his staff – obtained the telephone number of the Iranian president and made the telephone call. When Rouhani answered, Biden told him to” hold on. “ Translated into Farci, the words “hold on” meant, “touch me.” Rouhani, somewhat confused about the phrase, but curious held on. Biden’s staff contacted the President who was playing the revised corporate Monopoly with his daughters (and losing!!). The President’s initial response was total disbelief. “Who the hell made the call?” The President was informed that  VP Biden did. “ That ADD icon! I can’t believe he did that. Who the hell does he think he is.” The President arose quickly and accidentally tipped the table holding the Monopoly board. The pieces went flying. His daughters began to cry. Michelle ran into the room and seeing the girls in tears, she reached out and held them close to her chest. “Obama, what did you do- what did you do.!” With a wave of his hand, the President dismissed Michelle, and picked up the infamous RED phone. What a mistake! The  RED phone was connected directly to the SAC bomber group in Utah. Still upset about the VP insolence, the President said, “ Hello, Rouhani, this is the President.” The response from Utah was simply, “the code – state the code.” Understandably, the President did not know the code for Iran, and he said, “the code, what code.” The voice repeated, “the code – state the code.” Between the VP behavior, the destruction of the game, the girls tears, and the clear damnation stare from Michelle, the President was PISSED! “I don’t know any code – just get me the President, and now.” ( I could go on and on, but I have some office work to do – love Tom)

Least we forget.  President Obama made is obliged apology to Netanyahu after speaking with Rouhani. When is the President going to learn that 99% of actual, full term Americans (excluding all latins – legal or otherwise) do not give a damn what the Israeli Prime Minister thinks, eats or fucks! Are we to go down the tubes on the back of the Chosen.

Oh one more concern: When the government closes (amen), the persons most effected in a very painful way are the hot dog, pretzel, soda, ice cream and statue vendors that populate the streets, or entrance ways  to all the monuments, parks,etc. (are there any vendors at Monument Valley ?– you know where all the heads are carved in stone.).

My Best to All: Tom

October 1, 2013