Monday, December 28, 2009

2009: The Year in Review

JibJab's Year in Review: 2009




Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Healthcare Joe: A Clerihew about Joe Lieberman

Lieberman Socks (MoveOn.org)


Healthcare Joe

As for Lieberman, Joe?
That guy’s GOTTA go!
I need health insurance quick
Cuz Joe is making ME sick.


Poet Julie Larios has clerihews about Senators Joe Lieberman and Al Franken at her blog The Drift Record. Click here to read them.

From Headzup: Joe Lieberman Sees No Reason for Health Care Reform


From Headzup: Obama Quits, Cedes Presidency to Joe Lieberman

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stand for Christmas: A Song Parody & a Poem


Excerpt:

Christians are now organizing a boycott against businesses that fail to wish everyone “Merry Christmas” or use that offensive greeting “Happy Holidays.” Stores are being monitored and blacklisted for just wishing everyone “Happy Holidays” instead of referencing Christmas specifically.

The site www.standforchristmas.com is listing businesses on whether they are naughty or nice on using Christmas in greetings.

The group listed companies by whether they are “friendly,” “negligent,” or “offensive” in the use of such terms as Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings instead of Merry Christmas.

Click here to read the rest of Turley’s post.
************

Inspired by the story, I wrote a song parody of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town:

Stand for Christmas is Coming to Town

You better watch out,
You better not cry
“Happy Holidays”
In your store. Here’s why:
Stand for Christmas
Is coming to town.

They’re making a blacklist,
Checking it twice,
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Stand for Christmas
Is coming to town.

They’ll see you when they’re shopping.
They’ll check you out online.
If you're saying Merry Christmas,
They'll rate your store just fine.

You better watch out,
You better not cry
Happy Holidays
In your store. Here’s why:
Stand for Christmas
Is coming to town.

Here’s another poem I wrote. It isn’t meant to be disrespectful. It’s meant to speak to the commercialization of Christmas…and to the folks who waste countless hours monitoring and rating stores in regard to their “Christmas” spirit.

Now Mary buys at Wal-Mart…
Joseph at J. C. Penney.
The Child is just a little babe—
He doesn’t shop at any.

The Magi frequent Target.
The shepherds like Lands’ End.
Thank heavens Stand for Christmas
Has some stores to recommend.

Christian Group Launches New Attack on Christmas Commercialism (Time)
By Amy Sullivan/Washington – Tue Dec 15, 3:10 am ET

If it's December, then there must be frost in the air, gingerbread in the oven, and ... right on time, Bill O'Reilly and the other defenders of Christmas bemoaning the prevalence of "Happy Holidays" - rather than "Merry Christmas" - greetings.

There's a war on Christmas, O'Reilly recently reminded viewers, driven by those who "loathe the baby Jesus." This season, a holiday-dÉcor company is marketing the CHRIST-mas Tree, a bushy artificial tree with a giant cross where the trunk should be. And the Colorado-based Focus on the Family is continuing its Stand for Christmas campaign to highlight the offenses of Christmas-denying retailers. The campaign was launched, according to its website, because "citizens across the nation were growing dissatisfied with the tendency of corporations to omit references to Christmas from holiday promotions." (See TIME's photoessay "Have a Very Ridiculous Christmas.")

But to a growing group of Christians, this focus on the commercial aspect of Christmas is itself the greatest threat to one of Christianity's holiest days. "It's the shopping, the going into debt, the worrying that if I don't spend enough money, someone will think I don't love them," says Portland pastor Rick McKinley. "Christians get all bent out of shape over the fact that someone didn't say 'Merry Christmas' when I walked into the store. But why are we expecting the store to tell our story? That's just ridiculous."

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Clerihew about Max Baucus

Senator Max Baucus Admits That He Had Affair with Former Staffer When He Nominated Her For U.S. Attorney Position (Jonathan Turley blog, 12/5/2009)

“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has admitted that he was romantically involved with a former staffer when he recommended her earlier this year to become the next U.S. attorney for Montana. Baucus only recently separated from his second wife, Ty Matsdorf, and had a romantic relationship with his former staffer Melodee Hanes starting in the summer of 2008. He nominated her for the appointment in March but they later agreed to withdraw the nomination when they moved into the same house.”

You can read the rest of the post here.


Inspired by the Baucus story—I wrote the following:


A Clerihew about Max Baucus

Senator Max Baucus
Of the “slap and tickle” caucus
Considered Melodee Hanes
To be one of his Capitol gains.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who's the Turkey?: A Poem about Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin Turkey Farm Interview



Who’s the Turkey?

Gobble, gobble, gobble,
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Who IS that talking turkey?

It’s the GOP’s new stah!

She blathers with a perky smile.
You betcha. Doncha know
That we should be like Sarah?
Rogue’s the ONLY way to go.


Headzup: Sarah Palin Explains the Turkey Interview

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Erik Prince & Blackwater




Some of you may find the following article that Jeremy Scahill wrote for The Nation interesting: Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan (November 23, 2009).

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater's involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so "compartmentalized" that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Teabagger Tea Party Post

From ThinkProgress (11/17/2009)
‘Teabagger’ was an Oxford Word of the Year finalist.
In February, when conservatives began protesting against President Obama with tea parties, the Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel photographed a protester carrying a sign that declared, “tea bag the liberal Dems before they tea bag you!!” Soon after, the term “tea bagger” became a ubiquitous and often derogatory handle for right-wing protesters. Now, Mediaite reports that the term “teabagger” was a finalist in consideration to be the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year:

You can read the rest of the post here.

Tea Party Video with Benny Hill Theme



Ode to a Teabagger
by Atticus
(From a Democratic Underground Discussion Board, August 11, 2009)

Saliva dripping off your chin
Bulging eyes, maniacal grin
Handwritten misspelled sign in hand
Egged on by Rush, you “take a stand”.

As cameras roll, you scream and chant
Your sound-bite so the speaker can’t
Be heard at all. Your job is done
Didn’t even have to pull a gun.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Here’s a link to a poem I wrote on the subject of teabagging last April: Teatime for Sean Hannity: A Double Dactyl

Friday, November 13, 2009

Making the Grade

From Jonathan Turley’s blog (11/12/2009): Alma Market: North Carolina School Ordered to Stop Selling Grades as Fundraiser

Educators at the Rosewood Middle School had struggled with raising money. Candy and other traditional items did not generate much money for the Goldsboro, North Carolina school. Then they found a commodity that the public was hankering for: they started to sell grades. Until, that is, a bunch of do gooders stepped in and objected.

You can read the rest of the post here.


From newsobserver.com (11/12/2009): District nixes cash-for-grades fundraiser



I found this story hard to believe. Still, it inspired me to write the following little poem:

Making the Grade


Hip hip hooray!
I got an A
On my science test today.

In history
I got a B—
Thanks to Mom and Dad. You see…

I made the grade
Because they paid.
I love their new financial aid!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Dead Rabbit Toss Competition Poem

New Zealand Cancels Dead Rabbit Toss Competition


From Jonathan Turley’s blog (11/10/2009)

It appears that you have missed your chance to participate in the annual Dead Rabbit Throw competition in New Zealand. Animal welfare activists seem to have found it somehow distasteful to have families try to throw dead rabbits the farthest.

The annual “Rabbit Throw” was held in the town of Waiau but was cancelled after a concerted campaign by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Organiser Jo Moriarty claims banning the bunny contest is “political correctness gone mad”.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Here's the poem I was inpsired to write about the bunny tossing competition:

Rabbits here,
Rabbits there,
Rabbits sailing through the air.

Projectile bunnies
Tossed for sport—
That’s entertainment of ANOTHER sort.

Grab a leg
Or grab an ear
And fling a bunny outta here.

Join us in
A fine tradition:
The dead hare tossing competition.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Driving Drunk: A Short Poem about Mary Strey

Drunk Driver Mary Strey

(MYFOX NATIONAL, 11/02/2009) - A Wisconsin woman called 911 to report a drunk driver. It turned out that she identified the driver as herself.

According to the released 911 tape, Mary Strey of Granton, Wisc., called the emergency number on Oct. 24 at about 11:20 p.m. and reported "Somebody's really drunk driving down Granton Road."

The dispatcher tried to determine which way the reported driver was headed and asked Strey "Okay are you behind them, or..."
Strey responded, "No, I am them."
The dispatcher verified, "You am them?"
"Yes, I am them," replied Strey.
"Okay, so you want to call and report that you're driving drunk?" confirmed the dispatcher.
"Yes," Strey answered.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Here's a little poem that I wrote about Mary "I Am Them" Strey:

This is Ms. Mary Strey
And I’m calling to say
That I’m out on the road driving drunk today.

I’m not sure what I’ve done
So I called 911.
Could you get in a cruiser and fetch me, my son?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HOT DOG!: A Turley Blawg Verse

Here’s a link to another post at Professor Jonathan Turley’s blog that inspired me to write a poem:

Nothing to Relish: Massachusetts Man Gets 18 Months for Stealing Hot Dog (September 29, 2009)

Antonio Judd really really wanted a hot dog. He grabbed a dog from a person on the street in Worcester and will now pay his debt to society with eighteen months in jail.

Judd has a prior record of assault and was found with a pellet gun — but the hot dog was long gone. The forensic “splatter” evidence included mustard spilled on the shirt of the victim.

You can read the rest of the post here.


HOT DOG!
by Elaine Magliaro

Yellow mustard, ketchup, and relish—
The condiments we add to embellish
A naked frank…to enhance its flavor
Before we take a bite and savor
A luscious link in a toasted bun.
BUT
Don’t filch a frank when armed with a gun—
And eat it sloppily on the run.
Don’t be a gluttonous simpleton.
Don’t let that yellow mustard splatter.
Stealing dogs is a serious matter!
Before you grab that tasty wurst
Make sure you have a napkin first.
THEN
Tuck it under your chin and eat
And try to avoid the cop on the beat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paean to a Bovine Beauty

From Jonathan Turley’s blog (September 24, 2009):
In Defense of Man-Cow Relations: New Jersey Judge Drops Charges Against Police Officer for Having Sex with Cows On the Grounds That They May Have Enjoyed It

Some true stories are just so bizarre that they inspire me to write poetry.


Paean to a Bovine Beauty

I’m in love, I’m in love
With a creature divine…
A ruminant fair.
How I wish she were mine.
She’s a sweet, lowing voice.
She’s got limpid brown eyes.
She swishes her sleek tail
At hovering flies.
She’s a beauteous bovine,
A cow of great charm.
I’ve been trying to court her
Out here on the farm.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Better Duck...It's Dick: A Poem about Dick Cheney's Hunting Prowess

Here are two of my original poems about a Great Moment in Vice Presidential History.

I wrote Better Duck…It’s Dick for Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretch - Double Dactyl this week.

Do you remember this?
Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter: Texas lawyer struck in face, chest with birdshot
From Dana Bash (CNN, 2/13/06)
Click here to read the article.


Better Duck…It’s Dick: A Double Dactyl about Dick Cheney's Hunting Prowess

Eevilly weevily
Richard (Dick) Cheney
Former Vice Prez
And political louse,

Took his pal Harry
Out hunting for wildfowl,
But shot at his good friend
Instead of the grouse.

(Note: I know that Dick and Harry were shooting at quail—but I like the louse/grouse rhyming word pair. Just a little poetic license.)


Here’s another Dick Cheney hunting poem that I posted previously at Political Verses.

A Hunting He Will Go

Who’s hunting here? I think I know.
That’s why I’m certain I must go.
Don’t want to get shot by mistake
Because he thinks that I’m a doe.

I hear his voice. He’s coming near.
Oh, Lord! I know I’ve much to fear.
I best be sprightly on my feet
And get the HELL out of here!

His rifle’s raised; he’s taking aim.
“I’m a human being!” I exclaim.
“Hey! Can’t you see I’m not a deer?”
(Guess he’s decided I’m fair game.)

Forsooth! Alas! He walks my way.
I guess this ain’t my lucky day.
I do not want to be his prey.
I do not want to be his prey.


Click here to view some funny gun/ hunting-themed pictures of Dick Cheney.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Poem about the Conservative Bible Project

From the New York Daily News (10/06/09): Conservapedia.com's Conservative Bible Project aims to deliberalize the bible

Forget attacking liberal bias in Hollywood or in the media. One group says it's the Bible that's gotten too progressive.

The Conservative Bible Project is leading the charge to deliberalize the Bible by using a Wikipedia-like Web site to correct what it calls "errors in conveying biblical meaning."

Those errors are a "lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts introduced by Christ," "lack of precision in modern language" and "translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one."

On its Web site - which is emblazoned with an Old Glory logo above the words "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia" - the group is seeking to create a fully conservative translation of the Bible that follows 10 commandments, er, guidelines.


A Poem about the Conservative Bible Project
by Elaine Magliaro

The Bible’s way too liberal—
And nothing could be worse.
Let’s go rewrite the holy book—
Each chapter, line and verse.

We’ll tell the stories “our way”—
Toss out the liberal bias—
The way the good Lord wants us to.
The devil can’t deny us.

We’ll include free market parables,
Excise the stuff we hate,
Avoid gender inclusive language
That can emasculate

The Great Book that we live by.
We’ll write the stories “right”—
Translate them “fundamentally”
To conservatives’ delight.


***************

From Conservapedia: As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]


1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias


2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity


3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]


4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".


5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census


6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.


7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning


8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story


9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels


10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Double Dactyl by Julie Larios

The other day I was inspired to write God, the Goalpost, and Gimme Scriptures: A Double Dactyl after reading Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Post of Life: School Board to Meet on Christian Cheerleader Controversy, a post at the blog of Professor Jonathan Turley, a nationally recognized legal scholar who teaches at George Washington University.

Julie Larios, an award-winning poet, read my poem and decided to write her own double dactyl on the same subject. She left her poem in the comments. Julie gave me permission to post it at Political Verses. Thanks, Julie! It’s a clever double dactyl.

NOTE: In order to truly appreciate Julie’s poem, you should read the post at Professor Turley’s blog.


A Double Dactyl
by Julie Larios

Jiggery Pokery,
Warriors are winners!
Boo the Beatitudes,
losers are lame.

Even if we play most
Fort-Oglethorpishly,
God's on our side, kids,
so He'll throw the game.

Monday, October 12, 2009

God, the Goalpost, and Gimme Scriptures: A Double Dactyl

I’m a big fan of Law Professor Jonathan Turley’s blog. Turley posts some very interesting stories. Some of the stories even inspire me to write poetry. After reading the following post at his blog, I wrote a double dactyl—which you’ll find at the bottom of this post.

From Jonathan Turley’s Blog (October 12, 2009): Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Post of Life: School Board to Meet on Christian Cheerleader Controversy:


This week, the Catoosa County School Board in Ringgold, Georgia will meet on a controversy over the cheerleaders of Georgia’s Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School who use Biblical verses as part of their displays to root for the football team to “commit to the Lord” and “take courage and do it.”

You can read the rest of the post here.


Here’s more on the story from AOL News: Bible Banned From School Football Field. (It includes a video of townspeople angered by the Bible banning decision.)


God, the Goalpost, and Gimme Scriptures:
A Double Dactyl for the Folks at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School

by Elaine Magliaro

Higgledy piggledy
Biblical verses
Help us to cheer on
Our team in a game.

God’s “up there” watching
Our fullbacks and tackles.
So if we’re defeated,
The Big Guy’s to blame.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GOING ROGUE: A Poem about Sarah Palin & Her Book


Sarah Palin's Memoir, 'Going Rogue,' to Hit Bookshelves Early (ABC News)

Palin's title: 'Going Rogue' (Politico)

‘Going Rogue’ (Laugh Lines Blog-New York Times)

Why Would Anyone Call Their Book "Going Rogue"? Answer Below. (Huffington Post)


Sarah Palin has been a great source of poetic inspiration for me. Here's a brand new Palinoem for you:

Going Rogue: A Poem about Sarah Palin & Her Book
by Elaine Magliaro

The queen of mavericks
Wrote a book.
She thinks her title’s
Quite a hook.

It’s clear to me
That “going rogue”—
To Sarah P.—
Is still in vogue.

She wrote a memoir.
What amazes:
The book has
Lots and lots of pages!

More than 400…
So they say.
I wonder:
Is her co-author
Tina Fey?


Monday, September 28, 2009

Onward to a Teacher's Life: A Poem Written in the Style of Peggy Noonan

You may want to read this Political Verses post, Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem, before reading the rest of this post.

I think Sarah Palin may have poetic competition. She’s not the only conservative with a lyrical sensibility when it comes to written language. Peggy Noonan could certainly give the ex-governor of Alaska a run for her money in the “prose to poetry” category. Poor scribe that I am, I can’t turn a phrase or manipulate words with the delicate finesse that Noonan, a former speechwriter for the late President Reagan can.

Ms. Noonan is going to be leading a study group at Harvard University’s Institute for Politics this fall—CREATIVITY IN JOURNALISM, IN POLITICS AND IN LIFE: A Writer's Perspective.

When reading Noonan’s description of Session One of her study group, I realized the woman was truly a poet at heart. I broke up her prose paragraph into shorter lines—and VOILA!!!—found a free verse poem to read and savor.

Session One:
Introduction: An Overview:
Onward to a Writer’s Life

by Peggy Noonan

Who I am.
Where I am from.
What I have done.
My career.
Being a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan;
being young at CBS News
when it too was young,
and the Tiffany Network,
and carried itself like the greatest army in the world,
with spirit and elan and pride,
and not a small amount of conceit.
Being young
and suddenly a colleague of Walter Cronkite
“the most trusted man in America”;
writing a daily commentary show for Walter’s successor
as anchor of the Evening News,
Dan Rather.
Being taught to write by the men
who were taught to write for radio
by a gentleman named Ed Murrow,
the inventor of broadcast news.


Oh, if only I could pen poetry as lyrical as Peggy’s! The great speechwriter/political pundit inspired me to attempt my own free verse poem, Onward to a Teacher’s Life.

Onward to a Teacher’s Life
by Elaine Magliaro
(In the style of Peggy Noonan)

Who am I?
Where am I from?
What have I done?
Questions I ask myself.
My career.
Being an educator;
writing lesson plans,
writing letters home to parents,
writing on the blackboard.
Being an elementary grade teacher
when I was young,
when my students were much younger than I
and ran around the schoolyard at recess
like a herd of wild mustangs,
their nostrils flaring,
their sneakered hoofs kicking up dust.
Being young
and suddenly a colleague of older teachers
who watched Walter Cronkite,
“the most trusted man in America,”
on the Evening News.
Being taught to teach by older teachers
who had been taught to teach
by even older teachers,
who had read of Plato,
an old Greek philosopher and teacher,
who had lived long before
the invention of broadcast news.



For Your Further Reading & Pleasure
Peggy Noonan Goes To Harvard, The Haiku (Mediaite, 9/25/09)
Enjoy This Dramatic Reading Of Peggy Noonan's Harvard Study Group Syllabus (Huffington Post, 9/25/09)
Harvard Students: Stop Whatever You're Doing and Register for Peggy Noonan's Class, NOW (Gawker, 9/24/09)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BOOK TALK: A Poem for Banned Books Week 2009

Here is a revised version of a poem that I wrote in 2007 when there was a big kerfuffle going on over The Higher Power of Lucky, the children's novel that had won the Newbery Medal. You see, Susan Patron, the author, used the word "scrotum" in her book. I'm posting the revised poem for Banned Books Week 2009 (September 26th-October 3rd). BTW, I’ve left off the final couplet that was included in the original poem: Who’s got a solution antidotal/For the current row o’er something scrotal?.


Book Talk
by Elaine Magliaro

Dressed in uniforms of blue,
The word police arrived at two.
With laser eyes, they scanned our pages
And locked our naughty words in cages.
Then up we cried: “You’ve taken text!
Will you remove our pictures next?”

“Your pictures?” one policeman said.
“We only take the stuff that’s read.
Your naughty words must be excised.
Let all your authors be advised
To watch their words when they compose
Their poetry…and all their prose.”

Warning given…the men in blue
Then turned to leave. They bid adieu.
We books now left with words deleted
Feel somehow, sadly, incompleted.



NOTE: I have a list of links for Banned Books Week 2009 over at my other blog, Wild Rose Reader.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay

Tom Delay on Dancing with the Stars


Jack Cafferty: When DeLay Goes To Prison They Can Show His Dancing Video To The Inmates (VIDEO)

'Crazier than Sarah Palin' Tom DeLay in precarious position on 'Dancing With the Stars'
by Elliott Olshansky Tuesday, September 22nd 2009, 4:00 AM

DeLay proves he’s no wild thing on ‘Dancing’ By Linda Holmes, msnbc.com contributor


Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay
by Elaine Magliaro

He’s a “Wild Thing” that’s for sure!
Watch him dance across the floor.
“The Hammer” shakes his aging booty
While cha-cha-ing with a dark-haired beauty.

Wearing a sequined vest, silk blouse…
Dressed all in brown, this slick-haired louse
Looks like a feral chocolate bunny.
It’d sure be sad if it weren’t so funny!

Still a "Wild Thing" at his age,
Tom should be locked up in a cage…
And not out dancing with the stars—
But stuck behind some iron bars!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creationists Work to Keep a Movie about Darwin from Being Screened in the US

First, some people do their best to censor books in school and public libraries—and now they’re working to keep Creation, a movie about Darwin, from being screened in the United States.

I’m a reader of Jonathan Turley’s blog. Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University and a constitutional scholar. I found the following post on his blog today—Movie Selection of the Fittest: Creationists Block Internationally Acclaimed Movie on Darwin From Being Shown in U.S.

Turley writes in his post: The film has been the target of creationists, who remind distributors that only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution. Jeremy Thomas, the producer of Creation, notes “[t]he film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.”

You can read the rest of Turley’s post here.

CREATION: Darwin Movie Trailer


And from Telegraph.CO.UK, 11 Sept. 2009:
Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.
However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.



I find all this extremely troubling! How about you?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

MARIA: A Song Parody about Maria Bartiromo

I don’t know how many of you saw Mara Bartiromo—aka the “Money Honey” of CNBC—talking with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) about health care on MSNBC the other day. If you didn’t see her, you may want to check out the following video. Listen to Maria ask Weiner—a man in his forties—why, if he thinks Medicare is so good, he’s not on the plan! OY! How dumb is dumb?

BTW, I’m working on my new invention—the Bartirometer, a scale we can use to determine just how clueless some of the “talking heads” on TV really are. Of course, Maria would be at the top of my scale, which will give highest scores to the most ignorant individuals.


Weiner Sets Bartiromo Straight on Health Care Reform


Well…after watching Maria in the above video, I was inspired to write a song parody in her honor. Here is my version of Maria—with apologies to Stephen Sondheim who wrote the original lyrics.

Maria…
Asked the stupidest question I ever heard.
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria…
Her query to Anthony Weiner was so absurd!
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria…
MARIA!
I just heard a girl named Maria
Say something that’s so dumb.
I think her brain’s gone numb.
Oui, oui!
Maria!
I just saw a girl named Maria
On MSNBC.
She’s clueless as can be…
Ain’t she?
Maria!
Say it loud: She’s the Money Honey
Who’s so ignorant that it’s truly funny.

Maria,
I’ll never stop laughing…Maria!

The most bodacious bimbo I ever heard.
Maria.


Here are the original lyrics by Sondheim:

MARIA

TONY

(spoken)
Maria . . .
(sings)
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
Maria!
I've just met a girl named Maria,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.

You can read the rest of the lyrics here.


Read the following post at TAIBBLOG, Matt Taibbi’s blog at True/Slant: Maria Bartiromo shows us how media has helped sandbag health care reform

And here’s another video for your viewing pleasure:

Matt Taibbi & Maria (The Clueless Money Honey) Bartiromo Discussing Health Care Reform on Morning Joe

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Political Pop Singers: Four Couplets

Liz Cheney & Pa
The spawn of Lady Macbeth and her snarly fella
Singing torture songs a cappella



Glenn Beck & Michele Bachmann
Crazy Glenn harmonizes with a bug-eyed chanteuse—
A duo of right wing musical abuse


Shrillo Billo
Listen to his vocal crescendo
And not-so-subtle innuendo


Charles Grassley
“I want choices!” Listen to him croon.
Health care options are a different tune!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Going Back to Parochial School Poem--Circa 1956

I know the following poem isn't about politics--but I'm posting it here anyway. Anyone else out there with not-so-fond memories of parochial school???

I wrote the poem for Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretch - Back to School. My contribution is a wee bit dark. I attended a strict parochial elementary school in the 1950s. It was a drab, depressing place with dark corridors, desks and chairs screwed to the classroom floors, and bathrooms in the building’s damp basement. I became a school phobic...soon after I arrived on my first day of first grade.

Yes, I take the nuns to task in my poem—but I do understand the poor ladies were dealing with classes of approximately fifty children. I can only imagine what their daily lives were like in the convent that stood adjacent to my school. The nuns were often treated as second class citizens—as are most women—by the Catholic Church.


A Back to School Poem
by Elaine Magliaro

Even though the sun seared the sky
on the Tuesday after Labor Day,
I buttoned my stiffly starched blouse

with puffed sleeves and Peter Pan collar…
then slid on the green serge jumper
that pricked my skin with woolly thorns.
Above my heart
the diamond-shaped badge blazed SJS in gold.
I was a student at Saint John’s School—
a good Catholic girl bound up in dogma
who could recite lengthy answers
from the Baltimore catechism by heart,
who never ate meat on Friday,
who went to Mass every day before school during Lent,
who invented sins when forced to confess my transgressions
to a priest in the bowels of our church,
who dared not disobey the nuns.
Oh, the nuns—dark angels of my innocence,
their foreheads wrapped tightly in white wimples,
their bodies draped in layers of black cloth,
their shaved heads covered with veils
that spread out like ravens’ wings when they strode
down the dark corridors of our school.
These were the good sisters of discipline and doctrine
who did their holy best to crush my spirit,
to haunt my dreams,
to wipe the joy and exuberance from my childhood
with talk of Lucifer and mortal sin and eternal damnation.

It was September 4, 1956,
my first day of fifth grade.
Dressed in crisp cotton and scratchy wool,
a large drawstring bag slung over my shoulder,
I trudged off to school under a scorching sun
with a heavy load—
holy books, a metal lunchbox, bad memories—
and a prayer:
Good Lord Jesus,
help me to survive another year
of this parochial purgatory.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Glenn Beck Revisited

It’s been an especially busy summer for me. I’ve spent the past few days packing, shopping, and preparing food for our third trip to Maine on today. I thought I’d repost a poem about Glenn Beck that appeared at Political Verses several months ago. Beck has been in the news a lot lately. He called President Obama a racist on FOX TV recently—and because of that he’s lost several sponsors of his show. Hallelujah! Sometimes good things DO happen.

GEICO Pulls Its Ads from Glenn Beck Show (Huffington Post, August 11, 2009)

Glenn Beck Calling President Obama a Racist on FOX



Dead Beckoning: A Poem about Glenn Beck
By Elaine Magliaro

He’s nuttier than a fruitcake.
He’s as crazy as a loon.
He’s got bats up in his belfry—
And he howls at the moon.

He’s a little low on neurons
And his brain’s stuck in first gear.
This nincompoop Neanderthal
Takes joy spreading fear.

He cries for love of country…
While pondering its doom
With other “prescient” experts
In his fantasized War Room.

He talks about disasters
That might befall our nation
At some dates in the future.
It’s just right wing titillation.

His ratings keep on soaring
And his TV show’s a hit.
Some folks are fascinated
By the rantings of this twit!

He praises folks like Cheney.
Our President? He knocks.
His comrades at the channel—
Chris and Bill O.—think he rocks.

You can watch Beck blaze on cable.
He’s the bright new star at FOX.



Check this out: Glenn Harried Glenn-Lost from The Colbert Show

You can read my original post about Beck here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Poem That Could Have Been Written by Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh blames health care problems on “exercise freaks” (Political Irony: Humor and Hypocrisy from the World of Politics, June 13, 2009)

Who else but Rushbo would claim that folks who exercise are the people putting stress on our health care system? Check out the following video.





Here's a little poem I began writing last month after I first heard Rushbo spouting off about "exercise freaks" on his radio program.


Bah Humbug Exercise: A Poem That Could Have Been Written by Rush Limbaugh
by Elaine Magliaro

Don’t walk. Don’t run. Don’t exercise.
‘Tis better to have flabby thighs.

Indulge your mammoth appetite.
Take pride in mounds of cellulite.

I love my flabby rotund belly
That shakes just like a bowl of jelly.

Give me pork rinds. Give me meat
Ribbed with fat. That’s what I eat!

Give me French fries, donuts, bacon.
Obama, quit your bellyachin’

About us folks that you call “Fatty.”
Go stuff your face with a ten-pound patty!!!



Addendum: Rush has been slimming down in recent months. Maybe he does believe that being overweight isn’t good for one’s health. Check out this brief article: Rush Limbaugh's Weight Loss - Quick and Confusing (From That’s Fit, July 31, 2009).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

POETWEET: William Shatner Recites Sarah Palin's Tweets as Poetry

Here’s a follow-up to Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem, my post last Wednesday at Political Verses that included a link to William Shatner performing an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell speech as poetry on the Conan O’Brien Show. On July 29th, Shatner made a return appearance on the show...and recited some of Sarah Palin’s tweets as poetry. Here’s a link to that segment on the Conan O’Brien Show:

Shatner Reads Palin’s Tweets

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem

I call Palin’s speeches WTF prose (to myself) because I can never figure out the points she is trying to make in them. I find my brain meandering in the morass of her excess verbiage when I’m trying to comprehend what she’s attempting to tell people who are listening to her oral streams of consciousness. I wonder: Does she even have a clue what she’s saying?

You’ve got to see the following video of William Shatner performing an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell speech on the Conan O’Brien Show.


Here's the link: Excerpt from Sarah Palin’s Farewelll Speech performed by William Shatner


Okay…now I get it. Palin’s not writing prose—she’s writing poetry. That’s makes it all clear to me now. Walt Whitman, scooch over! You too, Carl Sandburg! Make room for Sarah Palin in the pantheon of American poets.



Here’s an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell political poem:

And getting up here
I say
it is the best road trip
in America
soaring through nature’s finest show.
Denali, the great one,
soaring under the midnight sun.
And then the extremes.
In the winter time it’s the frozen road
that is competing
with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty,
the cold though,
doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?
And then in the summertime
such extreme summertime
about a hundred and fifty degrees
hotter than just some months ago,
than just some months from now,
with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves
and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving
and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins.
It is as throughout all Alaska
that big wild good life teeming along the road
that is north to the future.

Click here to read the full text of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech. (Text provided by The Mudflats blog.)


Oh, if only I could write poetry like that!

If I only had the ability
to combine random thoughts
into an incoherent mélange
of mile-long mutterings
that captures the essence
of my poet’s soul.
If only I could
pen poems
with a strong and perceptive hand
about tiny, delicate, vicious little starlets
trying to take away our right to bear arms.
If only I could
write like Sarah does
with heart and estrogenic machismo
about subjects like hunting and skinning big game
for lunch and sustenance.
Oh, to write poetry like Palin!
It’s not politics, I mean…poetry, as usual!



Check out the following post from The Mudflats blog: A Final Bon Voyage from Cordova…



Sarah Palin’s Farewell Speech (Part 1)





Sarah Palin’s Farewell Speech (Part 2)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ramblin' Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech

Excerpt from Sarah Palin, the Anti-Poet by John Lundberg (Huffington Post—July 19, 2009)

Watching Sarah Palin resign the other week, I remembered how frustrating it is to listen to her speak. She uses simple words, but combines them into a fog that's hard to penetrate, out of which a few political clichés like "freedom" and "reform" appear. Most politicians, of course, obfuscate to some degree, but Palin is a master, and she does it constantly. Look at how she turns a simple statement into a mind-numbing puzzle (this is from Hart Seely's terrific collection of found poems taken from actual Sarah Palin quotes):

You know,
Small mayors,
Mayors of small towns--
Quote, unquote--
They're on the front lines.

A quick analysis reveals why understanding Palin can be such a challenge. She follows a folksy "you know" with a clear misstatement--"small mayors"--which she follows with a clarification, which she then amends with the inexplicable "quote, unquote." By the time she gets to her point--that small town mayors are on the front lines (which she could have simply said)--one is too bogged down in misstatements, repetitions, poor syntax and folksiness to know what to think. This is, no doubt, why her interviewers often look a bit stunned, jaw slightly agape, when Palin finishes answering a question: they don't have a clear idea of what she said.

You can read the rest of the article here.

After listening to Palin’s resignation speech a few weeks ago, I was inspired to write a poem entitled Sarah Palin’s Swan/Duck/Goose Song. (You can read that poem here.) Soon after writing that verse, an idea for a parody of Ramblin’ Rose, a song made famous by the late Nat King Cole, popped into my head. You’ll find that parody, Ramblin’ Prose, below. The rhythm may be off a bit in my version--what the heck! But first…I thought you might want to listen to the original version of the song as sung by Cole in the following video:

Ramblin’ Rose Sung by Nat King Cole



Ramblin’ Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin’s Resignation Speech

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
What you’re sayin’ no one knows.
Your speech is inchoate—needs more work.
It’s just a mishmash of ramblin’ prose.

Ramble on, ramble on
Your thoughts meander—hither…yon.
You’re talkin’ ragtime—that’s your style.
Just keep on ramblin’ until you’re gone.

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
Why you’re resignin’, heaven knows.
You’ve given your reasons, so you say—
But we’re bewildered by your ramblin’ prose.

Your ramblin’ prose did not disclose
If you’ll run for president. I suppose
You’ll write a memoir, go work at FOX.
You’ll keep on ramblin’ with your prose.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sarah Palin's Swan/Duck/Goose Song

The waterfowl on Lake Lucille could be heard commenting in the background as Sarah Palin informed the media she would be stepping down as governor of Alaska.


Sarah Palin Resigns



Sarah Palin's Swan/Duck/Goose Song
by Elaine Magliaro

Hithery dithery dock,
I’m list’ning to Sarah P. talk.
Her thinking is muddled.
The geese are befuddled.
They’ve started to gather and squawk.

Hithering withering wits,
She’s sending the geese into fits.
They’re honkin’ and flappin’.
She’s breathless and yappin’.
They think that the gov is a ditz.

Hithery plithery pluck,
The geese are all running amuck
As the gov blathers on.
Ah, but soon she’ll be gone.
They’re so glad she won’t be a lame duck!


A Little Extra
From Jonathan Turley’s Blog--Palinotology: Sarah Palin States That, If President, She Would Be Protected By The “Department of Law”

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War by Frances Richey





Here is an excerpt from Frances Richey’s website about her book:
When Frances Richey's son, Ben, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Green Beret, went on the first of his two deployments to Iraq, Richey began to write. The Warrior is her urgent and intensely personal exploration of what a mother is feeling as her only son goes off to war, as she says good-bye to him, misses him, prays for him, and waits for him to come home.


At the heart of this memoir in verse lies a mother's love for her son-a son from whom she feels distant both literally and metaphorically, for she is opposed to the war but nevertheless realizes that she needs to understand and support the choices he has made.

From KILL SCHOOL


That was the summer he rappelled

down mountains on rope


that from a distance looked thin

as the dragline of a spider,


barely visible, the tension

he descended


into the made-up

state of Pineland

with soldiers from his class.

They started with a rabbit,


and since my son was the only one

who’d never hunted,


he went first. He described it:

moonlight, the softness


of fur, another pulse

against his chest.


You can read the rest of the poem here.



From LETTERS


-1

Before he left for combat,

he took care of everything:

someone to plow the driveway,

cut the grass.

And the letter he wrote me,

just in case, sealed

somewhere, in a drawer;

can’t be opened,

must be opened

if he doesn’t return.


You can read the rest of the poem here.

Inventory
This is a poem Frances Richey wrote after she visited with her son when he was preparing to deploy to Iraq in the fall of 2004.

To My Son in Iraq

Frances Richey

********************


At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original “tortoise” acrostic and reviews of two pictures books with fables written in verse.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem by Jack Spicer entitled Psychoanalysis: An Elegy.

Tabatha A. Yeats has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Poetry from Iran

I have no snarky verses for you today. Instead...here is some poetry from Iran.


From NPR

Poetry from Iran, One Tweet at a Time

Iran’s National Poet Speaks Out



More Iranian/Persian Poetry

Rumi’s Poetry

Iranian Women Poets

Midnight Approaches (A Brief History of Persian Poetry)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If Women Get the Vote



Here's a poem for Poetry Friday on Thursday. I'm heading to Maine today for a wedding.

A poet friend of mine, who chooses to remain anonymous, sent me the following “ironic” poem—and asked if I’d consider posting it at Political Verses.


If Women Get the Vote

19th Amendment
Ratified August 18, 1920

There’s no use to pretend,
The world’s about to end,
If women get the vote.

The Catholics'll get in,
The blacks and Jews'll win,
If women get the vote.

Who wants to take the chance
That they'll be wearing pants,
If women get the vote?

Egads, I do believe
They might just up and leave,
If women get the vote.

And once their muscle’s flexed,
What horrors happen next,
If women get the vote?

Now just imagine, friend,
The message this will send.
There’s no use to pretend,
We know the world will end,
If women get the vote.

Kelly Herold is doing the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Crossover.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Vietcong Tunnels: A Poem by J. Patrick Lewis

Well...I guess you could say that May was vacation month at Political Verses. I didn't post one rhyming rant. I have a poem for you today thanks to the generosity of poet J. Patrick Lewis.


The Vietcong Tunnels
by J. Patrick Lewis

Some were narrow, some were deep,
But all of them snick-snaked along
Into your agitated sleep:
The tunnels of the Vietcong.

And they were dug to fight the war
Americans had thought was right.
The staunch belief they held before
They learned where they were sent to fight:

A jungle that defied all maps.
The shambles of liana vines
Disguised a trip of booby traps
And other anti-human mines.

And there were those GIs who crawled
Inside the holes like stealthy cats,
Individuals who were called
Many things and tunnel rats.

What, you might ask, did GIs do
Inside the burrow of the foe?
Well, this was war, that much is true,
But it was many years ago.

We quit the war and stopped the bomb,
Still confounding right and wrong.
Still spidered under Vietnam?
The tunnels of the Vietcong.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Extended Engagement: A Poem by J. Patrick Lewis


Here's a poem by J. Patrick Lewis for the final day of National Poetry Month!


Extended Engagement
We dated during Harry Truman’s reign,
Through Ike, Dick, Jimmy, Ronnie, Bill and Bush—
And we got married yesterday! My cane
Lovingly gave her wheelchair a push.
Here are links to other poems by J. Patrick Lewis that I posted previously at Political Verses:

I send my thanks and heartfelt appreciation to Pat Lewis for granting me permission to post his poems here at my blog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bye-bye, Bybee

Jay Bybee: The Man Behind Waterboarding (By Randy James—Time, April 28, 2009)

Jay Bybee has been called the "forgotten man" in the mounting furor over the CIA's harsh interrogation of imprisoned terror suspects — but he's quickly assuming a leading role. Though the mild-mannered lawyer has attracted little public attention, as a top Justice Department official he approved an array of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" against alleged al-Qaeda members that many observers call torture. They include forcing prisoners to stay awake for a week or more, waterboarding them and trapping them with an insect to exploit their fear of bugs.


Bye-bye, Bybee

Bye-bye, Bybee—
You so-and so—
It’s time you were benched.
It’s time to go.

Return your robe—
And your gavel, too!
Judgment day is here
For you and Yoo.

You and Yoo,
The infamous two
From the OLC—
The lawyers who

Used tortured logic
And legalese
To circumvent laws…
Two corroborees

Who defined techniques
For interrogation
(Enhanced AND sadistic)
With specification.

You think you did it
For the good of our nation?
You think there truly
Is justification

For waterboarding…
Other tortures as well?
YOU’RE a rotten thing in Denmark
And you’re starting to smell!


FYI
Bybee’s ‘remoteness from the actual torturers’ increases his ‘degree of responsibility.’ (Think Progress—4/27/09)

Jon Eisenberg, one of the lawyers who is representing the plaintiffs in a case challenging Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, writes in the Philadephia Inquirer today that Jay Bybee’s “remoteness from the actual torturers increases his degree of responsibility”:

Bybee did not write the torture memo he signed; it was written by John Yoo, then at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and currently a law school professor who writes a monthly column for The Inquirer. Bybee just signed off on the memo, two desks removed from the torture chamber. Did he even read it? He must have. Did he think much about it? How could he have, and then signed such an abhorrent thing? This is evil thoughtlessness. […]


Bybee defends his torture memos as ‘legally correct’ and ‘a good-faith analysis of the law.’ (Think Progress—4/29/09)

Judge Jay Bybee finally "broke his silence" and talked to the New York Times about his legal memos which authorized torture. This past weekend, the Washington Post quoted anonymous friends of Bybee claiming that Bybee was apologetic for authoring the memos. Speaking for himself, Bybee said that's not the case:

[H]e said: “The central question for lawyers was a narrow one; locate, under the statutory definition, the thin line between harsh treatment of a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist that is not torture and harsh treatment that is. I believed at the time, and continue