Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear E.U. - When Is Enough Enough?

Tell me that Putin isn't up to something...  Look at that smirk as he shakes hands with Ukraine's President. (Photo/

Russia's new "incursion" into Southeastern Ukraine
(Something they're denying but reconnaissance makes plain)
May just be the straw to break the German camel's back;
Merkel called on Putin to demand he not attack.

Europe's been reluctant to impose a tough regime
Of the sanctions that might put a stop to Putin's scheme.
He supplies their energy and winter's coming soon...
And he has a reputation as a thuggish goon.

Ukraine's not a NATO member - thus, it's not our fight.
Troops won't be deployed to make sure Putin does what's right.
Sanctions seem to be the only weapons we can use.
His uncurbed aggression means the E.U. has to choose.

Will they simply sit and watch while Putin has his way;
Flaunting diplomatic rules while sizing up new prey?
Do they take a stand against the Russians' latest move;
Or, by doing little, do they tacitly approve?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Congratulations Artie T. From a Hannaford Customer

(Photo of Arthur T. Demoulas courtesy of
Last night, Arthur T. Demoulas bought his business back;
Good news for the people who've felt Market Baskets' lack.
It's not just employees who've been praying for this day,
Nor the many customers who chose to stay away,

It's not just the Governors of two adjacent states,
Nor that team of managers (whom everybody hates)
Feeling thrilled that this is over and the boycotts through...
This here loyal Hannaford consumer's happy, too.

Once the shelves at Market Basket - finally - have food
Maybe all those massive crowds will leave...  I know that's rude.
I'd feel sorry if I didn't also know it's true
They'll be just as happy...  Hannaford's been like a zoo.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boycotting Burger King

If corporations are people they aren't very patriotic people.

Burger King bought "Timmy" Hortons.  It's Canadian.
Picture Dunkin' Donuts, multiply by Starbucks, then
You will get a good idea of just how big they are...
So Canadian, their founder was a hockey star.

In what's known as "tax inversion" Burger King can claim
They, too, are Canadians.  Although that's pretty lame;
U.S. taxes corporations with headquarters here
On the worldwide profits that those corporations clear.

Other countries tax on profits companies make there.
Now big corporations all buy businesses somewhere
Taxes aren't as high as here. ('though Burger King has said
That is not the reason they've climbed in Tim Hortons' bed...)

Maybe not.  Yet, still, the consequences are the same
And they're just the latest in this tax evasion game.
There are calls to boycott them; their move will make us broker...
But I'd be a hypocrite because I am a smoker.

Here in Massachusetts, cigarettes are twice the price
Of New Hampshire's cigarettes; they take a smaller slice.
Still, at least they get a piece; the Bay State? None at all.
Me boycotting Burger King would take a lot of gall. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unsolicited Advice for School Boards

Pediatric specialists say teens need extra sleep;
Say that schools should change the current schedules they keep.
Start of school should be delayed; let teenagers sleep in.
Later in the morning's when their classes should begin.

Isn't just my observations of our own two sons,
They (as recent studies show) are not the only ones
Who have spent the summer staying in their beds 'til noon...
They are gonna be in shock 'cause school is starting soon.

Youngest must be up at 6 or else he will be late;
Oldest (he's at P.S.U.) has his first class at 8.
Even when they set alarms they never hear the bell;
Neither one can function at that hour very well.

Younger kids like mornings and they're already awake;
Let them have the early start and give their moms a break.
I bet if you asked the teachers they would all agree
And I guarantee that teens would greet the change with glee.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Mr. President; Wish You Were Here?

... Martha's Vineyard on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Nice one Mr. President.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Should have stayed in Massachusetts, Mr. President;
Here, on Martha's Vineyard, where your 2 weeks "off" were spent.
Skies are blue and cloudless and the weather's, finally, warm...
But you're back in Washington and face a nasty storm.

Tear gas clouds from Ferguson are drifting down your way;
Turbulence across the pond as borders start to fray,
Plague winds out of Africa, a Middle Eastern front,
With you at the epicenter - where you'll bear the brunt

Of the rain of fecal matter critics throw at you,
Blustering in outrage at 'most anything you do.
Come on back to Massachusetts.  Stay 'til Labor Day.
(I'd still be exhausted...  That's a lot of golf you play.)

Not as if you don't deserve it.  If we're keeping score,
You've had less vacation time than most who came before.
Not as if you're really out of touch so don't feel bad...
W. took twice as many days as you have had.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Smuggling Drivers

Russia’s Aid Convoy Apparently Was a Trojan Horse After All
Putin says they're full of things like medicines and grain.
Kiev doesn't trust him - they suspect a Trojan Horse -
But they cannot stop the Russians without using force.

I don't blame Ukrainians for thinking it's a trick
Still, I must admit, this latest move is pretty slick.
Can you bomb 300 trucks that claim they're bringing aid?
And, how is it Russia's fault if all those drivers stayed?

They'd be reinforcements for the troops already there;
Russian men who "volunteered" to fight - because they care.
Putin's up to something - you can tell it from his smirk -
And I am afraid that his invasion plan might work.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Leaky Ship of State

Bank Of America Short Sale Help – Bank Of America Short Sale Experts
When Bank of America acquired Countrywide it assumed its obligations, too.

B of A's agreed to pay a record breaking fine;
Countrywide sold mortgages that crossed a legal line
Knowing that the loans that they were peddling were junk.
16 billion dollars...  That's a pretty hefty chunk.

Do not get your hopes up though - I doubt you'll see a dime.
Nor will Countrywide's executives do any time.
Might be a deterrent but I'd bet it's not the banks
Who'll be paying through the nose next time the market tanks.

Thought they were "too big to fail" before?  They're bigger now.
But, with recent record highs reported at the Dow,
Wall Street isn't in a rush to implement reforms;
Leaving us a leaky Ship of State in future storms.