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/ibtimes.co.uk)

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;
Flouting 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 glennwbmw.blogspot.com)
 
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?

Image result for obama playing golf



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

 
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



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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dear ISIS... You Wanted Our Attention?

... Applying These Principles From The Eagle Will Change Your Life Forever


ISIS sent a "Message to America" last night;
Murdering a journalist - a sad and gruesome sight.
Foley's from New Hampshire, it's my next-door neighbor state.
Prayers go out to those impacted by this act of hate.

As for ISIS members... Guys; your message is received.
Thought you'd like our full attention?  That's what you believed?
Wanted us to notice when the A.Q.A.P.* guys
(They're the ones with plastic bombs) signed up with you? Surprise!

Although we've been thinking we should put a stop to you
You've just made it likelier that that is what we'll do.
You've been getting beaten by our air and drone attack?
What you guys may not have known is - we've been holding back.

All you've done is make us angry.  Trust me when I say
You won't like it when we're angry. You will rue the day
You got the attention of the whole United States
Who'd now like to see you bastards' heads served up on plates.

*al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Unsolicited Advice for Missouri's Governor Nixon

(Photo/Courtesy of youtube.com)
 
"Always listen to police," is what I've told my sons.
"They'll protect and serve you and, besides, they're wearing guns...
"Doesn't do to argue with a person who is armed."
But I've never really worried either would be harmed.

Both my sons are white, suburban teenagers, you see.
That police might kill my kids had not occurred to me.
I cannot imagine how a black man's mother feels;
I have tried to do it...  The imagination reels.

Teenage boys do stupid things sometimes; that's just a fact.
If it's bad enough that the police get in the act
Studies show that, if you're white, you're probably okay...
If you're black they handcuff you and haul your ass away.

It's no wonder white police do not inspire trust.
Something has to change...  I think diversity's a must.
We need more equality within policemen's ranks.
Then we have to ask ourselves; do local cops need tanks?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gainfully Employed



Youngest son got his first job at Hannaford today.
They've been swamped since Market Baskets closed and anyway,
That is where his brother works and Hannaford is known
As a company that's very loyal to its own.

Not like Market Basket though, where loyalty's extreme.
Workers out on strike for Artie T. have, as a team,
Made it clear that Artie S. will have to make a deal.
'though I doubt the rift between the two will ever heal.

Meanwhile, all their part-time workers had to look for jobs.
They sent out their resumes and Hannaford got gobs.
Good thing for our youngest that his brother is well liked;
He ran interference for him; both are pretty psyched.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Peaceful Night in Ferguson, MO

Good question.  (Photo/ksdk.com)

Ferguson stayed calm last night for, though "the law" was near,
It was not their local forces wearing riot gear.
There weren't any S.W.A.T. teams pointing automatic guns;
There weren't K-9s snarling for a chance to bite their buns.

Protestors in Ferguson are upset with police;
One just killed an unarmed boy.  Since then, there's been no peace.
Roving mobs set fires and then stopped to grab some loot.
Elsewhere, crowds began the chant of "Hands up" and "Don't shoot."

Heavy-handed tactics - armored trucks and stun grenades,
Tear gas, rubber bullets, cops dressed up for Black Ops raids -
Didn't lead to confidence from people in the town
Who are, justly, angry at the killing of Mike Brown.

No one's sure if last night's peace will hold, although there's hope.
(Highway cops will stay to help the local forces cope.)
One thing that seems certain is this kind of tragedy
Strikes at young, black men with an alarming frequency.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unsolicited Advice for the Demoulas Family

(Photo/pressherald.com)

"Please re-open the Market Basket,"
'though he's not the first one to ask it,
The Governor tried;
Said 'Swallow your pride
And, if you feel hurt, learn to mask it.

Because that's what relatives do.'
Believe me...  I've got quite a few.
With bad attitude
A family feud,
With sides choosing who's story's true,

Can - quickly - get way out of hand;
More nasty than anyone planned.
With customers lacking
Employees are backing
Their old boss.  United they stand.

It's already gone on for weeks
It's time, now, that Artie T. speaks;
Tells workers 'No more
Go back to their store.'
If it's a solution he seeks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Poor Sarah

 


Sarah Palin's channel has been generating buzz;
She attacked a Massachusetts' Senator because
Warren's a Progressive.  In a speech she gave a list
Of the things that she believes.  You missed it?  Here's the gist:

She believes Progressives (whom the Right wing call "elites")
Have to start addressing problems in our nation's streets;
Need to regulate the banks, demand a decent wage...
Made the case for student loans and science while on stage.

In a strange rebuttal Sarah's calling "common sense"
Palin acted like she'd taken personal offense.
Mocking and sarcastic; condescending in her tone,
Sometimes incoherent, in a style that's all her own.

Normally, when Sarah Palin starts to move her lips,
I sit back and laugh about her many verbal slips.
Sometimes I make popcorn but I've started feeling bad;
Turns out mental illness isn't funny...  It's just sad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Memoriam... Robin Williams

Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

"Robin Williams killed himself today," my youngest said.
I was sure that I'd misheard him.  Robin Williams? Dead?
Those words shouldn't go together; he's just 63...
Not someone so full of life.  Please, no! It couldn't be.

He could make me laugh until my eyes were streaming tears.
Robin Williams was a comic genius.  That's a fact.
With Good Morning, Vietnam he proved that he could act.

After Good Will Hunting, with an Oscar to his name,
Like some genie granted him a wish for wealth and fame,
I'd have thought the man was happy.  Sadly, he was not.
Now old clips of Robin are the only things we've got.

(With apologies to Walt Whitman)

O Captain! My Captain! Our jester's no more...
Journeyed beyond to a far distant shore.
May the depression he suffered from cease.
No matter What Dreams May Come, grant him peace.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Golf Sucks

Rory McIlroy won the P.G.A. Championship at Valhalla last night. (Photo/sacbee.com)

Well done Rory McIlroy - our latest Tiger Woods
Or our newest Nicklaus - like them, he's got the goods.
Won another major yesterday - and in the dark.
Makes golf look sooo easy; like he's strolling in the park.

I went golfing yesterday and easy it was not.
Driver off the tee at 1...  A pretty decent shot.
Finished triple bogie 'cause I cannot make a putt.
Mr. S. got better as we played; he kicked my butt.

Go ask Woods or Bubba if they think the game's a snap.
Tiger didn't make the cut and Watson played like crap.
Go ask Phil or Fowler if they think that golf is fun;
Losing to this Irish kid beneath a setting sun.

Why do people play this game?  It only breaks our heart.
Why do pros not warn us of the perils at the start?
Now I have to hit the range and then the putting green
Because, yesterday - in awful golf - I was the Queen.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Happy Birthday Darlin'

Photo: We all wear a lot of hats on clean up day. This goofy guy was a big help as well as very photogenic!
We're so proud.  (Photo/Courtesy of Peter S. Corr, IV)

Our eldest is turning 19
But I still remember the scene;
My hospital bed,
He - wrinkled and red -
Then placed in my arms, pink and clean.

Our family, there in a crowd,
Could tell he'd arrived; he was loud.
Now, over the years,
With love, laughs (some tears)
This young man has made us all proud...

Except for the times he did not.
Today, though, that's better forgot.
We'll dwell on the joy
We've gained from the boy
And not on the times that were fraught.

Your entire family loves you darlin'.  Happy 19th Birthday with wishes for many, many more.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Food Fight!

 

Russian troops are massing on the border of Ukraine.
Putin says they won't invade; they're only there to train.
Recent incidents are making Putin hard to trust.
NATO fears his plans are more like; Sloviansk or bust.

Now we're in a food fight with him; Western imports banned.
Russians, used to fresh produce, will soon be eating canned.
Russia's also threatening its air space could be closed.
It's retaliation for the sanctions we imposed.

Some have called this Cold War II but, if you ask Ukraine
Or the people killed aboard a passenger airplane,
There is nothing cold about it... Stakes could not be higher
For the people standing in the line of Putin's fire.