Whitewater Rafting.


Who doesn’t enjoy whitewater rafting?

The thrill . . . the energy surge . . . the savage delight of pitting yourself against a river that is trying to kill you . . . the constant, smothering spray of water, in your eyes, down your neck, sloshing around the bottom of your vessel as it sinks . . . the screams and shrieks from your comrades and loved ones . . .

Again I ask, who doesn’t love whitewater rafting?

And I answer – only sane people, that’s who!

But if you insist on shooting the rapids because you have some kind of suppressed death wish or perhaps are planning on pushing someone overboard to collect on their insurance (that last one is a movie script in development, so hands off) then Hikingware.com wants to introduce you to some of the best whitewater rafting and canoeing in the world.  Put these sites on your bucket list to visit:

  • Fatal Falls, Montana.  The Widowmaker River.  Nestled in the midst of the Rockies, this bend in the river features not only boulders, rip tides, undercurrents, and whirlpools, but the water itself, fed from austere mountain glaciers, is so cold that if you happen to fall in you will not only turn blue but lay icicles for the next fortnight.  Old Joe Codger runs the Falling Inn, where you can rent an inflatable coffin . . . er, raft, and paddles to shoot the treacherous Fatal Falls.  This stretch of whitewater is about 2 miles long, and only 15 feet wide – so if you manage to survive the rapids you’ll probably run aground on the rip rap and tear your flesh to ribbons.  Have fun!
  • Gruesome Gorge.  Arizona.  The Scorpion River.  When pioneers tried to navigate this deadly length of river they quickly decided to build a bridge instead, after finishing the graveyard first.   The whole river is notorious for its piranha, introduced by the state Game & Fish Department during the Great Depression as a way to attract tourists and dispose of cattle rustlers.  The little darlings are always hungry, and do not scruple from jumping into your raft just as you are fighting for your life to start nipping at your heels.  You can rent an aluminum skiff from Pappy Doldrums, who runs the Broken Arms Hotel and Mortuary.  For a small fee he’ll Photoshop a shot of you plunging down Gruesome Gorge to send to friends and family so you can spend all your time well away from the water collecting horned toads.
  • The Suez Canal.  Egypt.  No whitewater here; it’s as smooth as a mill pond.  But there’s always a war breaking out along it somewhere, so you can be sure of plenty of danger and possible massacre.  And if you happen to meet a super tanker you’ll have enough stories, and scars, to keep your grandchildren entertained for years.
  • The Vale of Volatility.  Ireland.  The River Hideous.  This is five miles of pure heck.  Not only is it filled with Blarney stones that lull you into a sense of false security, but it is so polluted from the gin mills upriver in Dublin that your skiff will inevitably warp and sink within ten minutes of entering the water – or else it’ll pick a fight with you over some dumb soccer team.  If you manage to survive those dangers you can always depend on a thick fog to keep you running blind – and if you are rash enough to drink any of the water, you’ll STAY blind!

Ode to the Public Library.

Michele Bachmann Discusses Affordable Care Act

Not only should a library be open all the time,

But refusing to enjoy it ought to be a major crime!

The world cannot afford to segregate the noble book,

Some of which have nations and their people really shook.


A library’s a fortress where the truth is often found.

It also is a refuge and a solace and playground.

He who has not tempered wits by supping at its board

Cannot be expected a rich life to much afford.


So open all the libraries; let lit’rature increase.

Don’t allow the ignoramus to recline in peace!

If we are not careful all our books will rot and dwindle,

Swept away upon the tide of laziness and Kindle.

Jong-un. Verboten!

The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

A North Korean baby can be named most anything;

Ferdinand or Meredith or even Apron String.

Pyongyang parents grow artistic when it comes to names;

Herkimer and Polymath (or even plain old James).


Babies can be registered with names of food and drink;

With anything and ev’rything – including Kitchen Sink!

Possibly Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is beyond their reach.

(Although a country with A-bombs might have it in their speech.)


Yes, you can name your darling anything you darn well please

Along the Yalu River or on Baekdu Mountain skis.

The only name forbidden is the Loving Leader’s – he

Wishes to remain alone in lasting infamy.

A Palestinian Homeland?


How many countries can you find

In the Mideast war-torn grind?

There’s Lebanon and Egypt, see;

Turkey, Kuwait, U.A.E.

Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, natch;

Turkey’s gonna start from scratch.

Arabia, of course, and then

The playground that is called Yemen.

Iraq and Iran are twins

When it comes to loony bins.

Now let me see . . . my count is fine;

Except where is poor Palestine?

It’s not on Google maps as yet,

But it will pop up soon I bet.

(The way some people think of Jews,

Israel is just a ruse.)

Divine Divisions


The unity of Christians is a worthy goal for prayer.

To date the many sects have for dividing shown much flair.

The Council of Nicea and innumerable conclaves

Have not brought any closure but continue to make waves.


What will drive the splintered herds of sheep back to one fold?

Certainly not scholarship or prejudice or gold.

Will it take the atheist’s and pagan’s persecution

To resolve our diff’rences into one grand solution?


He who said he’d gather us as chicks under his wing —

He who lived in poverty but is our only king —

He it is who only can make seamless once again

The brittle hearts and shattered minds of little scheming men.

Ex-Nazis Awarded Millions of Dollars in American Social Security.

Adolph Hitler and Nazi marching in cartoon illustration by Willard Mullin

Grassley, Hatch Press Social Security Administration, Justice Department

on Benefits for Suspected Nazis

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Orrin Hatch are seeking details from the Social Security Administration and the Justice Department on Social Security benefits given to suspected ex-Nazis.  It’s unclear why the federal government allowed millions of dollars to flow to these individuals, including those who have left the country. Record-keeping discrepancies have exacerbated uncertainty and confusion over U.S. government practice and policy on allowing ex-Nazis to retain their Social Security benefits.

“We have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to close the Social Security loophole in order to prevent this practice in the future and hope that it will become law soon,” Grassley and Hatch wrote in letters to each agency.  “However, there remain questions about DOJ’s actions and what will be done in current cases if the law is not passed before they are resolved.”

Grassley and Hatch asked for statistics in areas including the total number of Nazi suspects who received Social Security benefits after leaving the United States, how many suspected Nazis currently receive Social Security benefits and live outside the country, information on the potential outcome of certain identified cases, and details of interaction between the Social Security Administration and the Justice Department on the issue.

Hatch is the sponsor and Grassley is an original cosponsor of bipartisan, bicameral legislation to terminate Social Security benefits for Nazi persecutors who receive them because of a loophole in current law.  The practice appeared to be little-known in recent years until an Associated Press report exposed the practice, leading to scrutiny from Congress and public outcry.

Fresh Berries; a Contemplation of my Diet.


The season for raspberries is no season anymore;

You can buy them anytime down at your local store.

The same is true of blueberries and strawberries as well;

You can purchase pericarps all year, and by the ell.


It’s hard to wrap my mind around this concept of fresh fruit.

My youth was spent with canned goods that smacked somewhat of old jute.

Bottled peaches were the height of culinary skill.

An avocado was as rare as a Calvinist with free will.


The doctor says I must have more fresh fruit, including berries.

Next he’ll have me eating larks and spice-infused canaries.

Spaghetti in a can is more my lifestyle choice, by golly;

Too much of this fresh stuff makes my innards go all squally.




The Utah legislature’s in an uproar, naturally.

Republicans and Democrats are braying constantly.

Republicans are saying that their caucus system’s broke,

Because of SB54 – a horrible dark joke!


They can no longer dictate who a party member is,

And this is causing blood pressures to rocket and to fizz.

So they have filed a lawsuit to disable this bad law –

Claiming it makes outsiders their deputized bashaw.


The Democrats, of course, have got a diff’rent point of view,

And say that the Republicans have taken a miscue.

And so it goes; the carousel that never stops to ponder

How much time they’ve stolen just to gibber and to squander.

Neutering Newspapers.


Newspapers are scrambling to maintain subscription rates

While the social media puts them in dire straits.

Innovation is the watch word in the newsroom, chum.

And disruption welcomed like a shot of golden rum.


Reporters are retired while still in the bloom of youth.

And further strategies are even stranger and uncouth.

Journalists are asked to sing and dance for Youtube fans,

And deliver papers with their own soft ink-stained hands.


Never mind that hard news is a relic of the past;

You’ve got to pander to your readers with complete bombast.

That newspapers may prosper is my dearest fervent wish;

Otherwise what will I use when wrapping up dead fish?

A Little Town in Utah.


A little town in Utah will not pass a needed tax.

This is not opinion but a story built on facts.

Residents are happy with the current status quo;

So when the city council needed money, they said “No!”


Any council member who speaks up for tax increase

Is voted out of office and arrested by police.

So now the city council will cut back on many things,

From street repair to library, and even playground swings.


When “the people” speak here in our great democracy,

Public servants must respond without hypocrisy.

But when it comes to heeding  all this vox and populi,

I’ve often found “the people” don’t know beans from apple pie.