American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says


Uncle Sam has grown a set of claws and fangs, I fear.

He uses them on victims in a hallowed atmosphere.

Psychologists co-opted for his cause do all agree

that cruciation has its place in modern history.


Of course the persecution isn’t done on just a whim;

a profile is created and they take a strict prelim.

And after it is over ev’ry victim gets a shot

of Prozac while they watch their throbbing wounds begin to clot.


Yessiree, our Uncle Sam is sure a sturdy fellow;

turning men and women into heaps of shaking Jello.

And of course if he decides to spare their flesh and bone

he can always get ‘em later with a silent drone!

Inspired by a story in the New York Times 

Solar Power Politics

Four Objects

I put a solar power panel on my roof one day,
But my electric company said that it could not stay.
“We have to buy the excess you produce” they said to me,
“and that can lead to overloads and great uncertainty.”

I decided then and there that I’d go off the grid;
Who WERE those yahoos anyway to think they could forbid?
I ran my fridge and tv set, got hot water and lights
From my solar panels (tho it petered out at nights).

But very soon the FBI came knocking at my door;
They said twas un-American that the grid I should ignore.
Utilities paid taxes (and paid lobbyists) for real,
And if I didn’t get back on I’d go to the bastille.

So now I’m paying ‘lectric bills again, under duress;
It seems that ev’ry month a few more dollars they assess.
But someday soon the worm will turn, and their goldang cloud nine
Will all be blown away when I install a wind turbine!

from an article in the New York Times

Fast Food Wages


It seems to me that Henry Ford was seeing very far,

raising wages so his workers all could buy his car.

I guess his down-to-earth approach succeeded pretty fair;

after all, the old boy soon became a millionaire!


But Ford was the exception; corp’rate types today ain’t glad

to follow in his footsteps — stinginess is all the fad.

When fast food workers ask for wages that will keep them fed,

the franchise owners moan and groan that they will soon be dead.


I’d like to find a fast food place that overpays its staff;

I think I’d have a heart attack . . . or maybe start to laugh.

When a Big Mac costs ten dollars, then we will perceive

if a living wage for all is more than dreams naive.

from a story in the San Francisco Business Times


Anheuser Busch pulls slogan assailed for promoting rape


I cannot think of dumber things than marketing gurus

have already created for the selling of their brews.

I marvel at the thickness of their skulls and ruthless hope

that they can sell a beer with such an anti-social trope.


Of course, there’s nothing wrong with drinking beer in moderation;

yet it hardly ever leads to soothing meditation.

Most often when you’re quaffing something from Anheuser Busch

you are more than likely to wind up upon your tush.


Slogans on a bottle haven’t done much for my taste

for lapping up the stuff that they distill from rancid waste.

I think they ought to advertise all liquor the same way:

“After the first gulp you don’t care what you do or say!”


from a story in the LA Times 


There’s one born every minute


“There’s one born ev’ry minute” was old P.T. Barnum’s creed.
And fraudulent securities have sure made suckers bleed.
Computer program languages or oilfields yet untapped;
Selling stock in daydreams has so many people trapped.

And when the varmints finally are brought to an account
Their tears would fill the Vatican’s largest ornate fount.
They vow eternal efforts to repay all those they’ve swindled
From their own resources (which are sadly very dwindled).

So do not trust your friends or neighbors when they start to spout
About a sure investment that has lots of promised clout.
Remember P.T. Barnum and remain always fainthearted;
Otherwise, the saying goes, from your dough you’ll soon be parted!


Opening up About Can Openers.


The Crisco Kid.

Growing up in a traditional 1950’s household, my mother forbade me to mess with anything in the kitchen. The kitchen was her private domain, and, for better or for worse, she was the only personage allowed to open cupboards, fiddle with dials on the stove, and mix stuff up in bowls.

I grew to resent this overbearing attitude on her part, so one day I waited for her to go down to the corner grocery for a bottle of Lysol and a can of Carnation evaporated milk and stepped into the inner sanctum to see what I could see.

My eye immediately rested on a shiny new can of Crisco vegetable shortening, sitting on the draining board of the sink, waiting to be opened. In those days you took a little key that was glued on the top of the can and carefully inserted it into a metal strip at the top of the can. You then wound the key around and around, pulling off the metal strip to remove the metal lid. This operation not only opened the can of vegetable shortening, but revealed a razor-sharp edge that was meant to cut open naughty little boy’s fingers.

Which it did. When my mother returned she found me racing around her heretofore immaculate kitchen, screaming bloody murder with a dish towel wrapped around my disemboweled digit.

The doctor put in 3 stitches. And I began to hate everything to do with opening cans.

The Swiss Army Knife.

My Victorinox was a beauty. Shiny red and chock full of blades and doo-dads. The one-page instructions that came with it (printed in French, Italian AND Spanish!) told me it included a can-opener – which I assumed was the funny-looking dingus with a bladed hook on the end.

The summer of my senior year in high school my pal Wayne and I planned a long fishing trip up to Canada. We made reservations for a campsite on the shores of a pine-fringed lake, packed the tent and equipment, and took off in my older brother’s rusty Corvette that devoured oil and spewed fumes like a volcano.

Once the tent was up at the campsite we headed into town for the REAL purpose of our expedition – to buy and consume BEER! Because in Canada you could get it when you turned 17 – or anyway they never asked any questions at the general store.

Neither Wayne nor I had much experience as drinkers, so when we got the beer cans back to the tent they were warm – and that’s when it hit us we had no way to open them, since this was long before the days of the pop top. Luckily, I told Wayne, my Swiss Army Knife contained a can opener of sorts, and we would soon be swilling suds like the hardened topers we considered ourselves to be.

But the damn thing refused to open a breach in the cans of Molson. So we had recourse to a screwdriver and hammer. By this time the warm beer had been shaken up quite a bit. When Wayne struck the first blow the agitated brew erupted like Old Faithful, soaking the canvas tent.

That smell lingered in the canvas after we packed up and came home – and both of us caught holy you-know-what when our parents sniffed out our misdemeanor.

Can opening continued to be a sore point with me.

The Electric Can Opener.

As a householder with a family, I thought it wise to invest in an electric can opener. I was wrong. Although my wife Amy could with impunity place a can under the little metal wheel and open any can in a jiffy, it was a different kettle of smelt when I tried it. The can would start to open, and then go sideways to spill all the liquid out. Or I couldn’t make the ridge of the can top catch on the blasted little wheel, and it would grind away in futility – revolving the can like a merry-go-round without ever opening it.

One frantic day when Amy was away and it was my job to feed the ravening hoard we sardonically called our lovely children, I attempted to open an oversized can of spaghetti sauce. This time the electric can opener really went cattywampus. There was red sauce on the floor, on the windows and on the ceiling – but there was none leftover to put on the noodles. So the kids ate them plain, with butter and salt and pepper. They could see the dangerous gleam in my eye that warned them to remain mum or suffer the Wrath of Khan.

When Amy returned I had most of the sauce cleaned up – but, y’know, that stuff really leaves a stain no matter how much Comet you sprinkle on it and scrub.

Amy summarily banished me from the precincts of the can opener, for life.

In my mellow old age . . .

I manage to do without a can opener entirely. I eat frozen foods and fresh foods. And if I do get a hankering for some Progresso Split Pea with Bacon or a bit of Chef Boyardee, I make sure to get the cans that have the Easy Open lid.

You just pull on the tab, and . . .

It comes off in your friggin’ finger . . .

And you throw the can away and call Dominoes.

Newspapers are nothing but Touts for the Liquor Industry


Just call me an old fogey, but I do not care to choose

To read the daily papers when they concentrate on booze.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely back in bygone days

The paper didn’t give a rap about new Beaujolais.


Stories of drunk driving and disgusting tavern brawls                         

Were printed without sympathy or any trendy schmalz.

I’ve nothing against alcohol, although I tend to stint it;

but ev’ry vodka has a tale and all the papers print it.


It’s not like drinking needs a boost, since ev’ry cub reporter

Develops a keen taste for it, and turns into a snorter.

Run ads for all the rotgut brands; that oughta pay the piper.

But spare me anymore buzzwords on cocktails with De Kuyper!

based on a story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

A Project to Turn Corpses Into Compost


Don’t lay me in alfalfa pellets when my life is o’er!

I’m not a pile of compost like some rotten apple core.

I want a casket sturdy and a grave with concrete lined

Where I await the resurrection comfortably confined.


I am not crazy to be processed for my children’s terrace,

Nourishing a rose bush for an ever-loving heiress.

There’s nothing much organic you will find in my cadaver,

So let us not continue with this ghoulish-type palaver.


Of course I know the body to the worms eventually goes,

But let it happen gradually through summers and long snows!

Don’t rush me into potting soil to grow your garden salad;

You’ll find I make the lettuce far too bitter and quite pallid.  

based on a story in the New York Times

Jumping over the White House Fence


They’re jumping over fences at the White House, left and right!

You’d think that kangaroos were now invading with their might.

Gyrocopters, phony invites; ANYTHING to pass –

And loll upon the sacred and protected White House grass.


There’s something so appealing about crashing the abode

Of presidential power without any access code.

I’d like to have a stand nearby where I could sell these hicks

Trampolines, hot air balloons, and sturdy pogo sticks.


Perhaps someday I’ll jump myself right over that divide

And see how long from Secret Service men I just might hide.

But then again, why chance it, and invite unseemly brawl?

When you’ve seen one crook behind those bars, you’ve seen ‘em all.

from a story in the Washington Post 

O, Those Beautiful Women!



O I could love a woman’s nose or even her patella,

Could I caress her elbow I would be a lucky fella!

The problem is that pretty women seem to be addicted

To getting plastic surgery at rates quite unrestricted.

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway


So when I see a gorgeous babe whose looks are so appealing

I never know if it is real or surgical annealing.

This doubt has cooled my ardor for the feminine mystique.

(Besides, my looks are anything but handsome or unique.)



Perhaps if I had surgery upon my homely mug

I could persuade a cutie to give me a friendly hug.

I fear however women still would treat me as a joke,

Since I am undeniably and continuously broke. 

based on a ridiculous post at TopNews2015

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman