Memorial Day

Each year the cemeteries claim more soldiers as their boarders;

they march into the open grave, just following their orders.

Some are killed in battle, but as many, if not more,

are casualties of conflicts that were over long before.

Addled in their minds and crippled in their body’s health,

they die so much more slowly with a patriotic stealth.

The cemetery does not care how they arrive at all;

each casket represents another worm-welcome windfall.

Oh, when will cemeteries cease to glut themselves on those

who fall because the pride of men works in the deep shadows?

The only way satanic wars can ever really cease

is when the world embraces Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.  

memorial day

When beating your wife in Lahore

From the Washington Post:

The head of a powerful Islamic council is refusing to back down from a proposal that make it legal for husbands to “lightly beat” their wives in Pakistan, despite ridicule and revulsion including calls that maybe the  clerics should stand for their own gentle smack down.

Speaking to reporters, the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Muhammad Kahn Sherani, said a “light beating” should be a last resort.

When beating your wife in Lahore

try not to make her too sore.

For if she’s not cowed

or wearing a shroud,

she may try to even the score.

Harbhajan Singh

From the Wall Street Journal:

It is lonely and hostile in this remote mountainous base, and the threat of armed conflict is never far away. To get through the days, and to explain the inexplicable, troops have added a series of beloved figures to the traditional Hindu pantheon.

At Nathu La, a strategic pass to Tibet high in the Himalayas, the army has built a shrine to Mr. Singh, who was a sepoy, the equivalent of a private, when he drowned in a rushing alpine stream at age 22.

A sepoy who drowned in a stream

appears to the troops in a dream.

This ain’t superstition,

but merely submission

to eating way too much of ice cream.

Phone Scams

From the Wall Street Journal:

Authorities are fighting a scourge of phone crime enabled by cheap technology that blasts out nefarious calls and hides wrongdoers’ whereabouts. The scammers are heavily targeting the elderly, sparking a push in Congress to fight back.

Callers often pose as cash-strapped grandchildren, tax collectors or providers of technical support.

My grandchildren would never call to ask for cash by phone;

instead they know I might call them for an ad hoc loan.

The IRS and I have gone a few rounds in the past;

I call them quite often, so they feel a bit harassed.

As for tech support, I would not talk to such a squirt;

anyone with jargon I will treat like poisoned dirt.

I’m too wise and foxy to be fooled by simple talk.

(Though Amazon oft tricks me with an offering of schlock)


Cellphone-Cancer Link Found in Government Study

From the Wall Street Journal:

A major U.S. government study on rats has found a link between cellphones and cancer, an explosive finding in the long-running debate about whether mobile phones cause health effects.

Current cellphone safety standards are centered around the heating effects from radiofrequency energy, which is the same type of energy that cooks food in a microwave. Tests for safe use of cellphones were designed in the 1990s around this heating effect. The latest findings could lead to changes in safety standards, such as only talking on a cellphone while using a headset and keeping the devices out of pants pockets.


There was a young person from France

who kept his cell phone in his pants.

But the vibrations

caused complications;

his walk has become a raw prance.

Fooling Reporters is Easy

From the Colombia Journalism Review:

In striving for traffic, prolific output, and social media hype, some newsrooms have prioritized the quick and provocative, while undervaluing reporting. This system has allowed fake news sites to essentially develop best practices to fool journalists. Facebook now lets users flag fake news stories, which then appear less frequently, or with an attached warning, in newsfeeds. But without a top-down cultural shift in journalism, garbage stories will continue to enter the mainstream.

Fooling reporters is easy.

Their checking of facts is so breezy.

Since they will endorse

just any old source,

as long as it’s trending and sleazy.


Ode to Memorial Day Weekend

From the Wall Street Journal:

Gasoline prices are hitting their highest level of the year just in time for Memorial Day travel. But that doesn’t seem to be dissuading too many Americans from a holiday road trip.

AAA expects more than 34 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles this Memorial Day weekend, up 2.1% from 2015 and the most since 2005.

From Maine to Tuscaloosa, and from sea to trashy sea,

Americans are driving more than recent history.

Tho gasoline is pricey and construction blocks the roads;

we fools are going anyway, in bushels and boatloads!

Refugees from tedium, we flee our own backyards,

to find a Shangri-la where we can mail our cheap postcards.

We’ll pack into a Denny’s or McDonald’s or KFC;

like a horde of locusts we’ll digest indiscriminately.

Motel 6 will beckon, with a swimming pool so small

the only stroke that you can do is the Australian crawl.

The kiddies will get carsick, and it’s sure to pour down rain;

so much fun this weekend — you’ll want to open up a vein.

But absence makes the heart grow fond, and so when you return

you’ll find that you’ve been burgled and they only left the fern!


How to get employees to work harder without paying them more

From the Wall Street Journal:

A new study walks through a solution to an age-old conundrum for employers: how to make employees work harder without paying them more.

The answer is to give them meaningful work, according to research by economistsMichael Kosfeld, Susanne Neckermann, and Xiaolan Yang published on the economics commentary website VoxEU. Or at least motivate staff to believe their work has meaning.



A worker in Conestoga

was made to put on a white toga.

His boss said the skirt

would make him feel pert.

“And next week we’re starting on yoga!”

Journalism as Content

From Slate:

In journalism-as-content, the typical way to throw together a story is to avoid original research entirely, either by whipping up a sassy spin on another publication’s work or by weaving atomic units of social media like tweets and Tumblr screencaps into a passable narrative. The Guardian recently ran a dispiriting story about how those thinly sourced social media articles often turn out to be false or woefully distorted; journalists quoted in the piece pinned the blame on their management’s bottomless hunger for viral hits. “There is definitely a pressure to churn out stories, including dubious ones, in order to get clicks, because they equal money,” said one of them, who the Guardian didn’t identify by name.

 Reporters who deal in ‘content’
belong in a cage or convent.
A story needs meat
and to stand on its feet,
not play as an Oprah segment.

The toilet seat chip.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Blame the falling price of parts, the popularity of crowdfunding sites or the flood of cash into the tech industry. But if an object has room for a chip and a battery, some entrepreneur is trying to shove them in—and replace common sense with an app alert. The high water mark was reached last week, when startup MyFlow announced the smart tampon.

The smartphone may be a big deal;
but who wants a chip in their meal?
Or toilet seat chip
to monitor drip;
It’s no longer smart, it’s surreal!