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.

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.

There once was a crooked old surgeon

From the Washington Post:

Medicare paid out $14.1 billion in improper claims in one year to private health insurance companies that bill the government for care to the elderly, but the plans have not had to pay back the money, a new report finds.

The private plans, called Medicare Advantage, have weak defenses against fraud, and even when they are audited, the investigations take years, the Government Accountability Office found.

There once was a crooked old surgeon

who made Medicare payments burgeon.

His conscience was dead,

so he frankly said:

“I’ll stock up on roe from the sturgeon!”



In Thailand You Insult the King

From today’s New York Times:

BANGKOK — The mother of a pro-democracy activist faces up to 15 years in prison after acknowledging that she had received a private message on Facebook that the police say insulted Thailand’s monarchy.

In Thailand you insult the King

by saying almost anything.

His dog cannot be called a stray,

for that would be lese majeste!

So watch your Facebook in Bangkok,

lest you are forced to drink hemlock.



California’s Minimum Wage Will Be $15 an Hour. Where Does Your State Stand?

I live out here in Utah and I’m mighty proud to say

that our state never raises wages in that ‘gentile’ way!

An honest dollar for an honest day of labor, chum,

keeps a man from turning into just a lazy bum.

Because, you see, with wages low a man must cast about

to find a second job and not expect a free handout.

That is why the hum of industry in Deseret

never slackens one iota, though there’s lots of sweat.

We do not desire filthy lucre and its spawn;

we are happy to get paid a buck to mow your lawn.

Hard work builds a character that money cannot grow.

(Besides, the legislature’s in the pocket of Costco . . . )



A Carny’s Life

A carny’s life is what I want, so easy and carefree.

You get up with the chickens and you shower where there’s pee.

Stale donuts for your breakfast and you stand for half the day,

and when the weekend rolls around you do not get your pay.

Bedbugs will not tolerate the place you have to sleep.

But if you mention anything the boss calls you a creep.

He says go back to Mexico if you are so darn triste,

then sticks you with the kettle corn upon the blazing midway.

Who doesn’t want to run away and join this happy throng

who need to be re-educated ala Mao Zedong?

from an article in the New York Times


Jerry Lewis

Of all the clowns that Hollywood nurtured, few ever seemed as grotesque as Jerry Lewis.

Even I, besotted with comedians from birth, found him very hard to swallow. When he was under the firm hand of a master craftsman like director/screenwriter Frank Tashlin his work could soar into sublime silliness. But when he took over the helm himself, the results were uneven at best, and often downright embarassing.

The French may call him ‘Le Grand Jerry Lewis’, but I still call him weird.  And clownish, but not always in a good way.

Now Indiewire reports that Lewis has donated his 1972 cinematic debacle, ‘The Day the Clown Cried‘, to the Library of Congress — with the caveat that it cannot be shown for another ten years.

That embargo may be the most charitable act of his life, next to his Labor Day telethons for Muscular Dystrophy.

By all accounts the film is a bathetic mishmash with about as many laughs as a train wreck. It involves Lewis playing a circus clown who leads Jewish children to the gas chambers in Nazi Germany.

Why Lewis allowed that concept to ever get off the drawing board alive is a greater mystery than the Mary Celeste.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Lewis never released the film, having long expressed regret for even making it. In 2009, he told Entertainment Weekly that he was keeping it safe and that no one would ever see it. “Nobody can touch it,” he said at the time. “After I’m gone, who knows what’s going to happen? I think I have the legalese necessary to keep it where it is. So I’m pretty sure that it won’t be seen.”

For another ten years, anyways.

I wonder when tickets go on sale?

The pantheon of humor in America is broad;

we’ve clowns enough to form an everlasting flying squad.

Whatever is cliched or phony, our buffoons will mock —

from pettifogging tyrants to a congressman ad hoc. 

Jerry Lewis is a member of this crew outstanding;

despite some flops we all wish him a final happy landing. 


Donald Trump

I wish I could get Donald Trump to tell my boss off good;

the man has got more chutzpah than the fabled Robin Hood!

His fearless proclamations have no basis in plain fact —

and Republican big wheelers hate his ignorance of tact.

So what if he’s all bluster — P.T. Barnum come again;

he’d tell Iran to stick it, and sell sand to rich Bahrain.

I love a guy who’s careless with the truth and wears his hair

 as if he had just gotten up from some electric chair. 

donald trump

The Drone

A drone is better finding targets than a paratrooper.

Of course they are not perfect, and can make a silly blooper.

But all is fair in love & war, so we must be forgiving

when a strike removes the blameless from their daily living.   

from an article in the New York Times