Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Xmas Poem.

It's that time again! Time for another uplifting xmas story from the Charles Dickens of our generation....oh, wait, no, I wrote it. Well, I hope you enjoy, and that you have a great holiday season and a fantastic New Year!


Twas the night before Xmas and I was feeling filleted
In 8 days I would begin my 7th decade
Old age was upon me like a wicked curse
It was just about time to start dining at Furr’s
It seems so long since my eyes had a glint
Now it was time to buy books in large print
I used to go home with girls who looked nice
Now I bed down with a CPAP device
How did so much time just slip away?
I swear I was 30 just yesterday!

I was prone on the couch nursing my aching knee
Fighting the urge to get up and pee
When out on the patio I heard a loud thud
So loud that it sent a chill through my blood
I threw open the door to see what was the matter
Though I really wanted to empty my bladder
And who was there sitting in my rocking chair
But the bearded fat dude who comes round every year
I pulled up a chair so that I could sit
And said “Santa, again? I’m too old for this shit!

“Yes you are old” said Santa through his snowy beard
“At your age I guess it’s not Santa who’s feared”:
You don’t need the gifts that folks buy on a whim
You’re more concerned with the reaper so grim.
You no longer dream of the girls you could roger
You’re not much more than an ancient grave dodger
It is your mortality about which you most think
Now let me inside and get me a drink”.

We went into the house and I grabbed him a glass
while down on the couch he plopped his fat ass
He said “Come on, its Xmas, don’t look so sad”
As I poured him 2 fingers of  Old Grand Dad
He considered his drink with a look that was crappy
“You own 2 buses and you’re not drinking Pappy?
“Up Yours!” I told Santa, with no regret
“Better than milk and cookies, I would bet”

“Santa” I asked “ what brings you here?
I doubt that you brought any new toys this year
Stuff for the old is not one of your niches
The only sack that you have is the one in your britches”
The fat bastard grinned and adjusted his hat
How’d he live all these years, being that fat?
“You think I’m not sick of doing this job
Having to bring toys so kids will not sob
They sit on my lap and beg while they pee
Then leave sour milk and stale cookies for me
Doing that every Xmas totally sucks
I’m sick and tired of these little schmucks”

Hearing this I was shocked, it made my brain hazy
It was like Trump has said something not batshit crazy
Santa quitting was not a thought I could think
I bit my pot cookie and slurped down my drink
“Santa this is insane” I quickly objected
“Millions of  kids will be so dejected”
“So what” Santa said as he emptied his glass
“those little putzes can all kiss my ass!
I came by your house do see if you’d join me
Cuz that new Star Wars movie I’m itching to see
And to make sure we kill the holiday blues
We’ll get some Chinese, just like the Jews”

A heartwarming story, well, this is not it
For Santa and I, the movie we hit
We drank some more bourbon and ate some pot candy
And to feel even better we chased it with brandy
Then off to the theater we surely did go
And ate 3 tubs of popcorn while watching the show
Then we got some eggrolls and moo goo gai pan
And that was my Xmas with the jolly fat man.

That Xmas morning there were many sad faces
Where kids thought there’d by toys, there were just empty spaces
So the kids learned a lesson we all know to be true
Sometimes life will just crap on you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Annual Xmas Poem


Twas three days after solstice, also Xmas eve
I was texting my friends that soon I would leave
To meet them for dinner, where we would gulp
Good food from a place with great ratings on Yelp
Of course we’d take pictures of our tasty chow
And post them on Instagram so you could say “Wow!”
I’d bought lots of presents, good gifts, no crappos
From Amazon, Crutchfield, and of course Zappos
My thoughts had been tweeted, my blog post was written
And I’d posted on Facebook everything that was fittin’

I gathered my phones and was ready to shift
Out the door to the car that was coming from Lyft
And just as I pulled on my new leather jacket
I heard past my earbuds an ungodly racket
In the street was a sight too strange to be true
A giant red sleigh pulled by eight caribou
And out of the sled two black boots hit the ground
Worn by a guy with a belly quite round
In a red suit and hat that I’d just have to mock
He must have bought it from Overstock.
And on his face was a bushy white beard.
Was this guy a hipster or was he just weird?
He bounded the stairs to my house awful quick,
A fat man so agile? It must be St. Nick!
(although, I must admit very starkly
I thought for a minute it could be Charles Barkley)

I opened the door and saw his great heft
Yes It was Santa. I said “WTF?”
“Season’s greetings young man” He said with a grin
“I brought you a gift. Can I come in?
And How ‘bout you increase the Xmas cheer
By bringing Kris Kringle a nice cold craft beer!”
My fridge is not full, I am no hoarder,
But I quickly brought Santa a barrel aged porter
“Santa” I said, “What a big thrill for me
To see you in person, I mean OMG
My friends will never believe this is true
You mind if I get a selfie with you?”

“No selfies!” said Santa, “Don’t be such a boob
And no video that you will put on Youtube,
And no hashtag Santa” said the bearded old Djin
“And no we will not connect on Linkedin

“But Santa,” I cried “I know you are old
Perhaps you don’t get how your image is gold
I’d get lots of viewers, have lots of ad clicks
And make lots of money and get lots of chicks
With you in a photo my fame would be vast
Would you at least be on my podcast?”

Santa stopped smiling and adjusted his suit
And pulled back a foot with a giant black boot
And trust it forward right into my groin
To have that not happen I’d have paid a bitcoin.
“Stop will you please with this being connected
It’s a real stupid way of getting respected”
I writhed on the floor, trying to breath
Hoping that he would just up and leave
Then he pulled a package out of his sack
And landed it into my nuts with a smack
“Here is your gift, you stupid schnook
It’s just what you need: It is a book!”
I was now pretty sure I could not again pee
For this kind of pain there’s no emogi
“Merry Xmas” he said “And happy New Year”
Then in one motion, chugged the whole beer.
“Look at you on the floor, like you’re all beggy
You’ve really turned into a big fat shmegege
Then he turned on his heels, but before he would go
He said “Ha, One more thing: LMFO!”

What a horrible Xmas, boy I was miffed
But at least the fat bastard left me a gift
Then and I opened it up, and what the heck
The damn book was written by that nutjob Glenn Beck!
So here’s wishing everyone Holiday cheer
While I hope that my nads will some day reappear.

There you go, another heartwarming Christmas tale.  Enjoy whatever it is you celebrate and be real groovy next year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Annual Xmas Poem, Again, Read by ME! (With stumbles, of course!)

It's that time again!  Time for another of my lame efforts to be amusing. This year's poem was actually told to me by Santa Claus himself.  Enjoy!

A Week Before Xmas At The North Pole

Twas a week before Xmas and Oh it was exciting
In just one more week I would be delighting
The good boys and girls in every nation
With toys and games and a brand new Playstation
The reindeer were binging so they’d have lots of fuel
To haul my fat ass round the world on the Yule
Mrs Claus was abuzz, busy cleaning my suit
And putting a shine on every black boot
At the toyshop the elves cared after each toy
Except for that lazy ass drunken elf Roy
I was updating my list of naughty and nice
noting every last act of goodness or vice
When just as I reached to pick up my quill
And downgrade to naughty that dirty slut Jill
I heard in the sky a tremendous roar
And saw a black SUV pull up outside my door
Then out jumped 4 guys in dark suits and sunglasses
It occurred to me they were here to harass us.
Our guests created a mighty commotion
That vibrated over the whole arctic ocean

The reindeer had scattered from the overhead copters
And Mrs. Claus spit out her brand new fake choppers
While those little wimp elves got all out of sorts
Each one had already shit in his shorts.
When a battering ram smashed the front door to splinters
I was sure this would be one of my worst winters

Over my wrecked door walked one scary dude
I said “You could have knocked! This is very rude!”
He scowled “Shut up Clause, we are NSA
And we didn’t come to the North Pole to play
We’re here for the data that you have collected
To decide who is good and who is rejected
We’ve tried every trick, every known hacking caper
It’s 2013 who keeps data on paper?
Just turn over your info and we’ll gladly depart
And you can get on with being a Luddite old fart.”

I paused for a minute, not sure what to do
So he continued “You must know it’s true
We need all information about everyone
Every man, every woman and their 1 day old son
Our net has been cast incredibly wide,
But you shouldn’t be bothered if you’ve nothing to hide.

We know all the members of each social circle
We know who is shtupping Angela Merkel
We hacked World of Warcraft and follow each cookie
We know how much Rudolph owes to his bookie
And that Dancer and Prancer are partners for life
And that shitfaced elf Roy is banging your wife.
But, Santa, you know whose sleeping or if they’re awake
You know who is wholesome and whose on the take
It’s the one piece of data that we do not possess
That’s your naughty-nice list, so  give it here, Yes?”

I was now the maddest I’d been in my life
That little twerp Roy was doing my wife?
I bent over and said”Off is what you can piss
Because from my data you will get bubkes”

A sinister grin lit the g-man’s dark face
“OK, you asked for it, Boys trash the place”
His men went through every inch of my house,
Took every paper, fondled my spouse
As they left through the door, which now was quite breezy
He said “just get on the internet and make our job easy”
And Merry Christmas you fat piece of crap”
And just like that they were off like a snap.

For the first time in my life, Santa was pissed
A feeling my wife couldn’t have missed
“Now how will you know which kid gets what toy?
I said “Shut up and tell me about you and Roy!”

Well, there you have it.  Another uplifting holiday story.  Hope you have a Merry Xmas, and a most profitable Fiscal 2014!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Annual Xmas Poem, Read by ME!

In case you have forgotten how to read, or, like me you are old and can't ever find your reading glasses, here is this year's Xmas poem read by me.  Happy Solstice!

My Annual Xmas Poem

It's that time again, time for me to offend old friends and new with my annual Xmas poem.  Last year's poem was written from my perspective.  This year it is not, as you will be able to tell by the brand of beer the narrator has in his fridge.

An Idiots Xmas

Twas the night before Xmas, I was in a bad mood
For my house was quite empty, no TV, no food
No tables nor chairs for resting my bum
I’d gone and done something that’s clearly quite dumb
12/21 should have been the last day
For people on earth to work and to play
Now this year my Xmas will be pretty rough
Cuz I’ve given away all of my stuff.
I’m living on Budwieser, ramen and Chickletts
Investing what I have left in lottery tickets.

I was bumming about the big Mayan lie
When I saw something strange up in the sky
Then on my roof I heard a loud boom
And down through the chimney and into my room
Crashed a guy I believed in with never a pause
There on my carpet stood old Santa Claus
With red suit, black boots, white beard and all
He looked just like when I’d met him down at the Mall
I said “ Santa, I’m so glad to see you this year”
He said “Shut up schmuck, do you have any beer?”
I went to the fridge and grabbed a Bud Light
And gave it to Santa, full of delight
He looked at the can and shook his white head
“You call this a beer?  God your brain is dead!”

He sat on the floor, and took a big drink
I hoped he would give me a friendly wink
But instead he said “Look, kid, I’m visiting you
Cuz you must stop believing stuff that’s not true
Not just the crap from some crazy Mayan
But all the mechegas that you’ve been buyin’.
You bought the predictions of Harold Camping
And in seach of Sasquatch you’ve been out tramping
You visited Scotland to look for Loch Ness
And Homeopathy’s made your health a mess.
You believe in astrology and ESP too
And alien autopsies at Area 52
And that the earth is 6000 years old
You accept any crazy shit that you are told!

I slumped on the floor and let out a sigh
I had to respond to the big jolly guy
“But Santa,” I said, “I’m sure there is proof
There is stuff on the internet that shows the truth
Of witches and ghosts and reincarnation
And that Obama was born in some other nation
And that antioxidents can cure all ones ills
And there’ll be a Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills”

Santa finished his beer and looked down at the floor
I hoped he was done, but no, he had more
“I can only assume your brain has been hacked
You can’t tell a rumor apart from a fact
You invested with Madoff, you stupid chump
And believed stuff you heard from Donald Trump
You think folks can fly like in the comics
You even believe supply side economics
Your lack of good sense I find quite vexin’
Why, you’re so stupid you could be a Texan!”

I was so sad to see that Santa was pissed
I said “Perhaps you’re right, some things I have missed
 but like most Americans, I’m dumb as a stick
Real or counterfeit, how do you pick?”

“Science” said Santa “Would be a good start
And think with your brain, and not with your heart
It you can’t prove it’s true, then give it a pass
Try taking your head out of your ass
Do research and make sure the pieces all fit
Because the world is full of bullshit
Here’s my one wish for this holiday season
Give yourself over to knowledge and reason
And now here’s something you might find funny
there really, for sure, is an Easter Bunny!”

Then Santa stood up and gave a big clap
Reached out his hand and gave me a dope slap
And he was gone before I could retort
So I just sat down to read The Drudge Report.
OH, one more thing, I’ve left a loose flag
Yes, Jeff Pliskin, Paul Ryan’s a douchebag!

Well, there it is, always inspirational.  Hope you enjoy your Solstice, Xmas, Hannukah, Kwanza or whatever, and may your New Year be awesomely groovy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why I Am Voting For Obama

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I will be voting for Obama next Tuesday.  My conservative friends back in Clarence, NY all think I am a raging liberal, which I am not, mostly because I never bought into the GOP history of the town we grew up in.  In fact, I find both parties mostly repulsive and incompetent, but the GOP ideas are far more backward, dangerous, and threatening to liberty and equality in this country.  I thought I would lay out some specifics on why I am voting for Obama.....which mostly boils down to "Because he is not a Republican!".


Neither party has any history of doing anything sensible when it comes to economics, and I don't expect them to start now.  The Democrats are addicted to throwing money at problems, then refusing to stop or change programs that are no longer workable. The GOP is addicted to tax cuts, to the extent that they will gladly let education, health care, and infrastructure die in the name of Grover Norquist purity.  If Romney were serious about cutting tax rates and doing away with ALL deductions, he would be worth paying attention to.  However, he has refused to specify which deductions he would have to kill, because the only way his plan is revenue neutral, as he claims, is if he does away with tax-free health insurance from employers, and with the mortgage interest deductions.  This is a good idea, but this waffling weenie does not have the guts to either say or do this job.

My fear is that a Romney presidency would allow too many of the dangerously destructive economic ideas of the right to become reality. As a society, we must invest in human capital, and we must have infrastructure that allows us to conduct business, and Obama is correct when he said "You didn't build that".  Romney spent a full year sucking up the right wing nuts in his party who think tax cuts are more important than good roads and bridges, and these guys are just wrong.  In addition, Romney's main economic advisers are the same guys, Hubbard and Mankiw, who worked for W., and we know what an economic miracle they produced.

Certainly, we need to deal with the deficit, particularly the ticking bomb of future entitlements.  Simpson-Bowles was a good start but Ryan voted against it, and Obama ignored it, and Romney had taken every position under the sun.  So, on economics both candidates get a fail from me!


Here is the sensible way that immigration should be handled:  As a free market issue.  Neither party wants to do that.  The GOP's desire to run all immigrants back to where they came from is clearly based in the underlying racism of the party, particularly the Tea Party.  Meanwhile Obama has deported more people than any other Prez.  But at least Obama has had the good sense to allow children who were brought here by their parents illegally, and who we have already paid to educate, to stay in the country so we can get the benefit of their skills and knowledge.  The GOP, Romney included, has their heads extremely far up their asses, and apparently sees nothing but brown people who don't speak English invading their towns.  Romney even proudly has the guy who wrote the Arizona and Alabama immigration laws on his list of aids.

Restrictive immigration policies are bad economic policies.  That is a truth that this country needs to accept!


This is, and has always been, the main reason that I tend to hold my nose and vote for Democrats.  As long as the Religious Right is driving the social bus in the GOP, the party is unworthy of serious consideration.  And the GOP is getting worse in this regard, not better.  Social conservatives are wrong about everything.  There is no God or Christianity in the constitution for a reason!  These idiots want to teach creationism as science, replace policy with prayer, and treat people who are different like second class citizens.  The Dems positions on these issues has not been great either, but they almost kept God completely out of their platform, which is where the fictional character belongs.  And to Paul Ryan and all the other assholes who claim to be followers of Ayn Rand AND good Christians....CAN YOU STUPID FUCKS NOT READ?  She was a committed and outspoken Atheist!


Of the many things that George W. Bush fucked up, this was where he was worst.  It is not the job of the US to tell everyone else in the world how to behave!  But that was Bush policy, and that would also be Romney policy.  In addition, we already spend more than the rest of the world combined on military spending, much of it as make work jobs to build weapons the military no longer needs.  We don't need to spend more, as Romney clearly believes.  And we don't need to start more wars, as Romney also seems to believe.

Foreign policy is a tricky, complex issue that even well informed Americans have trouble comprehending.  What the GOP calls Obama's "Apology Tour" was a much needed effort to show the rest of the world that we were not going to behave like the arrogant idiots who ran this country for the previous 8 years.  Bringing back the NeoCons, who are advising Romney, will be a step back to the destructive, expensive policies of w and his band of morons.  We can not afford that!


This band of ignorant buffoons poses the greatest threat to the progress of this country in my lifetime.  Schooled only in Rand, Hayek, and the Bible, these idiots seem to think the 19th century was a really great time to be an American, and want to take us back there.  Any politician who would seriously even talk to this group of yahoos is unworthy of anyone's vote.  They have become the heart of the GOP, and Romney is now trying to run away from the year he spent sucking up to them to get the nomination.  Maybe Mitt would govern as the moderate who didn't do all that great a job in MA, but who knows.  The bottom line is, an Obama presidency is the best insurance that we have that none of the horrible ideas these guys spout come to be.  Just their positions on immigration and money (the gold standard is second only to Communism as the dumbest economic idea I can think of) are enough to impoverish the nation.

That's my thinking.  What's yours? The President can  not magically manage the economy to make unemployment go down, and if you think he can, then you are probably too stupid to be allowed to vote.  But, the President can steer the country toward long term good, or bad.  We had 8 years of horrible with George W. Bush, and Romney seems to want to return to too many of those policies.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Few Words About Social Security

A few weeks ago my friend Maggie put one of those billboard thingys that you often see on Facebook on her page.  It had to do with Social Security, and it seemed to me to be very simplistic, so I said that in response, to which Maggie replied "Oh do explain, professor".  So, for Maggie and everyone else, here is a brief explanation of the facts and myths of Social Security, and my opinion on how me might "fix" it.

Myth #1 Social Security is a savings account set aside for you.  Social Security was designed as a "pay as you go" system, where money is taken from workers today and given to retired folks.  While you work you pay in, and when you reach 65 you can sit on your ass at the early bird special and collect.  Many are confused I think by the statement we receive every year.  So, to say it is "not an entitlement" is not really true.

Sorta Myth #2 There is a Social Security Trust Fund.  In the 1980's, when the folks in Congress were a bit less dim than they are today, they actually looked at the problem the Baby Boom generation was going to create for Social Security.  So, they increased the amount taken out of our checks, and until recently Social Security took in more than it paid out.  The problem is that the extra money, according to law, was loaned to the rest of the government.  Remember Al Gore saying "Lockbox" about 200 times during the 2000 election?  He was talking about some way to sequester that money so it would be there.  Now, the situation is that officially there is this trust fund, but it has all been loaned to the Federal Government, which means that it must be repaid by taxpayers.  So we owe ourselves a shitload of money.

Myth #3  Social Security is Broke.  This is technically not true. Under current rules it has enough money in that "trust fund" to pay benefits for about 20 years ( the actual number depends on whose projections you look at, and projections that far ahead tend to be inaccurate).  And it could pay lesser benefits for many years beyond that.  So when people say "Social Security won't be there when I retire" it is pretty much nonsense.  The problem is that we now have so much Federal debt, that the burden of paying it off along with paying social security and medicare in the future will mean the government won't be able to do anything else.  But it is not SS that is broke.  It will, though, under current rules, not be able to pay the benefits it now pays (adjusted for inflation) in the future unless something is done about it.

You May Not Know This But....

  • When SS was created in the 1930's and the retirement age was set at 65, the life expectancy was around 65, which means about 50% of people would never collect a cent.  Today it is close to 80 years.
  • Because of the baby boom and social changes, the number of workers paying into the system for each retiree has dropped from 16 in 1950 to about 3 today.
  • At a bit over $110k per year of income, they stop taking social security taxes out of your paycheck.  If you have never made that much money, or don't work in payroll, you probably are not aware of that.  So, if you make $110k per year, you  and your employer (or just you, if you are self-employed) pay the same amount into SS as Lebron James, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga.  So SS is a regressive tax.
How I would "Fix" it...
  • Raise the age.  A year or two of paying in versus taking money out is a substantial amount of money.  And clearly, folks who are 65 today are in far better health than those in 1938.
  • Raise or do away with the income cap for paying the tax.
I'll be honest: I haven't done the numbers, but I am pretty sure those 2 fixes would go a long way to allowing future retirees to receive the same benefits as the ones today do.

Now, anyone want to get into Medicare's problems?