’20 A To Z Challenge – O

 

I took my new bifocals out for a test drive, and felt that I’d found the perfect word to describe me.  I thought someone said that I was an ‘Oopsy-Mess.’  When I cleaned the dryer lint off the lenses, I found that I had to look up the word

OPSIMATH

A person who learns late in life
Greek
opse = late
math = learn

We should ALL be opsimaths, all except you young bucks.  Learning should be a life-long ambition and objective.  Some folks stop learning when they graduate high school, or college.  Many of them go on to become managers at McDonald’s or Domino’s, although at least one of them got elected as President of the United States.  Some voters never learn.  😳

I could go on (and on) about this, but I’ve learned to, Be Brief – Be Bright – Begone.  Are you still learning stuff to advance you in your job, or to get you a better one?  Are you still learning things, just for the joy of knowledge?  I would have been a professional scholar, if I’d just been able to find a sponsor.

’20 A To Z Challenge – N

Where’s a good old insult when you really need one, especially when there are a plethora of politicians who so richly deserve one??!

The quality of leaders in the developed world has seriously deteriorated.  At its inception, Canada had Sir John A. MacDonald.  He drank like life was one long frat-boy party.  He was only slightly less racist than his contemporaries, but he knit together a handful of disparate colonies into a Dominion that became what Canada is today.

William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister.  He did it in two stretches.  He got voted out, then later got voted back in, from the end of the ‘30s to the end of the ‘40s.  He got us out of the Great Depression, though World War II, and put Canada – and the UK – back on its feet.

He was a Mama’s boy who frequented psychics and séances.  He thought that the Parliament Buildings were haunted.  More recently, two MPs were conversing near the elevator.  Neither had pushed the button, but down it came.  When the door opened, and there was no-one inside, one looked in and said, “Good day, Mister King.”

It all began to go bad with Pierre Trudeau.  He had – not one, but two – sons born on Christmas Day, so he always thought that he was one better than God.  Already famous for his Salmon Arm Salute, https://archonsden.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/20-a-to-z-challenge-c/ he violated protocol and photo-bombed Queen Elizabeth herself, by pirouetting behind her like a drunken – or gay – ballet dancer, at an official photo session.  Richard Nixon described him as “an asshole.”  His response was that he had been called worse things, by better men.  I’m sure that’s true – lots of them.

The Excited States has had the Emancipation Proclamation, Honest Abe Lincoln.  There was, We have nothing to fear but fear itself, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and The Buck stops here, Harry S Truman.  The middle ‘S’ is not an initial, but an entire name, honoring two grandfathers with ‘S’ names.  He once told a group of high-society garden club ladies, that the White House roses grew so well because his gardeners added lots of manure.  One of the snootier women complained to his wife about his use of the vulgar word manure.  Bess replied that it had taken her 20 years, just to get him to use that word.

It is hard for a Canadian to judge where and when America began slipping off the rails.  It might have been with I am not a crook Nixon.  I think that it was somewhere between the two Bushes – Sr. and Jr. – although Burning Bush Senior’s declaration that Atheists should not be allowed to be citizens or patriots, indicates that the rot had already set in.  Slick Willy Clinton’s presidency could have been a skit written by the Three Stooges.

This brings us to Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, and (finally) the theme for this N post.  Even Bugs Bunny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14KTu4i27j8 agrees that each of them is a

NINCOMPOOP

A fool or simpleton
From Latin: non compos mentis – not of sound mind; mentally incapable of managing one’s affairs.

Trudeau-Lite is such a nincompoop that even Trump doesn’t bother to call him an asshole.  Trump is not fit to manage his own affairs, much less the nation’s.  He believes conspiracy theories, thinks that we should drink drain cleaner to combat COVID, and has gone bankrupt more times than George W. Mission Accomplished Bush – and that’s a low bar.

Both these two – and others – are victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect#:~:text=In%20the%20field%20of%20psychology%2C%20the%20Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger%20effect,of%20people%20to%20recognize%20their%20lack%20of%20ability.  They are so dumb that they don’t realize how dumb they are.  Leaders used to be LEADERS – socially, politically, morally, intellectually, culturally.  Now, doofuses like this are Cult Leaders – a Cult of Personality.  They don’t so much get elected by the voters; they just win the most likes in a Twitter-storm, or a Facebook octagon match.

I would like to say that we deserve better, but if WE, as nations, vote these clowns into the positions of Chief Executive Nincompoop, we deserve the governments we get, and (collectively) we are the nincompoops.  Think carefully – I’ll settle for just think – before you vote.   👿

DON’T TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT

Dictionary

Pros

The crashed space contraction – was actually a weather balloon contraption.

This Texas joined has many options – Move your joint closer to that dictionary.

She one the homecoming queen title – That’s won title I’m impressed with.

From the prospective of the actor – he should have a bit more perspective.

Facepalm

They wear mink coats made of polar bear fur:facepalm:

I’ll make a help meet for him – A helpmate would have been a better idea.  This isn’t a dating site.

The ugly crowd finally disbursed. – Not unless they were paid to disperse.

The city had a wide away of amenities – Alwight, Elmer Fudd, just look at this array.

She has plead guilty – I plead that you use the word pled.

Companies that engage in development no they have a responsibility – They’re responsible to know the right word.

Overwhelms their soy-dullened senses – I would offer a zingy riposte to that, but I’m busy eating a “Beyond Meat”© burger…. and I just can’t seem to think of one.

His chariot-horses were poisend – Any desire to read his book was poisoned.

Australian writers of a radical bend – I bent over, and found the proper word.

They tried to recoop their expenses – put them back in a cage till tax-time.

The monster was bearing its great fangs – since it was born.  Now it is baring them.

It’s more comfortable without the extra seems – It seems that you should use seams.

He continues to pressure his passion in arts – No pressure, just look up pursue

Camoflauge Chic – Apparently the correct spelling was camouflaged.

New York Times
The President has not been seeing wearing a mask – the writer should be seen at an ESL class.

They weren’t sure what the reporter’s roll was – I believe it was rye, possibly pumpernickel

US racing violence leaves PM without words – I have one – Race!,  %&$#@

Amateurs

In the mean, politicians fixate on getting re-elected. – In the main, that is true.

I dear say that reduces the damage – I dare say that construction is wrong.

Any nation that was invited in time of war – I invite you to look up invaded.

If any descent was voiced – I dissent with that spelling

I had him paged as an anemic redneck – I had you pegged as illiterate.

On sale, Pop-Tards – on a sign printed by Re-Tard

She treated him with distain – getting the lipstick off his collar.  I have disdain for her.

Undo credence is given to tradition – but undue attention is not given to the correct word.

Your boyfriend seen nice – He also seemed to speak English.

People who rock up to you when you’re busy – should just walk away.

When religion grabs the leavers of political power – It’s time to lever it back out, and leave.

Policed said they would canvas the building – Threw a tarp over it so that so that English teachers could canvass it.

This harps back to a time – When we said that it harks back.

Working with medal to produce something – Put the pedal to the metal.

The Universe was created it if nothing – A Universe of confusion was created out of that construction.

A kid nailed a two by floor in a tree – My Dad called it a two by twice.

It was the Law of Unattended Consequences – You should have intended to attend English class.

All I had to do was right them down – All that’s left is to write the right word.

Except the one recanting the tale – Recant that spelling, and go with recounting.

We were weakly church attenders, and I alter-served – But would have done better, at home with a textbook.

Gotta love those threats of eternal tournament – That misusage is a torment to me.

’20 A To Z Challenge – C

A To Z ChallengeLetter C

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technological obsolescence! It’s a term to describe things that we no longer do or own, because our rapidly accelerating science-driven lifestyle has replaced them with something newer, although not always better. (Remember Windows Vista?) 😯 We’re on generation 12 of Smart phones, and the Chinese are providing the 5G cell phone system to run them on, as well as COVID19.

The telephone operator lost her job when dial phones came into existence. The dials turned into push-buttons, and the push-buttons morphed into touch screens. The poor English language is having trouble keeping up with it all.

Let me introduce you, and then say good bye, to

CHIROSPASM

Spasm of the muscles of the hand, as in writers’ cramp.

Now there’s an expression that you don’t hear any more. It was common for hundreds of years, from religious monks inscribing Bibles, up to school children frantically composing essays for English class all desperately, tightly, clutching quills, pens and pencils, till their hands cramped.

Then, along came the electronic age, with its word-processors and keyboards. Archaic old chirospasm and writer’s cramp have been replaced by hunched-over-the-keyboard data-entry shoulders, and your cell-phone-toting grandson’s texters’ thumb.

Fortunately, I have never sprained or strained either of my middle fingers, the ones so necessary to communicate with taxi drivers and politicians. That would be the only physical disability which might affect my capacity to express myself, although I am just an amateur, compared to some of the old masters.

Salmon Arm Salute IISalmon Arm Salute

From his seat inside a private rail car during a vacation in Salmon Arm, BC with his children on August 8, 1982, Pierre Trudeau, then the Prime Minister of Canada, gave the finger to protesters in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, earning the incident the nickname the “Salmon Arm salute”. The gesture itself has also been nicknamed the “Trudeau salute.”

Trudeau

Our young drama teacher ski instructor Prime Minister learned at the knee of one of the (self-described) greatest.

One-Liners Are A Rip-off

Velcro

The guy who invented Velcro died….
….R.I.P.

Iron Man is actually….
….Fe Male

I used to sell security alarms door to door, and I was very good at it….
….If no-one was home, I’d just leave the brochure on the kitchen table

The early bird may get the worm….
….but the second mouse gets the cheese

How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?….
….Hourly, or flat fee?

What did the ocean say to the beach?….
….Nothing, it just waved

When the smog lifts in California….
….UCLA

My wife was angry at me, and said I have no sense of direction….
….so I picked up my stuff and right

I am terrified of elevators….
….and I’m taking steps to avoid them

Every time I try to eat healthy….
….a chocolate bar looks at me and Snickers

Double negatives….
….are a no-no in English

The problem with political jokes is….
….sometimes they get elected

I danced like nobody was watching….
….My court date is pending

What happens if….
….you get scared half to death – twice?

Ants are healthy because….
….they have little antibodies

I checked into the hokey-pokey clinic….
….and I turned myself around

All those who believe in psychokinesis….
….raise my hand

Between two evils….
….I always pick the one I’ve never tried

I went to the Air and Space Museum….
….but there was nothing there

A clear conscience is….
….the sign of a fuzzy memory

If you think that education is expensive….
….try ignorance

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

My reality check bounced.

I want to grow my own food….
….but I can’t find any bacon seeds

They’re not going to make yardsticks any longer

I told my wife she was drawing in her eyebrows too high….
….She looked surprised

Some Thoughts – Domestic And Foreign

All teachings are mere references.
The true experience is living your own life.
Then, even the holiest of words are only words.
Deng Ming-Dao

To determine the true rulers of any society, you must ask this question; “Who am I not allowed to criticize?”

‘All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician [to keep the hoi-polloi in order], and ridiculous to the philosopher.’

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was not an Atheist. He was Catholic and realized how he could use religion to rule the masses.

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.”
Isaac Asimov

If prayer actually worked, we’d see two things:
1 – Ambulances would take patients to churches
2 – Christians would have longer life spans than the rest of the population

Most people are not looking for provable truths. Truth is often accompanied by terrible pain, and almost no-one is looking for painful truths. What people need are beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning. This is where religion comes from.

My favorite part of the Bible is where God gives everyone free will, and then drowns everybody in a flood for not acting the way He wanted.

CREATIONISM
The idea that we are not related to apes, no matter how many genes we share, but are in fact, descended from dirt.

Religion has at every age kept the human mind in darkness and held it in ignorance of its true relations, of its real duties, and its true interests. It is but in removing its clouds and phantoms that we may find the source of truth, reason, morality, and the actual motives which inspire virtue—Jean Messlier 1704

How many religious people does it take to change a light bulb?
None! They just sit in the dark and demand that you believe that the light is still on.

The cold, hard truth is worth so much more than a comforting lie.

“In religions and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are, in almost every case, gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who themselves have not examined the questions at issue, but have taken them second-hand from other examiners, whose opinions about them are not worth a brass farthing.”
Mark Twain

When you have to ignore mountains of evidence to hold a belief; when your words are those of others to preserve your faith; when you refuse to use logic, to protect your fantasy, your willful ignorance does not make you a unique individual. It doesn’t afford you special consideration.

Actually, it means that you are just plain wrong. It means that you have nothing to add to intelligent conversation. Believers show all the hallmarks of long-term abuse, unable to distinguish threats, fear and degradation, from kindness, love and self-worth.

Atheism says absolutely nothing about the issues of Northern Ireland, Shia/Sunni wars, genocide in Rwanda, questions of religious freedom, stem cell research, or gay marriage.  Atheism is not a belief, it’s not a set of values, it’s not a political movement, it’s not even a platform.  It merely is the understanding that all the religions seem made up.  And since we have no way to figure out if any of them are real, we must deal with life on our own.  We must use our brains.  So let’s quit being dicks to each other, roll up our sleeves, and figure these things out.  And keep making fun of religions.

PopeClown

***

 

High Drama – Low Comedy

Trudeau

Okay! Move along, move along! Nothin’ to see here. Just another Canadian political rant.

I got another Op-Ed letter published. I shouldn’t phrase it like that. I get almost all my submitted letters published. With print newspapers dying, and readers going to social media, the papers are grateful for any Op-Ed letters. It used to be a contest, and the local paper published 4 -6 letters every day. Now, there’s only 2 letters per issue, and often none.

Blackface

Still…. I had this to say about our pretty, young (and pretty young) Prime Minister.

Many people, probably Liberal party supporters, want to excuse Justin Trudeau’s Blackface incident, saying that he did not mean to insult anyone. This is true, because Trudeau is far too narcissistic to care about insulting other races.

If it were an isolated incident, performed by an adolescent, it might be understandable, but it’s only one in a string of bad social choices – a blackface, two brownfaces, and his Mr. Dressup tour of India.

At 29, well beyond adolescence, he attended a black-tie society dinner. 500 guests, 249 men dressed in tuxedos, and Ali Baba Justin showed up – poorly.

We don’t need a drama student, or teacher. We need a mature statesman to lead the country, not an entitled rich kid, leading a high school musical!

India

This is our Prime Minister, Canada. Ain’tcha glad??! This makes Trump look good. Remember this on our upcoming Election Day.

Flash Fiction #200

Jokes

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger 

THAT’S FUNNY

I’ve never heard of a scavenger hunt for jokes.

There’s a couple! Scoop them up.

What’s the difference between a porcupine and a Porsche?….
….The porcupine has the pricks on the outside

My doctor told me that I have insomnia….
….but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it

You find them everywhere. Grab that pair!

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall?….
….Dam

My girlfriend hates it when I joke about her weight….
….She should lighten up.

One more, then home.

What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?….
….A politician

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use here Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Milestone

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve been at this long enough to have reached the FF #200 milestone. Thank you Rochelle for having the patience to herd all these cats, and thanx to all the rest of you who come to read my silly stories.

Friday Fictioneers

WOW #45

Sandal

Today’s program is brought to you by pompous arrogance, and by the letter DUH! Bert and Ernie are out getting wasted at a gay bar, and Oscar the Grouch has battened down the lid of his condo garbage can. Since I couldn’t come up with a story for the phallic-symbol photo at Rochelle’s this week, Elmo is tickled that it’s up to me to tell you about the word

Ultracrepidarian

(uhl-truh-krep-i-DAYR-ee-uhn)
Adjective:
-Pertaining to one who is talking about things beyond the scope of their knowledge.
Noun:
-A person who gives opinions and advice on matters that they know little about.

This word was coined by the essayist William Hazlitt in 1819. From Latin “ultra” (beyond) + “crepidarius” (shoemaker), from “crepida” (sandal). Earliest documented use: 1819.

Donald Trump

This word comes from the same base that we get the English word creep. The next time you see some creep who doesn’t know a Red State from a Blue one, or thinks that the budget will balance itself, “from the heart out,” running his mouth while his brain is only idling, you’ll have another useful word to call him.

Trudeau

Typical Politician

Bardish

I recently met an atypical politician, or at least that’s what she claimed. She was pleased that she was introduced, not as a local politician, but rather as ‘our elected representative.’ She claims that she and her government want to do things a little differently.

Bardish Chagger PC MP is a Canadian politician who is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Waterloo. She is the current Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the former Minister of Small Business and Tourism.

While she may want to change things, it was evident early that she has many of the earmarks of the ‘Typical Politician.’ She attended a recent brunch meeting of the local Free Thinkers group. She was to talk to them about the separation of Church and State.

She was born here in Ontario. I have heard her disparaged as a (Muslim) Paki. I thought that she was a (Hindu) Indian, until she showed up with a male Sikh aide. A member videotaped the meeting for posterity. Used to many media scrums, she quickly clipped on the mic-pack herself.

When she arrived, she went around two large tables, shaking hands and speaking to about 25 members individually. Before beginning her talk, she slyly mentioned that she would take any questions and answer any concerns that anyone had. An hour and a half later, we’d talked about everything except Church and State. The moderator had to butt in, and present her with two specific concerns, and let her get back to him about them later.

While not a ‘prepared speech,’ she probably had a good mental picture of what she wished to present. She’s quite intelligent, and well-spoken, with no hesitations in speech, or ‘ums’ or ‘ahs’. She and her aide made a good team. She stood up front, and dealt with the crowd, and their concerns. He hovered, almost unnoticed in the background with his Smart phone, making sure he noted each question, and getting people’s names, and contact information, and assuring that they had hers.

She told us that young Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was trying to decentralize the office. She said that no-one entered his chamber, only to be told, “This is the way we’re going to do it.” Rather, she said, he was grooming people like her to be assistant PMs or perhaps the next Prime Minister. She was encouraged to approach him with a proposed plan of action. I gave her a line that a company President once gave me, “Don’t come to me with a problem. Come to me with a solution.” She said that she liked the sentiment, would use it herself, and probably pass it on the Prime Minister.

Before she began her little speech at 10:30 AM, she told us that an aunt had died, and she would have to leave by 11:30 – 11:40 at the latest – to pay her respects. At 12:10, she was still going back around the tables, shaking hands and currying favor like a typical politician. She had a dead body to deal with, but she was still glad-handing her way out of this room full of intelligent, knowledgeable, influential voters.

Niagara bridge

The problem with wanting to do things differently, is that there are some jobs that just have to be done ‘that way’. If you promise people that you will walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls, it is quicker, easier and safer to get in a car, and drive across the bridge. You have to change people’s expectations.

The makeup of Trudeau’s cabinet is 50% female, a figure which he is proud of. I was amazed that so many women would be fool enough to want to play, what is still, essentially, an Old (White) Boys game. I can only hope that the inclusion of women and minorities in Government can make Canada a kinder, gentler, fairer place to live, and we can send all our fence-builders down to the States, to work for Trump, but I cynically wait for proof. 😳

***

Shortly after I composed this, she put her shapely foot in her mouth. A member of the Opposition ambushed her as she left the Chamber, and demanded to know what she and her Government were doing about the spate of opioid deaths. His riding had had 38 such fatalities in the last year.

Apparently without thinking, she said, “Oh, that’s not bad.” Now, any deaths are to be mourned or prevented. What she meant was that, the average per riding is between 60 and 70. The Waterloo Region riding had 73 in that same period, but she had to backpedal quickly, as the political-points game was played.

***

Canada also has a too big to fail transportation company which does considerable sales overseas. Canada has laws against bribes and kickbacks, but this company operates in places where that’s the expected way to do business.

Our handsome young, trust-fund Prime Minister’s female Attorney General caught wind of these nefarious dealings, and started an investigation. He, and several of his senior staff, urged her to quietly sweep it under the rug, but she persisted. The PM had her removed from her post, and slapped with a non-disclosure writ, but it reached the media,

Rats immediately began deserting the sinking ship. Another woman resigned her post as Finance Minister in a fit of ethics, further damaging the PM’s vaunted 50% female Cabinet makeup. The PM’s senior secretary, supposedly the brains behind the throne, has also resigned. It appears that he, like the women, wants to be out of the range of shrapnel, when this thing explodes.

It seems that, the more they promise to do new things, in new ways, the more we get stuck with the same old post turtles. Typical!   😯