Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Fristmas

'Twas the week before Christmas
and all through the House,
the congressmen grumbled
and started to grouse.

"We've carefully crafted
our measures to hide
any hint of goodwill.
Now the Senate's denied

Our attempt to have all
Civil liberties sacked
By renewing a barely
Changed PATRIOT act;

And drilling in ANWR
Was set to commence
Until the damn Senate
Cut that from Defense!

So our stockings are empty
As we're set to recess
But before we go home
We just have to express

Our seasonal greeting
That 'Never you fear,
If we don't get it now,
You just wait 'til next year!'"

Postponing Debate, Congress Extends Terror Law 5 Weeks
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, 12/23/05

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Finding solace in the solstice

This concern over greetings is rot!
Will my wishes be P.C. or not?
After weighing the trends,
I'll seek equal offense
And express them so "X" marks the spot.

Merry Xmas
Peace on earth
Good will toward men all

Church groups confront Wal-Mart for dropping Christmas message
By Tom Chorneau, San Jose Mercury News, 12/17/05

[And there are so many better reasons to attack Wal-Mart!]

Sunday, December 18, 2005

History 102

Now dear students, it only is fair
That we seek to contrast and compare:
Was Bush-ordered spying
And pattern of lying
On a par with the Clinton affair?

Bigger brother
Editorial, Los Angeles Times, 12/18/05

Friday, December 16, 2005

Patriots Act! - call to action

I posted the following back in June but it, again, seems relevant.

It's time that each citizen be sure
How we act as to 'search' and to 'seizure:'
When rights are erased
By Congress, in haste,
We get to repent it at leisure!

"Married in haste, we may repent at leisure."
- William Congreve (1670-1729)
English dramatist
from The Old Bachelor, act v. sc. 1.

Contact your representatives and ask for an annulment!

If that's not enough to inspire you, check out Cowtown Pattie's more reasoned argument.

and if that's not enough to convince you, then how about this:

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times, 12/15/05

Critics of Patriot Act Gaining Momentum in Senate
By Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times, 12/16/05

Dyeing for a change?

While thoughts of past tyranny linger
Iraqis might shoot us a zinger;
And seek their redress
On those who oppress,
And give us the purple-stained finger.

Heavy Sunni Turnout as Iraqis Vote for Parliament
By Dexter Filkins, The New York Times, 12/15/05

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A message from the sisters at

Gamma Gamma Chi

It's OK if you're wondering why
Would a Muslim sorority try
To open on campus,
But please do not stamp us
"The Sweethearts of al-Qaida Chi."

For Muslims seeking sisterhood, fledgling sorority may be answer
By Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 12/11/05

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

See it now!

Issues, present day journalists duck,
Ed Murrow confronted with pluck.
You're searching for heroes
But turning up zeros?
All I'll say is, "Good Night and Good Luck."

Sure to be on many top 10 lists for 2005, this is a wonderfully complex movie that looks at journalistic integrity in the face of political, societal and commercial pressures and even personal vanity. It's worth the price of admission alone for Dianne Reeves' smoky vocals on the soundtrack. (hint to the Savant's friends and family looking for a last minute gift idea)

News in Black, White and Shades of Gray
By A. O. Scott, The New York Times. 9/23/05

Sunday, December 11, 2005

What! No Tilt-A-Whirl?

Our ideal, into real, oft collides
When it's somebody else that decides.
It needed a symbol;
The writing was nimble,
But where were the Carnival rides?

Congratulations from the freak show at the far end of the midway of NEO bloggers.

NEO Nimble Minds Carnival
The first ever carnival of North East Ohio bloggers

Thursday, December 08, 2005

All you need is...

Today we're remembering John.
It's twenty-five years since he's gone,
But the legend won't cease.
By imagining Peace,
We insure the idea lives on.

Is Lennon still an icon to the young?
By Stephen Dowling , BBC News, 12/8/05

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Poetic license revoked

In Pakistan, poetry came
Done up in the guise of a game.
Initials combine,
One each to a line,
To reveal our real leader by name.

Veiled ode to George Bush deleted from Pakistani textbooks
Alex Kumi, The Guardian, 12/5/05

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Revival of the poll tax?

It is true where there's fire, there is smoke,
But suggestion of fraud is a joke.
To require an I.D.
Is suppression, you see.
Why fix it, if it isn't broke?

Senate considers voter-ID provision
Julie Carr Smyth, The Plain Dealer, 12/6/05

Sunday, December 04, 2005

No Tenzing Norgay...

To help me out of this one.

This one is for my wife who woke this morning to find me staring at her while I was lost in thought about how I might rewrite my last post. The only story here is the enduring one about how men and women communicate with each other.

While rousing from sleep, half aware;
You ask why it is that I stare.
So, as Hillary noted
And often is quoted;
I tell you, "Because you are there!"

Friday, December 02, 2005

Winner by a nose

Cleveland Clinic was setting the pace
In this cutting edge surgical race.
But then France finished first,
And our surgeons are cursed
With the question of how to save face.

French perform partial face transplant
Cleveland Clinic still plans full procedure
Harlan Spector, The Plain Dealer, 12/1/05

Thursday, December 01, 2005

But wait! There's more!

Act now and you will receive one free year of
unexploded ordnance removal and,
as a special gift, a matching set of steak knives!

The Armed Forces are mostly inertial
When it comes to their acts, controversial;
So their planting of news
Will not end 'til they use
Ron Popeil in the paid infomercial.

Ronco's New Iraq-O-Matic
--The "V" is for Victory!--

U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press
By Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi,
Los Angeles Times, 10/30/05